About the author
I am a 30-year old Finnish journalist, translator and medical writer. I got sick with CFS/ME in 2000, at the age of 15/16 (I had an acute onset on the 28th of August, but I originally had two strange viral infections earlier in the year, when I was still 15). At 16 I was also kicked from home and had to support myself by freelance journalist work. At first I was under the same impression as many, that there are no effective treatments, but the more I read the better I understood it wasn't so.
My approach has worked quite well so far. The medications I have selected for myself (which my doctor has luckily agreed to prescribe me) along with a supplement regime have made me about 80% better. I have been in a bad shape, bordering on dementia and hardly being able to walk - of course many people are much, much worse, including some friends of mine, but I have no doubt that even they can be treated.
I am far from cured, but I do strive to get better all the time. My Finnish doctor has successfully applied some of my ideas to other patients as well. I have many friends with CFS/ME (and some with fibromyalgia) and I am constantly trying to "crack the puzzle" to make them better too.
I also maintain the only Finnish website about CFS/ME, which was launched in 2006, filling a big void as there were no sources about this illness in this country at the time. More than eight years later, the situation remains essentially the same. Doctors do not know this illness, the public insurer does not acknowledge it - and I am still the only source of information. It is depressing and frustrating, but instead of wailing I do what I can to make it better. The situation with fibromyalgia is a bit better, but still many doctors refuse to diagnose it and consider it as a psychosomatic condition, and the public insurance provider does not recognize it.
Reviving the Broken Marionette was originally written in Finnish in 2006-2007. It started out as a brochure for the aforementioned website, but grew into a full-length book, which was warmly welcomed by patients and some open-minded doctors, like my own. It soon became obvious that an English version was needed and that fibromyalgia treatments should have more focus than in the original book. The second Finnish version, published by Finn Lectura in 2010, is very similar to Reviving the Broken Marionette. In November 2011 Finn Lectura also published another medical textbook from me, on the subject of commonly misdiagnosed, controversial and otherwise poorly understood chronic illnesses.
It is definitely not easy to write a book when you are sick. There's no way I could have done it without the medication. I had written four novels before this project, but that was years ago, when I was only mildly ill. The actual work wasn't even the worst part, but the stress that overwhelmed me at times - I can't do something half-heartedly, if I do it, I live and breathe it and have dreams of it when I sleep. I even moved house only a month before the book was to be finished, certainly a very bad idea for someone who is ill. The stress really wrecked havoc on my body, but the good news is that I did not really relapse.
As to my personal life, I am from Helsinki, Finland but in 2010 fulfilled one of my dreams by moving to Amsterdam, the Netherlands with my husband (who probably thinks I should spend more time with him in the evenings instead of going through scientific papers). Besides my passion for medicine I also enjoy e.g. reading, writing fiction and poetry, indoor gardening, painting, cooking, digital art and photography. If I was fully healthy, I would be travelling the world with my camera and laptop, or perhaps serving fancy vegan cupcakes in my cozy corner café. I've had three novels and four non-fiction books published in Finland, but nowadays I mostly focus on writing plays and screenplays - usually with a health/medical topic as well.
My personal website is located at http://www.fiikus.net. It also features a CFS/ME site that I set up in 2002, which includes a page with reviews of the treatments I have personally tried, and some articles I've written about CFS/ME sufferers. There are also some other medical articles not directly related to CFS/ME or fibromyalgia. And yes, you can see my art and photography there as well.