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    encephalomyelitis

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M.E.   (Link to M.E.)

The acronym "M.E. " abbreviates "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis" which is a disease that is marked by its chronic nature and is manifested by lack of energy and muscle aches. The cause is not known, and there are no widely accepted succesful treatments.

Also, the name "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis" when the medicalese is translated into English is fairly nonsensical (like many medicalese terms) but I prefer it over "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". This sounds far too much like a politically correct euphemism. (After all, you would also dislike it if your doctor explains his diagnosis "you have cancer" to you as "You have the Chronic Problems Syndrome. Don't we all have problems most of the time? So buck up and act normal! C'mon - it's all in the mind anyway!")

I have this physically crippling disease now for 25 years, and since I hold - brilliant - academic degrees in psychology and philosophy and am in the Dutch dole anyway I suppose I have sunk so low on the scale of decent Dutch values (income! money! stardom in a soapseries!) that it is allowed that I may be "officially ill".

In any case, apart from the dole I am also now in the 25th year of getting no help whatsoever while I really am ill, usually feel very tired and often have muscular pain (of the "lactic acid" variety: unpleasant but not lethal).

Part of the just mentioned facts have to do with Dutch morals and the Dutch health system, which need a brief explanation for non-Dutchmen.

One paradoxical problem of Dutchmen who really have M.E. - or indeed any other real disease - is that in Holland 10 percent of the working population the last 20 years or so was "officially ill" from their jobs while receiving 70% or 80% of the incomes they have when working.

Hence: Either Holland is a country in which it is very dangerous to live, since one has a 10% chance of being ill (while outside Holland this is less than 0.01%) or else there are many Dutch malingerers who abuse the excellent Dutch public health insurance. (Dutch politicians lack the guts - if female - or balls - if male - to speak the truth about this issue, like about so many other issues. And indeed they want to get votes far more than they want to speak the truth.)

Consequently, since M.E. is a disease which has no biological marker, there are many Dutchmen who have tried to get long and paid holidays by pretending to have M.E. or another disease that has no biological marker and allows one to look fairly healthy.

Since the Dutch health-system has been so massively abused for the last 25 years - in which I could get no help -  it is being revised and broken down at present: It was too good for average Dutch morals, which are none too good. Therefore, at the speed with which things tend to go in Dutch bureaucracy I may get some form of official help when I have been ill for 50 years or so, and survived it without any help - if I live that long, for by then I will be 78. Yes, indeed: there is some hope for me, dear reader!

Outside Holland the situation is different and far less pleasant for medical malingerers, for which reason non-Dutchmen who claim to have M.E. are considerably more likely to have M.E. than Dutchmen who receive 80% of their normal income when they claim to be ill.

P.S. for angry Dutchmen:

I am ill since many years. I have pain since many years. My income is the lowest in Holland since many years. And I get no help since many years because by common consent most Dutchmen who claim to have M.E. are malingerers who abuse the excellent Dutch health insurance system - which has to be broken down precisely because it has been so extensively abused (and not just or predominantly by people claiming M.E.).

And for those who do have M.E. and are Dutch: Yes, there are such people - I am one of them. As tor you, if you are: You will end up in the dole, poorer than any other Dutchman and without any bureaucratic or official help. You will find yourself in the situation I have been in since 25 years, all thanks to the average Dutch morality. I am really sorry for you, since in the dole you will have an even more difficult life than you have now, but that is not my fault or doing. I am merely honest and without illusions.

To show you how few illusions I have here are some facts:

I live in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam municipal medical authorities are called GG&GD. They are supposed to help the inhabitants of Amsterdam and are paid - very well indeed - from the taxes. I have been refused help for 25 years now - and I am at present 53 and equipped with the best possible academic degrees in psychology one may have, and the GG&GD agree I really am ill and have been ill since 25 years.

Therefore:

If you really have M.E., live in Amsterdam and want the help you should be able to get under written Dutch law - very beautiful, on paper -  here is the personal advice I received from prof.dr. Rene Coutinho, the head of the Amsterdam GG&GD; from mayor mr. Job Cohen of Amsterdam, and from alderman drs. Rob Oudkerk (*) of Amsterdam, the man responsible for the Amsterdam GG&GD, the dole and the well-being and happiness of Amsterdams junks and alcoholics:

If you really have M.E., live in Amsterdam, and want help ..... start shooting heroine and become an alcoholic: Then there will be help soon from the GG&GD for you - you wll receive free heroine, you will get free programs to "integrate you into Dutch society", and there will be all manner of free help, assistance and money - and this may also help you to survive M.E. (Alternatively - so messrs. Coutinho, Cohen and Oudkerk have advised me personally - there are high flats in the Bijlmermeer and elsewhere in Amsterdam, from which you can jump conveniently to solid stone pavement, praising the Lord as you are falling that Amsterdam's mayor and alderman are such great humanists, according to themselves.)

Otherwise, messrs. Coutinho, Cohen and Oudkerk will do their very best to make sure there will be no help for you from Amsterdam's municipal bureaucracy: If you merely have M.E. and try to cope with that, you are - in Amsterdam - very much the inferior of a junk or alcoholic, and far too inferior a human being to be helped by the noble and humanistic persons that form the heart of Amsterdam's bureaucracy, mayor & aldermen, and city-council.

Personally, I don't use drugs and I don't drink, so I cannot, have not and will not receive any help whatsoever from the Amsterdam municipal authorities - it seems safe to say after 25 years of asking in vain. Let's praise the Lord that messrs. Coutinho, Cohen and Oudkerk and their ilk take care that in Amsterdam the sub-human likes of me cannot abuse Amsterdam's tax money, so that it can be spend profitably on Amsterdam's junks and alcoholics and on salaries, subsidies, perks and help for Amsterdam's mayors and aldermen!

drs. Maarten Maartensz       
last update: Jun 20 2003
A few small corrections Jul 7 2004
last formatted: Dec 12, 2012
      

(*) Meanwhile alderman drs. Rob Oudkerk resigned from his alderman-post because it became public knowledge that he loves being sexually satisfied by Amsterdam heroine-whores, whom he pays from his alderman-income that comes from the Amsterdam taxes, and also that he probably snorted a lot of cocaine. He is wholly typical for the current aldermen of Amsterdam, except that he has no conscience whatsoever, and very probably understands the whole concept of a conscience only by hear-say, rather like a colorblind person learns about colors.

He now prepares to become mayor of Amsterdam in 2006. In my estimate he is a dangerous criminal, the more dangerous since he clearly satisfies all psychiatric criterions for the diagnosis of 'psychopath'. (The present writer has an M.A. in psychology, and is willing to explain his opinions in court. He has asked to speak with Oudkerk for two years, but he was to busy with whores and cocaine and posing in front of media-cameras with young Maroccan women whom he promised to help.)