Millions Suffer From An Invisible Disease: My ME/CFS Story

Ryan Prior

 

By Ryan Prior in CNN Health.

 

Ryan Prior is a cross-platform associate producer at CNN. He has suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for 11 years. The views expressed in this article are solely his.

Atlanta (CNN)Every morning, I shave, brush my teeth, and swallow a dozen pills. I look in the mirror and thank God I can even walk out the door. Since 2007, I’ve lived with an incurable disease known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Internationally, doctors call it myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS. The tongue-twister means “painful inflammation of the brain and nervous system.”

The grassroots ME Action Network recognizes August 8 as “Severe ME Awareness Day.” You may be surprised how many people in your life are, like me, struggling in silence with an invisible burden. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates up to 2.5 million Americans are suffering from ME/CFS, with many cases undiagnosed.

 

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