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On “Displaysia” & Other Fibrofog Words

  [ 319 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Marly Silverman • • December 20, 2006

In 2005, Merriam Webster asked their readers for new words, and they received thousands of submissions. The final 10 were chosen, and among my favorites was “cognitive displaysia (n): the feeling you have before you even leave the house that you are going to forget something and not remember it until you're on the highway.”

Does it sound familiar to you? It sure does to me! Had I known of their request, I would have submitted the word “thingnese.” Yes folks – thingnese – the ability found in PwNEIDs (Persons with NeuroEndocrineImmune Disorders) to use the word “thing” when they can't describe what is obvious to everyone else.

They rightly use the word thing as "that thing," "this thing," "your thing," "food thing" (spoon), “eye thing” (eye glasses), “hand thing” (pen). The list is endless. I suppose as a neuroendocrineimmune person, I believe the thingnese vocabulary is easily understood and easily used during many of my conversations. I know this thingnese well!

Among other words that did not make the final 10 in 2005, but are worthy of mention, were:

Fahoodled: confused, especially when trying to think of too many things at once.

Craugh: as in “we craughed” (to cry and laugh simultaneously). It is similar to the feelings felt by many CFS or FMS patients when they are told "CFS is not terminal." Or "You don't have cancer" (at least not yet, but preliminary research is indicating that CFS patients have a high risk of developing and dying of cancer - See Jason, et al. - DePaul University). It does not matter that although CFS is not considered terminal, the reality is that many CFS and FMS patients are not really living either.

So we may troddle: wander around without knowing where we are going.

Boy does it sound comforting to say and hear these words! Words that accurately describe our daily thing, pardon, routine.

Now folks, placing humor aside for a moment. If you have a personal computer and you do the Internet thing (surfing), why not include the "word of the day" tickler from Merriam Webster? Every day you have the opportunity of increasing your vocabulary. It will also enlighten your day, as you will be reminded that you still have your …. (that thing inside your head). Oh! Yes! You have your brain.

And it is still operating. For those of us with Fibromyalgia, and there are millions, we must band together and be advocates for research and education on Fibromyalgia. My support organization, P.A.N.D.O.R.A., does just that and has made my aspirations to be an advocate, through humor and working in this organization, come true. Visit our website at

* P.A.N.D.O.R.A. (the Patient Alliance for Neuroendocrineimmune Disorders Organization for Research and Advocacy) is dedicated to creating awareness of the plight of patients with these disorders, including FM and CFS and related illnesses. P.A.N.D.O.R.A. is a co-sponsor and host of the Jan. 10-14 IACFS Conference, and Marly Silverman will co-lead workshops on FM/CFS Advocacy and Leadership and Understanding and Living with CFS/FM.

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