Monday, August 25, 2014

Just Because You Can't See It...

Good or bad, quite often throughout an ordinary day, I will see an object or a common sight and I immediately view it as a symbol of something else or as an object lesson for this thing known as life.

While walking the other day, I snapped a photo of this piece of a tree trunk that had apparently been sawed off after the tree had possibly fallen and blocked the roadway during a storm or something.  I noticed that, although the outside looked normal, the inside of the trunk was hollow, looking as though it had decayed from within...and I suddenly thought, it was "much like many of us humans" who, for various reasons, are walking around seemingly fine, looking and acting healthy and without serious problems or concerns...who are anything but fine, in reality.

That's the way it is for those who have conditions or diseases (such as multiple sclerosis or MS) that might have few outward signs that are noticeable to others, but produce many "invisible" symptoms.  There are currently three main types of MS:  relapsing/remitting (symptoms come and go and sometimes are not completely resolved), progressive (where symptoms never resolve, keep accumulating, and severe disability usually occurs more quickly), and secondary progressive (when relapsing/remitting becomes progressive).  With MS, even though we might appear to be "normal" and can seemingly visibly function in our daily lives much like the average person, we experience symptoms that are as unique as each individual (along with their severity and duration), that vary from one person to the next, and can include the invisible constant, chronic, or intermittent pain; numbness, tingling, or burning sensations; electrical, vibrating, and buzzing sensations in various body parts; problems with sense of vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell;  bowel and bladder dysfunction; vertigo and dizziness; muscle weakness; incoordination; cognitive deficits, memory loss, inability to recognize, understand, comprehend, process, assimilate, interpret, or respond to spoken or written words or instructions;  confusion, disorientation, feeling as if mind and body are disconnected; unimaginable fatigue that can come on very suddenly...just to name a few.

And just as the outwardly appearing normal healthy tree that happens to be invisibly rotten or decayed on the inside and can thus be toppled by a mild storm or bump...those with MS can be devastated or destroyed by an ordinary infection, a common illness, a stressful event or situation...that is otherwise just a nuisance or short-term problem for most individuals.  

Can you understand this?  We get tired from trying to constantly explain and remind family, friends, and co-workers about what is happening to us, and we often feel as if we aren't believed, especially when we "look so good ".  Perhaps we should check into getting a group discount on tombstones that are simply engraved with "See...I told you I was sick!" Come on, it's okay to smile or chuckle.  If we didn't have a good sense of humor we probably wouldn't survive nearly as long as we do!  ;)

(copyright Photo and post by C.J. - please do not share or copy without permission)