Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Prestige!

Here I sit in my living room - the room in which, due to recent faint-y events, I've spent most of my time over the past 3 weeks. I am perched in the now-sagging center of my lovely red sofa and I am ready! Ready to start blogging about something that dictates my every decision, clings to me like a film, paints chocolate around my mouth while I'm asleep:
CHRONIC ILLNESS-ness-ness-ness!

Since I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis at the age of 12 (more on that later), I have been waltzing around (oftentimes not very gracefully) as a person with one or more "invisible disabilities".  Heart disease, arthritis, the damplung - all are illnesses that do not appear, to the casual observer, to exist. Occasionally, the casual observer is a busybody who believes it is their birthright to shame strangers for perceived civil infractions:

Me: "Hoo-boy - I'm so glad there is an available handicapped parking space. I've been circling the Seattle Center for sooo long and while I don't usually make use of my personal legitimate parking placard (let alone advertise that I have one), I really need to do so this time or I will unintentionally veer into a crosswalk full of elderly tourists and children dressed as Hello Kitty."

Able-Bodied Shame-Bearer (upon witnessing my arrogant upright two-legged departure from the car): "What the hell do you think you're doing, you damn kid?!?  Think you can just park wherever you want...you ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

Me: "O___o"

I don't particularly enjoy talking about my health problems, but I've had to do so ad nauseum lately.  I never feel as though I've done an accurate job explaining my complicated situation.  Maybe the act of writing it out here will be of use.  If, along the way, I can help even one busybody turn their shame-cannon around, I will feel pretty smug.  And I'm totally okay with that.