Friday, January 6, 2012

Diagnoses are like duck poo

A few things about me-

I love gardening.
I love not wearing shoes.
I love not wearing shoes especially when I can walk on long cool grass.
I used to have pet ducks.

A few things about ducks-

Ducks are great pets for someone who loves gardening because
they are fun to watch while you are outside,
they eat bugs and pests,
you can let them trim the grass for you and eat garden waste and dig up the soil for you,
and they make fertiliser.

A few things about fertiliser (specifically duck poo)-

Duck poo is great fertiliser because
ducks make lots of it,
they spread it around everywhere especially if you let your ducks free range,
and it is sloppy and breaks down reasonably quickly into the ground.

However, when you are a gardener who likes to walk barefoot in the long cool grass, duck poo can be a ...... shock. I *was* going to say problem, but it's hard to call it a problem when it is so useful. It is definitely a shock when you don't expect it to be there or see it coming, and then you step in it. It goes right up in between your toes. It feels revolting. It spreads around. It stinks. Doesn't matter if it is cold or still warm. It is just yuck. If you can rationalise it out, you can think of all the benefits of the poo being there- it is going to break down, work its way into the soil and be really useful down in there, providing nutrients for the grass to grow well. But in the moment that you put your foot right into that poo, it is just plain awful and all the sensations that go with it are awful too.

Diagnoses can be like that. Hearing from a health professional that someone you care for (and here I mean care for emotionally and care for physically or take care of) has a permanent condition that will cause them problems always, is a lot like stepping in duck poo. It is a shock. It feels revolting. It stinks. It is yuck. If you rationalise it out you can think of the benefits of having the diagnosis (treatment options, support form professionals who know more than you, sometimes funding, the reassurance of knowing it's not in your mind) and in really good moments a diagnosis can actually help you start to imagine a light at the end of the tunnel. But all that rationalising doesn't change that in the moment you hear that diagnosis it is just plain awful. Unlike stepping in duck poo, a diagnosis has long term implications for your life. Grief, tiredness, exhaustion, effort..... grief, letting go, figuring out, triumph..... set backs, grief.... and on it goes. After a while though, you have to admit that, like duck poo, a diagnosis can be useful. For planning and developing strategies. So you can explain. So you can ask for the right help. And get it.

Still....Diagnoses, and the need for them, are something I didn't sign up for.

6 January 2012

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