Especially in sports certain significant events are listed with an asterisk. The explanation is always at the bottom of the page but most of the sports talk I hear simply now says "and that was with an asterisk".
Having an asterisk usually denotes something questionable. Suspected steroids in a lot of sports. Even my favorite swimming now seems to have asterisks for records set in 2008 - the year of THE suit. (See the suits worn at the 2008 Olympics compared to 2012)
So I guess I could say that MS is my asterisk. Being able to simply show an asterisk, even if it were like cartoons where it would appear in a bubble over my head, would help.
"How are you feeling? " most of the time gets a response of "Okay" from me now.
But it should be "Okay*" I don't want to go into detail about what's hurting more or working less today. But no, I'm not good.
And if I say that it's a bad day of course I'm asked why. How do I explain that my muscles seem to be cramping all over my body and that it had been going on all night? Or that my hands are starting to shake almost every day? Do I tell them that I've been so depressed all day because my feeling bad has me really worrying about my definitely uncertain future?
I know how they feel if I say such things. Everyone is concerned and wants to help. Beloved family and friends want to whisk away my pain and depression. I know telling them how I feel just makes them feel badly themselves.
Others like to tell me about people they know or have heard of with MS who have bad spells but usually they manage pretty well. Since it took me a while to learn about the different types of MS i know that trying to explain to them that my problems won't really be going away is almost futile.
So instead I just say "Okay". I just wish they could see the asterisk and there would be a comment below that explains what it means.