Fibromyalgia or Depression?

There are many peo­ple, espe­cial­ly doc­tors, who claim that fibromyal­gia is just a symp­tom of depres­sion. I’ve had both, and I know the dif­fer­ence quite well. They are very, very dif­fer­ent.

Being in pain all the time can cer­tain­ly lead to depres­sion. That’s just log­i­cal. There are, how­ev­er, peo­ple who have fibromyal­gia who are not clin­i­cal­ly depressed. Depres­sion can also man­i­fest as phys­i­cal pain, but it is does not meet the cri­te­ria for fibromyal­gia.

I was treat­ed for depres­sion for years before I devel­oped FMS, though, and I tru­ly believe that if I’d got­ten prop­er treat­ment for men­tal health issues in my child­hood (post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der and all the com­pli­ca­tions it brought, includ­ing major depres­sive dis­or­der) I prob­a­bly would­n’t have devel­oped FMS.

I nev­er have trou­ble dis­tin­guish­ing between the two, or between either of them and CFS/ME, which I also have. They’re all quite dif­fer­ent.

With FMS, the pain caus­es fatigue, and togeth­er they can (but don’t always) have an affect on your emo­tions. You may feel like doing some­thing, but your body absolute­ly will not coop­er­ate. There have been times when I’ve been feel­ing great, gone out to do some­thing I was SO look­ing for­ward to–and near­ly col­lapsed in the mid­dle of every­thing when my body said, “All right, that’s it, no more. Done. Where’s the bed?” (We’ve joked that if I ever man­age to get a scoot­er or elec­tric wheel­chair, it will have to have a remote con­trol fea­ture so that Sam can steer me on home when I’ve passed out.)

But seri­ous clin­i­cal depression…it does­n’t mat­ter whether you’ve got the phys­i­cal ener­gy or not. Log­ic does­n’t mat­ter. Know­ing that you’d feel bet­ter for hav­ing a nice, hot show­er is utter­ly irrel­e­vant. The fact that the tele­phone ring­ing is con­tribut­ing to your headache, and you could make it stop by mere­ly lift­ing up your arm up push­ing a but­ton, is irrel­e­vant, because lift­ing your arm would take too much damned effort. Yes, some­where, on some lev­el, you may know that you’ll lose yet more func­tion for not get­ting up and doing your exer­cis­es, but it’s less impor­tant than star­ing at the ceil­ing, or the pil­low, or what­ev­er is in front of your face right now. Not that you real­ly make any kind of con­scious val­ue judg­ment or any­thing, but the star­ing has iner­tia going for it. Even if noth­ing IS hurt­ing, even if you have all the ener­gy in the world and you could do any­thing you just don’t care.

Remem­ber that, the next time you hear some­one claim­ing that FMS and depres­sion are the same.

Diane Duane Rocks

The Sword and the DragonBack when the Meisha Mer­lin ware­house was being cleaned out, Sam picked up a copy of The Sword and the Drag­on, first vol­ume of the Epic Tales of the Five by Diane Duane that MM put out. It con­tains The Door Into Fire and The Door Into Shad­ow.

The Door Into FireI’ve want­ed my own copies of the first three Tales of the Five books for decades, since read­ing an old friend’s copies. I’m still dis­ap­point­ed that MM nev­er put out the next vol­ume, which should have includ­ed The Door Into Sun­set and the nev­er-before-pub­lished The Door Into Starlight. But then, there are oth­er peo­ple who have far more rea­son to be dis­ap­point­ed about MM mat­ters than I do, so I can’t fuss too much. And I have this vol­ume, and will con­tin­ue to hold out hope that Duane will find a new pub­lish­er who will bring out the oth­ers some­time in my life­time.

The Door Into ShadowAny­way, I had to stop read­ing to show this bit to Sam. It sums up much of what I love about Duane’s phi­los­o­phy.

…death is inevitable. But we have one pow­er, as men and beasts and crea­tures of oth­er planes. We can slow down the Death, we can die hard, and help all the worlds die hard. To live with vig­or, to love pow­er­ful­ly and with­out car­ing whether we’re loved back, to let loose build­ing and teach­ing and heal­ing and all the arts that try to slow down the great Death. Espe­cial­ly joy, just joy itself. A joy flares bright and goes out like the stars that fall, but the lit­tle flare it makes slows down the great Death ever so slight­ly. That’s a tri­umph, that it can be slowed down at all, and by such a sim­ple thing.

The Door Into Sunset

R.I.P. Robert Asprin

I only encoun­tered him per­son­al­ly once, on a pan­el the first time I attend­ed a con (Drag­on Con, 1988 or so?). I thought he was an arro­gant jerk. I’ve heard from oth­ers that he could be quite nice, so maybe it was some kind of schtick. I did enjoy all the Thieves World books, despite their unre­lent­ing dark­ness.

He was sched­uled to be at Mar­Con this week­end, so it seems his death was sud­den and unex­pect­ed. I wish the best to his fam­i­ly and friends.

TotD: Freya Stark on Beauty

From Perseus in the Wind by Freya Stark:

If love­li­ness is so engaged, as I believe, in the skein of our uni­verse, it is sad that it should be lit­tle cared for in our schools. The whole of the indus­tri­al world pro­claims its unim­por­tance, and mil­lions and mil­lions of peo­ple spend their lives look­ing almost exclu­sive­ly at ugly things. This sure­ly will pass. What is more insid­i­ous­ly dan­ger­ous at the moment is a timid heresy which believes that the igno­rant can be trained to beau­ty by the sec­ond-rate. The fal­la­cy of our age main­tains it bet­ter to do things bad­ly than not at all. As a mat­ter of fact there is very lit­tle harm in doing noth­ing: to do things bad­ly is an active get­ting in the way of the few nec­es­sary peo­ple who might do good. To adapt beau­ty to “the man in the street” is to use the bed of Pro­crustes with a vengeance and to muti­late divin­i­ty: it is bet­ter to remem­ber that the man in the street him­self was made in the like­ness of God. To him beau­ty is sim­ple and easy, a nat­ur­al hunger which all can assim­i­late in ele­men­tary or com­pli­cat­ed form, pro­vid­ed they are not clut­tered up with medi­oc­rity already. Medi­oc­rity will nev­er lead to beau­ty: the two roads are not even par­al­lel; they are diver­gent.

Cohousing?

I’m work­ing on my final project for the tech­ni­cal writ­ing course, which is a com­par­i­son of cohous­ing devel­op­ments to sin­gle-fam­i­ly and more tra­di­tion­al mul­ti-fam­i­ly hous­ing. I’m find­ing it dif­fi­cult to find any of the books I want to use as ref­er­ences in the library (school or two coun­ties). Do any of you who are local hap­pen to have books on the sub­ject? Copies of Com­mu­ni­ties mag­a­zine, maybe? I’d appre­ci­ate a chance to look at such things rather than need­ing to buy them via Ama­zon!

School Happy

I final­ly got the grades from the first tech­ni­cal writ­ing assign­ment I turned in last week, and the peer reviews I did on two of my class­mates’ rough drafts. I got full points for all of them!

I was wor­ried about one of the peer reviews, because the per­son chose to do a set of instruc­tions for start­ing to cross-stitch. I know too much about that top­ic to eval­u­ate it well from a begin­ner’s point of view, and that was the intend­ed audi­ence. I actu­al­ly approached the pro­fes­sor with some ques­tions, and won­dered if I should swap reviews with some­one new to stitch­ing. Hap­pi­ly, the pro­fes­sor said I pro­vid­ed a bal­anced review that reflect­ed my expe­ri­ences as a for­mer begin­ner and cur­rent­ly expe­ri­enced stitch­er, and that I was respect­ful through­out. I was try­ing very, very hard to avoid any hint of con­de­scen­sion, and it appears that it worked!

My top­ic was “Cre­at­ing Your First Pod­cast,” and that received full points, too. It had to be done with a Flesch–Kincaid Grade Lev­el less than 8th grade, which was not easy. I got it down to 7th grade, and could­n’t go any low­er. The pro­fes­sor said that was due to the tech­ni­cal terms I had to use, and was per­fect­ly accept­able.

Date Night–Baby!

We had Chi­nese food togeth­er tonight, and played for a while. There was some ick, but I sus­pect­ed that it was com­ing. The hap­py part is that my char­ac­ter’s old­est son (fos­ter son, real­ly) and his wife’s baby was born. First grand­ba­by! There have been many babies born in the last “year” of the game, and there are two more preg­nan­cies in progress (not my char­ac­ter, peo­ple close to her). In fact, Sam has a “babies” sec­tion on the wiki, just for track­ing their names and oth­er infor­ma­tion.

Cud­dling an actu­al baby would be even bet­ter, but a healthy in-game baby was pret­ty sweet, too.

Sam said we had to stop after that, because there was no way he could top baby Desmond 😉

SBQ: Stitching Terms/Acronyms

This week’s Stitch­ing Blog­gers Ques­tion of the Week:

For sea­soned stitch­ers: Define a stitch­ing term or acronym for new
stitch­ers.

Gah. I don’t play in the needle­work news­group any more, so I don’t think in acronyms. Rail­road­ing is the only term that I can think of that was­n’t obvi­ous or explained in a pat­tern’s instruc­tions. There’s a decent expla­na­tion here, and an arti­cle with good pho­tos here.