Today I stumbled upon this festive youtube video created by muddipuppy.
This video resonated with me primarily due to the almost universal hardship that ME/CFS patients perpetually endure consequential of the five default, underwhelming and often contraindicated CFS treatments portrayed that are haphazardly prescribed by the medical establishment.
CFS patients receive pseudo CFS treatments while in this absurd CFS paradigm, the doctors simultaneously consider their own prescription of these treatments to be benevolent. This process parallels the grandeur presents that the ‘true love’ provides to the song’s singer during the conventional ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ version. The doctor’s treatment surmises masquerade beneath a thin professional exterior which is portrayed in this medium by individuals in white coats, sporting pretentious yet subtle smirks. It is appropriate that the romantic’s gifts in the traditional tune are of a grandeur status while the doctors five ‘gifts’ are the result of illusions of grandeur on behalf of the GP.
The industrial revolutions mass produced, pre-packaged and conveyer belt created gifts are analogous to the standard, textbook and default CFS treatments enumerated in the song. The ad nauseum and periodical churning out of presents by the singer’s generous lover parallels the doctor’s office prescribing the video’s five CFS ‘treatments.’ The factory production line linkage between the traditional song and this parody version epitomises the false application of commercialism in a CFS treatment setting.
As opposed to the progressively grander gifts being given in the traditional song, this CFS version reaches an ironic crescendo with the words ‘and the truth is you don’t look sick to me’ filling the screen. These words contrast the unbridled affection between the traditional song’s romantics. Ironically, the typical doctor who purports (or attempts) to treat CFS has a misdirected scepticism and an obnoxious superiority complex when confronted with CFS patients. Contrary to the bourgeoning affinity shared between the standard song’s lovers, this version challenges such relations between doctor and CFS patient, instead painting a realistic relationship that involves increasing affliction and then the finality of divorce.
The Philadelphia Brass Ensemble’s interpretation of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ involves a dramatic yet jaunty tempo which vividly contrasts the invisible and silent suffering that CFS patients must solemnly endure. The jovial backing track also juxtaposes the macabre, underwhelming and potentially harmful treatments that doctors typically prescribe CFS patients.
The traditional ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ lyrics describe 364 gifts being dispensed. This total figure, arrived at when all the daily presents are summed, equates to almost a daily gift. The almost year long process of offensive comments, underwhelming perceptions and perpetually unsolicited advice is what CFS patients must endure perennially from not only the medical establishment but also family and friends. It is somewhat ironical that these very people often surround CFS patients during the song’s festive season.
The medium ends with the words ‘Happy Holidays, CFS friends! Your endurance is inspiring.’ I echo these sentiments to the ME/CFS community. I too am inspired by such feats of endurance by ME/CFS patients that feature dealing with the prejudices of the medical establishment. The medical related domain of these contraindicated five featured CFS ‘treatments’ emphasises the absurdity of the situation.