My back hurts. Buy it a cupcake?

Aaaaaand now that I’m out I can’t go back in again, and overwhelmingly I am getting asked one question from the people who know me in real life:

How come I didn’t know you were sick?!

Well, it’s not really a talking point for most of my day.

Welcome to my office, I have chronic disease!

Nice day isn’t it? Yes, especially for tachycardia!

Would you like some coffee? It won’t make you sick.  Unlike me, who’s totally sick.  And maybe even DYING!  Cream and sugar? 

cupcakes}Unless you’re my cardiologist, neurologist, endocrinologist, orthopedic surgeon or physiotherapist, there’s a good chance that I have no reason to keep you actively and intricately informed of how I’m feeling.

The exception to this is my husband, who hears way more about how I’m feeling than he probably ever wanted to.  (My toes hurt! They want a cookie!)

You may also be the victim of limited observational data- you only see me when I’m fit to be seen.  You don’t see me sleeping off pain for hours at home.  You see me when I’m feeling good, because if I wasn’t feeling good then you wouldn’t be seeing me.

I don’t define myself by my illness.  I have more in my life going for me than being sick.  I have work, kids, and a charming, obnoxious, supportive husband.  I have places to go, things to do, and topics of conversation other than chronic illness- like Khalid, who yesterday said to me, “Momma, are babies toothless mammals?”

“Yes, I suppose they are,” I tentatively replied.

“But I was born with teeth,” Khalid said.

“No dear, you weren’t.  You didn’t have any teeth when you were born either.”

He seemed disappointed.  Poor toothless mammal.

To talk exclusively, or even primarily about how sick I feel for the day would not only make me a total downer to hang out with, it would also be self-centeredly depressing.  I deal with pain all day, the last thing I want to do is talk about it all the time too. I rather enjoy having normal friendships, normal conversations, and normal people around me who talk about normal things.

My sickness is a bit like the news- if it’s relevant or urgent you might want to know.  But if you leave it running in the background then people just tend to tune it out.  That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to talk about it, provided there’s something you’d like to know and it adds value to your day somehow.

So yes, you may have known me for the past three or four years and I may never have mentioned that I’m sick, but I humbly hope there is more to me than just my status as a chronically ill person, and you’ll still be my friend if I talk about things other than chronic pain and my favorite new heart medication.

Which is procoralan.

By Abez, the end.


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

  1. Taban

    Asalaamualaikum i wanted 2 ask what do u do if u r hurt by remarks of people who deliberately want 2 put u down

  2. Aisha Hassan

    Assalaamu alaikum ya Ukhti! You have no idea how uplifting and inspirational your write-ups are; may Allah grant you increased Shifa and plant in your heart as-sabr to overcome your trials. I now follow you on twitter @ayshertweets.
    Fii Amaanillah.

  3. Owl

    Yeah….. cuz you know, when people KNOW you’re sick, then they can constantly be asking you for health updates, and those are depressing to share. Which is what my office situation has become like. I was out with tonsilitis, and everyone assumed i was having spinal surgery or cancer surgery. Felt like I was disappointing them that it was just a throat infection. 😛

  4. Abez

    Owl- lol, sometimes people ask me how I feel with a certain poignant look. And I smile and say Fine, Alhamdulillah! And then they look disappointed. I wonder if I give them a complete status check, but frankly speaking I don’t have time to make being sick a full-time hobby. Heh.

  5. hemlock

    An invite 😛

    I don’t know when you’re home or not home, out on a world rescue mission or hosting a haleem party. When you are free, gimme a buzz.

    Also, don’t send me a what’sapp since my smartphone died, and I’m now using a phone made in 1993. It has an 8-bit two-colour display. You’ll have to call.

  6. Taban

    Please dont misunderstand me i was asking so dat i learn how to deal with such people 4rm u ,as i feel u r a very strong muslimah

  7. Abez

    AssalamuAlaikum Taban- don’t worry, no offense or misunderstanding taken 🙂 It just takes me a little while to get around to longer answers, and yours is a longer answer. So I’m in the process of answering InshaAllah, and I’ll post it as a reply when it’s done, InshaAllah. 🙂

  8. Abez

    AssalamuAlaikum Taban- sorry sister- or brother if you’re a brother. I may need a bit more time as my sister is in the hospital at the moment. I’ll post when I can, InshaAllah. 🙂

  9. Taban

    Asalaamualaikum i am sister nd i hope everything is alright may Allah bless u nd ur family nd grant u nd ur family shifa in dis world nd hereafter i am sorry

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