Preview of BBC Alba documentary from the Stornoway Gazette. I'm told I am mainly in Part One, but make a brief appearance in Part Two (to comment on the need for biomedical research). I was filmed for probably two hours, so am curious what will end up being used. Professor Behan, the consultant neurologist who diagnosed me in 1983/4 appears in the second part. Coincidentally, BBC Alba filmed him in Glasgow in the morning before then coming to film me in Edinburgh in the afternoon (I had said mornings are out for me!). I remember thinking how bizarre that all these years after he treated me, we end up being filmed on the same day for a documentary. I have taken this description of his work from MEA:
Professor Behan has now retired from his consultant and research post at the Institute of Neurological Sciences (Southern General Hospital) University of Glasgow but is still involved in ME/CFS research. Along with colleagues, including John Gow and Abhijit Chaudhuri, he was responsible for much of the early research that helped to establish a biomedical/neurological model of causation. He also worked very closely with Dr Melvin Ramsay. His wife, Professor Mina Behan, who sadly died a few years ago, was also heavily involved in ME research - muscle and mitochondrial abnormalities in particular.
I still remember being horrifed when he told me my illness could last for five years. How can I bear this, I thought, how can I bear it? It was inconceivable to me - unfathomable - that I could be so ill and no one could to anything to help me. But Professor Behan was my absolute saviour, to this day I can't thank him enough for telling me what was actually wrong, 1 had been ill for over a year by the time I got my diagnosis.
And that is why The State of Me is in three parts, each of which spans five years. And that is why I still can't listen to 'Five Years' (David Bowie) - one of my favourite songs - without a pang.