I’m just gonna come right out and say it: living with a chronic health condition fucking sucks.
But living with a chronic health condition as a 20-something-year-old when all of the education and support resources available are targeted towards 80-year-old women named Susan is even worse. And that’s why Aussie chronic illness sufferers (aka “spoonies”) Chloe Sargeant and Joanna Nilson decided to start a podcast (and a conversation) about it.
I present to you: Chronically Fully Sick.
In Chloe and Jo’s own words, Chronically Fully Sick is “a podcast about chronic illness, the wondrous joys of unrelenting pain, and all sorts of generally silly and straight-up rude garbage”.
“We wanted to create something for chronically ill people, by chronically ill people – because we believe in the disability activist expression, ‘nothing about us without us’,” Chloe told Pedestrian.TV
“Really, we just decided to record ourselves having our normal everyday yaks and vents about living with chronic illness and all the shit that comes with it.” Chloe said.
Sure, they give some helpful information and education about chronic illness and pain, but that’s not really their deal here. Instead of being the WebMD of podcasts, they’re more like that friend that just ~relates~ to your struggle (which is helpful because if you’re a chronic pain sufferer in your 20s/30s, you probably don’t have many friends who actually relate).
To put it simply, chronic pain and illness just fucking sucks. It really does. It feels unfair and shit and horrible and every bad adjective you could think of. But when you’re living with a lifelong condition, it’s really bloody refreshing to just hear two (very funny) people just laugh about it.
It doesn’t make it any less shit, but it sorta just reminds you that you’re not alone.
Every episode seems to tackle another conversation you’re probably already having in your head if you suffer from endometriosis, fibromyalgia or any other chronic pain or illness. From feeling like your doctor is straight-up gaslighting you, to dealing with people who say you don’t “look” sick, every episode hits topics every spoonie will be familiar with.
“There’s shockingly few spaces and support resources out there for people with chronic illnesses, and everyone deserves to have stuff to listen to/read/watch to have that experience of being acknowledged and related to and represented and truly ~seen~. So we hope that the pod helps our fellow sickies feel validated and supported, and that it gives them a laugh when they need it,” Chloe said.
Even if you don’t suffer from chronic pain or illness, I implore you to at least listen to one episode (perhaps this one on how the pandemic has impacted accessibility), because let’s face it, you almost definitely already know someone who suffers from chronic pain or illness, and it pays to have at least a basic understanding of it.
“All are welcome to chuck us a listen, whether you’re a cute sexy sickie like us or if you want to learn a thing or two about those of us who are ~chronically fully sick~ (and trust us, there’s more of us than you think),” Chloe said.
You can check out the podcast here.