Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Evidently MS makes you look fabulous...

Buckle up...
  • But you look so good!  
  • You don't even look sick!
  • You wouldn't know it by looking at you!
  • You don't look sick... (said with a tone of doubt)
  • Are you sure you're sick? You look fine.
These are all things that people have said to me over the past 9 months- since I started getting tested.  People including medical personnel.  It is one of the things that bugs me and others with MS the most, though we never say anything.  Some people, I know, mean well and just might not know what to say.  Others say their comments with disbelieving tones.  Their comments say that because I don't look "sick", I should feel fine.  I should feel "normal."  I shouldn't have the symptoms I am having, or the pain I am having.  Evidently, all diseases and illnesses are supposed to make you look like death warmed over.  And if you don't look like you have been run over by a car, then you really have whatever illness you are complaining of.  Color me confused.  I guess I missed in the literature where it said that MS gives you boils and blotches and makes it look like your skin is melting off your body.

I am here to tell you now, that unless I, or any other person feel like absolute poo and haven't slept or are in the middle of an exacerbation or something similar, you can't tell just by looking at us that we are sick. Also, just because we look like we usually look, it doesn't mean that we feel good or that we are not telling the truth when we tell you what is wrong on the inside.  Another little secret, even the "You don't even look sick!" and "But you look so good!" actually comes across as kind of an insult  It is kind of like they expect us to look bad to prove that we are sick.  Or they want us to look as bad as we feel to make them feel better about themselves.  It almost always comes across as one of those backhanded compliments.  Either 1. By looking good, they think we are lying and there is nothing wrong with us, or 2. They totally were hoping OR expecting us to look bad...  We always smile and say, "Thank you," and are gracious, but anybody with a disease like MS will tell you that we are saying in our head, "Next time I'll try harder to look sick, just for you!" or something similar.  This does NOT include the friends that you see and exchange the usual pleasantries with who tell us that we are looking great.  Or comments about recent weight loss or a haircut looking great.  Normal conversations that everyone has are not included.  But those little, "You don't even look sick!"  Sorry!  I must have missed the memo on how I was supposed to look!

Just treat us like you would normally treat us, and don't mention with shock or disbelief how good we may look right after asking us how we are feeling.  When in doubt and you must say something about how we look... "Well, you look great!"  No snideness, no disbelief, no insulting tone.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday and is trying to get back into the swing of things now that 2013 is here.  Things at my house were as relaxing as possible with three kids on break from school and trying to get everything done for Christmas and then the after Christmas clean-up and organization that comes into play.

We did have some friends of ours over for dinner on Christmas Eve, and then I didn't have to rush to cook while in the midst of wrapping paper chaos on Christmas Day.  I don't know why we haven't always done it this way.  It was much more relaxing.  I didn't feel like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off all day on Christmas.  Soooo nice.

I was majorly surprised by the hubs.  He bought me the stand-mixer I have eyeing.  I didn't make a single Christmas cookie this year, which is a huge deal because I normally make around 800 or so. I haven't made meatloaf in a couple of months or mashed potatoes, and really hated making the frosting for the girls' cupcakes for their birthdays this year.  My hand strength just isn't cutting it, and the hand mixer that I have is awesome, but hurts my hands and arms now.  We talked about pricing it out and looking for sales or coupons after the holidays had passed, but he came out of left field.  It's a beauty.  And I love him bunches, even before he bought me the Breville.

I am hoping that 2013 is a better year than 2012 was for everyone.  I have a bunch of stuff to actually blog about, but wanted the first post of the new year to be wishing everyone a Happy New Year!