I spent most of yesterday watching the first day of the CFSAC meeting, broadcast live over the internet from Washington, DC. It was their first-ever Science Day, a day filled with presentations from the top CFS scientists and doctors on the latest research. It was excellent and so amazing to be able to watch the whole thing while lying on my couch! I had wanted to go in person but am flying solo this week while Ken's traveling. I also turned out to be fairly badly crashed the past two days, so I was extra-grateful for the webcast.
Much of today's meeting is focused on disability benefits and Social Security - topics that don't affect me directly - so I left the couch for a short while and joined a friend on a Trader Joe's run (with Ken away, I had to stock up on ready-to-heat meals!). However, I did rush back home in time to tune in to the public comment period. I'm so glad I did.
Hearing the heartfelt testimony and pleas of long-suffering CFS patients was very moving - I broke out in tears several times. The highlight of the testimony (in my biased opinion!) was a friend of mine, one of our local CFS moms who has two teen boys, 17 and 19, with severely debilitating CFS. She and her boys made the trip to DC. I cried so hard through her entire 5 minutes that I could barely see the computer screen! Her testimony about what daily life is like for her and her boys, including some of it in their own words, was powerful and heartbreaking. You did a great job, Denise!
The meeting is on lunch break now but resumes again this afternoon at 1 pm eastern time, then continues again tomorrow morning at 9 am. I highly recommend you watch at least some of it. The second public comment period begins tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm. Here is the full meeting agenda so you can tune in for the parts that interest you. The technology is very cool! I use a Mac and had to download an extra application to watch it, but it only took a couple of moments. I know Jo logged in from the UK to see part of it yesterday, so it's available to anyone on the internet. Here's the link for the live videocast .
I will post my own summary, plus links to the presentations and online videos once they are posted. I was just so amazed by what I've seen that I wanted to share a bit with you while you still have a chance to watch live.