Disabilities in Disguise

If someone has a cast on their foot, it’s probably due to a broken bone. Hearing aids aren’t worn because they are a fashion statement. And I don’t believe toting an oxygen tank around is an easy task; it’s to feed air into their lungs.

But what about the disabilities that have no obvious outward signs? If someone has a speech impediment, how do you know until they speak? I have chronic migraines. That means at least a few days a week, if not more, my head feels like it’s about to explode. Light, smell, sound and motion are excruciating. If I try to push myself to do the dishes, the smell of the dish soap pushes me over the edge and I can forget keeping food or fluids down for the rest of the day without medication.

I do my best to put a smile on my face in front of others, and almost always answer “fine” if someone asks how I am. After all, who really wants to hear about someone’s ailments? What I really want to say is ‘someone must be drilling a hole at the crown of my head’ and ‘please speak softly because your voice is echoing inside my brain’. I want to scream at the woman who walks by me at the doctor’s office and is wearing half an ounce of perfume. Even if I walk in the door feeling fine, the smell triggers an intense headache.

I have many friends who live with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and are going through cancer treatments. We suffer quietly and mostly without complaint. On our good days, we try not to use our energy naming our aches and pains. A good day is to be cherished!

Early in my search for emotional healing, I fell in love with the book of Philippians. I have tucked these verses away for when I need them. I hope they give you comfort as well.

Philippians 2:14-16 says “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

If you’re wondering about the race, you might want to look up Hebrews 12:1 and 1 Corinthians 9:24.

We can’t truly know another man (or woman’s) burdens, but we can make their way a little easier. By the way, I’m fine today. How about you?

Blessings,
Lyn

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