Monthly Archives: December 2013

A new year…

It has not been the best end to the year despite making some positive moves towards self-publishing my book. Just within the last few days alone I have had to deal with another harsh reality related to my disease. I am a very honest person, too honest sometimes, so when renewing my driver’s license and asked the question ‘has your health status changed?’ I, of course, answered ‘yes!’ This of course led to a form being produced, and an unplanned trip to my doctor’s office for him to complete said form… which I then discovered a few days ago he had failed to do and my license was suspended. Furious and angry doesn’t even cover how I felt, especially as I am perfectly fit to drive, quite possibly fitter than some of the drivers who do not have a chronic disease!

 

So, putting the obvious reason aside, why is this such a big deal? Well, it was the realization that now renewing my driver’s license is no longer straightforward anymore; I am once again put into a category. Thankfully, I have a great relationship with my doctor; he did everything he could to reverse a situation that should never have happened. The suspension was reversed, and the source of enormous stress removed. Life can now carry on into a new year, with new challenges, and a new adventure.

 

I’m looking forward to 2014 being more positive, I will embrace whatever life throws at me, good or bad. However physically challenging life becomes, I will not let it beat me down mentally. I am going to achieve something that I would have never dreamed possible… and I am going to publish my first novel and stick two fingers up at AS!!

 

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Facing reality

Before I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis I heard people describing it as a life sentence. In reality I had no idea what that meant, but it went without saying that it couldn’t be good. I have lived with this label now for 3 years, but suffered for much longer. At first I was glad to have a diagnosis, an explanation for the crippling symptoms that I experienced, and still experience, every minute, of every hour, of every day. Now, I am living in the reality of that life sentence. 

 

This cruel and chronic disease chips away at you so that, over time, it takes complete control of you; and not only your life, but also those around you. I can step out of my front door and walk down my street, and nobody knows that my neck hurts and my SI joint is screaming at me every time I turn a corner. I can post a Facebook photo, and nobody knows that at that moment my lower back is aching because my hips are 3 inches out. I can sit in a coffee shop and drink skinny lattés, and turn myself into a fictional character for a couple of hours, while all these things hurt at the same time, and nobody knows. I can escape; for 2 hours I am disease free, I can eat what I want, do whatever sports I want, I don’t take any medications or inject myself with obscenely expensive drugs… I am in control.

 

But then I stand up, and remember I can’t, shouldn’t have sat there for that long. I am back in the real world where it controls me. I try not to let it, but it is slowly taking away every little piece of me that it can. However, there are some things that I won’t let it get its claws into, because those things are more precious to me than anything else in the world, no matter how much it hurts. There are people who will always love me for who I am.

 

Writing is therapeutic, cathartic, escapism, and mine. It is something that it will NEVER take away from me.

When one door closes, another door always opens…

After 24 hours of thinking it wasn’t going to happen, something else came along and changed that. I was so determined I wasn’t going to give up when my original publisher hadn’t worked out. However, despite thinking that I don’t really know what I’m doing, finding other options was easier this time because I actually felt like I knew what I was looking for… well I think I do!!

It would appear that no matter whom you choose, the process is the same. This actually meant I could ask appropriate questions and to some extents understand the answers. The lady on the phone was lovely; of course she was lovely she wants my money!! But, she was quoting significantly less than the first publisher, and when I say significantly I mean SIGNIFICANTLY. One minute it’s not even possible and has gone completely off my radar, the next minute I can do a happy dance all the way to the Apple store to purchase a brand spanking new MacBook Air to celebrate!!

Why am I doing this again?

Oh the joys of motherhood when you’re trying to publish your first book! My publisher calls and wants to ask me a few things that, because I don’t know what I’m doing, I have no idea what the right answers are. Meanwhile, in the kitchen where my 2 boys are supposed to be doing homework, copious amounts of monkeying around is occurring because I have turned my back for a second. So, while trying to have a serious discussion on the phone, I am scooping up monkeys and placing them in time out, with my best furious ‘just you wait till I’m finished’ expression. Then I need to arrange a meeting at their office, ‘how’s your week looking?’ she asks me…. Oh well between GP, physio & hospital appointments, my older son’s birthday, & party, friends for over for drinks, the laundry, the grocery shopping, after school activities, walking the dog, and a romantic anniversary dinner for hubby and I, I should just about manage 3am on Friday morning!!!

Why am I doing this again?

Large & skinny!!

A couple of times a week I find myself stranded while my youngest attends either art or some sort of sports class. I see this as an opportunity to treat myself to something large & skinny, while I enjoy a well earned sit down. However, I’m not very good at doing nothing, there is only so much social networking & emailing you can do in an hour & a half. It was also during these times I started to feel like I was becoming a bit brain dead, I love reading but I needed something a little more stimulating than a good novel. I have no idea where the idea to write came from, but suddenly I found myself sitting here … writing! The even crazier part is that I don’t have a computer anymore, just an iPad, & yes I started typing on the touch screen – talk about frustrating. Now, I didn’t even know at this point you could get keyboards for the iPad until I saw a friend of ours with one. So, off to the Apple store I went, purchased one in bright red & OMG! It was fantastic. Whatever possessed me to think I could do this without one? And yes I still use it even now, although editing is proving to be quite challenging.

As we know many a book was started in a coffee shop, & I can say that mine too will join that list. As the geeky barista personally brings me my coffee with a foamy heart on top, Jack & Frankie are getting down & dirty on my screen. A little old lady next to me comments on how productive I’m being…. if only you knew love! as I make my font a little smaller so the group of veterans behind me don’t have heart attacks. I will of course acknowledge the lovely people in here for supplying me with my caffeine fix, however, I’m not sure how keen they’ll be to admit it was written in their coffee shop when they discover ‘what’ I wrote 😉

Now I’m interesting…. again!!

It’s got to that time of year again when you find yourself mingling with friends, friends of friends, & frankly a ton of people you’ll probably never mingle with again!
When I worked as an intensive care nurse, especially in paediatrics, I would mingle at gatherings & when asked what I do would proudly announce my job status. I haven’t worked as a nurse for 7 years, and I’m unlikely to ever again thanks to my disease. However, I moved on to discussing the everyday shenanigans of my 2 children, which is a full time job in itself but, after a while, you come to realize that actually your children are the ONLY thing you have to talk about. Did I ever sit down and think to myself ‘I’ll write a book that will make me interesting’… No, of course not because Me? Really? Don’t be ridiculous!!
So yesterday I find myself mingling at a pre-christmas gathering at a friends house, being asked the question again ‘what do I do?’ Now I have seen the jaw dropping responses of a few strangers recently, but my husband had not yet witnessed this… well now he has, and once again the person’s reaction was jaw dropping. I can’t lie, it’s an amazing feeling because really, its’ the last thing you expect a person to say… ‘Oh I’m in the process of publishing my first fictional novel!’