Saturday, October 17, 2009

Surprise Package

Imagine you arrive home to find a giant gift on the table with your name on it. The package is beautiful, custom wrapped in your favorite color with a huge satin ribbon around it. You can't wait to open it, as you do, the anticipation mounts, you begin to imagine different items you have been wanting and hope to find in the package. You finally have the paper off, it's time to take the lid off the box, you remove the tissue, and there it is twelve rolls of toilet paper! That's right toilet paper, not quite what you were expecting? Maybe a little disappointed? You begin to think this must be a joke, maybe there's a gift card on the bottom of the box. Nope, toilet paper is all there is. Well, I often feel like that package. I look like fine on the outside cute sweater, nice jeans, great boots, hair done and make-up applied. My outer appearance hasn't changed since I was diagnosed with POTS (except I might be a little paler from lack of sun exposure), but I am not the same person on the inside as I was before the diagnosis, kind of like that toilet paper.

This week a favorite childhood song keeps replaying itself in my head and somewhat explains how looks can be deceiving. It's a "60's song called "Windy".

Who's tripping down the streets of the city?
Smiling at everybody she sees.
Who's reaching out to capture a moment?
Everyone knows it's Windy.

Windy appears to be a normal girl of the '60's, but could Windy have POTS? It's a possibility, she's tripping down the street. You may be saying come on Michele it's the '60's she was probably on drugs. Well, Michele is wearing her rose colored glasses and thinks Windy might have just been clumsy. Who knows why Windy was tripping down the street, but we do know she is friendly and spontaneous from her outer appearance in the song. Windy could easily be me, but I'm probably tripping down the street because of dizziness from POTS, I do try to smile at everyone I see, I figure if they don't smile back they're probably having a bad day (poor them). I try to make every moment count, because I know there's a posibility that I won't be able to do it tomorrow.

Looks can be deceiving, from the outside I look normal. I often get "Michele you look great today!", it's amazing what make-up can do for a gal, and there's a good chance I may barf on their shoes at any minute. They don't realize that my trip to church may be the only thing I'll do that day, because being there has worn me out and I'll have to spend the rest of the day in bed to recoup. While the rest of the world is planning what activities they are going to do for the rest of the day, my day is planned for me, "heigh-ho heigh-ho, it's of to bed I go!". For the longest time I felt deceptive, what do I say to those people that complement me on how good I look. I've learned to take the complement and only share how I really feel with those I'm close too.

My healthy appearance often gets me funny looks as I get out of my car while using the designated handycapped parking place. There are no outer signs informing people that I may pass out from heat intolerance on very hot days. Though the self concieous part of me would gladly wear a sign saying "HAVE POTS" (though that might draw some unexpected attention to myself) but I would wear it just so people wouldn't think poorly of me. Believe me, I dispise using the handicapped parking, I'd much rather take my old route of parking at the far end of the parking lot and get a little exercise while walking the extra distance.

The vane part of me is glad I don't look as bad as I feel, and to be honest if I looked as bad as I felt I wouldn't want the attention that would bring. As my Bob blog friend Michelle would say, I don't want anyone's pity. I just wish I felt as good as I look sometimes. Though I have to say in my kindergarten classroom, I could come into work, hair a mess, no make-up, and feeling aweful and my kindergarteners would honestly from their precious little hearts say "Mrs. McGough, you look beautiful." No matter how bad I feel, those sweet little darlings always put a smile on my face, and I forget how bad I feel on the inside.

Always inspired,

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