Sunday, November 25, 2012
The White Elephant In The Room
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Or even just a four day weekend! Holidays can be stressful enough even when you don't realize it. For some getting together with family and friends can be challenging on a normal basis. For people with MS (and of course other ailments or diseases) sometimes it turns into the white elephant in the room. Some families and friends have a hard time knowing what to say (if anything) to someone that has MS. Should they ask how are you? Is that a dumb question? Or maybe you are newly diagnosed and the topic of everything lately has been "Sara's MS" and people are getting tired of hearing it. (sad, but true)
Everyone handles this different. Some people with MS feel better if they talk about it to others. Everyone is a sounding board to them. And it makes the person with MS feel better knowing everyone understands how they are. Especially the newly diagnosed and when symptoms aren't as visible to others.
When I was newly diagnosed I had family & friends who called daily to see how I was. I had friends who hung in there with me (your true friends will show up during this!!) and some that were just uncomfortable. (Those I cut loose) Seriously, it is nature to take flight from what scares you. Some people are uncomfortable with your diagnosis and when it gets down to it they are scared of their own health and mortality. It gets too close to their comfort circle. But to be honest I got tired of the subject. Once I realized that I was still me and able to do everything that I love even if I had to modify, I didn't want to talk about it anymore. Boring. Let's talk about you!
Now, I have had several years do get comfy with my friend MS. If I feel good or even semi-good I say that when people ask how I am. If I'm feeling bad I just shrug or briefly say what's bothering me. If my MS is brought up I answer the question directly and switch the subject back to something else. MS is not going to be what everyone sees when they see my face. I won't let it. I have plenty of other topics to share without letting that ^%%&% biatch MS ( sorry! that's what I call my MS) horn in on everything I am about. And frankly, I don't won't to be "that" one that talks on and on about her MS. To me that's just letting MS get an upper hand and winning. Not me. Not now. :)