By Erica Verillo
I look upon the IOM contract, and indeed upon most of what the federal government has said and done to us over the last 30 years, as a battle. Some of us believe that by cooperating, by playing by the rules they have set down for us, by showing them that we can go limp, they will give us what we want.
This will never happen, simply because people without power never get what they want by going limp. Especially not during a battle. The way people with no power, no money, and no authority get what they want is by refusing to negotiate, by refusing to shut up, and by creating disruption of "business as usual" through the application of constant pressure.
There are a million people with "CFS" in the U.S. More than 17 million with ME worldwide. Our resolution for the New Year should be to make sure that the people who put Karina Hansen in a psych ward hear us. That those who deny us medical care hear us. That those who bully and threaten our advocates hear us. That those who strip us of our rights while telling us they "feel our pain" hear us. That those who steal our funds, and blacklist our doctors, who turn a deaf ear to our pleadings as they have done for three decades, and who belittle, dismiss and ignore us - hear us.
There is power in numbers. And a million is a big number.
We will remember 2013 for all we tried to accomplish. Let's make them remember 2014 for all we did accomplish.