Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Case of the Vapors

The SickbedDymphna 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.


Anonymous said...

ChristianInfidel says:

I'm praying for you both. May God heal and bless you.

Papa Whiskey said...

That's quite a fruit salad of afflictions. Sure hope Dymphna can overcome them, and that most expeditiously.

Wulf Kurtoglu said...

I hope Dymphna's health improves soon, and the love of her family helps to keep up her spirits.

AmazedByGrace said...

So sorry to hear that, Baron and Dymphna. I pray that the Lord will raise you up and give you strength. We appreciate and value you! Thank you for doing what you do here.

Mother Effingby said...

I love you both, too. Rest and take care Dymphna. I treasure the advice and concern you have personally shown me in my private letters to you. You are very loved, I just want you to know that.

Sagunto said...

This Dutchie atheist (of the undogmatic variety) lit a candle for you, Dymphna.

With love and respect, from Amsterdam,

Anne-Kit said...

Dear Dymphna, may God bless and heal you completely.

I bid you "Shalom" in the true sense of the word, meaning completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

"Nothing missing, nothing broken", Dymphna, and that goes for you too, Baron!

Although I've never met you, I feel I know you, and you are both great lights in the darkness of this world.

Much love from Anne-Kit xxx

Anonymous said...

There is a lyric that goes, "all gave some, some gave all".

But the truth is that all of us give everything. What matters is not how much we had to give, but to what cause we gave it.

Freedom may not be the only worthy cause. But it is the prerequisite of every other worthy cause.

Dymphna said...

Ah, what wisdom and love in these comments...I'm not being "modest" when I say I don't deserve them. Somehow, in the Garden of Forking Paths we all ended up here, however briefly.

Each of you says something just right, something that strikes a resonant chord within me.

I hope Mr. Hitchens is looking down on all of us, saying "Well, I'll be..."


Last year sometime this exchange took place:

Fjordman said: "Maybe we won't be doing this five years from now, but let us do it for as long as we can."

Dymphna replied: "WHAT!?? You mean we're not immortal!?"

My response came out of the blue, an echo of 'hearing' my daughter's laughing voice on the day of her funeral. I'd gone back to the church to pick up some things and peeked into the bathroom to see if anyone was there.

The trash can in the corner was overflowing with crumpled copies of the service we'd created for her funeral. Instinctively, I bent over toward that sliding pile of discarded flyers as if my patting them could comfort my dead child.

But at the same time, just as my hand went out toward that overflow, I 'heard' her say with that great inimitable laugh she had, "Mommmm! Don't they realize I'm immortal?!" In response, I picked up one of those papers, smoothed it out and put it in my pocket.

"Of course you are", I said into that deep silence. And as I walked outside, the sweet air of early May resounded with with her presence for a long time...

Anonymous said...

Dymphna: Bittersweet. Re-read your last sentence for its pun (hint May).

May you be well. :)

Wading Across said...

My mother suffers from fibromyalgia too Dymphna, so I am peripherally/indirectly aware of some of what you're going through.

Sincerely I will be remembering you and your husband in prayer.

I was unaware you'd lost a child some time ago. As a parent that scares me, even knowing what our future as believers holds.

In Christ, Wading Across

Anonymous said...

My prayers and thoughts are with you. We have a special prayer in our Synagogue at the morning Shabbat service. I have been calling your name. Margit Australia