Topic: Dealing with difficult people in addition to dealing with a difficult illness.
|"But you don't look sick?"|
(Photo provided by Eliza Jayne Photography)
Of course I look normal.
You can't see the pressure in my head.
You can't see that it feels like my head could explode at any minute.
You can't see that my hands and feet are numb and tingling.
I may stumble or walk into something, but I just look clumsy to you...You don't see my balance and depth perception problems.
You don't hear the ringing in my ears.
You hear my speech slurr or I trip over my words. You laugh, I laugh. But do you know why it happens? Does that come to mind when you hear it?
You don't see me almost black out from getting dizzy and lightheaded if I drive too fast over a hill.
(I know why I can't ride rollercoasters.)
I could continue to go on and on with the list.
I have tried looking at things from the opposite point of view. The other person can never fully understand what you are going through. They may try to relate by sympathizing with you over something they have gone through. "I've had surgery once. I went in to get my tonsils taken out"
Oh ok...not quite on the same plane as brain surgery. "So you're cured now that you've had surgery right?" No surgery is not a cure, just a form of treatment. "Oh."
People do not understand why surgery if its not a cure. What is the point of surgery?
When I first had major problems I went back to my family doctor a few times for "migraines". Each time I was given a different medicine or something to try. Finally he ordered an MRI after I went in and couldn't turn my head at all. I was lucky enough to be referred to a NS who knew of Chiari and wasn't afraid to work with it. He has followed up ever since. I was diagnosed in 2003.
A lot of people go through several doctors, neurosurgeons, neurologists, and other specialists before they are diagnosed.
After dignosis its a mixed feeling. You're relieved because you finally have an answer for what you're going through. But on the other hand....what do you do with it?
You barely understand it, how will anyone else? So you begin to tell your family and then your closest friends. Again...they don't really experience what you're going through. They know what you're saying. They don't feel the pain. It's hard to sympathize with the unknown.
This topic fits well with what happened two weekends ago. We had the bachelorette party for my best friend, Abby, on April 20th. We all took her out to dinner. Then we were off to the bar across the street from her house. We had a limo scheduled to pick us up about an hour into that as surprise. The limo would drive us around town to various bars for the night. Now let me first say I was the only female in the bridal party aside from the bride. Abby and I have a lot more male friends. She had me (her maid of honor) and 3 boys her bridesmen/maids. The bachelorette party was mostly men. haha.
Anways. We went throughout the night all was well. I was mostly pain-free all day. As it got closer to the end of the night...my head started. (I do not drink and did not.) It was about 12:30AM and we had about 2 hours to go. I couldn't crap out and leave. We went for 4th meal at taco bell. I didn't get anyting as I felt nauseous. I thought I was going to puke from the smell when the food got into the limo. But I was ok. Everyone was offering medicine or alcohol (lol thanks but that won't help?) and what they could do? My head continued to get worse and the pressure in the back of my head grew. We parked across from Abby's house and thanked the driver. We walked over and I knew I was about to vomit. I whipped my hair up in my hand out of my face. I projectile vomitied on the sidewalk. It was like some kind of Exorcist move. It was a good thing no one was in front of me. Abby said something like "you puked like a rock star" Everyone was like "WHOA" because it came out of nowhere. They were all trying to help hold my hair and rub my back and ask if I was ok. At that point I to be left alone for a second in case there was more.
|Bridesmaids L to R:|
Mike, John, Abby (Bride), Me, Brad
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