The Girl Behind The Mask
I’ve been holding off on this one but with the flu season here, I wanted to address the topic of face masks… In my case, I am learning that something you are trying to turn into a life-long habit doesn't happen over night because let's face it, before I was diagnosed.. I never wore a mask. So, this is some getting used to..
However, with this being my first year & not really sure what to expect..I am taking precautions any way possible. All I can hope is that my immune system gets stronger over time..
I admit, at first I was embarrassed to wear hospital masks in public. I still kind of am.. & am slowly trying to adjust. I get the uncomfortable stares of people thinking that i'm contagious which isn't the case at all...I literally get offended but am taken back by the fact that they simply just don’t understand. Unfortunately, that's the automatic notion people get when they see a person wearing a face mask. MS gave me a whole new perspective and to look at the bigger picture, me choosing to wear a mask for my own good was one of them..
We see people in our everyday lives with walking aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes but why is wearing a mask considered to be more startling? I’ve gotten more than just “looks”.. I see people walk my path and quickly cover their mouth/nose & as I pass by I turn & see them no longer shielding themselves or the snarky rude comments like .. “Why the mask ?!” (i’m prone to infection) “I guess that’s a good reason” it’s happened plenty of times, the list goes on. Which leads me to say.. I am in no way ever looking for ‘sympathy’ I hate the thought of that.. but instead only seeking STRENGTH.
What many people don't know is, I wear a mask because--
Infections trigger MS symptoms — It really sucks that this is something that is practically unavoidable but if there is a chance to prevent it as much as possible.. i'll take it.
In my case, I have a weakened immune system.. meaning I can get sick very easily & i'd prefer not to go through a relapse.
When getting sick, for chronically ill patients..it takes our immune system a longer time to recover than a typical normal sick person (no pun intended). If on certain MS medication.. like myself, it may deplete certain white blood cells which are the cells that fight off infection.
Weather— On windy days it is easy to inhale any toxins & allergens.
Crowds— Being exposed to many people, is being too close to comfort with bacteria.
Keeping my distance/Medical Facilities — Staying away from people who are sick,
Affordable & disposable purchased at any drugstore.
This stirs up a debate of how a mask should be properly worn for efficacy. The white side of the mask contains a filter:
If you have the flu, the white side of the mask should be worn touching the face (inside) with colored side facing out.
If you are not sick, the white side should be facing out and colored side worn inside to protect from micro-organisms from environment from coming into contact.
Cambridge Mask Co.
$30 with Amazon Prime
Pros: Comes in various colors
Adjustable straps is a plus to fit snug
Inside of mask is black
Cons: Wear is limited since filter is incorporated into mask but based upon environment & conditions mask is used in determines the life of the mask.
Millitary Grade N99 Mask
$19 with Amazon Prime Along with additional pack sold separately of only filters
Pros: Comes in various colors
Cons: Experienced issues after first wash; noticed fraying of thread.
Inside of mask is white; easily dirty with face makeup
Filters do not fit well into mask
Must buy additional filters for this particular mask
Stay protected this winter season! & have a happy holiday!!