with the Chronicle editor
Scott Davis’ article on winning Social Security disability
(fall 2000) appeared biased in favor of retaining a lawyer. By following the advice of two helpful Chronic
Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) Association of America publications, I won my disability
claim without trouble or delay.
I don’t doubt that for many people it makes good sense to hire
a lawyer, but certainly many could do just as well on their own and save considerable money. Davis’ article
is presented as helpful information but reads like scare-tactic advertising. Persons with CFIDS (PWCs)
need more balanced information.
Tim James, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Praise for new choices
It was wonderful to read the article “New Choices in
in the fall 2000 Chronicle. Your discussion of osteopathic medicine and physician assistants was
timely and educational.
As a faculty member at Midwestern University, which has both osteopathic
medicine and physician assistant programs, I appreciate your recognition of the contributions that these
professions make to health care.
Meredith Davison, Downers Grove, Ill.
Illness doesn’t equal neglect
I was disappointed to read the letter in the
fall 2000 Chronicle
from the woman telling PWCs it was ridiculous and selfish for them to have children.
and I had three children when I became ill. I try to do all that I can with them and my husband despite
my illness. When
I am having a particularly difficult time, we play on my bed, read books, etc.
mother was healthy, yet she worked full-time and was rarely home. Our family moved frequently because
of my parents’ occupations and busy schedules. I was unable to participate in activities outside of school,
and we rarely had family traditions, but I would never say that working parents destroy their children
through neglect or that their absence causes their children to suffer.
Dealing with the loss of
health is enough without this added guilt from what I think is an ungrateful woman.
Note: See the Living with CFIDS article by Lilli Jolgren Day
in this issue for another perspective on PWCs’ experiences with raising children.]
Birth defects and CFIDS?
Dr. Lapp's article on childbearing and CFIDS in the
issue of the Chronicle did not adequately cover possible side effects on the baby. I am a PWC
who works with developmentally delayed infants and toddlers. Whether or not viruses cause CFIDS, it is
necessary to acknowledge that they are frequently activated in PWCs. I've seen severe physical birth defects,
neurological damage, developmental delays, and immune dysfunctions in children born to PWCs.
Hoff, Ocean Grove, N.J.
[Editor’s Note: Dr. Lapp was contacted, and he
that we communicate this reply: “Thank you for this very interesting thought. While birth defects may
be seen with an acute CMV or rubella infection, I am not aware that reactivation causes such problems,
and we have not seen these problems in our own small series or patients.” In his article, Dr. Lapp
alludes to the fact that his knowledge is from personal experience in private clinical practice, not from
research studies. There is limited research on CFIDS and childbirth and the reader letter above highlights
the need for further investigation in this area.]