Has My Disease Made Me Insensitive?

Has My Disease Made Me Insensitive?

Battling a chronic illness like Multiple Sclerosis can be unpleasant. We talk often about the symptoms: the pain, fatigue, numbness, weakness, cognitive dysfunction, depression, etc. This list of possible symptoms is pretty long. While I’m not complaining about all of these issues, I will say, it’s not always the most pleasant life. One result of that life is that I think it’s made me a bit more unsympathetic to the problems of others. I’ve noticed this a few times recently and it made me wonder, “Has my disease made me more insensitive to the needs of others?”

Less sensitive to others' everyday issues

Now, I’m not saying I’m a monster. I’m not saying I don’t have sympathy for people that have real problems. That said, I most certainly am less sensitive to other people’s everyday issues. Oh, you had a bad day at work? Well, I fell trying to go to the bathroom. You’re tired? Whoa, trust me, you don’t even know what tired is (I’m pretty sure that’s an especially grating one for people with MS to hear). Oh, you forget things too? Do you forget them enough to be forced from working? Try again, it’s not the same. Your back hurts from standing too much? Dude, don’t even with that one. I think you get the picture. The everyday problems of most people can start to seem like trite inconveniences to me.

I don’t want to think like this

I don’t want to think like this and I most certainly don’t think like this all the time. I want to be sensitive to everyone. After all, you can never really understand what something is like to someone else. If you aren’t in their shoes, you really can’t judge them. That’s something those with MS often say to others, but here I am with that scenario reversed. Even recognizing that, it’s pretty hard to hear others complain about issues that you sometimes wish you could have. Rough day at work? Ugh, I’d love to be able to work again. Many of us would.

Everyone’s problems are real to them

The thing about life though, is that someone always has it worse and someone always has it better. I’m sure I’ve written many articles talking about particular symptoms and how hard they are for me, and there are people that read them and think, “Oh please, suck it up buttercup, that is not nearly as bad as I have it.” The cycle goes on and on. So I’m trying to do a bit better and recognize that I can be a little insensitive to people because of my own problems. I can marginalize people’s issues, even if it’s just in my own head, and I want to be better than that. The fact that I even used the phrase “real problems” in a paragraph above is a bad sign to me. Everyone’s problems are real to them, no matter what we are going through.

This is a short one from me, but I feel it’s an interesting topic and can’t wait to hear what other people think. Am I just a horrible person or do you ever get a little insensitive to others because of your illness? I have a feeling it’s not just me. Either way, I’m hoping to do better!

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