Saturday, 21 May 2016

Because of Meniere's…




I have spent the last ten years of my life fighting the disease, the system, the differing opinions of GPs, some overruling Consultants' opinions then vice versa – on top of trying to raise two boys single-handedly. Some of it is raw, some of it a blur and some of it downright painful.

I was on my knees with no one to turn to and no support. People really did not understand what I was going through and I include the GPs in that category too. My luck changed when I visited my GP surgery and saw a locum whose Mum had Meniere's. She referred me to a Specialist. It only took me three years to get a diagnosis! Once I was diagnosed, I knew life would be challenging and that I would have to adapt to cope with the change.

This diagram accurately reflects the stages I have been through.



Prior to Meniere's, I earned £30,000 a year and had a company car and expenses including private medical and pensions. I loved my job especially the clients I had. I would not have given it up but when it was taken away from me, I was truly devastated. Not only was I ill and didn't know why, I had lost our only source of income. I felt a complete, total and utter failure. It was one of the lowest points in my life. I felt worthless and on the scrap heap, before I had reached 40!

Once diagnosed, the repairs began – emotionally, mentally, if not physically. Don't get me wrong, there have been very dark days and I dare say there will be in the future. It is a living hell but I am more prepared now to cope with the dizziness, the tinnitus, the fullness feeling and the temporary hearing loss. There is no cure. Ultimately though, I have no choice but to adapt. The most amazing part of all this is, I wouldn't be the person I am today, without Meniere's.

Because of Meniere's I have


  1. Been at home to influence and help the boys grow up into fine young men.
  2. Gone to University and achieved a 1st class Honours degree.
  3. Written and published my first novel – Beyond the Past
  4. Written the screenplay, Streetwise
  5. Written the sequel to Beyond the Past – Beyond the Lies and be part way through the Nanny.
  6. Been able to support Wes on his rugby league journey
  7. Realised just how strong and resourceful I am.
  8. Applied and been accepted to study for a PhD – Doctor of Philosophy Computing and Creative Technologies. Me?

PhD


This is a project idea I have been working on, in the background, for a number of years now, since I achieved my Undergraduate degree. 

When Wes was studying GCSE ICT, I was shocked he hated it. It is not a subject any teenager, who has a keen interest in technology and helped to html code at home, should find boring. I did some investigating. I discovered, ICT for him meant replicating a magazine in Abode fireworks. It was basically copying, pasting and adding limited special effects. Trust me, I was bored to tears.

The UK Government introduced new computing curricula into High schools but it is delivered, on the whole, using conventional methods of teaching and, in some cases, by teachers who are not qualified or trained in the subject. I got to thinking – dangerous I know! What if the subject was delivered using Cloud Computing – interlinking experts from all fields within the subject? What impact would it have on the teachers and pupils? What impact would it have on improving engagement, innovation and employability? How would the delivery impact on children from low income families and would it attract more, including more girls, to take the subject and improve the staff shortages in the industry.

I was really nervous submitting it to the University and naturally delighted when I received an unconditional offer. I want to help to create a better future for ALL young people and this will be part of my contribution. I am looking for sponsorship but, for now, I relish in knowing my peers have faith in me to deliver this research. I won't stop writing fiction but, for the next four years, this will be a hobby again.

I am nothing special but life is. I am just a Mum determined to show the boys and the world, I will not let Meniere's or labels define me. Life is AMAZING. Don't let obstacles, including people's ignorance, stop you from realising YOUR dreams.





Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Sometimes…



...you have to accept, you could save a million puppies from drowning and still people will hate you. Sometimes, you write something that people misinterpret because of their inner anger and jealousy. Sometimes, it's not about you at all but you're in the firing line. There is absolutely NOTHING you can do about it. Right?

Wrong…you can do something about it. You can give in and wither away, drowning in abuse and bile, OR you can accept, it is confirmation of your gut instinct and use it as a platform to move on and concentrate on the important things in YOUR life. I choose the latter. I choose to continue to focus on my new career and making a better life for my children. I may have set backs but I won't give up. I may be derailed but I will get back on the right tracks.

Today I feel buoyant and happy, satisfied I am on the right track. It was never going to be easy – times are tough for all of us but I have faith in myself and my children have faith in me.

This week is all about tying up loose ends and research. Projects include:


  • Compiling TV production/ agent information
  • Looking at writing grants
  • Chasing my PhD
  • Completing my author profile
  • Updating my website
  • Synopsis and Treatments
  • General Housekeeping and accounts.
  • looking for part time work - earn some money.


And…there is a small matter of a HUGE football match on Wednesday evening. I want to wish my beloved Liverpool FC a massive good luck from us all here. We'll be watching – YNWA #JFT96. I have a feeling it is our year.

Next week, I can focus solely on my new project and being a Mum to fabulous, well- mannered boys.

Stay safe and focus on your own dreams.





Saturday, 14 May 2016

BULLIES WILL NEVER WIN - updated


The hardest part of life, in my humble opinion, is standing by your own beliefs and principles, even if it means you have to stand alone. Another hard part of life - that you have no control over - are the lies people are prepared to tell to hide their own deplorable actions. What has become clear this week is sticking a band aid on an open wound, does not stop the bleeding. 

I have physically shut myself away from people yet they still
Update. Twitter agrees
attack me – over something that had nothing to do with them in the first place. Personally, I realise some people look for anything they can cause trouble with and anything they can use as a stick to beat you with. It demonstrates harassment. Trouble causers will be trouble causers. My priority is the safety and wellbeing of my family. I've faced on onslaught of abuse but do you know what? Bullies will never win.

I am respectful and mindful of the words I use and I only write the truth; truth that can be verified with physical evidence. If you think you are going to cause trouble and I am going to turn a blind eye after everything I have been put through, you are very wrong – very wrong indeed.

MY FAMILY


Any other parents out there worry whether they have done enough to ensure their children can survive and thrive through adulthood?  I'm talking emotionally and psychologically, more than physically. I worried about it all the time until this week. Wes has been a total rock. When I've been on my knees, he has been firm and basically told me as it is. My initial reaction was to close all my social media accounts and this blog but he reminded me of why I started them and how hard I have worked to organically grow them. My social media accounts include politics, LFC, F1, books, authors, production, film, etc. He reminded me I should not give them up. He is absolutely right of course but when you are faced with an onslaught of abuse and lies, you do think the best way is to shut it down but then the bullies win.

Wes spent most of Wednesday evening analyzing all the information, data and evidence – I swear he should be studying computer forensics. The report he has compiled is concise and provides an excellent dossier of facts. He was simply calm, cool and collected. He knows I had reached the end of my patience and I am tired and exhausted but he has been simply brilliant and I know whatever life throws at him, he will handle it with dignity and strength. Most of all, he knows the difference between right and wrong and is made of outstanding moral fibre.

MENIERE'S

Meniere's is such a strange disease. For a couple of weeks, I have been on cloud nine, just the tinnitus to cope with but even that was manageable. Then wham! Out of the blue, stressful events, out of my control, take over and the brain fog descends, the fullness appears and then the dreaded spinning. I flipping hate being at anyone's mercy, least of all to an alien invader! 

There is nothing more frustrating than setting your stall out to work then it all gets blown up; the brain fog takes away your memory, function and dignity. I had so much planned this week. Oh well, I just have to ride it out again and there's me adding a part time job search on my 'to do' list!

Here’s to the end of a hellish week and in the words of D-REAM… "Things can only get better".

Have a fabulous weekend and week. Love to you all. Don't forget my book ...

Beyond the Past

Have you had the chance to read it yet? 

Would you like to review it for me? 

Read the first three chapters FREE on my website
Available from:
Pegasus Publishers
Amazon UK
Kindle
Amazon US
Or you can order from your local bookshop. 
The ISBN number is : 978-1-84386-789-0