A while back, I blogged about using self-advocacy; in that blog it was my experience with a medical professional. One of the items I brought up during that blog, and advocating session, was the fact that I had make-up on, matching outfit, and nice jewelry; even my hair was done up. I said, “I don’t look like I am in pain, do I”? This came to my mind today as I raced to get my outside appearance “put on”, in order to go to yet another medical professional. I began to wonder, “what if I looked sloppy, would I receive more help”? This is a completely unfair situation, one I should not have to even ponder.
There are many days when I am not so dapper looking. However, when I must go out, I wish to look nice. It helps me to feel better. But, would I be taken more seriously if I looked less kempt? I am uncertain, but living with hidden, chronic pain, I think the answer is yes. If I had another, hidden condition, I could look like whatever I desired when out and about. Medical professionals would immediately take me seriously when I entered their office. The general public would still not know I had a condition, or syndrome, no matter what hidden disability I suffered without a visual cue, such as a brace, crutch, wheelchair, or other.
All this pondering leads me to a personal conclusion; when necessary, I must inform those who need to know that I am in pain, despite my looks. Just like a person with a heart condition or diabetes would need to. When I don’t need to, I will take joy in putting on my lipstick, jewelry, and matching clothing. Actually, I will enjoy this when I go out no matter what the circumstances. Where is it written that I must look bad to feel bad?