Florida Woman Gives Chronic Fatigue Patients Hope

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Mia Isabel Anderson used to wake up at 12:30 pm, take a nap at 3:30 pm and would be back in bed by 10 pm until the next day.

During the time she was awake, she didn’t have much of an appetite or energy. Everything she did would cause discomfort, uneasiness, unhappiness, illness, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, and fatigue. At 22, she was home bound and bedridden.

She rarely left the house, except to go to the doctor’s office.

***

Anderson’s mother, Nancy Anderson, yells from the living room, “Mia, did you eat your breakfast?!”

“Yes, Mom!” she said.

Mia Anderson forced down a few quick spoons of cereal before dumping the rest down the sink.

“Did you take your medicine?” Nancy Anderson asked, as she walked over to the kitchen counter where pills were laid out.

“Mia!”she sighed, disappointed they were still there.

Mia Anderson rolled her eyes and took the pills.

“So many pills,” she said.

Mia Anderson has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). She is no longer the person she used to be. She dropped out of school, quit working and stopped socializing. The only friends she talked to were those who reached out or came to visit.

The disease has no known cause or cure.  It is difficult to diagnose and most doctors don’t know enough about it to even try to treat it. The few that do often are limited to experimental treatments that might help — or maybe make her symptoms worse.

Mia Anderson wants more than anything to be her old self. She wants her life back. With help from a Stanford doctor, she is getting it.

About Zoe Haugen

Zoe is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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6 comments

  1. Incredible how so many people refer to the name.
    What a terrible name, they say.
    Not knowing the CDC deliberately did this to trivialize the Tahoe outbreak.
    To protect the economy

  2. so very ill, way too wrong name. who hasn’t chronic fatigue? M.E. should be it but it also takes us back to chronic fatigue! back to square one, yet AGAIN? :>(

  3. Wow…they must have some kind of connection to get to see Dr. Montoya on such short notice. I was referred to Stanford and had to have 2 pages of tests done to eliminate every other possible cause of my symptoms before they would take me. Then, I was put on a 4-year waiting list to see him. I ‘settled’ to see his PA of 20+ years in 2. I have often wondered if I would have had better results if I had waited to see Dr. Montoya himself. I would have had my appointment last year. That being said, his PA did try me on 3 different antivirals. Only the acyclovir (the first one tried) gave me a period of improvement (about 4 months), then quit working. Valacyclovir and Valganocyclovir did nothing for me. Wonder if I was on them long enough? Still so many questions. I made that trip twice from WV…exhausting me and my finances. I’m so glad this young girl is getting her life back. Hopefully, Dr. Naviaux’s recent discoveries will help get all of our lives back.

    • Michelle Ghiglieri

      I am on the waitlist to see his PA as well…was it a useful appointment, or did they only want you to try anti-viral medication? I’m desperate for answers.

      • Michelle, I got a letter this week from the PA that I saw (Jane Norris) saying she is retiring. There are (I think) two other PAs who will also see patients. Jane did put me on Low-Dose Naltrexone, which I just found out is classified as an anti-inflammatory when she changed one of my antivirals. I am wondering if another anti-inflammatory would have done the trick for me. You are much better armed with information than I was when I first visited 4 1/2 years ago. They would not take me as a patient at Stanford until my PCP had done about 2 pages of tests to eliminate all other possible causes for my fatigue. THEN, when I got there, they took 13 vials of blood for even more testing. The meds they start you on depend on the results of those tests. I would say give it a try. At least I had that brief period of improvement on the first antiviral. That lets me know that I CAN get better if the right key is used. I actually had 2 days I felt completely like my old self. What a gift!! Good luck!

  4. I’m happy to hear hope in this story. I find it ridiculous and hurtful when doctors don’t recognize the depth of pain and suffering in a patient, just because it hasn’t manifested in a disorder they see everyday. I’d love to see more doc’s step it up and get to work solving these puzzles.

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