I wonder sometimes what others see when they look at me. Am I so shallow that I will let my appearance deceive me into thinking vanity and looks govern my integrity?
It is a rhetoric question, but not without some merit. As this illness slowly takes over my body I stand naked and examine this body.
I used to wear long sleeve shirts to cover my lesions from the psoriasis. Sad that my body looked the way it did; not shamed. But I can not cover the marks any longer, and I stopped long ago. These scars will never leave me.
I can not hide my weight with a larger shirt. It just makes me bigger. And it is not disgust with what I see, it is a memory of what used to be.
There are newer things that bother me now. Freckles and speckles I call them. The psoriasis has left, but now I have living dying skin. The evidence runs up and down my arms and legs like blemishes. The color of my skin is the perfect color for contrast.
My moving is slower. Not so much the result of age, but of dying muscle. It is painful. My legs scream out under the weight they carry.
The runny noses reveal more blood and the lack of sleep is tiring. Exhaustion is from sleep and no sleep, it doesn't matter.
I am self conscious. And that bothers me because I am still the same person I have always been.