I wanted to wait to post this entry, because I was thinking of something bigger. But, since this has been on my mind so persistently, I think it’s best to release it now
I’ve been thinking a lot of about invisible illnesses, mainly because, I have one, and as of now, is consuming more of my life than normal, or what I think is normal. I am also reminded of it every time I go somewhere and see a fellow handicap sign or a fellow person in a buggy at a grocery store, or my favorite store Target.
As I was saying I feel for my fellow handicap signers who when looking at them you would have no clue of their struggle. My fellow buggy users who look like they could run a marathon if they wanted to. Sadly, most of the time that isn’t the case.
I have gotten and continue to get my fair share of stares anytime I pull up at the very first handicapped-parking place at my favorite establishments. Who am I kidding I go to maybe four places these days: Target, Sprouts, HEB and work; okay you got me! Maybe the occasional Central Market, and the Doctors office (but that doesn’t count). Sometimes I let the looks get to me and I instantly get this need to push myself. It’s almost like the opinion of stranger’s trumps what I really go through. In these instances of pushing myself I usually start having walking problems or extreme pain in the middle of the store and have to make the decision to either continue throughout the store pushing a full cart of clearance items – Target is my kryptonite, lay off it! Or shuffle back to the front of the store, hope to God a buggy is charged and working, transfer all of my soon to be belongings into the buggy, and play what I like to call dodge buggy back to the part of the store I was at.
Most of the time I
have a very long drawn out monologue in my head of what would use the least amount of energy, say forget that, and I continue where I’m at shuffle walk and all. The only difference, making sure I’m paying full attention to how I am distributing my weight while walking. One false move and TIMBER! All because some random person made a face or a comment, and I let it get to me. More than likely I will pay for this later and won’t have enough spoons for the next day. (I have attached to spoon theory again for you here, in case you missed it).
I often wonder, would people be so mean and cruel if I were attached to an IV, if I really had bruises everywhere I hurt? If I wore braces on my legs, used a cane, used my walker? Shit, didn’t use the buggy and did my toddler walk? Would people still be that ugly to a person that they don’t even know, if they could see a reason? Have it make sense in their brains why I am using something for the disabled when I look healthier than them? And then I think of the society that we live in. And I realize of course they would. We really are living in sad times fam.
*This picture is a little much, but
sometimes this is how I feel.
If I were to wake up tomorrow and my MS decided to leave physical marks, this would be the result. Bruises, scars, dead nerves every where on my head and neck, blue hands and feet for the numbness, bight red legs for the current debilitating pain that comes and goes, dark purple and blue bruises for the annoying dull pain that stays. Shaky eyes that just won’t focus or bright red eyes for when they feel like they are on fire, or feel like weights in my eye sockets. Every little feeling, making a literal mark on my body.
Maybe then the looks would stop, along with the nasty comments.
So I ask you, the next time you see someone get out the car with a handicapped sign, instead of jumping to conclusions and making up some story in your head, think of this post and also remember, that person could be using all of their strength to have gotten to that establishment, do what they need to, and still have to have enough energy to get home and continue to take care of themselves.
Be nice fam. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
Note- The picture was used to get a sense of how I feel, this is not a picture of a MS patient, but of a lightening strike survivor