1. Do Not Stare!
- Did your mother never teach you that it is rude to stare? Wearing a mask does not necessarily mean that I am sick. I am merely protecting myself from the combination of the chemicals that is wafting around in the air.
- I am protecting myself from YOUR germs and viruses.
- Me eating from the Thermos does not mean that I am a cheapskate who can't afford to eat from the restaurant (my family ordered and is feasting away at the food by the way). Don't give us that disgusted look. Don't judge before you know the story. Or need I stamp the word, 'ALLERGY' on my forehead?
- "Could it be it's all in your mind?" Who in their right mind would 'pretend' to suffer from 'idiopathic anaphylaxis' and be home-bound, drugged up and not live a life of a normal person?!
- "Maybe you need to be MORE positive?" If I'm not positive, I would not have lasted 30 months, mind you.
- "Are you sure you are not imagining all this?" Let me tell you what IMAGINATION is. Imagination is skinning you alive and hanging you on a 10 foot pole and leaving you out there for the vultures to feast on you. Now THAT'S imagination!
- "Maybe you are not praying enough?" "Maybe you need to have MORE faith?" "Have you been reading enough of the Word of GOD?" Just because I don't punctuate my every sentence with 'Hallelujah!' or 'Praise the Lord' does not mean I do not have faith or I don't believe. I believe in God. I don't believe in the commercialization of God. Period.
- Don't take it personally if I move back, cover my nose or put on a mask because of your over-powering perfume. For me, it's like walking into the gas chamber. I can even taste your perfume and it translates into a chemical taste which burns my mouth, tongue, lips and throat.
4. Don't Say Stupid Things
- Don't tell me, 'You certainly don't look sick! Are you sure you're that sick?' Seriously, who would in their right mind be out if they are LOOKING sick?! Of course I don't. It's my good day. Do you think I would be out if I looked sick???? I would be in bed, drugged up when I am SICK. Certainly not out shopping in a mall!
- Don't tell me that my life is so pitiful, so sad, so terrible and so horrible that I can't go anywhere, eat like a normal person or live like a normal person. Of course I know that! It's like telling a cancer patient on chemotherapy 'You're going bald.' Duh!!!
5. Learn to empathize.
The following four points are for doctors, nurses and people in the medical line.
6. As a doctor, don't tell me that you don't know what is wrong with me, is afraid to dispense medicine and yet keep me in the hospital for 'observation'. Pass me to another doctor who understands and can treat me. Don't sit in front of me and stare into space for eternity and only respond when I interrupt your 'deep thinking' by telling me 'I don't know what to do with you.'
7. When a patient arrives at the ER telling you that he/she is having an allergy attack, don't tell them to have a sit first or register your wife/daughter/mother/god-mother/great grandmother first and then take your own sweet time discussing with the other nurses about the previous patient who almost died. Surprise! Surprise! Now isn't it surprising that your previous patient almost died with your immaculate service?
8. Do not ask me whether my Medic Alert bracelet is an amulet and whether 'Medic Alert' is in Thai language. Shall I take the Hydrocortisone 250mg and Puriton and jab myself while you go figure out what language 'MEDIC ALERT' is in?
9. Don't snicker or snigger in my face when I tell you that I am allergic to chemicals. Your ignorance and arrogance = death for your patients.
10. Since this is a lesson for dummies, let me offer you some tips on how to deal and interact with people like me.
If you do not know what to say to me:
- Ask me how I am. I will tell you. In a short and sweet manner.
- Tell me that I look good/healthy and NOT 'You certainly don't look sick, you know,' dripping with sarcasm.
- Tell me that I have your prayers and support. I will say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
- Tell me to continue fighting and continue being positive. I will say thank you.
- Don't bore the living daylights out of me by whining to me about your sad, depressing and pathetic life and that you wished that you were dead because you broke a fingernail or because you've been promoted from a size two dress to a size three or because your boobs have begun to sag.
- Do not tell me that I should have MORE faith and try to have another child. This truly pisses me off. Are you going to take over my position as mother and raise my child up if I die as a result of a leap of foolishness?
I welcome genuine and sincere questions from people who want to know more. I despise people who ask questions to shoot me down or dismiss my condition like it's an 'imagined' condition or who pretend to listen and then ask me the same questions over AND over again.
To all fellow people like me, feel free to add to what I may have missed out. Let's keep on fighting and stay strong my fellow friends!