Scottish Daily Mail

My life is now at risk be­cause of fund­ing cuts

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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.

Shop­ping op­por­tu­nity

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,

Cardrona, Pee­b­lesshire.

Strictly se­cre­tive

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.

Rare sight­ing

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.

 ??  ?? Fears for the fu­ture: Carol Hulse has to take 16 pills a day
Fears for the fu­ture: Carol Hulse has to take 16 pills a day
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