As someone who generally likes attention, I fully admit I get a thrill out of the sympathy and spotlight that comes with illness. However, after two and a half weeks of being handled with kid gloves, enough is enough.

My Mum and I are currently halfway through the arduous journey back to Australia from Germany. As an only child to a single mother, and as a 6 foot 2 odd guy who is not exactly skinny (I refuse to abandon my vanity), trips like this usually mean lots of heavy lifting for me as my Mum prances around doing whatever. But this time, my family are just barely allowing me to lift a finger (literally), and even that is after considerable debate.

I understand that I am on doctor’s orders to limit my physical exertion, especially around the times when the medication induces a bout of fatigue. However, having to watch my almost 80 year old Great Uncle carry my 30kg bag, and being told off for putting too many books in my backpack (and then again for attempting to carry them in a separate bag) is, I think, going a little too far. I am sick. I am not a 7 year-old girl.

This is one of the many little frustrations that go along with my current state. It just happens to be one of the most embarrassing and soul crushing. Within two weeks, to go from fully independent, living blissfully on a different continent to all of my immediate family members; to not being allowed to carry my own book bag is just a little too radical a shift in too short a time. Please, everyone, stop handling me like I am about to break in half in front of you.