4 Comments

Day 4: Disclosure Post

How do you decide what to share?

For starters, I just went out in public wearing a sweatshirt that says “Ask me about my Crohn’s disease.” And since I share blog updates on my personal Facebook page, my healthy friends can see all sorts of unflattering stories and photos. Being open about my health isn’t always easy, but it is mostly worth the effort and risk. Sometimes people are jerks, so we just have to forget about them and move on.

My health conditions might, in theory anyway, be easily concealed someday. Nobody can tell I’m struggling just from a superficial glance, but my issues come up in conversation pretty early on. I suppose I could lie and throw out some silly responses to health-related questions, but I’m not good at lying and I am not creative enough to gracefully skirt the truth. If you have any ideas for glossing things over, please leave them in the comments section!

Sometimes I am uncomfortable talking about my current situation because I’m worried about being perceived negatively. I end up disclosing the basics to everyone I have to interact with for a while, and I refrain from the gory details unless they are very curious and ask specific questions.

I’m afraid I do not have any useful advice for one of the top social worries in the IBD, ostomy, and chronic illness communities: talking about health in a dating context. I know my limited experiences have been less than ideal. A few men who have expressed interest in me are pansies who can’t handle physical malfunctions, and some are creepers who sorta seem fine with my health issues, but they’re not so good with social boundaries.

I don’t bother hiding my physical conditions because people are going to find out the basics anyway. I don’t have the energy. Speaking of which, I apologize for the quality of this post. I’m tired.

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4 comments on “Day 4: Disclosure Post

  1. When asked anything about my UC I tend to just go ‘it’s alright.’ If someone insists on talking about the embarrassing details in public, I tell them to just google it. When people say to me that IBD isn’t really that serious, I turn around and hobble away 🙂

    • Thanks for posting your strategies! If I know the person is just a casual acquaintance and they ask I’m doing, I either redirect and comment on something good about the day (“It’s not my best day, but I’m glad to be out and about.”) or give a very brief update, especially when they know I’ve been really sick or in the hospital. I used to tell people to Google things, and it still works sometimes, but I once made a memorable mistake. While chatting with classmates in a library, somehow my health came up. I told someone to Google “ileostomy,” and the reaction was so entertaining and loud that the others had to see everything too. Lots of questions followed! I hope you don’t encounter too many people who don’t think IBD is serious! I always get a little flustered when that happens, but I remind myself that they are ignorant.

  2. You’re tired, but you still posted……and I thank you. 🙂

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