Thursday, 24 January 2013

Can you help me brainstorm "Emma"?

Can you help me brainstorm my creation “Emma”?

Today, I am presenting a case study about a person of my imagination, Emma and taking it “higher”.  Can you help me refine this case study?

She is 33 and has worked for a charity abroad but two years ago she developed a chronic neuro-immune disorder. She could not get medical retirement from her employer, due to its controversial nature.  

She is constantly as fatigued as if she had severe, unremitting 'flu. She can hardly read or watch TV, cannot bear bright lights and has pain in her back muscles from which there is no relief as she cannot tolerate medications of any kind. She has a chronic sore throat. Her face looks old and shrunken in the mirror and her eyes do not seem her own. She feels something has "gone wrong in her DNA" and she does not know how to fix it. Nor does her doctor who keeps consultations to as short a time as possible.

She has an aunt who lives nearby in a small cottage but she has become frail and cannot help Emma, physically. Emma is too proud to ask her for financial support. Otherwise, Emma has no relatives. She visits her aunt but as she is often tearful and feels oddly over-emotional as a result of the illness, she cannot cope with strangers being around her much, and certainly not those who do not believe in her condition.

Her brain is not working properly, she forgets things and she is depressed as a result of the condition. The one thing she feels she needs to get better is warmth - but she is cold in bed, cold in the bathroom and cold in the tiny kitchen. She is realising that she cannot afford to maintain a 20-21 degree heat in the living room, for much longer.

She lives in a rented Victorian, uninsulated, ex-agricultural one bedroom cottage which is heated by three Economy 7 storage heaters, which are more expensive than gas, which is not available where she lives which is a small village about 10 miles from a large town.  They run out of heat around teatime and after that she must pay for a fire to heat just the living room.

She has to run a car to shop and to get to private treatment sessions, such as a dietician and allergy specialist to support her recovery as nothing is available on the NHS.  There is no guarantee that she will get better. Her diet costs 50% more than a normal diet and takes precious energy to prepare in a cold kitchen.  She could try to grow some vegetables in the garden but cannot do the lifting and physical labour. Last year the healthy salads she grew were eaten by slugs. She is trying to do some freelance work, but it is not going well due to her internet connection and delays in payments.

The bank manager writes to her to say that her savings have run out. Her disability payments are being cut from next month, due being able to walk more than a few metres or so. The price of electricity goes up 10%.

Have you any suggestions to help Emma? Please email

No comments:

Post a Comment