Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CFSAC Testimony- Mary S

 
Suppose you broke your leg really badly. You knew it, your family knew it, your friends who were with you knew it. Somebody called emergency, and the ER techs came out. They had already been told by your family that you had a broken leg, but they said they had to find out for themselves. They came up to you and said, "Why do you think you have a broken leg?" Startled by the question, you said, "because it is obviously broken!" (Selfreported, one says to the other.) How about you stand up and we can see what's going on with that leg. "NO!" you responded! "That's going to hurt!" (Catastrophizer, they murmur among themselves. People who catastrophize about pain are more likely to feel pain.) Then they write a prescription for Prozac, say "Take this until you feel more comfortable about the prospect of standing up," and they leave.

Now, of course that was a silly story. But it is exactly how I was treated by the first specialist I saw for this disease. "Self-reported" is an insurance term that is used by British psychiatric "experts" on CFS; and there is a published paper out there about CFS and fibromyalgia that uses the correlation between these diseases and fear of pain to conclude that people who fear pain are "catastrophizers," and "catastrophizing" causes pain. There is a large body of psychiatric research on this disease that is just plain silly.


So don't be surprised if patients are a bit worried about what researchers say about them, or what the government does about them. If you had a badly broken leg and nobody in the medical profession would believe you, you'd be a little cranky too.
 

No comments: