SPOTLIGHT: inVISIBLE by Laura McPherson

When I can run, I am at my most fluid.
To finally feel genderless, this one, that one, the other, and none—
it is not less, or a lessening.
I am gendermore.

They say “invisible illness” means the ones no one would guess you have. When someone suggests it’s not serious, these things that they cannot see, I tell them of depletion, days so painful I cannot walk. If there are follow up questions, I tell them that before we go any further, it feels like they should know I wear men’s boxers, skirting the edge of three seashell taboos.

That usually shames them quiet, for a while. Then they have more questions.

Sometimes “invisible illness” means the ones that make you wish you were.

There is a timeline of sickness that people are willing to deal with. You must fit into a category on this continuum. If you or your illness do not fit on this continuum, reality is not for you.

When you have cancer there is a timeline. You are staged. The treatment is known. If there is no treatment, things will go very fast. People will be sad, but they will understand.

When you need knee surgery there is a timeline. Your procedure is scheduled. You will receive casseroles and be back to normal soon. People will be happy for you. They will understand.

When you are chronically ill, you are kicked off the timeline. Your continuum of care is chaos. People do not like chaos. People are not comfortable with you when you say, I will never get better. They will run down the list of lifestyle changes they have heard on afternoon TV. They will not understand that sometimes, illness is permanent.

This may cause you some ANXIETY.

It has been suggested that depleted zinc causes my body’s apoptotic berserk, eroding my skin and my potential. There are zinc supplements at CVS because the zinc in vegetables is depleting.

There is a new drug. There is hope.

The new drug does not work. But there are more, more than you could try in a lifetime, waiting at CVS.

The drugs multiply because even the humble carrot is less of a carrot than it was thirty years ago. The carrot potential is eroding, successive generations bred in exhausted soil to survive without their woody potomitan cores. The potomitan is a crossroads guarded by Papa Legba, walking barefoot in communion with the earth. If Papa Legba is pleased by your offering, he may open the gates, connecting the world of the spirit with the world of the flesh. Where you make this connection, you may find hope.

we don’t understand why this happens
we don’t understand why we don’t understand why this
we don’t understand
we don’t understand why this happens to you
we don’t understand


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s