This morning, I was perusing through a couple of message boards that I like to drop in on from time to time. I used to be really active on discussion/forum boards, but these days I lurk more that I post. Yup, I’ve officially become a Peeping Tom. Anyway. On one of the health related boards I visited, I was sad to see a little trend popping up concerning people dismissing their illnesses. If you read my blog from yesterday (Go ahead and read it now…I’ll wait) I said…It doesn’t matter…Disease is Disease. It’s troubling to see people start a post that says, “I know I’m not as sick as some of you but…” or “I feel stupid asking this because I know many of you guys are worse off than I am but…” Sometimes, we compare our diseases, symptoms, and treatments to others and it can give us a weird sense of being inadequate about our illness…We don’t want to bother others who obviously wouldn’t care about our “measly little” problems…I know that I’m not well…but I guess I’m not sick enough….to be really sick. I say this to those who feel this way. So what, if my gastric emptying test showed emptying at 20% and yours was 43%…hell, we both have screwed up stomachs! Just because a person only takes two pills a day compared to your four, doesn’t make them any less sick. The other day, I met a woman who asked me point-blank, “What is that thing on your chest?” I told her it was my Medi-port and explained to her why I needed it and how it was used. We talked for a bit and she ended up saying to me, “Wow, I guess I won’t be complaining about my IBS anymore.” I knew what she meant and I did appreciate her comment, but I asked her, “Why? What you’re dealing with shouldn’t be lessened just because of someone else’s situation”. I think a lot people tend to do that…especially regarding illnesses. We perceive that someone’s situation is just awful when in actuality they could be doing just fine. And what’s really surprising is when you find out that they were thinking the same thing about you! Some people might think “Wow, she doesn’t have a stomach. That must be awful”. And I’m thinking “Wow, that person throws up every single day. That must be awful”. Just because GP took my stomach doesn’t mean I look at other GP’ers who still have their stomachs and think any different. I would never want anyone to think that because of my personal situation, that we can’t share experiences, give advice or support. No disease is small if it affects you and your loved ones in some way. No illness is too small when you are in pain…on any level. Period. No one should feel like they can’t share their story or ask a question. Sickness shouldn’t be about competition but about compassion. Regardless of where you are in your journey, whether it be at the beginning, middle or end…EVERYONE deserves to be equal…because EVERYONE counts.