Oh. My. God.
Does this mean that those of us who suffer from it will no longer be branded as malingerers, neurotics, and cranks?
But only if our PCP reads the article.
But wait! We now have proof. We have a weapon!
Print out the article and bring it with you to your next visit. Your PCP either will or will not get defensive. You may or may not have the ability to change PCPs if they get their back up about it.
But the main thing is not so much about our doctors. It’s about US. It’s about the medical arm of the National Institutes of Health, founded in the 1800s by none other than Abraham Lincoln, issuing a position statement declaring that CFS is a real disease, and providing an ICD10 code for it, which not only legitimizes it as a proper diagnosis, but gives providers a billing code and a way to justify medication choices. If any effective medications are found, that is.
There is one, and only one, diagnostic criterion for CFS: post-exertional exhaustion out of proportion to the exertion.
For instance, if I do ten minutes of gentle yoga, I have to crash out in my recliner for an hour. Clean the snow off the front steps for fifteen minutes: two hours and counting, in the recliner.
A few years ago, when I started having trouble climbing three flights of stairs after having done so effortlessly for years, my PCP was concerned about my heart and sent me for an ultrasound. The doctor who read the study sneered: “You’re out of shape, that’s all! All your ultrasound shows is exercise intolerance.”
I tried to explain that I dragged myself from one end of hilly Jerusalem to the other every day, but instead of getting stronger I was getting more and more exhausted. He snorted and pointed at the door. I slunk out, feeling foolish and invalidated.
So rejoice, O Chronically Fatigued! We are Recognized, we are Real, we are….tired.