Living this way is certainly different than anything I’ve experienced before! This way meaning as a member of the chronically ill. I mentioned before that for the first 8 years of my MS journey the disease was relatively incognito. I was able to straddle two worlds. One is the land of the healthy and the other the home of the ill. Although now I often wonder if trying to appear healthy as long as I did actually stressed my body into the condition that I’m in now. You know working too much and too long. Exercising, getting overheated, and pushing myself. But this type of thinking gets me nowhere.
My problem is that I am no longer able to fake it. I used to secretly blend into both worlds. Now when you see me, you’ll immediately know that something is going on. I am still trying to learn how to function in my new terrain where all my flaws are out front and open.
Recently I was getting ready to meet some friends for lunch and it dawned on me that I wasn’t sure if the venue was handicap accessible. You would think that most places are accessible since we’re in 2012. But in New Orleans, Louisiana think again! Often businesses can get away with not making the required accommodations under the shield of being “historic” and unable to change.
Usually I just take a drive by and check out the entrance beforehand. It always makes me a little mad because I shouldn’t have to. This is why I feel as if I’m living in one world but begging for acceptance into another. For this reason I do a lot of advocacy work. I post a lot of it on this site and across the web. Maybe one day more people will know about Multiple Sclerosis, maybe they won’t. I just have to believe that by just having it, it doesn’t diminish who I am. If I cease to seek the difference between myself and others, I’m pretty sure I’d be a lot better off.
Because, after all is said and done I bet all members of each world have a lot more in common than we think.