Category Archives: Article

Reflection on a Life taken by CFS

Inquest implicates CFS in death

A couple of weeks ago I was upset to read of the death of Lois Owen at the age of 34 from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), but I was able to take something away something that possibly could be seen as a slight ray of sunshine.

A report of the inquest into her death published in the Derby Telegraph illustrates that CFS far from being an excuse for lazy people to drop out. Here was a young woman who while she had CFS went to University and graduated with a first class degree (Do you have any idea how hard that is). She wrote a book and also set up her own business. Does this sound like a lazy person. I don’t think so.

Her family and  health care team took her illness seriously. Rather that CBT and GET which a great number of people with CFS have found to be ineffective, they recommended rest. While recent (poor) research doesn’t agree with rest  or pacing a lot of people in my experience find this to be the best way of managing their illness. The benefit of pacing is seen in a survey carried out by the ME association. (pages 8,9,10 make interesting reading)

The Ray of sunshine I was speaking about. Well that is bitter-sweet, but one of the causes of her death was listed as CFS. I hope that now it is further acknowledged that CFS has the potential to kill, or at least is seen as something that can contribute towards someones death.

I also hope that politicians, heath boards and health policy makers will start to take greater notice of the people with CFS and start lobbying for and finding money for research into a diagnosis and treatment for this debilitating disease.

Through twitter I’m going to pass this post  along with the inquest report to Scottish government ministers with a heath remit. Their details are below.

I’m going to start with

  • Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary of Health and Wellbeing.
  • Michael Matheson (@MathesonMichael),MSP, Public Health Minister in the Scottish Government
  • Shona Robison (@ShonaRobison), MSP, Minister for Public Health

Why don’t you join me?


Please note

  1. I had reservations about publishing this, but after talking to more people with ME/CFS and hearing some of their stories I decided to.
  2. I have only referred to CFS (not ME or CFS/ME) as this is what’s in the inquest report.



GlasgowOsteo Lindt Easter Bunny Competition

Osteopaths Chocolate Easter Bunny Competition



The competition

Here at Osteopath Glasgow we’re having a little Foursquare competition in time for Easter. The thing is I don’t want you to do it from Glasgow osteopath clinic which is located next to Queen Street Station in Glasgow. I want you to do it from as far away as possible!


The Prize

For first prize there’s a large Lindt chocolate bunny. It stands over 30cm tall and weighs over 2lbs (1k). There’s also a second prize of a smaller chocolate bunny.

What you have to do

  • Check in on Foursquare to Osteopath Glasgow from as far away as you can.  If you don’t have foursquare on your phone you can download it here.
  • Take a photo of where you are and also add a short description (Street name and shop/street number)
  • You will also need to “share with friends” and
  • If  on twitter use the #glasgowosteo.

There are no limits to the number of times you can enter. We do have a second prize for the person that checks in the most!

So happy check-ins.


Competition closes on the April 3 2012. prize can be collected from April 5th Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding this.

The photo is needed so I can check on Google street view to verify furthest person away and the twitter #glasgowosteo will allow me notify you easily when you win.

The Longest Journey part 2

In “The Longest Journey” I said the quote was the longest journey starts with the smallest step. Another variation of the Mao quote is “the longest journey starts with the first step”.

I often have patients who come in who say “Well, it’s fine now.  It got better when I made the appointment.”

That was their one step to being pain free. When you are in pain, the pain is controlling you, and fear was stopping you doing what you want to do.

Your first step is deciding you want to be pain free. You then start to control your pain.

When you make the appointment you make a commitment to yourself to take the pain away. This starts to deminish the fear, putting you further in control.

The first step to health could be as simple as a phone call.

If you’ve read any of my previous blog entries, you might be asking why my style has changed. Well, I was looking at a blog the other day about some one who had taken his first step to “wellness” again.  Instead of saying “I’m going to get fit” (the big picture or end product) he’s made it smaller – “I’m starting yoga” do a bit of yoga here a bit there, and suddenly you have strength and flexibility (the big picture has taken care of itself).  Well, he’s made his first step and he’s taking lots of small steps to get to the end of his journey.

So we have the strange position where Chairman Mao, a ruthless murdering dictator, has given us a way to a heathier, happier life.  Just by considering life’s journey as series of small steps, started of course by a first step. This is quite appropriate when you consider that an anagram of Chairman Mao is I AM ON A MARCH.

So if you fancy being better, call me, call someone, because we should all be on that march to better health.

Photo credit: kesh from

Supermarket babies

After hearing about supermarkets selling fertility drugs last week  I have been thinking quite how it would work.

My first thought was “Where would the supermarket find their supply?” They could buy their supplies from the manufactures, but supermarkets are really keen to cut the price that they buy at.  They’re also in to maximizing profits.  So maybe they could try the grey market (google grey market if you want to know more). This was popular a few years back when supermarkets tried to find sources of cheap jeans and perfume amongst other things.

Another source they could use would be the prescription meds people that I keep getting spammed by. Their prices seem to be cheap, but the trouble with this method is the supermarkets don’t know exactly what they’re getting, but I’m sure that some merchants wouldn’t let that get in the way of increased profits.

I’ve also noticed that some of the meds people have “special” offers. You know the thing, buy this, get some of that to try.  If the supermarkets waited until they were being offered “FREE VIAGRA” this would make a fantastic multibuy offer. The other thing they could do is the cross marketing thing, displaying the Viagra next to the fertility drugs. This way they could link sales and increase profits as you pick up some blue pills just so you don’t waste the effect of the fertility drugs and have to wait another month.

There are some issues that would need to be addressed before they could go on sale.  One of the main ones is how would you check on who was buying them especially if it was ordered online. There would have to be some ID thing.

There could still possibly be problems if you bought it in store.  We read in some papers recently how middle-aged people were refused alcohol because they were with their teenagers.  Would they refuse service if middle-aged people were out with their mums?

Taking things slightly further. Who would provide the screening and any counselling service required? Surely this is more important than cheap drugs and increased profits. Maybe this is the next sly step in the supermarkets take over of Britain? Have they got their eye on the NHS, wanting to take it over bite by bite? Or is it the way the supermarkets plan to take care of us from cradle to grave, because pretty soon they might be offering funerals (they already sell the flowers), if they don’t already.

One last thing is, what would the shopping list look like. Would it be something like this?

shopping list

  • cucumber
  • joy jelly
  • viagra
  • fertility drugs

The Longest Journey

This is a hard post to write as I don’t want to trivialize anyones death, well at least not publically.

I read the story today about the two teenagers who sadly died after taking mephedrone.  The headline I read said something along the lines of “Action pledged on ‘Meow, Meow’ after two teen friends die.”

This confused me for a few seconds as last night I had been watching multiple episodes of QI recorded on the digi box and had learnt that chairman Mao’s name meant cat or meow in chinese.  This lead to my first thought of “What did some dead murdering chinese dictator have to do with the death of 2 teenager especially since he was dead? Was this some beyond the grave thing” (cue the twilight zone music). Then I read the rest of the article and my first thought went away, but didn’t leave me entirely.

Later I started thinking about Mao. One of his quotes came to mind. The one “the longest journey starts with the smallest step.”

This struck me as a really important concept and one we should all use in our life.

So many people feel stressed. How many of us have thoughts like. I have too much to do and too little time. This has to be done, that has to be done. I have do this for him and that for her. I have to be there at that time and I can’t fit it all in.

Maybe we should start by looking at everything in terms of the smallest steps, as a series of small bite sized pieces each one building on the next. Don’t think of the big picture imagine it more like painting by numbers. You get the big picture finished in the end and you keep your sanity. Unless you’ve been sniffing the thinners you clean your brushes in.


Ugg Boots and Your Ankles


I’ve been watching the growth in popularity of Ugg boots and their cheaper copies and noticing how they bunch up around the ankle. While walking behind people wearing this style of boots I can’t help noticing how the foot drops in (collapsing the medial arch) and how the wearers become more knock-kneed (genu Valgus). I tend not to concentrate on what’s happening on the hips as this may be mistaken for looking at something else.

So today I was happy to see  a short video of two different views on UGG style boots on the BBC homepage (video doesn’t appear to be working at present)

After watching it a few times I find I’m mostly in agreement with Ian Drysdale.  The bit I’m really unhappy with is the idea of insoles.  I hate them.  The idea SHOULD be to get the muscles, bones and ligaments to do the work themselves.  The insoles take the strain off the muscles, making them weaker, leading to potential future problems.

Wearing insoles is a bit like going to the gym to make you fitter and stronger, but then paying someone to exercise for you.  I’m sure you can see that while that may be easier,  it’s ultimately self-defeating and complete waste of time as you’re not going to benefit from going there.  Well, your foot, ankle and lower leg muscles will be worked if you use them rather than allowing the insoles to do the work.

The other point I don’t like is the idea of is wearing them in the house. I think the boots are damn ugly. They make wearers ankles look big, and I can’t see the point of wanting to make your legs look like carthorses legs. That’s not appealing even if it is just within your house.  It’s lucky the question women ask men is “Does my bum look big in this?” because if it were “Do my ankles look fat in these?” I’d have to answer yes every time.

Acupuncture and Migraines

I’ve just read the Daily Mail feature ( ) on acupuncture and Chinese medicine and there are a few things troubling me about it. The part that troubles me the most is the mystery shopper going round with migraines.

If you have a history of migraines, and you’d already been diagnosed with migraines why would you want to go to someone else to be diagnosed with what you know you already had. Sounds like a bit of a waste of time to me.

Surely the point of going to see someone “different” is to get a differing view of its actual treatment. This might mean a different form of diagnosis, which then leads to a different form of treatment.

The conventional western medical way for a whole host of conditions is “Here take these pills when you feel the start of one.”  This isn’t treatment it’s management of symptoms. Trying acupuncture or Chinese medicine maybe a way of actually treating the condition i.e. not having any more migraines.  To me, that doesn’t sound like a bad thing to try for.

So if you have something wrong with you and your happy to take the pills carry on with them and continue laughing at other forms of medicine. If you’re not happy try acupuncture, try osteopathy, try something else and if and when your condition improves tell the others.  If they still say no, well, we can start laughing at them.