Category Archives: Random Rants

ME Sufferers are Judged Unfairly

ME Sufferers are Judged UnfairlyYou may have noticed that I have been in the slow lane the last couple of months. OK, so to be more accurate, I’ve been on the hard shoulder. When I get like that, ideas can be hard to come by, and that is a serious problem when you making a living writing, as I do. At times like this I rely on the wise words of others to help me. There are so many websites online dedicated to quotes and I love to trawl these and look for some inspiring ones.

When I’m not in the mood to write or just not able to, I’ll take a quote like this and jazz it up using Photoshop. I then share it on one of my website or social media accounts. So the quote that got me thinking today is one of my favourites and I do tend to come back to it time and time again.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

I love this, because I think it is so true; as a society we have such a narrow way of judging what is skill or talent or success, and they don’t apply to everyone. This quote often makes me think of different things, but today it made me think of my grandmother who passed in 1995. My grandmother never had a job, couldn’t speak English and never went to school. But she could run a home on the tightest budget and managed to look after a dozen children, all under the age of twelve, without a single tantrum. She raised a family on next to nothing and then helped her children raise their own children.

I also feel it relates so much to ME sufferers in so many ways. ME sufferers are judged unfairly by people, be it those gatekeepers of state benefits, our friends and family or people in the street (if we make it as far as the street). It is our job as sufferers not to let these judgements have us believing that we are stupid or inadequate. There were days when just managing to wash my hair was as worthy of applause as winning a new contract at work. Or like today, just getting this written makes me feel a real sense of accomplishment, even though I have had little sleep, I’m recovering from an infection and am not even sure I am making any sense (sorry!).

So I’ll leave you to ponder: in which ways are you a genius even though you have ME?

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What I Found Out in a Day on Twitter

I have had a Twitter account for a while, but have not seriously used it. However, yesterday I spent my first full day checking my account and monitoring tweets and this is what I discovered:

Platitudes Really Annoy Me.

One of the accounts I follow posts platitudes about how great things are, positive quotes and is all about the silver lining. I’d seen them before, but to see her send a new one every few minutes, I was impressed. Well, by the end of the day I was impressed. I started off the morning thinking “Awww, that’s nice”. By lunchtime I was a bit fed up of having my feed jammed with so many uninteresting tweets. By late afternoon I was sick of the fluffy, well-intentioned nonsense and even went to the person’s profile with every intention of unfollowing them. But then I remembered why I had started to follow her in the first place and so I didn’t hit the button. Now, it is evening and all cynicism aside, I am seriously impressed. That account tweets every few minutes all day, every day; impressive. Even more impressive? Who knew there were that many platitudes in the world and so far I haven’t seen a single one repeated. Also, every now and then they’re broken up by a beautiful calming image of a waterfall or some other peaceful landscape or a message of gratitude and thankfulness. This really isn’t my kind of thing, but as there are 55,000 people following that account, there sure are a lot of people who enjoy it, so more power to them.

How Quickly You Learn Breaking News.

I found out Bob Hoskins had died even before any of the news sites, like the BBC had a chance to tweet about it or before any one of my Facebook friends had time to post one of those typical ‘Bob Hoskins Dead. So sad. RIP’ messages. This is truly astonishing for someone like me (the finding out so soon part…although Hoskins’ death was very sad news). When Nelson Mandela died I found out when I visited my sister and found a newspaper with a front page article about his funeral. The newspaper was four days old. If my sister had had her recycling pick up before that visit, I may be oblivious to that news even now.

How Amusing and Bewildering the Topics which Trend Can Be

As the news about Bob Hoskins broke, of course his name shot to the top of the ‘Trends’ list, but it was closely followed by ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’. Seriously? It was a good hour before ‘The Long Good Friday’ showed up and I’m still waiting for ‘Mona Lisa’. I love Bob Hoskins but can’t say I ever thought much of that bloody Roger Rabbit movie! Anyway, I always preferred his normal accent than to a put on American one.

People Will Keep Tweeting About Nigel Farage and UKIP…

…even when they’re complaining about how much attention and coverage these two topics are garnering. I believe that is a little thing we call irony out these ways.

It Can Be Quite Fun and Easy To Do!

I don’t know if I have it in me to be on Twitter all the time, not even just observing others, but I did enjoy it and found it is much easier to do than I had ever anticipated. But I also realised that I am not ready to use Twitter via my phone. I used the app for a few seconds before I had a full on panic attack because I was getting notifications and couldn’t figure out how to sign out of it. I calmed down and did manage to do just that and I think it may be a while before I venture back to Twitter via my phone.

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That Awful Sunday Feeling

Awful Sunday FeelingEver since I was old enough to know the days of the week I’ve hated Sundays. I guess that is normal when Sundays signify the end of the weekend and the start of the school/work week the next day, but not so normal when you don’t work and everyday involves the same routine. What are even worse are bank holiday weekends – as I get that awful Sunday feeling twice.

Right up until I became ill with ME I think I just had that normal sense of “Oh, the weekend’s over – bloody school/work again tomorrow.” Now, there is nothing normal about the depth of sadness I feel every Sunday. It was less so during the autumn and winter months but as we creep towards longer days, it is definitely getting worse.

Today is Monday and the week has started. Even though I do not have a job I need to go to, I do have my work to do and my routine to keep to. I woke up feeling fine and have been getting on with what needs to be done and as the week progresses towards the weekend, I’ll feel more and more hopeful and happy, until I crash again on Sunday. I never get the Monday blues, but Sunday, that is a different story.

Why are Sundays so awful? What is it that makes them so devastating? I’m not just talking about feeling glum or sad, but I feel such devastating disappointment and misery; the week before seems like a waste of time and energy and I wonder why I even bothered, and the week ahead seems devoid of any hope or promise. Is it normal to have a depression that lasts just one day a week? The worst part is that I didn’t even see the pattern until my partner commented on it. Poor guy, he must dread Sundays too now all because of me. Since he mentioned it to me a few weeks ago I have been trying to understand what happens with me on Sundays.

I think that for most of the time I can just keep trying and pushing forward with this illness, but for whatever reason, on Sundays I let all the misery in before starting up the fight again on Monday. I can’t decide if I am insane or a genius. Anyway, what I’m going to plan to do every Sunday from now on is something to distract myself; plan something pleasant for each Sunday to try and make myself like Sundays. I don’t know if it will work, but I sure as heck am going to try!

I’m almost scared to ask, but does anyone have any ideas about this awful Sunday feeling or by any chance, does anyone else feel the same?

Image Credit and Terms of Use

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NHS Choices Rejects Honest Patient Review of GPs

NHS Choices Rejects Honest Patient Review of GPs

NHS Choices claims to be the “online ‘front door’ to the NHS” and to give you “information you need to make choices about your health” but nothing could be further from the truth especially in the case of apparent patient reviews of GPs.

The NHS website allows you to find a GP in your area and has information about what services the surgery offers and you can read reviews left by patients.

You are asked to rate the GP practice in the following different areas with 1-5 stars:

  • How likely are you to recommend this GP surgery to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?
  • Are you able to get an appointment when you want one?
  • Do the staff treat you with dignity and respect?
  • Does the surgery involve you in decisions about your care and treatment?
  • This GP practice provides accurate and up to date information on services and opening hours

In addition to this you have the option of writing a review. Sounds good, right? Well, not when the reviews submitted are rejected if they are too negative or contain specific information. A good review gives details of why a service or product is good or bad and yet this seems to be the exact thing that will ensure a review is not submitted on the NHS site.

I know this because I recently tried to leave a review for my old surgery and this is what I was sent back:

Thank you for contributing to the NHS Choices website. We have rejected your contribution because we consider it to be offensive to other site users, NHS staff or patients. Please see the site Terms and Conditions or refer to the Moderation Rules policy and consider reposting your comment. http://www.nhs.uk/Commentspolicy/Pages/Moderationrules.aspx

I wish I had kept a copy of exactly what I had submitted so I could repost it here, but it was so tame I did not think for one second that there would be an issue with it being rejected. The review I left stated how long I had been with the surgery, and my experiences with the three doctors and the reception staff. I did not use any rude or inflammatory language, and I gave examples in accordance with the areas I had been asked to rate.

If all I wrote was my experience at the surgery and if that factual, unembellished account was found to be offensive, then how do they think I feel as the patient who had to endure it?

How can a review just be rejected as offensive when it has not even had the chance to offend anyone? Especially as the surgery has the opportunity to publically respond to any reviews left on the site, so why not just publish the review and then allow the medical centre or GP in question to petition to have it removed if they really feel it is too offensive along with their reasons for this, as is done on other review sites?

I’m guessing the whole point of the review/rating system is to give future patients a good idea of what they can expect if they join that surgery. But how can it do that when honest reviews are being rejected as offensive? It makes the whole thing an exercise in futility and makes me wonder what is really being said about practices by patients that is just not being published.

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