I have come to get used to my math limitations, or my memory limitations, or my lack of being able to make a decision such as french fries or onion rings…I just get them both of course! But coming to terms with my own physical limitations has been compounded by the fact that everyone wants to help me.
Now, you are saying, what is wrong with people wanting to help, that sounds great! It is. I have to say I am very lucky to have so many people willing to help me carry things, open things (seriously those Poland Springs water bottles are impossible), literally offer me their parking spot so I don’t have to walk the 2 blocks I have to park to get to work. My husband cooks dinner, and he wants to clean up after too! But it makes me feel badly because I’m not ready to wrap my head around being a “sick” person, I’m still me.
Just weeks ago only a few people knew I was having a hard time, getting tests, going to physical therapy, but it wasn’t until two weeks ago that they really knew how much pain when I barely made it to my desk and my normal “sunny disposition” was replaced by a grimaced and white face of pain and I will say it, there were tears. That was just one week before I found out I had arthritis running through my spine, and two weeks into taking medications that won’t allow me to take any form of over the counter pain relievers for my fibromyalgia, which can take 4 months to work?! What the heck! If it doesn't work, then I have to start a new medication and wait 4 months again? Anyway, I'm losing the topic.
But today was the first time that a door was opened for me because I couldn't get it open, the first time I saw the look of concern in a co-workers eyes as I tried to pull a ream of paper out of the box as if it pained him to watch me do it. Today was the first time I felt like people looked at me like I was sick. I mean, sure, I’m “sick” but already I have began to come to terms that it’s not the flu, it’s now my life.
My decline has been slow and long, since thinking I had mono over a year ago to possibly thyroid issues. The more I have been doing in the last few months to, as I liked to call it, “get stronger,” has only seemed to make me worse. I need time to come to the understanding of what my body really needs. Not just vitamins and prescriptions.
Talking with my sister the other day after we finished talking about her friend who is sick with cancer she asked me how I was doing. I could barely respond, I mean, how can I follow cancer that is a serious illness?! She said, “she will get better, you won’t.” She said more, but that really stuck. I finally thought, maybe I don’t have to feel embarrassed anymore, not of what other people are going to think of me, but of what I think of myself.