Monday, 24 June 2013

"But you look good..."

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that.

People say it when they find out I have MS.  People say it if they haven't seen me for a while.

And it seems to be happening a lot lately.

It's a quasi-compliment.  The unintentional flattery, to me, becomes that much more obvious.  It's as if I am supposed to look bad.  Sick.  Unhealthy.  In need of assistance.

And I want people to know - most mornings at 7am I stand in front of the mirror, already exhausted, trying - so hard - to look good.  To look normal.  I make a concerted effort to do my hair, put on some makeup.

I do it mostly for me; it makes me confident and well put together.

But I also do it for those who like to comment on appearances.  Because, honestly, I don't want to look sick.  I don't want those uncomfortable questions to be asked.

But - and here's the most difficult thing to write - just because I look okay, doesn't mean I still don't need help.  Could I use a couple hours without my kids on a regular basis?  Yup.  Next time you go to Costco, could you pick up a frozen lasagne for me?  Yes please.  I don't want to sound greedy or lazy - I just want this information to be available for those who want it.  And.believe me, I am so grateful for everything that has already been done for me.  So incredibly thankful.

It's so hard for me to ask for help.  Sometimes I just need people to do things.  Without asking, begging, reminding. 

Cause there's a lot going on that my looks just don't share.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah - I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2005 after being sick for about 6 months. On one trip to the ER (pre-diagnosis) when I was feeling particularly horrible I actually had a doctor say to me, "You look well, so I'm sending you home." I will never, ever forget that comment and how infuriating it was.