One of the more irritating by-blows of an illness is a surfeit of acronyms. My ME or CFS is now thought to be caused by the XMRV retro-virus. I'm quite ill, and I can't work - but apparently I'm not ill enough that the UK Government considers me eligible for Employment Support Allowance. The only treatment I have been offered was a brush with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, not a treatment that is well suited to a retro-viral condition. Whilst it is the UK Government that pay benefit in Scotland, Health is a devolved matter, so it would appear that decisions about research and treatment will be made in Edinburgh.
I'm going to start firing off a few emails to relevant politicians, both in Westminster and Holyrood. A Westminster election is imminent, and a Scottish election is due about a year later, so I hope that the fact that my vote is up for grabs might concentrate minds. I shall post extracts of the replies here, especially those that seem particularly supportive and practical and those that are dismissive, contemptuous or ill-informed.
Preventing and Treating Allergies
2 days ago