I’m Cat, at sea, inadvertently. The occasioning of this blog was more of a case of falling overboard into stormy seas than choosing to go for a dip in calm waters during a pleasant summer rain storm.
I’ve lived with MS for over 20 years but my “progression” has been in the main slow and stately (not unlike my good self) until recently when I got hit by not one but two hefty relapses in quick succession, starting somewhere around the beginning of June 2013. Of course in reality all this had been brewing for some time but did I mention I particularly love paddling around in the Nile? A couple of weeks into this unforeseen journey into stormy relapse waters I started writing about what it felt like to be going through this on my Facebook page.
At first this was mainly just a way of keeping my head above water. But as I got the hang of bobbing around like this, I got hooked on writing about it. So I decided to make my little writing lifeboat (I’ve been busy; I managed to lash together some passing driftwood and am now paddling on top of rather than in my choppy seas) a more conscious effort to engage my observational writing skills to document this experience. Aside from being a sailor, I make my living as a teacher and a design ethnographer – and so the instinct to try and document and learn from my experiences comes kind of naturally.
Some of the folks who read my Facebook updates wanted to pass them on to folks they thought should read it, and I am looking for an excuse to channel my love of writing into other areas. So I decided to publish my fieldnotes on a blog as well. Feel free to hop aboard if you feel like it. I am hoping to add an inside deck, maybe even a galley, in time. So far it’s just the stuff I have been posting on Facebook here but who knows where it will end, I might even get my old opera blogging pal Purity back for the odd (emphasis on odd) opera post too.
Warning: most of this stuff is written in auto-ethnographic-ish fieldnote style – ie by the person right in it as they are in it. Some of it might need that borne in mind as the ‘it’ is a degenerative neurological condition!
Warning for folks with MS: If you stumbled on this blog looking for information or advice about MS I’m sorry you won’t find that here. Just the thoughts of someone who has lived with it for what is now a very long time! Some of the posts may be upsetting to some who are newly diagnosed, especially one one called The Wrong Turn. If I was advising myself shortly after diagnosis I’d probably say something like “Hey you know what there are plenty of other things out there to read, maybe skip this!”. Remember MS takes each one of us on a different journey, mine will bear no relation to yours. And my thoughts are after many many years when MS had little effect on me. Don’t let diagnosis rule your life, it may be a very long time, if ever, before MS becomes something that significantly impacts your life. And if you do read on remember, I’m still here and still (very much) enjoying life despite the dark days 🙂
Advice: Like many things in life it probably makes sense to approach this blog from the bottom up. If you can be arsed. Ba boom!