I going to tell you a secret:
I have health problems. Now if you have known me in IRL for more than an minute and a half you know this isn’t really a secret.
Usually because you have seen me I show up somewhere broken, because I am a klutz, and casts or braces or bandages sort of scream “broken.” But what affects my life far more than those scrapes, bumps and bruises (and breaks, bonks, booms and all the things that don’t alliterate with “B”) are the physiological and metabolic issues my body has. My lungs are broken, as is my immune system, and subsequently my digestive system. I’m not telling you this because I want your tears, sympathy, or even comments. I just want you to have context for this next statement:
Accommodate yourself. I have been sick, broken, and tired my whole life.
As in I had my first major life threatening event before I was two hours old, and that never fully stopped being a part of my life- so I have never experienced life as a “healthy” person. I fight to stay alive with a bevy of medication, physio / metabolic therapy and a whole lot of prayer (not to mention the 3500 calories I eat everyday). I’ve been thankfully regularly stable for most of my adult life, but still I’m telling you:
Accommodate yourself. Just do it. Take care of your self, your body, and your issues without making them everyone else’s problems.
I can’t eat dairy. Do you know what that means? Sometimes I don’t have the best potlatch or dinner party experiences. It’s not my coworkers, or my boyfriends mother or the fancy restaurant chefs’ fault I can’t eat dairy. It’s not their problem. It’s my body and my issue, and I am a grown person, so it is my responsibility to navigate the table and eat dry bread and undressed salad if that’s what I’ve got available to me. It sucks… especially when that quatro-formagio-alfredo is calling my name, and I know I need the calories, but even then:
Accommodate yourself. Now I’m not talking about basic mobility accommodations, like chair ramps, wide doors, safety handles and those texture plates for the blind.
The reason I’m not talking about those is this: they help people gain access to vital experiences and services, and keep them safe while doing it. I mean, do the bumpy plates really hurt your able bodied chance of safely crossing the street? Of course not. I’m all for reasonable accommodation- if something simple can save or better your life, without a ridiculous amount of disruption to the rest of the world.
Accommodate yourself. When you need something, ask for it. Don’t expect it to magically appear.
I don’t know your issue. I don’t particularly want to know your issue (you stay out of my business, and I’ll stay out of yours). But I do want you to be comfortable in my presence- if there is something that can make your life easier, by all means ask for it. That being said- don’t pitch a fit if I don’t put your specialty needs before the whole world. If you’re so allergic to peanuts that my sandwich is going to kill you- by all means, ask that I not sit next to you while I eat it. But don’t expect me to cease all peanut consumption for the rest of time (unless you’re living in my house, kissing me, giving me pretty babies- because that’s about the comprise I need to give up PBJ).
Just freaking accommodate yourself and don’t ask me to find you a vegan, gluten free, nut free, locally sourced, Thai plate lunch. Just pack your lunch like the rest of us already!