You can’t handle the truth!!!

Some people with multiple sclerosis may not agree with my many muddled opinions about our maddening medical malady. However, all MSers can agree that MS makes little sense and causes chaotic confusion in our lives. The inexplicability of this medical condition gets magnified because symptoms vary widely, making complete understanding as elusive as a Vaseline-coated eel. Twenty years of experience and the riches of reading and research have enriched my interpretations. These facts have caused me to come to the beliefs in this blog.

Occasionally, I get asked if my issues are due to not taking the mainstream MS medications. In my opinion, my lack of movement caused my problems as I sat on the couch watching TV and did nothing for an extremely long time. If Dwayne The Rock Johnson sat on the couch and did not move or exercise like me, he too would deteriorate severely, although a bit slower. Most of us have heard a million times how a body at rest tends to stay at rest. This behavior causes physical station degradation is how the line should finish.

I talked with Tom about this topic, whom I met at a local MS support group nearly twenty years ago. He told me I was not correct because he may go a week or more without moving, and his muscles do not atrophy like I say mine did. I quickly explained that his idea of not moving and mine is not the same as I believe he moves more than he says. I invited him to compare his supposedly stagnant week to my seriously sedentary season to show him how he moves more than he thinks.

“OK, Tom, everyone starts the week on Sunday, so let us begin our comparison on the first day of the week.” “That sounds reasonable,” he told me. “Is that a day of seated stagnation you spoke about, Tom?” “Yes, Scott, Sunday is my first lazy day of inactivity of the week and no muscle degradation so far.”

I did not want to burst his bubble, but I know his wife, and she can tell when he is hurting or merely wants to slack off and will not let him do so. However, I plan to ride this bus until the wheels fall off and he changes his understanding and comprehends my perspectives.

“So, Tom, do you go to church with your family on the agreed day of worship? Because I know your wife, and I know Angela will not let you stay at home while she and the kids go to church without you.” “Yes, Angela, the kids and I go to church together, but we sit in the car and church, so I am still correct.” “We will come back to the discussion of your wishy-washy walking ways in a few minutes. If I remember correctly, Angela likes to go to lunch after service. Does that still occur?” “Well done, Scott, I suppose I am more active than I thought on Sundays, but not all days are like Sunday.”

“Tom, let me share what is truly meant by an unmoving planted posterior also starting for me on Sunday. I woke up on the couch, and I did not go to church because I felt my friends and God had abandoned me.” “Scott, your friends, may have left you, but you know God did not.” “That is irrelevant because those were my feelings, and my actions were in response. I woke up on the couch and started watching TV, not moving until late morning when I had a tiny four-ounce bowl of cereal and ate it on my temporary bed.” “Compared to Angela and me, you honestly moved very little.” “That is an understatement since we are not even at noon yet. So after eating this menacingly minuscule meal, it was more moody malingering for me. At five, it was time for another sadly small-scale eating session. Drain a can of green beans and add a bit of Italian dressing to the can, causing no dirty dishes.” “WOW, much less movement than I thought, Scott.”

“Well then, is Monday your next slight stationary stay day Tom?” “Yep, and this one is truly a sloth-like day with napping, very little moving, and all that entails.” “Well, let us see. You wake up, and what is the first thing you do in the morning?” “I slept in until 7:30 am, then I got up and went downstairs to the kitchen. Angela made muffins, so I made coffee and sat at the table, had a cup of Joe, a muffin, and read the paper.” “What is next, Tom?” “I go downstairs to the TV room and start watching some morning talk shows. Then, at about 10 am, I go get another muffin and a coffee refill before I enjoy several movies back to back and even a nap.”

“OK, Tom, let me stop you at the midpoint of your day to point out some key factors. First, walking up and down a flight of stairs is more exercise than merely roaming room to room. Second, you have a three-story house, and you use all three floors daily because you sleep, eat, and watch TV, each on different levels. That is a lot of movement for a day of inactivity. This example shows why your muscles do not atrophy as mine did.”

 “I see your point now, Scott. I suppose there is no actual point in continuing our comparison competition as you have won.” “It is not a contest where I win, and you lose, my friend. It merely shows how we all behave differently with this condition, and no matter the case, multiple sclerosis operates, however it wants in each of us. Sadly, we all suffer severely, so in fact we all lose.” He wore a sad facial expression, so to lighten the mood, I said. “And yes, it also shows I am a winner, and you are a loser.” he looked at me sternly, and I thought I crossed a line until he smiled and called me a show-off, and we both laughed.

Walk a mile in the shoes of others to gain genuine understanding.

How to spot a fake disabled person…

I have been using a 15-year-old desktop computer to write these blogs that many have loved. Of course, some things come to a crashing end, and my computer has, so I am having a friend set me up anew. He is not an archaeologist, but hopefully, he will still have me up and running lickety-split and back on track. Alas, the post for this week is an “oldie but a goodie,” though it is brand new for a few of you. Rest assured, my next blog is good and all new and will remind some that not everything is what it seems. You think you know, but you have no idea.

How to spot a fake disabled person…

If you are reading this post to find out the clues I can teach you so you can spot that faker, then read on. For example, you saw a person park in the handicap space and walk inside unassisted, so you want to call them out. You might have observed an individual use a wheelchair one day and a cane a few days later, and you want to bust them. Well, the truth is: LEAVE THEM THE HELL ALONE!

People with disabilities can have physical challenges that are not visible yet cause struggles you could not imagine. But unfortunately, sometimes, they get attacked by a self-entitled morality vigilante that assaults them verbally or worse. I have heard of these onslaughts as demeaning notes left on a car windshield or a vicious verbal violation that left my friend in tears for hours. This abuse was after she felt exceptionally jubilant because her illness had her bedridden the previous four days, and she was finally in a bipedal propulsion position.

Just because you see a person using a wheelchair one day and a cane, the next only shows that disabilities change daily. The pain level or physical abilities could be high one day and drop like a rock the next day. When you see a person park in the handicap spot and walk in the building with no mobility aid, they could have a heart condition. These invisible symptoms can be as numerous and varied as fish in a lake, meaning: LEAVE THEM ALONE!

The truth is I have heard whispers of a widespread scam of people faking disabilities, and it is simply not true. I heard one person say they let these fakers know I see them so the real disabled can park there. Then I asked him what an individual with a disability looks like, and without giving him a chance to respond, I stopped him. I explained he might have good intentions, but in fact, he is probably about to ruin someone’s day. We cannot spot a person with a disability in a crowd like a guy wearing a fluorescent ball cap. Some people with disabilities stand out because of a medical device like a walker, wheelchair, or oxygen mask. However, many have unseeable disabilities that need your love and support, not condemnation and criticism.

The ignorance of society and the way entitled people can treat others simply makes me sad. To all those who do not have enough in their lives, making them want to criticize others, I say STOP! Live your life to the fullest and let others do the same because what you think you see is not what you actually see. If your life is that empty, find a hobby and spend every bit of your time controlling every aspect of the said hobby. Most importantly, since you know nothing about strangers’ lives, allow them the peace to live their lives as well. Everyone should make this a topic of conversation with friends and family, as the truth needs to be shared.

You may think you know, but you have no idea.