CHRONOPOLY - THE GAME NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY (AND WE ALL TRY TO CHEAT AT)
A quick check in to the local hospital for regular transplant clinic last week and a misconstrued Facebook post regarding said clinic visit got me thinking - is having a chronic illness like the game Monopoly?
Train Stations - there's four of them, a bit like clinic visits really, one every three months, not really all that exciting, but as important as each other.
Park Lane & Mayfair - Well these two would have to be like those days where everything is running perfectly, you're full of energy, well rested and you go out and do stuff. They also tend to come at a bit of a cost.
Electric company - This would be the Pharmacy, where you pick up your medications, the stuff that keeps you putting along.
Water works - two thoughts on this one, and it depends on whether you've had kidney failure or not - and if you have, you'll know what I'm talking about here!
The other concept behind this one is crying. Chronic illness is difficult. It's isolating and it hurts. And those that suffer from chronic illnesses usually do a pretty good job of hiding those things.
Community Chest - To me, this card is when the wider community take a sudden interest in your particular disease or condition, usually due to an awareness week or a celebrity being diagnosed with the condition - not necessarily a bad thing, but sadly the attention is often fleeting.
Chance - Ummmm, any time someone with a chronic illness does ANYTHING that is "naughty" - misses a dose, doubles a dose, rides public transport (for those immuno-comprised peeps) eats, drinks or does something that may or may not place them in hospital. We've all been there. We've all calculated it. Most of the time, we figure it’s worth the risk - sometimes, we're wrong.
Go to jail - I've always referred to the hospital as "the white jail", so this is perfect.
"Go to jail, go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200" can be very easily replaced with "Go to ED. Go directly to ED. Do not go to whatever fun event you were planning on. You have a chronic illness. Accept it." It does feel like this at times.
Just visiting - People with chronic illnesses generally spend more than enough time in hospital, so this is incredibly rare.
Free parking - I'd like to think this is where The Sweetest Gift comes in - a place where those with a chronic illness can take a break from their condition and have some normality in their lives.
Having a routine of going to work and interacting with people. Having people understand that chronic illness shouldn't mean chronic unemployment and that understanding and flexibility is key.
And at the end of the day, you can pass GO and collect $200 for the job that you've done (or whatever it is that you've earned of course). You've done that for yourself.
Thanks for playing Chronopoly.