The Many Rants, Raves, and Rambles of Catherine
But... You don't look sick?
I hate wearing my mask out in public... Hate it. I'm claustrophobic, I can feel the heat of my own breath against my skin reminding me of my filter of oxygen. And don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for my mask as it lets me leave the solidarity of my own home without as much risk for germ exposure. But let me tell you something... the claustrophobia is barely noticable compared to the stares.
Wearing a mask in public is basically a way to SCREAM to the public that there's something "wrong" with you. You are trying to go about your daily business, hoping to draw the least amount of attention on yourself as possible, but that mask is like a giant red flag in the middle of your face. You notice the stares, the whispering, the odd looks. People trying to figure out what's wrong with you... If you're really lucky you'll get someone to ask you and then you can basically spew out the words "I have cancer, I'm not just one of those weird people that wears a mask for no reason. I have low blood counts, I have to be careful" or something along those lines hoping for understanding from a stranger so that maybe their eyes will flit somewhere else. But then there's always that 1 person that utters the 5 words I hate... "But you don't look sick?"
I'm not sure if it's from the popularity of shows such as greys anatomy and other medical shows that gives that sick person stereo type or if it's from our generation of social media. Let me explain that last part more... The cyber world is fake. Typically people only post and show their best selves and their high moments. We as individuals seem to take things such as facebook at face value or "what you see is what is really going on." As many of you surely know, that's bull.
I'm just as much to blame when it comes to this point... I post pictures of me wearing all my makeup, my hair done, and if I add just the right filter... Oh my goodness... I don't look sick anymore?!
I mean... How sick can I really be? My skin looks decent, I have a good sparkle to my eyes... and wow for having cancer, look at all that hair?
Heres what you need to know about being sick... A lot of the time I get to control who sees sick me and who see's strong "doesn't look sick" me.
I'm about to show a raw side of myself... A side that I've barely shown anyone... This is what I look like without my "everything is okay mask" that I put off for everyone to see. The mask and attitude that I wear whenever I'm with other people. So if you're ready to see what I look like when I actually am sick... Here it goes.
Cancer wears my body out. I'm constantly tired, sleepy, and typically malnourished from throwing up a lot because of my nausea. The combination creates dark circles blacker than midnight...
And just you all know... That picture was taken a day after my "normal" healthy picture above... With my makeup you never could have guessed that these suckers were lying dormant under there.
My next "sickness" secret I hide to keep the world from being able to tell I'm sick... Detox sores. My medications are toxic to my body, and so my body creates sores attempting to release the toxins. I get these sores all over my face, neck, shoulders, back, and arms. I literally hate them, so you know what I normally do? Hide them, perfecting my facade that I don't look sick.
What my detox sores originally look like before bursting and creating giant painful open sores.
Don't mind the scary stare... But all those red dots? Each a painful detox sore.
Giant detox sore by my mouth
Do I look sick to you yet? Maybe?
Here if you're not quite convinced yet, let me share some photos of me at my very very worst health inside the hospital.
October of 2015 after having lung issues
Nothing like spending Christmas in the hospital.
Overnight hospital stay April 2015 for neurological issues
But... But... wait. That girl there can't be the same girl that we see out in public and in social media... you mean this girl, the one who you said "you don't look sick" too...
Is the exact same person as this very obviously "sick girl"?
Yes... Yes she is. Looks can be deceiving.
So next time when someone tells you that they're sick, remember that a person chooses what you get to see. I typically choose to only let people see the "healthiest" version of myself, because showing more is scary. But I felt like I needed to share.
You have no idea what anyone is struggling with. Just because someone "looks okay" doesn't mean they are. So be a little kinder in your doings. go the extra mile to make a strangers day, smile at those around you, because although someone might look fine to you, they could be dying on the inside.