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Chronic Fatigue Syndrom Article

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Initial post: May 29, 2008 6:58:25 PM PDT
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a perplexing problem with very little information available through medical sources. I've worked with health and nutrition products and been dealing with this sort of problem for over a decade. I've just written an article on CFS for our website and am looking for feedback on the information.

If you have experience with CFS I'd be interested in your feed back on the information to know if it is clear with the information and the discussion of the various causes that trigger the problem. (It is a fairly long piece but if you are trying to deal with the problem the general lack of information seems to be really annoying)
If this does not agree with your experience can you please add a note so that I can make adjustments before moving on to other topics.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2008 4:08:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2008 4:08:24 AM PDT
it sounds like you really know what you are talking about.

I have had CFS since I was 17 years old and am still learning how to cope with it every day. I'll be keeping my eye on this post to see what other people have to say about your article

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2008 11:49:49 PM PDT
happytobeme says:
Are you selling these products? Is that the purpose of this post?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2008 2:49:46 AM PDT
Hi Hypoxic#1. I work with health products down in Australia. If you are near Melbourne, happy to help. For the rest of the world we are seeing the medical profession telling everyone that there are no answers for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I know that is not right. I have seen dozens of people with advanced conditions turning their life around and there has to be information out there to tell people that there are answers for this. This is why I wrote that article and I want feedback from people who have come through this or who are dealing with it to see that what is here is clear and understandable. If you have dealt with CFS I'd value your feedback.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2008 8:24:04 PM PDT
Nightingale says:
I have suffered with chronic fatigue syndrome since 1984 -- a worsening trend overall with occasional improvements followed by relapses. If I had $5 for every time I thought I had been cured I'd be rich indeed. My initial attempts at healing involved nutritional and holistic methods including a complete elimination diet (with medical supervision throughout my treatment) with gradual replacement of non-offending foods. Although food sensitivities and chemical hypersensitivity exacerbate my symptoms, I manage my diet and my life to avoid those things, and nutritional supplementation is an ongoing part of my healthplan. Unfortunately that has not cured me and each relapse has left me worse off. I leave my home only for necessary shopping (and my husband does most of that.) Most weeks I do not go out at all. I have been completely unable to work since 1993 and I am on social security disability -- which is assumed to be permanent although I continue to hope.

Much of your CDC/NIH information is dated and much progress has been made since 1994. There are "genetic markers" for chronic fatigue syndrome that have been discovered and an identifying blood test will not be far behind. They have also discovered several different "families" of CFS (for lack of a better term) that are indicative of different outcomes for their respective patients. In other words some sufferers with one particular set of symptoms are more likely to be sick for a limited (albeit lengthy) period of time and then to recover while others with a different symptom-set will most likely remain ill with relapsing and recurring symptoms that worsen over time. There have also been some new studies done regarding viral syndromes that don't identify a single virus, but rather a particular immune-response to the viruses that initiates the illness.

I would love to believe that I could take your supplements for the rest of my life and be cured, and I'm glad it has worked for you, but my experience does not lead me to believe that to be true. I did not take any antibiotics prior to becoming ill, in fact I was a on a rather strict health-oriented diet allowing only all natural foods, no caffiene, no sugar, no junk and I took no medications of any kind. I was very fit, very active, and very healthy before I was laid low by CFS. I also avoid chemicals of all kinds in cleaning, pest control, etc. and used only natural products and alternatives to manage my home. I truly wish that had been enough, it was not.

Thanks for your concern and good luck with your research. I'm sure there is a subset of individuals that will be helped, just not all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2008 12:29:10 AM PDT
Mark Straka says:
Where did you get your information on genetic markers and families of CFS and the viral studies (all of which coincide with my suspicions developed over 28 years of toughing it out on my own.) Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2008 7:48:25 AM PDT
Anita Boser says:
I've looked at your website. It's very comprehensive with a wealth of information. Nutrition *is* at the core of much illness and dis-ease. With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and fibromyalgia for that matter, too), regulating energy is one of the primary components of coping and treatment. Without exercise, fatigue gets worse, but too much exercise causes more fatigue. It's important for people to balance activity and rest in a way that gives them more energy. Traditional exercise (treadmill, aerobics) is typically off limits, so new, gentle exercise should be tried.

On a different note, a study found that appropriate treatment for depression can also reduce fatigue.

I should note that I don't have CFS, I just have many clients who do. My profession is a combination of bodywork and movement education.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2008 10:32:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 18, 2008 10:56:20 PM PDT
B.K. Thank you for your information on your condition. Over 20 years of having your life affected by this is hard to even read about, let alone living with it.

I am see your comments about genetic markers and would be interested to hear more about them. There is so little solid information available and I have not seen anything indicating genetic markers and am interested in what you have found.

I put the CDC/NIH information in the article as it shows the lack of main stream understanding of the subject. Advice that the general medical profession cannot identify the condition and when they decide that cfs is present they cannot do anything for it is of little use to anyone. People are forced to look to alternate information sources to try and find answers any your observations are valuable in themselves
I have seen a lot of people who's condition can be tracked to specific causes or events, unlike yours. There is a group who have chemical contamination, a group with a viral infection history, a much larger group who have apparently impaired their digestive process and are not absorbing nutrition which leads into this condition. The latter group are fairly easy to reach and their situation often turns around fairly quickly.

Your condition is obviously different. Fit and healthy, strict and healthy diet, no viruses, no antibiotics, it is extremely unfair for you to have ended up with this condition.

I'm aware of a blood test that has a number of key indicators that indicate cfs. This is already in use but not generally available and as it is not universally recognized I didn't mention it in the article. As you say, it should be more generally available shortly. The problem is that such a test indicate cfs and the physicians tick a box to say they have identified the problem but they then tell the sufferer that there are no cures and no answers and to look after themselves.

I'd be very interested in your research on genetic markers and other observations as this personal information taken over a long period is often more useful than published scientific information.

(I do not have a medical background but I have access to a number of very highly qualified people. If there is anything specific that I can chase up for you then contact me through my profile here or through and I'll be happy to do some further investigation for you)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2008 10:30:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2008 10:49:23 AM PDT
BK Hi I really feel for you & relate and PArt of the difficulty with these "unseen" illnesses is people often DO NOT get it ..both drs and friends.

I am diagnosed with fibro but not treated for it and i am suspicious it is not actually chronic fatigue with me PLUS some serious back issues that lead to pain in the back & extrmeties . I was Dxd with fibro prior to finding all levels of my spine are a mess of broken discs BUT i do have a chonic fatigue type issue going on. In fact, all my life no matter how much I slept I am soo exhuasted. They found me b-12 enemic. Announced me cured after one injection. I kept saying but i am so extremely tired still that I cannto see or move hardly .I got ignored as usual . I am soooo tired all the time that many days I can do nothing. I have mutiple issues like anxiety disorders and chronic pain in my spine that complicate the picture. I knwo it sounds odd to have anxiety disorders and fatigue but i do . One leads to tthe other. The fatigue gives me fear of how do I care for myself and just the feeling "bad" so I get anxiety too. Obviouly things are much more complex then just this statement but..

I am wondering if you can say more re the gentic markers and also just how you were diagnosed ( the criteria)

I am also on SSDI BTW ( at onyl 38 years old ..been on it 4 years ).I am glad you were able to get disability and I am actually surprised if you got it for CF cause i know the disability courts do not like DXs such as fatigue or fibro . They do not even give MS people in wheelchairs disability very easily .Still, if you are on SSDI for the CF that means they are finally recognizing it more and that is good.

~ alison

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2008 1:30:25 PM PDT
Nightingale says:
Thank you all for your kind replies.

Warren, I've given you a wrong impression-- I did have a viral illness. In fact, I can tell you exactly where and when I first got sick: I went out with friends to celebrate my 2nd day on a brand new job. Before dinner was over I was doubled over in pain (abdominal) and barely made it to my front door. Once I got inside I threw away all pretense of feeling even remotely "okay" and literally crawled to bed on my hands and knees. That was the beginning of a very bumpy ride that began with this stomach virus and never really went all the way away. The doctor who originally diagnosed me (5 years later) said that my case was "Classic CFS", meaning that my symptoms exactly matched those set out by the CDC in the definintion for CFS. I was unlucky to have come down with the disease before it had been *discovered* but I was then very fortunate to stumble upon one of the few doctors (at that time) who believed in the illness and was able to diagnose and treat it. He was a homeopathic physician and used homeopathic as well as all natural and dietary methods to treat his patients. Unfortunately, he is no longer in practice. When my economic situation forced me to move cross country to be closer to family, keeping him as physician was no longer an alternative and I have been unable to find a suitable, knowledgeable doctor in my area.

Everyone, rather than answering each of you individually please forgive me if I refer you to the web-site for the most up-to-date organization for research on CFIDS (the 'official' name for CFS as a separate illness other than fatigue from other causes.) They are found at on the web and they have so much information from doctors and researchers worldwide. Their initiatives have given me hope over the last 20 + years since their inception. They work closely with the CDC/NIH and the major focus of their funding is research. ***BTW CFIDS stands for "Chronic Fatigue and Immunilogic Dysfunction Syndrome***

If you suffer from CFS/CFIDS or fibromyalgia, know someone who does, or are merely curious, look up this site and see how much has been done (as well as how very much remains to be done.) This organization is volunteer driven and yet extremely professional and it has been cited as one of those charities where you can be certain that your money will be used for its stated purpose.

As for the Social Security disability issue, believe it or not, the SSD mandated physical and psychological exams were the most conclusive evidence in my file regarding my disabilty. I qualified in 1993 and my qualifying condition was CFS, not some other condition -- so I can't say that I had any trouble because of my diagnosis. The main difficulty I had was because of my income before I became ill. The SSD intake person put in a wrong date somewhere and it looked like I was still earning a very comfortable income -- not the $Zero in income that was the correct figure. Once my lawyer straightened that out it went right through. If you are applying for disablility, I strongly recommend hiring an attorney to represent you. The best ones are the ones that are "former disability court judges" because they really know the system and they will tell you right up front if you don't have a chance of winning in your situation. I good lawyer will work on contingency which means they don't get paid until you do. Ironically, when your case goes through, the Social Security Administration reimburses you for 'the reasonable costs of an attorney' which usually means it doesn't cost you anything for your attorney. The financial toll of this illness is devastating and you should get all the help that you can and make sure you know what to expect *before* you submit to the lengthy and somewhat humiliating process of applying for SSD
Sorry for the one-size-fits-all response -- I don't spend a lot of time on the computer as it seems to trigger headaches if I don't limit my time. Please forgive me if I don't respond to posts for a while.

Be well,

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2008 10:01:07 AM PDT
I'm a medical writer, a CFS/ME patient and author of the most conclusive book on pharmaceutical CFS/ME treatment titled "Reviving the Broken Marionette: Treatments for CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia" (which features over 250 medications).

While your page contains some useful information, I feel like it also leaves out a lot - like the fact that CFS/ME can be extremely severe, progressive and even fatal. Usually, myalgic encephalomyelitis is considered synonymous to CFS - ICD-10 features them both under G93.3. "In some cases, CFS can persist for years." is certainly misleading, considering that CFS/ME is almost always a permanent condition. You also neglect to mention that the diagnostic criteria you mention is considered unspecific, unlike the newer Canadian diagnostic criteria. You don't mention that it is very clear that at least most cases of CFS/ME are caused by viral infections (especially enteroviruses but also herpesviruses) - and nowhere on the page is it mentioned that there have been several epidemics of this illness!

"Since there is no known cure for CFS, treatment is aimed at symptom relief and improved function." - Not true. You can treat the underlying disease process by immunomodulators, including Ampligen, which is waiting for FDA approval for CFS/ME.

It does not seem like you have any real expertise in this subject, but more like you just copypasted a bunch of stuff, a lot of which is misleading at best, to construct this website. If you want to understand what CFS/ME really is, I recommend the book "Clinical and Scientific Basis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis". It is old but still excellent. However, to me it seems like you just want to sell Herbalife products.

As far as supplements go, I would recommend, instead of the expensive but dubious products you are pushing, e.g. Q10, R lipoic acid (or alpha lipoic acid, but R lipoic acid is better), acetyl-L-carnitine (or L carnitine), vitamin B12, multivitamins and vitamin C. D-ribose gives many people more energy, but is quite expensive. Herbs like rhodiola and ginkgo can be quite helpful.

Low dose naltrexone is likely the best pharmaceutical treatment for CFS/ME, even though it doesn't help everyone. Those with progressive form of the illness definitely do need pharmaceutical immunomodulators, because otherwise the downward spiral can't be stopped. I'd be in wheelchair now and unable to take care of myself if it wasn't for LDN.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2008 2:21:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 20, 2008 2:32:03 PM PDT
Maija, thank you for your post. This is exactly the sort of material that I was looking for in starting this discussion. I will review the material you have outlined and add it to the page with links where appropriate so people can look into it in more depth.

You commented that statements in article that were misleading and outdated. I agree with you. The comments that you are referring to are tagged on the page as being drawn from a tradition information site - tagged with these words "The following has been drawn directly from material published by the US Government "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention"" They represent the current information being given out, right now, on many, if not most, main stream sites and that material is what is currently listed on that site.

As you say, this information, while it represents main stream thinking, falls very far short of giving anyone what they need to deal with this condition. My own experience is outlined in the article but there are a lot of people world wide who have the condition in a sever form and who need more information than I'm supplying in the article and that their General Practitioner will every be able to give. They are searching for answers. Your comments are clearly heart felt and they have worked for you. There will be other people who will find that your information is what they have been searching for. It is the sort of thing that needs to be added to the article and I thank you for sharing it with us.

I'll add your experience and your suggestion to the article. Would you be comfortable if I attributed that to your name (with your absolute right to review and approve wording) or would you prefer me not to use your name?

I am also very interested in your comments about several epidemics of this illness. Do you have a reference where we can read about that?

Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2008 7:27:05 PM PDT
Joan Smith says:
I have seen some new information, may not be new to others. I started out with CFIDS when I was 28 after having Mono working as a nurse in ICU, Im now 53, then I had Parvo Virus then DX with Fibromyalgia. I have also had 5 blood clots in my legs. which is why I bring up this info..This information is for patients with CFIDS and or FM This is information from a specialized clinic for these patients... "For instance, some individuals have a coagulation defect that is set off by a chronic infection. This results in the laying down of a fibrin coating on the lumen of the vessel causing impaired oxygen and nutrient transfer. This can result in fatigue, muscle aches and "brain fog". If suspected, diagnosis requires specialized testing. If not treated, not only are the cells starved for oxygen and nutrients, but it is very difficult to eradicate any infection because they will "hide" in the fibrin coating. Also, if the organism is one that produces neurotoxins, this must also be addressed. These substances can remain in the body and continue to cause symptoms long after the organism that produced them are gone. Special testing and protocols must be done to rid the body of these tiny toxins. "
"The medical literature is, however, very clear that these are legitimate diseases and individuals with these syndromes have measurable hypothalamic, pituitary, immune and coagulation dysfunction. These abnormalities then result in a cascade of further abnormalities, in which stress plays a role. The pituitary and hypothalamic dysfunction results in multiple hormonal deficiencies that are often not detected with standard blood tests, and autonomic dysfunction, including neurally mediated hypotension. The immune dysfunction, which includes natural killer cell dysfunction, results in opportunistic infections and yeast overgrowth, making the symptoms worse. Recent studies have shown that the coagulation dysfunction is usually initiated by a viral infection and has genetic predisposition. This abnormal coagulation results in increased blood viscosity (slugging) and a deposition of soluble fibrin monomers along the capillary wall. This results in tissue and cellular hypoxia, resulting in fatigue, and decreased cognition (brain fog). Neurotransmitter abnormalities and macro and micro nutrient deficiencies have also been shown to occur with these disorders.
"Current research suggests that many triggers can initiate a cascade of events, causing the hypothalamic, pituitary, immune and coagulation dysfunction. The most common initiating cause is a viral or bacterial infection, which is very commonly Epstein Bar Virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), HHV6, mycoplasma, Chlamydia pneumonia or Lyme's disease. These are found in 80% of CFIDS and FM patients. Many people with these syndromes can pinpoint the start of their disease to a viral infection that never got better. Also, stress seems to be a contributing factor" This is just a small part of the information I have found in the last 6-9 months..I only wish my doctors would not only read it but understand it...
The article was fairly good, but I was surprised you did not call it CFIDS... and now a days it seems that CFIDS and FM go hand and hand....I wish nutrional supplements would cure me, I take them...but Im still sick...such is least Im alive and I don't have cancer and its not terminal, I may feel like I want to die sometimes...but I won't ! I just keep trying...good luck with your program

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2008 7:27:58 PM PDT
paul best says:
I also have suffered for yrs with this *invisible enemy*, ie a disease of unknown nor specified causes.
Although i agree in part that certain free form aminos, herbs, supplements such as Q10, Lipoic acid etc , can become a part of a treatment leading to a recovery, there remains a more essential component for a eventual return to some normalacy.
The core issue is what is the primary cause of this depletion of vitality to the point where basic life functions , just rising from bed in the AM is something of a herculean task. How did we ever get ourselves in this libido drained situation in the first place?
Jung's concept of the collective unconscious may hold a key to identifying this blood sucking agent which attacks us like the dark Dracula.
Look up Jung's ideas on the confrontation of the individual with the collective unconscious.
Since my slow recovery starting 3 yrs ago, I continue to take many supplements, too many to list. Though i do not think I need them for energy, I take them for personal reasons. I've found out about myself that i am a bit of a alchemist, seeking new possibilities. Each yr I learn something about these supplements, at least I think I am, perhaps the real healing is comming from a deeper source which Jung calls the unconscious. And of course my faith has been renewed in conjunction with alterations in my attitudes and life style. Jung always stressed that his *system* is not new, but well founded on the life giving religious systems of past millenia.

Sorry to go off topic, just thought I'd share how my situation has evolved.
I did not consult a doc for treatments, though i would not be against pharms as a solution to this complex disability.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2008 1:52:05 PM PDT
e. verrillo says:
Thank you for being intelligent. When it comes to CFIDS, we seem to have retreated into pure New Age superstition. CFIDS is not caused by a bad diet, or by an unhealthy lifestyle, or by personal "issues." (The same holds true for cancer, MS, or any chronic illness.) People who contract CFIDS are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (or the right place at the right time from a viral perspective). The fact that the first CFIDS outbreaks occurred directly after polio epidemics should be a tip-off. The long and short of the story is that if a person is cured by a change of diet, or a supplement, or exercise, then that person doesn't have CFIDS.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2008 4:52:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 24, 2008 7:58:47 AM PDT
Nightingale says:
e. verillo, hello!

I agree that we CFIDS sufferers sometimes retreat into what you have dubbed "New age superstition" regarding diet, lifestyle, personal issues, etc. -- or more likely it is critics of the illness and its victims who think we're either making it up or being overly dramatic about our little tiredness issues. They believe that if we would just fix our: diets, lifestyle, attitude [pick one or make up your own] we could get over this silly fatigue nonsense and get on with our lives. I also tend to think that people who are cured by diet, etc. didn't really have CFIDS either.... But then I realize that I may just be being mean.

"Nobody is as sick as I am." "Nobody understands what it's like." "You don't really have CFIDS, you look perfectly fine to me!" The sufferer's lament goes through my mind like a mantra or the "CFIDS rosary" repeated over and over. But then I realize that *I* look perfectly fine, too, and others with CFIDS have questioned my illness as well. It's this d***ed invisibility that hurts so much -- and even more so when we use it on each other like a club.

The fact is that there is a subset of CFS patients that *do* recover. The CFIDS Association of America ( researchers are working dilligently to discover what is different about these people and why they recover and others don't. I know these recovered sick people don't mean to sound so d***ed sanctimonious when they publish their books with their "8-step protocols" (or" 3-step exercise plan", or "nothing but walnuts diet," or only "WalMart brand multivitamins along with CVS hand creme health regime.") But they do. And I'm really glad that they are now able to run marathons, climb Mount Everest, live for a year-and-a-half on nothing but crushed bugs and polluted water that has been filtered through sea-weed and egg shells, and are now 3rd time Nobel Prize winners -- but could they just shut up for a little while and think about how little they wanted to hear any of this doodoo when they were sick? And I really and truly hope that these people truly are done with CFIDS and they won't relapse later and hate themselves for being so smug (and so wrong.) Maybe the diet or vitamins helped them with their recovery or maybe it was just a coincidence. If they were suffering from CFIDS, the exercise could very well have harmed them, as it did me. I loved exercise and movement so very much that I refused to give it up. Except for those periods of time when I was completely bedridden, I was swimming a mile every day. All my supporters (except my doctor) were cheering me on for "doing something positive about my health" right up to the day of my ultimate collapse in what was to be the final relapse and my last pretense of health - 15 years ago. (I have had CFIDS for 24 years.) Would I not be quite as sick now if I had foregone my beloved swimming? I don't know. I know I was pushing myself too hard but not because I "needed exercise" but rather because I didn't want to give up the release, the feeling of weightlessness, the timelessness that I felt while swimming. Right this minute I would love to go swim some laps -- but it is not possible and it's painful to think about this loss above all others: the freedom of movement, the sense of being strong, the feeling of a healthy heart beating in my chest, and the sense that I could continue to do this forever.

As for being in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time... maybe. With my initial diagnosis, blood tests disclosed several viral illnesses concurrently including Epstein-Barr (causes mono among other things,) CMV, HHV6, and 2 others I can't remember off-hand. The EBV and HHV6 are both chronic; I've not been re-tested for the others, so I don't know about them. For the last 10 years I have had repeated recurrence of the varicella zoster (shingles) virus. All that having been said, there is no ONE virus that researchers have identified in all CFIDS patients and some have no evidence of having had any viral involvement at all. Doesn't mean there wasn't any but.... Research is being done to try to identify an abnormal immune response to viral attacks that is apparent in some CFIDS patients, also there is some speculation about a "gatekeeper" virus that becomes resident in the patient and then kind of "props the door open" for other viruses to infect the system.

Some patients have been found to have "posturally mediated hypotension" which I don't quite understand but is diagnosed essentially by standing the patient on their head and seeing if they pass out (okay, the standing-on-their-head part's not true, but it's something like that.) Some folks that had been diagnosed with CFIDS were "cured" when this condition was diagnosed and some sort of blood pressure mediating medication was administered. There were high hopes that this was "the" cure but it turned out that only a small group of CFIDS sufferers had this condition.

As for the original "epidemics" nobody reallyknows why they happened. Besides the original epidemics in Lake Placid, New York, and Incline Village, Nevada, there was another epidemic in a small community in Florida in the early 1980s and, as I understand it, most of those original patients/victims have still not recovered. The bulk of cases of CFIDS have been individually reported and there haven't been any other epidemics reported. Does that mean there weren't any? Not really. But, none have been reported so there is no way of pursuing that line of inquiry.


If you would like to know more about what directions legitimate CFIDS research is taking right now check out: {edited to show more complete web-address}

which is the web-site for the CFIDS Association of America. The Association sponsors a number of different areas of research, all of which are being conducted by qualtified researchers and physicians using proper research protocols and accepted research techniques. This makes the research slow-going, but it also guarantees that coincidental improvements of individuals who may not have been properly diagnosed in the first place won't taint findings. Progress is being made, step by painful step.

Many people believe that Florence Nightingale had CFIDS. After all of her energetic, hard charging and self-sacrificing work nursing young soldiers in the Crimean War, she went home to become somewhat reclusive. She never worked again, staying at home, in bed, rarely receiving visitors until her death. Some say her history is the ultimate profile of a CFIDS sufferer, in fact, some people would like to see the illness renamed "Florence Nightingales's Disease" to take the focus off the word 'fatigue' which is by far the least of it's devastating symptoms. I know there is at least one web-site devoted to the Florence Nightingale/CFIDS connection, but off hand I can't recall where it is -- try google.

Thanks for hearing me out, it's been cathartic.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 8:00:53 AM PDT
Mr.Tattersall, I just went to your website and although you had some interesting points on CFIDS and the fact that you are Not a Doctor. I found it extremely offensive and demeaning that you seemed to be "PUSHING" your "HERBAL LIFE PRODUCTS" and I'm sure you have people who "swear" by this product as well and they have real life experiences. But, I have been a CFIDS sufferer as well as sufferer of other similiar Chronic Illnesses since 1989! One being Fibromyalia, cluster migraine headaches, as well as experiencing (even back then) spells of Myostosis (body basically shuts down as if in a coma until it's ready to awaken) still not being refreshed, Narcalepsy....and the list goes on now to the point of having the symptoms of a Mild form Of MS! All this since the birth of my son 19 years ago! Now mind you, in that time I took "HERBAL LIFE" as a friend of mine (who was a distributor) had suggested. She said I could get a discounted rate if I became a "distributor" as well and I spoke to several people who said it worked for them. So, since Herbal Life did "ABSOLUTELY NOTHING" for me as far as my energy level or had any other positive effect and was very costly, I stopped using the product! I was only was 29 years old and had been an Extremely athletic woman, (since my preteens, when I was in the Jr. Olympics), Extremely Energetic and Extremly Viberant in my Health and Well Being as well as being Most Importantly, an Extremely Loving and Active Mother to a 5 1/2 year old daughter as well as a Supportive Loving Wife to an Aspiring Electrical Engineer. And had just opened a new Adverstising Dept. for the Major newspaper I worked for. After the birth of my son, I was so fatigued, I couldn't even hold my newborn son! My "Incompetent Doctor" told me I was only "TIRED" due to my High-Risk pregnancy! After 2 yrs. of seeing him Constantly for my fatigue and him having blood work done and telling me to take Pre-Natal vitamins (I took Herbal Life, Juice Plus, Aloe Vera supplements... as stated, to no avail!!!) he finally referred me to another Doctor! I thought finally! But he referred me to a Psycologist and refused to take my calls! Needless to say, he didn't believe that my symptoms were "REAL"! So, I sought out a New Doctor. Who, I've been seeing ever since 1991. He on the other hand, had several patients who all were suffering from CFIDS and Fibro as well. As he told me NOT ALL things work the same for EVERYONE!!! I've tried almost everything anyone has suggested! I received Vitamin B shots to no avail. I even tried "JUICE PLUS" which at the time my Aunt and Uncle were distributors and they too also had people who swore that this product "Cured" them too. But again to no avail! Acupunture, Spirilina etc... But my "Wonderful" Doctor has worked with me for Years to find a combination of Meds. as well as less stressful ways to exercise. Water therapy has been wonderful but only in a regular pool since if the water is too warm my skin burns and I lose all my stregnth and can't even get out of the pool without the aide of another person, even to this day. I have been on Permanent SSA for Disability since 1992 and it would've been sooner had the Disability process hadn't been a joke! I never had to hire an attorney as everyone else I know seems to have to do. But Honestly, the information that can be found on Google has some Amazing up-to-date articles on this "Illness" that keeps getting up-dated quite frequently here in the US. Mr. Tatterall, I hope your Herbal Life business does well, as you sound like one of the speakers I heard at a "Pep Rally" when I decided "Not" to become a distributor (with the Potential of making alot of money on my way up the ranks)! And as you have stated, your "Products" have turned the lives of many people around but I for one can Honestly say that a Nutritional Product such as Herbal Life is not going to be of any value to someone like me! It has already been a topic for conversation with my Doctor as he is a Doctor for UC Davis Medical Hospitols in CA. I'd sure like to see that evidence from Australian Doctors as compared to the evidence here in the US only through "Actual Published Medical Articles"! I'll be watching. Thanks for your time and consideration.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 9:06:10 AM PDT
Lynn says:
If there was a magical cure for CFS, someone would be rich, and many could go back to a life where you don't have to decide which thing to do today -- make dinner or take a shower. You're right B.K. Corbett, no magic bullet, BUT my hubby, who does have it, even if the Veteran's Adminstration is the only US government agency that refuses to accept it exist, has found something that has helped his brain fog!

I've been telling him for the last 27.5 years that he has sleep apnea. (Used to poke him in the side, when he stopped breathing back when we could sleep in the same bed. Funny thing -- we stopped because I snored, and I got the sleep study and mask first.) Finally got tested, had it much worse since the chemotherapy gave him a new set of health problems, including CFS. He still hurts as bad as ever, aches whenever he does the smallest of physical labor, BUT he has his brain back -- which was the part he missed the most. It's been 2 months now, and he is still mentioning how much better he feels with his CPAP mask just about every day.

That idea is medically approved, and really has been proven to help many. Won't help the aches and pains, but having a mind again is always a good thing!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 4:37:41 AM PDT
Lucie D says:
Hi I had many of the problems you have... and then some! I tried everything and nothing seemed to work. I tried energy therapy and that did not work... and then I found out why it did not work. Once I found out that I was "reversed" then the energy treatments began working and I was getting healthier and healthier day by day. I made a promise if I got well I would help others with their work. Visit my site...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 5:35:40 AM PDT
I have had CFIDS since 1993, which was triggered by systemic infection from a bad root canal. It took me three very frustrating years of relentless spiralling health crises before I finally got an accurate diagnosis and treatment protocol. CFIDS is a very specific condition..."one size" does not fit all!! I've come to understand and appreciate that one person's CFIUDS experience can be entirely different than another's. It is imperative to find the right PHYSICIAN specializing in CFIDS to guide you through the ever-changing nuances of this condition. My management process is on-going even after 15 years, and I find that I am constantly assessing and tweaking my regimen according to fluctuating circumstances. For example, traveling dramatically impacts my ability to cope with otherwise every-day energy expenditures, and I have to modify accordingly. Bottom line, there isn't just one..or two....or three "magic bullets" that will make the situation easy or even tolerable. It's a constant balancing/juggling act with many factors in play. I have found the BEST resource for up-to-date research and treatments. I feel the information contained in your article to be generic, dated and redundant, and a thinly-veiled infomercial.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2008 9:46:43 AM PDT
Nightingale says:
Hello all,
We've all gotten so serious! One thing that *does* help me feel human is to laugh. Sometimes the only thing left to laugh at is CFIDS itself or, better yet, some of the bone head comments people make. Some of the dumbest ones come from doctors, I'm afraid. When I was in the process of applying for Soc. Sec. Disability (took over 2 years to finally go through,) I had to use doctors that the fine state of Arizona was able to find that were willing to treat low (as in no) income patients. Often that means doctors that can't get patients any other way. This means you can't develop any kind of relationship with your doctor, but in most cases that' a good thing with these knuckle-heads!

For example: I was sent to one doctor who, I was told, had ***cured*** every member of his staff of CFS in the past year. Thinking this was some kind of a misunderstanding by the healthcare scheduler (who *was* trying to be helpful after all) asked about this when I arrived at the office. "Oh yes, the dr.'s Office Manager said, "we all had it! I was sick with it for almost 2 months!!!" Oh great, I thought as I was being shown in to his office, another clueless dr. who has no idea what CFIDS is all about. But the best was yet to come. He proceeded to tell me "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been DEBUNK!!!" (No that's not a typo he said 'DEBUNK', or shouted it really, not 'debunked'. "The people who originally came up with the disease now know that it's not a real disease, it was just a bunch of hysterical people imagining themselves sick. It's DEBUNK!!" he shouted one more time for emphasis. Mind you just before my appointment I had reviewed the latest CFIDS Assn. articles and read that the CDC/NIH had just budgeted over $1 million for CFIDS research (this was in 1994.) "I cured my entire office staff!" he bragged "Some of them were really quite sick, one of them missed almost a month of work!!! You just need to get some rest and you need Niacin to lower your cholesterol [?] and multivitamins to support your healing." I have no idea why he thought my cholesterol needed lowering since he did not do any blood work but... He wrote out several prescriptions and headed for the door to get me some samples of Niacin and other vitamins and one last time as he closed the door he shouted: "DEBUNK!!!"

For some reason, I had this picture in my mind of the actors on the old laugh in show jumping out and saying "Here come da judge!! Here come DEBUNK!!"

For my next appointment they found me someone closer to where I lived. I had developed a strep throat and needed to be seen as soon as possible. The doctor they had signed me up with was not available, but his wife, a pediatrician, was and was willing to see me. So far so good. A pediatrician.... hmm. Must have a nice bedside manner I thought, good with kids, I'd guess. After keeping me waiting over an hour in an empty waiting room I was ushered into an examination room.

**[Like so many of you, I have inexplicable bouts of bloating and swelling. I'll go to bed one night looking normal and at my normal weight and wake up the next morning kind of bloated and sick feeling. That signals the beginning of an episode of illness where I lose my appetite and don't eat much, feel terrible but swell up with fluid and gain weight (usually about 20 lbs) in about a week's time. These episodes last as long as they last -- that is to say I have no control over them and I've yet to find anything to relieve the symptoms or bring back my appetite. They usually last months the longest one was several years. Anyway, the point is that I was in one of these episodes. When I say I "gain weight" I don't mean that I become hugely fat -- my normal weight before I became ill was about 110# to 115# so with the lack of activity I've had to accept a "normal" weight of about 125# and when I experience one of these episodes, I can bloat up to 135# 140# fairly quickly. That's the state I was in when I went to see "lady doctor"]**

So I'm left in a cold exam room to wait for "lady doctor" for another 15 minutes or so. I have never met this woman before and she has never laid eyes on me either. She doesn't know thing one about mymedical history or my 'normal weight' and I'm here, I might add, for an extremely raw inflamed **sore throat**. My chart has the word CFIDS on it because I gave them a health history, but we have not discussed any of that at all yet and the chart has been either in the receptionist's hands or on the desk in the exam room since I filled it out. Lady doctor (a tiny Filipino woman who can't be more than 5 feet tall because she makes me feel like a gangly giant at 5'4") arrives, picks up my chart, looks at it, looks at me and says "Kinda chubby aren't ya?!" ---first words out of her mouth, I swear. UH..... how do I answer that? I just shrugged, it was the only answer I could think of. "I see you **THINK** you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" I was diagnosed in 1989, yes.... I ventured, not sure if that was a question. "Well, you know, the guy who invented that disease said he was sorry." Uh.... (What on earth? somebody invented it and they're sorry?) She must have seen the confusion on my face because she tried again: "He said he was sorry he invented it... it isn't true." Umm, I stammered. She tried once more: "The guy that invented Chronic Fatigue Syndrome TOOK IT BACK he... he recanted. He said he's sorry he invented that disease, it isn't real." Well, what more can I say, at this point I just kind of stammered out: "Oh, Okay." and I left it at that. After she finished enlightening me about CFS and how it wasn't "real" she finally got around to taking some a sample to culture to determine if my extremely inflamed throat was indeed strep. She sent me home and told me to call back the next day to find out. I did. It was. Antibiotics given. Relationship with lady doctor ended.

The sad thing is that I actually know what she was talking about but it makes me fear for the future of medicine in this country when one of the "best and brightest" young people in our country could read an article about research (not even the actual research report) and get it so very worng! Here's what she was referring to: one of the original doctors that coined the term 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' - back in 1984 in Incline Village, Nevada (I believe it was either Dr. Bell or Dr. Lapp, but I'm not really sure at all about that,) said that he's sorry he came up with ***THE NAME*** Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because it trivializes the illness and seems to reduce it to one relatively insignificant symptom of fatigue. Not that fatigue is insignificant, but rather that the OTHER aspects of this disease are so devastating that to use *fatigue* to name it makes it difficult to convey the true extent of the cost this illness exacts from its sufferers and their families, as well as the rest of society.

Anyway, I guess these don't seem all that funny (kind of 'you had to be there' funny in a sick and twisted black humor way.) But when things are getting rough around here either my husband or I will throw out one of these to make me laugh. If I mention to my dear hubby that I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow he'll say something like, "It's about time, you're gettin' kinda chubby aren't ya?!" Or if I remind him that it's the day that I need my B-12 injection (he gives them to me) he'll get out the bottle and the syringes, alcohol, etc. and tell me how important it is to do these shots on schedule because "It's DEBUNK!!!" Which really makes me laugh and therefore relax enough to receive the (intra-muscular) injection without it hurting.

Do you have any outrageous stories of dumb doctors or other health care professionals (or anybody, really) that either make you laugh or could if you decided to think of them as funny instead of sad? I'd love to hear about them.

Stay well

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2008 10:03:22 AM PDT
happytobeme says:

Your description of symptoms, including the swelling, sound alot like the symptoms I was having before I eliminated wheat from my diet. Have you considered CFS to be an immune response to something in your diet?

I was diagnosed with CFS long ago and was sent home to rest. It seems to be a catch all diagnosis for Doc's when they simply cannot explain your symptoms. I have been diagnosed with IBS, depression, idiopathic chronic infection, arthritis just to name a few. All symptoms disapeared when i changed my diet. I have been symptom free for almost 7 years now. Unfortunately Doctors are not in tune with diet related problems. You are simply not going to get an answer from your physician.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2008 10:47:07 AM PDT
Nightingale says:
Over 24 years I've considered just about everything. LOL. But I'm as certain as I can possibly be that CFIDS is not a food allergy or sensitivity although, as the name suggests, it is an immunologic dysfunction syndrome.

I did a complete elimination diet early in my illness and basically I discovered that if I eat *anything* too much (several days in a row) it will start to bother me. There are some foods I react to every time I eat them (artichokes, crabmeat, fish oil, soy) but wheat was not one of them.

On the elimination diet I started with nothing but brown rice to eat, nothing but water to drink and then added chicken, boiled, no seasoning of any kind, looked for any reaction, made note of the reaction or lack thereof then removed the chicken and added something else, and so on. It's quite tedious and takes many months to go through, but it's really the only way to know for sure about food allergies. I had to modify the diet to remove everything but the new food because the rice started to bother me. I discovered I could add it back later, I just couldn't eat it (or anything else for that matter) every day. I now use a kind of rotation diet with only the most well-tolerated foods consumed with any regularity. If I'm craving something, usually beef, I give in to that craving and have some of the best quality beef I can get. I also pay close attention to those foods that I just don't like and I assume my body is trying to tell me something and I don't eat them. I'm just not all that fond of wheat. I used to get in trouble as a kid for taking the bread off my sandwiches and just eating the insides. I also don't like to eat until I'm "full" because I don't like the way that feels (I know that's weird but....) I really like the feeling of having eaten a good meal but having a slightly 'empty' sensation in my stomach.

I don't know if this is true, but I get the impression that a lot of people who are gluten or wheat sensitive crave wheat or starchy foods. I don't, never have. My sister doesn't eat wheat and is on a low carb diet that seems to work well for her. But, she always craves the starchy foods so she is always looking for "low-carb", "wheat-free" and "gluten-free" recipes or products to try to fool her appetite into thinking it got what it's craving. For myself, I just don't see the point. I'd rather just have the sandwich without the bread, the cheese without the ravioli around it, and so on.
It would be great if that were all there were to this CFS thing because I don't particularly care for starchy foods in general and have never been fond of sandwiches, pizza, pasta --- foods that have a lot of carbs so that would be a relatively easy 'fix' for me.

If I go "cave man" and eat meat only for a bit and maybe a small amount of well tolerated (by me) vegetables it helps ease the bloating a tiny bit. But, since diet isn't causing it, diet doesn't cure it either. Mostly, I can just make myself feel worse with my diet but, so far, I haven't been able to make myself "all better" just a little "less worse."

I've been reading some of the posts on the gluten sensitivity thread and I find myself wanting to do the diet and so forth because everyone has had such good results -- even though I know it won't fix *my* problem because I have tried it and it hasn't helped -- drat! One thing you're likely to find among CFIDS people is that we'll try anything. In spite of sounding pessimistic (that won't work, that doesn't help, and on and on) we are actually quite optimistic in that we keep on trying and reading and hoping.

Thanks for your interest!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2008 11:09:31 AM PDT
Lynn says:
I did enjoy your stories. Your sense of humor would fit right in with ours. LOL

As you probably know, CFS (what do the additional letters you use stand for?) is often caused by seemingly unrelated health problems, including over exposure to toxic chemicals. Looking back through the years, we've noticed hubby, the one of us with CFS, ended up helicoptered off an aircraft carrier when he was in the Navy, decades ago, after being sent into a huge jet fuel storage unit to clean it out (smelled like fuel, and chemicals have to be harsh enough to clean the smell out), after passing out in it, and woke up with chemical burns over much of his body. (Still bothers him that the only helicopter ride he ever had, he missed simply because he was unconscious. LOL)

After the Navy, he became a heating and a/c mechanic, where he used a large variety of chemicals to clean oily parts, prepared pipes to screw together with more chemicals, before welding, and, of course, used lots of asbesto to insulate pipes. (They used to have "snowball fights" with the black asbesto, before finding out it could be bad for you. Doh!)

Then, after he broke his back (not paralyzed, but sure killed off the idea of staying an heating-a/c mechanic for a while, and, obviously required a bunch of muscle relaxers to cut the edge off the pain, after a series of jobs, including working for the government as a pipefitter, which, once again, required lots of chemicals, often to clean gunk off the skin, he ended up a computer techy, using lots of canned, compressed air and other cleaners to clean used computers. But, none of that can be directly linked to his CFS, and even what we know caused it cannot be linked to it either, according to medical and legal professionals -- the harsh drugs used in chemotherapy, which he had to take for hepatitis C (and he didn't get it from sharing needles or sex, like doctors blame that on always, despite the truth from patients.)

He even made it through chemotherapy without any oddities -- sicker then a dog, but that's expected! And, it worked, he is now cured (they call it remission, but he had the one type that is curable, and has proven he's cured for several years now.)

Nooooooooo, his body waited until the last injection and last pill, before he stumbled one day! He called it "losing my balance," but it has ended up being polyneuropathy, (no feeling in his feet, except for tingling, and extreme pain at any moment) something similar to Turret's Syndrome, jerking movements that makes him look like he has a bad form of palsy and might be a little mentally challenged (but he's not.)

THEN came the exhaustion, and not the exhaustion and "flulike symptoms" associated with HCV, but CFS (or Fibro. We can't tell, since he uses the VA, and they refuse to believe either exist, too.)

Throughout the upheavel of HCV and the treatment for it, he also had to go to a state appointed doctor to apply for disability. He looked like death warmed over (and only slightly warmed), needed the floor and both walls to bounce off of on the way back to the examination room, and couldn't remember a list of three things the doctor told him to remember 10 seconds before, yet, according to this doctor, he was fine -- except he has a slightly strange walk. LOL

Was worse though. During treatment, we lost all our retirement money, paying a hefty Cobra health insurance each month, so he could go see a doctor, who specializes in liver diseases, so we went on welfare, while living on my tiny SSD check each month, and the doctor he was stuck with after the insurance change, never looked at him, told him his problem was intravenous drug use (never did it), and to take antidepressants for his depression. (Depression was due to being sicker than hell, reconciling that time when we went from healthy to helpless, and exhaustion, fueled by the inability to sleep, or sleep well.) Naturally, the antidepressants made him more depressed, and the doctor was more useless then nipples on a bull. Idiot didn't ever look at him.

Funny thing though, during his disability hearing (gee, wonder why he was denied the first time?! LOL), the judge could instantly recognize his inabilty to walk well enough to work, and, having a brain, I'm sure he noticed hubby's brain was foggier then London at night time after a shower.

We also live with our dsabilities with humor, but our humor is odder then most. Through an odd set of circumstances, both of us ended up with Teddy Bears when we first became sick, and we use these stuffed animals to vent our humor. Some of the "conversations" with the teddies --
- After watching a commericial for one of many drugs being advertised, one of the teddies asks, "Do I need high blood pressure medicine?"
"Do you have blood?"
"Don't worry about it!"

"Do I need medication for bipolar?"
"Are you bipolar?"
"No, but one of our teddies is a polar bear, does that count?"
"No. Don't worry about it."

- One morning I was losing every single game on the computer and thought, "Yeesh, I'm a loser to a computer!"
My bear responded, "I prefer to think we are winnerly challenged!" LOL

Almost like talking to yourself, but the other "you" has a fun sense of humor. LOL

My hobbies now include a Teddy Bear Blog for the two bears, and I'm collecting some of "their" funnier conversations in hopes it can be turned into a book someday. So far I have 14 pages of amusing conversations. Being two reasonable adults, we know (maybe) the bears aren't really talking, but the stuff just isn't as funny if it wasn't them saying it. Hard to explain, but we do laugh a lot!


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2008 12:48:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 24, 2008 1:14:56 PM PDT
Nightingale says:
First, b4 I forget, CFIDS stands for Chronic Fatigue and Immune (or Immunologic if you prefer bigger words) Dysfunction Syndrome. Oddly, my experience with the SSD doctors was different -- it was their reports were most convincing to the judge that I was indeed disabled. My own doctor seemed to have a combative attitude about providing records and sent in one page of my medical record (just one page) representing years of office visits and evaluations, testing of blood, and evaluation of physical ability, my complaints, his recommendations, and so on. The only recognizable word on the page was "stress" the rest was completely illegible scribble. Because it said "stress" the SSA insisted on a psych evaluation and the (very nice) psychologist they had me see was most vehement that I was unable to work -- go figure! BTW, I remembered 2 out of the 3 words from the memory test -- the third I couldn't summon up at all. Unfortunately, the 2 I remembered weren't even remotely similar to the 2 he asked me to remember! It's funny now, but at the time he told me I had completely flunked the memory test I said "Oh!" then I turned bright red and pretended to be very interested in my fingers (when did I get those? must be new!)

What do you all do when you have trouble thinking of words? We used to kind of play charades where I'd give the hubby hints and he'd guess what I was trying to say or just shout out random words. Now I just say whatever pops into my head. It's interesting how the word I come up with is connected to what I'm trying to think of -- sometimes it rhymes, sometimes it starts with the same letter and has the same number of syllables, and other times I can't see any connection at all. But I think I'm making my husband smarter, because he's getting really good at guessing what I mean.

I just wish he would listen when I'm saying EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN! Like "Please don't put silverware in the sink it will get ground up in the garbage disposal!!!" THAT he doesn't get, but he completely understands that "We have to go and do the Hong Kong thing." Means "would you please return the video to Blockbuster?" LOL! And no the movie wasn't about Hong Kong or Ping Pong or any Far Eastern country or a sport that rhymes with it.

We have pets, caring for them is exhausting, but it gives me a reason to HAVE to get up every day, and I fear for the time when I can no longer do that. As you might guess, I can't always remember their names (well, come on, I've only had my cats for 15 years, I need a little time to memorize their names, right?) So sometimes the dog is just "dog" or "little black dog" -- he weighs about 55 lbs and is about the size of a small female greyhound but he's still "little" to me. Of course I have conversations with the animals, but only the bird answers me. His answer is almost always "Hi, baby!" so it's not particularly stimulating conversation, but he doesn't complain when all I can manage is "hello, baby birdie." He also doesn't challenge me when my logic is faulty or if I ask him, "what's your name again?" Then again, he won't tell me the answer to my question, either unless, of course, the answer happens to be "hi, baby!"

I can picture your book -- it's a photo book with little "word balloons" for the teddies' answers -- maybe the teddies are in front of the tv or computer and 'talking' to each other... sounds cute!

BTW, The whole depression thing for people applying for disabilty is a crock. You force people to dwell on their illness and all of their losses. You ask them to prove it in every possible way. You ask them to demonstrate how, not only can they not do the work they have been trained to do, but they can't do **any meaningful work at all**. And then you ask them to prove that this condidition is going to continue until they die. Then you administer a verbal test that asks them how often they feel helpless, and hopeless, and how often they think about death (this after you have forced them to think of essentially nothing else for months.) And then you count up all these "negative" responses and, using your depression scale that is based on self-reported thoughts of worthlessness, helplessness, death, dying, pain, etc., etc. you (SURPRISE!!!) come up with a very high score for depression. You don't have Hep C (which has a blood test for antibodies and is a completely objective test) NO! You're merely depressed! Cheer up!! We'll give you some Elavyl or some other drug that will be pulled off the market next year because it messes up your LIVER and should never have been given to someone with liver disease. But your score is so high on the depression scale, it can't possibly be the fact that you run a 101deg. fever every day, your lymph nodes are swollen up to the size of Ping Pong Balls, and when you stand up everything swims around ... that is until the migraine aura kicks in and you get the sparkly, colorful lights -- and then the nausea, vomiting and head-splitting headache kicks in. We'll send you to a psychologist for 2 (no more than 3!) sessions and you'll be all better! Gotta laugh. Otherwise, you'll go crazy, and that's not covered!

Keep laughing!
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