Disease Does Not Pick a Gender or Age

One thing that has bugged me for a very long time is when I see people still saying that CFIDS or Fibro are a "woman's" disease. NO, this disease does not discriminate between genders. It also doesn't discriminate between ages. There are kids with this disease.

When I was in the early years of this illness, I went to a support group in NY and I met two men who were my age and both had CFIDS as severe as me. And the leader of the group was an older man who had it, too. I also met the mother of a seventeen year old male teen who said her son had it very severe and couldn't even attend the meeting.

Since then, I've met many men and women over the years who have this disease and the gender lines have been equal. So, I'd say, the press is what pushes the misconception of gender and disease.

I also suffer from cluster headaches and gout, and both of these have traditionally been pushed as being "male" diseases. Well, I'm female, and I've had cluster headaches half my life, and I've got gout in my big toe as I write this. These conditions do not discriminate between genders.

I really wish the misconceptions would clear up and people would understand that disease doesn't pick a gender and it doesn't pick an age. You can get sick at any time in your life, and it doesn't matter if you are male or female. Disease doesn't care.

Comments

I agree 100%, I was 34 when it got me. The first support group I went to in Newton, MA had a mix of male/female, young and old. The press hasn't been very kind to us in the past, maybe that will change in the near future.
 
I could NOT agree more. CFS/ME attacks both men and women in probably equal numbers. My internist has about a 60-40 ratio of CFIDS sick. Women outrank the men by a little bit more. However, I believe that men are terribly and unfairly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and so those numbers are not getting reported or counted. We also have our friends, the CDC, who did NOT do their job in getting the real data on true CFIDS people. They played games with words, counted those that were fatigued for other reasons, disregarded the true sick, did not deal with the young or children as Congress requested them to do and generally did everything to ensure that CFIDS (CFS/ME) was considered a "neurotic, middle-age women's disease" in order to ensure that it remained demeaned and damaged. But we see the numbers of men on these websites and forums who are terribly sick with CFIDS. The CDC didn't want them to be known about - and they did not want children involved in the counts since the numbers would enrage people and turn the "neurotic middle-age woman" image of CFIDS on its head.
So, if someone wants to tell my 65 years old husband that after killing himself for decades doing right by the Federal government as well as my male CFIDS friends that they have a woman's disease, go for it. I want to see the reactions from these once, super powerful men.
After 25 years of games played by the CDC in not doing their job of counting the very sick, the whole CDC/CFS program and those involved is about to explode. The PNAS paper will be the match that starts the explosion - and then the public information and campaigns will really throw this disease and the virus that probably causes it out into the public where they finally find out what the CDC has done to us AND to them. The CDC has hidden a terrible disease and tried to cover-up a deadly virus. Poor Dr. Frieden (head of the CDC). He took on a job that others made a God-awful mess of for him. Were I him, I would come clean, fix the CDC/CFS program, dump all of those involved, move money (as possible, it is the Feds) from foolishness like Swine Flu and other programs to true XMRV research and try to undo some of the damage done. Now that will not give us back the years that we all lost - 16 years lost to sleeping in my case, but it will help those just getting sick or on their way to getting sick from this virus. It may also help give us some years of being normal so that we get to do more than stay home and sleep all day, everyday.
 

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