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“It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

POW!  This just hit me like a brick in the face.  The Top Five Regrets of the Dying; obviously never going to be particularly cheerful reading. http://kellyoxford.tumblr.com/post/14958669440/nurse-reveals-top-5-regrets-of-the-dying

No.1, the one about unfulfilled dreams, made my mouth dry out & a lump appear in my throat.  It talks about health you see.  Health & how, if you’re lucky, it is only at the end of your life that it really cocks up.  Now I’m not one for dwelling on the midden of shit which illustrates much of my life but, every now & again, something crops up to remind me; to poke me right in the eye and, today, this article was it.  It has fleetingly made me realise that my Progressive MS is like some sort of slow death, each tiny freedom & achievement being slowly eroded.  This isn’t a good way to think.  I generally allow myself an ‘Annual Review’ of what’s still there, what’s gone & what I need to get through the next 12 months without ending up housebound in a puddle of my own pee.  It bears repeating that I’m 45 years old so have DECADES of this sort of thing to contemplate.

2012 looks like it’s going to be a BAD year for Disabled people.  The Coalition* (*Tory) government seem hell-bent on a) stigmatising & b) robbing the disabled blind (if they’re not already – see, a pun?!).  You’d think, seeing as I’m part of the ‘system’ that I too would know of HUNDREDS of people getting Rolls Royces in exchange for their ‘bad back’ or 3 holidays a year for their ADHD toddler.  The thing is I don’t know anybody who does that.  Not one.  I DO see plenty of able-bodied folk using Disabled Parking bays because they’re ‘just waiting’ and many, many other Disabled folk living incredibly limited lives, fearful of how they’re targeted to ‘save the economy’ & perceived as ‘scroungers’.  At my local MS Therapy Centre there are people there who are not only coping with MS but have suffered cancers & other issues you’d think would have the decency to leave them alone as they have enough to cope with.  That’s the thing with long-term illnesses you see; it doesn’t excuse you in any way from getting other diseases.  Why me?  Why not?

“It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

Enjoy your freedoms during 2012 as you never know when you might lose your health.  While you’re at it, stand up for Disabled People.  Sign petitions, make your voice heard, don’t park in their bays, be considerate, point out that the right-wing press are demonising them & complain, follow campaigners* on Twitter to understand the truth of what’s actually happening.  Basically just act like you hope people would if the roles were reversed.

* like @bendygirl @suey2y @BrokenofBritain @mrsnickyclark  for starters!

Go into this new year as a person of understanding & compassion.  Do that & you’re ahead of those running our country already.

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