Tag Archives: MCAD

Weekly roundup

This week seems to’ve passed in a bit of a blur and I’m not quite sure what I’ve been up to.  My period must be imminent because I’ve been hormonal and emotional and spent yesterday with a migraine, backache and period pain plus I’m not sleeping well again and have been awake this morning since 4.50am :-/

Tuesday I met two of my old codger camera club buddies for lunch which was lovely even if one of them is a typical old geezer who likes to tell me how I should run my life despite the fact I’ve managed successfully for the past 50 years without his input 😉  What is it about some men who feel the need to constantly tell women what they should be doing and how they should be doing it?  I’m sure in their mind they think they’re being helpful but actually they just come across as patronizing and it’s noticeable they don’t have the same conversations with their male friends.

My camera has gone off to Olympus in Portugal for repair and a friend has lent me his old camera in the meantime as he’s currently not using it.  It’s really kind of him but it’s like driving someone else’s car – I have no clue where the controls are or what any of the buttons and dials do.  It’s also nowhere near the quality of my own camera so I’m not even sure if it will be of any use.  I can’t believe my luck that my camera broke now of all times, when I am ridiculously busy working towards two different photographic distinctions for which I can only apply once a year and have looming deadlines.

I managed to get my laptop screen with the dead pixels changed for free though, only for the computer engineer to discover that the new replacement also has dead pixels.  “That’s unlucky” he says.  It’s the story of my life.

My last serious boyfriend was a naturally lucky person.  Good things simply fell in his lap without him trying for them or even particularly wanting them.  I, OTOH, am the complete opposite.  If something can go wrong for me it usually does and bad luck seems to follow me like a cloud.  He has breezed through life with his barn conversion home (which his parents sold to him for £1), his lovely wife, his six figure salary and his triplets while I have struggled, fought and strived for every little thing.  S’not fair *stamps foot*.

Bertie turned 10 this week.  He has a severely herniated spinal disc which causes him a lot of pain and grade II heart disease but other than that he’s still like a puppy and greets each day with excited gusto.  He’s my reason for getting out of bed every morning (usually at 5.45am!) and the reason I took up photography as I’d had no interest whatsoever before getting him, in fact I didn’t even own a camera.   Happy birthday to the light in my life 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Weekly roundup

Hurrrahh, I finally feel like part of the human race again and it is fabulous 😀  This week I’ve suddenly perked up for no reason I can fathom.  I’m sleeping through without getting up to pee, my brain fog has lifted from severe to normal-for-me (which is still shit but liveable with) and my energy has also returned to normal-for-me (which again is still shit but at least I’m not spending 15 hours a day asleep and the rest of the day lying on the couch wishing I were asleep cos I’m so ill and exhausted).  On the downside my butt pain is worse and my SI joint is killing me to the point where I can’t sit in one position for long without shooting pains down both legs and I’ve done something to my right wrist which is now all bandaged up but, hey, I’ll take it if it means my energy is no longer AWOL.

Sadly that’s the end of my good news for this week, but at least I’ve been able to deal with the crap that’s been thrown at me because my health has improved – silver linings an’ all that 😉

Having spent most of last week in bed feeling awful I decided to take my new found energy down to the river for a couple of hours to see if I could get some photos of a Black Head Gull I’d spotted while out with Bertie.  It was a lovely day, warm but not hot, and after the Gull arrived almost on cue I spent a lovely hour taking pictures.  In fact, I took so many my memory card became full so I went to remove it to insert a new one…………..and it wouldn’t come out :-/  The little spring which ejects it just wasn’t working, so I grumpily had to abandon my morning out and go home.  To cut a long story short it’s obvious my camera needs repairing, so I tried to raise a repair ticket online.  Would it go through on the Olympus website?  That would be a big fat no, so after 1½ frustrating hours I gave up and will have to ring them tomorrow.  The thought of having to send my camera off, then being camera-less for ages, makes me want to weep and as I’m already overdrawn at the bank and August has only just started I have no clue how I’m going to afford to pay to have it fixed.

Yesterday I received an email off a member of my Camera club.  She’d been talking to a mutual friend who moved away last year but is now back home and he told her about my photography website, not knowing that it is a private website I only use for close friends and family.  It contains all the new images I’m using for competitions in the new season and I don’t want other club members to be able to see them and pinch my ideas (which has happened before!).  He’d tried to remember the address from memory, giving her part of it, and she’d Googled this to try looking for the site.  I nearly had kittens, because in googling all sorts of connotations she might have found this blog.  It’s one thing blogging anonymously about my life and health to total strangers (ie all of you) and something else entirely when people you barely know in your home town can read all about your private life.  Honestly, I felt sick.

I speak from experience.  I wrote a blog when I adopted Bertie which was followed by a friend of a friend and I stupidly mentioned my health blog on there.  This person then read this blog, even though he’s not sick and barely knows me, then gossiped about everything I’d written with my neighbour (our mutual friend).  She then quizzed me on all aspects of my private life, from my finances to sex, and I was mortified.  I’d HATE for anyone at my camera club to be reading this blog.  So now I’m panicking.

Last night I decided to transfer all the photos I share on here which people who know me would recognize onto another website and will link to them from here.  So I went to set that up yesterday, which should have taken about 20 minutes.  Two hair tearing hours later I couldn’t get the new site to verify, so am now waiting to hear back from support.

In the meantime, I noticed my emails weren’t downloading to my desktop.  Another 2 hours of stressful faffing later I’m now waiting for support on that.

My laptop, which is only two years old, has suddenly developed dead pixels.  WTF?!  I’ve tried all the fixes and none have worked so I now have a totally fucking annoying black mark right in the middle of my screen which I can’t afford to get fixed.

Half of the lights under my kitchen counters stopped working and I’ve no idea why.

Maybe I shudda stopped in bed………

As I’ve had a very stressful couple of days my bezzie has taken pity on me and we’re meeting for lunch out today which I’m really looking forward to.  I’m ready to be pampered a bit, even if that’s only someone else cooking my lunch.  Afterwards I’m taking my Dad through to the city for a repeat MRI scan on his back in preparation for his appointment to see the spinal surgeon in a couple of weeks.  He’s struggling so much now I do hope his surgery takes place soon so that he can get back to the walks he loves.

However, first I need to get out of my pit, get dressed and take Bert out.  He’s sitting here nudging me with his nose to tell me time is ticking on.  I love him to the moon and back, even if he has left slimey snot all the way up my arm 😀

 

Weekly roundup

I wish I could begin this post by saying I’ve had a great week for a change but sadly I’d be lying.  It’s been shit.  I am poleaxed by exhaustion to the point where I feel I may be on the verge of an M.E. relapse, something I haven’t had in years.  My limbs feel like concrete and my blood is poisoned with achy, fluey weakness.  I’m assuming my hormones are to blame – I seem to be blaming them for everything lately – and I know the Menopause has caused relapses for other women with M.E.

I am definitely having vasomotor events, just no flushing.  They happen at roughly the same time each day, between 6-8pm and 6-8am, which I thought was totally weird until I Googled it and discovered that oestrogen is lowest at those times of the day and other women had experienced the same thing.  I am learning so much about my body at the moment, which under other circumstances would be fascinating but under current circumstances I couldn’t care less about – I just want the symptoms to bugger off.

I am sleeping for England.  After having 2 months of being woken several times a night to pee sleeping through is wonderful but on the flip side going back to sleep at 10am and then again at 3pm and then again at 8pm means there’s very little of the day I’m actually conscious.  Nothing is getting done.

My brain fog is seriously bad and I feel like I’m being drip fed a mild dose of general anaesthetic.  I am dizzy, spaced out and totally unable to think straight.  Even watching my favourite TV programmes is beyond me let alone doing any photography.

I am hurting all over.  I’ve had bowel and stomach pain for days, a bit like when my period is about to start (which isn’t about to happen cos I’m only on day 8 of my cycle).  My back in particular is constantly painful and not helped by the fact I have some kind of butt strain, in both buttocks.  Not on my actual bum cheeks more underneath and at the top of my inner thighs at the back.  I’m assuming it’s my adductor magnus or gracilis muscles but why both should be strained at the same time is a mystery.  Walking is painful because I constantly have ‘the burn’ even just pottering round the house.  The very last thing I needed was a red hot arse on top of everything else 😉

I am also plagued with cramp for reasons unknown.  Getting dressed, moving in bed or just stretching my legs makes them go into painful spasm.  Before anyone mentions magnesium or indian tonic water I know all about them thanks, having been ill for some considerable time.

To add insult to injury I’ve also had a 2 day migraine this week and toothache.  Yippe-fucking-doo.

Despite my body catastrophically failing me, however, I am trying to refuse to give in and still went out for lunch with my closest friend at Camera Club……..who told me she is moving to the North East 😦  Honestly, I could have bawled.  We get on really well and I have so few friends to start with that I was gutted.  Talk about kicking a girl when she’s down.

On Thursday I had to drive to the city for a mammogram.  I can’t remember half the journey and am amazed I got there in one piece, but at least it’s over and done with.  I’m not going to lie though, having it done nips like a bitch.

The only bright spot on my horizon was that I won another medal in an International Photography salon, this time a Special Jury Award in India for my Swallow! picture.  I currently have several ideas for photos in my head and it’s massively frustrating to not be well enough to do any of them.

It’s now 7.30am.  I woke at 6am, having slept for 8 hours, and I’m already seriously ready to go back to sleep and if it weren’t for the fact my tummy’s rumbling I’d do just that!

Accepting illness

When I first developed M.E. I had no idea I’d still be sick 24 years down the line.  It didn’t dawn on me that I had a ‘chronic illness’, the emphasis being on the word ‘chronic’.

The advice back in 1994 was that M.E. was a self-limiting illness and I would soon be better, so for the first couple of years I just waited for my health to return.  And I waited.  And I waited.

Not only did I not recover I actually got a hundred times worse, so during the next 4 years I scoured the globe for a cure.  I was on every internet group, forum and chat room invented and having read about other people who had recovered I was determined to find my own magic bullet (the fact that many of them probably didn’t have M.E. to start with and had been misdiagnosed passed me by!).  I was chanted over by a Tibetan Monk, did every diet known to man, tried every supplement, herb & drink on the market, sat in cold baths, was electrocuted, did acupuncture, reflexology, hands on healing, massage, osteopathy, chiropracty, listened to Neuro-linguistic programming tapes, meditated, did yoga breathing, tried to exercise, drank electrolytes & raw olive oil ……….you name it I did it, nearly bankrupting my parents in the process, and none of it worked.  In fact 80% of the treatments made me sicker than ever and some made me so ill I ended up in hospital.  This phase of chronic illness, where you dedicate your life to learning about your disease and are convinced you will be cured, is one shared by most of us I’m sure.

After 6 years it became obvious that I wasn’t going to get better any time soon and I’d read enough from other M.E. sufferers to know that once I’d been severely affected for that length of time full recovery was highly unlikely, so I finally accepted the ‘chronic’ part of my chronic illness diagnosis, throwing in the towel on my M.E. degree course.  There is no cure for M.E.  If there were none of us would be sick.

I seemed to skip some of the stages of the illness acceptance process.  I’ve never had the ‘why me?’ phase and I’ve never had the anger phase.  I think I was just so incredibly poorly that I didn’t have the energy for wasted emotions – when you ask ‘why me’ you also have to counter that with ‘why not me?’  I did do the bargaining phase, pleading with God to heal me in return for angelic behaviour, but I think God had his fingers in his ears.  To be fair He’s been a bit shit when it comes to helping me.

I didn’t lie down and wait to die, however.  I knew that even if full recovery wasn’t on the cards partial recovery might be possible so I worked towards that – you can read about my journey here.  I’ve always had a fighting spirit when it comes to my health and a determination to live my best life despite my limitations.  And, eventually, after a decade I did see improvement and am now classed as moderately affected rather than severe, which realistically means I am no longer bedridden even though I still have to spend large portions of the day in bed.

I think I’m lucky in that I accepted my disease fairly early on and feel so sad for people who, despite being ill for years and years, are still frantically searching the internet for a non-existent cure or some quick way of improving their situation.  There really isn’t one.

When I was 42 and received my Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis I felt nothing but relief.  I’d had health problems my entire life which had been dismissed by doctors and I’d been made to feel like I was either nuts, attention seeking or a hypochondriac.  I embraced my disease from day one and was actually thankful to finally have all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle finally slot into place.

As with M.E., though, the first few years were a steep learning curve and I joined various forums to find out as much as I could.  I was still naive in that I thought a bit of physio and the odd brace or two would dramatically help my situation when nothing could be further from the truth.  I also thought I’d be helped by a team of knowledgeable doctors and specialists and of course that turned out to be a pipe dream too.  This time I was angry about that.  Here was a recognized genetic disease and no-one had a clue about it or how to help me.  It probably took about 3 years for me to realize that I was basically on my own and was going to have to manage the illness myself.  Having already had to do that in respect to my M.E. I was mightily pissed about the situation but looking back now 8 years down the line I recognise I was actually in the ‘cure me’ phase and hadn’t yet accepted that I had an incurable disease for which there is very little effective treatment bearing in mind I can’t exercise due to my M.E.

My reaction to having MCAD and HIT has been mixed.  When I initially received the diagnoses I was euphoric.  I was seriously ill and being told by local Doctors that I was either having a panic attack and needed some CBT or that I didn’t have cancer, wasn’t that great and sent packing.  Finally discovering that I was having anaphylaxis, was seriously ill and did actually have something wrong with my immune system was the best news ever.

I was reacting to everything I put in my mouth, even water, so afer I discovered what the problem was I embarked on yet another degree course this time on all things histamine.  Eating is vital for survival and I’d already dropped a tonne of weight so finding out about low histamine diets and trying to get my anaphylaxis under control was urgent and consumed my every waking minute for the first eighteen months.

I soon came to realize, however, that even less was known about HIT and MCAD than about hEDS and M.E. and most of what I read about low histamine diets was based on nothing but guesswork because hardly any research was being carried out into the histamine content of food.  I was sceptical about self-professed online ‘experts’ who were making money out of books and courses on lowering histamine because not only did they not have the other diseases from which I suffered, such as hEDS which is the cause of my mast cell problem, when you’re making a living out of something and depending on making a profit it’s hard to stay objective.  So after the initial euphoria I became hugely disillusioned and felt terribly alone and to some extent still do because I’m not under the care of a Consultant and my GP knows diddly squat about either disease.

By luck or by crook, however, I did manage to get my food reactions under control and it’s now rare for me to react to something I’ve eaten.  Four years later I’m more accepting of my MCAD and HIT but, unlike my M.E. and hEDS, I still feel some resentment that I have this extra burden on top of an already burdened life.  Food had been the one thing I could still enjoy and now that, too, has been taken away.  I suffer from daily pain, horrendous migraines and need surgery for my gynae issues but of course any form of treatment is out of the question due to my drug reactions.  That my body is denying me simple pain relief and the ability to eat what I like can make me massively depressed and there have been times over the last four years where I’ve honestly contemplated suicide because I feel so worn down by my health problems and the fact that life has been so hard for so long.  Thank God for my little dog who is often my only reason for living.

Having spent the first two years of my MCAD/HIT diagnosis obsessed by food and finally having my reactions under control I simply don’t want to have to think about it any more, which is why I’m not still writing about food here on my blog and barely ever mention diet.  I’m so over it I can’t even tell you.

Anyone who gets diagnosed with a chronic illness goes on a journey of emotions and that journey will be different for all of us.  The trick is to not get stuck at any point along the path and to end up at your final destination, which is acceptance of your situation so that you can get on with living the best life you can.

 

 

Weekly roundup

I started 2 new blog posts this week and had to abandon them because I’ve felt too rubbish to write anything.  I went to bed last Sunday night feeling like I’d got a little piece of toast or something sharp stuck in my throat………and woke up Monday morning swallowing razor blades.  I’d managed to pick up a throat virus, Lord knows where from cos I hadn’t been anywhere or seen anyone for days, but it made me feel absolutely crap and I spent Monday, Tuesday and much of Wednesday in bed feeling rotten and utterly exhausted.

I picked up a bit on Thursday only to start my period that night, which has made me feel totally zonked again both physically and mentally.  In particular I’ve been having evening vasomotor events (at least, I’m guessing that’s what they are) which I think are hot flushes only without the flushing (is that even possible?  Trust me to be different to every other woman on the planet!).  It’s the weirdest experience.  I feel kind’ve pricky all over then I get a whooshing sensation from my chest up and into my head accompanied by palpitations, which lasts a few minutes then goes only to come back again a few minutes later in a wave.  This can happen on and off all evening and is a bit frightening to be honest but as I’ve had them before and they’ve passed I can only assume it’s a Menopause thing.  I had no idea you could get hot flushes when still having regular periods, but having questioned Dr Google apparently it’s common.  Who knew?!

I’ve also had some stress re my eye situation.  Y’know I said that the Consultant at my local hospital referred me to the RVI at Newcastle, but they refused to see me saying the floaters “didn’t affect my vision”?  That was 3 weeks ago and this week I decided to write a letter of complaint to them which I did.  Only while it was in the post (they hadn’t received it yet) I received a letter from them with an appointment for September, after saying they wouldn’t see me.  WTF?!  So when they got my complaint letter they rang and left a message on my phone saying they are going to see me and why was I complaining?!  In the meantime my GP had agreed to refer me to the Sunderland Eye Infirmary instead so I got an appointment through from them, also for September.  It’s all totally bonkers.  Anyways, I’ve plumped for Sunderland even though it’s much harder for me to get to because the vitreoretinal department at the RVI obviously don’t know whether they’re coming or going, seeing me or not seeing me (no pun intended).

I don’t talk much about food on my blog these days, the reasons for which are in one of the blog posts I had to abandon (but will post when I have the brain power).  I have felt super exhausted the past 18 months, which was originally down to my un-treated iron deficiency and I now blame on the peri-menopause, and simply don’t have the energy to faff on in the kitchen for hours trying out new recipes.  But I’m sick to the back teeth of eating the same things day in and day out, so if I ever get my shit together I’m promising myself I’ll try out some new meals.  How I mourn the old days, when I could quickly rustle up pasta in a tuna sauce or make cheese on toast.

All in all I’ve had a fairly rubbish week much of which has been spent in bed and I have been bored to tears.  To pass the time I trawled through my back catalogue of photographs, seeing if there was something I could play with and I found some flamingo pictures I’d taken at a nature reserve a couple of years ago.  So I came up with a plan which involved me trying not to fall off the back of the sofa while hugging a sausage shaped draft excluder to simulate the bird, and ended up with this picture which I quite like.

My best mate said of the photo: “I like it, it’s really pretty, but you know you’re weird right and I worry for your mental health?  I hope you had the bloody curtains drawn in the lounge otherwise your neighbours will be sending for the men in white coats.”  BOL 😀

 

Hellooo, what about me?

My parents and I were chatting yesterday.  Mum had seen an item on the TV about Sepsis and talked about the fact that her Sister died of that while having treatment for cancer.  I said to Mum “you realize that in Meningitis it’s the sepsis that kills you not so much the Meningitis?” and Mum said she hadn’t realized that.  So she turns to my Dad and says “your sister had Meningitis, it’s lucky she didn’t get Sepsis” and I sat there with my gob open.  Er, your daughter had Meningitis, nearly died and is sitting right here FFS!

My Mum is a very compassionate person and has a lot of empathy for other people’s suffering – just not mine.  Her other sister battled cancer for 2 years and my Mum frequently tells me “I’ve never seen anyone as ill as she was, she suffered terribly” and I sit there internally shaking my head.  My Aunt was 78 years old, had had a full life, had a loving husband, 3 wonderful, supportive, caring children, a GP who used to visit her weekly at home, the Council paid for her bathroom to be turned into a wet room even though she was fucking loaded, she had a specialist cancer nurse and Consultant, went to a weekly cancer support group and in the end was visited by MacMillan 24/7.  I’m not denying having cancer is rough but she had exemplary care and support.  After my Meningitis I was bedridden for a decade.  I suffered every second of every day of every year.  I was only 26, lived alone, doctors refused to visit me at home even though I was too sick to get to the surgery, I had very little symptom relief, never saw a consultant, was denied welfare benefits to pay for my own care, was denied care from social services and ignored by every-fucking-one.  I had daily seizures, frightening anaphylaxis for which I received no treatment, paralysis, spent periods unable to talk, walk, eat or even remain conscious and was told twice I might die.  But my Mum never mentions it.  Never.

It’s not like she denies that I’m sick and if something about M.E. appears on the telly or in the newspaper she will ring and tell me, it’s more that she just ignores my suffering.  I’ve been diagnosed with EDS for 8 years now and she still refuses to remember the name of the disease like it’s just too hard to remember three simple letters – she calls it “that thing that you have” if she mentions it at all.  The MCAD is ignored completely even though it too nearly killed me.

My whole family simply ignore the fact that I’m chronically ill.  They don’t ever ask how I am or how I’m managing.  When I meet friends in the street they always ask how my parents are, hell they even ask how my dog is, and never ask how I am.  It baffles me.

I know I’m not alone in that.  My best mate’s M.E. is ignored by her family too and they can get narky with her if she doesn’t attend family events, even when they’re a 2 hour drive away, like she’s being deliberately anti-social.   When they come up north to visit her, instead of staying in a hotel or B&B or taking her out for a meal they expect to stay at her home and for her to look after them – no accommodation is made for her illness whatsoever.

My Mum made a remark the other day which I also found weird.  She said “when you and your best mate meet up is illness all you talk about?” and I didn’t know how to respond.  It probably makes up half the conversation but isn’t that normal?  Our diseases dominate our lives and dictate how we live every second of the day, and when our families ignore that it’s bloody brilliant to have each other to talk to about it!  My Mum should be pleased I have that support cos I damned well don’t get it off her.

I have no clue what all this denial is about.  I’m sure it’s really tough watching your child suffer but I’m not sure how ignoring it is supposed to help the child.  Thank God for my ill friends as they are the only people who understand what life with chronic disease is like and the daily torment of being this relentlessly sick.

Weekly roundup

It’s Sunday again.  I swear there’s a time thief living in my house!

Monday was a BIG day.  Three old codgers from my Camera Club were going on a day out to Beamish living museum and had asked me along.  I’d never been but it’s a 90 minute drive away and we would be there until 4pm so although I really wanted to go I was worried it would all be too much.  However, I reasoned if I woke up that morning feeling crap I could cancel and if I went but conked I could always go back to the car and lie down, so I decided to risk it.  Beamish covers a large area and I had no clue how I’d cope with getting around but discovered there are free trams and a wheelchair friendly bus, plus they’d made the ground wheelchair/scooter friendly for the most part so actually it was fine.  An interesting day was had by all though I admit I felt proper rough on the journey home and my hips still haven’t forgiven me.


It took me a few days to get over the trip, during which time I had a migraine so bad it felt like someone was in my brain with a pick axe, but on Thursday I felt sufficiently recovered to meet my bezzie for a picnic lunch and to go on a dragonfly hunt in a local nature reserve.  The weather was glorious, if a little too hot, and I sat mesmerized for a couple of hours watching the dragonflies going about their busy little business, which appeared to involve lots of mating then sitting on grass stems to recover 😉  Nature is simply wonderful.

My right thumb, which I subluxed 10 weeks ago and which has been strapped up along with my wrist ever since, seems to finally be on the mend though the nerves are obviously still damaged as it’s still numb to the touch.  There were times I thought it was never going to get better but I forget how long ligaments take to heal and I just needed to be patient.  It’s a relief to finally have the tape off though cos it itched me like a son-of-a-bitch.

Y’know I said in last week’s roundup that I’d entered the Edinburgh International photography Salon and had all 8 of my images rejected so was feeling a bit deflated?  Well, things turned around this week when I discovered I’d won my first exhibition medals at the Midlands International Salon, including a Gold from the Royal Photographic Society with an image which Edinburgh had rejected!  It just shows how arbitrary art is.  That the RPS, arguably one of the most prestigious photography organizations in the world, gave me a gold and other judges didn’t even give me a pass mark for the same photo is bonkers!  You have to do what makes you happy and if other people like it fine and if they don’t that’s also fine.  Receiving a gold medal has really given me a boost and four days on I’m still buzzing 🙂

I’ve been working on two images this week.  One involved being dressed as a Nun which didn’t work in any way, but I’m happy enough with this one.  I’m calling it ‘Raven Tower’ even though it’s not a Raven in the picture but a Rook – I won’t tell anyone if you don’t 😉  My right hand was still strapped for this picture hence the gloves which I thought were an ingenious cover up!

I’m enjoying dressing up for my photos a little bit too much and often prance round the house in my costumes just for the hell of it 😉  Thinking about it the other day I concluded that my real life is so limited and my personality is so constrained by my illnesses that the selfies in my photos give me the opportunity to be anyone I like in any situation I like.  I’m currently working on a picture where I’m an Arabian princess riding a white stallion in the desert and I can almost taste the freedom of that when I’m creating the image.  We all need some escapism when illness leave us largely bed or housebound, particularly if that continues for many years, and I feel very lucky to have found a way to break free of my shackles.  The only time I left the house when making the picture above was to visit a nearby castle to phograph the turret – the moon, sky, bird and me were all taken in my bedroom!