Monday, 17 February 2020

This Author’s Health Journey

We all have a story. Every single one of us, whether we write about it or not. My fictional stories are inspired by real-life events, experiences and perceptions, albeit with a little paranormal twist… hey, I like to liven things up a little bit! A big part of my personal story is my health. I am generally a very healthy and happy thirty-eight-year-old woman. I have had two successful pregnancies with very minor complications during labour. But I have been in and out of hospital all my life.

I have a rare genetic disorder called Lymphodoema Distichiasis. You can’t even pronounce it, can you? I had to practice a little when the diagnosis officially came. I carry a recessive gene, called the FOXC2 gene. It means that my body produces anomalies. For me those anomalies include a double row of eyelashes in both eyes. My eyelashes grow on the inside of the eyelid, and they turn in so that they scratch my corneas. I have severe scarring in both eyes, and I have routine minor surgery procedures to remove the extra eyelashes using lasers. In between hospital visits, I pluck the offending eyelashes out with tweezers. Not pleasant. It is very painful and can be very debilitating, but I am not the sort of person to let that get in my way. More recently I have been diagnosed with a chronic pain condition as a result of the distichiasis and Dry Eye Syndrome. The nerve endings on the surface of my eyes are inflamed and make me feel like I have something scratching my eye even when I don’t. It causes a lot of pain, and I never have enough natural tears to ease it.

You see, that is my story. One author, one rare genetic eye disorder. It could have caused me to give up my job, my ability to drive, even my independence, because it got so bad at one point. But I refused to submit to the pain and the discomfort. Instead I sought alternative methods of healing, which brought me to my current training in Reiki. That is a higher vibrational energy healing system that we can all tap into, and I find it incredibly helpful for my health condition. It will also find its way into my stories and has even inspired me to plan some non-fiction books based on my experiences.

What are your life experiences, health or otherwise? How do they inspire and inform your career choices, your hobbies, your way of life?

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