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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and
Invisible Illnesses: The Comprehensive Guide
By Katrina Berne,
2002, Publishers Press, $15.95, 376 pp.
Review by T. Tamara
I have a
fantasy. Sitting in my living room are the most knowledgeable
CFIDS researchers who will explain their latest findings to me. On
the couch next to me is a
therapist offering advice about coping and (dare I dream?) even thriving with
this confusing illness.
This magnificently thorough guide by Katrina Berne, PhD, may not literally
allow you to summon all these experts to your sofa, but reading the book will
make you feel you have come close.
Berne, a psychologist
and person with
CFIDS (PWC), reviews the latest
research and treatments in easily understandable language. Chapters devoted to
coping are empathetic and uplifting.
Part one describes symptoms and distinguishes
CFIDS and fibromyalgia from other disorders
such as depression. Part two details physiological abnormalities.
Berne explains complex research quickly and simply. For
example, I used to think that RNaseL was a nursing degree and that IL-6 was a
— so I was
pleasantly surprised to find myself absorbing the real facts about these immune
system components and other complexities.
Part three covers an array of traditional and alternative treatments and
explores coping mechanisms. On coping,
Berne delivers one
flawless insight after another. Acknowledging the frustration as “our
responsibilities and expectations for ourselves continue although our energy
does not,” she goes on to explain how to uncover inner resources and discover
My only criticism is that separate discussions of symptoms and treatments
requires some page-flipping. But this nit-pick does not detract from the book’s
impressive achievement: presenting perhaps the most comprehensive “user’s guide”
yet to CFIDS and fibromyalgia.
Sacred Earth Film Productions, $24.95
Review by Barbara Bottner (PWC)
“Pacific Light” is a healing music video with music by R. Carlos Nakai and
cinematography by Thomas Day Oates, Jr. This 31-minute montage of scenes of the
ocean, cliffs, free-standing boulders, breaking waves, sunsets and birds on the
beach is broken up into five sections. Each movement concentrates on a slightly
different aspect of the overall scene of the coast.
These images have the potential to be sentimental. But with the music
arranged by Grammy winner Billy Williams, and the beautifully executed
cinematography moves along at a pleasing pace.
I am not an easy target for a tape like this: a self-employed, Type A
personality with many projects but only fair health. But even though I watched
“Pacific Light” with a cup of coffee in my hands, I began to feel my muscles,
then my mind, let go. I began to think of more than just the tasks of the day.
My breathing improved.
Eventually, I was reminded of the eternal forces that exist and always have.
When it was over, I realized the birds outside my office were having a loud
conference. I took a moment to delight in this. The last credit read: Lighting
by God. Life, brought to you by God. And Mr. Thomas Day Oates. Thank you.
For ordering information, call 1-877-835-0838, or visit