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[Guest Post] You Don't Look Sick

Monday, April 9, 2012

These guest bloggers were gracious enough to share their thoughts on the Motherhood Juggling Act while I'm on a babymoon. Please support them by leaving some thoughtful comments and visiting their sites.

You Don't Look Sick
by Jennifer Zuna

"You Don't Look Sick." 

These are the four most dreaded words in the English language to anyone who suffers from a non visible pain condition. I don't wear casts, I'm not in a wheelchair, I don't walk around with a scarlet P on my forehead for pain. 

It's very difficult to get adults who don't suffer this to understand what I feel and what I go through on a daily basis. Now try explaining something like this to a four and six year old. Why can't mommy ride bikes with us? Why do we have to keep stopping so mommy can sit down? Why can't mommy give us a bath tonight? There are hundreds more questions like that every day. To them mommy looks fine so why is she so cranky and why can't she do these million things they want? 

Believe me I want nothing more than to be able to hike, swim, ride bikes and everything else their little hearts desire. And don't get me wrong, when I have good days I do everything I possibly can. Unfortunately the flip side of that is I am usually in even more pain as a result. I honestly have to say it's worth it though. Spending time with the boys and seeing them active and healthy makes me feel good. 

I'm very blessed also that my husband is such a great and involved dad. He is constantly planning activities whether I can go or not. He picks up the slack in a big big way and I can't express how much that means to me. My boys are very compassionate also and that makes me feel like I'm really doing right by them as a mom. 
Jennifer is a stay at home mom to two beautiful boys. She has been married to her wonderful husband for 11 years this coming June. She also suffers from chronic debilitating pain on a daily basis. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Interstitial Cystitis, and Migraines. I have arthritis in my spine and both knees and hands. She blogs at Parenting With Pain


LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Oh my goodness, hun- I am so sorry! You are an awesome mom and do the best of what you could do. My friend also suffers with fibromylagia and I see how debilitating it is. Hugs!

Ashley T said...

I work in a hospital and hear that all the time. I HATE when people say stuff like that. Hugs!

Mari said...

aww, i sooo know your pain. fibro and athritis here as well. but i have been learning about htis secret that is amazing and have started to use it. i also was in a car accident 4/12/11 and its like it happened yesterday. its great to ave loving family.

Shaky Mommy said...

I completely understand and I hate that phrase! It's so insensitive of people to say that. I have Parkinson's disease. While my disease is somewhat visible because of my tremor, I don't appear to be "sick." Like you, I make the most of good days (and usually end up suffering more because of it). It's definitely worth it to spend time with my kids, but I do wish people understood more. Because they can't "see" my pain, and because I don't complain about it constantly (except to my husband), I often end up with people thinking I'm just making excuses to get out of doing things for them or with them. People also don't understand "good days" and "bad days". Thanks for sharing your story - I'm going to hop over and follow your blog now!

Radical Selfie said...

Thank you for sharing, Jennifer! I can only imagine how frustrating this can be, but I'm happy to know that you're in a supportive relationship! Also, I think children who are raised by parents in these unique situations stand a high chance of being incredibly compassionate and knowledgeable adults as a result of these experiences.

Sending you Love and Light!

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer - I too have Fibro and I think we have most of the same symptoms. I was laid off about a year ago. It has been so hard finding a job since I can't lift, work FT or stand all the time anymore.

I know exactly where you're coming from! One thing I've found is when people get really bad about it I ask them - "would you believe me more if I said I had Cancer? People used to not believe it was real at one time too." It shuts them up pretty fast! Kids are wonderful. They understand better than most anyone if Mommy (or babysitter in my case) doesn't feel well - some days you just need to go slower, have help picking things up or moving things, etc. They still have compassion in their little hearts & want to help. =D

Great post. You might enjoy mine on How to Pray for Someone with Chronic Pain: http://givingnsharing.blogspot.com/2011/12/prayer-requests.html

Tina 'the book lady'

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you have to deal with all of this!

I HATE those words! Just because you don't "look" sick doesn't mean you're not. I suffer from depression and although sometimes I do "look" sick, for the most part I don't.

Maureensk said...

It is strange how we think we can tell how sick a person is by looking at them. Even medical staff do it. I've seen people on their death bed, who looked fine and people who had a regular cold who looked like they were going to drop dead any minute now.

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