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All about M.E.! Samantha McInnes launches her new educational blog

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:00 GMT on Thursday 28th April, 2011.
Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.

FORMER Saint Maurice's pupil, Samantha "Sam" McInnes, has launched a blog to educate the world about M.E. and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, by allowing people an inside look at her life.
This time, last year, Samantha McInnes was officially diagnosed with M.E an illness that causes sufferers to experience fatigue, malaise, headaches, muscle aches and cognitive dysfunction.
Despite having M.E. Sam is not one for being sad. Sam has an optimistic outlook and is always positive, something she puts down to "Having great family and friends. They are all very supportive and help me to remain bubbly."
Despite what most people would think, when Sam was diagnosed, she wasn't sad or surprised, but relieved.
"My mum is a nurse so I already knew that I had M.E, even before the doctor told me. When I was first diagnosed I felt relieved. As my mum had already previously suspected that I had the condition it came as surprise,” she said.
"To some degree I was happy about being officially diagnosed, it meant that this illness wasn’t in my head, I was given clarification."
Sam continued: "Over the Christmas period I was really ill and ended up in bed, for weeks on end. I loved communicating with the outside world but every time I went on the internet all I read were sad stories and people having to stay in their beds for years; I wanted to change this attitude and educate people without being so negative."

Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.
Sam's blog has already seen over 2'000 views and people are starting to remember the Sam and M.E. name. Sam's personality is certainly reflected in the blog, with its happy, energetic colours and laid back tone Sam is reflected throughout the blog.
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Sam left Saint Maurice's High School six years ago and went on to do a Politics degree at Glasgow University, once she had left university she found it difficult to get a job, with her qualifications.
"I had some great opportunities at high school. I grabbed all opportunities with both hands; I even went off to Africa, with my school, on an expedition.
"When I left university the only job that my politics degree could get me would be a Politician, a job I wasn’t interested in. So, after some thought I decided to get a job, save up money and travel the world; only the job part happened.
"I've worked for years, I'm a hard worker, I enjoy working, and it gives me stimulation."

Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.
Support services.
"There aren't many support services for people with M.E.
"There is a stigma attached to the illness that just won't go away. The Government aren't helping much either. I know someone who has had M.E. since she was twelve, there are loads of young kids with the illness, and more needs to be done.

"The main problem, I suppose is that because of the ambiguity of the illness, many people don't know what to do or how to deal with it; what works for one person won't work for another, its trial and error. 
"I'm lucky; I have a great doctor that helps me and refers me off for help, when I need it, other people might not have this."
Sam describes her blog as "An honest and light-hearted insight into the life of an M.E. sufferer."
Sam then went on to talk about the day she knew she had M.E.
"I was out the night before, with my friends and when I woke up the next day I was tired, sore and I had pins and needles. Eventually I thought to myself 'Sam, your twenty- three, you shouldn’t be getting tired going up and down the stairs,' so the next day I got an appointment with my Doctor and I was officially diagnosed."
Sam's life isn't swallowed up by her illness though. Sam loves to watch fantasy television programmes and comedy movies, as well as collecting comic books.
"My favourite comic book, that I own, is a 1973 Superman called 'Behind the Glass,' I love it."
Finishing the interview, Sam went on to say: "I don't like people saying 'I'm so sorry,' I could have a worse illness, but I don't. Fair enough, I have my black moments where I don't feel so good, but mostly I am happy and positive. I've seen Africa and compared to the situation over there this illness is nothing. I'm lucky I have a great house, great friends and family."

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