He was already half an hour late when he arrived at my doorstep. Within seconds he began writing copious quantities of notes. It felt strangely cathartic, listening and watching a doctor writing down the depths of one's suffering. The doctor in question was from ATOS and he’d come to ‘gather more information’ in respect to my application for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). (For future reference and for the uninitiated please read ‘gather more information’ as ‘ATOS doctor will do his best to end your claim’). What struck me throughout the interview was the fact that he had what appeared to be a singular inability to engage the whites of my eyes. It remained the case throughout my interview, but I was minded to believe that, having already being late, he was simply making up for lost time. I had never seen anybody write so fast; was this a gallant attempt to ascribe every last morsel, every detail effusing from the sick patient in front of him? Surely this was admirable! I can still hear his pen scrawling across his paper, alloyed with long pauses, though not uncomfortably so. Somewhere between rage and tears I pushed my suffering to the top of the hill before letting go. I began talking faster than his pen could write, not because I wanted to but because I needed to. Did he get that? Did he write down what I had just said? Please - that’s so very important to me. Like a lexicon whirlwind, the words thronged the air...but in hindsight, not his page. Despite years of neglect by the medical profession in the UK I allowed myself to believe that this time would be different. Why? Why would I think like that? Then he was gone, and in just a few weeks the verdict arrived. My application was refused. And all the things I had told them were dismissed. I felt rejected, disbelieved, and perhaps most of all there was a sense that I was being dishonest, even fraudulent. As I digested the ATOS report I was astonished to find that he had stated: ‘’he was able to sit comfortably on his bed for thirty minutes’’. Astonishing because by his own admission (he had put down his arrival and departure time and then signed it) he was in the house for just fifteen minutes. He stated that there were ‘’no signs of physical illness’’. I have M.E, what signs are you looking for exactly? You have listened to nothing I have said. He stated that ‘’he appears to be healthy’'. How does he know that? He barely looked at me throughout the interview. He stated that ‘’his major organs appear to be working normally’’. How does he know that? There was no examination of this nature, he never touched me once. The list goes on, and yes perhaps there was fraud in this case, but it is easy to surmise where the blame lies. If I put down on my application form the lies that this ATOS doctor put down on his I would be open to prosecution. Perhaps some of you are thinking that this thread is a consequence of the incoherent ramblings of an angry man who had lost his case for DLA. You’d only be half right, because I went on to win my case at a Tribunal (by unanimous verdict). Is this the right thinking society we really want to live in?