2010 in a coconut-shell…

2010 was weird and wonderful in equal measure.  As I lost my mobility and personal freedom, I gained Twitter and blogging.  Twitter gave me company and self-esteem through a horrible year, I have even made real-life friends through it, “tweeting up” locally and in Derby. Blogging kept me sane and allowed me to explore writing styles and share my sense of humour in bigger doses than I could do on Twitter (sorry about that 🙂 ).

The Eurovision and World Cup gave me the best laughs of the year as I was inspired to make avatar pictures to represent each country. Eurovison night itself was a massive challenge as I had to change profile picture 25 times! 

Eurovision Avatars!

 

World Cup Avatars

 

Throughout the year I raised awareness for many different causes.  I got myself into a LOT of trouble with my local MP who “outed” my real name, much to my dismay. I really like being Humphrey!  Then, in November I won two Twitter awards, which I am incredibly proud of.

I also cried a lot, more than I have done since I lost my father to cancer.  I cried through sheer self-pity, pain, frustration, anger and loss. Coming to terms with a disability is one of the hardest battles I have ever had to face. I am still dealing with it, every time I look at my feet in the bath I imagine how they will look with their scars and shorter big toes ( first operation is 25th January *shudder*) .  I love my feet!  Always so proud of them, with their elegantly sloping toes and dainty nails.  I think I will have them tattooed with flowers when the surgeon has worked his magic, to cover the scars and make them pretty again : )

Not much else happened through the year, I had a couple of dates, annoyed some people, lost two cats, gained another who is my darling : ) 

Jasmine & Pickles

So, yup!  That’s just about it..

Here’s to 2011, may it be filled with knowledge, wonder, laughter, moustaches, love, excitement and joy!

But, you look so well…

Yesterday was World Arthritis Day and @RosieCosy sent me this link to a really good demonstration on how it is to live with arthritis for a day

However, arthritis doesn’t happen overnight, you don’t just go to sleep and wake up in the “body suit”.  It  is a slow, debilitating illness which can take months or years to develop enough for a diagnosis to be made, as so many people find out.

Mine started in my right hand, around 6 years ago when I was living in Spain. I put it down firstly to the stress of moving, then to too much driving and cleaning, our house had 23 rooms!  My right hand aches, I can feel it right down to my bones, sometimes the ache travels up my arm. I have even felt the same dull ache in my eyes.  It has never deteriorated though, I have bad days with it when I can’t use it and have it wrapped up to try to ease the pain but in general, I cope well with it.

A year ago next week I first saw a Rheumatologist about it, having been referred by my GP.  She ordered full bone scans which did not show any arthritis in my hand but did pick it up in my right toe, which had been painful but I assumed it was just one of those things, as you do…  The toe took until February to stiffen, finally locking itself completely around June.

A year on, I am now walking with a stick, yes, I took “the Secret” out this week after so much Twitter support..  I was amazed at the difference it made, not just to my mobility but to the way I was treated by others. Suddenly, I was disabled in their eyes. I was offered help, doors opened for me, people started unnecessary conversations, maybe to prove they’re not disablist?  Who knows.. It was eye-opening though.

Once I have my operations, I probably wont need the Secret but I will still be suffering from an invisible condition. Just because you cannot see illness, does not mean it doesn’t exist..

Please raise awareness for invisible illness when you can.  If you have a story you would like me to add to this page, please give me a nudge : )

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