I would have missed this award-winning documentary on PBS by a young woman named Jennifer Brea had my brother not alerted to me to it after he heard a segment on NPR. (See below for streaming links).
Here are a few words that were in my mind as I watched: Brilliant. Inspiring. Courageous. Talented. Heart-rending. Timely.
The producer is mostly bed-bound by Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). She lays bare her experience, from lying on the floor unable to get up to fits following an outing to the terrible strain on her marriage.
Much of what she shows parallels what those with other invisible illnesses experience. I can certainly relate it to my life with tick-borne illnesses.
The roller coaster of bad days and better days. The frustration of visiting doctors who don’t get it. The fact that research dollars are absurdly low compared to other major illnesses.
There’s one difference, though: ME/CFS sufferers have no treatment that works.
For me, the film inspires incredible gratitude for the antibiotic treatment that is taking me toward remission. We don’t have a cure yet, but we can get tremendous improvement. My heart goes out to patients like Jennifer.
Clearly, we are all part of a huge and growing community. Forgive me for nattering on. Take time to watch it. Share on social media or via email!
Available for free streaming at PBS/Independent Lens through 15 January 2018.
Available for purchase from Jennifer’s website, where you can also look for local screenings or plan one yourself. I’m calling my local library to set one up.
Haven’t seen the Lyme documentary “Under Our Skin”? Check it out HERE.