TO TABLE OF CONTENTS
the Chronicle editor
In the Summer 2003 issue, the Chronicle asked
readers to respond to this Hot Topic question: "When your CFIDS symptoms flare,
what gets you through the day?"
When I have a bad flare-up, I go to the closet and pull
out My Comforter. It used to be on my youngest daughterís bed, yesterday long
ago. She loved it because it was so colorful, with bright yellow, red and blue
flowers. I love it because it is a reminder of all the wonderful memories of
The colors are faded now and the fabric worn and thin, but it
is more beautiful today than ever. As I wrap it around my shoulders, I forget
about myself and welcome the comfort. The softness caresses my body and shuts
out the rest of the world. The laundry to be done, the bills to be paid, the
telephone calls to make are all forgotten for now as I retreat into a place of
peace, love and healing.
Helen M. Brooks, Arizona
Iím 58 years old and have had CFIDS for 12 years. I have
the most loving, 4.4-pound Yorkshire Terrier. She is full of love, and extremely
flexible. If I canít get up for hours, she will curl up with me. Finally she
gets hungry and barks at me. I have to get up to feed her. Even if I can barely
move, taking care of someone else makes me feel better and makes me feel life is
Evelyn Lief, New York
I did social work for 19 years before I had to quit
because of my illness. At the time I was diagnosed, I had a part-time job for
the ALS (also known as Lou Gehrigís disease) Association of Los Angeles. One of
my responsibilities was to help set up alternative communication systems for
patients who needed them. During advanced stages of ALS, patients may lose the
ability to walk, eat, talk and even breathe.
On my bad days, I remember the relief I could see in patients
after the system was set up and they could communicate again. Some could only
move a finger or blink an eye, yet they carried on bravely. This always reminds
me that as bad as it is for me, it could be worse. We must go on.
The power of prayer!
Jane Bradford Thurber, Virginia
Praise for a hero
I have been thrilled
to read so much lately about Laura Hillenbrandís success with Seabiscuit. Three
cheers to her for the dual achievements of writing a book and becoming such an
articulate voice for CFIDS.
But I want to send up three more cheers for Lauraís partner,
Borden Flanagan, who stood by her through all her difficulties and gave her the
kind of support we all wish we had. Heís a true hero in my eyes; a fine match
for our new heroine. My best wishes to both of them.
Carol Greentree, California