“I am a writer living in Vancouver, British Columbia. I am a poet at heart, but also write fiction, creative non-fiction and prose. As well as working on smaller pieces, I am also working on a novel and collaborating on a screenplay. Writing is my passion, not my job.
In my thirties, I was diagnosed with early Rheumatoid Arthritis. I developed this blog to share my experience in living with this disease. I also want to create awareness that arthritis is not a disease just for the elderly. Young people are susceptible and can suffer just as much. It is a debilitating disease that destroys lives. It affects employment, personal relationships and can cause depression. Knowledge is power. The more you learn about your situation, you can live a fulfilling life despite your disease. Sometimes you must learn to let your old life die and create a new one, like a re-birth.
In order to manage my time, as I am new to the blogging world, I will post once a week; if time permits, you will see more mid-week posts. Readers will experience stories, prose and even poetry about my experiences and the experiences of others.”
Move over EL James, there’s a new top dog in town.
But she’s only from down the road.
The third installment of James’ saucy ‘mummy porn’ trilogy Fifty Shades Of Grey has lost its vice-like grip on the Kindle best-selling ebook chart, having being ousted by a sweet literary romance about a group of dog walkers – and both writers are from west London.
Monday To Friday Man is the fourth novel and seventh book from Hammersmith-based dog lover Alice Peterson, 38, a former professional tennis player who turned to writing after her promising athletic career was prematurely curtailed at the age of 18 when she was left wheelchair-bound by rheumatoid arthritis.
Love, lust boys and shopping – the main worries of a teenage girl? Not for eighteen-year-old Alice Peterson, who, at the height of her youth and extremely promising tennis career, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
In the midst of shock and denial, and the enduring question, ‘Isn’t it old people who get arthritis?’ Alice had to learn to live with what quickly turned from the odd ache and pain to an aggressive form of the illness, and rediscover a new path in life.
Another Alice is at times utterly heartbreaking, and at others laugh-out-loud. Here is a story of how, armed with humour and courage, she left behind a world she loved to overcome the pain of a degenerative disease.
Told with wit, charm and frankness, Another Alice is also a story of friendship, family, growing up and the desire to be normal. Above all it celebrates the power of the human spirit.
This past week I spent time in my old college town, also known as New York City. This visit was originally supposed to cap my extended visit here in the United States, but after my mother had a stoke earlier this summer, I changed my travel plans and pushed my return trip back to the end of August. By the time I return home in a few weeks, I will have been away for a total of three months and three days.
The other day I was telling a close friend that this will always be “the time I traveled non-stop for the entire summer and lived out of a suitcase.” What I didn’t say at the time, but was thinking to myself, was that this will also always be the time that I firmly feel like I’ve gained the upper hand when it comes to living with rheumatoid arthritis…and if there is such a thing as “conquering” this disease, I feel like I have done so.
Strong words, coming from a person who was (once again) almost completely immobilized by a sudden flare just a few short days ago. I can say, however, that I have truly learned that the secret of success has nothing to do with the presence and frequency of my RA symptoms (although learning how to minimize them, even slightly, is very important), and has everything to do with how I cope with the pain and disability.
I’ve learned that even when I have little control over my body, I have complete and absolute control over my mind. I’ve said before that due to the chronic pain, I always feel like I am just sixty seconds away from a major panic attack. In a way this is true, as I have–on many occasions–experienced firsthand the absolutely frightening downward spiral that is prompted by a thought such as “this pain is never going to go away.”
I’ve also learned that even though the pain is constant, as are the corresponding pangs of fear, so too is my ability to stay calm, and to stay relaxed.
A few weeks ago, my 20 year old niece was asked to go upstairs and check on me, as I lay in bed in the midst of a major flare. I didn’t know she had done so until we were talking over lunch the next day. I was telling her that the previous day’s flare was one of the strongest that I had experienced in months, when she responded that she knew; she could see the pain in my body and in my face when she had gone up to check on me the day before.
She also told me that she doesn’t know how I do it; that is, live with the constant pain.
I was a little taken aback…not because the her words made me feel uncomfortable in any way, but because I realized that I didn’t have a good answer to the question.
Because to be honest, I myself don’t really know how I live with this pain all of the time. I just know that I do.
And while it does continually feel like I’m only just a minute away from a complete meltdown, I also know that I’m also just a minute away from another minute of life, another minute of continued happiness.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!