To Our Patient Subscribers

The Baron grows concerned: my monthly acknowledgements to our subscribers are piling up in his IN box, awaiting my reply so they can be tucked into the DONE box where they rightly belong. Each day I take out my list, hoping I’ll feel well enough to begin my responses, but like the day before the only thing that changes is that the pile is bigger. It will not do any longer to begin a note with a lame “sorry I’m late”, since being sorry implies (as they taught us in Catholic school) a concomitant “firm purpose of amendment” not to repeat our lapse. But since I never do know when I’ll feel well enough to get started, my “firm purpose” even to get out of bed in the morning does not rest on any realistic foundation. Even a few of my unexpected thank-yous — for books and music — are waiting for a response.

After talking over this problem with the Baron, here’s what we decided:

I would write a general post (this one) to tell everyone who sends us monthly donations — y’all know who you are — that I will pick up the baton again very soon. I’ll begin again at the point where I left off some weeks ago, though I no longer remember where that was…

I want to say I’ll start up again very soon but it takes so little to throw me off. For example, this one small yellow jacket sting has left me with a slight fever, weakness, fatigue, and general malaise. As many of you are aware, I actually like writing thank-you notes and other correspondence. Once I get a letter started I’m off and away down the page. It gets me into gratitude mode and that in itself is a good place to be. A kind of mini-vacation. I genuinely enjoy the process, but not right now. Right now everything is an effort, and… “Is it hot in here, or is it me?” Darn fever again.

This is a case of the spirit being willing… even while my energy has gone on vacation. I suppose that’s a tad better than taking leave of my senses, though on my bad days it’s difficult to distinguish those two. Sometimes it’s hard for me to judge how I feel; it’s all so amorphous. I’m told that’s a common condition with chronic pain. I can tell by picking up clues about my behavior. For example, when I stop making “To Do” lists I know I’m not doing well.

The Baron has asked me why, if I can respond to comments, do I find myself unable to write our donors, a task I enjoy. But the thing about comments is when I go to let them in, I notice a remark that seems to pull a response from me, and I’m off to the races. Doesn’t require opening the email window, finding an address, and so on. The comment box is right there in front of me. I even have notes for a few posts on the back burner, but in all good conscience I can’t post those if I’m not more nearly current with notes to our donors.

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When I first began to discover what fibromyalgia was, and then started the long haul of coming to terms with what it meant for my day-to-day life (the reality of it is an ongoing struggle), I’d visit the Fibro forums online. They were a wealth of information on diet, rest (“nap aggressively and often” one father advised his son), vitamins, etc. I learned the wide range of symptoms and became grateful I only had about half of them. I found out the best foods to eat to lessen fatigue and pain. And it turns out that exercise is not a good idea, though walking helps as long as one doesn’t go too far or keep it up too long. From those who’d gone before me, I learned the minerals and herbs that lessened pain — magnesium with malate being a good example, but there are others. For example, I just discovered a new form of vitamin B-12 that is supposed to offer some relief from pain.

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