i think people are weird

dear heather,

I ama 15 year old growing up in a screwed up society. I guess the reason that I am so scared is because I have a disease. It’s called Hypoparathyroidism, which means I have a low amount of calcium in my body and my kidneys are failing. My problem is when people hear about me being sick, they think of me differently. When I have a boyfriend for over a month, I have to tell them that I am sick and then they get really weird and don’t act the same way around me. I hate being different. I want to be myself and let people know that I am not what people think. When all of this started, I got really self-conscious. How I am supposed to overcome this fear of telling people that I am sick? How can I let them know that it’s not contagious? Can you PLEASE help me?

It’s up to you to decide when to tell people that you have this condition. Often, how you explain it will influence how people relate to you. You are so much more than your disease–let people know that you are interested in sports, music, reading, or whatever is your thing. Of course, some people are insensitive and their reactions to you about your condition reflect more on who they are than who you are. It’s best to avoid such people when you can.I asked my friend Cheryl how she deals with her own situation and here’s what she said: vI have had diabetes for a really long time, which means my body doesn’t produce insulin. I take shots of insulin every day and have to think about what I eat and how much I exercise. I always tell friends and boyfriends about it when it seems appropriate. It’s a good idea to know all about your condition so you can easily explain it when questions come up. If you sound confident about yourself and explain to people that you aren’t contagious, and that you know how to take care of yourself to avoid or minimize health problems, your good friends and boyfriends should be cool with it. Also, let people know if there is ever a time when you are having problems due to your condition, and what they can do to help if you need it.

If you haven’t already done so, see if there’s a support group of people in your area who have the same condition as you. Sometimes it’s very helpful to talk to other people who are going through similar experiences as you are. Your doctor may be able to point you in the right direction, or you may find information about such groups online.

take care,
heather


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