Scottish Daily Mail
My life is now at risk because of funding cuts
I’m a normal-looking woman. I teach, earn my living, pay my bills, taxes and national Insurance contributions like the rest of us.
I am, however, suffering from myasthenia gravis which means if I don’t take 16 pills a day, my body can’t overcome the effects of a highly overactive immune system.
They stop the nerve receptors on my muscles from being bombarded by antibodies. If this happens, even lifting a fork becomes difficult, my speech slurs, my eyes shut, my breathing becomes laboured and I go into myasthenic crisis, which means I may choke to death or not be able to do anything but lie on the bed until I die, because I can’t swallow liquids or chew foods.
For the second time in two years, I’ve had to buy my medication from abroad. The last time I got my meds from Canada, costing the GP surgery where I’m a patient a lot of money. So why did this happen?
For ‘minority illnesses’, conditions with fewer than 10,000 sufferers, the EU gives special grants to the companies that manufacture the medicines. This funding was cut — and with it my life chances.
now I’ll have to scrabble around for the next few weeks praying for help from somewhere.
Why should I get expensive medication in these times of cuts and austerity?
Despite having this condition for 47 years, I’ve taken my degree, worked to buy my house and to be as independent as possible.
I volunteer for The First responders in my local community, I’ve been a volunteer in prisons. my attendance record in teaching has been excellent.
People like me fear discrimination and stay away from specialists so we can apply for jobs and work with others not blighted by conditions like mine.
But I’m now being kicked in the teeth again. If this is happening to me, it must be happening to thousands of others in our society.
CAROL HULSE, Madeley, Staffs.
Have children young
IT makES me sad to read about the huge number of women so stressed trying to juggle careers with raising children and caring for ageing parents (mail).
I’m now 75 and in my day most of us had our babies in our twenties when our parents were young and fit enough to offer help and support, if needed. By the time our parents needed care, the children were old enough to share this with us.
I feel sad, too, to see so many women now in their fifties and sixties who may have had wonderful careers but now face a lonely old age as they left it too late to have children and remain alone.
are things really better for women (and, indeed, men) now?
I would encourage young women, and men, to have their families when they’re young. There’s such a lot of ‘life’ to enjoy once your children become independent.
HELEN SLATER, Peel, Isle of Man.
Thank you, Penny
HEarInG Penny lancaster talk about being sexually assaulted when she was 12 really upset me but I’m glad she did. I had tears in my eyes and it was the first time I’d ever expressed any emotion about something that happened to me 60 years ago. I was walking home from school one night and a boy of around 15 from a nearby secondary school approached me. I tried to run away but he grabbed my arm.
He had his trousers undone and forced my hand between his legs. I was dumbstruck and terrified.
Then I heard my mum shouting my name. She had come looking for me and must have just caught sight of what had happened.
The boy ran off and that evening I overheard my dad saying: ‘Just leave it, she’ll forget about it in time.’ Sadly, this was a mistake.
I never told a soul but I never forgot the incident. I grew up in fear of any bodily contact with men. I married, but it ended in divorce because of my — in my ex-husband’s words — ‘lack of affection’.
my dear dad meant well but I wish I’d had counselling. I feel much better now I’ve finally told someone.
Name and address supplied.
IT is surprising and disappointing that the SnP, which is happy to allow shops and garden centres here in Scotland to open for a full day on a Sunday, announced a block on the Uk Government’s plans to give the powers to councils in England and Wales to enable the same opening hours there.
The claim that Scottish workers will have their pay cut as a result is without foundation. Premium wages for working on a Sunday is an exception and not the rule in Scotland, and Scottish workers will continue to receive the same pay regardless of any locally introduced changes to Sunday working patterns in England and Wales.
In fact the SnP position will deny economic growth opportunities for Scottish-based businesses with outlets in England and Wales.
For many families and hobby gardeners an outing to a garden centre to enjoy the plants, gardens and hospitality is a favourite way to spend time on a Sunday together. NEIL CUMMINgS, Regional Business Manager, Mains Farm Steading,
THE BBC acts like a secret society. If you phone they won’t allow you to speak to anyone.
I’ve visited the main building where they still won’t let you speak to anyone. all I wanted to know is why no traditional music is played on Strictly Come Dancing, only loud banging noises.
T. E. ADEY, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset.
Driven to take care
my heart goes out to the family who lost a wife and mother in an accident involving an older driver (mail).
I am an older driver and always remember I must pay full attention to the road. I can’t change a CD at the wheel and my mobile phone is always switched off.
I have had people sounding their horn at me as I drive, but I refuse to break the speed limit as I cannot get speeding tickets at my age.
I do not go out in the dark, at rush-hour or in bad road conditions. I avoid city driving – that is why we oldies are issued with bus passes.
There are a lot of old people with medical conditions on the road who are menaces as they drive. They give drivers who realise that a car is a lethal weapon a bad name.
MARY WHITEHILL, Dunfermline, Fife.
GOOD old Victoria Beckham – a cheesy smile at last! ok, it looked too well-rehearsed and not at all like the gummy grin she used to sport before she became cameraconscious but now ‘the smile’ is on record, the Beckham family watchers can relax!
A. ROBERTSON, Edinburgh.
Iran’s refugee scandal
THE International (formerly Iran) liberty association has made me aware of an injustice receiving little or no attention in the Uk.
Several hundred refugees escaped persecution by the vicious Iranian regime by fleeing to Camp ashraf in Iraq, where they suffered murderous attacks by the Iraqi authorities at the instigation of the Iran government. They are now in a piteous plight in the so-called Camp liberty.
These people, dissidents protesting against the evils of the ayatollahs and their henchmen, aren’t terrorists but intellectuals, professional people and families.
Will David Cameron raise with the Iranian authorities the question of human rights as he claims to have done in his dealings with China and Saudi arabia?
J. D. RILEY, Cobham, Surrey.