Hi, Hello, Good day,
For the benefit of those who have not read my introduction following the announcement of me coming on board as a regular blogger for wantmyspacetakemydisability.com here is a brief introduction.
My name is Kate Langwine-Cooke, at the age of 21 I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), now at age 30 i am living a life which I could never have imagined. I am living in constant pain, my hips, pelvis and legs have been pulled out of line by the permanently spasming muscles in my back – this alone is a challenge on a day to day basis, being in pain makes really simple activities difficult to do, to all of the chronic pain sufferers out there, I can more than empathise with you, I’ve been in constant pain for almost 3 years. Hospital, physio, massage, acupuncture, exercise; you name it i have tried it, my final lifeline now is that I am awaiting an appointment with spinal surgeons. But the pain is just the tip of the iceberg, it is just one aspect of my life into a roller coaster ride of sudden onset symptoms.
We dont want too much doom and gloom in one go, if i bore or depress you all then you may not return. So, who am i and what do I do? I am a step-parent to 2 wonderful children who I have been raising with my wife for the past 7 years (only married just under 2 years ago but its as true as love can get). Outside of the family I have 2 jobs; I am a Youth Worker working with mainstream young people in low income areas, and I am a support worker working with children and young people with disabilities. I love to work, I find both jobs rewarding in different ways but knowing that I am working to make a difference in the time that I have got is to me priceless. 1 night a week I voluntarily coach Under 8’s football, my youngest step daughter is on the team, i can no longer play football myself but training the team is great for keeping the sport alive in my heart. As of September I will also be a qualified Boxing instructor, I have been told I have a natural boxing ability but I’ve got to be honest my brain takes enough knocks without me getting punched in the head so I will very much remain a trainer…… or no, you never know with me!
Wantmyspacetakemydisability.com asked me to come on board as a blogger because they have been following my Invisible Illnesses page and they like the work that I do through it. I originally set up invisible illnesses after being harassed in a supermarket car park by a fellow blue badge holder who insisted that she did not believe that my blue badge was indeed mine and insisted I showed her evidence of my disability.
MS is a very strange disease to live with, yesterday morning I literately woke up shaking, what’s that all about?? I digress, anyway; So following the abusive encouter I decided that the worlds is in need of an awakening, so here it is; NOT ALL DISABILITIES ARE VISIBLE. MS quite often to the untrained eye is very much an invisible illness; you cannot see pain, you cannot see all of the brain activity that is going on just to create a simple limb movement, you cannot see the tense and spasming muscles and you cannot see what MS takes away from the sufferers life. To me hat is the bit that hurts the most, ‘you cannot see what MS takes away from the sufferers life’. If I’m honest, that’s the part I cannot stand, life to me in a bit like a time line, I spent 20 years growing into an adult and then spent 10 years fighting for my life. I am not still alive today because of experimental treatments and chemotherapies, I am not still alive today out of luck; I am still alive today because I MIGHT HAVE MS BUT MS DOESN’T HAVE ME.
So, this is me; I work hard, I live fast, I am passionate about creating change and I am driven by my courage to succeed. You are already accessing this sign prior to my debut so at least I know we all have one thing in common and that is non blue badge holders parking in disabled bays gives me the absolute rage. so don’t worry there will be some entertaining situational writing going into my blog as and when I come across people taking the absolute ‘mick’ out of disabled parking. Last week at a local Restaurant the mayor of my home town had the gall to have her chauffeur driven town car parked in a disabled space, there was no blue badge on display in the vehicle, so I let images of the disgraceful scene and set them free on the internet, the local media have picked it up as a story and are keen to get answers form the mayors office – I’m sure they will provide an enthralling explanation.