Disability Top Trumps

Sometimes I wonder if I’m some sort of disability fraud, especially when I’m having a better day. Who am I to complain about my symptoms when other people are dealing with problems that don’t even compare to mine? I read blogs on here everyday written by people who have been dealt a far worse hand than me and who really do struggle. I have a friend in her twenties who suffers quite badly from rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes I really identify with her pain and her situation, but then I wonder if she quietly thinks I’m belittling her symptoms because she’s been suffering much longer than me… I wouldn’t blame her and I think she’s a real inspiration. I have another remarkable friend who has an absolute nightmare of a time with her back and related nerve pain. I’m pretty sure her spine resembles a Toblerone bar that has been smashed to smithereens and then glued back together by a 4 year old child – except some asshole ate a few bits! I moan to her an awful lot and hope that she doesn’t think I’m a self-indulgent a-hole.


Then I have friends who have sprained their ankle and when I ask how they are they apologise for talking about their sore ankle because it’s nothing compared to me. What? Stop! My being ill doesn’t mean I no longer care that my friends are hurt and it certainly doesn’t mean that their sprained ankle isn’t disrupting their life. Do people really think that? If they do, it’s quite disheartening. I care very much about my friends and don’t want them to censor themselves because they deem my situation to be worse. If anything, I am in an ideal position to provide moral support to people with sore joints!

Then I think about my Gran’s sister (M) who I wrote a “letter” to in a previous blog post. She was almost literally playing disability top trumps between me and her daughter, except she didn’t have the facts. She was playing judgemental top trumps and I was never going to win. In this instance I was deeply offended that she had assumed I was a liar and an attention seeker and completely dismissed my pain. That’s a member of my family. No wonder I feel the need to constantly justify my pain and my physical struggle.

But there is this wonderful blog world. People suffer daily, more than most of their friends and family will ever understand (not that we expect them to) and still they find the time and goodness to support strangers on the internet. I don’t want anyone to suffer at the hands of incompetent, unsympathetic doctors – but I do feel better than I’m not alone in that battle. It kills me with laughter to read that other people are constantly asked if they are better yet despite having an incurable illness – we need to come up with more sarcastic answers, for sure! It also gives me hope that even though the diagnostic process is a frustrating, painful drag… That there are still good times ahead, maybe even just around the corner.

So thank you, fellow bloggers. You provide the sort of support that very few people can in my day to day life.

This is a link to my friend’s blog. The one with the smashed up Toblerone for a spine. You should check it out.
A Scottish Journey with Chronic Pain

Ren x


4 thoughts on “Disability Top Trumps

  1. Mrs HippyGeek says:

    Wow, one post that nails it on the head. We are what we are, & it doesn’t stop us from caring about others. Actually, it helps to support other people with a twisted ankle, or a new wheelchair. It’s all relative to what’s your normal

    Liked by 1 person

    1. brokendownbody says:

      Exactly. More than ever I want to hear about the mundane and the trivial. It makes me feel like some aspect to my life is still normal. Right now I feel like i have a twisted ankle, and shoulder… And hands… But i still want to be a friend that people can vent to about their crap haircut or boyfriend who got drunk and was a jerk!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ms. Mango says:

    Love your view on this. I can relate to always feeling like I have to justify my pain, my meds or why I act/do differently than others (or even than myself on good days). Just like no two snowflakes are the same, neither is anyone’s pain. If anything. those of us who suffer chronically are better adapted to sympathize with others pain instead of judge it, even if it is acute like a sprain, break or bruise. Having people to talk to about pain and disease is sure important but so is catching up on the latest unrelated news, gossip and special events.


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