Cocktails this last summer

I have a friend with M.E. on the other end of the world which I frequently correspond with. Oh joy, I love the wonders of this digital era. She has her problems and I have mine and we both try to make the best out of it. Talking about it through email she helps me cope with this illness and I hope I am a bit of comfort to her as well. Both of us are seeing numbers of doctors and each we get a cocktail of drugs and supplements prescribed.

Here in Europe it is difficult to get to a M.E. specialist that knows about a proper biochemical approach of M.E. and finds out about cardiologic, neurologic and immune deficiencies. Don’t assume that just any G.P. will know what to do with you or what specialist to consult. Being a M.E. patient can be hard, but being the G.P. of someone with M.E. is perhaps also not that easy.
If you find that specialist who knows about M.E. in the end, it is most likely that you did by searching on the web or through contact with fellow sufferers. And it is not uncommon that there is a long waiting list or that you have to cross country borders for it.
My friend lives in the States and her story is remarkably the same on some points. Most of the regular specialist doctors in any ordinary hospital don’t know what to say about our symptoms. Most of us will be sent home if other, serious illnesses can be ruled out. According to them M.E. will either disappear miraculously somehow (I am still waiting) or it is just something that this particular doctor cannot fix. What else is new?
And so we keep talking about this and other issues in life back and forth. Both of us consider ourselves a human being just like everybody else, even though a genuine part of our lives might be quite challenging to say the least.

Neither of us has been fit enough to get on a plane and meet for real. Let me just speak for myself that I can’t even get my body independently to meet the lady at the counter of the supermarket nearby. Who knows if we will ever get together?
Often I think of her when I sit in my garden chair enjoying (but at the same time avoiding) the late afternoon sun and sipping my cocktail. Meaning: swallowing pills with a glass of water. Is she eating lunch at that same time in that huge and lovely garden I have seen pictures of? She will be having that same glass of water to take her medication with. No alcohol or sun while we are on drugs.
Therefore I raise my glass of water and express my sober but hopeful wishes to you: ‘cheers, dear!’

This post is also available in: Dutch

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