Maybe this is a symptom of being pretty new to the MS diagnosis even after a year and a half…
I’m finding that I feel instantly sorry for anyone that I see in a chair, or with a cane or walker or any device like that. I didn’t really pay attention to it before, though; it was just something interesting that I noticed about the person.
Now, when I see someone using a powerchair, or a child with crutches or a walker, I think, “How awful! Boy I’m glad I’m not in that situation.”
And then I remember, “Waitaminnit… I AM in that situation.”
That revelation brings forth several different competing emotions:
– I’m sad because I’m not able-bodied at this point in time;
– I’m jealous of those who can get up and walk across the room without a stick (I still do a double take when I’m watching a TV program and a character does just that);
– I’m embarrassed at myself for making a spot judgement on someone I’ve never met and have no idea how they live their life;
– I’m grateful that I’m still able to get around and do the things I am used to doing, albeit a little slower;
– I’m VERY grateful and thankful that I can still play my bass and sing background for Jennifer and Dave B. AND teach AND record;
– I’m frustrated with myself that I don’t seem to have the total compassion and understanding for others in my situation that my condition would normally indicate;
– I feel bad for those around me who don’t realize they have a look of pity on their face when they see me coming;
– and I’m annoyed at myself when I occasionally forget that there’s anything wrong, try to get up and walk across the room and hit the wall, floor, or both. Hard.
All of this has made me come to the realization that after a year and a half of being diagnosed, plus about 3 years of “something’s not right,” I have yet to be comfortable in my own skin.
The funny part is that I’m just about to leave my place to go pick up a powerchair. Oh, sure, I won’t be taking it outside much, and it’s 4 years old, and needs some work done on it, but it’s free (!), and apparently fully functional – like a used car that runs but will have its own quirks from time to time.
And now the transformation will be complete: I will have become one of those people I used to feel sorry for.
Emphasis on USED TO.