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Meghan O'Rourke says long COVID and other chronic illnesses put an unwieldy burden on patients, who have to testify to the reality of their own illness. Her new book, The Invisible Kingdom, chronicles her personal struggle to find diagnoses for her own nerve pain, brain fog, extreme fatigue and other symptoms."When you're at the edge of medical knowledge, the lack of evidence is treated as evidence that the problem is you and your mind," O'Rourke says. "I felt, in a sense, kind of locked away in a room like a 19th-century hysteric."
Since Lyme disease was first identified in the late 1970s, it has become the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the country. Journalist Michael Specter talks about his New Yorker article on the disease and its controversial history.
Dr. Jonathan Edlow is the author of the new book Bull's Eye: Unraveling the Medical Mystery of Lyme Disease. In the book he chronicles the emergence of the disease, how scattered clues led to the cause — bacterium Borelia burgdorferi, and then to the deer tick that spread it. The search for the cause began in the late 1970s when people around Lyme, Conn., began suffering from unexplained arthritis, swelling, circular rashes, fatigue and other symptoms.