Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Invisible or Not

In 1980 I wobbled with the help of two others into a pizza restaurant.

A burly young man taunted, "What's a matter with her? Is she drunk?" loud enough for the entire clientele to turn and look at me.

Hot tears of embarrasment stung my eyes. I wanted to disappear. I had used others' arms because my balance was so poor I feared I would look drunk, and now I'd been accused of it.

At that time my symptoms of multiple sclerosis were invisible to others. Or so I thought until this accusation.

In 1981 I was told to walk with forearm crutches to protect myself from falling and to give myself better coordination, and I have used them ever since.

There are many illnesses whose symptoms are invisible, MS being one of them for many people. Especially the fatigue most of us endure. I'd like to draw your attention to an upcoming week that I have taken part in for the past two years. It's called National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and it is this coming September 8-14. There you can find all kinds of telephone seminars, blog posts, freebies, events, and networking with people who understand the invisibleness of symptoms you may have.

I'll be saying more about that in the future, but for now, invisible is not always better!

Have a wonderful day!


1 comment:

Lisa Copen said...

Jo, thanks so much! MS is one of those illnesses I always think of that starts out invisible and then it isn't. I feel the same way with my rheumatoid arthritis. My illness is "invisible" but one glance at my hands or feet and people wonder what big rope they must have gotten wrapped up in the wrong way!

I appreciate you blogging on this! I will get back to you today. I think I am out of speaker slots... but will double check the schedule.

Love ya,