Dr David Tuller:Recent Articles in The Guardian, CNBC and Popular Science


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Trial By Error: Recent Articles in The Guardian, CNBC and Popular Science
6 December 2022 by David Tuller Leave a Comment
By David Tuller, DrPH

As part of an ongoing project on long Covid, The Guardian recently published a powerful excerpt from a book called “What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us: Who We Become After Tragedy and Trauma.” The author, Mike Mariani, is an American journalist who a decade ago found himself smacked with a debilitating case of chronic fatigue syndrome, as the illness was generally called then. His experience led him to explore how other people have come through life-altering challenges—a traumatic brain injury, paraplegia, a prison sentence–and managed to refashion their lives, as he was forced to do.

Mariani’s book, published in August, also includes a moving account of his own serious health challenges. Ed Yong, The Atlantic’s Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter, called it “a masterpiece—a book that truly captures what it means to be changed by tragedy, and a necessary salve for our troubled times.” From The Guardian’s excerpt, titled “A catalog of losses,” here’s a heartbreaking list of some of the pleasures that Mariani’s illness forced him to relinquish:

“I could no longer play football, basketball, baseball, or any other sports; run, bike, or exercise at the gym; fall asleep naturally; wake up feeling refreshed; go out for drinks; imbibe any alcohol without inducing devastating hangovers; use recreational drugs without triggering days of physical desolation; experience the heady cascade ushered by endorphins; feel the glorious surge of an adrenaline rush; feel “sharp this morning” or be “feeling good today”; manage on less than nine hours’ sleep; expend the energy required to teach literature and composition to yawning adolescents for multiple hours; consistently remember movie plots, grocery store lists, the week before last, or all manner of proper nouns; stay up late into the night without sabotaging my ability to function the following day; carry out math computations in my head; recall what it felt like to relate to the friends and family in my life; or participate in the world without the obfuscating screen of perpetual sickness.