Like most people, my own path to hell or wherever I end up is paved with good intentions, but seeing as how we only have three months to live I am going to bare my soul to you, but please, keep it to yourself OK?
Heavy stuff first and lighter as we go, this is personal stuff. First the background: In August of the year 2000 life was was going preeety well for me. I had a beautiful 3 year old daughter, and a gorgeous Latina wife who was seven months pregnant with our son. I was something of a fitness freak at the time, working out and running for several miles three or four times a week. I was 34 and in the physical condition of my life and I felt invincible. Little did I know that in less than six weeks I would be so ill I would have to crawl to the bathroom because I barely had the strength to stand.
In mid August after a session at the gym I visited my sister Tracey at her house at the same time as her boyfriend was visiting. He had a dreadful hacking cough which I caught with dire consequences. The cough turned into a heavy streptococcal infection for which I had to take antibiotics. This is where it all went horribly wrong, I got over the infection in around three weeks but developed a small rash on my right hand.
towards the end of September it was still there and I sought medical advice as I was feeling fatigued. The doctor referred me to a skin specialist and I went home to await the appointment and to continue the preparations for the birth at home of our son.
My Mother-In-Law arrived from South America to help with things which was a big help because I was going down hill fast. By the time my son was born on 16th October it was clear that something was seriously wrong with me. As I held my new born son in my arms my body was shaking with the effort and exertion of carrying his 9 pound weight. I passed my son to Zoila (my Mother-In-Law) and looked at my arm where my son’s head had been moments before. There was a round, head shaped patch of blood on my arm where the blood vessels under the skin had ruptured from the weight of his head.
I spent a few days in hospital after that by now barely able to walk and beginning to feel like I would never see those wonderful milestones in my newborn son’s development. The next few months were a constant round of blood tests, scans, and trial and error medication until I was finally given a diagnosis. By this time the simple act of sitting in a chair for a few hours would make my feet fill up with blood as the blood vessels ruptured like soggy tissue paper under the pressure of the blood and the effect of gravity.
In desperation we traveled to South America where I saw a blood expert who put me on a dose of steroids so high they reserve it for the terminally ill. It had the effect of limiting my symptoms and I had a good holiday then returned to England where I continued to be under the care of the NHS. I was eventually put on a tablet form of chemical therapy around March of 2001, combined with steroids. The diagnosis was HSP – Henoch Schonlein Purpura. It is a type of Vasculitis that only very rarely affects adults. At first, I was told that my illness would last for weeks, then months, then finally they told me that in some cases it lasts for the rest of your life and so I should get used to a life on medication.
Over the next ten years I searched for a cure to my illness scouring the internet and trying various different cures ranging from Chinese herbs to Homeopathy with little or no success. In the meantime my illness would occasionally pop up in the strangest part of my body. Once I remember having symptoms that seemed a bit like a stroke, and I found myself unable to speak. Another time I just fell over when it happened in my inner ear. It was bizarre.
Eventually however the condition seemed to stabilize and I began the slow process of withdrawing medication. There were many false dawns and I would often have periods in my life when I became very low when symptoms returned and I would have to begin taking the drugs again. I began to suffer increasing nausea from the chemical therapy and renewed my attempts to find a cure and then the miracle happened. I discovered colloidal silver and began to take this supplement.
I sensed the change in my body around March of last year after taking colloidal silver for three months. By now I was injecting the chemical therapy once a week and feeling nauseous for two days a week. I waited until I was sure that I was free of symptoms for two months and then I took the irresponsible decision of stopping the chemical therapy without telling my doctor. I am happy to report that after seven months there has been no re-occurance of my symptoms and I believe I am now cured.
In case you are wondering what this has to do with resolutions here is the link: I am addicted to steroids and I am having enormous problems getting completely off them after twelve years. There, I said it: I am an addict. I am down to 5mg daily but can’t seem to go any lower, so my resolution number one is try and face the end with a drug free body. It is going to be hard, my energy levels when I reduce the dose drop so much and I get terrible aches and pains but I am determined to get past it, and with your support and encouragement I know that this will be my year.
Twelve years after falling ill I am enjoying watching all my children grow and thrive and I fully expect to be around to see their children. This was a place I never dared hope I would be in twelve years ago. I begin this year full of hope.
I’m going to lighten the mood now, this is much briefer too. When I began this blog it was something of an experiment, and a means to an end. I wanted to have a reason to write even when I was lacking inspiration for my writing course, or my short stories. It has become something very important in my life in a way I never imagined. I have received warmth and encouragement from people all over the world, and it has left me teary with emotion, humbled that someone out there might get something out of the things I have to say, that I might actually entertain someone. My blog shows a picture of a tumbleweed and that is how I imagined it would be – a lone voice in the wilderness. Instead I feel that I have made connections with real people with incredible stories that have inspired and motivated me, and I feel so grateful. To all of you out there who have bothered to read my words I thank you deeply and sincerely. And to those of you who ‘liked’ or commented and left me a way to read your stories – I love you guys! My resolution number two is to blog until the end of the world – and hopefully beyond, and every time someone ‘likes’ or comments on my blog to make a point of getting to read theirs too.
This is shorter still. I have been the fortunate recipient of many kind words from felow bloggers on my short journey so far, and I have decided between now and the end I am going to make a point of telling people kind things in everyday life as well as my blog. After all what is more infectious than a smile?
Happy New Year!