Seems fine to me from what you've said. They were talking about the period where she was writing the book, and at the time she was ill. It could be seen as implying it was just for that period, but nothing to really be bothered by imo.
What are you talking about? She's housebound with CFS? She writes in her office laying on the floor in the dark on a legal pad. So to me, saying she was sick "at the time" implies she is not sick now, which is just incorrect and undermines how horrible this illness is.
The reporter said about her writing the book "At the time, she was suffering from a chronic, debilitating illness and was unable to leave the home". ... She said a few words (sorry don't remember) and he said he admired her because he had only suffered a few years, she suffered for much longer. ...... But that comment AT THE TIME, really bothering me. Anyone else have an issue with that?
I consider myself a bit of a "wordsmith" or "word parser", so FWIW, here's my take. I'll bold the key words for me.
"At the time" she was suffering from a "chronic, debilitating illness..." This is followed up by "She suffered much longer..." reinforcing the fact that her debilitating illness was indeed "chronic". I actually think the reporter did a pretty good job, with the use of the above descriptive words, plus importantly, "was unable to leave her home." --- Given how careless words and/or comments are often used in referring to others' unexplained illness, especially ME/CFS, this doesn't seem to be too egregious.
I understand what you are saying @Wayne but when I listened to it, I was listening with ears of someone who doesn't understand. I feel it could be misconstrued that she WAS sick, Was housebound but no longer is. And no mention of the name of the disease.
This is how I feel. It doesn't matter if no one else does.