Journal of IiME Volume 9 Issue 1 May 2015 Anna’s story It is with sadness that I realized that I would be unable to attend the Invest in ME conference this year, but in trading e-mails with IiME, they kindly asked if I could submit a short piece on ME. Well, I stuttered around the house wondering what I could possibly write about until I had to get ready for Anna’s graduation. And there it was right in front of me: Anna’s story, one of the best stories possible, one that brings tears to my eyes even now. And every word of it is true. I first met Anna when she was thin and frail, being carried into my office by her father because she could not walk. It would have been about twelve years ago, she was just thirteen. Anna had been through a difficult time by then, with a lifetime’s worth of pain and insults. There are many aspects of her story that bring anger because of the callousness of the medical profession, and joy because there are some patients that medical malpractice cannot injure. It is very likely that Anna’s illness began with Histoplasmosis. This part is a little sketchy because I did not know her at that time, but in retrospect, Histoplasmosis is very likely. She was treated by the infectious disease group at the University of Rochester, a group that was of world renown in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. In reviewing the records the evidence was somewhat flimsy for Histo. Antibodies were +/and Anna had never been to an area where this illness was prevalent. But whatever it was, it was severe. Exhaustion and tiredness were present from day one, along with weakness, intestinal dysmotility, generalized pain and killer headaches. She had been ill for about a year before she had come to my office, but in retrospect post-exertional malaise had always been present. Exertional May 2015 Dr David Bell Dr. David Bell graduated from Harvard College and gained an MD degree at Boston University. Post doctoral training in paediatrics was completed with subspecialty training in Paediatric Behavior and Developmental Disorders. In 1978 he began work at the University of Rochester and then began a private practice in the town of Lyndonville, New York. In 1985 nearly 220 persons became ill with an illness subsequently called chronic fatigue syndrome in the communities surrounding Lyndonville, New York. This illness cluster began a study of the illness which continues today. Dr. David Bell is the author or coauthor of numerous scientific papers on CFS, and, in 2003 was named Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome of the Department of Health and Human Services. Publications include A Disease of A Thousand Names, (1988) and The Doctor's Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, (1990). David S. Bell MD 1 Dunbridge Heights Fairport, NY 14450 Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) www.investinme.org Page 39 of 57

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