You look great. I hear this quite often. In my head it echos around with their unspoken "for a sick person" twist. Really, there is something wrong in my state of Denmark. The visible indications that say sick or dying are not part of who I am. I can see that sick person in me. She stands there clearly in the mirror. Close friends and family see in my slower pacing, a more prolonged reply, and sadly a quicker snap to "please stop."
I monitor my skin, my toes, my toenails, my eyebrows, my belly, my internal aches and pains against my mindful heart of yesterday and the day before. When I write down things to remember they seem goofy the next day, but I also feel compelled to know how it is different. Am I more, am I less, how am I different from the me I just was. Is the sick me showing for anyone to see?
I see saggier me. I'm a little deeper in the eye socket, I'm heavier in the leg dragging. None of it means that I am better. It doesn't even mean that I am worse. I am just different. It takes energy to be so self diligent and it seems so important. It seems that it should be important. My more rational mind knows that the detail isn't very valuable. What matters and will pay off is that I keep doing what I do. That I reach to do more. That I manage to keep it all straight. That those around me feel that I am capable.
I am fighting to be better. I strive to keep doing the things that define the she is better mold. No, I don't look sick. Yes, I do look like I'm going through this thing. I actually said that tonight... I've got this thing I'm going through... referring to my head and walker grasping hands.... Yes, I have this thing. I have it. It does not have me. Not yet and not while I can keep trying so hard.
All said I do have this thing. I do feel a wee bit sorry that I don't look sick enough for you, but not enough to give in and just be sick already. That s not in my playbook. I have daily reminders that the sick is poised and ready to spring. When it does there will be one heck of a battle. In the meanwhile I continue on with the daily skirmishes. Pills now, pills at this alarm, pills at that alarm, do I need to grab one of those pills? Every pill is a reminder. Every pill is a soldier going in to fight the fight. Every assessment is a tactical maneuvering. Together they hold up the appearance of not a sick person, but of a person fighting to stay alive. A person on full maneuvers. Me. Thank you for saying I look great, I feel great, too.