Picture being able to go about your life — full of zest and energy — only to later become so fatigued that the simple act of getting out of bed can seem impossible. Now, just picture if this continued. Day after day, continuing to live with extreme fatigue, unexplained pains, headaches and a sore throat.
The informal name of the disease — chronic fatigue syndrome — can be misleading. People hear the name and think it just means someone is tired, but that he or she will be able to snap out of it. However, this is not an accurate picture of the disorder. In fact, in some documented cases, as the disease progresses, people can require around-the-clock care, as they become bed-ridden, unable to care for themselves, let alone hold down a job.
The technical name of the disease is actually myalgic encephalomyelitis. Most living with the disease refer to their condition as either ME/CFS or ME.
What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
The cause of the syndrome is still unknown, according to the Mayo Clinic. There is some belief that it may involve a number of factors, including viral infections, immune system issues and hormonal imbalances. However, at this point, these factors are just theories.
When it comes to symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, as mentioned above, the name can be misleading. Often people think that someone with the condition just gets easily tired and can work through it. But anyone actually living with the condition will tell you that is far from the truth.
There are eight official signs and symptoms to the condition, which include loss of memory or concentration, sore throat, fatigue, muscle pain and extreme exhaustion. When it comes to sleep, while the body is so tired, the sleep itself is un-refreshing. There is just simply never enough sleep.
Staying hopeful living with chronic fatigue
The hope is that more funding will go into the condition. And while the National Institutes of Health did announce plans last fall to study chronic fatigue syndrome, the budget for that study is yet to be announced.
For those living with the condition, it is important to know that help may be available in terms of qualifying for disability. At Willeford & Toledano, our attorneys have been working for decades with Employee Retirement Income Security Act-related claims. We help those who want to file a claim, along with those who have been denied short or long-term disability. Having such a deep understanding of ERISA law, we are able to take on the most complex of cases. We understand how debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome is and want to help those living with the condition.