This I Believe

Erin - Olathe, Kansas
Entered on April 19, 2007

I believe that people are very judgmental towards each other; people are always judging by appearances. People don’t know how to react to seeing someone that looks different. Some people can’t seem to grasp the concept that all people aren’t alike, not everyone is perfect. I suppose what I am trying to get at is people staring and making fun of others that aren’t perfect physically or mentally.

It’s almost like some people don’t know how to react to someone who isn’t normal. I suppose I am one of those irregular people, although I don’t consider myself one. I am not physically built perfect; I have a rare condition in my left leg called lymphedema. Lymphedema is very rare (even when I just typed it in Word it didn’t recognize it). This sort of condition is usually found in overweight older men and women.

Yet I am 15 and at a healthy weight, interesting.

Lymphedema basically is when your lymphatic system doesn’t drain liquid and proteins properly because it has become damaged; therefore my leg swells pretty badly.

I just found out about having lymphedema this fall; having lymphedema really isn’t all that bad now, but in the beginning, it was the worst thing ever. It was horrible; I had to wear this hideous compression stocking that was suppose to look similar to my skin color, but I am confident no ones leg is that color. And I also had to wear these wraps on my leg, which basically consisted of thick foam and ACE-like bandages; actually when I had my wraps on, I was often mistaken for the Michelin tires man.

So I am 15 and I have to wear a compression stocking on my left leg so it doesn’t swell up and look like a rhino’s leg. Not everyday do you see a teenager girl walking around with a discolored tight thing on her swollen leg, and that’s where the whole double glance/ stares/judgmental people come in.

I will be walking around stores in shorts, but since I always have to have a stocking on my leg at all times, I also have on the hideous discolored stocking. Obviously that isn’t normal; so many times I get people turning and glancing at me, then they tell their friends and the next thing I know half the store is watching me shop. I find it amusing actually.

What really is funny though is the fact that they don’t know that I can feel them staring at me and I can practically hear them saying; “do you see the size of her leg, what do you think is wrong with her?” I am not oblivious to the tight that is tightly pulled on my leg; but what boggles my mind is the fact that people don’t ask me why it’s like that. I would rather tell my story a million times then be looked at like a circus animal.

People all over the world are looked down upon due to things that they can’t control; therefore I believe perfect people look down upon others, when those imperfect people can’t control some of the things that can affect their appearance. Plus no one is perfect!