Sunday, 25 September 2016

By The Book

I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I might be lately as my writing time is occupied writing another book. I’m really excited about this one and putting much more pressure on myself to make it brilliant and funny and genuine.

The first time round I had nothing to lose in writing a book – I wanted to do it to achieve a dream and to help people come to terms with an IBD diagnosis or just to give long term Crohn’s patients maybe something to smile at. I took my time in approaching any publishers because I genuinely didn’t think anyone would look twice at it, and to be totally honest I was afraid of having to face the knock-backs! But it turns out I didn’t receive any of those and the publisher I went with has been just brilliant to work with.
Getting a book out into the world with no knowledge of the industry, marketing or public speaking is no easy task so I’m proud of myself for all the work I put in to making it happen. Obviously my loved ones played a big part in that too but I’ve already thanked them enough privately to restraining order proportions.

So now I am working on book two and it’s strangely even scarier than the first time. What if no one wants me this time? What if I’m a one hit wonder? What if I hate every word I’ve written? (the 3rd one swims about in my head EVERYTIME I sit down to write).  

But that’s where I am with that: trying to make something readable and enjoyable and HELPFUL and consistently filled with self-doubt. But I guess that just makes me an author. If you’d like to be first to know any book news and aren’t my Mum or lover then you can sign up to my mailing list if you’d like! Click on this helpful link -

I'm also thrilled to have been nominated again this year in the WEGO Health Activist Awards! I'm up for both Hilarious Health Activist and Best in Show: Blog. Thanks to everyone who nominated me! If you want to cast your vote by way of an 'endorsement' you can do so to the right of this post or on my website. Thanks!

Health wise things aren’t too great at the minute, I’ve been pretty floored with a nasty sinus infection that I can’t seem to shake. My immune system is so low that the minute I start to improve someone just has to sneeze within 20 miles of me and I’m flattened again. My partner isn’t loving having to sleep with Darth Vader, but we all have our crosses to bear. Infliximab is still going well, so far so good, so I’m counting the days to next week when they pump me with more of the good stuff. And also Infliximab.  

But enough about me, how are YOU? 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Lazy Crohn's

Please forgive this angry blog in advance but here goes. An issue I cannot grasp is when some people, even after having been told several times of a condition’s INCUREABLITY, (not sure that’s even a real word but if not it should be), still expect you to ‘improve’. Without mentioning any names or places or specific occasions (*DISCLAIMER*) – let me give you a few examples of what I mean by this. Although I’m all too well aware you will likely have your own for reference.

In my case there is often an expectation I will be able to ‘perform better’ (and I’m not talking about within the bedroom here so draw your own conclusions). This is an impossibility as I already carry out every task to the best of my ability. Including piss poor rhyming it would seem. I try with all the patience I can muster, to express just how damaging and frustrating it can be to tell someone with a disability they should ‘try harder’. Mainly because we already are. We are trying harder than you. We have gotten out of bed and are completing the same tasks as you WITH a chronic illness. We are already better than you in so many ways. So why do you make us feel worthless?

When you offhandedly mention that we could try harder, you make us question ourselves. Maybe we are coming off as lazy? Maybe we could make more of an effort? That is a tough situation to put someone in. Not to mention dangerous. How much further should we be pushing ourselves in your opinion? So far we end up in the back of an ambulance? Maybe a morgue? Yes I am being dramatic here I grant you, but when your best isn’t deemed good-enough it’s completely and utterly soul-destroying. ESPECIALLY when this apparent lack of ability is caused by something totally out-with your control.  

When you tell us we should/could try harder, you are basically asking us to ‘improve’ our disability. Perform an impossible feat. This may sound dramatic to those of you without an incurable illness, but the invisibility of a chronic illness like Crohn’s allows for a startling amount of ignorance. Would you ask someone who was paralysed from the waist down to ‘just have a go’ at walking? Didn’t think so. So why then is it deemed acceptable for someone to query why my intestines don’t work as they should?

Let me finish with this: I have a full time job. I work long hours in a stressful environment. My condition(s) mean I struggle with pain mainly in my stomach, legs, arms, and hands, I experience almost weekly migraines, my medication means my head is often fuzzy and I suffer memory loss, extreme fatigue means I struggle to stay awake around 2pm each day and I am constantly and consistently exhausted. Did I mention that I can’t tolerate food and am either on the toilet or throwing up in it? Oh and that along with anemia and low blood pressure means I’m dizzy almost all day long.

I’m not mentioning all of this for sympathy – I know I am lucky as there are people who face much worse every day, but I mention it to reiterate the point. On top of all of that, what exactly would you like me to improve? I’d say I’m doing pretty well just remaining conscious to be honest.