The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome of Senator Miriam
by Randy Dellosa
For Miriam Defensor-Santiago to add another feather to her cap is “ho-hum” news. It’s not surprising to know that of all 24 senators, she was the one who churned out the highest number of bills and resolutions for 2013. Being the workhorse that she is, that would have been completely expected. The real shocker however is that Senator Miriam accomplished her feat despite being afflicted with the debilitating disorder known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
To give you a feel of what chronic fatigue syndrome is like, just imagine yourself feeling physically weakened, mentally exhausted, and emotionally drained. And then imagine having to stay in this wasted condition for weeks, months, or years!
- Extreme tiredness after minimal exertion
- Extreme tiredness which persists despite enough rest
- Medically unexplained body weakness, muscular aches, joint pains, and headaches
- Insomnia or unrestful sleep
- Forgetfulness and/or poor concentration
- Sore throat and lymph nodes in the neck and/or armpits
- Other respiratory, cardiac, and/or digestive problems.
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown. Medical doctors think that it may be due to a viral infection, hormonal imbalance, or a problem with the immune system. Some psychiatrists have a tendency to think that it might be a variant of major depression, hypochondriasis, or burnout from prolonged and intense stress. As for Senator Miriam, her chronic fatigue syndrome was reportedly traced to a vitamin D deficiency.
The treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome usually consists of
- Symptomatic treatment for the body aches and pains
- Antidepressant medication
- Nutritional supplementation
- Health coaching
- Stress reduction
- Wellness therapies such as meditation, gentle exercise, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, cranio-sacral therapy, massage, and other mind-body therapies.
Having had a first-hand experience of the condition, Senator Miriam filed Senate Bill 3195 which aims to increase public awareness of chronic fatigue syndrome. This campaign is important since many patients who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome don’t even know what their sickness is and what they can do about it.
Clearly, Senator Miriam should serve as an inspiration to many. If she can be a top notch senator despite being afflicted by chronic fatigue syndrome, it boggles our mind just to imagine what Senator Miriam can accomplish if she didn’t have that dreaded disorder to bog her down!