When Harvard PhD student Jennifer Brea is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it's "all in her head." Determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and her community, a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.
I am one of the millions missing, but one who is not bedridden, and I can still work, though at a much diminished capacity. Jennifer's attempt to describe her life and her illness is much needed. I was in tears as she described the difficulty of getting a diagnosis. When I got sick 25 years ago, it took me 6 years to be diagnosed. I was hoping that diagnosis was a little further along than it apparently is in the medical community. That was a major disappointment for me. I wish she had talked more about the cognitive issues. Yes, ME is physical, but the brain fog, the inability to concentrate or stay on task, the disorganization that came with the condition, the struggle to perform cognitive tasks that were once easy (reading maps, remembering how to get somewhere you should be able to, forgetting appointments, short-term memory problems, etc. etc), all add another layer to an otherwise debilitating condition. My accolades for Jennifer for the supernatural strength and commitment it required to put together a great snapshot of our shared nightmares.
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