Us diabetics often talk about raising awareness of diabetes. I’m not entirely sure what this will achieve; we raise awareness, then what? However, that’s another slightly tedious point for another day. Anyway, we expect people with working pancreases to learn about our condition. But do we, in turn, learn about other chronic conditions? Do we practice what we preach?
Just for fun (I use the term “fun” advisedly) here’s a quick quiz to test your chronic condition general knowledge:
- Which is more common, Haemophilia A or Haemophilia B?
- Would you be worried about your fertility if you were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis?
- Is haemophilia more common in men or women?
- Roughly how many types of epilepsy are there?
- What are the possible complications of sickle-cell anaemia?
- Name a few of the treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome.
- What is brittle asthma?
Well if you got more than a few then you’re doing well. I got a grand total of zero and had to resort to the hallowed annuls of Wikipedia to find the questions, let alone the answers. In other words I know nothing about our cousins’ chronic illnesses, just in the same way that I knew nothing about diabetes until I was diagnosed.
While no-one can be expected to have an encyclopaedic knowledge about every chronic illness (it would pretty depressing getting all that knowledge, wouldn’t it?) I do think that sharing knowledge and experiences between sufferers of all chronic illnesses would be a Good Thing. Maybe people with asthma have some great ideas that could be applied to diabetes; maybe old diabetes salts could pass on something useful to epilepsy sufferers? Who knows?
By expanding our chronic illness horizons beyond our pancreases I think we can all learn something. So as a starter for ten, why not check out Ros’ haemophilia blog here: http://rosamundcooper.blogspot.com/ which is a cracking, witty and interesting read. Though perhaps not over your lunchtime sandwiches – unless you enjoy the sight of lots of blood!