Monthly Archives: May 2014

Inspirational? Or Just Doing My Best?

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People have told me they find my words and deeds inspirational. I am glad others feel like that, of course, but I don’t feel like I’m anyone special. I have been given a chronic illness multiple sclerosis (MS), that sufferers are sometimes completely weighed down by.

I have written about my new life since being diagnosed with MS. The memoir has gone into the homes of other sufferers, into libraries, and to some other interested people. I wanted to write this memoir back when I was diagnosed in 2010, so that people could read about how it affected me. There are many things people may have heard about MS that may have been true once, but are no longer true.

Twenty years ago, if someone was diagnosed with MS, they were probably told to rest and hope for the best. There were not really any useful medications to assist you, and it was thought that exercise was harmful to people with MS. That story is certainly no longer true.

These days, there are a range of treatments for people diagnosed with MS. There are injectable treatments that have been around for some time now, which are relatively effective for some, but not others. There is also an infusion (Tysabri) which is given monthly. Some people swear by this treatment. Now there are also tablet treatments available in Australia. 

When I was first diagnosed, I went onto one of the injectables, which I stayed on until the first tablet treatment became available in Australia. My first treatment, which was an injection once a week (Avonex), worked well enough, limiting the worsening of my bad effects, to some extent, and giving my body a bit of a chance to heal the damage. 

I’m proud of myself for being able to give myself the injections, but when I could get onto the tablet treatment, I jumped at the chance. I was happy to give away Avonex treatment, and after a wash out period, start taking my daily tablet treatment (Gilenya). I’ve been on this treatment for about two years now, and I’m extremely happy with how it is going. 

I know many people who have MS, and some of them have tried Gilenya, but had to give it up for a variety of reasons. We are all different and it seems what works for one person won’t necessarily work for all. My blood and MRI results have all been good, and I am definitely going to stick with these tablets while I am doing so well with them.

Now, to get back to the reason I’m writing this post. As I wote above, I’m happy enough to be thought of as an inspiration. But I believe each of us can and should look to their lives, and how we are living, to find what they truly love and want to do in their lives. For some, it may be doing their job and doing it well. For others if could be raising a healthy and happy family. Others might find their life calling in volunteer work.

I love the volunteer work I do. It’s mostly related on some way to writing, which is what I love to do. So, as you can see, I’m working in a way that I love to do. This makes it so much easier to do the volunteer work that I do. I also am involved with the MS Society SA & NT, and go to meetings and take part in discussions related to ways that the Society’s clients can be better helped. It’s interesting, and I’m more than happy to help with giving this kind of feedback to the Board of the Society.

So that’s my life – I do what I love doing, but I also offer assistance and support to various friends I have, both people with MS, other writers, and my friends with issues to think through. Because I like helping in this way, I have been thinking about going back to study, to become a counsellor. I’ve had positive comments from friends when they’ve heard about this, and I’m hoping to be able to get this up and running soon. 

I’ve been reading about a form of therapy – Narrative Therapy – and this very much interests me. I’ll see how and if the study happens, and will continue looking to Narrative Therapy…

So that’s about it. I will continue to do the best I can, and hope others do the same thing… I’m inspired by many other ‘ordinary’ people, and I hope to always find inspiring people in the world!

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A Sporting Victory!

In my last blog post, I wrote about my lawn bowls practice the other day, when I was getting some practice in. At the end of that blog post, I mentioned the possibility of playing in the Winter Bowls Season that is happening at the Mallala Bowling Club every Wednesday in the cooler weather, up toward the next pennant bowling season once the weather warms up again after winter, early spring.

Well, on Wednesday at 11.30 I was heading for Mallala after finishing up some work. I already had my lawn bowls in my car, my shoes we adequate, but not perfect, and I was reading to bowl! The waiting around went longer than I’d expected, and there were many bowlers chatting and getting into the mood for some friendly competition.

When the game got started, with me fronting up in the position of ‘lead’, things went well enough. My team hadn’t won the toss, so didn’t go first, but I managed to bowl OK for that first end. My team didn’t win the end though, and so the game went on, with me going second again. The game continued like that for some time, but eventually we managed to win a few times, and I was thrilled with how well I was able to deliver the Jack/Kitty.

We lost that first game, and retired to the clubrooms for more chatting and fun. I still felt pretty good, and certainly didn’t feel the need to find another bowler to step into my spot in the team. Being able to sit down in between ends after I’d had my turn was all I needed, and I felt pretty darn good! We lost that game, but there was another game to play, and I felt very ready for it!

My bowling went well, I was getting the mat more often, and my bowls were getting close to, or touching the Jack/Kitty, just the way they should! The opposition didn’t always leave my bowls, or the Jack/Kitty where I’d put them, but hey, that’s lawn bowls! The game was going well, people were telling me how well I was bowling, and being a member of a team bowling competitively felt soooo good. As it turned out, we lost the game. We only lost it on the final end though, and only by one point. The team was pretty happy with that and so was I. That was last Wednesday, and it’s Tuesday tomorrow, and then Wednesday again. I’m definitely keen to play Winter Bowls again!

We’ll see how it goes – will I bowl even better next time, or was last Wednesday a fluke? Time will tell!