Multiple Sclerosis Assumptions
Warning- this latest blog is less funny and possibly the most likely to get me sued, so far anyway.
My mom always taught her daughters that when you ASSUME something, you make an ASS out of U and ME. This is a lesson I have heard hundreds of times and should know well.
Yet, when I recently read a blog titled Understanding the Invisible Symptoms of MS, I ASSUMED this would be directed towards the people of the world who ASSUME there is nothing wrong with you when your chronic illness isn’t visible.
But instead, the blog talked about depression as an MS symptom and was directed towards helping caregivers and patients cope with and help those struggling with it. A well intentioned and important post it was of course. But I was disappointed that my assumption was wrong.
I thought, hoped actually, they would be taking about what I have taken to calling invisible idiocy and that it would be directed towards the general public. With more than two million people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the world, and an additional 200 people diagnosed weekly in the US alone, (according to the National MS Society’s website and verified by many other sites- they really should update these statistics; they haven’t changed since I was diagnosed three years ago), it seems to me that it is time for folks to get a clue.
And not just about MS, but also about the many invisible illnesses in this world: fibromyalgia, lupus, cancer, chronic fatigue, depression and several others. Shouldn’t there be a blog that shows regular people how to get off their high horse and learn a thing or two? How about starting with teaching them that they don’t know everything?
The problem is, that a person who happens to be one of the people who thinks they know everything, would “know” that I must be describing someone else. Bill Cosby once said “a word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.”
The first piece of advice they need is that they just might be the stupid ones. These are the individuals who love to flash their “you must be faking, you look fine to me faces.”
MS’er’s you know who I mean.
The people who tell you that you are fine, nothing is easy, everybody has their troubles and then proceed to whine to you about the hangnail that is just driving them crazy or how long in line they had to stand at the pharmacy for their flu shot. Try standing in line when your legs are on fire for medication that is supposed to put the fire out, if you can afford it.
I prefer this group as at least they have some guts behind their assumptions and the courage (or nerve) to voice them out loud. Then, maybe, you might engage in a conversation that MIGHT help set them straight. Or not.
The group that is the worst is the smirkers. I could give you examples but this blog would turn into a book and I haven’t yet published my first book. But likely you know who I mean.
I would like to be brave and call out one of these smirkers for smirking but with my luck it will be the one time someone is smirking at me for something else- say wearing white after Labor Day. (Unlikely as I never wear white before Labor Day or after, white shows too many food stains).
“If you were just more careful or chewed your food more slowly, you wouldn’t have food stains.”
Yes, that’s it. I enjoy walking around with food stains on my clothes and hence why I keep repeatedly dropping food on me, even as I am the last one to finish lunch and those around me are chomping at the bit to get up.
Here is an interesting fact for people in the know. Just because I look fine doesn’t mean I feel great and am just faking. Frankly, if I was that good an actress I would be in LA.
It can go both ways. Just because you look lousy to me and your continued whining is driving me crazy, doesn’t mean you are basically healthy.
The point is, we can’t possibly know what is going on inside of others so what is with the judging and assumptions?
For example, it would be wrong of me to assume you are a creep. Again, I should not assume anything. But in order to deal I will just hope instead of you being a jerk you are just an idiot instead, an invisible idiot.
“It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt,” said Mark Twain.
This will be how I deal, so that I don’t resort to Dr. Seuss for survival.
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.”
Mostly because a bat is a little too heavy for my healthy looking weak arms…..
**The blog post, Understanding Invisible Symptoms can be found on the website, http://www.disabilityinfo.org/blog/?p=3085
***For actual statistics, go to http://www.nationalmssociety.org/index.aspx
****The quotes from the funny people above, can be found in the Laugh Lines section of this site. For more humorous looks at life from other great minds, check it out, http://yvonnedesousa.com/laugh-lines/
My HS yearbook-yikes!
Image courtesy of [farconville] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net