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Sunday, 12 February 2012

Voices from the Shadows

All around the world, even now as we speak children are taken from mothers and the gravely ill are sectioned in psychiatric wards. ME/CFS has a torrid history and the medical profession is left useless in its wake, relying then on the tried and true strategy of blaming this enigmatic illness on the patient.

We who suffer with this illness, become cynical and hardened by the constant fight. By the need every day to gather the willpower to choose to keep fighting this unwinnable battle, while on the sidelines the medical profession yells taunts and derision at us. Their inability to puzzle out our illness, makes them condescending and dismissive. They are stymied by  ME/CFS and rather than treating it as a common enemy, they turn on us.

Right now in Spain a very sick child has been taken from her very ill mother. Even though leading Spanish ME specialists have declared that the child has acute ME and should not attend school on days she is too weak. Even though a judge declared that challenges made by the government to remove guardianship from the mother (also sick with ME) was not in the child's best interests. Even then, the Spanish government has taken this child and put her in a psychiatric ward and refused the innocent mother access to her sick child.

In England a man visiting from Canada who was also very ill with ME has been sectioned in a UK hospital. And this is not just a foreign problem. It happens to Australians too. It has happened to two people I know. Likely more, because it is a shameful thing that people do not want to share.

There is an estimated two hundred thousand people in Australia with  ME/CFS.  Of those a likely forty thousand are house or bed bound, silently screaming for help

The film Voices from the Shadows is a documentary film created by family members of a severely ill ME patient. It speaks for those of us who are unheard. It is important viewing for everybody, but crucial viewing for anybody who loves someone with ME/CFS.

A reviewer from the Chicago Sun Times has written a review almost as moving as the trailer. Scott Jordan Harris ironically is also a soldier in our war. He too has ME. It is worth a read A howl of desperation for those who cannot howl