Kittredge Cherry’s Journey Balancing Faith and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Kittredge Cherry’s Journey Balancing Faith and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Kittredge Cherry’s Journey: Balancing Faith and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Kittredge Cherry, an accomplished American journalist, author, and priest, has made significant contributions to both the literary and religious communities. However, behind her achievements lies a personal battle with Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Cherry’s resilience and commitment to her work, despite the challenges posed by CFIDS, provide an inspiring narrative of faith, determination, and advocacy.

Kittredge Cherry’s Career and Onset of Illness

Early Career and Achievements

Kittredge Cherry’s career spans journalism, authorship, and ministry. As a journalist, she has written extensively on LGBTQ+ issues, religion, and spirituality. Her books, such as Jesus in Love, explore inclusive interpretations of religious texts. Cherry’s work as a priest further underscores her dedication to faith and social justice, providing spiritual guidance and support to many.

Onset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In the midst of her thriving career, Cherry began experiencing severe fatigue, muscle pain, and cognitive difficulties. These debilitating symptoms disrupted her daily life and professional activities. After numerous medical consultations and tests, she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), a condition characterized by persistent, unexplained fatigue and a range of other symptoms.

Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), is a chronic illness characterized by severe fatigue that does not improve with rest and often worsens with physical or mental activity. CFS can significantly impair daily functioning and quality of life.

Common Symptoms

  • Severe Fatigue: Persistent exhaustion that worsens with physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest.
  • Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM): A significant worsening of symptoms following physical or mental exertion.
  • Sleep Problems: Unrefreshing sleep, insomnia, or other sleep disturbances.
  • Cognitive Difficulties: Issues with concentration, memory, and cognitive processing, often referred to as “brain fog.”
  • Muscle and Joint Pain: Unexplained muscle pain and joint pain without swelling or redness.
  • Headaches: New or worsening headaches.
  • Sore Throat and Swollen Lymph Nodes: Recurring sore throat and tender lymph nodes.

Kittredge Cherry’s Battle with Symptoms

Daily Life Challenges

The transition from a high-performing professional to living with CFIDS was profoundly challenging for Cherry. Tasks that were once routine became insurmountable obstacles. The severe fatigue and other symptoms significantly impacted her ability to engage in daily activities and fulfill her professional commitments.

Mental and Emotional Impact

The chronic nature of CFIDS also took a toll on Cherry’s mental and emotional well-being. The drastic change in her life, coupled with the invisible nature of the illness, led to feelings of frustration, isolation, and depression. The lack of public understanding and support for CFIDS added to the emotional burden she carried.

Treatment and Management Strategies

Medical Treatments

  • Medications: There is no specific cure for CFIDS, but various medications can help manage symptoms. These may include pain relievers, sleep aids, and antidepressants to improve sleep and mood.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help patients develop coping strategies to manage the psychological impact of CFIDS.

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Pacing: Pacing involves balancing periods of activity with rest to avoid triggering post-exertional malaise. This method helps manage energy levels and prevent symptom flare-ups.
  • Healthy Diet: Maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can support overall health and energy levels.
  • Gentle Exercise: Low-impact exercises, such as stretching and yoga, can help maintain physical health without exacerbating symptoms. Exercise routines should be tailored to individual energy levels and capabilities.
  • Sleep Hygiene: Establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a restful sleep environment can help improve sleep quality.

Alternative Therapies

  • Acupuncture: Some patients find relief from symptoms through acupuncture, which may help improve energy levels and reduce pain.
  • Massage Therapy: Regular massages can help alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Practices such as mindfulness meditation can help manage stress and improve mental clarity.

Kittredge Cherry’s Advocacy and Awareness Efforts

Raising Public Awareness

Kittredge Cherry has used her platform to raise awareness about CFIDS. By sharing her personal experiences and the challenges she faces, she has helped to shed light on the condition and foster greater understanding and empathy among the public.

Supporting Research and Education

Cherry’s advocacy extends to supporting research and education initiatives aimed at better understanding CFIDS. She emphasizes the need for more scientific research to uncover the underlying causes of the condition and develop effective treatments.

Living with CFIDS: Insights from Kittredge Cherry

Adapting to Limitations

Cherry has had to make significant adjustments to her lifestyle to manage her symptoms effectively. This includes prioritizing rest, avoiding activities that trigger symptoms, and finding a balance between personal commitments and health needs.

Maintaining a Positive Outlook

Despite the challenges, Cherry maintains a positive outlook. Her resilience and determination to live a fulfilling life, despite CFIDS, serve as an inspiration to others facing similar battles. She continues to advocate for better understanding and support for those living with chronic illnesses.


What led to Kittredge Cherry developing chronic fatigue syndrome?

Kittredge Cherry developed CFIDS following a series of health issues that significantly impacted her life. The exact cause of her CFIDS remains unclear, as is common with this condition.

How does Kittredge Cherry manage her CFIDS symptoms?

Cherry manages her symptoms through a combination of medical treatments, lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies. This includes pacing, maintaining a healthy diet, incorporating gentle exercise, and practicing mindfulness.

What are the main symptoms of CFIDS?

The main symptoms of CFIDS include severe fatigue, post-exertional malaise, sleep problems, cognitive difficulties, muscle and joint pain, headaches, and recurring sore throat and tender lymph nodes.

Can CFIDS be cured?

There is currently no cure for CFIDS, but symptoms can be managed effectively through a combination of treatments and lifestyle modifications. Research continues to seek better understanding and effective treatments for the condition.

How has Kittredge Cherry’s openness about CFIDS impacted public awareness?

Cherry’s openness has significantly raised public awareness about CFIDS, helping to foster greater understanding and empathy for those living with this condition.

What lifestyle changes has Kittredge Cherry made to manage her CFIDS?

Cherry has adapted her lifestyle by prioritizing rest, avoiding activities that trigger symptoms, maintaining a healthy diet, incorporating regular, gentle exercise, and practicing mindfulness and meditation.


Kittredge Cherry’s journey with chronic fatigue syndrome highlights her resilience and determination to overcome the challenges posed by this debilitating condition. Through her advocacy and personal experiences, she has raised much-needed awareness about CFIDS, inspiring others to seek help and manage their symptoms effectively. By adopting a comprehensive approach that includes medical treatments, lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies, Cherry continues to lead a fulfilling life and contribute to her community, demonstrating that with the right strategies, it is possible to live well with CFIDS.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *