Thursday, July 11, 2013

Me, Me, Me

AD 1959. A quiet rural practice somewhere in the UK


Oh dear. Not Miss Rodgers again...week in, week out! She is always tired, always miserable! My heart truly sinks when I see her.  She is so introspective; it’s all about her ‘me me me’. Nothing I do for her works, mostly because there is nothing I can do for her. She has been tired for years.  Her head is fuzzed and tired and her muscles are sore and tired.  Everything feels sore and inflamed; she can’t work, she can’t do the housework, she wants to sleep all the time.  I could almost make a new disease out of her. “Me syndrome, she is so obsessed with her body and how it doesn’t work as she would like, she thinks of herself all the time. So much so that she must have inflamed the “me” in her and it has now grown to a big oedematous non functioning “ME”

“Ah Sit down Miss Rodgers; it’s always a pleasure to see you, so how can I help you today”. “So you are still tired and sore and yes, I know you don’t believe you are depressed, and you don’t like the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome because it’s too woolly and makes your friends and family think you are just feigning your symptoms”...” oh well, I have some good news for you, I think I have a new diagnosis for you”. It’s called “ME”...”No, No, No... not me, but M.E.”

“What does that mean, well it’s a newly diagnosed condition, and the ME stands for myalgic encephalopathy”

“I know it’s bad news, but there is some good news. It responds much better to antidepressants than chronic fatigue syndrome and it is thought that with the right treatment you might get better much quicker”

“Yes I am sure your friends and family will not think you a fraud any more, and now we have a new diagnosis for you, it will mean we can try some of the treatments we have already tried, and these might just work now. Yes of course I can write it down so you can share the news with your husband”

“it’s my pleasure Miss Rodgers, sorry to be the one to give you the bad news and once you have given it...well let’s say a month or two for the diagnosis to sink in, then we can think about trying some medicines for it....good day to you too miss Rodgers”

What a blooming stroke of genius, ‘ME’ disease. Of course it really should be EM disease – encepholepathic myalgia...something wrong with the head meaning the muscles are always sore and tired. but it really doesn’t have the same ring to it. I wonder if it will take off. Still she seemed the happiest I have ever seen her now she has a “proper disease!”