This morning I was thrilled to read the letter I received from Arts SA. This letter told me that I was successful with my grant application, requesting money to assist with writing my memoir relating to my new medical issue.
I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), diagnosed in February 2010. This memoir I want to write will be the book I wish I'd been able to read two years ago, when I didn't really know who to turn to, or what those two letter, MS, would mean in my new life.
MS for me is a challenge, but I know now it's a challenge I can meet, a challenge I'm working on with many friends, new and old. The MS community in South Australia and beyond is a wonderful caring community, with ideas and kind thoughts in abundance. I've found new friends since my diagnosis, and I've found inner strengths I hadn't realise were there.
Living with MS is different for everyone, but there are so many things that are the same. I can joke with people who have MS in easy ways about things that would never be a joking point in non-affected people. Knowing there are other people out there who will get my story about needing the toilet, and being able to giggle about it is a great thing.
And knowing that there are people who truly know what I'm talking about when I say I can't do something because MS fatigue has hit me, is a comforting thing. MS fatigue is so much more than feeling tired. Sitting down for a second or two won't help. Sitting down for ten minutes may help though, this time but not the next time. People with MS understand this, they know that being able to do it yesterday, doesn't necessarily mean I can do it today.
Soon I'll be talking to my new mentor, and working out what we'll be doing. My new mentor is a lovely lady, who has written verse novels and is a terrific poet. Dr Ray Tyndale is her name, and I'm looking forward to meeting her in person soon, and sharing this new part of my life with her.
I'm excited about this, and I hope to keep you informed about it over the coming year!