A letter from your chronic condition and a reply...

This is another one of my favorites from butyoudontlooksick.com.  If you guys haven't checked out this site please do.  It's absolutely awesome.

To whom it may concern:
Congratulations! You have been selected to be the host for (any chronic condition — RA, FM, lupus, MS, you name it). You will begin to experience many or all of these symptoms — and may even deal with several of them at the same time.
–Pain can be anywhere you can imagine. We are equal opportunity destroyers, therefore we will choose many places for you to experience pain. We have even devised many different types of pain — it could be aching, stabbing, throbbing, tingling, burning, gripping, or cramping. We are continually improving our repetoire of pain categories, so updates are to be expected.
–Dizziness. This can be accompanied by nausea, mental confusion, ringing in the ears, vomiting, loss of coordination, and sensations of spinning, rocking, or shaking. We try to simulate the experience of riding a never-ending roller coaster to satisfy your adventurous spirit. No safety harnesses required, and you have no choice of when the coaster ride starts,ends, or how fast it goes.
–Extreme fatigue (Now remember, this is not just being “tired”. We will suddenly “pull your plug”, so to speak, and you will have NO energy at all. Even dressing or taking a shower will be too daunting of a task for you to complete. And because we like surprises, we will NOT give you any advance warning, so you could be in the middle of the grocery store, at work, playing with you kids, or trying to clean the house.)
–Poor balance, lack of coordination. Let’s just say you may walk or talk like you are drunk — even if you haven’t had any alcohol recently. And for those of you who have never indulged in alcohol, you are now going to
understand what it is like to be drunk and to have a hangover.
–Forgetting, losing, dropping things. These are just a few of the perks of your condition. You will learn to expect them, but never to enjoy them.
In addition to the symptoms above, we also want to eliminate some things from your crowded lifestyle. Here are a few of the things which will be taken away from you now that you are chosen to have a chronic condition:
The ability to stand or walk for longer than 15 minutes without experiencing pain in you feet, ankles, knees, or legs.
Tthe ability to sit for longer than 10 minutes without experience cramping in your legs and butt, or shooting pains in your back.
The ability to complete any task which requires more than 10 minutes of concentration, multi-step activities or long-term projects will take 2-3 times longer then average.
The ability to play and run with your children like you did before.
The ability to have a “normal” social life.
The ability to accumulate sick days at work/ school to earn the perfect attendance bonus.
As indicated previously, this condition is in constant flux and more symptoms will be added as we deem necessary. There is no warranty guarantee, technical support, or customer service available.
Your chronic condition
Dear My chronic condition:
I would like to clarify that, while you may wreak havoc on my body, and maybe even confuse my mind — you cannot have my heart or my soul. You cannot have my faith, my hope, or my love. There are some good things that
you have given me, things I never could have experienced had you not come to possess my body.
You have given me:
– strengthened prayer life and increased dependence on God’s grace and strenth, rather than my own
– renewed friendship with strong, close, true friends.
– appreciation for every precious moment I am given. A gift that is sometimes lost on the “healthy”.
– growth in character, perseverance, and hope.
– inspiration for to help others.
– more compassion for others who are suffering.
– better knowledge of my own body & health.
– a reason to eat more nutritiously and take care of myself.
– reasons to rest when I need it.
You see, you will not find me an agreeable host. I will fight you, I will not give up. On bad days, I will take care of myself. On the good days, I will take advantage of every precious moment. You have thrown some obstacles in my life’s journey, but I will go over them or around them, no matter what it takes. In fact, while I am overcoming them, I will stop for a moment to reflect upon the mountain I am climbing, plant a few seeds and then continue on. I will learn and grow from this experience and help others.
Article written by Brandi Lasnick, © 2007 butyoudontlooksick.com

You Know You Have CFS When...

I came across this and loved it.  It fits with having Fibromyalgia just as well.  Sometimes you just have to laugh at all the silly things you do because of these crazy illnesses.

You Know You Have CFS When...
Author Unknown
...when you are cautioned to slow down by your doctor instead of by the police.
...you have a choice of two temptations and you choose the one that will get you home earlier.
...you realize that caution is the only thing you care to exercise.
...you don't worry about avoiding temptation. With CFS, it will avoid you.
...getting lucky means you found your car in the parking lot.
...you're sitting in a rocker and you can't get it started.
...you don't care where your wife goes, just so you don't have to go along.
...you wake up with that morning-after feeling, and you didn't do anything the night before.
...the doctor says "I have good news and bad news -- the good news is that you are not a hypochondriac..."
...you go to make toast and nothing happens. You've plugged in the can opener.
...you say to your wife, "Good morning, Mary"...and her name is Sharon.
...you have to sit down to brush your teeth in the morning.
...you become exhausted trying to blow out the candles on your birthday cake.
...you forget your twin sister's birthday.
...you realize that you just sprayed spot remover under your arms instead of deodorant.
...you put both contact lenses in the same eye.
...there is a big basket at the bottom of the stairs full of stuff waiting to go upstairs. -- David White
...it takes you longer to get up the energy to go to the store than the completed task takes you. -- sassyj
...you feed your pets, then sit down and try to decide if it is really worthwhile to get up again just to feed yourself. -- Sandy Flake
...you cut off all your hair because you're too tired to wash/style it anymore. -- Shyrell Melara
...you go to the store to get some cosmetics and write your check out to "Wallpaper" instead of "Wal-mart." -- Sheri (HA! I do this ALL the time! T.J.)
... to unlock your car, you pull out a garage door opener from your purse, aim it at the key slot on your car door, click away, and then stand there in a stupor, wondering why the door wont open. -- Sheri
... you decide that tap water is ok, because the new gallon jug of bottled water is on the floor and it's still full. -- Elsie
... you go upstairs to have a bath, only to realize the bathplug is downstairs...so you decide to have a bath tomorrow instead. -- gossamer
... you continue watching Martha Stewart reinvent the brick because the remote is out of the hand grope area. -- Christa (How true, How true! T.J.)