And yet sometimes it shows absolutely nothing of what is truly going on!
That’s the harsh reality of that old saying and sometimes pictures can be horribly misleading. In this day and age where we all try and put the best version of ourselves (and our lives) into pictures and selfies and there are a million ways we can achieve this, especially with a little makeup or a well considered camera angle.
I have been guilty of using this medium for the purposes of updating my friends and loved ones on my life as I often can’t physically call people on the phone anymore, or visit with them, because of how painful and exhausting it is. I try and show them a smiling and happy version of myself because I want them to remember that person.
Take, for example, the picture below I shared to Facebook recently …
Here I am going to give a blood sample to the collection office. It’s a monthly realty since I started treatments some six years ago. I hate this regular chore and thankfully someone usually comes to my home to carry out these collections; a beautiful lady I have come to know well. Sadly, on this day, I had to go to the clinic which is about 5 minutes by car and around the corner from where we live. We are lucky it’s so close. Truly.
What you can’t see is….
1. My hip has deteriorated so badly I am facing the prospect of eminent surgery. It is so painful that moving, standing, sitting (including toileting) and sleeping has been incredibly painful for nearly 18 months now.
2. I have had approximately 8 hours sleep for the past two days prior to this picture and in 2 hour allotments.
3. Lack of sleep has become to be so common place that my husband and I don’t even remark anymore.
4. We no longer have a bedtime or routine but sleep whenever we can. Any time of the day we can.
5. Days (and time) no longer have any meaning to us anymore. We often ask what day is it because it has blurred into one endless cycle for us. No holidays! No weekend breaks! No days off!
6. The only time that time becomes important is when it is time to take medications and pain relief. My husband sleeps when he can and has often fallen asleep sitting up.
7. He doesn’t like having pictures taken lately because he always looks tired; so he says. Dear hearted soul.
8. I put on the sunscreen make up (tinted sunscreen) constantly now as I burn terribly these days since starting methotrexate and other drugs. I am never without sunscreen if I go outside the house. My make up is very simple but always ruled by needing to cover up.
9. Outings, like the one in this picture, are scarce now. It’s harder and harder to go anywhere, even to the doctors. I find I suffer from cabin fever, at home for months on end, so I will go with husband to pharmacy and put myself through pain just to see a view.
10. You can’t see I am covered in heat packs from the waist down.
11. You can’t see the bruises all over my legs from falls.
12. You can’t see that it took husband and I a lengthy process to get in the car.
13. You don’t see that later on that trip my husband swerved to avoid a car and I was in tears from being thrown around in the car seat from the pain.
14. You don’t see that I have to have the maximum pain medication to do this and I am often struggling with feeling groggy and yet still pained.
15. I had to go back to bed when we got home.
16. I don’t like taking pictures of me in my chair. Pictures like this one though still make me feel like my former self and without the need for chairs and such. I know it seems silly but I am still fighting these thoughts… Even ten years later.
17. I take the pictures because I want people to know I am doing my best, even though I write about the weather or something similar.
18. I still miss driving for myself! Terribly. And I still tell my husband how to drive from the passenger seat! LOL. Sometimes missing driving makes me cry and so we just drive in silence and holding hands.
A picture can say a thousand words but it also can hide an entire reality for me and many fellow warriors like me.
When you see a picture of a fellow health fighter please think kindly of us and know that it can take an incredible amount just to take a tiny little picture.