"That show got pretty heated when I claimed that "many of our brave veterans are returning with very similar symptoms as all these 'alleged whiney white women' who can NOT handle stress!" I went on to say, that "If these highly educated, mostly male, stunningly victorious soldiers who only fought for four days, could come down with this terrible illness, then maybe the NIH and the CDC will be forced to stop telling lies about it."
I got TONS of mail from all over the world."
Unfortunately, because of the amount of publicity that CFS patients are just whiny depressed menopausal women, no one ever wants to join forces with us -- even young athletic military men who certainly aren't menopausal.
There have been calls for Act Up-style protests, but how? Our patients are stuck in bed, and our partners often question whether we're really sick. Spouse went to the doctor with me and initially started by confirming my objective symptoms, but by the end of the appointment the doctor had brainwashed him that he couldn't be seeing any objective symptoms because there was nothing there to see. Even after I got a diagnosis from a virologist, Spouse continued to question whether the first doctor was right that I was just faking to avoid certain things I didn't want to do. That wasn't an issue for AIDS patients, where their partners were told to take precautions to avoid getting infected themselves; no one tells our partners that we're highly contagious, in part because there's no evidence of contagion after the initial flu-like illness and in part because they think we're just lazy or crazy. No one's going to take to the streets to protest on behalf of lazies or crazies, which means whatever we do is left up to the patients and the few people who do believe that it's a physical illness, not a psychiatric problem.