Thursday, December 29, 2011
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - an impact video
It is important to be clear about this disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, ME. Clarity is something that has been sadly lacking over the years. This short video, under five minutes, brings certain things about ME into sharp focus. It is an "impact video". The first half has Dr. David Bell articulating, in his excellent manner, some of the main symptoms of this illness. The second half focuses on a severely ill ME patient, a young man of 19 years of age.
It is my belief that we, collectively, have to look more closely at the most severely ill ME patients. It is my belief that they harbor, in their severity, the keys to this illness. Most doctors do not see the most severely ill. Kenny De Meirleir, in his trips into Norwegian homes, treats the very ill. Paul Cheney and David Bell also have occasionally seen the severely ill. Perhaps others have - and hats off to them. But by and large, this patient population is isolated from everyone. The severely ill ME patients cannot get to a doctor's office. They languish in darkened rooms, cut off from reality, isolated and often abandoned, without medical care. It seems that no one cares a whit about them. It is these patients on whom we have to focus our attention, both for their sake and for ours. More effort has to be made to "get close to them", although this, in itself, is difficult, under even the best of circumstances.
I know of a number of these patients. I am interested in identifying more of them. Mostly they have the willingness to participate, through testing, in their own betterment - provided that the severity of their situation is taken into consideration. Many already have had testing for immune function, NK cell activity, cytokine disregulation, gut dysbiosis, brain scans and so forth. Consistent testing needs to be applied to these patients using existing parameters - if only to set the stage for future possibilities that will soon arise.
Peter Cairns, whose own sister is ill, has made this film. Peter has both the skill and the ability, born of experience and empathy, to approach these patients, to get close to them without disturbing them too much - for these patients live in a very fragile and vulnerable world.
Most people do not want to take a look in this direction. Most people turn away, including doctors. It is time to toughen up - and to consider these patients, and what they are going through, especially since they might hold the key. Testing of the half-sick (no disrespect here) has not brought clarity. We need to brace up, take a good look and then move in close. While it is difficult it is the only decent and humane thing to do.
This video interview of Dr. David Bell was made in August 2010 at the opening of the Whittemore Peterson Institute building on the Reno, NV campus. The video was a private project.
It occurs to me to add this fine, very moving testimony of Laurel from 2009.