Both of my younger sisters got engaged to their long-time boyfriends over the past few months, and one of the first things I thought (besides "yay!") was, "Oh thank god -- something exciting is happening to someone in my family and it's not me having a stupid medical problem." I've been grateful to have such a supporting family and set of friends, but being brain surgery lady gets kind of old. Getting a new job where no one knew what happened to me was pretty thrilling - they aren't handicapping my performance with my condition in the backs of their minds. The crowd at Disability Support Services probably has a handle on the etiquitte necessary to have a working relationship knowing about a person's particular difficulties, but I've decided not to really disclose my issues, since it gives me a place not to be Brain Surgery Lady. The mood at DSS is kind of one of don't ask don't tell, where we work hard to let clients keep their privacy in general. I haven't met most of my clients (not that I have a lot), even now that I'm in the classroom providing services.
Rachel at Women's Health News wrote a post about the reception Penelope Trunk has gotten after tweeting something related to her miscarriage: Trunk got a lot of grief about oversharing, and she wrote a great rebuttal about how we do our best to ignore major
Rachel mentions that she has always found Trunk's blog to be off-puttingly self-promoting and sensationalistic. And then once something interesting happens to Trunk, she mentions it, and all of the sensationalism backfires on her. I spent most of my life kind of cultivating an eccentric personality, and all of a sudden it backfires when my neuro-immunity goes bonkers one day. I was weird before, and I'm still strange now. Very soon after I had surgery, one supposed supporter of mine decided to explain away my support for gay rights as a delusional side-effect of my condition. So if I'm going to have a different outlook on things, I have to conform in every other possible way to get anyone to take me seriously.