Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Floyd Skloot, Author, Patient

    Floyd Skloot is an award-winning poet from Oregon who describes
the disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in a way that makes clear
that we are dealing with a brain injury due to viral assault.
CDC Reeves "empiric" definition leaves out important information
and substitutes the biopsychosocial nonsense of CFS Wessely school.

    Floyd Skloot has written 6 books of poetry, including Music
Appreciation (1994), The Evening Light (2001), The Fiddler's
Trance (2001) and The End of Dreams (2006), 3 memoirs,
1 collection of essays and 4 novels. He is the winner of the Emily
Clark Balch Prize in Poetry from Virginia Quarterly Review and
three Pushcart Prizes.

    Below is part of his description of the disease from the preface
to
Skloot's memoir "A World of Light" which matches quite well with
the clearly delineated criteria of Drs. Ramsay, Dowsett, and Hyde
available in this patient handout for doctors:
http://www.name-us.org/MECFSExplainPages/HandoutForPatientsDoctors.pdf

From the preface of Skloot's book:
   "At World of Light is a memoir of the reassembled life.
In early December 1988, at the age of 41, I boarded a plane
in Portland, Oregon, and during the flight to Washington, DC,
contracted a virus that targeted my brain.  It was probably a common
virus, according to my doctors; the most likely suspect is human
herpes virus
carried on the plains recirculated air.  But my immune system was
unable
to stop its assault on my brain.
    By the time I flew back to Oregon, three days later, I was a
changed man.  I knew I was very sick, but didn't perceive that
the cascading symptoms were connected to a grave or illness until,
after six weeks of continuing deterioration, I was no longer able
to work or think or remember.  I couldn't run anymore, and when
I tried I would get lost on the wooded trails where I had run 50 miles
a week, year after year....
    As brain scans finally revealed, a viral assault had he been away
parts
of my brain, the resulting damage showing up as scattered punctate
lesions in the cerebral cortex whose effects left me totally disabled.
Connections were afraid and severed, with scar tissue scattered
like frozen spots in the fiery landscape of gray matter....
    Neuropsychological testing confirmed that my abstract reasoning
powers, long-and short-term memory, visual learning capacity,
and ability to make sense of what I see at all been severely
compromised.
My IQ had diminished almost twenty percent.
    More than 15 years have passed and I remain totally disabled....
My previous book, In the Shadow of Memory, took eight years to write."

    In the midst of one of his poems, he relates the problems of
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in the course of his life one Sunday
morning:

The Winter Branch
    "All pleasures and all pains, remembering
    The bough of summer and the winter branch."

Skloot's website: http://www.floydskloot.com/

Steven Du Pre
Poetry website: http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/soareagle/index.html
"By words the mind is winged."  Aristophanes
Website for National Alliance for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis:
http://www.name-us.org



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