Your Mother Must Need Help

Today, my mother and I went to our local food pantry. We’re both very thankful for this form of assistance. I happened to notice a table, set up in the church hallway, to process food stamp applications.

I humbly learned that I certainly don’t exceed the income limitations for qualifying for this form of help. Just another example of how profoundly my life has changed secondary to chronic illness.

My mother and I both made our way downstairs, to the church basement, where they distribute food. I signed us both in, and proceeded to make my food selections, guided by the volunteer staff providing help.

Several women remarked that my mother could stay upstairs the next time we came, since she was obviously having difficulty negotiating the stairs required. What they didn’t notice, however, was that I was also having problems with descending the stairs.

They couldn’t see the pervasive MS numbness, nor the spasticity, that was affecting both of my legs. I made my way around the room, picking out food selections for both my mother and myself.

One of the volunteers asked if my elderly mother might possibly benefit from some incontinence pads that had recently been donated to them. (She said that she was too embarrassed to ask my mother herself if she could use these). I said that she certainly could benefit from using them.

What I didn’t divulge is that I’ve had multiple periods of complete incontinence myself, both bowel and bladder, due to having MS. I finalized all of my selections, and thanked the men and women for their help. Just some additional insights into a day in the life of a chronically ill, middle-aged woman, who outwardly appears much healthier than she truly is.

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