Sometimes I Just Don’t Want to be Seen
Whether you have multiple sclerosis (MS) or not I am sure there is a time in your life that you have been horribly sick; the flu, a cold or maybe even something like mono. Think about how you felt at your worst, you just wanted to rest right? Maybe you worked your way out of bed to sit on the couch with a blanket and a cup of coffee to just sit and watch the news? Now imagine that while you are in the middle of this, comfortably wrapped in a blanket and surrounded by piles of balled up Kleenex, there is a knock at the front door… Who can that be? You really don’t want to have to get up and face someone do you? So you decide to ignore it so you can continue to focus on resting but guess what? There are other people in the house and someone answers the door and lets someone in! Great! You are not even dressed, your hair is a mess and you feel like hot garbage! So much for resting!
Well with MS a lot of us often hear, “but you look fine” but anyone living with this disease can tell you that how we look is usually not a reflection of how we feel. We might look ok on the outside but on the inside, for one reason or another, we feel horrible and because of this, we might simply not want to be seen just like someone who is sick with the flu might not want to be seen.
Obviously this issue can be avoided with simple communication but not everyone lives in a household where there is a constant flow of communication between all of its members and I know a lot of people don’t live with others who even really understand what life with MS is like. They simply see that “we look fine” so they assume that we feel fine. But again, though we might look fine on the outside we might be feeling terrible on the inside! Now maybe it is just me but if no one asks me how I am feeling today I don’t feel like it is necessary to inform everybody every single day exactly how I am feeling especially when I know that I might not be fully understood and trying to explain how MS is making me feel in a way that is relatable and easy to understand can be exhausting in and of itself! So I sort of think the easiest way to avoid this situation is to just let me know ahead of time that you are having someone over so that I can plan accordingly because again, sometimes I just don’t want to be seen! If I know you are sick I would either let you know that I am expecting guests or just not have anyone over to begin with! I am not asking you to never have people over again but just to let me know when you are; is that so unreasonable? I don’t know, I feel like it’s not but maybe it is?
Is this an issue for you? Is it something you have to deal with often? For those of you who do not have MS, all I ask is that you think about how you felt at a time that you were really sick; did you want someone to randomly show up and see you that way? I imagine not! We all have days that we just don’t want to be seen and we should all be able to respect that. All it takes is 30 seconds of communication!
Does your employer provide workplace accommodations due to your MS?