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?


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.

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