So, it’s been a bit of a rough ride.
I wasn’t quite sure I was going to get to the recent author event in Nottingham. As you know, if you read my blog now and again, health is not exactly a forte of mine. That’s putting it mildly sometimes!
The background to this event is that I’d had a heart operation a few months before which didn’t really fix my dodgy electrics, I’d then caught some kind of bug in a part of my body that is a major weak spot and left me sleeping for around twenty hours a day… then, two weeks before travelling to Nottingham, I decided I’d throw in some extra issues. I have been night-blind for a while and getting more photosensitive but I threw in being completely unable to stand light in one eye.
I don’t do things by halves do I?
After some hospital visits and fascinated doctors who were very kind and helpful, I was able to get out of bed for an hour at a time without flashes, floaters and eye-twitching going on all at once… but only with dark glasses.
Travelling five plus hours in a car to a reading event was not advisable and shall we just say that Team Jody thought I was crazy for even thinking about it. Do you know what my answer was? “I’m sick anyway so I may as well be useful doing it.”
You have to feel for the poor souls stuck with me, don’t you?
I was going and I was going to make the most of it so off we headed… slowly… up to Nottingham. We got me to the panel plied with medication and drops and if you’re going to wear dark glasses, you may as well go with it. The one thing I’ve learned about ill health, about fighting it and not crumbling, is that you look at the bits illness takes away and you find some way to get it back.
1 – Being ill makes you look ill – duh, but it’s true. You walk like it, you act like it, if you’re like me you come with equipment and furry monsters to help you. It bugs me. A lot of the time I do my best to hide it and defy it if only for that small window. I also love finding ways to go with it – If anyone was in Nottingham, they’ll probably tell you about the fun I have with my hair. Sometimes it’s mine… sometimes it’s thanks to Michila Harris…
2 – Being ill makes you feel five – one minute you’re an adult doing well… grown up things like working or taking the bins out, the next you need help to get out of bed or tie your shoelaces. It is one of the most frustrating things because sometimes, just sometimes, you want to pretend you’re still an adult… thankfully Em is used to me and Ferb is good with alerting everyone and everyone at events keeps a close eye on me while pretending they aren’t. I cannot tell you what that does for me and for my morale. I can’t explain how good it felt to sit and talk to fantastic people into the night on a very wet seat. It made a huge difference to me just to be a person.
3 – Being ill makes you… um… ill – okay, I paid for it when I came home. I’m still kinda blind, I’m sleeping less ish… I’m waiting for more hospital miles but I feel like a human being and that is a gift I can’t really describe.
Thank you to the wonderful Brey and Tom who organised the event and let me come and say hello; thank you to every single wonderful person who said hi, chatted, got confused by my hair or cuddled Ferb. (Poor Valden especially because he likes to sneak up behind her and bark when she’s not expecting it… then he seriously looks like he’s laughing!) To everyone who attended, new friends and known friends… THANK YOU!
I say it a lot but writing is a blessing, watching women’s football for me is a blessing. I have far more blessings than I can list. That’s why reading from Black Ridge Falls and chatting about Aeron’s books was a treat in itself. I am blessed which is something Aeron takes a good few adventures to realise. She heals me just by writing her and heals me because I can head across the country to talk about her. She manages a lot of things while feeling sick… but she makes it look good so other people smile… and I hope I do the same.