Letter to the Belfast Telegraph, 18 February 2010
Thank you for the article highlighting ME (February 9). I am now in my fourth year of suffering from the illness. Like Lynn Gilderdale, my ME was brought on by glandular fever and severe tonsillitis as a child.
I am in constant pain and suffer from flu-like symptoms, severe fatigue and nausea.
My husband also has MS and before I became ill I was his carer. Now we try to help each other as best we can.
My husband gets much more help with his MS and people don't doubt his disability although most people treat me with scepticism.
I have had to fight for financial support since I became ill and recently the DLA refused to renew my care allowance although my symptoms have not improved and I feel I have actually deteriorated. Since my ME diagnosis I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, depression, allergies and IBS.
I have written to Michael McGimpsey, the Health Minister, to ask that more help be given to ME sufferers in Northern Ireland and wait hopefully for him to act.
I am only 36-years-old and I feel my life is over.