Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is known by a variety of terms, such as CFS or ME (referring to the medical term myalgic encephalomyelitis). The same disorder is also known as (ME/CFS). February 2015, the Institute of Medicine suggested that the name be changed to Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease, or SEID. The terms CFS and ME refer to a part of what the disease involves. While these previous names suggest physical tiredness or the effect on the brain, the proposed definition reflects the effect of the disorder on the entire system.
People with ME/CFS report an overwhelming sense of fatigue that does not go away, no matter how much sleep they get. They consistently report joint pain without any obvious redness or swelling to be seen. Some report a regular sore throat, new or worsening headaches. Sore or tender spots in the area of the neck or lymph nodes in the armpit are common. There may be muscle pain or problems with memory or concentration. Not all symptoms are exactly the same for each patient. Individuals who regularly experience certain symptoms have varying degrees of intensity of pain or disability. Patients may improve then relapse again. Physical or mental exertion can leave victims with a deep sense of exhaustion for the entire next day or more.
If you suspect that you have chronic fatigue syndrome it is imperative, that you see your doctor for diagnosis and follow-up care. Keep track of your symptoms and any other unusual signs. Because the disease has no visible signs, doctors are skeptic. ME/CFS is difficult to pinpoint because everyone at one time or another has experienced each of the symptoms; and these symptoms are common to many other diseases.
In order to be diagnosed with ME/CFS, the person must experience disabling, ongoing, fatigue for at least 6 months. Four of the following symptoms must be present at the same time.
- Painful muscles
- Joint pain
- Difficulty remembering or focusing
- Headaches that are either new or different than before
- Unexplained sore throat
- Swollen or sore lymph nodes in armpit or neck areas
- Ongoing tiredness that is not relieved by sleep
- Long lasting deepened fatigue following exertion
ME/CFS is often diagnosed by ruling out other possible illnesses such as sleep apnea, lupus, mononucleosis, MS, diabetes, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, thyroid problems, anemia, depression or other psychological issues.
While this disease presents differently in each individual it is a, painful and disabling condition, which prevents people from living the life they are accustomed to. Profound, unfathomable exhaustion keeps many CFS victims, bedridden for most of the day. This goes on for weeks, months and years. Victims are trapped in bodies that look normal but do not have enough physical energy to make a living, take care of family and home: much less for friends or hobbies. It can take supreme will power for people with CFS to focus. Many patients are unable to advocate for themselves or clearly explain the disabling symptoms they experience. Added to the pain and disability; CFS victims without the support of medical practitioners, friends and perhaps family, feel labeled, and alone.
Chronic Fatigue Litigation
Chronic Fatigue insurance claims disputes are often related to the entitlements listed in a long-term disability insurance policy that has been purchased by an employer or the individual. In other circumstances the chronic fatigue claim dispute may be part of a claim for accident benefits or “Tort” claim were a person was injured by the negligent actions of another person – such as a motor vehicle accident.
Long-term disability insurance policy disputes:
- Chronic Fatigue claims are difficult to prove because of the subjective nature of the disease. Conclusive medical evidence is often lacking.
- Often involve distrust by insurers and medical practitioners in the belief that the claim is motivated by monetary gain
Vocationally disabled Vs. Functionally disabled
Related to car accident injury claims:
- Proving chronic fatigue disability after a car accident not only requires proof of the disability, but proof that the disability was caused by the motor vehicle accident and not a pre-existing condition.
- Plaintiff credibility is often called into question. Including work and employment history, education, consistency of disability related complaints
- Negative impact on ability to engage in regular daily activities
- Emotional damages – Self worth, depression
- Loss of income and earning capacity
- Medical expenses and future medical care/rehabilitation
- Pain, suffering and impact
What to do
Insurance policy’s are purchased so that individuals and their families are protected in event of an accident or disabling disease. When compensation is delayed or denied it can have a devastating financial and emotional impact.
If you or someone you know has chronic fatigue syndrome you may be entitled to disability insurance under the terms of your disability insurance policy. To determine your eligibility for long term benefits see an experienced long term disability lawyer.
At the Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm we have represented hundreds of individuals in claims related to Chronic Fatigue. We understand the nature of this devastating impairment and we know how prove it in court. We have assembled a team of some of the most highly recognized medical experts and lawyers in the country. Please call us today for a free no obligation consultation.