I want a cane.
It's a strange thing to want, but it would save me a lot of grief.
See, nobody expects a person walking with a cane to walk fast. Nobody expects a person with a cane to do all the chores in a timely fashion, or run after their toddler relatives. The average person offers a person with a cane a little leeway, a little understanding. Sure, they also offer the person with the cane unwelcome pity, but still.
I could use a little leeway.
You probably don't see me this way. On the internet, I am virtual me: strong, independent, fearless, without limitation. In real life I'm fading fast. I am an equal online, where ideas and the ability to express them are most important, but in real life I'm sitting on the sidelines, unable to compete with all the runners.
I'm in too much pain to move, too tired to clean the tub, and exercise intolerance forces me to spread mopping 800 sq ft of hardwood floors over three days. Even then, I pay for keeping my floors clean. I restrict my fluid intake so I don't have to get up to pee as often. But because I look fine, my friends and family just don't buy it. "Well, if you exercised more, you'd feel better." No, I'd incur more heart/muscle damage. "You just enjoy playing video games more than you like cleaning." That's true (who doesn't?), but not the issue. "You just don't like babies." I love babies, but she's going to get hurt if I watch her because I can't keep up with her.
I suggested that maybe this year, Thanksgiving could be at someone else's house, because cleaning the house for the last 2 years of holidays (all of them) left me too tired and in too much pain to even participate. I spent Thanksgiving last year in the bathroom, crying. And was then castigated for "ignoring" everyone. Christmas, I don't even want to discuss.
My suggestion that I be given a break this year was met with outrage. "My house is too small!" "Your house is the nicest!" "What- you don't want us to have Thanksgiving this year?!"
I just want to eat cranberry sauce and stuffing this time, instead of crying in pain on the bathroom floor because I can't even get on to the toilet to cry.