Back on tour…LAST LEG! (Probably)

First off, thank you.  Thanks for the amazing support you continue to give me and others here on this blog.

I’m feeling much better and the depression cleared away just in time for several doctors to encourage me to be tested for multiple sclerosis, which would be my third autoimmune disease and thus would complete my trifecta of your-body-wants-you-dead disorders.  Apparently though there isn’t a cure for it so I plan on just ignoring it and assuming I already have it, much like the polio, mumps and testicular cancer that Web MD assures me I have.  In other words, nothing more to worry about than usual.  Plus, MS apparently causes brain disturbances (which explains a lot) so whenever Victor accuses me of zoning out and not listening to him I just say “I HAVE MS, YOU ASSHOLE” and then I win whatever we were talking about.  Or possibly Victor angrily reminds me that I probably have no such thing.  I don’t really know because I’m not listening. Because I have MS.  Or because Victor is boring.  Maybe both.

Also, you aren’t allowed to yell at me for making fun of MS since I may have it.  Those are the rules of MS.  Also, I get the last slice of pie and I’m allowed to bring service kittens with me to help calm all of my sclerosis’s.  These are new MS rules I just made up but that doesn’t make them any less valid.

And in non (I probably don’t have) MS news, I’m leaving for the last leg of my tour tomorrow and there was another Chicago stop added on June 9th so please come if you can!

Leg three
But in spite of my lack of witticisms I would LOVE it if you’d come to see me on my last week on the road.  Here’s where I’ll be in two weeks:

Wednesday, June 6 at 7pm ~ Montclair, NJ

Thursday, June 7th ~ Blogworld NY

Friday, June 8th at 7pm ~ Brookline, MA

NEW: Saturday, June 9th at 12pm ~ Chicago IL (Center Stage at Printers Row Book Fair)

Sunday, June 10th at 2pm ~ Chicago, IL  (Sold out)


So now, time for the weekly wrap-up…

What you missed in my shop (tentatively called “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

  • I got nothin’.  I’ve been depressed all week.  Your turn.  Entertain me, y’all.
This week’s wrap-up sponsored by In Stitches, by Anthony Youn.  Full of heart
and humor, a memoir about becoming a doctor that’s unlike anything you’ve
ever read before.  I haven’t finished it myself but I recommend you check it out here.

320 thoughts on “Back on tour…LAST LEG! (Probably)

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I hope you don’t have MS, but if you do you need to take meds for it. I know, another pill to pop is always fun. Add it to the list.

  2. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. 🙂 I just finished your book today, it’s the most wonderful thing I’ve read in a long time. Or ever. Enjoy the rest of your tour, hope to see you in the UK someday!

  3. You have no freakin’ clue how excited we are to see you in Brookline. I may streak. I’ll be the dude in an awkward-fitting polo shirt who is unable to speak.

  4. As I’m packing tonight for a trip, I am envious of the sandwich suitcase. Was it also made by Jesus?
    Get tested. Knowledge is power, whether it’s good news or bad. Always wishing good your way.

  5. Oh, shit, okay. I meant to delete the “streak” comment. I thought about making it but then decided the bookstore people would frown upon it and would probably single me out or something, and also no one wants to picture that, and the basement of Booksmith is really small so it’s not really conducive to streaking. So I deleted the second half of the joke but didn’t delete the first part, so now you can recognize me because I can say “I’m the dude who accidentally threatened to streak at your signing in Brookline.”

  6. For your amusement…perhaps it’s not quite as awesome as the review you posted about your book, but it was entertaining and might make you laugh! on the Training Bra of Minivans.

  7. Entertain you? Well, I was amused today by this:
    Though, if you do know the words to O Fortuna (and I do because I’m a huge nerd), try not to sing them along in your head and just enjoy the sillyness.

    See you at the Center Stage event. 😉

  8. Definitely glad you’re feeling better, though I really hope you don’t have MS to add to all the other shit you deal with on a daily basis. The review of your book is spot-on – how I want to describe it to people. If only I were eloquent and witty enough!

  9. Dear Jenny – Are you fabricating these physical problems? Mental – yes, who isn’t – but it you have MS why are you able to go on tour?

  10. In a truck stop bathroom I heard a woman at the sink exclaim,” this water is so hot you could boil water!”

    Don’t go to a truck stop on your tour is what I’m saying.

  11. I’m about done with your book, and now I have no idea what to do with my time!! I could wash my car I guess, but it will just get dirty again when I drive it… Or I could play with the kid, but that is the reason why I havn’t finished the book already.. Or was I bathing the cat, I forget, It was one of tho’s.. My boyfriend is ready for me to be done with the book so that I will stop ignoring him, and stop reading him pages at a time of “OMG BABE!!! I would TOTALLY do that!” bits.. He choose to hit my sunburn this morning and I told him he better watch out before I poison HIS coffee. I just got a blank stair and a “I dare you”. I hope you come to Farmington, NM one day! I would totally love to have you sign my book and meet the lady who has me cracking up all the time.
    We need a new book soon……
    I will totally make sure I throw it at the bf, or the cat… Nah, I couldn’t do that, I will read it and ignore everyone:-)

  12. Dude, if you have MS you need to know… there are meds that can help. Not make it go away but at least make you feel better. So get tested. Seriously. Do it!!!!!

    And it still sucks that you aren’t coming to Canada… us lowly Canadians would really love to welcome you.

    But get tested for MS first. No joke. You need to know. This disease is really waaaaay worse when left untreated.

  13. Fine. I’ll get tested. It’s like all my doctors are here on my blog. And possibly my mom. Who needs to stop worrying so much.

    I love you guys.

  14. My family has been collecting assorted autoimmune disorders for a long time. We’ve built up quite the collection. A couple relatives quit counting when they had diagnoses 4 and 5, some never got tested because they didn’t want to know what they already knew. But everyone has their own mixed box of chocolates … er … AI disorders. No two relatives have all the same ones. I’ve been lucky so far (knocks on wood and whatever else is within reach). But I do wait for the shoe to drop because I KNOW that it will eventually – unless of course I somehow inherited some kick-ass anti AI genes from my Mom. (Thanks Mom! I hope!)

    Anyway … I hope that you don’t “win” the trifecta and are spared from MS. But if you do … I hope it is mild, responds well to treatment, and that it leaves you the fuck alone for a good long time!

    Take care! Many hugs!

  15. Glad you’re feeling a bit better! MS sucks, and yes, sadly you really do need to get tested and find out and take pills if it is, and all that, but it is a killer argument winner… Take care!

  16. Your body doesn’t want you dead, it just wants you paying attention. All the time. Like a really annoying cat. It’s mad you’re all distracted with the book.

  17. I’m sorry to hear about your testicular cancer! But I’m glad you decided to get tested for MS.

    Enjoy the end of your book tour!

  18. Oh holy fucks, more pills? And not even the fun recreational kind….!

    Love you, loved loved the book, and hope you can tour more and speak more… and oh yeah write more….!

  19. Entertain you? Okay, put on Gotye’s “Someone That I Used to Know” and every time he sings “but you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough” add in your head “rough, like your mother likes it Trebeck”. I’ve amused myself for hours with this.

  20. To all the people saying if you have MS, you have to take pills. Ha! Ha! Ha! I wish! The only pill out there for MS is brand new and one neurologist told me that he doesn’t give it to any patients cause he doesn’t trust it. Needles. That’s what you get with MS. You get to give yourself injections. Now there are pills out there for symptom management but that’s totally different than treating MS itself.

  21. how about adding a book tour stop in my tiny little hick town of franklin pa? we have absolutely nothing to offer you but i am sure the vast amount of mullets (both male and female) would inspire a very funny blog post 🙂

  22. Wait, you have testicular cancer *and* a third leg? I hope you will consider donating your body to the Mutter Museum of medical oddities in Philadelphia. Um, after you are done with said body, of course (although I’m sure the Mutter folks would be delighted to have the living, breathing Bloggess on site to entertain visitors!)

    Good luck with leg three! (though it sounds like it’d be pretty awkward to walk around with one)

  23. And I’ve read you for two years, and I chose THAT for my first comment…

    Yeah, that kinda fits me. (WTF?)

  24. Hows this for entertainment? The audiofile rewiew mentions people possibly not knowing if your zombie apocolypse drill was real or not (totally real, I pay attention). FYI REVIEWER: JENNY DOESN’T TELL THE ZOMBIE APOCOLYPSE STORY IN THE BOOK. Way to prove that you listened to/read the book. Unless of course it’s in the outtakes, in which case I feel cheated.

  25. Seriously, go get tested for Celiac. Seriously. It gets misdiagnosed as / causes all sorts of stuff, and something like 1 in 100 Americans have it.

  26. Jessica Simpson? Is that the best that the Audiobook reviewer could do? I don’t think so!
    I just finished the audiobook, and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the “lost” chapter and
    the outtakes. If only it would have had the pictures. Get on that, please, would you, Jenny?

  27. That’s your last leg? You need to come to Vegas!! There are plenty of classy bathrooms we can drink wine slushies in!

  28. Think of it this way, though: if you *do* have MS, there there are like a gazillion people who are riding their bikes from Houston to Austin, then loading the bikes up on big gas-guzzling SUVs for the drive back to Houston, all to raise money for your disease. I mean, seriously, that is more boss than even watching Jerry Lewis after he has been up 24 hours on the teevee!

    Seriously, though, good luck. And glad you are enjoying the book tour.


  29. My dear cousin has MS and, while it’s no treat, there are several good treatments for it – but like depression, you just have to try them to see how they work for you. Jennys can handle anything. 😀

  30. AI diseases can suck a gangrenous goat testicle. I’ve got 2 myself and have gone through the MS testing. Best of luck.
    If you do have MS you could try hosting a charity drink-a-thon?

  31. You know, you ought to put the diseases after your name, sort of like titles of nobility and honors in the UK.

    “Jenny Lawson, RA, MS, EIEIO*”


    *not really a disease, but you do have a barnyard full of animals – even if most of them are taxidermied.

  32. I think its time for some medical marajuana! (Get with it, Texas!) And, I totally agree, that review was AWESOME!

  33. Sorry about the testicular cancer. I hear it’s a bitch on those testiculars. But I really hope you don’t have MS. No one deserves that. But until you find out you don’t have it, you’re totally allowed to make jokes about it. It’s how most people deal.

    PS: Brookline event people, represent! Everyone going to that, we need to all become friends right now so it’s not as cripplingly awkward when we’re all there together standing around anxiously like a bunch of misfits. Just putting that out there.

  34. @Kat

    “The initial attacks are often transient, mild (or asymptomatic), and self-limited. They often do not prompt a health care visit and sometimes are only identified in retrospect once the diagnosis has been made after further attacks.”

    I don’t think she’s obligated to tell us every detail of her medical treatment, but obviously her doctors just want to rule it out.

  35. I was all set to hop in my car and go see you in Brookline…right up until I realized that I have to watch my kid’s drama club do their version of Romeo and Juliet at the exact same time you’ll be in MA. 🙁

  36. I’m sorry to hear your latest news, and I hope whatever you find out or don’t find out will give you some sense of control over your health. I’m still reading your book, and I have to say how much I appreciate your morbidly hilarious-in-retrospect childhood. What impresses me is that you realized it was crazy at the time. I have this whole collection of experiences that I was too sheltered to understand was crazy wrong and far from socially acceptable, until later in life when I would cluelessly share my stories, and friends would respond with a look of horror and say, “That is crazy wrong and far from socially acceptable.”
    What? I wondered. Using a dead dairy cow as a pooping trampoline isn’t on par with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese? Whatever the case, I survived and am more resilient for it, even if there is a mad cow waiting to jump on me in hell.
    I have tickets to see your talk next Sunday in Chicago. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m so glad I discovered your blog and book. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with your fans!

  37. Sad as I think you’re already sold out on the 2nd but earlier Chicago date. Bonus though – my Big Kid is a pastry type person at a restaurant called Balena and you could get some very yummalicious food there. Also, her best friend is a bartender there – win win situation – good drinks and excellent desserts.

    Thanks for allowing us to bully you into getting tested. Knowledge is power.

  38. Hi Jenny,

    So glad to read that you are feeling better(ish). You already have a bunch of people yelling at you about tests and doctors, so I don’t want to do that. *But* I just wanted to point you to the story of a woman who was told for a long time that what she had was MS (read: untreatable) and later discovered that what she was actually suffering from was Lyme Disease (read: treatable!). I’m sure you are seeing very capable doctors who know what they are doing… I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV… but I just felt like I should let you know, just in case.

    Here is her blog – I’m linking you straight to her series of posts about finding out she had Lyme Disease and not MS. (It does have a religious bent, but I don’t think it is too super-preachy or trying to convert anyone. It’s just who the author is.)

    Love, Katrina

    ps. I got to meet you in Coral Gables. Your reading was awesome, and you were so sweet in person! I was so glad I went.

    pps. Sorry to leave such a long, boring first-ever comment on your blog. Hopefully my next one won’t suck.

  39. I hope you don’t have MS. But I hope you do have service kittens.

    The June 9 at noon Printer’s Row gig is good. I hope to be there!!

  40. MS isn’t something anyone needs, but Multiple Service Kittens? Could only be a good thing.

  41. I debated for quite awhile before sending you this email and I’m not going to name anything b/c I don’t want you to think that I’m looking to advertise something. My husband has been diagnosed with MS for about 10 years now and he just started something new and it’s made a world of difference in his life (and mine of course). Email me, I’ll give you my phone number and you can call me at your leisure if you are interested. You seem like one of the coolest people out there and it sucks that anyone has to suffer, but if your illnesses affect how much we get to hear from you, I’d like to do whatever I could to keep you up and moving around….I just re-read this and seriously it is taking all I have got to make myself submit this because it sounds like a scam and shady. I’ll understand if I don’t hear from you (I would be suspicious also) but I also know that after illness has taken up residence in your life, any light can seem like the sun. I’m sending you a light. Peace, Jenny.-K

  42. I recently found out what a wet crayfish is. I don’t recommend looking it up. Or do. I’m not entirely sure it can be considered entertaining, but it is disgusting. So there’s that.

  43. We’ll go easy on you in Montclair. Looking forward to getting the book and seeing you in person! (I’m kind of hoping no one else shows up so I can just monopolize your aura without guilt.)

  44. UGH! I have the schitzophrenia of the immune system stuff too. It’s like my immune system didn’t get the blue prints, so it’s all “A KIDNEY? REALLY? TEAR THAT DOWN NOW!” Yeah, and it’s all shouty because my immune system is not only crazy, but it’s an asshole like that. I’ve dealt with immune thrombocytopenia (which is a lovely little disease if you’re into fatal nosebleeds) and those anti-phospholipid antibodies and lupus and polymyositis and interstitial lung disease, and I recently used WebMD to diagnose myself with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. So I’m there with you! Next month I get to do another series of chemo. So much fun!

    Anyway, enough about me. You SOLD OUT Chicago? You really need to bitch-slap that little voice in your head that makes you doubt yourself. I read Let’s Pretend in the car on a recent road trip and I thought I was going to pee myself, I was laughing so hard! The others in the car thought I was crazy! That book is amazing, Jenny! Hilarious and touching, real and gritty, full of hard truths and things most of us wouldn’t admit in public. It’s wonderful. You have a way of writing about things that make the reader feel not like a reader reading a book, but like a trusted confidant sharing in some of the most crazy moments of your life.

    But what I wanted to say is that you really need to come to your friends in the midwest. Like DENVER. 🙂 Otherwise, we’re going to have to make pilgrimages to The Hill Country and wander around looking for cairns with circling vultures and metal chickens and hidden graveyards. So, take a break, rack up another diagnosis or two, and then PLEASE!!!! come do a reading somewhere like Denver. Boulder would be AWESOME! You’d love it here. Ooooh! Or maybe do a reading at the Stanley Hotel in Estes! Please? I need my book signed!

    I found your blog through CancerDiva (rest her soul) years ago and I’m so glad I did! You’re awesome Jenny. You are such an amazing person. You deserve every bit of this success because you have the unique talent of finding humor in the most unexpected places. I’m serving giant quail for Thanksgiving this year.

  45. Jealous you aren’t making it over to Espana for a tour stop! You want to stream a reading over the internets so the rest of us can play along???

  46. To all the people saying if you have MS, you have to take pills. Ha! Ha! Ha! I wish! The only pill out there for MS is brand new and one neurologist told me that he doesn’t give it to any patients cause he doesn’t trust it. Needles. That’s what you get with MS. You get to give yourself injections. Now there are pills out there for symptom management but that’s totally different than treating MS itself.

    Quoted for truth. I only wish I could take pills for my MS.

  47. Oh yeah, I’m going to be President of my mom’s group this year. I’m taking over that bitch and renaming it Unicorn Success Club. They won’t even know what hit ’em!

  48. Multiply service kittens is a must. And I know MS isn’t anything to joke about, but being someone who has an auto immune disease (or two, doc thinks I have Lupus as well as FMS, but I said fuck it I’d be on the same meds and doing the same thing so why bother with tests I can’t afford), your auto immune disease trifecta made me laugh my butt off. Thanks a lot! Now I have to get another auto immune disease so I can have a cool trifecta AND get a new ass! See what you are causing with your jokes! 😛

  49. On the plus side, if you do have MS, you can become President. At least on TV. I mean, Martin Sheen did it, so I’m sure that’s a rule now.

  50. WE ARE SO GETTING SERVICE KITTENS FOR MY MOM!! Thanks for making a disheartening disease into something purr-tastic and cuddly.

  51. So to add to the diseases you probably don’t have, I just looked up Adult ADHD, and I wound up laughing like crazy at the quiz. Which is bad, because it’s a TOTALLY SERIOUS article, but it’s hilarious because it explains SO MUCH.
    Space out all the time? It’s ADD.
    Constantly get distracted? It’s ADD.
    Don’t listen well? ADD
    Forget to show up, or always show up late to things? ADD.
    I now have a CURE to ALL that ails me!
    PS this is in NO way making fun of ADD. My husband has it, and I think I do too, even if I’m pretty high functioning. It can be really hard to live with… But I live by laughing at myself, so you all should laugh with me too.

  52. f*ck. if i would’ve known about the 24-7 pussies rule, i would’ve had my MS MRI a lot sooner. i waited go get mine for about 8 years…and then appropriately scheduled it on LA’s carmageddon.

    once it was all said and done, i’m fine (relatively speaking…if you ask my mother, she’ll fight you on that). while i was psyched to know that the only thing they found were nasal polyps (delicious!), i was bummed out that i had no real good reason to fall down all the time. life gave me one of those lovely mixed bag party favors yet again.

    ps, i just found you and am richer for it. xo

  53. god damn it! you are not on the list of free tickets for the printer’s row event on june 9. are you already sold out??!! not everyone could possibly love you as much as me! ok, maybe they could. but it’s not fair!

  54. I would like to punch MS in her dirty, syphilitic vagina. Not you though, just MS… and maybe Cystic Fibrosis. They are both whores.

  55. Having lived with MS since my teens, I sincerely hope that you haven’t hit the trifecta and that you’re just worn out from the amazing adventure you’ve been on with your book. Creating rules for disorders is the way to go for sure; it balances the crummy parts you cannot control. I desperately would love to take service kittens with me wherever I go – what a fabulous idea!

    Best of luck with the last leg of your tour,

  56. Testicular cancer in women is a total P.I.T.A. Hope you have a full recover from it. =p
    Also, to entertain you:

    This is …I think my favoritest song ever in the history of ever. I’d sing it full volume all day ever day, except:
    My singing scares people, and dogs.
    Um…I’d rather my 8 yr old didn’t start singing it. We already had some heavy explaining to do with the “Throw it out the window” song his big sister taught him when he was 4. =/

    Was totally bummed I couldn’t meet you when you were in Dallas. =( But, I sincerely hope the rest of your tour is filled with rainbows & unicorns. And Xanax, and all the wine slushies you can drink. =D

  57. Clearly you, like Mr. Burns, now have every disease there is rendering you invincible. Excellent.
    Also? Please don’t have MS. It sucks balls. K, thx bye.

  58. Hmmm… I’m supposed to entertain you? Well, I’m not that interesting or funny. HOWEVER, this is terribly entertaining. Even if you’re already seen it, it’s totally worth watching again. It has David Tennant and Doctor Who cast members. Need I say more?!

    Also, feel better love. *hugs*

  59. Glad to see that you agreed to get tested in #14 above – because MS is progressive and if you have it you can take meds to slow down the progression. I’ve got several friends who deal with it.

    Still pondering what to have you sign on the 10th,,,

  60. You can’t have MS; you’re not an asshole. According to this, people with MS are assholes. Montel Williams is proof.

  61. MS sucks donkey balls. I was dx’d 10 years ago. Been through the medical ringer, recently lost my insurance, and actually feel great. Hope you don’t have this dumb disease, but finding out what may be making me crazy, was a big relief.

  62. The Washington Post reviewer got it wrong…I didn’t smugly think to myself that it would never be me, I nodded knowingly and was glad I’m not the only panicked socially inept weirdo saying exactly the wrong thing at parties. Come tour the Northwest, pretty please?

  63. I want to bring service kittens around with me everywhere….

    and again.. you totally need to come to Canada… it’s not as hot in the west coast of Canada as it is in Texas.. (I think) and so it’s a great reason to come here in the summer.

  64. Oh yeah, I forgot to entertain you – I always go to Riley. The first 2 minutes of this are totally cute. You have to see the facial expressions / blinky eyes and hear her pronunciation of various foods –

  65. I’m coming to see you next Saturday (tickets not required, y’all!), and I have a ticket for Sunday!!!

    Assuming I can summon up the balls, I’m wearing something on Sunday to let you know how awesome you are. And it’s not the tiniest bit conspicuous, so you’ll know who I am. 😉

  66. Not that I’m not concerned about the MS bit, but I have a more urgent problem: I can’t figure out how to get tickets for the new Chicago June 9th show. It’s not listed in the ticketing link. Is it an open air stage, aka open admission?

  67. Noooo!!! I’ve been a reader, enjoying your work for the last 2 years, and I live by Chicago but won’t be able to see you because I am photographing a wedding the same day!! 🙁 🙁 🙁 Just wanted you to know you do have an extra fan in the area who won’t be there, but I will be w/ you in spirit. Have fun!

  68. I would be the last person in the world to condemn *all* artificial sweeteners, since they are the whole reason I can still have sweetened coffee that doesn’t taste like rancid licorice (I HATE STEVIA), and they have saved me from crippling type 2 diabetes from continuing a nasty full-sugar soda habit that started when I was 17 or so and finally wound up when I was in my late twenties or early thirties, drinking as much as a two-liter of Dew a day and usually more.

    *stops for breath*


    I have had friends who had symptoms of what both they and their doctors thought was MS, and then they quit aspartame/Nutrasweet for other reasons, and suddenly the “MS” was gone.

    By all means get tested, but if you’re suckin’ down Diet Cokes like nobody’s bidness? Quit it.

    There’s a Splenda Diet Coke out there if you can find it and–my personal favorite–Zevia makes a cola that’s sweetened with reb A and erythritol. Reb A is the sweet part of stevia, separated from the rancid-licorice-tasting part. It’s awesome and there is caffeine, which is normally missing from “natural” no-cal colas or the ones with Splenda in them.

    That, and I took up a coffee habit for my caffeine. It’s not fizzy, but it does the job.

    If that helps, run with it… if not, feel free to ignore it.

  69. So excited that you’re coming to Brookline! I’ve wanted to meet you for years and now you’re going to be in my little New England corner of the world! Can’t wait!

  70. Dear Mrs. Queen Bloggess,

    I’ve been waiting all week to get instructions from you pertaining to the onslaught of the Zombie Apocalypse. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to stock up on bath salts or avoid them like poisoned Snow White apples. Please advise.

    Live from my bunker in Houston,

  71. I hope you don’t have MS, but if you do, there are lots of upsides. You can probably get a handicapped hang tag for your car, thus insuring always being able to get a good parking space. Even on the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t have autoimmune disorders – I collect cancers – but I’m pretty sure that MS will add to the cards you keep in your back pocket for when you want something. Also, it’s worse to be scared of what might be than to face what is.

    And you know we’ll all still love you and support you no matter what.

  72. Super sad I can’t see you on your tour– but hopefully I’ll catch you next time. Stay strong- try not to get too down. You’ve got an AMAZING network of people here who adore you!

  73. If MS stands for MAGICAL STANDARD-BEARER of awesomeness — and I’m pretty sure it does — then yeah, you’ve got MS. Bad.

  74. I don’t know if your doctors have mentioned it, but there is a strong connection between auto-immune diseases and wheat. They are also making connections with depression and wheat. While it may not be an exciting thoughts, the transition to a gluten-free diet is not totally horrible and might make you feel better in all respects.

  75. I can’t believe you’re coming to Montclair, NJ and I no longer live in Jersey! Nuts to this!!!! Is there any way I can bribe you to come out to Las Vegas, NV? Cookies? Booze? Stuffed cookies with booze?? Good luck on tour.

  76. Hah, my doctors think I may have MS too. I figure Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Lupus are enough. I refuse to have it. From what I hear it doesn’t seem to be any fun, so just, no.

  77. If you don’t mind my asking, what two autoimmune’s have you actually been diagnosed with? If you do, you won’t answer 😉 I have lupus and celiac with arthritis symptoms; it’s sexy. I’m waiting for my third to complete the trifecta as well. I’d definitely recommend you get tested – it’d give you context and we writers loooove context…Thanks as always for your humor and sardonic resilience. Keep at it!

    (Poly-rheumatoid arthritis and anticardiolipid antibody syndrome. ~Jenny)

  78. Oh G-d, my internist told me to see a Nuerologist because I’ve had tingling in my hands and feet. I ignored her. Now i’m having a panic attack because of you. MS? Maybe I have that too. Guess I’ll make an appointment. Have fun with the streaker dude guy in Brookline. Now, my autoimmune disease (Thyroid) and my anxiety disorder along with my Fibromyalgia are getting together in my stomach for a nausea fest of massive quantities. I can’t read your book anymore, unless the Xanax kick in fast. It was nice knowing you. Love, your friend Laurie F. p.s. if I can’t sleep tonight I totally blame you. And me but mostly you.

  79. MS isn’t good but I agree with everyone who says get tested to make sure, know your enemies I always say!! My sister says she sympathises she has psoriatic arthritis and is allergic to most things so says she knows what its like to have your body working against you…..just remember what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, only those people who are truely amazing and were put on this earth to make a difference to peoples lives will have so many obstacles put in their way, you are an amazing individual and no matter what the obstacle just keep on keeping on *hugs* the world needs more people like you.

  80. I know I’m probably the 2,357th person to suggest this, but have you ever been tested for Lyme disease? I, too, have RA (not going for a trifecta, though), and in the process of learning about THAT little slice of heaven, I learned a lot about Lyme, too. It’s a bugger to diagnose because it mimics so many other nasty things. Seriously–no MS allowed!!!

    I have been feeling the Bloggess joy today, as I have finally found my very own Beyonce (though he’s only 4 feet tall) at a local crafts fair. We will be very happy together, I am sure.

  81. I’m so glad your feeling better! I missed reading while you were gone!

  82. I thought this was funny, and super appropriate if you have kids (or even just one) out of school for the summer. It is a mite on the tame side for your crowd…but it is all I have, but I’m giving it to you.

  83. Whoa! You are or have a literary doppelganger! Way to go! So cool! Now you just need a literary poltergeist, or maybe a literary banshee… always so much on the to-do list.

  84. So I know one other person on here commented about trying a gluten free diet. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis years ago and my doctor wanted me to go straight to pills without trying anything else first. I broke up with him and decided to try gluten free and my r.a. symptoms went away 4 DAYS after going g.f. I still have other types of arthritis that bother me but I don’t feel like I have been run over by a truck ever day now. Just something to think about. I know bread is good. Seriously good. But it is so worth giving up if it helps you!

  85. Ahem…. Canada is STILL not on that list; I don’t know if you noticed or not, and I know only a couple other people pointed it out, so I thought I’d mention it. Again. Actually, I think I’ve reminded you a few times.

    You know, for what its worth? I’m pretty sure Canada is the cure for everything. It’s all the maple syrup and awesome beer. That reminds me of a joke!!!

    What do American beer and making love in a canoe have in common?

    They’re both fucking close to water.

    Wait, maybe that’s counter intuitive humour if I’m trying to get you to come here… Just forget it. (the joke part, I still want you to come here…

  86. Ann and I have been reading your book to each other in the late evenings, which is great fun, but I really hate it when I “break character” and start snorting because it is sooo damned funny. I guess it’s not such a problem, considering… Thank you for the laughter, and for this blog, as well…

  87. Ok. One more serious post about health issues and then I’ll stop playing doctor. Since you have . . . . come in contact with . . . a variety of animal hides (living, recently living, long dead, and everything in between) throughout your life, have you considered the possibility of not just Lyme (as I suggested above) but some other form of cootie associated with animals and/or insect bites? Some possibilities: Morgellon’s Disease and Tularemia. Many of those types of infections have neurological, musculoskeletal, and emotional compoents.

    Other suggested reading for Jenny and any other RA sufferers out there. I have found that acupuncture has been enormously helpful with my RA, but this book gave me quite a bit to think about and seems to have been very helpful to many people with autoimmune disorders.

  88. Dear The Bloggess,

    I have nothing to entertain you with, but perhaps I can make you feel warm and fluffy. I’ve been following your blog for about a year, I follow you on twitter, I bought your book, and I met you at the Gaithersburg book fest. I do all of this because you are fracking hilarious, and because I’d like to have your brain (but not in a zombie way – in a jealous ‘how do you come up with this stuff’? way).

    But I come here too because I am always inspired to see you functioning and flourishing while being one of the unlucky ones with depression and anxiety. The mostly serious posts you write about how depression lies and about how it may be kicking your ass right now but you know it won’t last and about how all of us who struggle with a mood disorder or mental illness or any other illness are NOT ALONE are the most wonderful things I’ve ever read.

    When you signed my book at Gaithersburg I sort of mumbled something about how I appreciated your depression posts and how important they were, but I was too awed by meeting you (and the fact that you were able to read your book to us and then meet all those people when you probably just wanted to find the nearest bathroom stall to hide in) to say anything more. So here it is – you have saved lives, you have made it okay to talk about having depression, and you have fostered this amazing group of people who have joined the chorus with ‘yes, I am depressed but I’m also (insert anything else here you’re proud of) and I’m not going to let depression ruin me’.

    “Depression is a lying bastard” is my mantra whenever I feel myself slipping. And then I come to your blog and read about the good and the bad and I remember that I’m not alone. You are so cool.

    From the top, middle, and bottom of my heart – thank you for being you.
    🙂 Julie

  89. I had an MS mis-diagnosis last year. I started shopping for tricked-out scooters and sword-canes. I was disappointed when it turned out to be bone spurs instead of MS… I didn’t get a refund for the funky diapers.

    Are you sure you don’t want to come to Vancouver on your book tour? Pretty please?

  90. Glad u r feeling better… hopefully it was just a bout of feeling tired and overwhelmed with the tour and attention it creates. Loved ur book…felt like I could have written it myself [or with u] . Good luck on the next leg. Stay real…

  91. Ok, for my contribution to shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-I-wish-I-did:

    Check out this amazing, inspiring orphanage/school in Nepal:

    I just found out about it, applied for a fellowship there, and have been addicted to reading all of the posts and info about the kids and the totally badass young woman who founded it. Not necessarily “funny,” but I guarantee at least one tear of happiness if you watch one of their videos.

  92. I took your book on a cruise with me. I started reading it on the airplane and got many odd looks as I’d burst into laughter. On the cruise ship, I was laughing so hard reading one chapter that I had to hand the book over to the librarian and internet manager so that they could enjoy the same chapter then and there.

    I second Reanna’s plea of “come to Vancouver!”

  93. Glad to hear that you’re feeling better and survived the Disneyland trip! 🙂

    I’ve won a copy of your book from fellow blogger, Pish Posh, and I’m so excited! Can’t wait until it gets here… it looks and sounds great!

    Have fun on the last leg of your tour – hope there’s some more random and interesting autographing to be done – although, at this point it, seems like people’s creativity might be running out. We’ll see 😉

  94. My sister’s doctors thought she had MS because she was displaying a lot of the symptoms. However, when they did the tests nothing was there. Her doctor finally checked her vitamin levels and she was massively deficient on vitamin D. I really hope you do not have MS. If your tests come back negative, I suggest asking them to test your vitamin D levels. Apparently the symptoms between the are very similar. Besides getting massive doses of vitamin D pills, you could tell Victor you need a milkshake every day. For your health.

  95. Really? No Buffalo? Your brand of crazy is what passes for normal around here.

  96. I am so excited! I am going to Chicago next weekend for a girls weekend and can’t wait to see you!

  97. Whether or not you have MS, here is a link to a TedTalks presentation by a woman who kicked MS’s ass by changing her diet. It is pretty amazing, hopeful and totally inspiring.

    My contest-entry music videos are pretty entertaining…one is just badass and the other is comically semi-soft-porn…both extremely amateurish…which adds to their entertainment value in my o-so-biased opinion.

  98. Oh, and how’s this for entertaining…

    I’ve promised to make a Traveling Red Dress for a service chihuahua, so that she can match her mommy.
    Of course, I’m not sure if it will ever actually travel, and how could you manage the list because while there are plenty of chihuahuas with Facebook pages, I suspect that few of them are terribly good typists.

  99. I have never laughed at a book as much as I have from reading yours. I’ve already told my fiance that he has to read it when I’m done because he keeps asking what I’m laughing about. I really hope one day you come out to Canada *cough,Edmonton,cough* so I can meet you in person. You rock. That is all. 🙂

  100. For entertainment — you were travelling and you might have missed this.

    I love you and would totally marry you if Victor hadn’t already. And if it weren’t still illegal in most states.

  101. All three places are places I have been! That is kinda cool. Have fun! So I mentioned your book to a co-worker and they told me “Oh, I am reading that book while I exercise!” When I questioned how, they said “I need a funny book while I am on the treadmill.” ???? I then decided they were lying because it is not possible to read your book without peeing your pants.

  102. If it helps, my neurologist says that the vast majority of MS patients are pretty ridiculously healthy, otherwise (which she told me one day when I said that I tend not to worry about any possible big medical problems, since I feel like I already have my big medical problem, thanks). So…in that case, you probably don’t have it? Since you have too many other medical issues otherwise? That’s shitty logic, but still. (But yeah, you should have an MRI if any of your doctors suspect that you have MS, because if that starts going poorly…well, in the time between the first drug I was on not working well enough and finding a new drug that would work well enough, I went into an extreme downward spiral that led to me not being able to walk for more than a few blocks, falling down randomly all the time, losing most of the fine motor control in my hands — I could only type with my index fingers, I dropped my toothbrush a dozen times every time I brushed my teeth, I couldn’t hold onto a glass or mug to drink from without both hands and my elbows propped on the table, &c. — and I lost about 75% of the vision in my left eye. That all happened within a 6-month period. It was pretty amazing. Luckily, the meds I am on now have worked like magic, and now, three years later — after my usually very optimistic doctor telling me that if I didn’t find something that worked for me, soon, I’d be looking at permanent disabilities before the age of 30 — I am pretty much as fully recovered as I will ever be, and you’d never know anything was wrong with me. And my drugs haven’t killed me yet, either (fingers crossed — even though my odds are now up to something like 1 in 250). All of which is to say — yes, have an MRI if your doctors think you should. The end.)

  103. Glad to see you are out of your funk, as evidenced by the slammin return of your brilliant sarcastic witicisms. IN YO FACE, Depression! 🙂 🙂

  104. I don’t think it’s a “this week” sort of thing, but I only just discovered and it’s awesome. I’m attempting to follow instructions to entertain you. Unless you already know the page because you wrote the cards under an alias, in which case it’s kind of useless. Or you suddenly become afraid that someone has been getting into your head and has been stealing your awesome card ideas, in which case it’s almost mean of me. Promise I’m trying to be nice.

  105. so happy you are feeling better. kick ass review, too. have fun on your next tour and GET TESTED (while you’re at it – get something for that testicular cancer).

  106. Jenny – loved, loved, LOVED your book. Now, I need to meet you and have it autographed! Have you thought about coming up to the Pacific Northwest for some book tour dates? I’m a gazillion percent positive you would have an amazing signing at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. Us tree-hugging, rain-soaked, recycling, hippies, up here, would LOVE to see you!

    And, depression has been lurking around my life for the last couple of weeks, and that fucker is a liar. Just like you said. Thanks for everything.

  107. Admit it. The reason you haven’t come to Virginia is because of my repeated invitations to come over to my house, where I would feed you and booze you up and let you go home only when you are full, happy and probably mostly tanked. If I retract the invites will you reconsider? And hey, thanks for not sending me a cease and desist yet. You’re a trooper.

    But all of that aside. Darlin girl, your body doesn’t want you dead. It just needs you to listen. Please don’t be cavalier with the health you’ve got. Get yourself checked out. Because a body that is ignored is lot like a cranky unsupervised bored toddler on crack. Which is never a good thing. I suppose such a preschooler *could* actually create a masterpiece, but is most likely to fingerprint with zinc oxide all over your carpet. Or experiment with power tools on the toilet rim. Or superglue themselves to the cat. Just saying.

  108. God help me. How is is possible that even though you are not “on” you are making me LOL. literally. Plus pee al little. It makes me scared for mwhwn you are the top of your game. And hello? You are making me laugh about MS?!?!?

  109. Jenny –

    Long time follower, first time comment-er. I know, out of all people, you can pull through anything!

    In hopes of brightening your day, I wanted to share that because of you; I finally have seen Dr. Horrible’s sing along blog. In watching it, I was enthralled and told me husband he had to watch it because of all of the celebrities who appeared in it. When asked who, my first two responses were NPH and that guy that won’t hold twine…..BECAUSE OF YOU.

    Get checked out, you make life better.

    PS- I live in Hailey, Idaho. Not that you would ever come here, but it is a Beyonce mecca. First week here, I spotted 3 in a city that takes 5 minutes to drive through.

  110. Okay who wants to stand in for me as maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding on the 8th so I can go to the Brookline signing? Anyone? Hey, what’s Juanita up to? She’d look fabulous in a gown & heels..

  111. Just saw your book in the New Orleans airport … front & center, baby! Wahoo!!

  112. I’ve had two opportunities this week to talk about your book. 1 – meeting with the VP of sales. There was a pause in the conversation and she asked if anyone was reading any good books. I was about halfway through yours and got to share all about it. I’m not sure I did a good job. 2 – my father (very conservative man) proudly told my sister and I that he ventured out of his reading comfort zone into Stephen King. I gleefully told him and my sister (my sister and he?…he and my sister?) that I was reading your book. He looked confused. My sister was jealous. It took me about a week to finish the book. I would’ve read it faster, but work got in the way. It is so good. Better than expected. Thanks for sharing all the truths (and non-truths) with us. I laughed so much. And promptly gave it to my sister when I was finished.

    On an unrelated note (but related to this post) – I hope you don’t have MS. It’s my opinion that you’ve got enough shit going on in your life; you definitely don’t need something else. I’m not sure that my opinion counts in the disease world, but hopefully it does. 🙂

  113. My poor excuse of entertainment…don’t blame me I’m not the Bloggess of Awesomeness therefore I am LOADS less entertaining…

    Why couldn’t the kid go see the pirate movie?
    Cause its rated aarrrgh!

    Why do gorrilas have big nostrils?
    Because they have big fingers!

    That’s it. That’s all the lame jokes I got. Hopefully you are now (mildly) entertained.

  114. I don’t have time to read every single comment, but I will say this: MS symptoms can be reversed by diet. There’s info on the web. Don’t let them fool you. Do your own homework.
    I just had to throw that into the mix because nobody else will tell you that.
    I have two brothers with MS. They don’t believe a word I say. So I don’t expect you to, either. No big deal, it ain’t my business. Just figured I’d mention it anyhow. Most of what I say, that has anything to do with alternative health care gets ignored. I only suggest that you ignore it after doing your own research. I care about you and I wouldn’t bother to post a comment if I didn’t.

  115. Your whole MS thing made me laugh.
    But only because the way you wrote about ‘ thinking you have MS but not testing to confirm’ totally reminded me of the Seinfeld episode
    “I suspect he converted to Judaism simply for the jokes”
    ” and this offends you as a Jewish person?”
    ” No! It offends me as a comedian!”

    To quote Dolly Parton ” You have o first have rain if you want o see a rainbow”. Here’s hoping you are now seeing ours!! And also maybe you are not depressed so much as motherfucking tired because you are so motherfucking wonderful that your book became a motherfucking success!!


  116. So apparently I epic fail as a proofreader ” you have TO first have rain if you want TO see a rainbow” here’s hoping you are now seeing YOURS.

    And – end scene.

  117. Bring soundproofy earphones and kickin’ music for your MRI. If you have MS, don’t take the pill medication, too risky, it is a drag to take the shots, but it is amazing, as I am sure you know, what you can get accustomed to over time. And the shots give you time. And we need you around to make us laugh and get squigy around the eyes now and then. Thanks to you.

  118. We when we on a trip to NYC we also went to the hubs hometown in NJ. On Main St., in what appeared to be a run of the mill store, there was a mannequin in the window with her back facing the street.

    I found that strange. Then I realized she had on ass-less pants.

    Somehow in NJ that seemed less strange.

  119. My family has an AI trifecta. My brother has had RA since he was 8, my son has type 1 diabetes, and I have Sjogrens. My AI rules are that I get to stop every 30 minutes or so on roadtrips to use the bathroom and I get to drink as much soda water as I please. It’s a vicious circle in a constant battle against dry mouth and dry….well everything. Good luck on failing your MS test!

  120. Awesome, I have MS, thanks for the new rules 🙂 (…I’m looking forward to the last piece of pie (every damn time), but not so much the service kitten since I’m allegic, can I get service puppies instead? Thank you kindly 🙂 Also, brain disturbances doesn’t really mean zoning out, sorry, but it’s a great excuse to use for…well, everything, like… “I dropped that bottle of wine because my hand went numb from my MS, not because I’m drunk, asshole.” and “You can’t laugh at me for falling and cutting my hand on chicken, asshole, I have MS, which means I have shitty balance.” So there’s that 😀

    In all seriousness though, I hope you don’t have MS it’s shitty. Right now I’m having issues regulating my body temp… worse than a damn premie baby, I should be in an incubator or something :-/

  121. I was misdiagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Depression and continued to decline for years. I eventually tested negative for MS also (it’s more than an MRI…there is a lumbar puncture involved…ouch). I was finally correctly diagnosed with a rare dystrophy called Periodic Paralysis. It is a muscle channelopathy that mimics MS/FMS/CFS symptoms. If anyone suspects or has been diagnosed with one of these conditions but is progressing into debilitating weakness, bouts of depression, brain fog, and numbness, I can’t recommend enough that you consider pursuing Periodic Paralysis and other channelopathies.

    Thinking of you Jen and I hope this diagnostic process goes smoothly for you. Glad to hear you’re feeling a bit better, and you have my sincere admiration for continuing on your tour in spite of these challenges. XO

  122. has anyone told you how they TEST you for MS?

    They like rule out everything else and then are all well it is either demonic possession or MS.

    The diagnosis depends on the state of mind of your doctor.

    Also there are some fucking insane tests that require a metric fucktonne of valium. Which isn’t so bad afterall.

  123. Dear Jenny
    Love your blog, first time commenting. It has helped me through a few rough patches, you helped me view my issues a different way, instead of hiding, I now announce my issues and enjoy watching family and friends squirm because they don’t know what to say. It’s quite enjoyable. LOL. I was dx with SLE, and sincerely hope you don’t have MS, but whats another 5 pills to pop, when your choking down several a day anyway? Don’t let is go untreated, girl. Then your daughter will be pushing your butt around in a wheelchair, go to the doc. Keep your chin up. Keep smiling, We will keep reading. I am waiting for my day when I can feel happy again, I know it’s out there somewhere.

  124. Other people seem happy with stamp collecting…
    Glad that the depression cleared swiftly – I hope the MS test comes back negative. Best of luck with the leggy, leggy tour!

  125. Please tell me i can buy a mini beyonce when you come to Brookline. See you there!!!
    PS. My best friend has MS and when she tries to tell me that i haven’t paid her back for something I always reply with “yes i did. You don’t remember because you have MS!”. I’m saving a lot of money with that one!

  126. My husband was diagnosed with MS years ago, and had it for years and years. And then last year found out it was actually something else the entire time. I think the diagnoses on MS are a little shaky at best. Lord knows the drugs prescribed are questionable.

    We saw a woman in Walmart with a service cat in her cart. I can’t imagine convincing our cats to either wear a service vest or to sit quasi-calmly on a blanket in a cart while being pushed through Walmart. As far as I’m concerned the cat must’ve been maxed out on those 2 tasks, and couldn’t perform any other services. Then again, I’m pretty sure our cat needs a service cat herself to help her over her fear of the litter box.

  127. Okay, okay, okay… I’ll buy the book on my kindle. I LOVED both reviews you posted. Why am I this far behind the power curve? My friends — with friends like them, who needs enemies — only JUST introduced me to your blog. Well never fear… I’m here now and getting caught up. LOVE everything so far.

  128. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
    Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

    An old song, but it means just as much as it did when baz luhrmann came out with it:) (btw I almost wrote “dong” instead of “song” ahhhh!). Anyway I think you’ll be alright. Whenever you start to worry about your disorders, whether they be real or hypothetical, there is sooo much more to worry about. Which you should not. worry. about. Your life is always better than you think. You live in TX, so do I, but it could be so much worse, like if you were born in Africa. That would suck. South Africa would be better. But ACTUAL Africa? Whoaa… change travel plans.

  129. I *think* I went through all 146 previous comments (by the time this posts, there will probably be more) to find out what others have said about the MS, so I don’t repeat. I was diagnosed with it 10 years ago. I did 10 years of shots to no avail (that’s just me – others have reported good results). I’ve researched, I’ve gone on forums, etc. etc.
    Please feel free to email me if you are diagnosed – it’s not fun and information is your best friend.
    Something I didn’t read, so this might be new information- there is no test for MS (you probably know this). You have to have three definite…benchmarks…to be diagnosed. (You probably know this). MRI, Spinal Tap, symptoms. When you get the spinal tap – you may experience a terrible headache afterward. The solution, strangely, I found…and worked for me…was McDonald’s fries and a large Coke afterward. Dunno why. Was it the grease? Dunno.
    Picking a drug to slow the disease down is a crap shoot. I picked Copaxone because it has the fewest side effects. It is also a DAILY shot. Works for many, maybe worked for me…no way to know. I’m now in SP (secondary stage) and there is NO drug that will work for me. Took 10 years to get here tho and not everyone does, so…hope you don’t have MS. LOVE YOU. You make it all better.

  130. A few months back, I suggested to my church’s “Spiritual Celebration Team” that someone do a Spiritual Celebration (we’re UUs, we don’t do “sermons” or “services” per se) on The Traveling Red Dress. (and Post Secret- I was having a very needy few weeks, and both those interwebz phenomena helped me through)

    I got an email later, saying they loved the idea, that a friend of mine and I were on for both topics on May 20th.

    Um. What? Nooo! I didn’t want to do it, I wanted someone ELSE to do it so I could let the awesomeness wash over me. BASTIGES. Evidently nobody on the committee knew wtf I was talking about, so they decided that since I brought it up, I could talk about it.

    After much whining and postponing, with a backup plan consisting of bottles of Two Buck Chuck for the congregation so they’d forget we were supposed to talk about something, my friend and I put on our red dresses (I wore my red cocktail dress, after getting stuck TWICE in the ball gown [“Honey- I’m stuck again”] and not being able to zip it up anyway) with our Tevas and Keens and ROCKED THEIR WORLDS. She talked about Post Secret and had the room in tears and laughter, I talked about the Traveling Red Dress and had myself in tears. Damn depression. YOU LIE, YOU MFER.

    Anyway- it was a hit. If you’d like to see what we did: go there and check it out.

    And thank you, Jenny et al. I couldn’t have done it without you.

  131. Stop reading stuff on the internet, listening to medical commercials or reading medical books. You’ll mimic all the symptoms. When I was 9 1/2 months pregnant with my first. I was carrying two plates of spaghetti to the table. My little fox terrier was hovering around my feet. I was trying to balance them equally. But of course, being fat and pregnant it was hard. One plate slid off onto the dogs back. She went howling through the house trailing hot sauce and noodles. I started bawling. I sat on floor and then started laughing so hard I wet myself. Then the dog comes back into the kitchen trailing and eating spaghetti off her head. She stops to sniff my pee. This is what my husband walked in to. This really happened. There, did that get your mind off MS?

  132. My very good friend has MS and she is still doing bike races and fighting it like a Ninja. I don’t understand why so much crud has to settle itself into a black cloud over your head but I do know THIS…you always use the junk thrown your way to help others. And THAT is awesome. Some people just get stuck with an inordinate amount of crap to tolerate in one lifetime and I’m pretty sure you’ve had your quote filled on that one. Thanks for finding a way to use it for good. You rock!

  133. Docs thought I had MS too…Turned out to be Fibromylagia. Which is much more likely. Either way, it sucks. <3

  134. I hope you don’t have ms. You don’t need an AI hat-trick. So I hope the MRI (with contrast) doesn’t show anything.

    I WISH I could go to a book signing- but they are all sold out and/or sort of “encouraging” people not to go as it’s already so full. I hope some day you’ll come back to NYC, where people are never turned away!

  135. My sister has MS and the rest of us have a collection of AI things happening.
    Thought this might interest you, though.
    This is Lynnette Dickinson’s ( inspirational talk to the “Dru Discover Yourself” workshop held in Australia in 2011. Lynnette speaks from her heart about her journey with multiple sclerosis (MS) and how in her attempt to find peace in the face of being unable to walk (and sometimes even unable to talk) using Dru Yoga and Dru Meditation she regained the use of her legs and eventually got out of her wheel chair and walked again.
    Lynnette describes how she used visualisation, yoga and meditation to reverse and manage symptoms of her Multiple Sclerosis.
    This talk will appeal to anyone who wants to find peace in the face of difficult circumstances and to yoga practitioners interested in the power of visualisation and meditation. Lynnette’s journey is an inspiring story.

  136. You may not see this way down here, but if it does end up that you have MS, look into helminthic therapy. It seems gross and weird, but it’s way better than the icky drugs you’ll have to inject yourself with. I have a couple of people in my family with MS and they’ve paid a fortune for drugs that make them feel worse. (That’s probably not a helpful thing to say, sorry.) Hope you figure it out and continue to feel better and bring us lots of bloggy awesomeness. xoxox

  137. I am glad you are feeling better. Depression sucks. Your post about Hailey dancing in the rain made me happy cry.

    My mother has MS and has been fighting it since I was a child. My dear friend Matt’s father also has it. Both of our parents are quadrepelegic (don’t freak out – they were diagnosed back in the early 80s before all these new meds were developed to manage the progression) and we have been caring for them all our lives. My mother constantly jokes about her MS and debilitating Crohn’s disease and has an amazing sense of humor. Matt and I are known for our horribly inappropriate cripple jokes (which we only tell each other because we are the only ones who find the humor in it), but we have earned that right. We live it. Laughing at what scares you and threatens to control your life keeps you healthy physically and mentally. I love your joke about not listening to Victor. I hope you do not have MS, but I know you will continue to fight and maintain your positive attitude – and milk it for all you can.

  138. Oops. I meant, “I hope you do not have MS *but if you do* I know you will continue…”

  139. Jenny, I have MS and somethings about it ARE funny. Like the time I lost my balance, fell out of the shower and landed head first in the toilet. Yeah, I can laugh about it now. At the time I was just glad I had flushed.

    You keep me laughing and crying. Please continue.

  140. When I read MS, for some dumb reason, my brain translated that into SCOLIOSIS, which I can actually relate to since my pediatrician said I had from 3rd to 8th grade. He wanted me to wear a back brace, but when I tried one on, I looked like Frankenstein’s monster and cried for days.

    I need to get some glasses.

    Also, I think another rule for MS is that you get to take candy from the store without paying for it. Hopefully, the MS diagnosis is totally wrong and you can sue someone for that diagnosis.

  141. I have recently discovered a total absence of the D word in my head, that lurking insidious word —depression. For the last six months I have been wearing an Alpha-Stim device attached to my earlobes (tiny lead wires) as part of a pain reduction program due to nine spine surgeries and finally an implanted spinal morphine pump. I also started neuro feedback training. Like you, I also have RA, had colon removed from spine crap and my bladder is playing tricks on me. Like 4 surgeries in past 3 years and two spinal trials and finally a pump. More than 13 surgeries in 13 years. While the UCLA pain management program has completely given me back my life–really, I am experiencing the world of no-pain for the first time in over 20 years, it’s the amazing loss of depression symptoms without meds that is the best side effect. The Alpha-Stim is the size of an old transistor radio, invented for mood/depression and uses accupressure and mild electric stimulation, and my anxiety/depression from a lifetime of pain and illness is waaaay down and mellows me out after 20 minutes of use. Wear it anywhere, doing anything. Depression gone. No zombie, I can get appropriately sad. Please check it out, my favoritest writer, blogger, lady. Who knows?

  142. Rereading your book for the second time (is that redundant) and I think it’s actually funnier the second time around.

    I wanted to come to the Gaithersburg book fair, but after reading the review about how mobbed it was, I figure you were probably hiding under a table anyway.

    And…I really hope you don’t have MS! But it makes a great excuse.

  143. So many congratulations to you on the AMAZING reviews, especially the AudioFile review. I know the fans are the reason you do it, but it has to feel awesome to get such great critical response as well. Kudos!!

  144. Thank you for your honesty, the sweet story about your daughter at DW, your kick-ass grammar notice pin. Will you come to Seattle soon? Please?

  145. Hi Jenny!
    I have MS. After 4 years, I can finally say “it’s not that bad”. Once you get the right combo of drugs and therapy and diet and exercise and supplements… I have been on the “new” pill for a year and half now, and it has changed my life. Let me know if you need anything, Texas is a terrible place to have MS.
    You should also get tested for Lyme disease, the 2 have similar symptoms.
    If you are diagnosed, I would love to help. You have certainly helped me through the years.

  146. I will most likely be seeing you in MA! I just got your book for my birthday. I haven’t been able to read much of it because my mother insists on temporarily stealing it. It’s like borrowing, but without the permission. But I will have it with me, and I will go hide in a bathroom if you don’t sign it. Just a warning. Okay, I’ll go now. Glad you’re feeling better! Bye.

  147. I wish I has something wildly entertaining to share with you, but as my 89 year-old mother fell and broke her hip last Friday I have been the most boring person on earth for the last 10 days, sitting by her bedside trying to keep the hospital from killing her off like they tried to do last time.

    I have, at least, got your book with me to keep me company, and I did write about that in a post, here:

    Also if I can sneak off for a few hours I will be at your blog world keynote, as my BEA pass gets me in to that, too. Look for me there cheering you on ( I know how much it means to you to see a friendly, familiar face at your readings, so I’ll try hard to show up.)

  148. There is no cure for MS but it’s treatable. So get checked. Treatment can vastly improve quality of life.

    Most entertaining thing going on with me is that I suddenly have the urge to ferment every food related item in the house and garden. I just bottled 2 cases of beer yesterday – should be ready to drink in 2 weeks. Next up are the 12 lbs of table grapes I just harvested from the front yard. If it works, they should produce a gallon of white wine. The cabernets The Lovely Spouse planted in the back yard aren’t ready to harvest yet, but if we can keep the birds away, it’ll be a bumper crop.

  149. These are currently my favorite happiness makers: – a celebrity child talking shit about more celebrity children- what’s not to love?
    AND because dogs always make me so fucking happy, always.

    I am glad you are feeling better and bummed you’re not hitting up Salt Lake City on your tour. This state needs more humor like yours. Thank you for all that you do. You are so lovely and honest and you have helped so many people, myself included. You’re a peach Jenny Lawson, a god damn peach.

  150. M.S. stands for “My Shit”, so of course YOU HAVE IT!

    If Victor wants to win ANY arguments, he really needs to contract bubonic plague or a flesh eating bacteria.

    Or he could go just blind.

    Then his seeing eye dog could totally trash the house chasing your service kittens.

    P.S. When does your NEXT book come out?

    The one entitled “M.S. Means Motherfucker”.

  151. Ok – I get that you are ill – just tell the book people to shove off – do you have some sort of contract that makes you into their puppet?

  152. Holy crap I have to respond because some people here are just going to frighten you if I don’t.

    I’ve had MS for 20 years. YES 20. I’m 42 now. The only tests I’ve had performed are MRI’s every couple years. I spent the first ten yrs with very mild and infrequent flares. Then wham, one day (after being under a crapload of stress) I briefly lost my sight. Lasted about fifteen minutes. Did another MRI and the doc said I had more lesions. But guess what? I survived.

    Twice in the twenty years, and both times within two years, I tried one of the ABC drugs. I hated the side effects. Absolutely hated. They made me more miserable then the MS itself. My doc let me go off of them and I’ve never looked back. Never took them. I’ve had some miserable flares here and there, and the last two years have not been the best with more frequent flares, but I NEVER let them bring me down or stop my life. Little things happen that are annoying, such as my inability to write a coherent sentence, poor grammar and my title as winner of the Spelling Bee champ of 84 is a fraud these days as I frequently need spellcheck for words I always knew how to spell.

    The point is, I never let MS define. I never throw myself pity parties. I do however take it easy, I will not be supermom or wife, I know it takes a lot out of me. I like to save my energy for thinks I like to do like: riding my bike(not far mind you), dancing, the burlesque classes I’m taking in the fall. I can function normal just like everyone else. It’s just that sometimes I may tire out more easily then others and late summer is nasty for me as the heat turns me(and my kids) into hermits. But fun hermits.

    I know others who have it, and one is like me and doesn’t take the meds. The funny thing is, I’ve heard from longtimers like me who don’t take them and we’re often doing better then those who have been on them. Not to discount them for those who they work for, BUT sometimes there are other symptoms and health issues that come up from being on them for so long. I know one woman who they told years ago they weren’t sure she had it but they put her on the meds, and then something else made her sick and they put her on a few more meds and she’s had numerous health issues and can barely function. So yeah, I do think you have to be careful on them.

    Listen, even if you DID have MS. It’s not a freaking death sentence unless you want to make it one. Treat life like normal. Do what you want to do.

    Yes I eat pretty good(Jeanne K from above, one of the biggest pet peeves of MS patients is one someone well meaning tells them what they need to do/try etc. Leave your brothers alone, diet doesn’t have to be perfect, you just can’t live only on junk food. Your comment sounded really antagonizing even to me) in fact dropping red meat was the smartest thing I’ve done. Oh, I still love choclate, wine and vodka. So yeah, just don’t live on soda, mcdonalds and doritos and I think you’ll be ok.

    This whole long post is just stating that I love your attitude and if you have it, you’ll make it work. If you don’t, then awesome. Just don’t let people frighten you.

  153. Dude, I’ve had MS for 15 years and no one every told me about the damn service kittens! I’ve got to have a little talk with a few cats I know.

    (Also there is a pill – they just don’t offer it as the first option)

  154. Whenever I am feeling down, or out-of-sorts, I either google-image search snubbies (baby sloths), or I watch this, which is at the top of my bookmarks toolbar.
    Bath time for baby sloths! It’s pretty much impossible to watch this and not feel a little joy in your heart. 🙂

  155. Woo hoo!!! Four of us are going on a ROAD TRIP to see you, Jenny, on Wednesday! This is the Willow Grove PA contingent, excited to make the 73 mile road trip to see Jenny. Adrienne needs to figure out a way to get out of the staff meeting so she can leave with the rest of us at three. (Being a mom, i do not want her making that drive all by herself. )
    We love you! <3

  156. i just read the chapter about your RA, and all i could think was how amazing you are that you keep on keeping on. i really hope you don’t have MS. unless you want it to piss off victor.

  157. Hmmm. I (probably don’t) have MS too – based on my symptoms of the past 2-4 years. You’re right, it is a great way to get out of stuff your spouse wants you to do – which is good besides otherwise it’s just sucky and I really hope that we feel lousy for some other reason because MS is a mofo. Take plenty of vitamin D – there seems to be a link between low vitamin D and MS.

  158. When are you coming to Minnesota?? I hope that is on one of your legs. Also I hope you don’t have MS. But if you do you can think that so did President Bartlett on West Wing and he was pretty badass just like you.

  159. Glad you’re feeling better!!!! Here’s a funny for ya…my husband asked one of our 5 year old twin boys, “What is 20+0?” His loud and proud response… “MUSTACHE” He asked the other twin the same question, and his response was, “Um, then I’d have to count all of my fingers and toes and I can’t do that because I have my shoes and socks on and we’re out to eat and I’ll get in trouble at the table.” I was honestly waiting for him to yell out…”BEARD” That would have been too good to be true!

    Have a great tour!

  160. Jenny,
    If you do end up being diagnosed with MS, I know there are treatments. Two of my coworkers were diagnosed and ended up participating in a trial drug test (some sort of once a week shot). It has been at least 10 years since each of them have been diagnosed and they are both doing great. If you want, I can ask them what it was exactly and get back to you.

  161. Jenny–my dearest friend (and all-around-amazing-person) has had MS for YEARS–and while there is no cure, there ARE treatments. So you might want to get diagnosed.

    Also–AUTO IMMUNE ISSUES SUCK. In January 2006 I got diagnosed with Graves’ Disease (auto-immune hyperthyroidism) and in 2010 I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease (wheat/rye/barley make my body attack my small intestine) and most recently I have got diagnosed with ideopathic peripheral neuropathy–so I totally get the auto-immune trifecta. (I hate the word “ideopathic”. Doctor-speak for “something is wrong with you and we don’t know why–but it’s almost certainly your immune system.”)

    BUT–there ARE TREATMENTS FOR MS. Go finish your screening, you silly. I will send you some thing pretty if you go. I will. I promise. Something shiny-sparkly. Promise me? Ok. Good.


  162. Boy! I have MS, but I only have 2 geriatric, self-involved cats. I need a service kitten!

  163. It’s irritating the crap out of me that I can’t find tickets for June 9th in Chicago. I’ve been all over their stupid website. Must givez me ticketz!

  164. “The rabbit, of course — for fans in the know — would be stuffed and wearing some sort of period costume.”

    This person totally gets you. That’s so cool.

  165. My husband has testicular cancer and the good news is it’s very treatable, fyi. On the other hand, I’m suuuper sick right now being twelve weeks pregnant with our first kid and he’s all, “Quit your bitching, I have cancer.” Asshole.

  166. I also can’t find your Chicago 6/9 date. Please help, I’d be traveling 17 hours to come, and I really really really want to.

  167. The MS card is, indeed, pretty rad. Actually having MS, though, sucks donkey balls. Hope you don’t have it. The good news is that it can be effectively halted (in most cases) with medicine, so it’s not as bad as it used to be. Crossing my fingers for you, bb. Oh and I wish I could come see you read in Montclair, but it’s too late and slightly too far. Congrats on everything, and again – hoping for the best.

  168. One of my best friends has MS and you are spot on with the rules. She definitely gets to make fun of it, and so do we. She always gets the last slice of pie. Or cake. Or the last brownie. I do hate it when she goes for the last beer, though. And sometimes she says that “my MS is acting up” but I KNOW she’s just not listening to me. In fact, I often tell her that I’m pretty sure she’s making it all up out of convenience. I mean, come on…”I can’t join your softball team because my arm goes numb and it just really doesn’t work”. SURE. Try to use that as an excuse for your shitty throwing arm. Or, “The heat makes my MS act up so I really can’t go to this party today”. DAMMIT. You suck! Why don’t I have a sweet excuse to skip this damn grad party?

    In all seriousness it’s a pretty crappy disorder but there are pretty effective treatments out there. My BFF can’t get away with her excuses nearly as much as she used to now, which is a very good thing. 🙂

  169. Not an entertainment post, but my mom is the Queen of Autoimmune Disorders. She has some you’ve probably never heard of, along with heart, high blood pressure, liver, and other problems. Yet she continues (in her 70s) to be an active member of the faculty of an Ivy League university, conducting all kinds of interesting and sometimes scary psychological research.

    Just FYI, in order to manage her RA (which you also have), she uses a top-of-the-line massage chair. You may want to look into one yourself. Movement is key in these joint disorders, and the massages help her keep going and manage the pain. Oh, and compression helps too. Maybe you could even decorate yours with some sort of ethically taxidermied animal skin?

  170. I so hope the tour won’t be over just yet. I haven’t had a chance to go to one of them yet. I was planning on flying to Chicago this weekend but I couldn’t get the day off.

    Come on, Kansas City wants you!!!

  171. I have 14 new kittens (a kitten herd, if you will) and I’m training all of them to be service kittens. I think there’s gonna be a real market there.

  172. I just went through the whole MS scare as well. Had a brilliant time waiting for the MRI results. How about Radiologists the speed-up the results process, so I don’t acquire an ulcer in the mean-time.

  173. I grew up exposed to MS. My dad was diagnosed in 1988 and a classmates mom had it. I saw both extremes; Dad would have occasional flare ups that required walking assistance (cane usually) and IV steroids. My classmates mom was wheelchair bound. It really does affect everyone differently. I was diagnosed in 2006; I keep saying I’m glad I got Dad’s genes because Mom has Crohn’s.

    One thing nobody has mentioned; when you do the lumbar puncture ask for a neurosurgeon/neurologist to do it. And ask to be put out for it. Mine was done with a local and the bastard made me move with the needle in my back. From what I understand though, that’s not the norm. Good luck and if you do have MS, honestly this is a good time to have it. There are so many more meds and so much more understanding than there was even 15 years ago.

  174. WOW, there are so many funny people who read your blog. I can only wish to be so witty. Hope the trifecta doesn’t come through but maybe you should consider betting on horses on a more enjoyable alternative.

  175. I actually DO have MS, and I didn’t know about the service kittens rule, but now that I do, I am SO getting a dozen or two.

  176. I’ve recently started the (never-ending!!!) series of tests for autoimmune crap… bless your heart! Let’s stick together and stick this out? 😉 I definitely think that service kittens should be a thing. Ferris Mewler and my cat Meri would probably be the worst cats for the job, but whatevs. It’s an excuse to take my kitty-kitty everywhere! She does look good in her sparkly leash….

  177. I do have MS, and I have two cats. I want more, but husband (realistically, damn him) says no.

    Maybe I can convince him under the heading of service kittens???! (Of course, about the only “service” they provide around here is waking him up at 4am for breakfast. That, and puking.)

  178. MS? I am willing to bet that the AMA or the New England Journal of Medicine just published an article on MS and now everyone is throwing it around at cocktail parties and patients alike. Just last week my neice went to the ER three days after childbirth to complain about sudden numbness in her legs. They gave her two MRI’s and a cat scan to rule out MS, which they ultimately did, but I had to ask the obvious question: “MS? Why would they go there when the woman just had an epidural: a needle shoved into her spinal canal which can cause inflammation and nerve damage?” Why, indeed. Here’s hoping your doctors are similarly distracted.

  179. I have three too! We can be twins. Of course you don’t have the same ones I do, I don’t think. I hope you don’t really have MS, but if you do, your rules sound reasonable. Have at it!

  180. Not only was that a great book review, but the reviewer has the most awesome title ever: “director of blog engagement”.

  181. I hope you don’t have MS. I hope I don’t, either, but I probably do 🙁 I shall wish luck on both of us for that.

    And here, if you haven’t seen this, it’s FABULOUS. Remember that photo of Tom Hiddleston in full Loki gear with a kid holding a Captain America shield sitting on his shoulders? Well, the kid’s dad wrote a post about it and he also met Chris Evans and reading about how awesome Hiddleston and Evans were, I may have teared up a bit.

  182. You wrote on your May 30 blog that you felt the onset of some sort of deep, dark depression, the kind that you’d experienced before and were afraid of… Then, voila! By June 2, “the depression cleared away.” La, la. How magical. Turns out it’s not “depression” at all! Instead, it’s — wait for it — MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS! Come on. Please. For those of us who actually DO suffer from depression that can last for months, your milking your 4-day “funk” is ridiculous. And then to suddenly claim multiple sclerosis?? (What was it earlier, rheumatoid arthritis?) You’ve got to be kidding with the public pleas for sympathy for the disease-du-jour.

    (Stephanie, this is Jenny. Not all of my depressive periods last for long periods of time. I’ve been in therapy off and on (currently on again) for over 18 years for mental illness and I take anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, and two types of anti-anxiety pills. Luckily they work for me and often my depression can pass in under a week. I’m very lucky that way. I also have severe poly-rheaumatoid arthritis and I’ve written about it for years. If you look back a few years ago you’ll see pictures of me in wheelchairs and in hospitals when it was really bad and I have permanent deformity in my hands according to my latest x-rays which I get quarterly. I’m very luckily to have found an injection I take regularly that has helped tremendously (simponi) and I haven’t been in a wheelchair in over a year. I also had another autoimmune disease that caused me to lose several children but they were finally able to diagnose me. I took about 700 shots of bloodthinners in the stomach to have my daughter. It was worth every shot. The reason why the doctors are interested in testing me for MS is because MS causes many of the same symptoms that I have (depression, vision loss, muscle tingling and numbness) that were previously attributed to a possible depersonalization disorder. Personally I don’t think I have MS. I think my body is just broken and that’s just the way it is. I’m okay with it. I’m not answering your comment to defend myself because I’ve spent enough time in hospitals to know that what I have is real and not imagined, but I’m answering you because I know when my depression is really, really bad I get angry at the rest of the world and it seems like that’s where you are right now. I just want you to know that it will get better. It took so many years before I found the right therapy and drugs and support that worked for me. You will find it for you. I wish you nothing but the best. ~ Jenny)

  183. I will be in Chicago this weekend coaching the Carolina Rollergirls All-Stars against Chicago Outfit Roller Derby! I’m not sure if I can break away during bout day, but you should absolutely come cheer us on Saturday night at the Windy City Fieldhouse. We are HUGE fans of yours and actually created a Juanita award to give to our MVP for the first game of the year.

  184. Jenny is being far too nice to you, Stephanie. What a despicable thing to say to someone who is suffering.

  185. You have so much more patience and tolerance than I do… I would have told her to fuck off 🙂 LOVE YOU!

  186. We should all be so lucky to have our depression bouts only last 4 days. Just because its short, doesn’t mean its fake.

  187. Jenny, you are officially my hero. To respond with such kindness to this comment is true virtue. Honestly, if I weren’t married and straight I would ask you to marry me 🙂
    I hope you feel better, and Stephanie, too.

  188. Jenny, you’re truly going to heaven. Well, probably not. But people will be way nicer to you while you’re alive because of what you did for #240.

  189. In response to 241, Jenny, if you can make the bout (or even just part of it) you totally should, roller derby is so cool to watch! Smacky, good luck against Chicago!

  190. Sorry to hear about your balls. When I was a kid I had a cat that chewed off his balls…
    Loved your book! You are awesomeness!

  191. Officially, I have ADD-Inattentive disorder. I also have fibromyalgia. Neither of these are things that can be really tested for; both have many other things that look like them. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating to Jenny, too. Stephanie, you won’t be getting any support for your dead-wrong opinion here if that isn’t clear already. Along with my ADD I have a side-order of mild rapid-cycling bi-polar. MY depressive periods can last a few days. Hell, sometimes less! So until you’ve lived in her shoes….don’t cut her down.

  192. Regarding your reply to 240. Jenny you rock!

    I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder so I cycle in and out of depression and a mild form of mania. Sometimes I am in a mixed state which is a combo of the two. I HATE being told that I’m not depressed because it passes so quickly or I’m not manic because I haven’t gone on a bankrupting spending spree. I had no idea what stable could feel like until I found a fantastic psychiatrist 18 months ago. I still cycle but in a much more controlled range.

  193. Jenny, I just yelled in the middle of Panera “That fucking bitch” and then I was asked to sit outside. You were much more classier in this instance.

    As for you Stephanie, I’m a bi-polar, PTSD, rape survivor who can experience depressive periods that last 8 hours, 8 days, or 18 weeks. I have been in therapy on and off, and take my meds daily. Don’t believe for a minute that someone is faking their illness. I’m sorry that you suffer from your own disorder, but it is so sad to see one person attacking another because their illness doesn’t appear real enough to you.

  194. Re: comment 240
    (..worst horror movie title ever..)

    Having once been close to someone that claimed to have a lot of illnesses until it was rather like the Flavour of the Month Club, I can understand someone pausing and asking, “Wait, what?”

    That said, Jenny’s been honest about what varieties of broken she’s dealing with, and autoimmune stuff is wicked hard to pin down. Is it Lyme? Is it fibromyalgia? Is it rheumatoid arthritis? Is it MS? IMNSO, check everything. Check it twice. If you can find a magic bullet that has a treatment regime that cures what ails ya AND smacks down the depression? Rock the hell on and take another blood sample.

    THAT said, it’s ok to question. it’s not ok to be rude about it.

    And yes, depression can last a few days or a few months. My personal interpretive depression dance may look nothing like yours. It’s not a competition.

  195. “Jenny is being far too nice to you, Stephanie. What a despicable thing to say to someone who is suffering.”

    Agreed. You *really* think her depression and the possibility of MS is something to troll about?

    Just because it’s on the internet does not give you carte blanche to take pot shots at someones life and health. I’m amazed at the amount of people who seem to think any behaviour is acceptable if it’s in response to something public.

  196. ..I forgot to add:
    Also? Stress is a mofo that takes on all kinds of guises. In 2003, I was suspected of having MS. I lost my job due to the symptoms, which included a terrifying inability to not stay awake at work.

    After I lost my job? My “MS” went away.

    Yaaaaaaaay stress!

  197. re: 240

    A classy, kind, amazing response to an awful comment. This is one of several reasons why Jenny’s my hero.

  198. People like #240 are why I NEVER admit what’s “wrong” with me. Thanks for confirming the ten-year debilitating fear that everyone thinks you’re faking it til youre dead or dying.

  199. I think I should be able to have service kittens and puppies even though I don’t have MS, because I’m bipolar and mental illness is just as bad as all the other stuff. I don’t care what people say.
    Kittens and puppies make me feel better and are less likely to make me have renal failure after 25 years like some of the meds they want me to take 😐 (At least WebMD doesn’t mention anything about kittens, puppies and renal failure)

  200. Jenny, as someone who has suffered depression over the years, I totally understand the things that you are going through. Thankfully I have gotten to a point where my moods are fairly stable and I’m able to enjoy quality time for myself and with my daughter and my wife. Some days, when my wife is feeling overwhelmed and I’m just not in the mood for taking crap, we get into a bit of a snit and I end up really upset over something that is really not worth the time. I’ll end up in tears (and having my 5 month old daughter watching me cry was a weird experience for me – I’m not sure if she knew what was going on). Eventually, I took a rest, caught my breath, and then I’m back to normal in a day or two. I don’t like ending up there, but I think the fact that I can count on eventually getting through it has helped me deal with these bouts. I don’t think people that haven’t experienced this sort of thing can really understand, and at the same time, it can be hard to reason with someone who is seriously depressed because they have a distorted view of reality. It is such a shame that we put mental health down as a weakness in a person, rather than a disease that needs to be treated like any other. People with this illness need support from others, not disdain and statements that we just need to get over it. Why are there so few support groups for depression? You have AA for alcoholics and clinics for drug abuse, but I haven’t really seen anything of the like for depression (usually it is just therapists and psychiatrists, and sometimes a call line, but doesn’t it make sense that you feel better about your condition when you know that there are other people going through the same sort of thing? I have a feeling there are more depressed people out there that are simply unwilling to even acknowledge it and certainly unwilling to let anyone around them know). Unfortunately, it appears to be a personal battle for each of us that we either find a way to get through or we don’t. And some of the unlucky ones just didn’t get the help we needed. People often end up being surprised when someone takes their own life – surprised because they had no idea. Well, that isn’t their fault, but sometimes you meet someone who is clearly not a happy person but you don’t assume they are suffering from depression and need help. And since they are usually unwilling to seek it themselves, it gets a lot worse before anyone notices. Frankly, I wish I had known it sooner so that I could have gotten help sooner. Might have saved me a lot of painful memories. Glad that you are finding support through your followers. You are truly an inspiration and I’m so glad that your book is out and selling well. I had a chance to meet you in Concord during your book tour but it was the same week as the races and with my baby it was just too much. But I really wanted to meet you. Maybe some day in the future. Until then, you have my support. Keep going and holding your head high.

  201. Dear Bloggess,

    I attended your reading and booksigning at the Writer’s Bloc in Hollywood and heard that Neal Gaiman suggested that you “pretend to be someone who could read audio-books.” (I’m the one that gave you my card in case you ever want to come to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.)

    Having Neal Gaiman on my mind, I bought “American Gods” to read while travelling to my grand-daughter’s high school graduation (although I never mentioned that specifically to her).

    Yesterday, she (my grand-daughter) posted a facebook link to a Commencement Speech N.G. made, in which HE recounted recently giving the “pretend-to-be-a-person-who” advice to a “friend”.

    So now I have sent a copy of your book to my grand-daughter.

    Whew! That circle/cycle is done – for the moment.

    P.S. Thank you for an extremely entertaining evening in person and many, many, hysterical hours in print (and now I suppose I need to buy the audio for the singing if nothing else 😉

  202. Something I think it’s hard for people to grasp is that systemic autoimmune diseases are not perfectly-defined entities. At some point in time, doctors recognized a pattern of symptoms and called it “lupus” or “MS”. In reality, it’s more like a spectrum. Or a mix-and-match, but that makes it sound like more fun than it is. It’s not surprising either – there is nothing “well-behaved” about an immune system that attacks it’s host. This is also why it’s often a process of trial-and-error to find the right drug combination that will be therapeutic for a given person.

    So, you can think of it as having 2 or 3 different autoimmune diseases, or you can accept that your constellation of symptoms is on a different place in the spectrum – I think both ways of conceptualizing are fine. I simply take issue with people getting their panties in a twist about a topic on which they are ignorant.

  203. I read the blurb on that first book tour pic as “I’m coming for you”, like some zombie/bloggess/book tour mashup and just about peed myself. In joy, of course.

    PS: I bought your book at B&N this weekend. Sooooo excited to read!

    PPS: Hope you don’t have MS.

  204. Props to Jenny for being so sensitive. She recognized someone in the throes of deep depression and responded in a manner that (hopefully) wouldn’t make things worse.

    Yes, those of us who have followed Jenny’s blog for ages are aware of her struggles. We ache for her. But step back for a moment and imagine you’ve got major depressive disorder and someone says, “Hey, you should read this Bloggess lady. She’s all that AND a bag of chips.” (Yes, I just dated myself. SHUT UP.) You don’t know anything about Jenny’s history. All you know is you were hoping for someone who would understand and instead you found someone who appears to know NOTHING about how you feel.

    Depression is a lying bastard. We all know this. It tells us nobody understands how we feel. If I was deep in a depressive episode and I read that stretch of posts and nothing else, why would I read back?

    Jenny, I adore you and your ability to reach out to those in need without making them feel like less. Stay classy (AND a bag of chips).

  205. You are such a kind and genuine person. Kudos for you, handling the #240 comment with grace, and kindness. ((hugs))

  206. Jenny, your comment to #240 was amazing and classy and kind! I would have been angry and probably blocked her or told her to mind her own fucking business. I started reading your blog in 2009! I have read back every post since the beginning, bought your book and watched your YouTube videos.
    I have a nervous breakdown on may 13th last year. I had a huge car crashed this April which has set me back hugely in my recovery. I too am on antidepressant and Xanax for my anxiety disorder. For me, sometimes getting out of bed is such a huge task I don’t manage it! Today is one of those days. I know I will have some perspective again tomorrow and my broken body and spirit will be able to pretend to function again! I was so upset and frustrated last night that out of self hate and temper I punched my legs so hard that they are all bruised and sore to walk on.
    My mother suffers from depression but also has the debilitating disease that is rheumatoid arthritis. Her hands are so deformed she finds it difficult to cook herself a meal in the evenings. Yet she goes on, she survives, she takes her medications that make her sick and that are strong enough to kill cancer and yet cause it. She takes her weekly injections into her stomach that make her immune system so low she is constantly brewing an infection. She lost the sight in her eye, her beautiful hands, her job and her self confidence.
    To the lady who wrote comment #240 we all have our problems, our hurts and our frustrations. I personally appreciate Jenny for helping me find humor in my daily struggles. But for also introducing me to this community who all help and support each other. Autoimmune diseases are not to be scoffed at, depression presents itself differently every time. Don’t judge her or us her community for how we choose to get through our worries and anxiets at the next bump in the road, by laughing and smiling and being furiously happy even though we’ve been given a shitty deal!

    Thank you Jenny, thank you community and #240, I hope things get better for you soon.

  207. Jenny, you and your followers make me proud. Rather than rip #240 a new one, as would happen on many Internet boards, she is gently corrected, and wished well to boot.


  208. Well. Fuck me running. With a chainsaw. On fire. I’m late as always. All the funny/helpful comments I had have already been made. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to make it to your Atlanta signing, I would love to meet you and blurt out something inappropriate or have you autograph a bottle of my antidepressants. Love you! Stay awesome!

  209. And Jenny’s response to #240, ladies and gentlemen, is why time and time again we click back here to read her current antics, why her “army” has been able to do the amazing things it has, why a red dress has meaning beyond comprehension, why she is a best-selling author and why she has been touring to sold out venues for signings (which, seriously, enough is enough with that, get back here and bring us more funny!)

    You’re amazing.

  210. As always, Jenny and the commenters in this community always make my day.
    It’s not a contest, let’s all just remember that. (side glance at #240).
    keep truckin’ Jenny. My mom was diagnosed with MS, but it hasn’t stopped her. It’s just helped her understand what’s been going on in her body so she can manage it better. xo!

  211. I have a friendly acquaintance who always seemed to have the disease of the month. It was all that I could do to control my eyeroll with each new diagnosis. Then I learned she actually had Lupus and all those diseases of the month were actually conditions that stemmed from the Lupus. I completely felt like a Class A jackass for my insensitivity. Take it from this jackass, don’t judge if you don’t know the whole story.

  212. Jenny,
    Okay, the thing about MS — it’s apparently being diagnosed a lot more these days, because the diagnostic equipment is so much better. But doctors are also noticing a new thing about MS. More people diagnosed with it who show virtually no symptoms or symptoms that don’t progress or progress so slowly, the doctors think it will likely never in their lifetime turn into debilitating MS.
    It happened to my SIL about 10 years ago, and she still has virtually no symptoms. It happened to another friend of mine about two years ago. Same thing.
    I think it’s likely that a lot more people have the markers for an MS diagnosis than doctors ever knew and for some reason, it only becomes debilitating over time in a much smaller percentage of people.
    So if you ever decide to get the test and it comes back positive, please remember this. You have decades of awesomeness left.

  213. Hi Jenny

    I have the autoimmune, er, hexfectra: MS, Antiphospholipid, Reynaud’s, Sjogren’s, alopecia, a bunch of allergies and am currently delaying testing for suspected RA, because REALLY?

    No two people have the same experience with MS, or the disease modifying drugs. The only common thread is probably that you’ll find many, many people will have an opinion on why you have it and how you treat it. But you know what? I think whatever happens, you’ll cope, and you’ll be absolutely fine.

    (Also, the tests are really not ANYWHERE near as bad as they sound.)

    Karen x

  214. Have you thought about seeing a different type of Doctor? I’d highly recommened Dr. K in Austin.
    I saw this a while back, get your vitamin d levels checked, I’m out in the sun frequently & supplemented my vit D, but it was still low.

    Anyhow, have a great day!!
    I need to reread your book again or buy the audio version, but then I’d be laughing so hard I might wreck my car!

  215. I’m saying huzzah! to Charli (comment 202). Holy crap, don’t let anyone scare you! With what you’ve gone through with your arthritis, if it is MS, it is not going to stop you either! It hasn’t stopped me. I was diagnosed with MS in 2000 (I’m 48 now).

    I was diagnosed due to numbness and tingling, lack of balance, depression, the usual list. Went through a bunch of doctors, the battery of tests, got the spinal tap headache, three MRIs, etc. When I was diagnosed, the doctor said he was 99.9 percent sure it was MS or I had a brain tumor. I have to admit, if you’ve got to give a diagnose, that’s the way to make MS not seem so bad!

    I took the injections for 10 years. Then in 2010, the insurance at the small company I work went to pot (mostly due to me) and I stopped taking the meds. My husband almost cried two weeks later when I got up on a Saturday and instead of telling him how bad I felt, I was up and doing laundry singing. He was so happy…about the laundry… (FYI, my hubby is the BEST!)

    Unfortunately, the meds for me were worse than the MS. I have another friend with MS who lost her insurance and had to stop the meds, and like me, started watching her diet, lost weight and gave up artificial sweetners. She now rides in the MS 150 every year and is doing Iron Man competitions! Not me. I do better with walks and wine, though not at the same time.

    My friend is still a big believer in the injections though and I have other friends who the ABC drugs really help. If you do get a positive diagnosis, just listen to your body, your doctor(s) and do your own research too. Due to the very nature of MS, every course of MS is different, so too should your therapy be individualized.

    I still have issues (ok, so it’s not always the MS) but I’m doing fine. When my hands shake sometimes and people stare, I say it’s just the vodka. When I get a spasm and hit my friend in the head with a piece of buttered bread that somehow flew out of my hand across the table, I smile, say “your welcome!” and reach back into the bread basket. I take it easy when I need to and go balls out when I can. Most people never know I have MS.

    And listen to Charli, I want to give her a huge hug for her post. She’s got it down.

    Now where are my kittens…I left them somewhere…

    Love you and your writing lots and lots!

  216. Jenny, I have the same autoimmune issues that you do. We found out when I wasn’t able to heal after major surgery because my body fought off my immune system like a CHAMP. I had gaping holes in my chest that didn’t heal for more than 9 months. The nurses had me tucking maxi pads into my surgical bras as bandages. They advised me to be extremely careful with pregnancies and surgeries. My own Mom was in the room when they told me that (I was 17), but now, at 25 she thinks I’m “overreacting” with my concerns about prepping for baby-having in 5-10 years. Trolled by my own Mom, who had all the same evidence of my sickness that I did.

    2 years ago, I found out that the “severe ADHD” I’d been diagnosed with as a child was more likely Asperger’s Syndrome. I told a few family members and close friends who unanimously responded “no, I’ve seen autistic kids, you are not it.” Since then, this comment is the only time I’ve been open with the diagnosis.

    I’m really glad that you are so open about what has happened, is happening to you, even though there will always be people who refuse to comprehend. Illness isn’t cast in a mold. And there are a lot of Web MD Doctors out there.

  217. Stephanie @ #240,

    You’re obviously new to Jenny’s blog or you wouldn’t have posted your snide comments. Those of us who have been following her for awhile now know that she isn’t exaggerating or lying about her ailments. If you had taken a stroll through her archives, you would have seen that for yourself.

    That being said, you need to remember that not everyone who is sick looks sick or acts sick all the time. And everyone deals with setbacks differently. Jenny has been lucky – she found medications and doctors that are helping her. Just because you aren’t there yet doesn’t give you the right to attack her or accuse her of lying about her health problems.

    And Kellye @ #262, I hope you know that not everyone here feels like Stephanie @ #240. Most of us have our own demons we’re dealing with. Stephanie would do well to remember that just because someone doesn’t look ill doesn’t mean that they aren’t.

    Jenny, you’re a class act.

  218. Depression SUCKS. I’ve had it since I was little, and I’ve been obsessed with killing myself since I was 13 years old. A lot of people don’t understand depression – ESPECIALLY those who suffer from it. It’s a tricky bastard. And meds don’t always work. I’ve been on so many different pills, yet my depression cloud always wins. On top of it, I’m bi-polar. So I can have a perfectly good day, but then the next few can be SHIT. Dark, heavy shit that makes no fucking sense, and I feel so absolutely alone — and like I did something wrong and nobody likes me anymore.

    Jenny, what you said to Stephanie is so true. For years my anger toward myself and others has destroyed friendships, relationships, marriages — everything. But there is help, if we keep trying. That’s the best we can do, is keep trying. Even when it sucks and everything hurts for no reason other than your head is broken.

    We’re all fucked up in some weird way, and that’s why I LOVE your blog and your readers – because I feel SO much less alone in my insanity.

    Plus, you always (always) make me laugh – and this, my dear, is the best medicine in the world.

    Thank you for being so courageous. I know it’s exhausting.


  219. I really, really hope to see you in Boston this Friday, but I might not because I may have an appointment for a procedure scheduled for that day. Because my body is an ass hole. Because it refuses to grow and operate like a normal human being. I’d go into the details, but I’m sure no one wants to hear them. (I’ll just say the words “catheter with a camera on the end” and let your imaginations run free.)

    Also, enough with the freaking diseases already! I mean, yeah, it would be cool to be in the guiness world record book for having the most diseases at one time, but really, I think you’ve suffered enough, what with having Victor-itis and all.

    (JK V-man. You’re a cool dude, and the part in the book where you two meet is f-ing amazingly weird/awesome at the same time.)

    -The End

  220. I just had a round of MRIs last week on suspicion of MS. Called the neuro’s office today for the results and was told my scans looked normal. So there was a moment of elation followed by “crap, now I have to do more testing to figure out what’s wrong.”

    So I set up an appointment with an allergist. I’m not quite sure how I’ll feel if I find out it’s just pollen that has been making me miserable and causing difficulty thinking and numbness and tingling and a whole lot of other crap since February.

    Anyway, I’m a new reader (apparently I’d been under a very large rock and didn’t know it) but thanks for your blog. It’s becoming my new happy place. 🙂

  221. Jenny – don’t worry about what comment #240 thinks, or anyone thinks. What good does worrying about what someone else thinks? Are you going to change his or her perception? Probably not. Who cares? Obviously, she’s depressed, upset, trying to possibly figure out what she can do to get better. Maybe she can’t afford to see a doctor. And, if she doesn’t have insurance, who can afford the meds? They’re expensive. The meds are expensive for my bipolar, anxiety, and anticipatory stress, and I have insurance! I read her comment and thought to myself, she sees you experience happy moments in your life, positive things are going for you, and yet, here she is, in a dark, sad place. Maybe, she’s been stuck in this dark place for too long. Probably painful for her. Heck, I remember when I was at a moment in my life where nothing good or positive was happening: (divorced, repossessed car, credit cards charged up to $80K, fired from job due to my depression & too much sick time taken). I always dwelled on the negative, cried, felt sorry for myself. Then, I met my husband who is strong and positive. He’s a professional with an amazing outlook on life. I’m better each day. And, I have learned what triggers my depression and mania, and have educated myself. Does that mean, I suddenly got over my illness because I’m happily shopping in London for a weekend, or playing golf with my friends and laughing, having a great day? Hell no. But, I have learned to be less depressed, less manic, less anxious in certain situations. I’m not saying I don’t experience any more full-blown mania episodes, or avoid social situations due to my depression, or snap at my current husband just for coming through the door and announcing he’s home from work, because I do, I snap if my nerves are wrecked. In closing, I’d just say, focus on positive things: your family, your health, your friends. Wishing you happy thoughts.
    xoxo – Carrie

  222. I cannot encourage you enough to get tested for MS. While there is no cure there are so many amazing meds and therapies and they work so well that sometimes they feel like a cure. My sister-in-law (whom I adore) was diagnosed at 22. The doctors said with therapy she might make it to 30 before she was in a wheelchair. Well screw you doctors because she is now nearly 37, is definitely nowhere near needing a wheelchair and barely takes any medication to control her MS. Seriously, it’s important to get checked out and you’ll be glad you did (and so will my mom and I as we bond over your blog and book).

  223. Hi girl,
    so I have MS and I worked for the Nstional MS Society for a year before I was diagnosed. There are a million misconceptions about it, duch ss you can’t go on book tour if you have it. Also, there is no one test for it. To be officially diagnosed with it, you have to meet the McDonald Criteria. It is not a paralyzing disease thanks to wonderful disease slowing medications. Please get to an MS specialist soon. A regular neurologists can diagnose you, but in my experience it is better to start with a specialist since it is a disease that has a very wide variety of symptoms and no two cases of it will ever present the same way. Also, there are 4 diffeent types of MS, so you really need someone who works with MS patients often and is very familiar with the disease. If you have questions, feel free to send me an e-mail. xo Koppur

  224. sorry to hear about the possible trifecta, Jenny – and wishing you a speedy cure of the testicular cancer.
    But on the bright side…… Service kittens!! That’s brilliant. WHO wouldn’t feel better with service kittens?????

  225. Jenny–as always, you are a fucking rock star! You responded to that comment with a multitude of grace and compassion.

    Stephanie–I have had a diagnosis of depression for 20+ years. I added on the anxiety disorder about 10 years ago (though I think it was a piece of the puzzle all along). I am in a good place right now, and I am grateful every day to have found a good med combo that helps keep me in a good place more often than not these days. I do not mean to speak for anyone else, but I know that when I start to get “into a funk,” I am terrified that it will be more than that. I feel a responsibility to myself, to those who care about me, and to those who depend on me to pay attention to feeling even a little bit down and make sure I’m not headed into the ugly, dark spiral again. I don’t want to be curled up on the bathroom floor thinking of swallowing every damned pill in the house ever again. I don’t want to require 6 hours a day of therapy that puts my employment in jeopardy ever again. One of the ways I help myself is making myself accountable and sharing when I start to feel that way. It’s not “crying wolf.” It’s managing my illness the best way I know how.

    I’m so sorry that you are having a hard time. I hope that you can find your way to a better place sooner than later. Hang in there. It can be better than you describe.

  226. I’ve never been “moved” by a book review before. I can’t tell if it’s PMS or if the Washington Post writer just really loves you.

  227. Jenny,
    I have no idea if you read all your comments. I doubt it, BUT I hope this information crosses your path IF you are diagnosed with MS. Please check into CCSVI surgery, it’s an alternative to MS meds. I have a client (I’m a massage therapist) who had this surgery after years of debilitating MS. She now is no longer on disability and is experiencing a new lease on life. All I ask is you check into it and not only speak to a neurologist but also a second opinion from vascular surgeon familiar with CCSVI.

  228. 204 just reminded me why I fear opening up and letting people know my flaws or see me break. it upsets me that people feel the need to bash others and doubt them let alone hidden behind a keyboard.
    Jenny I love how you handles that so kindly and calmly I wouldn’t have been anywhere near so kind.

  229. The next Tina Fey? Much as I love Tina (and I do), I prefer to think that she’s “the previous Jenny Lawson”!

    Sorry your tour couldn’t make it to Philly – I’m sure I’m not the only one in town who missed you…

    – Pretzelogic


  230. Just another person trying to find June 9th tickets in Chicago! I don’t see them on the website. Are we all blind? : /

    (I don’t think you need tickets for the one at the center stage. Thanks! ~Jenny)

  231. I was hanging out in Indianapolis last weekend when I saw this limo and immediately thought of you! You have to check it out…it’s like a giant moving Beyonce!!

    I think you should see if they can come to Texas and then you could take Victor out in it 🙂

  232. So… I have to work the night you are going to be in brookline, MA, I will be at work down the street. I want to go see you sooooo badly and just shake your hand that has held MANY taxidermied (I think that is a word…?) animals but I have to work. Unless we lose power or our water supply gets cut off I can’t change my schedule to come see you. If you get a chance (maybe? possibly?) is it possible for you to stop at the Hair Cuttery on Harvard avenue? (technically in Allston which is down the street, but thats also not the nice city of Brookline, it’s a college ghetto.) I will cry and make a complete ass out of myself in front of people and my coworkers but it would be worth it. Or if you would at least proofread this comment and let me know, that would be cool too. I’ve taken special care to double space between sentences but I know that I like to throw in extra commas in the mix. Mostly for fun, and it sounds right.


    The Spoon Theory
    by Christine Miserandino
    My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

    As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?

    I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.

    As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.

    At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

    I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

    Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

    She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

    I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.

    I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.

    I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.

    We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.

    When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.

    I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”

    Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.

    After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”

    Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.

  234. I just spent a rather worried 15 minutes afraid that I was Stephanie #240 because I thought I’d commented on this post, then realised that the comment I was going to write was mostly sending you to your Sexis stuff, plus a few video clips (another depressed friend and I had just spent an ammusing evening sending funny things to each other on facebook messaging) but I didn’t comment because, actually, I was just going to send you to stuff you wrote and that’s just a dorky thing for me to do so I didn’t because I don’t want to look dorky. So I’m pretty sure that this is MY first comment here.

    But, if I WAS Stephanie #240, I’m really sorry and embarassed for my words. (particularilly as I know how painful it is when I worry that people don’t believe that I’m mentally ill. I haven’t even had the experience recently of being told that I’m not, I just worry that I will be told that by coworkers, so the actual experience must be so much worse, and I’m mortified if I had indeed been so cruel as that to you)

  235. All morning, there’s been a stupid little annoying bird chirping in every stupid window of the house. I went outside looking for it, rock in hand, ready to aim… nothing. Not a stupid bird in sight.

    Come back in the house… stupid bird starts chirping again.

    Husbeast sees that the crazies are after me again and steers clear of my destructive path… too scared to ask what delusions have me all worked up this time.

    That stupid bird? Yeah, turns out I had a wheeze in my nose. FML. Where are the couch cushions now?!

  236. Ok, it doesn’t look like I need a ticket for Saturday, so I’ll plan on being there that day. Will they have plenty of your books for purchasing? Just want to check if I should be picking up a copy before I arrive. The bookstore at the train station has it as well.

  237. Hmmm I just looked at the schedule and they’ve only given you an hour on Saturday. That seems entirely toooo short.

  238. I just wanted to come say I love you, EVEN though it has been impossible for me to get to one of your signings since I’m randomly in Iowa, so I’ve been really sad. I’ll be in San Antonio the first week of July to see my family, maybe I’ll run into you somewhere around Texas, and I can run screaming like a crazed fan girl up to you, and we’ll take pictures and hug.
    Also I finished reading your book, it’s perfect and I can’t wait for another one! My mom now has it on her wish list too! <3

  239. I also had intended to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, your blog and posts have often helped me through the super depressed periods and suffering that goes with my fibromyalgia, though I’m to be tested for rheumatoid arthritis next month, so many tests. I have an idea of what you go through and I’m glad you have an awesome family to help you and of course you have us, we’ll always help however we can, because I think you do help so many of us.
    xo <3

  240. Hey Stephanie #240, FUCK OFF. Because I don’t have half the class or grace Jenny does and nobody else did what had to be done. And yes, I most certainly *would* say it to your face. For starters.

  241. How much do I love that my “Fuck Off” post is the last one on the list? Sure hope no one else posts anything.

    Oh, wait…

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