Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday Feature: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Today, we are bringing my daughter home from college, so I thought it might be fun to look in Quinnipiac (her college) Magazine for today's Friday Feature. The print copy has been sitting on the table in our family room for a couple of weeks, waiting for me to have time to read it but, with five hours in the car yesterday, I had time to browse the online edition. I expected to find something interesting, but was surprised to find something of particular personal relevance.

I first heard of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome years ago when my then-boyfriend's aunt was struggling with it. Around the same time, there was a two-episode arc on The Golden Girls where Dorothy was struggling with an illness doctors couldn't seem to diagnose, which turned out to be CFS. Ironically, the episodes had the same title as the article in Quinnipiac Magazine: "Sick and Tired."

My dad suffers from CFS -- or at least I think he does. I have no medical degree but, the more I read, the more I wonder. Since my dad recently moved to Pennsylvania, I want to raise this question with his new doctors. I struck out with the first one but, after reading that patients go to an average of twenty doctors before receiving the diagnosis, I wonder if perhaps Dad and I should keep asking.

CFS was featured in Quinnipiac Magazine thanks to a donation made to the University by Carol Sirot, herself afflicted with CFS. She opted to do so "because the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine focuses on training primary care doctors." Sirot wants to increase awareness of this disease and she believes primary care physicians in training are a good place to start.

I couldn't agree more.

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