Monday, 18 January 2010

Stop for a minute and think - Help for Haiti

Did you have a great weekend? Back to Monday eh? Back to the grindstone?

Stop for a minute and think.

Imagine for a minute that instead of the great weekend away from work you've just had, everything you had, disappeared. Your workplace has gone. Your way of getting to work has gone. Your shop has gone. Your bank has gone. Your supplier has gone.

Stop for a minute and think.

Imagine for a minute that instead of coming back home tonight to your beautiful home, your home had disappeared. Everything you'd worked for has gone. Your building has gone. Your furniture has gone. Your power supply has gone. Your water supply has gone.

Stop for a minute and think.

Imagine for a minute that instead of coming home to the people who love you, that they'd disappeared. Imagine that your street has gone. Imagine that your neighbours have gone. Imagine that your friends have gone. Imagine that your husband, your wife, your partner, your soulmate has gone.

Imagine that your child has gone.

Stop for a minute and think. Really think. Try to imagine what it would be like.

Today we can imagine, because it hasn't happened to us. But it has happened to the people of Haiti. They're hurt, they're scared, they're hungry and they're thirsty. Many of them have lost everything they own, everyone they love.

Today we can imagine, because we're still safe. Today, we can help the people of Haiti. Today, we can help.

Please, if you read, make a donation.

Please, stop for a minute and think. And give.

Stop, for a minute, and think.

Sunday, 10 January 2010


In my vast experience of having MS for 1 month, I am more than happy to declare it the most ridculous disease ever. I've not got a lot of experience of anything else, and I haven't much experience of this one, but you can trust me on this. In fact, so far in my life, I appear to have escaped many illnesses, and my most significant prior to this escapade was chicken pox.

I was diagnosed on the 15th December 2009 (Merry Christmas!), after various fruitless visits to consultants following months of pain in my left hip and thigh. There was a brief encounter with a physio, and a couple of MRI scans thrown in for good measure. In fact, despite all information to the contrary, I'm probably as radioactive as Sellafield, and I'll need a change of identity and a decent PR campaign to convince anyone otherwise. When the neuro (see how familiar I am with these terms? - how much do we love the internet?!) gave me the news, it was on the back of me pushing for another MRI scan following his assertion that no one had ever presented to him with hip pain as their first sign of MS.

Look at me, a medical marvel.

At the beginning of December, before I was diagnosed, my neck went into spasm and for three days I had an almost perfect view of my right ankle and very little else, unless it was located in my bottom right hand corner.Still, it gave me every opportunity to work on that slightly coy look up through your eyelashes when you're talking that I've often admired, but honestly, never really spent any time working on it.

But do you know what the really funny part is? I went to the GP this week, and mentioned the neck spasm, and she declared that probably wasn't MS. Well forgive me, but my neck's never done that before, and unless I'm very much mistaken, one of the symptoms is muscle spasms. The hip pain? Surprising. Despite pain being, again, a symptom of MS. The neuro warned me against thinking that everything might be MS related. Apparently some days I'll wake up and feel crap, and it will be nothing to do with MS, it will instead be everything to do with feeling crap. And some days I'll wake up and feel great and think, well do you know what, no MS for me today, and that will be entirely down to MS because it affects your mood.

So. A ridiculous disease. If you think you've got it, you probably haven't. And if you think you haven't, that's when you most likely have.

I couldn't have asked for better comedy material.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

All and Nothing

When I started this blog, I truly believed I was the luckiest woman alive, and in many ways I still do. I have the most wonderful partner, the most gorgeous son, I have friends I will keep forever. Every morning when I get up, I should get to my knees and give thanks to some god, any god, for even one of these things, because I know I'm incredibly lucky.

But when you believe your life is full and complete, you become complacent and you take even the tiniest of things for granted, let alone the big things. Snowballing for instance. I know the weather is dreadful for some of you and if you're struggling with it, forgive me. The sheer joy of walking with your child in the snow and having an impromptu snowball fight, when you wish above all you had a better aim, and were a smaller target. You take for granted the fact one day you're surely going to run a marathon or write the great British novel. And when you dream about these things, it never occurs to you something might stop you, because why would you?

Other things too. If ever you stopped to think, would you take even the most basic of imaginings for granted? Do you assume you'll live to a ripe old age and become a terrific old pain in the ass to your children which they will surely deserve? Is it just me who is so deluded she imagines nothing will ever get in the way of the apple pie, rose covered cottage future which is surely on its way? Because isn't that how it's supposed to be?

How completely and utterly nonsensical.

Life isn't a storybook, and it doesn't look like an advert for luxury chocolates. Life is what you make of it, and sometimes it's nasty and dirty and it makes you cry. Sometimes you try really hard and you don't get what you want, sometimes you try really hard and nobody gets what they want. Sometimes you're selfish, and sometimes you're selfless and sometimes you're angry and sometimes you're hateful and jealous and bad-tempered and sometimes you're kind and caring and sometimes you're all of those in one day because it's the person you are.

And sometimes you're frightened, really frightened, because you've been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and it's suddenly hit you that you can't take things for granted any more.

Or maybe that's just me.
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