May is M.E awareness month and Today I watched the BBC Newsbeat Documentary: M.E and me, The documentary is hosted by Emma Donohoe, An M.E sufferer. She visits the lives of other M.E sufferer’s to show how debilitating this disease really is.
What is M.E?
M.E stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. There are different extremes of M.E such as mild, moderate, severe and very severe, the symptoms include PENE, muscle fatigue, sleep disturbance, chronic pain, involuntary spasms, bladder problems, flu-like symptoms, severe nausea, light/sound/touch sensitivity, tremors, IBS, restless leg syndrome, organ failure etc and that is just to name a few. PENE stands for Postexertional neuroimmune exhaustion, which is a characteristic symptom for M.E sufferers. M.E is a degrading disease and there is estimated to be 250,000 sufferer’s in the UK alone. The problem is M.E is a very misunderstood disease which many doctors don’t believe in despite evidence proving it. Their research is not being funded and thousands are suffering this disease described as ‘living death’. Around 25% of sufferers of M.E are severe / very severe.
The documentary ‘M.E and me’ follows the story of 3 M.E sufferer’s. The first Sophie, a friend of mine from college, she was diagnosed at 21 but has been suffering from M.E since around 10 but it was mild until she was 19. Sophie first noticed the severity of her M.E when she was pregnant and was diagnosed shortly after having her son Lucas. Sophie is now lucky to see her son for a few minutes a day because it is much too painful for her to hear his voice, touch or to even have the light on to see him.
The Second Hannah, a young woman who is not only suffering M.E but also taking part in a test study to help to find out the cause of M.E and maybe eventually a treatment that will work for most patients.
The third being mother and sister of Merryn Crofts who died 10 days after her 21st birthday. Merryn had suffered from M.E from the age of 15 years old, which only got worse over the years until eventually she passed away weighing only 6 stone.
It has now been released that Merryn Crofts’ death has been ruled under M.E making her the second person (youngest woman) to have had M.E as her cause of death. If that doesn’t make this disease serious enough then I don’t know what will. As heartbreaking as her death is this is a massive stepping stone in helping the M.E community get help with this disease. I hope Merryn’s family continue to fight for M.E sufferer’s to carry on helping people such as the other sufferer’s from this video and the other 250,000 estimated sufferers in the UK.
This is just 3 cases of M.E sufferers to which there are many more, all ‘Millions Missing’ needing help and funding to help find treatments.
The documentary link is below, personally, I found it difficult to watch with Sophie being a friend of mine, Sophie was always one of the most energetic people I know constantly out walking her dog or out photographing, the difference now is shocking and heartbreaking to see.
Another Video you can watch is below, it is free for Prime Member’s if you are looking to find out more – What about ME?
Another Video to watch is called Voices from the Shadows, which you can find on Vimeo.
The video shows the extent and impact that M.E has on people.
The reason for this post is to help raise awareness for not only M.E itself but M.E sufferers. I hope this post has helped you learning something more about M.E. Help in any way even if it’s just educating yourself in the information.