Listen to The Mandalorian Approach to Explaining What it is Like to Live with Fibromyalgia and Psoriatic Arthritis here or scroll to read.
Have you watched The Mandalorian on Disney Plus? My family had a weekly date to watch it together. Afterward, we would discuss the episode or show in general. One thing that surprised me was how deeply I related to the Mandalorian whenever he was questioned about not removing his helmet. What does this have to do with living with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis? Read on to find out!
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The Mandalorian Response
The Mandalorian had one simple response whenever he was questioned about his refusal to remove his helmet.
“It is the way”The Mandalorian
If time permitted and they weren’t fighting off Storm Troopers in order to save and protect The Child aka Baby Yoda, he would offer a short and concise explanation. Clearly and without sounding pitiful, he would sometimes offer a brief history of how he was taken in by the Mandalorians.
His response made me think about all the times I felt the need to endlessly defend and explain the precautions and modifications that are necessary for making my life with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis one of quality.
If I have learned anything from #TheMandalorian it is that sometimes a simple response is the best.
Not Everyone Needs to Know Everything
Why is having a short, simple, yet to the point explanation so hard for those of us living with a chronic illness? I personally believe it is because we so badly want others to understand the pain we experience. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with that, but that it doesn’t have to take place every time someone asks.
The Mandalorian shares what the person he is speaking to needs to know. Those that he appears to care about or senses he can trust get a more detailed explanation. While others who have no vested interest in his life get a simple response that requires no further explanation.
The Mandalorian Message
Whenever the Mandalorian responded with “It is the way” and nothing more, I thought about how fitting it was in regards to my chronic life. For me “It is the way” says, “This is what must be done to function with my chronic illnesses”. It is not necessarily a choice, but a necessity to prevent further pain or injury.
“It is the way” My #TheMandalorian response #chroniclife #fibromyalgia #autoimmunearthritisTweet
“It is the way” also sends the message that I am not the only one doing what I do. Many people with autoimmune arthritis and/or fibromyalgia use mobility aids to prevent a spike in pain or to be able to be away from home for more than an hour. I am not the only chronic pain patient who solely treats their pain with alternative and natural treatments. Nor am I the only person living with an incurable chronic illness.
Living with a chronic illness means having to modify activities, not doing things we know will increase our pain or cause injury, addressing and treating pain, and vigilantly listening to every signal our bodies are sending. Not once a week or several times a year, but twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!
IT IS THE WAY!
I Have Spoken
Another phrase from the show that hit home was from Kuiil. He didn’t waste time explaining why something needed to be done or his method of doing it. Instead, he would abruptly announce “I have spoken”.
The first time I heard Kuiil speak those words I turned to my husband and said that I needed to remember that line the next time someone continues to badger me about my illnesses.
It isn’t that I don’t want to discuss how I live with my chronic illnesses. But instead, it is that I get frustrated by people who have no real connection to me, don’t have the same illness, nor know anyone who does. The kind of people who just want to keep the conversation going until you utter a word that they can jump on to either promote a “health” product or share what they would do differently. Jill who broke her toe has no clue what it is like to live with chronic pain from fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis for twenty years. Jack who once met a woman on a plane who had fibromyalgia and claimed to be pain-free because of daily yoga, has no idea how the disease differs from one person to the next.
In the End
At the end of the day, how much you want to share and with who is up to you. I will admit that having a blog does have its advantages when dealing with strangers. Instead of reciting a monologue of my chronic life and ways, I just refer them to my site. Those who don’t really care never take the time to read my posts. People who want to sell something often send an email with their pitch. That I do not mind, because I can easily delete an email. But the time I spend out of the house doing something fun with people who do care is too precious to be spent on someone who really doesn’t care.
You don’t have to start a blog to ward off conversations that have no purpose. Send them to me or another one of your favorite chronic bloggers. If there is a specific post you think they could benefit from reading, tell them which one and then get back to doing what makes the chronic life one that you can live with.
I shall now leave you to take a nap. Why? “It is the chronic life way!” What? Someone doesn’t think I need a nap? “I have spoken! Good day!”
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