Thursday, 27 March 2014

Pain Free - A Rarity

For the first time in ages I have woken up without pain. In fact, I can't remember the last time it happened. It is an amazing feeling. I feel like a real person, human again. It doesn't matter that it is cold and cloudy outside. Inside I am warm and alive. 

The best thing is that there is nothing there - absolutely nothing. 

My body seems to be at peace today, and if this is what 'normal' is, I want to keep it. However, I know it won't last so I intend to enjoy every single second of it. I wish I could dance now. It would be lovely to be able to twirl around the room and express how free I feel. 

It may seem silly, but Julie Andrews at the beginning of 'The Sound of Music' has got nothing on the way I feel now. In fact, I think I may sing about it too! Keep your fingers crossed that the cats don't join in! 

I wish Colin was here to share it with me - he would make a very good Captain von Trapp I think. 

No, seriously, it would be good. I feel light and happy. It could have been a "who are you, and what have you done with my wife?" day. Maybe I'll phone him at work and see if he can come home early. We could walk to the field and lie in the grass. Yes, I know it is cold and damp, but it might as well be summer to me. 

I can't explain it any better. When you live with disability and pain everyday, the relief is just so beautiful, and it makes me feel so lucky. I appreciate it more than I can ever tell you. 

Oh, this is so wonderful! I hope I can keep it - just for a little while. 


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Mind the Gaps - A Fear Overcome. (Written 2006)

'The train now approaching the station is the eight fifteen, Bath Spa to Cardiff Central', the announcer said. 

My mum squeezed my hand as we walked towards the edge of the platform. I wasn't scared of the thunderous noise as the train approached, not with my mum's fingers wrapped reassuringly around my own. 

I wasn't even scared as a crowd of people hurried behind me. "Come on, step up," my mum said as the train came to a halt and its big doors opened. I did as I was told and stretched my little leg to bridge a gap between platform and train. 

Suddenly there was a sharp pain through my knee, a cramping pain that ran right to my toes. I froze. "Mum," I whispered, "Mum". She didn't hear me. "Mum," I said, much louder this time. I couldn't make the gap. My heart was pounding. This time she heard me and to my relief lifted me over and into the warmth of the carriage. I took my place and the sense of relief was so strong. I nearly cried. 

As I sat there, in the safety of the seat, my seven year old mind realised then and there just how different my life was from that of other people's. I remember the moment clearly. The memory of that train, pain, and the 'black gap' would give me nightmares for months and trigger a phobia that would last over fifteen years. 

"Honey, I can't do this," I said weakly. We made our way to the edge of the platform. I trembled as the doors of the 8.53 to London Paddington opened. 

"Don't worry love," Colin said as he stepped on ahead of me and held out his hand. "Just don't look at it." But I knew it was there and took a fleeting glimpse at the black hole between platform and train that was my nightmare. I swallowed hard, put my shaking fingers in his and stepped across. 

Once in my seat the relief washed over me and as my hear rate returned to normal, I thought back to that day so long ago. 
Just like before, I had what you would call an epiphany as I sat there, with my husband's arms wrapped around me. 

It suddenly occurred to me that I wasn't scared any more. I had him and he accepted everything I was, disability and all. More importantly, I had accepted me. No longer a shy seven year old, realising for the first time how hard life would be, I was now twenty-five and married. I had lived, and I had done it the hard way. 

What I'm trying to say, maybe not as articulately as I usually would, is that you can overcome anything. All you need is the guts to take a chance, and the most importantly, the love of someone who believes in you. Even if you don't have that from someone else, you can find it within you. If you have faith in yourself and take things step by step, you can do it. 

While I'm here too, I will tell you, that I'm not afraid of those gaps anymore either, I just put my best foot forward... 


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Don't Doubt What We Are Capable Of (Poem 2014)

Don’t doubt what we are capable of
We’ll take your lies apart one by one,
Don’t doubt that we can, 
Because we already have done!

Don’t doubt what we are capable of
Because we refuse to cower
Don’t doubt that we can do it
Words will be our power.

Don’t doubt what we are capable of,
Angry campaigners scorned
Don’t doubt that we will do it,
You’ll wish you’d never been born!

Don’t doubt what we are capable of,
Because you live for votes,
Don’t underestimate the strength,
Of a few well placed quotes!

Don’t doubt what we are capable of
We refuse to be ignored,
You think that you can trample
On the disabled and the poor.

Don’t doubt what we are capable of
Because you started this fight,
We’ll be making sure that you fall down
On election night.

Don’t doubt what we are capable of
You have tried to hide the proof,
You know there’s power in numbers
And we are telling the truth!

Don’t doubt what we are capable of,
Because your policies kill,
If even the law can’t make you pay,
The electorate will!

Don’t doubt what we are capable of,
We’re sick of living in fear,
But you will know what that feels like,
Come May next year!

Don’t doubt what we are capable of,
You cause suffering and spread hate,
When it’s our turn at the ballot box,
You will meet your fate.