Monday, May 6, 2013

The Dude Abides



Like evil twins, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis are both "invisible illnesses" although the arthritis is getting more visible: my knuckles are beginning to resemble my grandmother's, gnarled like the roots of some mythic Norse tree is how I optimistically choose to think about it.

Back in the early 80s, when my mother's friend was "diagnosed" with fibromyalgia it was considered a quack diagnosis. You were a head case. Hysterical. They put you in quotes.

Now, thanks to fMRI they (upsettingly the same "they" of yore) know it is a neurological disorder of the Central Nervous System, an impairment of the way pain is processed in the brain (if you don't believe me, look it up on PubMed) and like so many other chronic pain conditions, it mostly happens to women.

Childbirth, perimenopause, chronic pain, longer lifespans.  If there is reincarnation I want to come back as a dude.