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