Joined 10 years ago from Kent, UK
It was 2am in the morning and I was awoke by Excruciating PAIN running through every nerve, bone and muscle in my body. I screamed out, in shock, I didn’t know what else to do. Couldn’t do anything else! That was the point at which my life changed forever.
Until four and a half years ago I ran two of my own successful businesses, a restaurant and an art and craft supplies shop. Eventually I got so ill that I could not work and had to let the businesses go. Prior to running my own businesses I have worked as a store manager for a large food retailer (the Co-Op), as an area manager for a local news paper (Kent Messenger)., senior receptionist for an Estate Agent, basically working at a management level in the Public Sector.
In my spare time I like to sew, bake and grow my own produce in my back garden, which is 100ft long. I’ve grown corn, cabbage, kale, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, radish, beets, apples, marrows, courgettes, onions, chard, wild rocket, salad! I give most of it away as there is far too much for me alone! I get such pleasure in giving to others.
My best friend and companion is my dog, Millie, who is 14 years old now and been with me since she was a tiny puppy! I love her so much as she just seems to know and understand me so well! She is like a shadow, following me from room to room and instinctively knows where, when and what is hurting on my body.
I have my own home. My house is in a beautiful, typically English village and is a small, ragstone cottage. The village has a lovely stream that runs through it , with a cosy pub , nestling on an old meandering stream. In the spring they organise Easter Egg hunts in some of the 500year old houses and in June is the Duck Race on the stream (they use plastic ducks with numbers painted on the sides!) I can’t live in my house right now because it is just not practical - I can’t use my wheelchair and the stairs are so narrow and steep that I can no longer climb them and so I currently live with my mum who has an adapted home.
I do not have any children/cannot have children, although, I have many nieces and nephews that are just like my own children, so I have the best of both worlds as I can send them home when they get too noisy!
The past four-five years have been so very tough for me as my health has been bad, this year alone I have been told that I have catarracs and that the Behcets Disease is now affecting my eyes, making it a possibility that my sight will diminish over time. I have several conditions which make it very difficult and complicated for my doctors to treat me and my daily life is a challenge where pain is a guaranteed and discovering which parts of my body work is always a surprise! My only saving grace is that I am strong, determined and a fighter! I do have my days where I am very low, when I think about how seriously ill I am, what I have lost and the ‘quality of life’ that I have now. I try everyday to push on and ‘ignore’ my health problems to make it through the day as best as I can.
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