Dymphna herself suggested the title for this post. She says “The Vapors” (or “The Vapours”, if she’s feeling particularly Victorian) is what she likes to call her illness, which is actually a constellation of illnesses. She often finds it necessary to use whimsy as a weapon against the grim reality of her condition.
For the last several weeks she has been suffering from various symptoms of chronic fibromyalgia. Along with chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, and other conditions, fibromyalgia is one of the sequelae of Complex Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her current ailments were seeded by events in her earliest childhood, during the pre-verbal stage, but did not manifest themselves somatically until she was well into middle age.
For the past few weeks Dymphna has spent much of her time in bed. Her time at the computer has been limited and unpredictable. She spends her time online somewhat haphazardly: reading articles, or looking at the email and answering some of it, or writing thank-you notes to our donors, or leaving a comment or two, or writing the occasional post.
She reads almost all the personal emails addressed to her. Sometimes I have to collect the messages, print them, and deliver them to her to read in bed. Unfortunately, she has been increasingly unable to answer them all, and the backlog has grown dismayingly long. For those of you who have been writing to her, be aware that she has read the messages. She apologizes for not responding to all of them.
Needless to say, current circumstances have affected my own output. My posting has become lighter, as triage is applied to the endless list of tasks before me. I’m answering fewer emails, and the answers I do send are likely to be terse. If you have received a minimal reply, please be aware that I am not being curt — I simply have very little time to spare.
Dymphna asked me to thank everyone who has sent their prayers and good wishes. For those of you who pray, please continue to keep her in your prayers.
When this current spell of the vapors passes, she will be back on the job, as ornery as ever.