I read this book because it was recommend by the specialist that originally
diagnosed my M.E., Dr Elizabeth Dowsett.
She actually gives the book a recommendation on the back cover. I was diagnosed
in 1994 and have fairly religiously stuck to her advice but there was only so
much information that could be passed to me in a consultation.
Reading this book really felt like a detailed explanation of everything I was
told. It gave me a much greater understanding of my illness and a valuable source
for of reference for discussions with illness disbelievers.
It actually took me a lot of will power to read this book as I hate anything
vaguely medical or Biological. This book starts off in an investigative sort
of way and there was only about one chapter where I struggled to keep interested.
This predictably was the detailed explanation of how Polio invaded the body
and caused it’s trouble.
I of course had an extra problem to contend with here. I am an ME sufferer
and I was vaccinated against Polio so I can’t have Polio or Post Polio Syndrome
(PPS). As I read the book though I couldn’t help noticing how 90% of the symptoms
fitted my case. (This is most unusual for ME. I find my symptoms tend to only
match 50% of other sufferers). I was therefore wondering all the way through
what the link between Polio and ME would be. It was great getting explanations
for my being colder than most people, my legs and brain more tired. To have
a believable explanation model in print is invaluable for explaining to doctors,
consultants and general disbelievers. I am also convinced it explains what has
happened with the three other ME sufferers I know. I have discussed it with
one but I still need to contact my other friends.
I think if an ME sufferer is to read this book, and they or someone close to
them should, then I would recommend they read Chapter 17: Fatigue By Any Other
Name first. This will at least then give the reader scope to chat about what
they’re reading in a more knowledgeable way as they are reading it. I found
this book so interesting I wanted to discuss it with my partner almost chapter
by chapter but I could not explain what the ultimate relationship to me was
going to be so I didn’t know if I was becoming a hypochondriac who was not aware
they were getting phantom symptoms.
This book is also of interest to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome,
and Fibromyalgia sufferers among others. Again I recommend getting the context
first by reading Chapter 17 out of order.