Don’t judge, understand

It’s hard for people to understand things that they can’t see or haven’t experienced. It’s very easy, however, for people to make judgements. I believe judgement is merely a result of ignorance, so I thought I’d share some information.

I have a dysautonomia called neurocadiogenic syncope. There are a myriad of dysautonomias; sometimes they are easily managed, sometimes they are completely debilitating. Dysautonomia is abnormal functioning of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system regulates involuntary actions such as heart rate, temperature, smooth muscle function, etc. … I’m not sure why some folks tend to think it’s no big deal, those are some pretty vital functions.

When a person is sick, people will say “get well soon!” Although those are kind words, it’s frustrating at times because people really do expect you to get better. Unfortunately, this is a chronic condition. Sometimes, you get the right cocktail of drugs to make it manageable, and then one day you can’t get out of bed. Things like changes in the barometric pressure, allergies and infection can cause symptoms to worsen severely. I am currently on six different prescriptions (after trying many others that didn’t help) and still have been unable to do much of anything for the last couple of weeks. I have seen the best of the best specialists, and although they help me to understand the condition, I still just kind of have to deal with it.

Today, I was so happy to just be able to take a shower. Standing is particularly challenging, so that was a real accomplishment. Keep in mind, I’ve run two half-marathons and many other 5K and 10K races. But some days, I can’t stand up for more than a matter of seconds. I don’t say this for sympathy, I just want people to understand. When people think I am just lazy, I want to remind them I used to work out daily and was an avid runner and I loved it. Now, I rarely have to energy to walk the dogs. I’ve gained a lot of weight and am completely out of shape. I don’t know why anyone would think that I would want or chose that.

If you’re suspect of someone’s medical condition, I would suggest getting some information about that condition before passing judgement. I’m quite confident my doctors have a broader understanding of practicing medicine than those who form uneducated conclusions about my symptoms. There are all kinds of diseases that you can’t see and are difficult to understand. Just because you don’t understand, doesn’t mean it’s imaginary.

Stephanie Osborn, Tiffin