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Encounters with the Invisible: Unseen Illness, Controversy, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Medical Humanities)by Dorothy Wall
Synopses & Reviews
While news stories tout the successes of molecular science, gene mapping, and high-tech interventions to treat disease, thereand#8217;s another, untold story within todayand#8217;s medical landscape. It is the story of the growing number of chronic, controversial illnessesand#151;chronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivityand#151;poorly served by todayand#8217;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. and#147;Listeningand#8221; conveys the impact on a patient when medical practitioners are deaf to her story, and posits listening as a moral act. and#147;That Nameand#8221; 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. and#147;The Erotics of Illnessand#8221; pulls readers to the intimate core of illness, with its upheavals, pain, and tenuous pleasure. and#147;Staying Homeand#8221; 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 and#147;postmodernand#8221; illness, Encounters with the Invisible offers a thought-provoking look at a controversial illness and the challenge to biomedicine it presents.
Blending personal drama with literary reflection, reportage, and medical history, Dorothy Wall illuminates the conflicts and controversies surrounding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and graphically depicts the way a virus resculpts a life.
About the Author
DOROTHY WALL is coauthor of Finding Your Writerand#8217;s Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction. Her essays and poems have appeared in such venues as Witness, Sonora Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Cimarron Review, and Under the Sun. She has taught at San Francisco State University, U.C. Berkeley Extension, and Napa Valley College. She is a writing consultant in Berkeley, California.
NANCY KLIMAS, MD, is a professor of medicine, psychology, microbiology, and immunology at the University of Miami School of Medicine where she directed one of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Centers sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. She works in this country and abroad to bring a better understanding of CFS to clinicians and policy makers.
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