• Beth Hodges

Faking it until you make it through COVID?

It's hard to "fake it until you make it" during COVID. What do I mean, and who in the hell is faking anything right now? People with chronic and sometimes life-threatening diseases always have two choices, tell the world fully about yourself or pretend like our world is ordinary; our conditions do not define us. You may think that sharing health issues is easy, "People care about you!". In reality, it's not that easy.


Chronic myeloid leukemia and cystic fibrosis are never good conversation starters. After living with both for 15 years, folks want to know how I am doing only at the most superficial level. I get it – wrapping your head around my situation isn't easy. Disease-specific details are reserved for fellow survivors and close family and friends. For the rest of the world, I have learned how to mask how I am really feeling/coping/treating my health. It's for my benefit, too - talking to someone about anything else but CML and CF is refreshing.


But now with COVID-19, health privacy is not so easy. Friends and family understand that I cannot meet for dinner, drinks must be outside and socially distanced, and I must wear a mask if we go anywhere together. but that has invited overt concern for my situation. I get it and I am grateful. But when you battle your diseases every day, twice a day with multiple medicines and treatments, you want to feel like a warrior, not an object of worry, Frankly, though no one's fault but my own, I don't feel as strong as I normally would because I'm forced to contend with my own fear and that of everyone around me.


All of this has left me more self-conscious about sharing my health status than ever before. Insensitive comments like, "Do I have to wear this mask because I am around you?" have occurred. And everyone loves to ask, "So will you take the vaccine?" I want to reply to both – Is the sky blue?


How has COVID changed the way you share your health information? Do you find yourself sharing more than you like because of COVID? I do, and I'm not too fond of it.

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