Don’t ever get a weird disease if you’re anywhere even remotely near the age of menopause because nobody will believe there’s anything wrong with you. In the eyes of others, including, and maybe especially doctors, you’ll just be a hysterical hypochondriac who’s aging ungracefully. They’ll hint at hormones or suggest that you may just be depressed. You probably are, since by the time two years of this go by, you’ll be convinced you’re a hysterical pre-menopausal hypochondriac.

If it’s on House, it must be bad.

As it turns out, I do have a disease. It’s a rare disease, of course, because I’m special. Nobody knows what causes this disease, so don’t try to blame my vices. This disease doesn’t kill you (at least not often); it just makes you wish it would (some days), which is one of the reasons why, for purposes of this post, I’m calling it FLS  (feel like shit) disease. Also because the real name is so bloody ugly. Plus, so far, my French friends all seem to think I’m making a political joke when I tell them. Nobody I know had ever heard of it except my son (25) and my step-daughter (15) who heard it mentioned on House. They were duly impressed.

This does not mean that this is going to become one of those sick person blogs where I drone on about my bodily fluids and test results (you’ve come across those, right?). Another reason why I don’t name the disease here; I don’t want to draw that kind of attention, or be part of an online whining sick person club.

Just let me get it out of my system here and then I’ll leave you alone. I’m really writing this so you’ll understand why I can’t come out to play right now.

They’re dead. They’re all messed up.**

Thanks to FLS, I’m currently, and rather suddenly (as of Christmas), all messed up. Furthermore, I have no way of knowing if I’ll stay messed up for only a year or three or nine, after which the symptoms of most patients just go away spontaneously, although 50% of those who do get better have relapses.

In case you’re still not convinced: I went to California in February for a two-week stay, but left 5 days early because I wasn’t strong enough to do a full day of ordinary things like go out to restaurants, shop, hang out and visit with friends… If you know me, that should be a major nuff said. I’ve had to cut back on any personal or professional activities that take me out of the house by about 90% since Christmas, and the ones that I can do in the house by not much less. I’m afraid to stray too far from my neighborhood. I’m perpetually exhausted (at about 60% of my normal energy level) and in pain. (At least French doctors are free with the narcotic painkillers.)

This is not a drill.

But I’m getting some good blog fodder out of it: stay tuned for part 2, “Fun with French medicine.


*HoleSofter, Softest

**Night of the Living Dead