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  1. jaybee says

    I identify with this via my wife. Unfortunately, she suffers from depression and chronic pain as well as chronic fatigue-like symptoms. They are entwined and it is hard to separate where one ends and the next begins.

    Conventional medicine isn’t offering much relief, so over the past couple decades she has tried a parade of alt-medicine cures, each practitioner fully confident that their take on things will have her fixed up in no time. Although most of it is sheer quackery, I hold my tongue for the most part because they are offering her hope, and due to her depression, the (false) promise of relief keeps her going until it becomes obvious that it isn’t helping. The “good news” is that alt medicine has no end of cures, so there is something else for her to try and someone else to sell her hope. She is fully aware that each sounds dodgy, and that she has been let down so many times before, but giving up and resigning herself to 35 years more of suffering is unthinkable.

  2. Sastra says

    I think even people who aren’t chronically ill could personally relate to at least part of her situation, in that many of us have either been sick and not been believed — or have been sick and had to run the gauntlet of helpful alternative medicine advice which, when not taken, puts one in the category of closed-minded (“you’d rather be right than well.”) This is not to minimize Ania’s suffering, of course — we don’t know “just how she feels” — but it establishes a common ground connecting us skeptics with the topic itself.

    Ania’s a very eloquent writer with a compelling story and perspective. I want to read that book when it’s done, so I gave.

  3. Crudely Wrott says

    Boy, howdy. How I identify. Her description of the chronic pain is just like mine. One day it just shows up. It lasts a little while, then goes away. Later it comes again and stays just a little longer, is just a shade sharper. That process repeats until it is constant and distracting to such a degree that one’s mind, one’s attitude, one’s resolve becomes subsumed in merely coping. It can be so exhausting. Depression is its companion and even everyday duties, relationships and needful things become confounded, undermined.

    I sincerely hope that she gets the resources that she is asking for so that she can tell her story to the widest possible audience. I have discovered that it is frustratingly difficult to get the attention of health care providers and insurers in cases of spinal pain. Perhaps because it is seen as a ruse? A way to game the system? Phaa! To act out such a charade is way more trouble than just going to work and earning a decent paycheck. I hope that this young lady not only communicates to the general public as well as the medical profession and insurers the misery of chronic pain but also precipitates a sea change in the way such conditions are regarded.

    There are those of us who were living active and productive lives just a while ago. Now we struggle to take out the trash. We wake up feeling as though we have been beaten with bats all the night long. Our sleep is disturbed. Our wills are sapped.

    I encourage all who can to drop a few dollars to her cause; the price of a double latte or a movie. If enough do so then people like her and I might eventually find some relief, some support, some strength and comfort.