What happens when your life turns upside down with a diagnosis?
How do you keep your identity and personality when subsumed in a new Alice-down-the-rabbit-hole world of hospitals, physiotherapists and fear?
There are 300,000 women in Wales today with a chronic and serious illness, 11,000 people need care, just in my home county of Torfaen.
I got so fed up of always being ‘other’, of people staring at my wheelchair or coming up in the street and asking what is “wrong” with me, or what my prognosis is, or will I ever walk again. I became fed up with the fact that my life with multiple disabilities was the main talking point for many people.
Not everyone can see that I am LIVING with the health challenges. They are the footnotes, I am the adventure story.
It became a strain some days, when all I heard was ‘no cure, no cure’, having to work things out ourselves, being healing-freaks. So we flipped it, don’t be an outcast, be a Trailblazer!
I never planned to do this. I wanted to live quietly in Wales, to read novels, rub up my Latin enough to read the classics, grow flowers, and you know, not die young.
We all have to deal with our own challenges and fear. Everyone has roadblocks to navigate. If you’ve ever had someone staring at your “otherness” or not known what to say to someone who is ill, (what can you say to someone who is dying?), then this talk is for you.
Can I do all this in 5 minutes?
Darling, when you have been so ill that you are conscious for less than 1 minute a day as I have been, then 5 minutes is a lifetime and a luxury.
This is not a miracle cure talk; you won’t weep at the happy ending. I am still sick but I’ve learned how to be a Trailblazer and keep living, and I’m here to teach you to do the same!
[Transcripts to follow, please bear with me]
What are you putting in the footnotes of your life? Let me know in the comments.
P.S You may also enjoy watching/listening to my TEDx talk, Using Your Brokenness to Break Boundaries, check out my speaking page, and read the Trailblazing Manifesto.