Friday, November 6, 2009

I completely understand…

And “That was my last piece of gum.” Two of the biggest, most common lies I have ever heard. Of course, when someone tells you that they are consuming their last piece of gum, it’s intentional and most people let it slide and move along. “I completely understand” isn’t meant as a lie, but isn’t something I’m willing to let slide.
There are certain contexts where “I understand” are indeed appropriate. For example:
Professor/teacher: Do you understand the concept I am teaching?
Student: I understand.
To understand something, at least the way I read the connotations, is more than just comprehension. It’s to not only grasp the meaning, but also all the implications, to engrain something conveyed into the very fiber of your being. It becomes second nature, inherently obvious.
So, when someone tells me they “completely understand” what I’m going through, I call bullshit.
I call bullshit even when my doctors tell me they “know” or “understand that it’s so hard what I’m up against.” Really. How would anyone know? I’m certain many have attempted imagining what the process is like, and many have probably seen the actual process.
Here’s something shocking: comprehending the mechanics of my daily life isn’t the same thing as knowing about my life! I know! It’s so phenomenal, that the majority of people don’t seem to understand this seemingly simple concept.
Let’s take an example, because I love examples.
When I have to give myself an injection, even little kids comprehend the mechanics of giving oneself a shot. Hell, I’ve even seen 5 year old kids do it (actual medication). You pull out a syringe, draw up the proper amount of medication, angle the needle properly if it needs to be angled (for the medication I’m on, it needs to be subcutaneous, not intramuscular, so it needs to be angled), slide the needle in, push in the plunger, hold for a few seconds, remove needle, apply pressure to injection site for ~5-10 seconds, recap needle, and your done! (This obviously isn’t going into every single detail, but you get the idea)
The people who are able to watch this, and I’m willing to bet even those who can’t, are able to understand the mechanics of giving oneself a shot. This is not the same thing as understanding how this action and observers fit into the equation of understanding the process.
Where am I while doing this? Who is with me? How terrified are they of needles? How much medication do I need? Shit, now everyone is watching thinking I’m a total druggie. Seriously, people. Don’t call the cops. I have a prescription. I have it with me, even! No, don’t slap my food out of my hand. No, I need to eat food. No, I don’t care that your grandma had the same disease as I do. I don’t care how your grandma took care of her disease. LALALALALALALALALA!!!!!!! GO AWAY! I WANT TO TAKE MY MEDICATION! STOP STARING! Should I be accounting for agitation in my calculations? YES! I AM IGNORING YOU NOW! STOP WHINING! Fuck this, I’m doing this in the restroom. DON’T FOLLOW ME INTO THE BATHROOM! Lolsob.
Even other people who do have the same diseases as I do, who experience some of the same obstructions in their everyday lives as I do, I can never understand what it’s like for them, and them for me. No one knows the full magnitude of my pain, my joy, my sorrow, my love, my fear, my peace, my anything, my everything except, for me.

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