Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Carrying That Weight: A Weightlifter’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Story - about a year and a half ago. In April of this year
I added this to the comments....Forgotten Plagues is must see TV, particularly when telling the stories from individuals diagnosed with ME/CFS.
One of the most powerful testimonies in the film is that of Jameson Hill; a bright-eyed, personable, physically fit personal trainer. When first interviewed Jameson he has been diagnosed with CFS for four years and discusses his treatment regiment and methods of coping. Although he appears slightly melancholy, his demeanor predominantly exudes hope, optimism and focus. He has a strong voice and occasionally smiles even while describing changes he has been forced to make due to the disease.
A second interview takes place eight months later and Jameson is vaguely recognizable. The immobilizing impact of CFS is apparent and Jameson acknowledged that taking even short walks are now exhausting. During the interview he is shown slouching in a chair with his feet reclined. His facial expression is tired, heavy eye lids nearly covering his eyes, his voice lowered and speaking pace dramatically reduced. Although Jameson never reported experiencing depression, his body language, tone of voice and posture indicate emotional debilitation. He has lost his job and his romantic partner due to the disease and one cannot help wondering if Jameson is also losing hope.
Thanks for the excellent review of this film about this devastating and too often dismissed disease. As the reviewer notes in the story about Jamison HIll it can affect anyone no matter what their degree of physical health is.
Jamison was more than a personal trainer, however. He was also an avid weightlifter who was probably in the 1st percentile of fitness in the U.S..
The writer kind of subtly suggests that depression was sapping the life out of Jamison. Jamison, however, was well-equipped personally to deal with ME/CFS and judging from my interactions with him he dealt with it quite well.
What I was told happened is that Jamison suffered a severe relapse after after catching another "flu". Getting hit really hard by infections and needing long recovery periods (or never really recovering from) is not uncommon in ME/CFS. In April I was told that Jamison HIll - a young man and former weight lifter and fitness nut - is now bedbound.
That should give the health community pause.