Since I have been diagnosed with M.E (and subsequently spent a shit load of time unable to walk and in bed) many people have said to me, “Do you not just think, why? Why out of every one has the big man upstairs chosen you to have this?” To this, I always reply with the same thing – “No.” And here is why:
At the end of November, my two oldest friends – Hilary Duff and Faith Evans – joined me on a trip to Scotland’s 2nd largest and 2nd best city (no offense to any Edinburghers out there, but to me Glasgow will always be the greatest city in our small country) to soak up some of the Christmas atmosphere that Edinburgh sweats out at that time of year. After waiting for what seemed like a decade in the snow, we finally managed to get on a train packed out like pre-pubescent teenagers at a Justin Bieber concert and eventually, we got to the ‘Inspiring Capital’. Now, as we had a bit of a journey to get there, we quickly decided that the first stop of the day would be to refill our energy stores and have some lunch.
This lunch was no different to any other lunch the three of us usually have. It started off with Miss Duff asking a rather exasperated waitress twenty different questions about what she would recommend and eventually deciding that she wanted the chicken, but with the side from the lamb, the dressing from the beef, the salad not the fries and, if it was possible, could the waitress serve it while she did the Macarena? No matter how many times Faith and I have sat through this pre-lunch ritual of Hilary Duff’s, every time is even more amusing than the last. After finally choosing what we were going to eat, we then moved on to our usual topics of conversation: work, when Adam Levine was going to ask Faith Evans to marry him (it happened in April 2011), contraceptives and jobbies. Now for those of you who aren’t Scottish and don’t know what a jobbie is, a jobbie is another word for a shit. Don’t ask me why, as I have no idea, but ever since we were about fifteen every time the three of us are in a room together the topic of conversation always some how gets on to our bowel movements. Many people may find this a rather strange topic of conversation for three 23 year old females to talk about, but for me it would be stranger to have lunch and for this topic not to come up. For the record Faith’s and mine were normal. Hillary however was having a bit of trouble with hers.
After the usual topics of conversation were over, we moved on to my health – or to be more precise – the lack of it. We talked about how M.E had changed the way I lived my life now, how hard it had become for me to do simple everyday things and about how this was impacting on my dwindling social life. Then Hilary Duff said something that made me think. She said, “…but do you know what Samantha?” (Hilary and Faith are my only two friends who refuse to call me Sam. They both state that as they have known me practically from birth they have to right to call me by my full Christian name) “…I was thinking the other night, out of the three of us you’re really the only one who can handle and deal with something like this. If this happened to me or Faith we wouldn’t be able to cope.”
So ever since then I have known why I am fighting this illness. I am fighting it not only for me, but for Hillary and Faith, for my family and friends. But most of all I am fighting this because God, Allah, the superior aliens in the sky or whatever greater power you want to believe controls things, decided that out of all the people I know, I was the one strong enough handle this, and that one day I would be able to conquer it.