I have COPD, (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). There, I said it! I’ve also survived Pneumonia, (TWICE!), have Osteoarthritis, Sleep Apnoea, Thrombophilia and a partridge in a pear tree… My hospital consultants lovingly refer to me as having “A Complex medical History”.
I’m not gonna rant on about chronic illness, I’m sure you hear enough about it, except to say that, for most of us, it isn’t going away and we have to lift up our collective chin’s and get on with it!
So why am I going on about it? Well a bit of background is necessary to understand what I am ‘going on about’ but I’ll try to be brief as I’m sure many of your cursors are hovering over the ‘X’ in the corner.
Anybody unfortunate enough to have been chosen to partner to one of these ‘invisible-to-the-naked-eye’ diseases, will understand how frustrating daily life can be.
After waking from a long, restless sleep, I take my morning medications and snooze off again until they ‘kick in’. I can then look at the realistic possibility of moving and attempting to arrange my day around how much energy I have and how much pain and discomfort I am in. This dictates how the rest of my day is going to go, especially my mood, which in turn suggests how much body armour those around me should consider putting on.
I’m like a phone that charges overnight to varying degrees depending upon the faulty power lead you’ve plugged into me, (ooer missus!). This gives me my ‘one shot’ for the day and when that’s run out, well, that’s simply it, I have to rest in a vain attempt to recharge again. As if this wasn’t enough, an idiosyncrasy of these diseases is that they drain your energy even when you are doing bugger all!
As a writer this raises some serious hurdles for me to get over. Given my non-existing financial resources, I have no choice but to do everything myself; writing, publishing, PR, updating many social media and publicity sites, along with my own, darrenscanlon.wordpress.com.
It’s not long before the batteries start draining and my mental focus starts clouding over, not to mention the fact that I have to turn up my background music to drown out the complaints from my aching joints. Yes, I have reached the point where, with a sigh of angry frustration, I have to throw in the towel and pack it all away for the day.
I often wonder how many others, maybe in similar circumstances, cope with similar frustrations and how they cope? My life-therapy has always been, along with music, the fact that I can pour out my soul onto a piece of paper.
After 30 years of hesitation, (lack-of-confidence, my life-long nemesis), I was cajoled into publishing my stuff by my dear sister. This opened up a whole new world of wonder for me and the ink started flowing faster than the fingers could keep up with. I have also, along the way, ‘met’ some great friends and fellow authors and poets, and I have loved every minute of it. Long may it all last!
Alas, as these weary years now roll on and my conditions advance, the vignette tinge of my ‘work window’ seems to be creeping relentlessly in on me and the amount of ‘stuff’ I can manage to complete and get out there, in addition to all the administrative requirements, is getting frustratingly less and less. If I ever lose the ability to wield my words…who knows…?
Until then, I shall don my favourite mask, (The Defiant Smile), lift up my chin(s) and get on with it!
To all of you wonderful friends and colleagues who are always there for me, and you know who you are; I offer my most deep and heartfelt thanks.
Right, the batteries are nearly flat so I’m gonna pack up and go harass and harangue my way through the halls of social media; I might even bump into a few of you there!
Written by Darren Scanlon, 11th February 2015.
©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.
Image courtesy of: creativewordworks.com