Encounters with the Invisible: Unseen Illness, Controversy, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Medical Humanities)

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9780870745041: Encounters with the Invisible: Unseen Illness, Controversy, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Medical Humanities)
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While news stories tout the successes of molecular science, gene mapping, and high-tech interventions to treat disease, there s another, untold story within today s medical landscape. It is the story of the growing number of chronic, controversial illnesseschronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivitypoorly served by today s biomedical, pathogen-oriented approach to disease. With a lyric, incisive voice, Dorothy Wall blends the personal story of her struggles with CFS with a graphic sketch of the CFS terrain: the woeful federal response, patient advocacy politics, medical debates, environmental questions. Eighteen chapters explore a spectrum of issues. Listening conveys the impact on a patient when medical practitioners are deaf to her story, and posits listening as a moral act. That Name leaps into the minefield of controversy between and among patient advocacy groups, researchers, and the medical establishment over the power to define, name, and legitimize disease. The Erotics of Illness pulls readers to the intimate core of illness, with its upheavals, pain, and tenuous pleasure. Staying Home explores the meanings of enclosure for women and the struggle to find purpose and meaning in a reduced, homebound life. Personal drama merges with literary reflection, reportage, and medical history. An important investigation of what many are calling postmodern illness, "Encounters with the Invisible" offers a thought-provoking look at a controversial illness and the challenge to biomedicine it presents."

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Review:

"An important investigation of a little-understood illness with much to teach doctors and patients alike. General readers will find her personal story compelling as well as beautifully told." - Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of The Fatigue Artist "Carefully researched and documented, Encounters with the Invisible takes the reader on a sweeping journey of a life, although the story rarely leaves Ms. Wall's bedroom." - K. Kimberly McCleary, President, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America "A heartfelt book about life-changing illness." - Floyd Skloot, author of in the Shadow of Memory"

About the Author:

DOROTHY WALL is coauthor of Finding Your Writer's Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction. Her essays and poems have appeared in such venues as Witness, Sonora Review, Prairie Schooner, and Under the Sun. She is a writing consultant in Berkeley, California.

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