My Battle With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
by Beckie Butcher

"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients truly suffer. It is a serious illness which attacks the organs, muscles, and nervous system. We are not simply ‘tired.’"

In August, 2007, a doctor’s report informed the author that her strange and disabling symptoms resulted from high levels of the antigen for Epstein-Barr. Triggered by exposure to this virus, her body over-responded, causing the autoimmune disease known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Prior to this, Butcher led an active life: working twenty years in clinical laboratories; singing in a choir; and preparing to open The Butcher’s Block, a catering service. Instead, a few months later her brain was literally foggy; she became confused, and her joints and muscles ached, leaving her bedridden.

Still, finally having a diagnosis meant that there likely was a way to heal. Butcher started reading resources of an online support group. There were warnings that friends might leave (which did happen to the author). However, in this book Butcher shares the positive help she received. Her mother took over the shopping and laundry. Eventually, the author swallowed her pride and let church members bring her meals. One church member told of a chiropractor using the NUCCA method to ease neck misalignment and promote body healing. Visits with her pastor allowed Butcher to forgive herself and others. She shed tears of grief for a life that might never return and found additional help in religious booklets on suffering. Progress has been slow, but after several years the author is much improved.

The author’s book is a combination of memoir and rebuttal. Butcher bravely speaks out, believing that those who deal daily with disabling illness need an advocate on their behalf. The book’s end matter includes neck X-rays demonstrating NUCCA treatment along with tips for how well-meaning friends can best help a chronically-ill person. This hopeful and informative 38-page book is a veritable healing package.

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