The End or the Start of a New Beginning?

I’m lying on my bed resting my legs & watching the sunset outside my bedroom window. It is stunning & although I’m in pain, it lifts my spirits & makes me feel very blessed to be alive.

It’s been a busy week. Hectic actually, well hectic for me. Nothing like my old working week looked like of course, although my family have been laughing at me this week & saying that with my forum & writing I’ve managed to create a new full-time job for myself.

That’s a good thing though. A really good thing. It’s been over 3 years since I medically retired & it has taken that long for me to reinvent myself, so to speak. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do in my medical retirement. When I first left work I had Rheumatoid Arthritis & a permanent colostomy but I had no idea that I was about to experience the full force of a rare bone disease. That onslaught came 10 months after I retired.

My original plans of a quiet medical retirement with outings on good days, perhaps a bit of local travel within Australia & some daily exercise with walks around our beautiful Bayside suburb, all came crashing down the day my femur broke in two.

Two years of surgery after surgery & countless hospital stays, didn’t really provide me with the time or energy to think about what I could do with my life, particularly given that my physical disabilities had become non treatable,  permanent, progressive & incredibly restrictive.

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2017 has been a good year. Not because my health has improved, it hasn’t. In fact it’s got worse. My disease is really out of control but my Specialists made a decision late 2016 to avoid further surgery this year to give my body a rest. I was being given the gift of time. Less appointments, no hospital stays, no lengthy surgical recoveries.

2014 to 2016 is a complete blur. I can’t remember much about those two years at all. In stark contrast, 2017 has given me time to think with a clearer head. No constant effects of general anesthetic fogging my brain. What a relief!

Yes I have severe pain, constant fractures, extreme exhaustion & increasing mobility issues but it’s been a delight to be home & just go about my days at my own pace. I’ve enjoyed sunrises, sunsets & all the hours in between.

I’ve also finally been able to reinvent myself. I’m too young to just do nothing. My brain runs at a million miles an hour. It needs to be active & I need a sense of purpose & to feel like I’m still contributing to society in some way.

I’ve never been someone who was content to just focus on leisure activities. Even as a child I was always working on a project of some kind. At school I would finish assignments early & be given extras to do for the fun of it. I know that sounds kind of sad but believe it or not I wasn’t a nerd & was even part of the “cool” group at school, or so we thought!

I’ve always had a strong sense of commitment & responsibility to make a difference in some way & that wasn’t about to be squashed by chronic disease. It’s just who I am, how I’m wired I guess.

My dream of writing began to take shape as my blog became more established. Writing opportunities presented & I became an ongoing contributor at The Mighty. I joined the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network  & have been inspired by other bloggers all writing to educate readers about specific diseases &  share ways to live the best life possible with their health issues.

My greatest love though & the thing that keeps me the busiest is Medical Musings with Friends, my online support forum for people with chronic & complex diseases. I love it. I love the members. Their stories are so precious, their support of each other so genuine. Keeping this forum positive & relevant is my major daily focus. It is such a blessing & honour to be able to serve it’s members each & every day.

As well as the forum members this wonderful opportunity has also brought with it my team of co-administrators. This team are such an amazing support to me & we have all become great online friends.

I had no idea 3 years ago what I was going to do with my life. It’s so easy to think that chronic & complex disease is the end of life.

It may be the end of life as you know it now but it can be the start of a whole new fulfilling life. That process takes time, even years but don’t lose hope. Keep dreaming & thinking about what you can physically & mentally cope with and eventually you too will reinvent yourself.

The end will be the start of a new beginning!

Sam xx

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

 

 

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This link will take you to all the submitted blog posts at the RA Blog Week 2017

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23 thoughts on “The End or the Start of a New Beginning?

  1. An inspirational woman I have found you to be Sam. You give me hope when I feel I have none myself. A very strong and brave woman who has been dealt a life of health demons. You always look for a positive in so many negatives your given. Never give up and keep the faith. Kindest regards always, Shelley xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so incredibly inspiring and heartening to read, especially as I’ve recently lost my job because I needed a fourth surgery and have no idea where I’m going next, especially when some days are so tough and the future is so uncertain. You should be incredibly proud of yourself, I know I am! You rock, Sam! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Carol, my heart goes out to you. The season of change when everything ahead is unknown is not an easy time for anyone but when it’s come about because of health it just increases the uncertainty doesn’t it. I love your blog & you are such a talented writer. Concentrate on looking after yourself & the rest will take care of itself with time.
      Thinking of you
      Sam xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, that’s very kind of you! 🙂
        I hope you have a restful weekend – I can see how many others have commented about how amazing you are and how wonderful this article was to read, so take heart in that! ♥
        xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It was a little eerie reading words that I could have written about my own blogging journey! Contributing to something bigger than myself despite my limitations is my main motivation. I often see general comments about the negatives of social media, but for people with chronic illness, it’s a blessing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right Katarina. Prior to becoming chronically ill, I have to admit, I was never a fan of Social Media. I soon came to realise how blessed we are to live in an era when we are able to connect with others who genuinely understand….all at the click of a button. Amazing! xx

      Liked by 1 person

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