Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Illusions of wellness

After sharing my last blog post with you, some very nice people have shared with me some similar experiences.

Judy, who blogs in haiku, expresses it beautifully:

I surface for air
and pretend I am okay.
Others believe me.

I talked to another MSer today, who said, "People tell me that I 'look so healthy!' I just got a new MRI. I've got spots everywhere! I am NOT healthy!"

Daily, I have to interact with a lot of people, who are of a wide range of age levels, and who are of a wide range of ability to... let's be honest, to deal with weird shit. I try to keep my spirits up and positive for them. For me also, yes, of course; but also for them. Why should they suffer if I'm suffering? And really, my suffering is so specific, they couldn't help me if they tried. And frankly, I enjoy smiling and laughing. Especially laughing right in the face of The Disease. That's fun. And satisfying.

But, it was just as I suspected: it's only now that I'm in the wheelchair that people really understand that no, they need to cut me some slack when I ask for it. I don't ask for it much, I barely ask for it at all; but when I do, it's because I need it. And I have to say, the tension level has dropped somewhat, in my dealings with my workplace. I will admit, I'm a lot calmer now than I used to be (a lot of causes, but I must admit that The Disease is one of them), and of course (dare I say, DUH) the calmness really helps. But the wheelchair has made people take me and my predicament more seriously.

I'm sorry that's what it took to get my friends (air quotes? "Friends?" At least, my co-workers) to be more respectful of my needs.

I'm sorry that's what it takes for ANYONE to be more respectful of someone else's needs. That to be respected, people need to be VISIBLY, physically impaired. That simply being emotionally impaired, being spiritually in need, somehow isn't enough. You can have a broken heart or a broken spirit, but you won't get any slack unless they see a broken leg.

Another interesting gift of MS... this particular lesson.

1 comment:

Peace Be With You said...

Thanks for your generous words about my haiku.