Thers are a few different auto-immune diseases:
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the one of these auto-immune diseases that I know well. I was diagnosed with MS in February 2010. I'm a poet and writer, and at the time of my diagnosis, both before and after, I used creative writing to help me to keep a hold onto how I was feeling and coping.
I'm doing well with MS. My current medication seems to be working well, and I'm able to still do most of the things I want to do. As well as my medication though, I believe my positive attitude to this illness helps me to manage how I'm going. I'm using positiveness and physical exercise to keep on moving. Not everyone with MS progresses inevitably to a wheelchair, and I want to stay out of a wheelchair for all of my (long) life, if I can.
I've written a variety of different kinds of things about MS, depending on how I'm feeling. Some of my pieces of writing are serious, some funny. Some are prose and some are poetry. The important thing, is that these are MY words, telling MY story.
I feel that an incredible important part of dealing with a chronic illness like these is to have some sense of control. I feel in control of MS, at least to some extent. Looking at MS in a positive way, and taking actions such as physical exercises to assist my body to cope, help me to be in control.
Creative writing, and Wii Fit exercises are helping me to keep on keeping on.
I'm currently writing a memoir about my experiences with MS. This memoir is in verse, and includes some of my poetry and prose about MS. Writing this memoir has been an interesting process, and I have had some amazing sources of help with the writing.
I applied for and received a grant from the Richard Llewellyn Arts and Disability Trust to pay for a verse mentor (Ray Tyndale). I applied for and will receive an award from the MS Society SA & NT Choice Awards, which will assist with the printing of my memoir as well as some other expenses. Ray has been a terrific mentor and has helped me in many ways.
One of these ways was to introduce me to an illustrator, Simon Kneebone. I met with Simon, we talked and he read a draft of my memoir. Simon then set about doing some fantastic illustrations for me to look at and use if I wanted. I loved his illustrations, and I'm thrilled to be paying a talented artist, whose work will add so much to my memoir.
I'm hoping my memoir will be launched not too long after the middle of this year. My memoir will be titled "Mick, Jane and Me, Travelling Well With MS".
I've written some more about this memoir on another of my blogs, here
If you'd like to know more about my experiences in creative writing, or in living with MS, feel free to contact me.