I commented on a friend's facebook status the other day, and he was online at the time, and we started IMing. He is currently out travelling the world, and he's been practically everywhere. I have only seen him once or twice since high school, which ended about 5 and a half years ago. It made me realise that the most changes I've been through with EDS, and the most injuries, and the most disabling aspects have all come SINCE then. I realised that this friend of mine, who used to be one of my closest friends, really doesn't know me at all anymore. He was shocked when he found out that I'm disabled. He was shocked to find out about all of my medical mysteries, and the lack of care I'm receiving. Back in high school, I only really had daily issues with my left shoulder, and various sprains (along with being very klutzy, and having no sense of balance). Now I am having daily issues with both shoulders, both hips, hands, wrists, ribs, neck, spine, etc. It shocked ME to realise I had changed so much in such a relatively short amount of time. I live with me every day, so I adjust slowly to most things when they creep up.
I'm not the same person as I was back then. Not even close. I am definitely more vocal when things seem to be unfair, for myself or those around me. If I see someone who needs help that I am able to give, I will help to the extent of my ability. I find I've grown more compassionate, and less tolerant. I will NOT tolerate abuse of any kind toward anybody with a disability. I am cautious when offering aid to those with visible disabilities. I understand now, that even though we may look like we need help, the most helpful thing sometimes can be to allow us a sense of accomplishment, to know that we are able to do something, even though it may be difficult. I listen more. If I offer assistance, and it is turned down, I will not push.
I have more patience now. I know that not everything can be done RIGHT! NOW! DAMMIT! Just because we may wish it to be.
I think I've finally found my silver lining when it comes to EDS. Even though I'm physically a lot worse off than I was before I had all these symptoms and problems, I am intellectually, and emotionally a much better person for it.
And just in case I don't post again before the 25th: Happy Christmas to those of you who celebrate, and have a nice December 25th anyway, if you don't.
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