As I sit here on this dreary, gray, rainy Monday, the thought of taking a nap definitely crosses my mind! Hunkering down on the sofa under the soft handmade cotton blanket my Mom knitted for me, with the Golden Girls playing on the DVD player in the background of course is a stellar idea. My eyes get heavier and heavier and I begin to yawn. The dog is passed out and curled into a ball at my feet, my kids are at school and my husband is at work…and the eyelids droop.
How many of you can identify with that? It doesn’t even have to be a rainy Monday and a nap could sound like the best idea ever!
Being so tired makes me think of the two part episode in season 5 called “Sick and Tired”. In these two episodes, Dorothy is so “sick and tired” that she had to quit her job, because she simply could not do it! She was too tired to even open her mouth and talk, and as you know, Dorothy was not one to shy away from sharing her opinions! She swore she was so sick that she went to countless doctors to try to figure out what her problem was! Finally, after several visits and tests, a doctor had come up with the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What Dorothy suffered from was not merely recovering from the flu, depression, or another “mental” disorder as one doctor had suggested. The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that was showcased in the Golden Girls is indeed an actual debilitating disease.
The Center for Disease Control reported that more than 1 million Americans suffer from CFS, but that approximately 80% of those cases go undiagnosed! With CFS, sufferers may experience weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory or mental concentration and even insomnia. Things such as physical and even mental activity can worsen the symptoms and make it even harder to combat!
Although none of our “FAB 4”, Bea, Betty, Estelle or Rue suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the Executive Producer and writer/co-writer of The Golden Girls, Susan Harris did! Both part 1 and 2 of “Sick and Tired” which first aired on September 23 and 30, 1980, were written by Susan Harris who was suffering from CFS at the time and highlighted some of her struggles. In the following link, Harris talks about her successes and her struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, where she states that she was/is grateful that the disease never triggered any cognitive issues and “brain fog” that so many other CFS sufferers are plagued with.
I am sure that many of you have had days in which you think you’ll just fall asleep standing up! Especially those days after you have been up late into the night watching those Golden Girls re-runs! I happen to be one of them as well! But being the fan that I am of our favorite show, I am glad too that Susan Harris did not suffer cognitively from her CFS either, otherwise, we might not have our re-runs to watch today! So kudos to you Susan for doing all that you did, even through your struggles and plight!