Please let me say, I like compliments. Don’t get me wrong, but, I’ve noticed something, and that is what this post is about.
I’ve not been shy about the MS thing. Most people know.
So, ever since people started finding this out, I am told constantly “You look great!” Actually, it is usually “Hi! How are you feeling”…”Oh, well, you look great!”
I think it is funny. I’ve been told I look great more in the last year than I have in the 29 before it combined.
What do people expect me to look like? What does “looking great” mean? I don’t look sick? I look pretty? I accessorize amazingly? The other night we went out. I looked cute. I had on a dress, and my hair was cute, and I was in a good mood, and I looked pulled together. And…I was walking SO slowly, I needed my cane. So, do I look great?
But, the next day I was fine. We went out to grab a bite to eat with Brad’s co-worker. I had on yoga pants, tennis shoes, a t-shirt and my hair in pigtails. But, no cane. I walked normally. Do I look great? I was told I did. I basically went out in pajamas.
I appreciate hearing I look great. I am glad that a lot of the time nobody looks at me and immediately wonders what is wrong with me. But, sometimes, it is also frustrating that there is nothing obvious. Sometimes, it is frustrating that “I look great”. Because, when I look great, you won’t realize I have no idea what you just said, because it won’t register in my brain for 13 more seconds, so you are impatiently tapping your foot waiting for a response.
MS is a brain disease. The problem is my brain. Yes, it is all in my head. Yes, I look fine, because the problem is not actually one in my leg or in my hand. And, you can’t see my brain. Some days I can’t walk, because my brain won’t let me. And, some days, I can walk fine, but I can’t speak, because my brain won’t let me. Some days, my husband and his father are trying to fit the fridge in through the back door and realize they need a screw driver, but they don’t know where one is, and I do, but all of a sudden I can’t find the words, and I shout “Oh, I know! It’s in the…the…*point at the door* the one…the side…not Dad’s! Brad’s! Outside!” and my father-in-law looks really confused and my husband tells our 12 yr old “It’s in my truck! On the side of the door! Go get the screwdriver!”
“You look great” doesn’t mean I look great. It means “You don’t look as sick as I thought you were!”
And, that’s great. I’m glad I don’t look as shitty as I feel most days. But, some days, most days, I don’t feel as good as I look.