Tuesday, May 08, 2007

CFS Tuesday

Part of our ongoing series about life with CFS

I cannot imagine being homebound and not having the internet. Back in 1995, I was diagnosed with CFS and began the process of applying for disability. I was gradually coming to realize that CFS might be more than a brief interlude in my life, and I was struggling to adjust to life confined to my home. At the same time, the internet - or more specifically, the Web - was becoming accessible to non-computer people like me. As the Web grew, so did my reliance upon it.

Substitution: The internet substitutes for leaving my home. I order my groceries online. Just this morning, I received a delivery from an office supply store with my toner and sharpies. I do all my holiday shopping online, as well as my banking. I can't remember the last time I went clothes shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. I have bought a large portion of my yarn stash online. Even my local library is online, and I can request books for my husband to pick up. There are still plenty of things that I have to see (or ask someone else to see) in person in order to purchase. Shoes, for example. But as more stores and services become accessible through the Web, the more energy I can save for other things.

Connection: Let's have a moment of praise for email. (insert Hallelujah sound here) Email is my lifeline. I communicate with friends, family and professionals through email. It is becoming my preferred method of communication for most things. Talking on the phone is tiring, so I like using that energy for my inner circle. Email also allows me to ask a question when it occurs to me, before brain fog whisks it away. Blogging is another way of connecting that is only possible with the Web. I have made many real-life friends that I could only have met through blogs. Finally, the online knitting community has been a blessing in my life. I cannot leave my home for a regular Stitch-n-Bitch, so the Web is my only way of participating in a knitting community.

Creation: Connection has led to new ways of creating. My blogs have become outlets for thoughts and ideas. Noricum and I met and created Travels With Swatchy without ever seeing each other in person. The Web gives us all a chance to express our creativity to an audience that we might not have found locally. For people with CFS, the Web may be our only audience. And given the size of the auditorium, whatever we create is likely to appeal to someone.

I don't know how people with CFS managed without the Web. I cannot see how I could.


Kerry said...

Just want to say a huge AMEN to this.

I was diagnosed in 1990 when the Internet was in its infancy for general use. I was lucky to have been at university and they let me keep my email account there for quite a while. I don't know what I would have done (or would do) without the Internet.

Mary Anne said...

Absolutely. I cannot imagine life without the internet or email. Great post, once again!

MCS said...
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