Tuesday is International ME/CFS and FM Day (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia). These conditions often occur together and afflict many millions of people world-wide.
You probably know someone affected by one or both of these conditions. Some patients go undiagnosed for years, while normal activities can become impossible. Worse, there are few knowledgeable doctors on these conditions in our central San Joaquin Valley. So, most patients must travel to Los Angeles, the Bay Area or out of state.
Many doctors routinely offer only antidepressants or anticonvulsants, which can have minimal impacts on pain. But they do not address the cause. For years, many doctors would tell patients “it’s all in your head.” Sadly, this still happens to people with ME/CFS and FM whose doctors have not kept up with research.
Research has found that viruses, infection, or trauma may be the cause. It is not an easy illness to figure out. Stanford’s CFS Clinic has a waiting list of at least a year! Yet, funding for research ranks near the bottom of the NIH budget. Proper funding is desperately needed. Please contact your representatives and get involved.
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Joanne Tatum and Jane Tatum