The CFIDS Association of America's
"Snapshots of CFIDS," features the words and portraits of seven individuals whose lives have been
derailed by this
Following are short excerpts from three of the profiles
the wide range of individuals affected by CFIDS. To order copies of Snapshots to use in educational and
advocacy efforts or to make a donation to support The Association's work to conquer CFIDS, visit our
Barbara Brock, a 53-year-old registered nurse who lives in
felt her life disintegrate when unrelenting symptoms she describes as "pure hell" descended on her in
the mid 1990s.
She worked every other day to give her body and mind
and crashed on the days she endured a full shift. But by 1997, her symptoms, including profound cognitive
problems, left her unable to work at all.
After a decade of illness, Barbara says she is "still
She manages her symptoms by sitting down to brush her teeth, resting after eating and not cooking since
it requires too much energy. "Changing the bedding is a major task," she says. "It takes everything I
have and then I have to lie down."
Medina, New York
For most 10-year-olds,
is a time spent with friends, learning and growing up, laughing in the halls, playing in gym class and
socializing. For Megan Robinson of Medina, New York, fifth grade was quite different.
Megan, who was diagnosed
at the age of four, might make it to school for a couple of hours a day. She might make it in for one
class, or, her mom says more realistically, "for 45 minutes on a good day."
"Not many people
it's like to be sick all the time," says Megan. "I miss school and being involved in school activities."
In 1988, what at first seemed to be a stubborn case of the flu landed
Dr. Mark Peterson, an orthodontist in his 40s, in the hospital. "I thought I would die," he says. "Light
and sound hurt, and my heart would go into arrhythmias."
At his insurance
Mark was sent home even though he was too sick to lift his head off the pillow. He has improved, but is
still a long way from returning to a normal lifestyle. A good part of his day is still spent in bed and
he uses a wheelchair.
he says. "You have to confront medical professionals not educated about the illness and friends who have
a hard time believing that you have a serious medical condition."