By Llewellyn King, in Huffpost.
The movie is called “Unrest.” The unrest of the title is one of the many symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, often expressed as ME/CFS. It is at one level a touching love story and at another, where its real purpose lies, a cry to be heard.
This mysterious, debilitating disease affects maybe 1 million Americans and has no cure, is hard to diagnose, and there is no therapy other than attempts to alleviate the worst symptoms. It is a disease of the immune system. To get it to have normal life confiscated and replaced with bare existence, pain, confusion and fatigue, which is not ameliorated by sleep, hence the unrest.
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, who directs The Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, and who has been described as the nation’s leading virus hunter, says that ME/CFS may be like cancer: one disease in many forms.
“Unrest” is not the first ME/CFS documentary but, to me, it is the most compelling. Actually, it is a compelling movie in its own right and someone with no interest or knowledge of the disease would find it engrossing — and damn good entertainment.
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