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Members of the ME Association receive a quarterly magazine – ME Essential – delivered straight to their door. It features exclusive interviews, keeps them up-to-date with medical and scientific developments and includes stories about how people cope with the disease.

“Welcome to another great issue of ME Essential. The summer is well and truly with us and I hope you are able to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather. As always, thank you for your incredible stories – please keep them coming in. You are all pretty extraordinary and I am forever amazed with what you can achieve in the face of adversity.”

Caroline Cavey, Editor, ME Essential.

ME Essential Summer 2019


Chairman’s message
“I have a car. It’s my pride and joy. It sits in the garage, clean, dry, cosy and unused… Selling my car would be ‘giving up’, acknowledging that I would never be well enough to use it again. I’m not prepared to do that. I’m sure I’m not alone. Many of you will be lying in bed or sitting in a chair and remembering what you could once do. Whatever you do, don’t dwell on those days but don’t give up on them either. We all need dreams, possibilities, our own special ‘bucket list’…”

Neil Riley, Chairman, ME Association.

News and research
News and updates about ME/CFS, including “Do you really believe in ME?” from Dr Nina Muirhead, along with our new Research Round-Up feature from Charlotte Stephens. Dr Shepherd also provides an update on his work with the NICE guideline committee as they continue to develop a new clinical guideline for ME/CFS. .

Blood tests explained
At present there is no diagnostic blood test for ME/CFS – but testing your blood is essential to rule out other illnesses that can cause similar symptoms. Dr Shepherd talks about what blood comprises, the kind of tests employed by researchers, the clinical tests that should be taken to rule out misdiagnosis and what those tests can reveal.

Ask the doctor
Dr Shepherd answers medical questions and in this issue, you asked; “Are some people with M.E. at risk of becoming malnourished?”, “What is the difference between idiopathic chronic fatigue and ME/CFS?”, “Pneumococcal vaccine – do I need this protection?”, “Is there anything you might suggest that could help with tinnitus?”, and “Where is the ME Biobank, how many blood samples does it now hold and how can I donate a blood sample?”

A former primary school teacher, runner and cocktail enthusiast tells her ME story.

Real lives
Sarah Pyatt talks about retirement, Clare Norton talks about life a year after losing her daughter Merryn, Jonathan Davis suggests that people with ill-informed views should keep their opinions to themselves, and Neil Riley talks about how he has coped after ‘a lifetime’ living with M.E. Lisa King explains the importance of testing for haemochromatosis before diagnosis, and Steve Jones discusses predisposition and perpetuation from his own perspective.

We look back on the most prominent period in the calendar with lots of wonderful photos from your events. Thank you to everyone who helped raise awareness of M.E. and raise funds for the ME Association. We are incredibly grateful.

“ME Awareness Week is such an important week in our calendar and always takes some catching up from. I hope that whatever you did – whether you put up our poster somewhere prominent or did rather more – that you derived much satisfaction for having done your bit for ME.” Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager.

A quirky outlook on life with Ev Francis, looking at The Discomfort Zone; The third of our four-part university series with Emily Bailey; Books, poetry, music and birthday celebrations!

Letters and new friends

Your health
A Silent Voices diary following one person’s experience of the Perrin Technique as an alternative health option, Dr Lily Chu talks about suicide and how to support those who are going through desperate times, and Melanie Bastin talks about counselling, “It isn’t a magic wand and can’t make everything better but it can help you understand what you are going through and give you tools to cope.”

ME Association information
Who’s who at the MEA, contact details and the editor’s note.

The last word
Hattie Hayfield talks about ‘laziness’.

“I am writing to say how much I enjoy ME Essential magazine. You have made such a change both in looks and content – So much content! You have also managed to make it feel more personal as well as amazingly informative.”

“M.E./CFS is such a lonely illness and the magazine helps us to feel we are not alone, that there are others going through the same journey as ourselves.”

Yvonne, Your Letters, Spring 2019.

How to receive your copy of ME Essential

To receive a regular copy of our magazine you will need to be a member of the ME Association. To read more about the benefits of membership and to make an application, please visit our membership page.

You can join or renew membership online, or complete a Membership Application Form (especially if you would like to pay by annual standing order and receive £10 worth of free leaflets), and return it to our head office in the post.

And Don’t Forget…

The 2019 edition of the ME Association Clinical and Research Guide is now available from Amazon in Kindle format!

The Kindle version (visit Amazon Smile or Amazon) comes with a fully interactive contents page, and embedded links to external information and to all our main leaflets.

This makes it much easier to locate the information you need and to download leaflets from our website shop.

Hard copies will still be made available for order via the website shop or direct from head office, and we will continue to send free copies to nominated health professionals.

ME Essential Frequently Asked Questions Index

In every issue of ME Essential magazine, Dr Shepherd answers questions from members on a whole variety of subjects relating to life with M.E. that together provide a useful source of reference.

You can view or download our latest index and then find answers from your own back-copies of our magazine, or contact head office who should be able to assist.

The ME Association

Please support our vital work

We are a national charity working hard to make the UK a better place for people whose lives have been devastated by an often-misunderstood neurological disease.

If you would like to support our efforts and ensure we are able to inform, support, advocate and invest in biomedical research, then please donate today.

Just click the image opposite to visit our JustGiving page for one-off donations or to establish a regular payment.

Or why not join the ME Association as a member and be part of our growing community? For a monthly (or annual) subscription you will also receive our exclusive ME Essential magazine.

ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279

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