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The National Tragedy: a letter by Columnist Eunice Beck

  [ 118 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Eunice Beck RN, PWC • • September 28, 2001

Dear Friends,

As I write this it is little more than a week since the tragic events in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Many of us are still in shock. If you are like me, you are on stimulus and stress overload, but unable to stop yourself from turning on the news each day to keep up with the developments.

It is so difficult to imagine something like this happening in the United States. Yet, in many other places in the world, such terrorism is a frequent event. It is grim to conceive of having to deal with these issues on an ongoing basis.

For those of us who must live our lives within the confines that CFIDS/FM allow, I think it is important to remember to take care of ourselves during this time. I want to know what is happening, but I have had to discipline myself to decrease the amount of energy I am spending on my involvement with this situation.

I am lucky. I did not know anyone on the airplanes. As far as I know, I had no friends or family working in the Trade towers or the Pentagon. I have no family who are firefighters or police in New York. To those of my readers for whom this is not true, let me express my sincere condolences. Know that the love and support of the CFIDS/FM community is there for you, including ImmuneSupport’s involvement in money raising for this cause.

Taking care of myself has been difficult. Thankfully, I haven’t lost anyone I know, so I can only grieve in a community sense. But, as a nurse, I can identify with the workers at all three crash sites who have struggled to find those who survived, and who are now continuing the dangerous, and heart wrenching job of retrieving the dead. They know families need closure, yet each body they find is another indication that they did not get there soon enough.

For all of us, the picture of the crashes, and the collapse of the towers will be burned in our memory forever. But we must go on. We must return to our lives. A return to normal shows that the country is not intimidated, but more important for us is the issue of not letting these incidents cause a flare in our symptoms.

The day after the crashes, we went grocery shopping. Two days after I returned to physical therapy. I have continued to have some problems with vertigo, and have been in touch with my doctor. I have contacted my attorney about how my Social Security case is doing. I have paid bills(something I would always like an excuse not to do). I am trying to return to my normal days. I am restricting my news watching time.

The stress has made my days worse. I have had less energy and motivation. I have had many more headaches than I usually do. This may be just a flare that was coming anyway, as the vertigo had started prior to Sept. 11, but I know myself well enough to know that the stress has made it worse.

I think we are going to have to adjust to this additional stress as the country attempts to deal seriously with the issue of terrorism. None of us know the direction that pursuit will take. For our health, we need to dwell on those things which give us better days, and not on the long term worries or plans of the government.

We, as CFIDS/FM suffers, are survivors. We have learned to live our lives with the adversity of a disease that takes our energy, clouds our minds, and from which we have pain, and other types of discomfort. Yet we go on with our lives, to the extent we are able. And we push the envelope. Sometimes, we are able to do more. Not infrequently, that push of our limits pushes back. Still, we continue to fight to maintain our quality of life. Our focus is as positive as possible. I think this is the attitude we need to apply to this crisis for our country as well.

I have no intent for this article to be political in any way. I only want to provide, as I attempt to do in all I write, support for those of us who wrestle with this disease on a daily basis. Do things to be nice to yourself. Push yourself a little less right now. Get more rest and sleep. Look for support and love from those around you. And give them love. Tell them that you care. Seek conversation with others. Call friends. Use the chat rooms or the message board at Write to your email friends. Love one another. Take care of yourselves.

Next time I write, I will attempt to be more on topic. But I felt the need to speak to what has happened and how it effects each of us. Please know that I appreciate and care for each of my readers. Take care, and be well.

Yours in health,


I welcome your comments and questions at: My
articles and email responses are not being offered as those of a health care
provider. The information and opinions included are intended to give you
some information about your disease. It is very important that you empower
yourself with knowledge and participate in your own search for care. Any
advice given is not intended to take the place of advice of your physician
or mental health care provider. Always follow your physician's advice, even
if contradicted by something written here. You and your physician know your
situation far better than I do. Thank you and be well.

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