The unfairness of invisible ailments

Long story short, yesterday, I had to go for my DTP vaccine renewal. It was only about 15 years overdue… I remember when I had it as a kid, they chose my right shoulder and it swelled up to a huge lump and I couldn’t carry my school bag on my shoulder for weeks. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to it. The doctor was a very nice lady, even though I didn’t get a lollipop she did put a sticky plaster on my arm (except when she turned away to get the plaster she lost track of where the jab was so she just shrugged and stuck it randomly on my arm).

Damn that jab burned like hell, and since then, my arm has been painful and achey and feels like I’ve been in an left-handed arm-wrestling match with [insert name of insanely strong left-handed person here].

And even looking closely at it, I can’t even see the jab hole.

My arm should be huge and red and swollen. It should be pulsating and spitting blood and pus.

It looks perfectly normal.

I am sorely tempted to wear it in a sling until it feels normal again. And possibly walk with a limp.

Back ache, headaches, belly aches, they’re all unfairly invisible and yet cripplingly painful at times. In my case, the same goes for buises. The number of times I thought I’d have a massive lump or bruise or black eye after some epic act of clumsiness, and no, not even the tiniest of blemishes. The bumps and lumps hurt like hell but are always perfectly invisible.


Some doctors say that laughter is a healer. I say that when you’re ill (not badly terminally ill, just the regular daily woes) what you want more than laughter, more than ice cream and jelly, more than daytime TV and a hot water bottle, is pity. “Oh you poor thing”, “Oh that must really hurt”, “Please, take my seat on the bus, sit down, put your feet up and here, have my donut, no, I insist”. That’s what you want to hear. You don’t WANT to have to explain at length to everyone you meet just how painful this invisible thing is, because then you just come across as whiney. Instant pity on sight, that’s what you need.


Have I mentioned that my arm REALLY hurts?


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