Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is So Much More Than Exhaustion

 

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By Stephanie Land in She Knows.

 

When I told friends earlier this month that I’d planned a trip to go visit my friend who is sick, I started to see it as a way to spread awareness about his disease. The usual response to “I’m going to an old friend’s house who’s severely ill” is some form of the hopeful “Give them my best.” I took it a step further and said with purpose, “I can’t, really. I won’t be able to see him.”

Their response was always, “But I thought you said he only had chronic fatigue syndrome?”

Since discovering my friend Whitney Dafoe had become severely ill after I saw a photo of him being loaded into an ambulance on Facebook, I haven’t been without my own moments of thinking the same. I had to relearn everything I thought about his disease, myalgic encephalomyelitis, including what to call it. As a writer, researching turned into a passion to raise awareness and to become absorbed in a community of a forgotten population.

 

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