Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sympathy Fatigue

I didn't know that sympathy could suck the life force right out of you.

Yesterday was my first day back at work since Patrick was diagnosed with a rare, serious kidney disease. Being a teacher at his school, I had emailed his teachers over the weekend to explain to them the disease, its symptoms, and the complications that they might expect to see from him in the classroom on account of his heinous treatment regimen.

It's a small school. Only about 2,000 kids in grades K-12 and all in one building. Everyone knows everyone. There are no secrets, and I knew this. I knew that everyone would know by 8:01 am. (School begins at 7:45). I wasn't prepared for the overwhelming support of my friends and colleagues. I barely had my shit together as it was, and their kindness was hard to handle.

I am normally not very emotional, at least on the surface. I like to pretend that I have control over things, when often I do not. In truth, I am oftentimes just one breath away from a complete, total, histrionic break-down. Yesterday, I got crankier and crankier as the day went on, and felt like a horrible bitch for not wanting to answer (for the one millionth time) the really-if-you-think-about-it ASSININE question, "How are you doing?"

I know people care, I know people want to help, I know they aren't trying to annoy me, but seriously?

"How are you doing?" ???? WTF

Gee, let me see...

My oldest son, my firstborn, my precious, autistic, already plagued with one syndrome, child just got diagnosed with a serious kidney disease. He has only a 50% chance of having the "good type" of the horrible disease. He might potentially need dialysis, and (according to research I've been doing) eventually a TRANSPLANT.

"I'm great. How are you?"

To be fair, I also have had four offers of kidneys.



My friends rock.

But they ask stupid questions.

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Blogger pacalaga said...

Next time you feel like you're barely holding it together, I suppose you can let fly on the first person to ask you a stupid question, and then I'm pretty sure no one will ask you that anymore. :-D

8:58 AM  
Blogger Procrastiknitter said...

I agree, just answer the next person like you said in the post. Plus, you'd probably get a little bit of humor out of it. Holding it together sucks sometimes. I'm thinking of you. (((HUGS)))

Ooooooh! By the way..... how are you doing??? (Just kidding! LOL)

12:18 PM  

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