By Kathryn McIntosh (Tzunma Venerable Lobsang Khandro)
I was diagnosed with M.E. a long time ago. In 1977 I had a severe virus; I was antibiotics due to pneumonia type symptoms as well as influenza type symptoms. I was home for a month. When I was a child I often suffered from upper respiratory problems and suffer from labrynthitis frequently which affects my balance. During this first year I had no energy, I could hardly move. Now if I am honest here I did turn to using stimulants during this year, just so I could go out and keep up with my other 17 year old friends. I stopped using these a year later as they weren't helping and I no longer felt it was such a good idea (growing up I imagine). I fell pregnant the following year and married. Yes, looking back on this now it wasn't a good idea at all as my body had not recovered. Now it was busy creating a new life. After the birth of my son I was wiped out, no energy. They said it was post natal depression. I wasn't depressed, just tired.
Then next 20 years they had me on everything they could throw at me! They did all the tests; diabetes, anaemia, the list is endless, and they came back negative. I had pain, migraine, back problems, sleep problems; I won't bore you because they are classic M.E. symptoms. I could name every antidepressant on the market for you, and a few sleeping tablets as well, along with reflux medicine so my poor stomach could handle all the medication I was given. I have taken mixtures of all of them at one time or another. And I can say that they harmed more than they helped. We live in a pill culture; if you have a problem cure it with a pill, cover it up and make the patient happy. Now, this isn't true for everyone and I am NOT saying you should just drop your meds! Since then I have controlled things myself; I tried a few other things that helped a little, other things didn't. Whenever I went to a doctor the answer was the same, pills or "What do you want from me?" was one GP's query. I had no one in the medical profession to trust.