Sunday, 2 February 2014


In my last blog I talked about some of the prejudice and misconceptions that I and many others face living with M.E.

The other problem that I face is the assumptions made by so many people regarding my illness.

Assumptions are made according to my appearance.

What does a person with invisible disability look like?

Assumptions are made about my disability and my level of activity.

There are different disability levels or scales for M.E. 
At one end of the scale some people are unable to get out of their bed and never leave their home and at the other end some are able to work.

I guess I fall somewhere in between moderate and severe, depending on which scale you look at. Of course it varies all the time.   


Don’t assume because I’m younger than you
I’m healthy, strong and can stand in this queue.
Don’t think I have plenty of energy
At seventy-five you have more than me!
Don’t look at me as if I have no right
The last thing I want is to make a fight.
Don’t say that there is nothing wrong with me
My handicap is not easy to see.
Don’t be so rude, please show me some respect
It’s what I deserve and hope to expect.
Don’t treat me like a liar and a fake
This illness is for real, make no mistake!
Don’t be so cruel and cause me distress
When you say it’s nothing but laziness.
Don’t judge me when you don’t understand
I’m truly ill and need a lending hand.
Don’t tell me how I really look so well
It’s only those closest to me can tell.
Don’t you consider how hurt I might be
By your words and actions made carelessly.
Don’t assume that you have priority
I have proof of my disability!

So many people assume that just because I can do something one day that I can do it the next.

Just Because 

Just because
I can do this
Doesn`t mean
M.E. has gone
Just because
I look well and
Doesn`t mean
I really feel
That way
Just because
There is nothing
You see
Doesn`t mean
That I`m fine and
Just because
You don`t accept
Doesn`t mean
There`s nothing wrong
With me
Like many with M.E. I try to pace and rest. This helps me to manage and organise my day and any activities. It helps me to avoid PEM. If I keep to my base level of activities I can hopefully avoid any setbacks or relapses.
We all make assumptions in life. We assume that as we get older we will be able to do less. Only this week I saw a story on French tv about a 105 year old  man who cycles 14 km a day! I`d be lucky if I could cycle even 1km a day. 
I have a long term chronic illness which is hard to see and which varies enormously.
All I ask is that others don`t assume anything about me, show me some respect and some understanding.
A bientot from the French Femme


  1. It's like you're speaking and writing on behalf of every sufferer out there and I can't thank you enough. I hope many many more people will read this and think a little more :)
    It seems we with ME learn not to judge others, probably for those exact reasons, we're forever being judged and feeling like we have to explain ourselves over something we don't fully understand ourselves.
    Massive love to you, best of wishes
    Fiona xx

    1. Thank you Fiona. I`d like to think that this is not just about me but every person who suffers with ME. Every day we all face assumptions and judgement about our illness. It can be exhausting and frustrating. I certainly hope my poems help others understand what we face.

  2. I can totally relate to both of these poems. Though to be honest, I find that often it is me that assumes people are going to look at me and assume I'm okay, as often the fact that I constantly have to fight to be believed by a few people does not mean that everyone else also don't believe me.