Staring is always a fun side effect of having lymphedema. It brings on a combination of feelings, most usually ending in wanting to knock people’s heads together like coconuts. I have never once had someone come up to me and ask what’s wrong. I usually just stare back, because my mouth would get me in trouble, which usually results in a sheepish smile as they walk away.
Retirement communities, though, seem to breed the worst kind of starers – blatant with a side of audible whispering – and my staring back only adds to their conversation about how I must eat a lot and how badly I need to exercise. Fun times. Good days I ignore it and laugh it off, bad days it still makes me laugh but in an angry, maniacal, sort of way.
Take a picture.
I came up with the idea a long time ago to design a card that I could hand to people who stared: A little, snarky but harmless poke with a link to information about lymphedema if they cared to read up on it. I love vintage cameras and, as my husband is a linguist well-versed in Latin, I couldn’t resist. “Sume picturam, ut longior maneat.” means, literally, “Take a picture, in order that it may remain longer.” My foremost hope is that it helps to spread awareness. Any vindication for my fellow LE-sufferers is added bonus.
These cards are available for download here. The cards are double-sided, both sides provided in the PDF. They are formatted for use with the Avery . Please do not distribute the PDF, please do not post it anywhere. If you would like to share these, please link back to this post. Check out the page visually linked on the card to see what I had to say. As always, thank you for being here.