I've heard many people express reluctance in declaring their health situation, for afraid they will not be hired, or if already employed, once a company learns of a new condition/diagnosis, prejudice and stigma come into play. I have experienced this humiliation first-hand and can understand an employee feeling hesitant to reveal the truth. I remember being told many years ago by an employment agency that I had to declare my health situation during an interview. This was long before I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, however as soon as I mentioned that I had Gaucher disease and I would require one day off work every six months for a check-up in hospital, they did not have to say anything more; I could tell by facial expression alone, as the interview was abruptly brought to an end, I would not be hired. Out of curiosity, I told the truth about my health at four consecutive interviews, receiving the same outcome each time. However, at the fifth interview, I refrained from mentioning Gaucher disease, and was hired immediately and worked at that company for several years. When I needed to go for a hospital check-up, I would take a day off as ‘sick leave’. It is a great shame people often are forced to lie about their health status, but until stigma and ignorance have been removed from the work place, I don’t think those who are able to work, have much choice. Unfortunately now in poor health, I am not able to work, but am now afforded the luxury of being able to tell the truth. How ironic is that?
I have been writing poetry and stories since I was a child, and a love of reading was instilled in me from an early age. I am passionate about writing, and hope you enjoy the books I have written. Whilst most of you sleep soundly in your beds, like many Parkinson’s patients, insomnia dictates, so during those hours that sleep eludes me, the house is tranquil and quiet, an atmosphere perfect to immerse myself in writing. My life has been a series of strange events, which have without doubt contributed to my creativity. To publish anything is to bear one’s soul to the world. It is to stand naked and let everyone see who you really are. I have poured my heart and soul out on paper and I hope to share this journey, immersing you in a story, capturing your attention and firing the imagination. Through my writing and public speaking I hope to bring greater awareness to the general public about living with chronic disease.