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ME IV: Hippocratic Oath

The darkness is my shelter,

It shields me from the harm of light,

The scorching, burning pain,

Is relieved only by the night.

My spine is like an iron rod, Full of spasms and pain, Muscles are like barbed wire, So weak and quick to fail.

My hypothalamic-pituitary axis Is utterly disrupted By Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Still a mystery to doctors.

ME is a neurological disease Affecting cellular mitochondria, Brainstem, spine and muscles, It is not feigned hypochondria.

It is also systemic, And occurs in pandemics, What we need is a polemic Shift, in the view of medics.

Yet worse than all this suffering Is the disbelief I must endure, The constant accusations, And the fact there is no cure.

I am told that I play dead, And that it’s all in my head, And I can if I try, And perhaps I am in denial.

I wish that they could see through the eyes of ME. They only wish they could lie in bed, Though my life is of the waking dead!

Miriam Hilmi (2018)



If you would like to read more of Miriam Hilmi’s work take a look at her first anthology of poetry: Sophistry


Image: Sadia Mazher, “The pain which stays”

Please do send a poem you’ve written or one you like and we’ll share it with other readers. to


#ME #CFSME #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #Hilmi #CFS

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