The “F” Word

 Fine. I must use that word a hundred times a day, to a hundred-different people, in a hundred different contexts. Every time someone asks me how I’m feeling; my answer is always “I’m doing fine”. How is your day going; “It’s going fine”. Are you in any pain; “I’m always in pain but I’m fine”. You get the idea. I don’t just tell acquaintances or friends this, I tell everybody this. Why? Well, there’s a few reasons really. The main reason I use the “f” word so frequently is because (as I’ve mentioned many times before) I don’t want pity. The worst feeling in the world is to have someone look at you like you’re one of those dogs on the ASPCA commercials. I loathe receiving that look. It literally makes me want to throat punch the person giving it to me. So, to avoid insult, injury, and jailtime, I make it appear as if everything is fine. In addition to evading pity, the “f” word gets me out of having to explain all things that aren’t fine. Let’s be realistic, no one wants to listen to someone complain about their swollen hands and constant headaches; they just don’t. I don’t even want to listen to someone complain about their aches and pains and I’m in the same boat. And finally, as…naïve as this sounds, part of me feels like if I say it enough then it might one day be true. Pretty stupid and unrealistic, right?

I’m a straightforward person. I have no qualms about telling you what’s on my mind and why; except when it comes to my illness. I will tell you until I’m blue in the face that everything is sunshine and gummy bears. The only person I don’t really bullshit with about that is my therapist. Don’t ask why she’s the only one; I don’t even know why but she has the golden ticket. I’ve become so used to faking being ok that when I finally allow myself to take the mask off and feel reality; it’s odd. I normally have to distract myself from thinking about it or actually feeling the effects the day has had on me. Since I’m with Ava 95% of the day, every day, I’ve learned to hide the pain well. Of course, I have my days when I’m cranky and I get a bit snappy because she’s being the 2 ½ year old that she’s supposed to be. Since it doesn’t happen all that often, I don’t give myself too hard of a time about it and all it takes is 2 Ativan and a 5-minute break to woosaaa.

The truth is that I’m not fine most of the time. The people closest to me know this but they let me fake it anyway. It’s not fine that I must choke down 8 different medications daily just to function at a somewhat “normal” rate. I’m not fine with having more doctors and pharmacies in my phone contact list then I do friends. It’s not fine that I have days where all I can do is sleep and throw up. It’s not fine that my disease is progressing as aggressively as it is and it’s even more not fine that no one can seem to figure out why. It’s not fine that there’s no cure. It’s not fine that the pain never goes away. I’m not fine with my beautiful daughter asking me if I’m calling the doctor every time I tell her I have to make a phone call. Or when I tell her mommy has to go (insert place here) and she asks if I’m going to the doctor. It’s not fine that I’ve had to miss birthdays, holidays, and other important events due to the MCTD and its erratic behavior. None of this is fine and who knows if they ever will be.

I’m exhausted just thinking of things that aren’t fine…


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