ilikebeingsickanddisabled

t h e w o r l d o f i n v i s i b l e i l l n e s s

invisible disability

DO YOU NEED YOUR THERAPIST TO BE HUMAN?

“I can’t work with someone who’s broken,” he said calmly. The young man had just read my Disclosure, a description of rights that, as a Marriage & Family Therapist, I’m legally required to give all clients.  Although it isn’t necessary, my Disclosure also relates that I have multiple sclerosis; I don’t want clients to wonder whether my stumbling is about a liquid lunch. Broken, he said.  Broken.  I never imagine […]

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IT TAKES TWO TO DO-SI-DO

Doin’ the do-si-do’s impossible to do by yourself.  I spent lots of years hanging out with girlfriends or not hanging out at all, which was more likely to be true. Most times, none of us even had someone who filled in for love. I’m not ashamed to say there are times I would’ve settled – my need for affiliation was that great – at least for awhile.  Although I did […]

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INVISIBLE DISABILITY GOT YOU SIDELINED THIS WINTER?

For those of us who are disabled, invisibly so, preparing for  weather that turns wintry follows a simple self-care rule:  stay inside. As multiple sclerosis has progressed in me, simple tasks loom large. Accumulation of simple tasks makes negotiating my environment literally hazardous to my health. And I’m not alone in what can happen: Impaired mobility.   “Give me something to hold onto, like a railing, or a walker,” I said […]

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THAT GIRL KEEPS FALLING ON HER BUTT

My balance, isn’t. So when I head straight toward the bushes at the entrance to my building it isn’t surprising. Bushes are a trigger in picturing my first (and only) experience as a new MSer in an MS support group.   Recommended by my neurologist, the group experience was meant to help me cope with the way-past-due-diagnosis of my disease. Instead, it freaked me out. Walkers, wheelchairs, canes, crutches – and me, invisibly […]

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How Come It’s “We’re Pregnant” But It’s Not “We’re Disabled”?

I don’t know when it became fashionable to identify pregnancy as an adventure à deux.  It always seemed lopsided that pregnancy excluded men from throwing up, having swollen ankles and shrewish moods.  I’m not even talking about all those forever changes like stretch marks, a bigger butt, and wider hips.  With the possibility of gestational diabetes, postpartum depression, or miscarriage, the adventure becomes a challenge, albeit one that affects the […]

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“If you have multiple sclerosis, you’re treated with respect.”

The following assertion was made by Maxine Cunningham, founder and director of Empowered Walking Enterprise/Ministries.  My response follows. “Dignity is not a word that we often hear in connection with how we treat persons with a chronic mental illness – YES if you have cancer, ALS, multiple sclerosis, etc. Dignity and full personhood – that we might be whole.” As a therapist with multiple sclerosis, and a Board member of the Invisible Disabilities […]

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