Saturday, June 7, 2008

When You Look At Me

Please continue to leave your comments on keeping your marriage strong with chronic illness!

Today's post is meant to be honest and authentic, but in NO way is it a pity party. I wouldn't trade my life for anything. This is just something I wrote in my journal awhile back. Let me know what you think.

When You Look At Me

* You see my smile...What you don't see is a choice. I don't always feel like smiling but I'm choosing to live a life of joy despite this illness.

* You see a woman who is dressed and wearing makeup...What you don't see are the days when this just isn't possible for me because on those days, I hide from you.

* You see that my hair is "done"... What you don't see is that even on a good day, raising my arms over my head to dry my hair is nearly impossible.

* You see my expanding waistline...What you don't see is my search for healthy food I can actually eat without annoying migraines and nausea.

* You see a body without muscle tone...What you don't see is that if I exercise, I'll be unable to get through the day with my kids.

* You see someone who moves slowly and cautiously, perhaps even lazily...What you don't see is my lack of balance and my struggle to even pick up my feet when I walk.

* You see a woman who likes to wear flip flops...What you don't see is the pain and discomfort of wearing shoes on most days.

* You see someone too lazy to cook for her house guests...What you don't see is I'd rather spend time visiting with you than using all my strength just preparing you a meal. I love having you in my home and spending time with you.

* You see chubby fingers...What you don't see is painful joint inflammation.

* You see a round, puffy face with awkward features...What you don't see are the steroids that saved my life at one point or the fear of having to return to steroids one day.

* You see a casually dressed woman...What you don't see is my constant search for inexpensive clothes without buttons or snaps that are hard to grip or my search for natural fibers that don't burn my skin.

* You see my trembling hands and think I'm nervous...What you don't see is the demyelination occurring in my body that has nothing to do with being nervous.

* You see my busy lifestyle...What you don't see are the days I have to stay home in bed.

*You see a strong, self-confident woman...What you don't see is a weak woman made strong only through the power of Jesus Christ who is full of hope!

What do we see when we look at you? What do we not see?

Blessings, Kristen


Joyfulsister said...

Amen Kristen.. I am sure many will relate to this post. I know I do. The one thing about a chronic illness is that many are so invisible, people mean well but they are days when these words... "But you look okay" can come off so much like I don't see anything wrong with you, why can't you make it to the party?? But I guess it's how you're feeling at the time those words can really bring you down, or can make you thank God that you don't look sick on the outside. Hugz Lorie

Christie said...

I want to thank you for posting this. It really touched me and renewed my energy to continue staying positive every day. I was diagnosed with CIDP just over 5 years ago in the middle of my enangement. It is so hard sometimes to feel "alone" because no one else really understands what they "don't see". I am also a very religious person and haved grown closer to my Savior since being diagnosed. Thank you again for your wonderful blog and especially this post. I don't know if you will ever know the impact that it has had on me.

Thank you!

Kristen said...

Your kind words are such a blessing to me. Thanks for letting me know how you've been touched by this blog and my hope is that we can all be a comfort to one another. Please feel free to email me or leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you! BTW, what treatment are you receiving?