I feel dreadful this morning so this is just a short post to let off steam. I recently saw this post on the ME Association’s Facebook page. It’s research using hand grip strength as a diagnostic biomarker for M.E. Really? Like……..really?!! Can you imagine going in to the GP’s Surgery, shaking the Doctor’s hand and her saying “yes, you’ve definitely got cancer I can tell from how weak your hands are”. I have never heard such utter tosh in all my life and the fact that money has been spent on this bollocks makes me livid.
I was chatting about it with my bestie at lunch on Sunday and we both agree that we are quite strong for girls. In the years when I was doing up my little cottage I once bent a chisel. My cousin, a builder, said “Jak, it’s not possible to bend a chisel” until I showed him mine, to which he replied “are you a fucking super human or just a freak?!” The answer to which is probably just a freak, but a strong freak nevertheless.
My besite is also strong for a girl. We’re both quite masculine in our personalities, so maybe we have more testosterone than your average female, who knows? My grip has definitely weakened over the last decade but that’s much more to do with pain and ligament weakness from my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome than anything to do with my M.E.
My Dad has a weak grip, but then he has spinal issues – neurological diseases, of which M.E is one, tends to cause weakness. My Mum also has a very weak grip, but then she’s had two lots of hand surgery for Dupytrens Contracture, also has hEDS and has survived Guillain Barre Syndrome which has left her with permanent nerve damage. Anyone who is ill tends to be weaker than when they are well. If you’ve been up all night puking with a tummy bug you’re going to feel pretty floppy the next day. Since when is having a weak grip any indicator of a specific disease – it could be caused by sodding anything!
That a medical team would waste money, time and resources doing research like this drives me to despair when we are so much in need of an actual biomarker for this devastating disease.