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People That Make Me Sick

June 7, 2012

Warning for vomit-related TMI

Last summer, I went to an amusement park in Maine and I left an impression on the ride attendant and my fellow passengers that they are unlikely to forget.

I got sick.

As in rivers upon rivers of vomit sick. I had to throw out my clothes because they were soaked in filth. I didn’t walk off  that ride. I crawled because I was too dizzy to stand and I was still spitting up stray chunks.

I have been known to get mildly queasy on rides, but I’ve never actually gotten sick before. Needless to say, that put an end to my day at the park.

That’s hardly going to stop me from going all out at amusement parks, though. I have looked up tips to manage motion sickness and they work well for me: eat small, frequent meals; don’t eat anything heavy; take some ginger with you; ease up on the caffeine. Yes, part of managing motion sickness is taking it easy. I have to take breaks between rides, whereas I used to be able to go on rides one immediately after the other. There are also a few rides that I avoid entirely because they just plain make me pukey. (Gravitron, I’m looking at you. Never again, dude.)

Last but not least, I’ve got Plan B: Dramamine.

With all of that under my belt, there is very little I can’t do at an amusement park. Success story, no? Not exactly.

Every now and again, I get someone who will chastise me for managing my tendency toward motion sickness. Once I start talking about Dramamine, what began as nagging turns into full-blast scolding. In some people’s minds, it’s wrong to “cheat” when it comes to your health. The only appropriate way to manage an illness is to avoid triggers and to treat with diet and lifestyle changes. The fact that I refuse to give up amusement park rides, and that my management strategy has actually been working for me means that I am “unwilling to accept the changes that come with getting older.” I am “unwilling to take responsibility for my health,” or some such nonsense. Fuck if I know.

Some people seem to think that if you have a chronic condition, you must give up your life to the management of that condition. You cannot take any technological or medical shortcut to managing that condition because it’s unnatural or, like I said, it’s cheating.

If you have a disability, you know the mentality that I’m talking about. There is a curious bias against those who use technology, modern medicine, or some other “crutch” in order to live a a fulfilling life. In some people’s minds, the only “fulfilling” life a disabled person can have is a life spent trying to convince people you are able-bodied. Using a “crutch” to get through life is the ultimate admission that yes, you are disabled and a defeat in favor of being a cripple. My motion sickness is hardly a disability, but a minor annoyance. Even then, I get people telling me that I shouldn’t be relying on shortcuts to avoid some profound, transcendental reality about getting older that means I can’t go to amusement parks.

I can only imagine what happens to people who have high blood pressure or diabetes or eating disorders or some other “all your fault!” illness.

I know many older, mostly fat people who have diabetes and the lecturing they get is something that would drive me to the nuthouse. My aunt is a first-class nag about health. She will go right up to a stranger with an insulin pump at the beach and tell them that they should not be there or that they should be covered up. She will go up to a total stranger at a restaurant and tell them they should not have that soda or that piece of cake because of their condition. She will tell them that they are being irresponsible and childish, that it was their eating that got them sick in the first place and that their behavior is costing her money in taxes.

The fact that people with diabetes can have severe low blood sugar, not just high blood sugar, is lost on her. The idea that you can eat sugar as long as you watch how much you eat and take your insulin and your meds properly is lost on her. She doesn’t know what kind of diabetes that person has, what it was caused by, but it doesn’t matter because that person is a human being whose life is none of her business. That, especially, is lost on her.

I have a theory. If you have an “all your fault!” disease, people think that you don’t deserve to have a normal life. You need to pay, with restrictions on your life, for the rest of your time on Earth. You must wear a scarlet letter of some sort at all times that says “I chose to be a fat fuck and now I’m as disgusting inside as I am outside.” They feel that they have the right to abuse you in public as part of your penance.

People like that are wasting their own taxes because they make me sick.

Any thoughts?

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2012 10:43 am

    Wow, I hope I never meet your aunt. She’d go away with a flea in her ear.

  2. Christina permalink
    June 7, 2012 11:07 am

    This is exactly why I keep my health to myself. I don’t tell people about anything. Hell, even my mother doesn’t know of my health conditions. No body’s business but my own and the amazingly limited number of people who need to know for my safety.

  3. vesta44 permalink
    June 7, 2012 11:55 am

    The people who blame fat people for their illnesses are the same people who ignore all the damage done by people who drink to excess. They also don’t blame sports figures who are injured playing sports; and some of those injuries, like concussions, can have profound and life-altering, life-ending consequences that end up being paid for by their “tax dollars”.
    As for paying for having a disability by having restrictions on your life and not being able to do things because of it – that’s bullshit. I’m disabled and my disability causes me enough problems in my life even with the accommodations I’ve been able to make – driving a minivan instead of a car, using a rollator walker with a seat, using electric mobility carts when available when I shop, etc. For someone to say I shouldn’t be able to do those things because my disability, to their eyes, is caused by being fat, is outrageous and isn’t something that they would tolerate if they were in my shoes. The fact that they don’t know what caused my disability and all they can see is that I’m fat and disabled still doesn’t give them the right to judge me or tell me how I should live my life or how I should be able to adapt to my disability. It’s not their life, they don’t have to live it, and they aren’t paying for those accommodations, so they all need a big cup of MYOB with a side of STFU.

  4. June 7, 2012 1:21 pm

    That sort of thing is why none of my friends know I have diabetes (type 2). It is also part of the reason (being that I have internalised the hate) that I haven’t attempted to control my diabetes. I get the “if you weren’t so fat you wouldn’t be bipolar & would attract men” off my friend’s wife as it is, I’m not adding diabetes as another stick to beat me with.

    • June 7, 2012 3:58 pm

      … since when has bipolar had anything to do with weight or insulin problems? Grrr, I’d slap that #^(%*. Absolutely not on.

    • Linda Ramos permalink
      June 7, 2012 10:09 pm

      Emma – this is safe place to go for fat diabetics. Please consider joining…. http://fa-diab.com/charter.html

    • June 7, 2012 10:20 pm

      Emma,
      I completely understand what you’re saying, and you should not tell anyone anything about your health if they are judgmental and negative. However, I would be remiss not to recommend that you look into treating your diabetes. Untreated, it will take its toll on your body and could lead to serious health problems. That’s why much of the research on the costs of “obesity” (which, in reality, is usually heart disease and diabetes and whatever else they want to include) is unfair. If everyone in this country had access to nutritionists and dietitians (of the HAES persuasion, obviously), then people could be equipped with the knowledge to self-care for diabetes, if that is what they want to do. And if you want to, and are able to, I would recommend searching for a HAES dietitian (ASDAH’s site is great). And there’s always Michelle Allison, Super-Nutritionist.

      But nobody needs to know what happens with your body. Your body, your business. You are under no obligation to arm the dickweeds and trolls of the world.

      Good luck!

      Peace,
      Shannon

  5. June 7, 2012 5:29 pm

    I have a chronic pain condition that I appear to manage chiefly by taking — surprise! — pain medication. (In reality, it’s way more complicated than that, but of course what people see is me taking pain pills.) This often includes NSAIDs (which carry risks of stomach bleeding and heart attack) and sometimes includes opiates (which carry risks for physical dependence and psychological addiction).

    The number of times people have felt free to comment on my meds astounds me. Sometimes it’s with dire predictions for my impending heart attack, liver failure, or check-in to a drug rehab facility. Other times, it’s with “helpful” concern trolling suggestions for management techniques I could use instead: diet, exercise, herbs, acupuncture, fairies who fart magic healing sparkle dust from their asses, whatever. If and when I don’t say I’ll try or consider their suggestions — almost always because the suggestion is something I’ve already tried or considered — it’s then not uncommon for them to tell me that I’m being reckless and/or lazy for choosing to manage my pain this way instead of their way.

    • June 7, 2012 8:31 pm

      This, this, a thousand times this.

      This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about.

      And I HATE it when people give you obvious advice that you’ve either heard or tried before. I have chronic eczema and I seriously get people telling me that I have a rash (really? You think?) and then they recommend lotion (Wow! No way!) Why do people talk to you like you’re a moron and act like they’re telling you something New and Revolutionary that you’ve never heard before. I guess disabled people live under rocks and need to have that stuff pointed out to them.

      • June 7, 2012 10:51 pm

        I almost want to say, “At least it’s refreshing being concern trolled about my diet and exercise for reasons other than weight loss.”

        Except, no. No it’s not.

    • The Fat Aspie permalink
      June 14, 2012 10:00 pm

      Do you know where I can get one of those farting fairies? Even if it doesn’t work, we could all make a fortune selling the magic dust. =) Thank you for making me smile!

      • June 14, 2012 11:16 pm

        Well, I keep trying to convince folk that my 2 dogs are The Farting Fairies, but no one seems to believe me. It must be the absence of sparkles…

  6. Linda Ramos permalink
    June 7, 2012 10:05 pm

    As soon as I recovered from an eating disorder (and dieting), I was actually diagnosed with diabetes (whee). Gratefully, at that point I understood my myself well enough and was immersed in FA to find an FA diabetes mailing list (FA-diab). Through them, I learned all about my disease and have now managed my disease with both lifestyle approaches and medication. I am dedicated to constant management and knowledge of where I am with my numbers at all times. I am (any known) complication free now for over 15 years. I see resistance to my approach everywhere I go. Because I’m so very fat (somewhere in the 450ish range), my experiences are instantly discounted simply because I don’t diet for control whenever I try to share the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years. The simple truth is so many people are so busy looking for ways to rank themselves as morally superior, they will vest you with all sorts of motivations and delusions… ignoring any and all evidence that you say can be proven true.

  7. June 7, 2012 10:33 pm

    Ya know, Joanna, if you just never moved, you’d probably be cured. You’re just too lazy to never move again. Stupid.

    I think that if there are people who are all up in your business, you need to wait until the next time you see them and you can start a conversation looking for something to get really concerned and intrusive about. You know, just to give them a taste. Doesn’t matter. If she says, “I took my dog to the vet” you can say, “You know, I read this article that said dog dander is carcinogenic.” Just go completely manic with the advice.

    Nobody likes that shit and there is no obligation for anyone to listen to it. I think it is perfectly acceptable to say, “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in your advice” and either change the subject or walk away. If they’re rude enough to start telling others how to live, then you can politely tell them to stop (or not politely, that’s up to you).

    And then you can puke in their face, like in “The Inbetweeners” (our new favorite show… it reminds me of my youth… I was Will).

    Peace,
    Shannon

    • Dizzyd permalink
      February 23, 2015 12:02 pm

      Exactly what I was gonna say! Maybe you oughta puke on those idiots who think you’re “cheating” by taking a motion-sickness drug. It would serve them right. As far as your aunt goes, she would probably wind up wearing my oh-so-unhealthy soda on her head. Sadly, it doesn’t take much to get some people going on their “I know better than you about your own life and health cuz I am the expert on everything in the whole stinkin’ world” kick. It makes perfect sense – they’re absolutely miserable, so everyone else has to be, too.

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