A friend once said to me, “you inspire me”. I frowned at her, perplexed, “what are you talking about? Don’t ever wish to be me; my journey has been hard and with a lot of pain”. “How do you still laugh?” she asked. I smiled and shrugged off her compliment.
I decided to look up the meaning from the Merriam webster dictionary. The metaphorical meaning and the root word in Latin “inspirare” means “to breathe or blow into”. As if a supernatural or divine person is at work. Whilst I am not God, I liked the definition, “to breathe life or hope in a person,” which is something I love to do.
I have many adventures; the latest one was turning 50 and wondering what the whole palaver was about. I was incredibly grateful for life and, today, the ability to breathe. March 6th dawned. I was sick as a dog but still had dinner with my friends. Shortly after that, I blue-coded to West Middlesex University Hospital, I could not breathe. I had a 5-day stay with antibiotics prescribed and was discharged with a COVID-negative result.
In May 2020, I was found loitering half dressed with no cognition of who I was. Fortunately, my neighbour found me and called an ambulance. Another blue code, straight to resuscitation. My oxygen levels were 76% and affecting my brain; the blood pressure was unreasonably 220/104. None of my parents and siblings lives in England and was told I was in critical care. My youngest sister took charge. She said “No” to intubation, “she will make it”. The COVID hospitalisation in 2020 triggered help from all sorts of services. I finally acquiesced to using a walker, her name is Wendy. Deciding to use an aid broke me. I beat COVID-19, my lupus went into remission, and my fibromyalgia is better managed, all in the Pandemic.
Behind the scenes, many do not know I cannot walk more than 20 meters unaided. I supported others in the background and even entered the final lane to publish my book “Wounded: Diary of a Nameless Woman”. The frustration of being housebound for four years and not being able to function properly was depressing. I jumped at an opportunity to contribute to another book on bullying and harassment whilst healing.
Summer 2020 was the first time in 4 years I saw colour. I use my walker, Wendy, to walk to the shop, and when the sun shone in summer, I found a space at The Green for my Vitamin D.
But I am an Author and have an Editor’s Choice article. I was also awarded “Little Effects” award for three years during my worst depression. Disability is not inability. My greatest achievement is intervening in suicides in Kenya and getting help for young women.
My best advice: When you are on your own encourage yourself, and you will see the evidence of your work.