We have another disabled person joining me in describing our daily bumps in the road. My spouse, Donna Morse, talks about her invisible handicap and what she goes through. It's cyclical and a right pain in the ass.
Handicaps come is all shapes, sizes, denominations, designations, and conglomerations. There are the wheel chair bound, the scooters and the walkers, the ones with Seeing-Eye doggies, and the ones with those funny-looking Captain Hook hands, arms, and legs. These are The Visible Ones. Jan is one of those: She's a Scooter.
Me, I'm one of The Invisible Ones.
I look perfectly healthy. I walk without aids, have all natural limbs, and play with our two canines that are nothing more than lazy hounds.
I love to be outside: gardening, swimming, hiking, exploring. Dancing is my body's all-time favorite thing to do. Having friends around and cooking for them delights me to no end. But……
There are days, and sometimes weeks, when I sleep more than I am awake; I have no option to do otherwise. Sometimes every joint feels swollen and achy, my muscles go weak on me, walking is a monumental chore, and dancing, well, isn't an option. I'm forgetful. I lose words. My brain just goes wonky on me. Life's not at all fun and folks - some who know me pretty darn well - wonder, "What the hell is her problem... last month she hiked a mile with me?"
Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia: That's what it is. But it is invisible like so many other debilitating conditions that are so dismissed and misunderstood.