Been a productive day. I wrote my blog this morning, cooked breakfast, washed dishes, went outside and hopped on the riding mower. I love riding a lawn mower. Yes, the motor is loud, and you can’t hear a thing. Which is exactly what I love about it. You are alone. No one can talk to you – you can’t hear a thing they say. There were quite a few years there where I couldn’t physically ride a mower. The pain was too bad, and I was soooooo afraid of re-breaking my ankle I lived in fear of my own shadow, but no more. God has granted me good doctors, and those doctors have blessed me with tramadol, so I have my riding mower back.
So I’m outside, riding the mower in the almost 90 degree heat, enjoying the breeze, the sun, watching the dragonflies and other flying insects who are not very happy that I’m disturbing whatever it is they do. I have a large yard, and it takes a while to get it mowed. So I’m riding along, random thoughts traipsing through my brain when I get to the upper yard. I have gone around about 5 times already , and I turned my head and realized I MISSED A SPOT! I’m not OCD or anything, but I pride myself on the fact that when I mow, I don’t miss spots! I turn around to get the spot I miss, and the reason slaps me – its my BIFOCALS! When I used to mow, I was not blessed/cursed with the wonder that no line bifocals impart! So now that I’m aware, I realize if I turn my head just so – it looks like I’ve already mowed where I really haven’t!!! OH MY!!! Best quit daydreaming and pay attention!
Ok, right. Another round and I have figured out how to make the bifocals work for me, and the mind starts wandering again. I think about how I have become so involved with the awesome people at Curing Cancer With A Smile. I think about how many people, in that group and virtually every where else, have major illnesses. I think about how many of those major, life threatening illnesses have NO outward signs. So I get epiphany number 2!!! That’s it!!!
Yep, you guessed it – Major illnesses are just like no line bifocals!!!!!! They look just like normal everyday glasses to the outsider. Many people with major illnesses and disabilities look just like normal everyday people. Some of them may move a little slower – some people with no line bifocals may seem to have a reading problem at the menu board (they don’t, trust me. They can’t focus on the damn letters!) But to an onlooker, seeing that person in Walmart, or at the mall, or at the gas station, or even at the doctors office, they look NORMAL. The look FINE. Just as to an innocent bystander my glasses look like just glass, I look like a normal, overweight, middle aged woman who probably should get her hair colored to hide all that gray. They don’t see the 6 damaged vertebra, the arthritis, the degenerative disc disease. They don’t see your arthritis, your cancer, your diabetes, your high blood pressure, your leukemia, your lupus, your RA, your HIV, your heart disease, your gout, your lymphedema, your hypothyroidism, your depression. Just like those wonderful no line lenses, our very bodies hide our pain from the world.
That is one of the things I would like this blog to do. Put the lines back in the lenses. Strip away the protective coverings. Show the world the horrors, the pain, the life altering things that having major illness can do. But for now, do this. Next time you see someone who looks perfectly healthy moving a little slow, getting out of a car in that handicapped spot, getting one of the ECV’s at Walmart – stop before you judge. Take off your no line bifocals and put the lined ones on, and realize there are many, many things that no matter how great your eyeglass prescription is, you simply cannot see.