Klimas couldn’t cure me, but she helped. She gave me immune modulators so my immune system wouldn’t overrev as though I were fighting an eternal flu. She worked to improve my sleep, suggesting a monitor to study my patterns. She prescribed beta blockers to steady my heart rate when I stood. The most effective treatment was astonishingly simple: Gatorade. Electrolytes increased my blood volume — typically 20 percent low in CFS patients — thereby stopping my blood pressure from dropping so dramatically. She also aggressively monitored me for cancer, since my natural killer cells, the immune system’s main cancer assassins, barely functioned, as is common in CFS patients.
I improved enough to work a little bit, and it was a tremendous relief to have a knowledgeable and compassionate doctor behind me. Still, Klimas (who also treats HIV/AIDS) says that if she had to choose between having HIV and having CFS, she’d unquestionably choose HIV.