I remember my first day at work (many years ago when I was young and naïve) and walking into the office with a spring in my step, full of confidence, my new co-workers and boss looked me up and down with curiosity. Dressed in my twin set and pearls, I resembled the epitome of an English lady, as if I had stepped off the set of the BBC Television series "To The Manor Born" with Penelope Keith by my side. I was the token touch of British etiquette, gracious and adhering to correct office protocol, brought up with good manners, and a sense of propriety. I was a curious combination of a young woman mixed with an era that seems now almost lost. Although I have long cast off the infamous outdated "twin set and pearls look", fundamentally I guess I am the same person at my core. Scrupulous at time keeping, meticulous and organised, unbending on telling the truth, I follow the straight and narrow, upholding what I believe is right and listening to my instincts.
I was asked the other day, which is a question often posed to me, "Why do you write every day, sometimes revealing what most would consider private and personal details of your life?" I believe in speaking out if it can help others who are travelling a similar path by talking about all issues related to living with chronic disease; the more informed a person is, receiving a feeling of empathy and understanding makes people feel not quite so alone. When it comes to one's health, keeping two major diseases a secret is impossible, and I have found it far easier to be open about my situation by sharing my experiences with others who realise that someone else is going through the same daily ordeals.
I do not write about religion or politics but adhere strictly to my topic of living with chronic disease, focusing on Gaucher disease and Parkinson's, as this is where I obviously have personal experience. I am not a doctor, merely a patient trying to reach out to fellow sufferers and educate those who are still in the dark. I do not ask for sympathy, but to be treated as an equal, with dignity and respect. Feeling comfortable about yourself, knowing who you really are, standing up for what you believe in and knowing what's important in life often only comes with age.