I don't usually pay much attention to anything Kathryn Flett says in her weekly Observer Column. Leafing through the Sunday magazine has become a bit of a habit, one that I should probably lose in order to save precious brain space for for more nourishing fare. She is one of those who had an illness (she believes was M.E.) that laid her low for three years, recovered from it and
"Though it manifests physically, I strongly believe there is a psychological component to ME – a point of view that will entirely fail to endear me to the soi-disant community of ME sufferers which occasionally seems slightly more interested in trying to persuade the still-largely-uninterested medical profession to take it seriously than in, say, trying to get sufferers to take more responsibility for their own individual recoveries, by any means necessary."
She clearly anticipates some kind of response from the "soi-disant community", and perhaps that is the whole point of putting out something like this - it will upset people and presumably get a bit of attention coming her way. It isn't called Yuppie Flu these days, and the illness is now taken much more seriously by the medical profession. The recent news of Lynn Gilderdale, who had severe M.E. for many years, has highlighted (for those who were unaware) what the reality of what this illness can be. But we are still, apparently, up for grabs and it's still ok to disrespect people with M.E.
For Kathryn Flett's information:
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (which is not the same as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a neurological disease which has been recognised by the World Health Organisation since 1969 as a distinct neurological disorder, characterised by damage to the central nervous system. Even where some recovery is manifest, it is a lifelong disability where relapse is always possible. Check out the Hummingbirds Foundation for M.E. for more information, and then consider whether an apology might be appropriate.
Of all the people I have known with this disease, I have not encountered a single one who has not done everything in their power to bring about recovery. Persuading the medical profession to take M.E. seriously is just one of the things we do, and many of us also see this as a duty that is laid on us - so that others in the future do not suffer as we have done.