Like many other M.E. sufferers, I read an article in a national newspaper on 28th October that literally made me gasp out loud. This headline came from the Daily Mail, but the story was covered by most of the national papers. The ME Association discussed the coverage in the Daily Telegraph. See the
ME Association response to media coverage of the PACE trial.
I am sick, sick of conflicting research and being made to feel like it is all in my head. The contrast between the Institute of Medicine's Systemic Exercise Intolerance Disease (SEID) research and this PACE trial is astounding. How can sufferers be both intolerant to, and helped by, exercise? The difference just doesn't compute in my tired and weary brain.
I'll admit, I steer clear from reading papers from the latest research. I am not a doctor and do not understand most of the medical terminology. However, I do keep track of any 'progress' made. Since starting Foggy, it has become clear to me that many sufferers read every scrap of news and research, in the hope that they can see light at the end of the tunnel. They also discuss findings as if they had undertaken 7+ years of medical training. Most of us haven't. I don't have the energy to pretend that I have an ounce of medical knowledge. I also don't have the cognitive strength to read report after report, desperately seeking out something positive to cling on to.
I have been sent the following links by a fellow sufferer. Now I know that the PACE research has links to health insurance companies, I don't think there is even a grain of reliability/truth or medical advancement in it. What about you? Trial by Error No it isn't all in your head.
My own personal mantra, and something I tell fellow sufferers if they ask my advice (I stress that I am not a doctor but speak from my own personal experience), is to do the amount of exercise that is good for YOU, just to make sure your body doesn't go to sleep. That could range from simply getting out of bed or walking up a flight of stairs to taking your dog for a 10 minute walk. M.E. is very
individualistic and so no one can tell you how much exercise you can manage.
I have remained 'active' throughout the 7 years that I have had M.E. At times, during a kind of remission, I was able to do more activities before exhaustion hit. However, this does not take away the fact that exhaustion ALWAYS hit at some point during the day. At the present time walking Patch for 20 minutes is enough to make me feel exhausted by the time I get home. This morning I have done 10 minutes of housework, Pushing a hoover for 5 minutes and cleaning the kitchen floor exhausted me temporarily and I had to have a rest break. Like many other sufferers, gentle exercise has not reduced symptoms or 'cured' my M.E.
My biggest fear is that this PACE study, and the subsequent press coverage, will YET AGAIN negatively impact public perception. I feel the hard work I did last year to raise awareness has been set back. If M.E. sufferers can't get their heads around the latest research how can we expect Joe Public to ever understand?
Sally xxx (and Foggy doggy snogs)