Whitney Dafoe with his father, Dr. Ron W. Davis

As accounts of those suffering with mysterious and lingering medical complications months after an initial COVID-19 diagnosis have multiplied over recent months, the term “fatigue” has resurfaced in mainstream health reportage along with ridiculous and tired debates about whether long-haul illness and its symptoms are real. (Spoiler: They are.) There could be no better time for Tracie White’s book The Puzzle Solver, recently published by Hachette, which tells the story of some of the original chronic illness “long-haulers” while putting to bed the myth that if an illness is unknown or puzzling it must be psychological in origin.

The subject…


Missy Elliott’s history-making induction in the Songwriters Hall of Fame last month combined with her appearance on Ariana Grande’s fourth album Sweetener (which we have said thank u, next to far too quickly imo) can make it seem like she has been there all along, but we should not forget too soon that empty time in the aughts when the supa dupa star seemed to have all but disappeared from the music scene. In interviews with venues such as People and Billboard, Elliott explained that her absence was due to the grueling physical effects of Graves’ disease, a rare autoimmune…


Netflix’s “documentary” series Afflicted is further proof.

Following the success of Jennifer Brea’s award-winning PBS documentary Unrest, which chronicles Brea’s experience of life with a severe and mysterious chronic illness, audiences responded enthusiastically to news that Netflix would be producing a new documentary series about “[s]even people with chronic illnesses search[ing] for answers — and relief,” but the new series, called Afflicted, perpetuates outdated and harmful tropes and inadvertently mirrors our cultural penchant for dismissing that which we do not or cannot yet understand by reflecting back at us our all-too-common tendency to doubt, discount, or sensationalize that which we…

Je Banach

has written for Vogue, The Paris Review, Granta, ELLE, Marie Claire UK, Esquire, Guernica, Electric Lit, L.A. Review of Books, & others. #ConversationsforCures

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store