January 31, 2012

What does sick look like?

Ask anyone who is living with a hidden illness what bothers them the most about being sick and I will bet you not looking sick will be one of their answers.  For the most part I can look past this.  I get it all the time.  From my Drs, my friends and even my own mother.  I understand it but that doesn't make hearing it any less frustrating.

Looking in the mirror, I see what you see.  A smile. A little make up.  I hear what you hear.  My laughing and joking.  But I don't feel what you see and hear.  On the inside, I have sharp pains that make me want to fall to the floor.  Instead I crack a joke and a smile. When I want to cry I force myself to laugh instead.  David and I joke about how back in the day I could get up and go after only a hour of sleep and now even 8 isn't enough.  I nap more than my kids do.  Even though you cant see it, this illness has taken its toll on me.  Body and mind.

Who wants to look sick.  Every morning I wake up, afraid to look in that mirror.  Afraid of the day I see a stranger staring back at me, again.  I remember what if felt like to look as bad as I felt. When I was diagnosed, I was pregnant and thought that it was just the pregnancy.  I joked that the baby was sucking the life out of me.  I had been feeling sick for a while.  But I did what most moms do and pushed though.  Moms aren't allowed to get sick right?  Wrong.  Once I got pregnant, things got worse.

Sick does't always mean looking sick!  Thankfully with some make up, most days I look presentable.  I don't want to look sick so I do my best not to.  But that seems to be backfiring on me.  What does sick even look like?  How about this?

Do I need sunken saggy eyes?


Do I need to be in the hospital?


Do I need to lose 40lbs?  (don't really answer that! lol)


Or maybe lose more hair?


Your cant judge someones health by how they look or sound.  You wouldn't think that I felt better in the first photo than I did in the last.  But I did.  People used to sigh and gasp when they saw me in the store.  I could never figure out why.  Now that I look back on it.  I looked like the pregnant corpse bride!  Maybe I did look sicker then.  Maybe I was?  But I never got "better"  I body is still slowly shutting down on me.  I still need a new liver to live.  I still get butt hurt when people tell me I don't look sick.  After all, I'm only human.


  1. I hate that phrase! I get it all the time! I hear "You look great! You must be feeling better!" Can't they just stop with the first part? My appearance usually has little to do with how I feel! Feeling crappy is bad enough but who wants to look that way too? I actually had the guts to say so when I got that comment a couple weeks ago. I said that if I wanted to look how I felt I would be wearing a garbage bag, have 2 black eyes, and crazy hair. So thankful that God has put people in my path that can truly say "I understand!" I hate that there are others who have to travel a similar road but at least we have each other!

    1. I can usually brush it off but after a while I just want to scream. And when we don't pretty ourselves we get looked at like crazy people! So hard to please everyone. Guess all that really matters is that we know and our friends truly understand! Thanks Jamee:)

  2. Kim,

    As a nurse, I always thought I knew the difference between looking, feeling, and actually doing better. Your pics speak volumes.
    I cannot imagine what has been going on with you and your health.
    I will tell you this, you are a beautiful young wife and mother, so many people need you.
    You stay tough and know that you are always in my prayers.

    Cody Jane

  3. Kim,

    I seriously can't over how great this post is. Looking decent and being able to participate in a baby shower doesn't make my vestibular system rejuvenated. I am not all of a sudden healed because I am laughing and smiling with people. I want to live and contribute to this life as much as a can. That doesn't make my vestibular damage go away. No one sees the nights I cry trying to sleep, the low points not being able to drive, the inability to have the stamina past a baby shower (I wish everyone saw the crash after). Thank you for speaking what is on my mind.

    Much love,

  4. Hi Kim

    I suffer from a neurological disorder, and like yourself, just by looking at me, you couldn't tell that there was anything wrong with me - maybe, apart from my close family who are able to tell although I do look very pale a lot of the time!! So, I was really able to relate to your post, I remember when I first started using my walking stick to help with my balance, I just got these stares a lot of the time, as if you say "You're very young, why on earth do you need to juse one of them for?". And when I look a bit better, or use make-up to make myself look and feel better, people just assume I am feeling loads better, and on the mend -I wish, I was but no one can see the daily struggle I face living with the dizziness or the pain, stiffness and weakness of my legs causes me and how I struggle to stand for very long.

    Anyway, just wanted to say how much I loved you blog, and look forward to reading more.

    Take Care