From The New Yorker: In her new book Through the Shadowlands, Julie Rehmeyer chronicles her struggles with chronic fatigue syndrome, or systemic exertion intolerance disease (S.E.I.D.), and the ways that medicine failed to provide effective treatment.
“Rehmeyer’s writing is full of verve and curiosity, and she’s warmly attuned to how her plight is, in fact, familiar: all of us become weaker as we age, at times gradually and at times suddenly, and along the way we adapt ourselves to fit our diminished capabilities. Still, her story is a biting indictment of how we approach diseases that can’t be reduced to tidy pathologies or a uniform set of symptoms. In a way, science failed Rehmeyer. Years of clinical studies supplied little insight into her affliction, and prescribed therapies had minimal effect. Part of the issue is that S.E.I.D. is a slippery condition with no known cure, but the deeper problem lies in the methodology of clinical trials, and in the premises of evidence-based medicine.”