Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why I'm publishing pseudonymously

My real name is not Patrick W. Calvin.  That's a pseudonym.  (The picture, though, is real.)  I settled on that name after reading one too many articles that refer to CFS patients as "PWCs" or "persons with CFS."

It don't like the idea of publishing this blog under a pseudonym because, in some sense, it devalues the whole endeavor.  The appeal of a blog is that it is personal, often intimately so.  As readers, we trust information when the author backs it up with his or her own identity.  Or rather, we distrust those who hide behind screen names, because they can say anything they want with impugnity.

But I don't have much choice.  I am an attorney and a partner in my law firm.  (I know, I know.  But I swear, I'm one of the honest ones.  Really!  I am!)  I'm lucky in that my case of ME is currently mild enough that I've been able to continue working without missing much time.

Clients are very thorough when vetting their potential attorney hires--and they should be.  It's an expensive proposition.  I can't have potential clients searching my name and discovering that I have some sort of condition that they've never heard of and don't understand.   I have not allowed ME to affect the quality of my legal work, so in my view, it's none of their business.  In some ways, the changes I've made to my lifestyle have actually improved my legal work.  But the clients have no way of knowing that.  So, unfortunately, I have to adopt this other identity.

Couldn't I use my first name only?  Not with my first name.  I'm not a "John" or a "Matt"; my first name is pretty unique.  Had I used my real first name, a potential client could easily find this blog by typing in my first name a few other known facts about me.

1 comment:

  1. No worries. I had to blog anonymously as well. As a research engineer I needed to "hide" my illness from my co-workers since chronic illness is a career killer where I worked. Also I was fighting the insurance companies for disability coverage. And also some of the stuff I post is very personal in nature. It isn't stuff I would tell a casual acquaintance. So, Hello Patrick. My name is Baffled and I too suffer from CFS/ME.