But You Don’t Look Sick
I am a liar. A big fat liar!
I have no answer for those who care enough to really hear the answer to, “How are you doing?”. So, I start to lie and say, “Much better”. Not to put others at ease around me, but to give myself some hope. No one really wants to know how a sick person is doing, it is just a pleasantry. Like talking about the weather. No one really cares to talk about the weather, it is just a pleasantry.
If I told you the truth you wouldn’t believe me. You’d just think, “you don’t look sick”. I think that too! But then I am reminded of the waves of nausea that keep me from eating; the clenched fingers which are cramped because they are constantly digging into the chair/railing/table so that I don’t fall over; not going to the washroom in a week; the frequent white/yellow lights and blackouts in my eyes, sometimes accompanied by headaches which roll from the front to the back; the searing pain in my joints that has become the background “buzz” of my life force; sleeping for 10, 12, 15 hours a day, and occasionally, only occasionally my arm goes numb followed by shooting pains through to my fingers.
But the worst is the inability to think straight, the slurring of words and vertigo – that feeling of being on a roller coaster, going up-up-up-up-up and then quickly dooooown … … leaving your stomach and head floating. Or it’s the strange feeling of being in an action movie where the cinematographer rapidly pans in then abruptly pans out.
It feels like blood pressure/glucose/insulin drops, but all my labs are normal. It feels like I am drunk without the hangover, without drinking, without knowing How it’s happening.
It’s autoimmune they say. It’s neurological. No it’s not. Yes, it is. Your symptoms are puzzling! So say the dozen specialists I’ve seen in the past three months.
So with each day, week or month that floats by, it leaves nothing but a wake of confusion and pain in its path. And so I lie. I start to think that maybe I am just dreaming, am I crazy? Am I convincing myself that there is a reason?
How does one address the invisible? How can I get to healing myself when I’ve no idea what’s wrong.
Why on earth should I be jealous of someone with a named condition? Because they have direction. They have a label. They have closure even if they are not cured. They have some reason.
Perhaps I will never know. Perhaps I will. But right now, this is just what it is.