This has been a hard week. Last Monday Jeff had surgery at Queens Square Neurological hospital. A cervical laminectomy is the name of his operation, which was carried out by a skilled surgeon. Discharged on Friday he has had – as predicted – really bad pain, and needs regular doses of painkillers of various kinds.

Of course I have been and will be as considerate and helpful as I can, but the fact is I don`t have the staying power, the energy, the stamina required to be a dynamic hands-on carer-wife, even for a few days. People who know me, like me, trust me, believe me, love me, most of whom have read my memoir ` M E and Me` are aware that although I look and sound like a normal person, I simply don`t have the reserves of energy that other people my age and level of `joi de vivre` possess. Jeff knows, most people know.

Much as he has been in real pain, and merits major interest and caring from friends and relations everywhere, it is also true that the decent people (fortunately the majority) after asking after Jeff, also check in that I am coping. Because they know I might not be. They know that for the first few nights after his discharge we found two women `carers` who took it in turns to stay here. The idea was that I would be able to get a full night`s sleep and be better able to cope during the day. After four nights we are about to tell these two amazing women that we are OK managing without them. Our thanks with them always.

A really best friend called the day before yesterday and said simply, `How are you both?` and I thought: that`s what real friendship is! It doesn`t mean I devalue Jeff`s suffering or need. But I am not strong. Full Stop.

So how annoying, upsetting, I still find it is that there is a hard core of people who resist the idea that there has ever been anything seriously the matter with me. They include a relative, and one or two eminent medical figures. The moment I mention ` M E` there is a deathly silence, and when I use the word ` tired` I feel guiltily subversive. I over react to these people, indeed I do, because I find it beyond belief that there are still people who appear not to believe there has ever been anything wrong with me at all. If I told you that it is my sincere wish, now, after all these years, that they should each and everyone of them, get ` M E` or whatever it was/is, and feel exactly as I have felt, and sometimes still feel – you would close this blog and never read it again. You might consider me a genuinely horrible and vindictive person. Well don`t worry – so far, against all odds, I have succeeded in not actually wishing M E on anybody. But I have come close to doing so. I feel close today.

Now I`m off to make a cup of tea for myself and Jeff. Thank goodness he is feeling stronger, day by day. Good day to all.