When All You Can Do is Laugh…You Laugh…

Written by on July 23rd, 2013 – 9 Comments

I always said the one of the hardest parts of having MS is that no one knows you’re sick because you don’t look sick.  I have often been questioned with my diagnosis or been accused of faking my symptoms.  This often leads to the paranoid people as well; “do you feel ok? Are you sick? You’re pale, are you ok?” sometimes I felt if I LOOKED sick no one would have the courage to talk to me, I would just be left alone … and sometimes it’s nice to be in the shadows when you’re sick (and on high doses of steroids and could snap at any time). 

This attitude quickly changed when I looked sick.  The stares, the questions, the looks, the snickering from young kids, the pointing in the grocery store – wow, what a world I had no idea existed. Call me naïve. I guess I just figured in our day and age society had accepted that people are different and we were above that. You know it’s a sad world when you’re embarrassed to go grocery shopping … 

No one (besides my mom and dad, a few friends, and husband) see me at my worst! By the time I step out into the world, I’m better and “look healthy”. 

When I was told I should take a walker home, I believe my reply was something like this “um no thanks” to which my physio said “it wasn’t really a question”, my mistake, I thought it was.  She sent me home with the referral for a walker and a cane and I sent it straight to the recycling bin :).  I DID stop and get my cane, what I thought would be easier (if I looked sick), was actually WAY more difficult.

Even though I only had my walker for a week and my cane for 4, I learnt a few things that I wanted to share with my readers:

My walker:

–          always name your walker …. 🙂

–          don’t be scared to run over someone’s toe if they piss you off!

–          It is impossible to dance with … don’t try

–          Getting up from the toilet is MUCH easier with a walker … just sayin!

My cane:

–          ice … that one is self explanatory … be careful

–          as my nieces suggested “decorate it with stickers” that’s ALWAYS cool

–          it makes you feel a little more comfortable on the benches in the mall 

–          google “designer canes”  – you will be surprised what you come up with

–          buy a top hat and eat peanuts

–          when your husband is annoying you … poke him with your cane in the kidneys (seriously, don’t try that – the response is not a pleasant one)

–          somehow people take you more seriously when your point your cane at them?!

–          Wheelchair ramps are NOT convenient for people with canes, trust me – you will fall

–          You feel very RICH and professional …

AND FINALLY … If you’re female, this is your time to show off your stilettos … that cane gives a lot of support! (I never attempted this, but wanted to).


9 Responses

  1. Lioncoeur says:

    If I ever get a cane, I will be getting a top hat and eating peanuts, for sure!

    Love this list!

  2. shannon somers says:

    This is a great email. I often have thoughts of me in a chair or with a walker and everyone tells me that I`m over thinking things, that my life will not end up like that… I on the other hand am lucky at this moment to not need either. Laughing is a good way to deal with the reality that one day I might actually HAVE to rely on a cane or a walker. Having been diagnosed early last year, I`ve had the time to contemplate what my options are and have come up with the decision that living life as much as I can to the fullest (without getting tired) is my only option. There are so many things left for me to do and I want them done before/and/if I need these things to walk.

    Your post has made me chuckle and take my humor at face value (we can laugh and be humorous ourselves) without being a stick in the mud.

    Thank you for your post. It actually made my day!

  3. danben says:

    Haha great walker/cane lists. Missed the opportunity to wear a top hat and eat peanuts as my cane days are behind me.Being in a wheelchair I could always spring for a helmet and eat sunflower seeds:) By the way in my walker days I did name my walker “Lioncoeur” haha kidding, serioussly named it “Walter”.Some time later find out that’s the name of the main character in the amazing Breaking Bad series:)

  4. AndreaS says:

    It is so true! You might as well laugh about it! And I’m not so sure about canes and stilettos! Flats are my friends! But it is so true about ramps! Even now that I don’t need canes or anything I still will go out of my way to avoid them! It’s so tough to explain to people. They are considering remodeling our church hall and don’t have the room for a few stairs and a ramp so were considering putting just a ramp. I strongly voted against that idea!

  5. spicy says:

    thanks everyone for your comments! I’m glad you found use in my article 🙂 Shannon, you have a great attitude – you’re entirely right!! Thankfully I have done a lot of work and am not free of my cane/walker, but I’m not delusional … it could come back for a visit. Like you said, enjoy the time you have when you don’t have a cane/walker and hopefully that day never comes 🙂

  6. Mike says:

    Lacey–good luck with everything; hope all is well.

  7. In regards to canes & ice, you do know you can get a sort of ice pick tip that you can temporarily attack for the winter, right? If you look at Shopper’s Drug Mart, they should have them. Much safe than the rubber tip during Canadian winters!

  8. cgarbutt says:

    I just loved reading your story. Some days, I feel like nobody understands how MS can make you feel inside without leaving a mark on the outside. Just recently I have taken to using my cane because I just don’t trust my legs not to give out on me but I am still unable to make myself use it at work. I just don’t know how people will react. I sometimes even convince myself that it’s all in my head. Thank you for showing me that I am not alone.

  9. deal wit it says:

    I lol’d!!!! Thx for your post , my cane likes to rest on my forearm, I’m not used to showcasing it, but now I’ll ask my sis to decorate my cane with stickers & be proud to use the cane;)