Hannah is a former London solicitor. She became ill following a trip to the Far East. She was given a vague diagnosis of ‘probable ME’ by her doctor who also advised her not to tell anyone the diagnosis ‘because there is a stigma attached to it and people will think you have something psychologically wrong with you’. That was the only advice he gave her. The second doctor said, ‘Well, you probably know more about this than I do. What would you like me to do?’ By the third doctor, she was bedbound.
Hannah was ill for over 12 years, spending many of those years bedbound and in great pain. Throughout that time her G.P’s advised her that no hospital bed was available on the NHS. She was provided with just 13 weeks of social services care. Her private health insurance did not cover ME. The initial ‘probable diagnosis’ was eventually confirmed many years later. Her GP at that time had feared she may have an undiagnosed brain tumour or MS.
In May 2008 Hannah was told by her GP that she ‘probably’ would not recover. That month she travelled to a private hospital where Dr Paul Worthley had pioneered a service for people with ME/CFS. Within a month of being admitted she was well enough to begin walking along the hospital corridor.