SICK AND TIRED AND HOPEFUL

I haven’t blogged for a while because after years of thinking I was largely invincible, I discovered…that I’m not.

I got kicked in the body by a wicked combo of evil autoimmune diseases that seemingly swept up out of nowhere and started gleefully destroying my joints and my muscles and my joy, to the point that I was unable to walk or function like a human being at all. I tried to write to escape from it all but found that the words all came out in a jumble, and pain punctuated every sentence instead of the usual commas and full-stops and whatnot. And I mostly just wrote swearwords all over the page in angry, fist-held, red pen!

You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.

Ain’t that the effing truth. I was a lazy, cranky woman before this thing hit but a hurricane 5 autoimmune flare turned me into a blob of vitriolic bile and misery. Pain makes even the most polite person a raving maniac. Think of those cliched scenes of women in childbirth screaming expletives and generally behaving like Linda Blair’s character in The Exorcist. That has been me on a good day for the last couple of months.

‘Get me another f@#*king cup of tea, you bastard who can walk and laugh and do things, you miserable sack of man,’ I would scream at my long-suffering husband from my bed where I lay sweating foul-smelling-pain-perspiration into my scrunched sheets.

It really is a wonder the lot of them, husband and kids and dog, didn’t just sneak out one night and leave me to die in my own cantankerous bubble of agony. Pain killers did nothing but make me constipated. My pain was too hard-core for even Hillbilly Heroin. Nothing but a chainsaw was going to put me out of my misery. (I noticed my husband scanning a brochure for them, God love him).

I got a wheelchair so that I could be pushed up and down the aisles of the supermarket making a spectacle of myself.

‘Faster,’ I would scream at whatever poor servant was pushing the thing. ‘Stop! Back there! No, not that coffee, you completely useless prick-arse. Come back. Don’t leave me in the middle of the aisle…..’

And the housework. Nobody could do anything right and it annoyed me even though I never left the bedroom except to struggle to the shower where I would sit in a plastic chair and wash myself imagining I was a gargoyle in a fountain.

I watched that movie, ‘August Osage County’ and realised that I was fast becoming the Meryl Streep character so I threw a book at the television and determined to stop being so revolting. Pain and sickness make you a self-obsessed monster sometimes. Just look at a man with the flu!

So, to distract myself, I forced myself to write, because it was the only thing that could take me out of my own life, which had turned into a D grade horror movie. So I wrote a whole book in two weeks and I really like it. It’s not completely terrible. It has promise.  A Young Adult book. A little dark (of course). And I read it aloud to my 13 year old son as I completed every chapter and for a little while I forgot the pain and we bonded and the sun started coming out. My son loved the book and loved me reading it to him and I loved reading it to him and we all started to smile again. Awwwww.

And then the doctor put me on a course of steroids that would make a donkey win the Melbourne Cup…that was two days ago and

NOW

I am…..in some kind of drugged mania and I can walk (a bit) and feel like I might be a hybrid of Wonder-Woman and Roger Rabbit. And while the potential horrific side-effects that may come raining down on my parade (like glaucoma, diabetes, osteoporosis and psychosis) don’t sound like a picnic, I’ll take the immediate effects and take this opportunity to write this blog and to spring-clean my wardrobe and maybe put all my books in alphabetical order and cook all the food in the house and put it in neatly labelled plastic containers for the freezer. I’ve got this other idea for a book as well…and might start that as well today….and an exercise DVD because I’ve been so sedentary…and…

I’m sorry. I just took a deep breath. I’m okay.

On a more sensible note, I have a new book coming out in July. It is called Madness, Mayhem and Motherhood. Hardly surprisingly, it is a memoir. It is being published by UQP.

I am looking forward to my health stabilizing so that I can enjoy the journey. The manuscript is off to the type-setter and I am awaiting (excitedly) for the early cover-work.

If and when my family come home from school/work this afternoon, I will present them with a sparkling clean house and a big smile and now that I am almost pain-free and mobile, I will apologise for having been a torturous beast to live with for the last (ahum) three months and beg their forgiveness.

If you live with someone who has a serious health condition, please understand that it is their pain and frustration talking and moaning. Inside there is a healthy person just trying to get out. Give them a foot rub.

I feel like I’ve found the escape hatch. For a time, life may go back to some kind of normal. Hahahahaha….as if my life could ever be normal!!!!!

Happy Friday. Have a nice weekend.

Nik x

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