Yes, My Illness Is Visible. No, You Don't Need to Stare.
I can see you staring at me. It’s fine, I don’t mind. I know I look different. There’s a bandage here with a tube coming out of there. I have wheels under my bum that I can’t push. I wear a hat that covers all of my hair leaving you to question…is there hair?
No, I don’t have cancer. You’re still staring. Just smile – it’s really easy.
I know I’m rather thin and pale and have sunken eyes. My feet are turned in and I’m not wearing shoes and I’m in sweats. And there’s even a checkered blanket over my legs. Without question I look sick. Today my disability is visible.
But if you cover my sunken baggy eyes with makeup I’m still disabled. And if I go out I’m still disabled. And you staring longer won’t make me better. Instead, feel free to say hi or compliment me on my badass wheelchair. Keep your stares and trade them out for any other greeting because I could use more friends in this world.
I’m like everyone else – just sick.
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Thinkstock photo via Halfpoint.