Tag Archives: Biologics

Me before ‘it’

It’s been sometime since I read (rather than wrote!) a book I haven’t been able to put down. I’m a ‘read a chapter every night in bed’ kind of reader. I have just finished reading the type of book I wish I could write, and maybe one day I will. Amusing, romantic, and emotional… ‘Me Before You’ by JoJo Moyles. It was the kind of book that helps me put my own pain and suffering into perspective, especially when I’m having a bad few days, which I am right now. Even though I am reduced to tears when my husband is digging his elbows into all those nasty tight knots, really, it’s not that bad. Even when my physio is sticking needles in my backside and the pain is so intense I want to scream the clinic down, really, it’s not that bad. Even when I can’t do something I used to do with regularity and complete ease, before I was diagnosed with ‘it’, really, it’s not that bad.

It controls. It plays games with my mind. It chips away at everything, claiming little pieces of my life. It makes me rebel. It makes me angry. It has changed parts of me, both mentally and physically, so much that I’ll never be able to go back to being ‘me before ‘it’’. One of the biggest physical changes has been losing muscle tone through lack of exercise, and significant weight loss due to dietary restrictions and medication induced nausea. I used to be curvy, but fit, toned and healthy looking. Now, I find I’m unable to purchase a particular item of clothing I like because they don’t make it small enough, and I have women telling me how amazing I look, which is a great confidence boost, but they have no idea how and why I got here… ‘it’ led me. I used to love all kinds of food – there was very little I wouldn’t try or eat – but now, food and I are not very good friends. When I hear the compliments, it gives me a greater understanding how those with eating disorders can carry on doing what they do. The compliments drive them on to continue. Thankfully I actually do want to eat, but ‘it’ is in control of that, not me.

Once again I give you the reason why I wrote a book. I’m not looking for a new career, or to be recognized as great writer. I’m not looking for fame and fortune. Granted, if it all comes good and those things happen, well hey, bonus! It’s out there now, and it’s even being read somewhere in the world, because people have bought it. It is something that ‘it’ can NEVER take away from me, it can’t even get close. ‘It’ has no claim on any part of my publication, this is all about me… and not ‘it’.

You can buy a copy of my debut novel, Bruises directly from my publisher. It is also available on Amazon and other online bookstores around the world.

Honestly, I’m really just me!

I don’t receive many emails. Well actually, that’s not strictly true; I usually have about 5 million every morning from various stores offering me their latest deals. So when my phone toots to indicate a new one I’m not always that quick to respond. However, I just happened to be browsing my Inbox when I received a ‘Welcome’ email from Friesenpress – my publisher. As I was waiting to pick up my youngest from school at the time I just quickly glanced at it. The content made me smile, a huge happy ‘OMG!’ sort of smile – you know the kind. It wasn’t just from the company, welcoming me onboard; it was from my very own ‘Author Account Manager’. It was the strangest feeling that suddenly confirmed that this is really really going to happen.

It was essentially an introduction to the person who will be guiding me through the publishing process; she will coordinate everything from ISBNs and copyrights to the final print. She will be my liaison for anything and everything I need to know about this crazy and exciting project that I never, in a million years, thought I would EVER be embarking on. We spoke on the phone, something I think we forget we can still do in this day and age; again it was essentially about introducing ourselves to each other. In the brief conversation we had, I had a good feeling about working with her. I also had to be up front and honest with her – she needed to know that my life is not just school runs and grocery shopping; I am more complicated than the average mum of two.

There are many situations in which I manage to get away with being ‘normal’. I look so ‘normal’ that, until I tell them, people don’t know there is anything wrong with me. This works well in most situations, and, of course, on the phone, but I’m about to begin a process that may require me to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort, so I feel it’s only fair to let the other party know why I may not be quite as capable as others. It’s like my kids’ teachers; I always let them know my situation, for two reasons. The first being obvious – this is what is wrong with me, I do what I can, when I can, the boys know no different. The second is a bit more serious. I inject my biologic every 3 weeks, my boys often see me do this, and I don’t hide it. However, I don’t want any innocent comments my children may make about ‘mummy doing her injection’ to lead to their teachers thinking I’m some raging junkie shooting up – so better to pre-empt and clarify.

It is part of who I am now; no point in hiding it and pretending it doesn’t exist. It and other life experiences have made me a much stronger character. I don’t want to be ‘the poor woman who has a crippling disease, and wrote a book’. I want to be ‘the woman who wrote a book in spite of having a chronic disease’. I am a person first, a mum, a wife, a friend, a nurse, a cook, a housekeeper, a taxi service… I am many things, in spite of what I have, and honestly I’m really just me!!

Finally…

… my neck is killing me, my shoulders are tighter than a body builder’s backside and my physio has abandoned me for a week, but I am on the last read through before I submit it. I managed to knock off 11,000 words, which I was disappointed wasn’t more at the final count, but I was reassured it was quite good considering I added another little twist to the story line. I was hoping it would be more like 20,000, but I guess I should be proud of what I’ve done so far. I think the time has come, anyway, for a fresh pair of eyes to pick it apart and make some professional suggestions. I’ve already been there once before and the feedback was good, so I know with the changes I’ve made it can only be better (she says with everything crossed!).

I’ve also done quite well for time too. I was aiming to have it submitted by now, but at least I’ve actually finished the editing and just need to read it through it again (making sure there are no grammar and punctuation errors my husband will have some sort of cerebral event over!). I think I’m now looking at another couple of weeks before I’m done – but I bet it’s more! I’m physically pretty good right now, but sitting at the computer is still a killer. In fact, I realized yesterday I had forgotten to call my pharmacy on Friday to order my biologic. I had been living from one dose to the next and not quite managing to last the full month, but since my Dr increased it to every 3 weeks, recently I have noticed that day is suddenly upon me without a second thought. Still, I shouldn’t abuse this and think I can spend hours and hours hunched over my laptop; bad posture does not look good in Hello magazine!!

So, I’ll keep reading and drinking coffee. The trainee barista who made my latté has provided a much better brew than her geeky colleague… but of course I could never tell the poor boy that – he’s only just gotten over our little chat about my genre!!