Saturday, July 12, 2008

Am I a liar?

You remember the saying about not listening at doors because you might not like what you hear? Well, recently that is what ‘trackback’ has been for me. Trackback just tells you why people come to your site and sometimes/often it is a little odd. For example my Hello Kitty Yuzen pictures got some links from Hello Kitty enthusiasts (Hello Kitty in Kimono and Fan, Squeee!). And my pics of Kakunodate got mega hits among a forum dedicated to tea. This was because I was shooting pictures of examples of the bark art (It was pretty!) which happened to be tea holders. These specific holders are collectibles for tea lovers because they come from only one place and I happened to be in Mecca, as it were.

But then there are the times I find out that I have been linked to Devo sites (devotee), which doesn’t happen anymore as Devo’s like frail, crippled but LONG LIVING girls to drool over. But recently I have gotten a slew of hits from a couple places where people are concerned about me, my condition and posted about that. And the response there from some/a few people who come/came to read the blog by some has been (I will summarize instead of quoting): I don’t believe it. She may not be making it ALL up but how could someone be so sick and yet post so long every day? How could someone have brain problems and say they don’t remember stuff and yet have such coherent posts, which are perfect? It just isn’t possible and I think this is someone who likes to write and is making this up, like a story.

So after the slap in the face, how painful it hearing that? Well, after telling the personal and often humiliating intimate details that really you would rather people not know about (like telling people you are about to pee your jeans and their living room floor), or having a fugue state when you mentally are 17 and giggle and make embarressing statements, or when you post pictures (not that flattering, and showing hair loss) of yourself in various vulnerable situations to find out someone who reads, or many people who read think you are not just a liar but an amusing storyteller? It hurts a lot.

Linda was not amused when she saw it because she says that things like this “get into your (Beth's) head and they just don’t stop hurting.” Well, true enough.

What hurt me the worst was that the “tell”, the part that gave away that I was a liar and a fake was my posting every day; and the nature of the posts themselves.

See, because once I make a commitment, I keep it, regardless of circumstances (if humanly possible, and at least try if not humanly possible). And my commitment has been to post once a day and to reply to every comment; and for the most part I have done that.

What started my recent post, A Letter on dying, was the reality that everything from the mundane like dressing and getting a shower, to writing a post, were things which once took a short time but now was now taking ALL the time.

Anyone who has read the blog over time can recognize that my style, or rather the eloquence I once had, I do not have. Before I could make you cry because I was a writer, and I wrote out pieces in my head, including timing and that skill was honed after more than a decade of writing 1000+ words or day, five novels and who knows what else. Now I tend to write in declarative sentences and try to get the story out, which may still be powerful, often because it is about a real person and I attempt in writing and edits to tell the truth as honest as possible whether painful or not. I don’t have the same language skills, though my writing still far outstrips my speaking (depending on the schema), and until the TIA’s and seizures stop, I may never get back what I lost. Some days are better brain wise than others, and a few times since the big Brain go Boom, I can still do a blog of research or bringing diverse things together, but that norm is now an anomaly. But I did, as far as any human could do, keep to my commitment.

I have written with one finger when that is all that functioned. I have written with one hand, or the thumb and index of both hands, I have had Linda reading out what she sees on the screen because I can’t see correctly (neuro issues). I have dictated posts. I use a speech program. I have had seizures and been on the floor and started writing from there. I have had days which had seizure after seizure and instead of going to bed, to sleep or rest, be it midnight or 1:00 am or 1:30, I write, as long as I can see, or someone around me can see, and I can put three words together in my head or type it, I write. You can go back and see some posts were put up at 1:00 am, some at 2:30 am, and a few at 3:30 or 4:00 am. I do not sleep until the job is done.

Writing and posting are one of the few ways I have to demonstrate or feel I have control over a disease which has and is taking away the most basic and fundamental aspects of control. I have lost or am losing the things we don’t even think about because we are so used to controlling them including eating, sleeping, breathing, drinking, talking, how well I think, limb and digit control, sweat, heat, bladder control, fecal control, skin falling off, hair falling out, nails falling out, wounds not healing, blood coming out of orifices and non-orifices to name a FEW.

And yet, even with all my “You are NEVER going to stop me” determination to post, it wouldn’t be enough were not for Linda and other people, like Cheryl but also night care workers who have assisted me. Often to write a blog I need an account from Linda, “What did you see, what happened? What then?”: then I call or Linda calls for me who ever else was there I call and get an account from them. I combine this with what I can remember. I look up anything I am not sure about, or write around it; often having to go back and read my own blog posts I can’t remember writing. But oddly, I trust that I am narrating the truth, so I use that info. Then I write.

Now my grandfather painted for several decades and liked watching wildlife, and in his older years, he couldn’t always remember things, and even after he had a shunt put into his brain he liked looking at ducks, and other animals and he knew how to paint. I have dedicated my life TO writing, and every day I spend time reading and watching shows, saying words I see (subtitles) or read over and over again. Because I know that my best chance of having a sharp brain is making the connections I need. Sometimes I cannot write, or speak and I post nothing at all or have Linda write. But if I can think, I can write. A person I know was thrown off a snowmobile so hard his helmet strap snapped and the helmet flew off. He was found after who knows how long. He wasn’t able to speak, and last I heard, still can't, but with the help of a computer, he is able to write.

My Brain? I don’t have front lobe brain damage, but some form of left hemisphere damage and a limited right hemisphere damage. How do I defend or even write about what I don’t remember, that seems an oxymoron to me. But actually, due to memory loss, certain aspects of things I studied earlier in life are more accessible to me (much as for older people the tastes, smells and memories of candies and other objects from childhood become vivid). Most days, I remember very few people, on bad days next to no one. I suppose the cynical reader could call up Beacon home support and ask them for the incident reports from care workers on memory…if you want to be an invasive asshole who cares more about whether what you think is right than my right to privacy and dignity.

When I write a postcard, I have a name on a sticker printed by Linda, I look up the name on the computer and every comment or email the person made comes up and I read them (this is why it takes 30 minutes or more a post card). Once I have some idea of what to say, I write the card. Often within a week that memory is gone. For example I found today that a response to the last comment of Frida's about heart rates was answered in a post on her blog from what Linda says is recently (one hand of fingers). She talks about her meds and her heart rate. I see there are comments, I click on the comments, my face pops up. I was the comment. I am talking about cocaine, so that SOUNDS like me, but do I remember it? No.

But then, how many of the disability bloggers out on the net write about their disabilities in exacting degrees with pictures. Not many. And the point isn’t that I need to prove my disability/disease or not, but that of instead of someone taking a shit in my hallway, my private place, I went out in the wide world of the web and started posting this stuff. And apparently ON the wide world of the web you are free to attack individuals and call them liars because golly, how COULD they be in so much pain, and so affected and still keep going? How could they, with only a couple good hours a week convince the people who care give to help her do wild and crazy things (or actually “normal” things which would have been but a small, small part of her life before getting ill). So while I go and DO things instead of stare at plants or whatever us fucked up disabled dying folk are supposed to do when we have energy. That makes me a liar? That makes it "not add up".

I was told by the AIDS group at Pride, after I wheeled across an unaccessible hill to go find “a support group” and essentially get away from them and be with ‘my people’. (My people?) Where do I find a one in a million presentation like me? Or that support group (on the net it turns out!). So, yeah, got dissed, got told that AIDS groups aren’t interested in people who are dying, because AIDS is all about LIVING (I’m actually quoting here). Since I was in California in the 80’s, I find that kind of response along with the "I don't know where dying people GO" to be pretty much what Reagan told the people WITH AIDS, didn’t he? Go back to ‘your kind’, and stop bothering us because America is all about regular diseases we FIGHT and about LIVING, and TAX CREDITS, and WARS, not about YOU (and your wierd and scary disease). The one thing PRIDE taught this year is that in this town, when it comes to LGBT, you die alone.

Anyway, back to me being a creative liar. The thought of people reading my blog as some sort of work of entertaining fiction makes me feel ill. I suggest those readers head up to your oncology hospice if that is what rocks your boat (they just vomit to make it look convincing!), but get the fuck off this page. I can’t make you go, but I can say what I think about a person who would rather believe a person is a creative liar than a brilliant woman with a rather fast and horrid terminal disease who refuses to let any obstacle, even the gaps in her own mind stop her.

So it seems some people can’t believe it (the me, the posting, whatever). Well, let me tell you about my friend Terry Fox, another one of us liars. He ran an average of 23 miles a day on one leg, and a homemade prosthetic.

In his last weeks, for over a month, he ran and then crawled into his van and sobbed, because of the pain. Sometimes he couldn’t leave the van in the morning because he was so tired. He cried and then would get out and run. Finally, he stopped because he couldn’t breathe, and it was found that cancer was in both of his lungs. While in the hospital, though he could not run, he outlined and worked with Isadore Sharp (President of the Four Seasons Hotel and who gave Fox a room in Montreal) who wanted to create the Terry Fox Run. Terry wanted no winners, no awards just participants and the goal of money raised for cancer. A few months later he got pneumonia, went into a coma and died on June 28th. How could someone have cancer in both lungs and go out running with a prosthetic? How could they feel that level pain of that for over a month? The pain he documented was incredible. How could a person do that day after day? Gosh, he must be a liar, right? Even on his last day, coughing and with pain in his chest and neck he ran, ran his miles before going to the hospital. Even in the hospital he did films for Cancer Canada. Gosh, it just doesn’t ADD UP! (By the way, this is the polite Canadian way of calling someone an asshole, except in the Maritimes, where they just go; "ASSHOLE!").

I am not dead, I am dying; and I won’t know all what I can do before that happens until I TRY will I? And I am not going to roll over and whimper just because I can’t remember some names or faces or years or speak on some days. Maybe what I do, or how I act or that I spend up to 12 hours a day to write a post seems impossible or illogical. So also might be the fact that I have only now just recovered from my Canada Day 10K and I am going to look for another race. But that just shows that you aren’t me (and aren’t we all glad about that, because even 100 E.F.M.’s could be havoc wrecking to ANY city).

And while I have never wished what is happening to me on anyone, I came close, for a minute or so when I read comments about people speculating if this was some grand fiction from an aspiring writer. The people who know me, know, and for those who have closed their heart to others, what is there to feel about THEM but sympathy or pity. And since the post, A Letter about Dying got Linda and I dragged back into the “Okay, we’ll go to the US for a doctor.” Maybe there IS a treatment to delay things. I’d love 18 months: that’s my goal. Because to go to Sakuracon (Anime Festival in Seattle), I have to make it to next year.

As for today I lost speech and the use of my left hand for quite a while. I wrote some emails, I wrote this, and life goes on. It is too hot to go outside. The bed allows me to sleep longer with less pain. That is good. Really good. I’m not sure if I would say it is $4000 good, but still good.

I wish people would understand that having a complicated condition which SHOULD be terminal doesn’t always mean it is (I could point to some people but that is their story). And also that people live their conditions, their disabilities and yes, their dying in their own unique ways.

So is it a surprise that the person who used to climb naked up on her roof might also have to be forcibly stopped from dropping things on her feet because she can’t feel them cause 'it's neat!'. Or that a person who ran 200 km a week as marathon training might have a slightly different idea of what is and is not possible.

When I was hiking I hiked with a couple who at an age something older than 65 (I never asked, not polite) decided to hike the AT. They were doing 12 miles a day with full packs but the husband (both him and wife as thin as sticks), kept saying he had ankle pain. After being with them for eight days, they hiked down into town. His ankle was broken, and yet he did about 100 miles on it carrying a pack over 50 lbs, and doing elevations of several thousands feet a day. She hugged me and cried and we talked. He wasn’t quitting, he was going to drive support for her and meet her at every road until his foot and ankle could support his weight. They would post all the food ahead. They weren’t quitting. Maybe not what seniors and grandparents are supposed to do? They weren’t liars, they weren’t quitters, they were just doing.

One way or another, no matter how bad this gets, I’ll be doing. Post on the blog, postcard, maybe in the end post it notes, who knows. But that’s who I am. Okay.


cheryl g said...

Well if you're a liar then so am I. Or else I just hallucinate the seizures, color changes, TIA's, Erattic heartbeats, etc. that I have witnessed.

It must be scary for those people living in such a world of suspicion.

You just keep being EFM and to hell with them. They don't know anything.

yanub said...

Oh, if you're a liar, you are the best one ever. That way you make yourself turn funny colors just so your stories will be believable! And the way you've managed to learn how to fake a seizure! Seriously, you never see even the best actors manage that glassy-eyed body rigor with attendant skin laxity the way you do. Lookout, Hollywood!

I suppose on the web, the disability heirarchy is flattened somewhat, as everyone's disability is, to some extent, rendered invisible. We take each other at our word, recognizing in each other the truth of lived experience. Those who haven't lived those experiences, either as disabled or as a carer, really haven't a clue, though they can get one if they are willing to learn.

All right! On to the next Impossible Thing--getting you to a US doctor. I hear that this world is full of zanies and fools, who don't believe in sensible rules, and don't believe what sensible people say, and that this is the reason impossible things keep happening everyday. Count me as one of those fools. I believe we can get you to someone who can figure out what is going on with you.

Veralidaine said...

Checking in from happy fluffy Young and Able-Bodied and Unaware (YABU?) land where we have the fucking LUXURY of being able to think you're lying....

I did get to the internet on the weekend this time, and I'm glad I did because I saw this pretty quickly after you posted it.

I think people who call you a liar are terrified of your condition and want so badly for you to be a liar that they make it in their heads so that you are because what you do is improbable, and because that's not what they would be doing if they were in your shoes. I think I would be putting my feet up and eating ice cream and begging for massages all day if I were dying, because if I was gonna die I'd darn well want to indulge myself and be as selfish a prat as I felt like-- at least at first, then maybe if it went on for a while I would go stir crazy and start doing things more like what you do. Anyway, back to my point.

Look at you. You are tall, pretty, fit, young, smart, an athlete, a writer, the person that you were WITHOUT the disability was already pretty unbelievable just for accomplishing so much. And then there are stories of childhood abuse so shocking that people want to believe it's not true at all. And asking uncomfortable questions like, "Why is Canada so bigoted?" Yeah, it'd be a lot easier if you weren't really who you are, right?

And now you have this condition, this terminal condition, and unlike nice AB-friendly conditions like Muscular Dystrophy it didn't have the common decency to strike you at birth so as to prevent anyone from accidentally becoming your friend before discovering it. Nor did it, like Alzheimers, have the courtesy to wait until you were old and gray to make your brain go boom, so everyone could say, "Well, she lived a long, full life."

Your condition broke all the rules by striking someone brilliant, athletic, attractive, young, and someone that OTHERS WANT TO BE. And that is fucking terrifying to some people. Because three years ago they would have been so jealous of your accomplishments that they would want to be you and have your life and your brain-- and today they are SCARED SHITLESS because someday they might GET that wish and BE you and be dying of a terminal condition for which no treatment exists and which confuses and frightens even neurologists. Because if it can be someone LIKE them but better... it could BE them.

Anyone who calls you a liar, Beth, is nothing but a coward who can't face that they, too, could be the first one on their block to get a terminal condition! (Would that go well on a cereal box? Inside, exclusive Neurologist-speak decoder ring!)

Isis said...

There are all kinds of wacks on the internet. I have had my feelings hurt that way too, and it is hard to let go of. But you know the truth: you know what your situation really is. Have faith in that.

Laura said...


It's the people that care about you the most that matter.

I am so sorry that you had to discover that persons disloyalty like that. It certainly was mean spirited of them. I can only pity them for their jealously of you and your talents. That would be the only reason that I could think of that would cause someone to write such horrible things about you. Some people just write marshmallow, you write meat and some people can be jealous of that.

Just be you. That is what keeps me coming back.

Kelt said...

Beth I’m new to your blog but I certainly know that you are a real person on a real journey which we all, even the doubting jerks will one day travel in your footsteps.
You are honestly an inspiration to me and I’m certain the majority of those who read your blog. I’m sure that you know that the doubters are probably doing so because they are uncomfortable and are so because you are making them examine their own strength to face their own mortality, strength far less than yours. I would like to say ‘Beth don’t be angry with them for they probably deserve pity rather than anger’ but you are the one they are attacking and so it is obviously you to assess their motives and their right to your understanding. All I know and can say with total honesty is that I admire you deeply and hope that when stepping in your footsteps I will be doing so with your understanding, strength and courage. Steve.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I hope I don't come across as so angry, just very hurt because the community of the blog and making sure I post has become so important and cost me so much. Then for someone to use that as the PROOF that I must NOT be sick - sigh. Yeah, in a day or so, I will be like, "Whatever" - you know how these things sting hardest at first. At least now everyone has some idea about how I blog - unless I blogged that already and forgot I did (sorry!).

Cheryl: Yeah, stop it with your hallucinations! You are just enabling my liar tendancies. Also oddly, during major crises, no one manages to take pictures because they are trying to save me? Weird.

Can you imagine what 100 EFM's could do to Victoria, or PA?

Yanub: yeah, I even fool the Nurses who work in the hospital during the day and are with me at night I am having grand mals. (by the by, has Carapace come to HATE the smell and taste of burning the way I have - the whole, "Do you smell that burning?" and the care giver goes no and I am like, "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" because we know what comes next - WHAMMO!"

I agree, we come to know who can talk the talk and has lived the life. As well as those who are starting out or want to know. And for many bloggers it is like a background, since my changes so much it is foreground.

Yeah, Seattle here I almost come.

Veralidaine: are you AB? I didn't know - not that it matters. Oh yeah, good to see you on weekend internet. Cat bus!

Well, I did buy A LOT of corsets, which for me is LIKE ice cream, but as you say, after the indulge phase you move on. And after a while you get tired of chalking up more stuff you can't do and want to have something you DID do. (or at least that is how I think).

Yeah, that pretty much is the reason I wanted to go to schools to tell them - somone here will get MS, someone will get LUPUS and no matter how much you exercise or eat yogurt, shit happens; People are like, how can you joke about it? (seriously, almost every day), and I say that SOMEONE had to get this, and unlike Criag-Jacqfield (mad cow) which IS a joke on Boston Legal, there ARE 30 people or more getting that here in this country this year; and same with mine, someone had to get it, so it happened to be me. Is it fair? Probably not? Would I want to trade it off? Knowing someone else would have it? No. I don't do that. I had some breaks, inherited a good brain, got a funky disease, that's what happens, right? But no, that doesn't work in a Continent obsessed with exercising and eating their way to total and complete body control.

Isis: I let go now, I just needed to write it becuase I was SO shocked that anyone would think I was twisted enough to make this up. I mean, who would do that?

Laura: I don't know, I don't know why, and really, it doesn't matter - I cleared the air and thanks for listening. And honestly, a disease that makes you stop sweating, turns parts of you into different colours, makes you stop converting oxygen, and destroys your nerves along with taking out your eyes and creating a series of TIA's, messing with your heart and BP all the time - sounds pretty science fiction, no?

Kelt/Steve: Yeah, we all take the same trip, just different paths. No, you are right, I was hurt and got angry, and now I am not. I was hurt that someone would think I went out publically using my own name (I have stuff published), writing on BBC, and it is a lie? That would be pretty twisted and that is not the person I am so I was hurt. But thanks for listening to me, sorry I went on for a bit!

Honestly, I am trying as hard as possible to SLOW the ride down, you know, find the emergency exit out to Able body land. But the days of hoping for the magic pill are gone, right now, some extension, some quality of life would be a plus!

Lisa Harney said...

I believe you. People are betches.

That's part of privilege, though - the ability to deny someone else's life and reality and impose your own, and expect other people to at least listen. Able-bodied privilege tends to snort derisively at invisible disability, and disability tends to be invisible on the internet.

I'm not excusing them. I hate that crap with the white-hot fire of a thousand suns. That kind of bull is just not on. There's plenty of real hoaxters who have staged elaborate put-ons that we don't need to start applying the hoaxter accusation to everyone whose lives we don't understand.

Also, guilty admission: I kind of hoped for a second when I read this post that you were making it all up, because it would mean you're not dying.

Carapace said...

Hey, I can speak for myself, you know.At length. Er, sometimes. I can comment!
I don't get tired of the burning smell, because that's not the odor I get. Most of mine are food or, in a horrible attack of cliche, the smell of pumping oil. I do get tired of asking people "do you smell that, or is it me?"-- especially bad since when my brain isn't misfiring, I have a fantastic sense of smell, and so people think maybe I've just picked up something they haven't. I need my reality checks!
Veralidaine, the idea of people resenting those they might WANT to be if not for a disability is something I hadn't considered.Intriguing.
And yeah, the internet is exactly the place where people can say stupid, stupid things without thinking about it. I think in this case, there probably is a lot of horror and denial-- what's happening to you is pretty dang awful. And it's being given that extra patina of real horror, at least for me, by the fact that you're surrounded by people who SHOULD be helping you but CHOOSE not to. It's like a Russian novel. I'd like to believe it wasn't happening, too, but that would even newer head than the one I've got, I guess.
And I don't suppose I can give you my neuro, either. Unless you'd be up for a trip to Texas...? No? Dang.
But don't let the internets get you down! Remember that this is the world where people indeed do fabricate age, gender, and nationality. If it sometimes breeds a little paranoia, that is perhaps a predictable outcome.
Also, some people are just dumb. So, you know, there's that.

rachelcreative said...

Silly people. The first time I saw a doctor and managed to ask for help with my depression (which was incredibly hard to do) he told me I couldn't be depressed because I was so eloquent talking about it.

My boss had the same attitude a couple of years later when I needed time off for counselling sessions and was actually self harming and daydreaming about suicide. She made me make the time up because I appeared to be ok and I wasn't prepared to lose it in front of her. I paid a price for being able to talk and work despite being in the middle of a break down.

I find people who wear blinkers very unattractive. Especially those who wear blinkers with pride and use a loud voice.

In other news ...

I went to the mini festival and stopped all afternoon. This meant I was too exhausted to make it back for the fireworks. I listened to them from our sofa.

There were 2 OK bands and lots of people watching to do. I forgot how annoying that 20% of ignorant people can be when you're trying to negotiate places in a wheelchair.

When we got home and I poured myself onto the sofa I realised that maybe I should have suggested we leave at the first point where I felt like I could do with a lie down. But that was only one hour in and I stayed for 4. Oh well!

Devi said...

Well, I for my part aren't reading your blog as fiction (honestly, the thought that you could be "making things up" never crossed my mind; I'm *boggled* that others are thinking it!), I'm reading it as a window into your life and I feel very honoured that you're giving us this window.

JaneB said...

First, glad that the new bed is helping - sleep is a wonderful thing especially when it's hard to come by.

Second, why are you taking time, your precious time, to answer these sorts of sad, jealous, frightened people? er... Because you're EFM. Because you use this space to talk and to reach out the way others might go to the pub (I'm British and not that young, we go to the pub to talk with alcohol to ease the way, not to get smashed or pick up...) - because you are sharing your experience with your friends here and that includes the all-important venting. Hope the ouch has passed off.

You have an academic brain, thinking and writing are what you do, so of course you want to hold on to that. One of the most scary things about depression for me is the way it steals the thinking/writing part of my identity - which is really really really important to me. In your shoes, hell yeah, of course I'd be doing my damndest to write. EFM pushes her body - that's the story this blog tells well back before you got sick - EFM does not believe in physical limits and deliberately slams into the wall again and again until it gives up. People trying to find stories to explain what they read without having to believe in the scary, vulnerable fact that we're all mortal and terminal, and that for some people communicating matters so much that they're still doing it when they're writing in their own blood with their last spoon haven't read the rest of the blog clearly - you're still the same EFM it's just the wall is now about text not about excelling in some sporting endeavour.

And yeah, the thought of there being too many EFMs in any one place IS a little scary... :-)

Dave Hingsburger said...

Oooooh, Elizabeth, I only once did something like that. I looked up my name and then went and read a couple of blogs that mentioned me ... some of the unkindness was shocking. But enough about me.

I remember going to my first (although sadly not my last) court case regarding the rape of a person with an intellectual disability. She had 'alleged' that an overnight staff had raped her on his first shift in the home. I was there when she gave testimony. I was there when the defense counsel accused her of lying. He fixed her gaze on him and in a very quiet voice said, "You can't lie a bruise on your face."

The bastard was convicted.

Miss Fairy Sparkle said...

Yes, you and I Elizabeth DO have a lot in common. I have Conversion stuff and Lying on my medical notes. I know how terrifying it is to be unable to move and think - please let whoever I am with right now - believe I am not faking this.
It's got a lot to do with people's perceptions of disability. My boyfriend's mum is blind in one eye - and I have to be honest, seeing as her other eye ain't good - it is incredibel to watch her. If she hadn't told me - I really would not have known. You speak for the many people who are in that paradox - that it is possible to be dependant on others, and yet some how be more independant than your average person, in your ability to articulate and fight.
It's supposed to be like this - disability is a clear cut linear path. It's not supposed to be that having part of your neurological functions stop working, means that the rest of your brain will work so hard to compensate that it covers over what it's missing.
I truly understand that those comments will eat you for days. I have lost a lot being ill. I have lost both parents, my career, my marraige, my home. Not one of those events hurt as much as being told I was lying. That broke a bit of me that aches and aches. I cannot prove people wrong - I have to trust those around me to not start casting suspicions around. It's a battle that is hard to win - even if you can prove it - it takes people who can read you sometimes to truly know how ghastly you feel. xxxxx said...

No, I'm a pretty obnoxious skeptic, and I'm reasonably sure you're not lying. I don't feel the least bit bad about admitting that I ran you through my liar-filter a few times. I don't know you, it's the internet for God's sake, and I wasn't sure things added up. As I said, I'm reasonably sure you're on the level, although sometimes I think that you accept that the end is nigh a bit too quickly. But that's my issue. I'm that bitch that gets in people's faces when they refuse to do a fourth round of chemo; I have every intention of being a head in a jar one day. I've tried to tone that down around you, my last quote notwithstanding.

I am really interested to know where these conversations are going, on, though. Can you email me the site, if you don't feel like posting it publicly? I'm curious about all of this.

em said...

Dear Beth,

I said this already, but you are obviously writing transparently. That is a huge gift in this world where everyone keeps their humanity hidden. It's a lot easier to suspect someone else than to look at your own life and live it courageously. And it's a lot easier to live cowardly if you take down the brave ones a notch or two.

I wish you could know that and that these people wouldn't be able to hurt you.

FWIW, I have suspected one of the blogs that I read must have been fiction, and in the worst way imaginable I discovered that it wasn't. When I suspected, it had nothing to do with him, and when I understood that I was wrong, it had nothing to do with him.

And by the way, if Beacon gave out any of your personal information I would want to stomp them.

FridaWrites said...

I believe you absolutely. It's sexist and disablist for people not to believe what you write. Yes, people do get this ill, and I've personally seen it. I get a lot of disbelievers about my health issues as well, such as the level of pain or why I need the scooter to be out long, or the level of disability discrimination that occurs. I think this happens to a lot of people with disabilities a lot. In addition, the more powerful/stronger the blogger, the more incisive the criticism that people make.

Devos can go off themselves as far as I'm concerned. It's proof they don't get anything about disability.

Don't worry about remembering/not remembering details of my medical condition--there are important details *I* forget to mention to my doctors, and things I don't remember until someone reminds me or asks about it. I need to search my own blog sometimes because I'm not always sure if I've written about something at length or not.

cheryl g said...

I'm thinking the effects of 100 EFM's on Port Angeles and Victoria could only be for the better.

Neil said...

Well dear, you ARE unusual. 100 E.F.M.s? Even three would make a difference, especially to your doctors' salaries and the level of care you'd get!

I could understand someone seeing your blog first the first time wondering if you're for real. But believing it and saying it out loud on the 'net? That is obscenity to me. Pity those people, Beth; they're the ones with the conversion disorder.

Or have you, Linda, Cheryl and Maggie put a spell on the Internet and induced mass hallucinations? You're going to fake your own death and cremation? Come back from the dead? That's IT: You're a Phoenix! Sorry, THE Phoenix!

Just don't build any nests of cinnamon sticks on Linda's heirloom quilt, okay?

Zen hugs, dear niece, to you and Linda,

Lene Andersen said...

You don't have to justify yourself to anyone, least of all the kind of people who get their jollies from questioning other people's truth. I think they're those idiots who imagine that acquiring a disability would make them kill themselves, because who could possibly get any enjoyment out of life after being crippled!? And being terminal, well... being terminal would mean they'd curl up in a teeny ball somewhere or languis prettily like what'sherface Camile (?), while fading away. Certainly not LIVING until there was no more life. Idiots. Fuck 'em.

I know it hurts, but really? The opinions of these people don't matter. Those of us who know you know that everything about you and what you write is real.

Victor Kellar said...

Of course none of this is real. Disabled people are all happy, smiling, nobly suffering, eternally appreciative, one celled organisims that live over there in that one neat little box that AB folks call: Just Be Quiet So I Can Ignore You Without Guilt

Because you (and your condition) are unpredicatable, orgiginal, rule breaking and in your face, it just can't be real ... or is it that people don't want it be real?

Personally I think your blog is a fantasy novel. Like this land of Victoria you've created. I know it doesn't exist. I've driven across Canada and I know full well that it ends at Calgary ... by the way, great surfing off McCloud Trail Beach ...

Tayi said...

I am so slow to think of and write comments that by the time I get around to mustering all my thoughts in a line after reading one of your posts, a dozen other people have already said what I was going to. I looked at this post and saw that it had only 7 comments and I was excited that maybe I could say something first, but no!

Like yanub says, if you're a liar, you're the best one ever, and I'll take you over the truth any day. And like veralidaine says, fear makes people do and say foolish things. People are so afraid of death that they will deny it even when it has already happened, right in their face. They make up stories about how Grandma just went on a trip far away up in the sky, but don't worry because you'll see her again, because the thought of an end is just so damn terrifying. So of course anyone talking about death like its real is just telling a story too...

I know it sounds like a stupid crip stereotype, but you really are much braver than average. I'm sure you were before you got sick also, from the stories you tell, but there is not much more horrifying than death, and yet here you are, E.F.M., standing up straight and looking death in the eye. Metaphorically speaking anyway.

Leah said...

You gotta be kidding me? Seriously, some people just need to get out more and see what the world is like outside their little room! On that note, I hope you got my postcards. I'm thinking I had an old address!

Dawn Allenbach said...

To those people I say, "Bite my ass!" Not all gimps sit around in diapers, drooling on themselves. Not all need to be fed by saintly ABs (not yet, anyway).

To those people I say that some of us obstinate gimps do things you ignorant cretons can't imagine, things that DON'T ADD UP, because you don't expect us to, because you don't think we can. Some of us don't feel the need to give up just to bring "sense" to your sheltered, bigoted world. Some of us don't have "quit" in us. Deal with it.

Tammy said...

Unbelievable. Stop reading other peoples poison. I know how bad it hurts to be accused of faking (by my family even), it's horrible to have to feel like you have to prove yourself all the time. You are a fabulous writer, but "liar" is not one of your traits. Eloquent, funny, outrageous, wreck-less, brilliant, sincere, caring, stubborn...these are all words I would use to describe you..but never the word "liar". I just don't know where people get these notions. I think evil minds think evil more often than others. I'm so sorry that this has hurt you. You don't have to prove anything to them.

I have seen the decline in your writing just since I have been reading. You're still Beth, but there are days that your words just don't flow as easily.

Here is a little story for those doubting that with your brain booms you can still write as wonderfully as you do- My dad was dying of a glio blastoma multeaformea..that's a cancerous brain tumor for non medical people. He suffered from expressive aphasia in his final months. That meant..his mind KNEW what he wanted to say. He could understand speech perfectly, yet he would ask for a cup of coffee and know that's what he wanted, but the wiring between his brain and mouth got scrambled. He instead would ask for "Show me the shoe". He knew what he wanted, would be so frustrated that the words coming out of his mouth were not the same his brain was saying. If I gave him a piece of paper, he could easily write the word "Coffee". You see..the writing and physical act of doing so, does not always match with what the mouth is able to do. I have seen first hand confusion make perfect sense, once it because turning the words into sense with the alphabet.
I guess this just is to say that may be having a difficult time talking, finding words and making sense, but a different part of your brain is in use when it comes to written word. To hell with those who doubt you for a second.
I get up and go to work for several hours every day (well..Monday thru Friday). I have been told I shouldn't/couldn't work by my doctor and family. It is HARD some days to drag my ass out of the house and go. I have to get up at 6 am just so I can have enough stable movement to leave my house by 8:30, but I do it. Even after being told I shouldn't and wouldn't be able to. Why? Hell, I don't really know. It's just what I HAVE to do to feel normal for just a few hours a day. I go home and sleep for nearly as many hours as I worked, but I mentally feel better, if not physically-AND THAT IS WHAT COUNTS. Our mental health is far better and more important than our physical health.
To hell with the disbelievers.

abi said...

I did consider this a while back - it occurred to me that it would be much more fun from your end if you were just producing a work of fiction rather than becoming increasingly disabled with a rather horrible terminal illness; I'd much prefer that the Elizabeth McClung I know and love didn't have to go through this, and if this was a work of fiction, she should be fine (apart from the not really existing part).

However, much as I would like to believe that your reality is better than you portray it, I rather get the impression that it is quite a bit worse. Also, if you are making it up about being ill, you ought to come up with something that someone's heard of before. This thing where your arms keep turning different colours is a bit far-fetched ;-)

I don't think that many people could do what you do - it is unbelievable (in the colloquial, rather than literal, sense) what you actually manage to do; the efforts you make to communicate with people, and to live. Because people would mostly not even try to do a tiny bit of what you do, they think that it is not possible.

It's so sad that people would actually come out and say that, though. You are a real person, with real person feelings. With such a remote medium as the internet, it can be easy to forget that, and to forget the implications of being wrong. I'm so sorry this has happened. Sending good thoughts and virtual hugs your way, and hoping that you feel better about it soon.

Joan K said...

Shame on the people who are doubting you! They're idiots looking for attention that wouldn't know truth and courage if it were right in front of them.

Sometimes I find the idea of karma very comforting.

Wishing you peace...

Amanda said...

In the face of so many thoughtful comments, I have nothing further to add, except that to all the doubters, you should just say "Fuck you". I'm glad that you're doing.

The postcards you sent to Jay and I last week arrived on Friday, they were the highlight of the day. Jay keeps mentioning that he likes the pictures- so thank you :)

Perpetual Beginner said...

Grrrr. People are assholes on the internet.

I think Veralidaine hit it on the nose. Disabled people are only supposed to achieve things if they're stable and can do it inspirationally. To see someone who is massively accomplished become someone massively disabled, not in some tragic accident, but because their own body and brain turned on them scares most people witless (which is about the kindest thing I can say about them). And how dare you keep on doing and accomplishing things! Don't you know you're supposed to turn all pale and thin while lying in bed and wasting away artistically (Camille-like, I guess), rather than hauling your pale and wasted butt out of bed and making people deal with you in some way other than gentle sorrow?

We know who you are; you know who you are. Nothing will convince some skeptics.

I'm reminded somewhat of my friend A. About five years ago, her insurance company decided she was faking her cerebral palsy. Apparently she was born an Academy Award level actress, and has been using an electric wheelchair for three decades just to bilk BC/BS of insurance money. Arrgh!

SharonMV said...

Dearest Beth,
I know you & recognize Truth when I hear (read) it. You are true, your voice is unique & honest.

Sometimes, I can't hold a thought in my head, other times I can still recite Homer in Greek.

Those of us who deal with chronic illness appreciate your dedication & determination all the more, because we know what it takes to keep going, to go on living & being who we are.


JackP said...

Fuck 'em. If they don't believe you, don't want to listen, fine. But why bother reading?

Having said that, I don't want you to go and be ill deliberately just to prove 'em wrong :-)

Seriously though, I don't think most people would keep stopping by if we thought you were lying. What you say is about what you experience: other people may experience the same event slightly differently, as they're looking from a different perspective, but that's about as far as I would expect to find any differences.

Having said that, sometimes I find it almost unbelievable that you do so much exercise when you know you're just going to end up in so much pain, but then again that's part of the whole 'Screw Bronze' mentality, isn't it?

Elizabeth McClung said...

Well, since I have actual contract OFFERS by publishing companies and editors if I can DO novels and stories, WHY the hell would I be blogging, if it were not more important to me, and why as a fake person? But yeah. Oh well, got it out and now, not angry, just moving on, did postcards AND a shower (big day!) and now to bed. Later postcards.

Jack P: Yeah, I actually have a hard time with that too - like am I STUPID to a huge degree or just so competitive? Actually I am competitive, becuase I do challenge people and say things like, "so, I'm weaker, I'm in a chair, and I can't use this purple let's see if I can figure how to TAKE YOU DOWN anyway!" - I am so lucky to be female cause if I was a guy people would be stomping on me, literally. Like in Boxing when Joe hit me in the head with aobut 8 hooks in a row and I Went, "Was I suppose to notice that?" so he hit my nose three times and I went, "I thought you were an ex-boxer?" with this voice dripping scorn. I told him after I was dead tired and only the threat that if I ever lowered my hands he would KILL me was keeping them up. What is funny is he really likes me now. I guess not a lot of girls thank you for hitting them in the head.

Daisy said...

Still reading your valuable insights. Don't stop. :)

Maggie said...

Hi Beth-
Just as proof that we are all going through the stages of dying with you, it is an angry day. So, I will look forward to some type of an adventure soon (Cheryl and I have a plan) and I reserve the rest of my post as a response:
Beth is my friend, my adopted family, and a kindred spirit. she came into my life later than I would have liked, and she will leave much sooner than I will ever be happy with. For those of you out there who think she may not be truley ill or as ill as she writes about; FUCK OFF. Please, spend your time speculating about something else. I understand oil futures are good this time of year. I have seen first hand Beth's triumphs and strugles and I have also seriously wondered if Beth was going to die in front of my eyes. I have served for many years as an EMT, and typically when someone starts talking about the bright light, the white light or being ready to die those are all signs that no matter what you do, your patient is CTD (circling the drain=emt humor). The day we had our cemetery adventure, Beth did those things. There was a point were I was ready to tell Linda that we needed to call for an ambulance. But, Beth rallied and is still here to tell the story, well, sort of! I've seen Beth come back from a seisure and talk to us in a language that makes perfect sense to her, but sounds like gobly gook to those around her.
Now, you can come here and disagree with Beth. I know she enjoys the challenge. A well reasoned argument is something that she appreciates. Telling someone that they are not sick when really, truly they are-- well, that's just sick.
Go somewhere else with your poision and leave us alone to enjoy Beth with her time left. I bet you are also the type of person who feels that everyone can be normal if they just try a bit harder.

Rachel M said...

I know you are not lying because of my own experience. Mine is not even close to what you are going through, but enough to understand your mind & body.

I also have a similar mind set with you. Not to give in, but do the best and have a goal even it has to be adjusted to the reality. So I can completely understand why you blog and how important it is to your life.

I'm a new-ish reader, and usually read on RSS. It is great to see you have many friends and supporter.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Lisa: Well, at first I was insulted with "Conversion" but if Neuro people couldn't make sense of it, how can it make sense to the wanderer by? Of course, now, I'm open to all offers for trading up!

Carapace: Well, I don't have your email and it seems kind of strange to ask you questions in the comments section unrelated to the post.

Yeah, I plan on fabricating my age pretty soon, and actually fabricating my gender on an application would be pretty funny, especially if they make an issue "You said you were male" - and I could be, "And WHY does that matter?"

But is this what the internet and blogging is about; lying and distrust. I guess they say literature is the mirror of the generation - what does that say about us?

RachelCreative: Horrid stories, really horrid stories. I had a similar experience when a doctor told me that because I TALKED about commiting suicide, that indicated I wouldn't, and was just seeking attention, which he wouldn't reward. Wha?

I'm sorry about the fire works - what does this mean for Glastonbury?

Devi: Thanks, I think, I just felt upset and posted. Next time I will take a few days.

Jane B: Linda said she liked the line about how I am sleeping better and agreed, is it $4000 of sleeping better?

Yeah, I'm venting, good spotting - sorry.

Yeah, there is always some challenge. And yes, I worry some clone of me might take over the world before *I* have the chance to do it!

Dave: Like I said, listen at doors and you don't like what you hear -so I should learn my lesson.

Miss Sparkle Fairy: Like you I don't have to prove my conditions, I just have to live them. But it did feel a bit RAW to know that others were evaluating me for veracity.

Retiredwaif: Yes, I know you think that money, grit and (I don't know what) will truimph over all. I tend to think tactically, so for me, what will happen in a year dictates what I need to do now. Once I had independant verification from several different specialists and then the hospital, it became a question of sum cost gain. I'm not giving up, that's what the boxing post was about; that I will still go farther than most longer than most because the other choice is doing nothing.

Don't worry, I don't believe you were pregnant. I believe in spontanous baby arrival. hee hee. how that 9 months feel now? Oh wait, running you through my liar filter, hmmmm, seems to say you actually may be a mother.

Em: I don't think it was personal, I think people just aren't used to people openly talking about this kind of stuff, aren't comfortable. Actually that should be another post. Becuase I have no intention of anyone being comfortable, of making people feel happy that I am off to some sort of post life disneyland. I want some skin crawling from the readers (see, not so nice!).

And if it is easier to say, that can't be true. Hey, like the angel of history, I am patient, for ALL shall collect at my feet.

I think Beacon would give ANYONE my info - I could tell you the magic phrase too.

Frida: yeah, I've read about the things people have said to you or treated you and how could I doubt it when it is entirely consistant with the attitudes of gender and North America.

Blog are good things for remembering things. Sometimes I have to back and go, "Wow, it has been THAT long, yikes!"

Cheryl: We could take over government!

Neil: I guess the problem is that while we are used to seeing people public face what I am writing is the private face of illness, and we don't read that in the paper, don't read that in magazines. So HOW CAN it be true?

Believe me, if I can come back, I will, if I can stay here, I will. I sometimes believe that like the Wandering Jew, I am eternally cursed to suffer (did I mention I hallucinate a lot under pain).

Lene: Yeah, I remember hearing a lot of that; "If I got like that I hope I would have enough brains to kill myself." Well, hey, turns out that a sucky life is BETTER than no life! Yeah, well, I sort of knew this wasn't going to be the blog as popular as seeing the baby eagle chicks hatch. Odd, one side of the circle of life is VERY popular and cute, the other.....avoided.

Victor: See, that is what is the problem, I never got they pamphlet!
Yeah, the whole fact that I write the locations, the names, the ADDRESSES, the email locations - what a creative mind I have, this city is all a bubble of my dream?

Tayi: Trust me, the way you say things is you - so it isn't the same. It is true, we have more Euphamsism for dying (kicking the bucket) than we do for being born, and both are secret adult things that kids aren't taught, becuase they are sort of bad and sort of secret. Now, if you could only die AFTER having sex, we could combine the two!

Well, it is easier to write when you don't drip tears into the keyboard - believe me I have the sobs, it is just, right now, I can still DO. How that will change when even that is taken away. I don't know. Also, a few close calls made me realize how NON-scary the DEATH part is (dying, the slow and painful way to getting to where your heart stops, is scary!) - but having your heart stop or not being able to breath for a minute or two, not really that scary. Honestly. Not when you are SO tired and just want to close your eyes.

Leah: If the address is P.O. Box 2560; Port Angeles WA, then I got them - is that where they went. I will go through my box. Thanks for sending them. Are you on my post card list? For getting a card from me?

Dawn: Yeah, some of us (stares at you) seem very interested in cutting up fish heads instead.

Actually, if someone does get it all figured out, let me know because I just muddle on and wonder what it means to.

Tammy: Ouch! Family too! Thanks for the story about your father and thank you for the going to work. You are like me, half life living, half life recovering from living! But what is the value of being 'normal' - I would STEAL your job in a heart beat if I could - that's the value of it (oh, that's not nice Beth!). But I get it, I really do. I would be there, superglue and all.

Abi: How is lying to people more fun for me? That's sick!

ha, true I need something that is "movie of the week" - Consumption? (What is that by the by?).

Yeah, it is easy to say thing that hurt on the internet, even I have typed stuff and then regretted. Who doesn't.

Joan K: Thanks, I am just worried about karma becuase I must have been VERY bad in an earlier life!

Amanda: Cool, I am glad that postcards arrived and were okay. Very glad. See, even when hurt, life and postcards go on!

Perpetual Beginner: Yeah, this is actually worse in a clinic form than what my worse fear was. And a couple people wrote me to say that what I had WAS what some medical people who know a lot have as a worst fear (that was cheery!).

But like everything else, it looks worse all collected on paper, and like every life, it occurs a breath at a time, a thought, an intent, pain, dealing with it, dealing with what comes next. The fact I have time to worry about some anonymous bullshit means I must be having a pretty good day!

Faking CP - yeah, that's a REAL common thing?

SharonMV: Tell me about it - some days Linda has to choose what I drink because I just sort of smile, and other days I go on for an hour on the history of Prussian independance. Yeah, a day, an hour, a week at a time. Thanks

Daisy: thanks

Maggie: can I get the CTD t-shirt. You kind of forgot to mention that when I kept trying to get you to go off looking at different stauary. I really want to come over and NOT be hideously embarressed with seizures or passing out or stop breathing - how about like chatting? I just worry that I will start bleeding from my ears or something next time I see you and all your memories of me are you trying to get me to a) shut up b) get medical help or c) conscious. I am MORE than that, honest!

Rachel M: Thanks, it matters, particularly if you come here to comment to show that I appreciate that - and I do - and yeah, getting through.

abi said...

"Abi: How is lying to people more fun for me? That's sick!"

Are you being serious, or pulling my leg? Lying to people is more fun to me than excessive amounts of pain, increasing limitations and death.

Also, part of my point was that if you actually were making all of this up, you wouldn't actually be the Elizabeth McClung we know, you would just be the person creating her - the original and less good version. That version of you would probably be much happier with fictionalization than death.

Thinking it through, though, it would be really quite horrible creating a fiction like that.
Perhaps I should have thought it through more carefully. Instinctively, I just felt that I would be prepared to do a lot to avoid going through what you go through.

Also, I am approaching it from a 'this is what it is - wouldn't it be great if somehow it could magically be better' point of view. Approaching it from the 'hmm, what shall I do today? Perhaps create a fictional blog in which I become increasingly ill, just to see if I can do it...' point of view feels altogether different.

Sorry for not thinking through that very carefully. Please be assured that I appreciate your integrity, and thank you for giving me further food for thought (and helping me to feel like a small person somewhat lacking in integrity, who broadcasts this on the internet ;-)

"ha, true I need something that is "movie of the week" - Consumption? (What is that by the by?)."

Consumption is tuberculosis. Please don't get that. It will not improve your life at all!

Meredith said...

Gaaaaarh. Liars, huh? This is the same shit Amanda Baggs was (is?) getting because of her videos and the Ballastexistenz blog. These people who say you're liars seem to think that when somebody is not "perfect" (whatever that would mean) then that person is either dead or incapable of doing anything at all. I smell dehumanization.... and that's a foul smell. said...

The triumph of grit and, that's so American of me!

On a darker note, you know, I really do wish you WERE lying. Or had conversion disorder. Or something.

Tom P. said...

I think you are one of the most HONEST people I have ever encountered.

By the way, Michel found a doctor in Montreal who is doing research on your condition. I'll send you an email tonight with more information.

Dawn Allenbach said...

The fish heads have NOT been cut up or off. *sticks tongue out at you*

Elizabeth McClung said...

Abi: Oh, I'm sorry, it was late and I should have spent more time explaining. I apologize, I think I hurt you.

For me actually the thought of lying about stuff makes me physically ill, so lying all the time would MAKE me sick, but also seems just very twisted and someone who is "ill" (as in not in a healthy place) while dying and pain is just well, REALLY, REALLY inconvienant. So morally, it is a lot easier for ME to accept dying than lying; but I can see now for others who would perfer I stay around (I raise my arm for that too! Stay around!) than it would be better the other way becuase you know a person you care about would be safe (just mentally ill).

No, you are not a small person, you are a person that cares and I didn't think my response through carefully so how about we call it even?

Ah, no, TB that would be bad. Don't they want to send you someplace HOT for that - oh, very, very bad!

Meredith: Oh, that happened to her too, wierd. Yeah, I think you need to dehumanize or emotionally blank or get angry at someone to say things like that.

RetiredWaif: Me, too, I wish I had something and you are right, I should go see a neuro worth a damn because if it took a lottery to GET this (like a 1 in a couple million presentation of a disease which hits 3 in 100,000) and I am saying, "Hey, after all these experts it would be a 1 in a thousand chance for it to be something else" - well that is WAY lower chance than it takes for me to HAVE this particular manifestation of autonomic failure. So yeah, go for small lotto not big lotto!

Tom P: Thanks a lot. I try to be honest, I think we fool ourselves and thus we unconsciously mislead others but I try to be true in all that I do; that in all things I am the same, if that makes any sense.

Dawn: oops, sorry, I guess I got "Measure" and "Decapitate" mixed up somehow - you know how often that happens with me!

abi said...

Beth, you didn't hurt me at all - you just made me worry that I'd really offended you, and exposed myself as One Who Should Not Be Here. Sorry I came across as a bit prickly - the ;-) was supposed to soften that one.

Anyway, no apologies necessary. But thanks anyway! Yes, let's call it even.

Declan Meenagh said...

I was catching up on your blog when I read this post, and the following quote came to mind:
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to build bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.
Robert Cringley
The internet has some great people. It also has a lot of idiots. Anyone who has read your blog and thinks you are lying fits perfectly into the latter category.