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:
– 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!
– 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).