A Miracle Cure for Miracle Cures
‘My mate’s Aunt had ME, she took dill capsules three times a day for a week, by the fifth day she was running marathons. You should definitely try it.”
“Oh gosh, thank you, yes, I will, I’ll look into that.”
“No really, you should.”
“Yes, no, thank you I will, definitely.”
One of the great joys of living with ME is that there isn’t a miracle cure that we haven’t heard about. In detail. You could confidently send us to any miracle cure convention, anywhere in the world and have us replace the lead speaker without fear of detection. I realise it is very niche, but Secret Service, if you’re listening, miracle cure delegate impersonator, is a skill that I can definitely offer, should you ever be in need.
The truth is, of course, that a lot of these things do help. Vitamin D does help, in the winter and better bedding or posture will relieve or at least transfer some of the pain. Reducing toxins and increasing vitamins in the diet helps ME sufferers, in exactly the same way it helps everybody. They help with some of the symptoms for a short period of time, but they don’t cure us. If that crank diet cured your Aunt, then your Aunt definitely didn’t have ME.
And I should know because I have tried them all. Well nearly all, I’ve slacked off a lot in recent years and have chosen a new far more effective remedy, I just don’t tell people.
I simply don’t tell new people that I have ME. It saves so much energy, energy that can be used for things other than being polite about turmeric and miracle blankets. What I’ve discovered is that there really is no need to tell people anything about my illness and that not telling them frees up a huge amount of conversation time for other, more interesting things.
I don’t want to spend my excruciatingly few social occasions talking about someone’s best friend’s cousin’s neighbour’s miracle magnet cure. I don’t want to know what they think I should be doing to cure myself. I don’t want to be irked that they’re lecturing me on an illness that I’ve had for over ten years, because they once met somebody who had it. Being irked makes me tired and I don’t have the energy for that. Instead I want to hear about their life. Live vicariously through whatever they’ve been up to. It doesn’t have to be what it was like to feel a cool breeze on their face as they cycled up a Greek mountain, or a fascinating trek through the jungles of Borneo. They can tell me it all. I’ll listen, I have no stories of my own, I’ll gladly listen to their everyday complaints, tales of traffic or supermarkets and the terrible bosses they’ve had to endure. Such tales are a tonic for me, a tonic that brings the real world back into my life, a tonic that will do me more good than that miracle cure made from the rinds of thirteen grapefruit that they might offer me, if they knew.
So, next time you have the opportunity, I urge you to give it a go. Next time you meet somebody who doesn’t already know you have ME, don’t tell them. Of course, it is entirely possible you may miss out on the first crank cure to actually work, but it’s much more likely that you’ll just have a very pleasant conversation without having to Google, “How eating a eat a baby octopus soaked in oat milk saved my life” on your phone and promising that, “Yes, no, thank you I will, definitely try that when I get home. Definitely.”