If I just bought her a subsciption to the National Enquirer, maybe then she’d read things from reputable sources.

Yesterday, my mother diagnosed herself with the aid of a magazine. After reading an “article” in Woman’s World she declared that she is suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. “I have all the symptoms”, she exclaimed, “except for the sore throat, but now that I think of it mine does feel a little scratchy.” Then she let out a few coughs for good measure. Sigh.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read an issue of Woman’s World, but you would recognize it on the newstands as the magazine that features a BRAND NEW NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED UNTIL NOW MIRACLE DIET! LOSE FIVE POUNDS BEFORE LUNCH EATING ONLY CARDBOARD AND CHEESE! I don’t know how they do it, but these genius publishers find a new miraculous diet every single week. That and, ironically right after the diet section, they also feature a section with 6500 carlorie Meals Your Family Will Love and instructions on how to make a theme cake for whatever holiday might be approaching. Can’t think of anything to serve your guests on Martin Luther King Jr. day? How about a bust shaped cake of MLK himself, complete with grey icing so it looks like a statue. And licorice dots for eyes.

Warning: I once attempted to make a theme cake featured in this magazine. It was supposed to be a treasure chest and/or look something like a pirates booty. It was NOT as easy as 1-2-3, nor was it as easy as 78-79-80 and by step number 103 I was literally just throwing icing at it and hoping it looked edible. I ate the gumdrops and licorice dots as a prize for trying.

Another thing that Woman’s World features is a lot of those mushy, everything was tragic but by the grace of God it all turned out peaches and cream, kind of stories. You know the ones.

When Melissa’s baby was born with four legs and no head, she thought life was playing a cruel joke on her. Little did she know that this was a message from above teaching her strength and resiliance. Her baby would never see or talk, but oh the shoes she would wear!

So when my Mom decided that she was indeed suffering from CFS, I didn’t take it at all seriously. As per usual I asked her if she was going to go to the doctor to have it confirmed. As per usual, she said no she didn’t need to see a doctor. She will just torture all of the women at bowling with her long-winded account of how symptoms x, y and z added up to her probable near death from the Fatigue. Don’t worry though, for she will never miss bowling. Last Tuesday night she fell on the lane while bowling because the people at the alley had over-polished the lanes. She limped home and complained all night about her “nearly broken hip”, but you know she went bowling the next day. “I can’t miss the Wednesday bowling, they depend on me!”

If you ask her favourite daughter (ahem), she doesn’t have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. More like Chronic Laziness Syndrome. She has four jobs in this house: wash breakfast dishes, drive kids to and from school, start supper (not make the whole thing, just start it) and grocery shopping. Richard and I do all the rest of the remaining housework, yard work and home maintenance. And we both work full-time (and yes, I realize I’m priveledged to have even that much help, but hear me out here). The last several weeks those four jobs have whittled themselves down to three, two, zero. Even before the bowling accident I was coming home to find the kitchen filthy and the dishes not done. Oh and the day after the bowling accident, even though she again went bowling that day, she decided that she was too hurt to pick the kids up from school and they would have to walk home. Too sore to pick up her grandkids, but well enough to bowl. Picture favourite daughter, unimpressed.

Today, I again came home to a filthy kitchen and I listened to her lament her suffering the whole day with her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She filled me in on how many naps she’d taken and how much her hip hurt. And then after supper she went bowling.

…screw you Woman’s World. Screw you!


7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jmanfre on May 2, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Welcome to the family. You must be my niece as apparently my sister is your mother.


  2. She sounds like my hubby’s Nana, you’ll say you have a headache and she’ll tell you that it could be some kind of aneurism. To much tv for her.


  3. Nice. But her debilitating disease should be a good lesson to you about the grace of God. You should write a story about it.


  4. great story!

    I feel a little strange commenting, as I don’t want to judge someone who has or thinks they have CFS…..but I understand your frustration. I know a lot of people who read about this illness, and because they feel a little tired in the afternoon, they really do believe they have chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Or people ask me, what it feels like to have it….and as soon as I start to answer honestly, they interrupt me and say….oh yes I know, I have this too. Whatever!

    My favorite one so far though, is people who think I am a fraud (someone who doesn’t have CFS because I am not as sick as they are)….like its a contest.
    Guess they won, huh!

    Get mum to a doctor, if nothing else, the doc might help convince her that activities, such as cooking dinner, or picking up the kids is good for her, and will help combat that fatigue.


  5. Well, my uncle DID have CFS and he could NOT go bowling.
    He was a near comatose wreck for a year.

    Tell her about all the things they make you do if you have CFS..like colonoscopies and so on.

    My dh’s gran always tells us about some horrid ailment or fall and it means her near death but she doesn’t need a doctor…..every bloody day.


  6. OMG, we have the same mother!


  7. My mother is your anti- mother. Mine never goes to the doctor. She could be pissing blood for a month and say she could flush it out with water. The woman has been on antibiotics ONCE in her entire life!!

    We should merge the two in hopes of having one medically normal mom! LOL.


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