Saturday, 1 March 2014


It's been a while since I've done a blog post and a lot has been going on. I have been writing up a storm on my current work in progress and have gone from around 5000 words to over 70k in less than a month. Which is epic for me. I can't remember the last time I got so enthused by something I was writing.

I think it has a lot to do with giving up second life. It is so easy to get absorbed in that game and it just isn't worth it. You just end up wasting so much time and money and it's so stupid really, but it did play a role in my life for the last few years as I struggled to come to terms with my dissability. I guess Second life gave me a place where I could be normal or at least feel it at any rate. I could walk, dance, ride horses, do all the things, normal people do. That's what's hardest about my back injury. It makes you feel as if your not normal. As if you are holding everyone else back and getting in everyone's way. It changes your life completely and nothing is simple anymore. 

For example: you can't just think, I'll go to the toilet now. First you have to ask can I get there without my crutches. Regardless of if the answer is yes or no, once you get there you know your staying there for a while, because your back can't take the return journey straight away. So then you need to think about a book or something. If your using crutches to get there you then need to take your bag to carry the book in and sometimes when it's really bad, you have to stop on route and sit in the chair in the hall for a while and that is just to go to the bathroom, so going out, takes even more thought and consideration. 

I understand why some disabled people give up and stop leaving home altogether. If it weren't for my son and my husband, I probably would have too but the need to be with my family and to do as much with them as was physically possible has pushed me to try and find solutions to my problems. 

Starting out there was my mobility scooter and it was brilliant. It changed my life dramatically and meant I could be a normal mum, who could take her kid to school, but it wasn't good enough for going out to shops. It was too big and incredibly heavy for my husband to lift into the car. So we got a wheelchair.

I haven't got on well with the wheelchair. I've never had very good upper arm strength and so getting myself around made me exhausted and fast. Being pushed just wasn't an option for me. I needed to do it for myself. I didn't just want to give in and let this beat me. I didn't want to be completely reliant on someone else being there to get me round. 

Recently though, crutches were brought to mind. I was sceptical they would help but for want of anything better to try, I rushed out and brought some. No boring gray ones for me, if I was doing this I was getting fun colourful ones, that I could feel less self conscious about. So I got these:

They weren't cheap and I researched the best make for not only long term use and comfort but for use with a back condition like mine. I was sceptical, I really was but now I've had them over a month and for the first time in years. I have been able to not only go out with my family without wheelchair or mobility scooter but been able to walk around, not just one but two relatively large shops in one day. 

Now this might not seem like much, but when you have only been able to sit in the car and wait while your family go into shops and explore, for the last 2 or 3 years, it is amazing to get to do that again.

It was a huge achievement for me and the first time was amazing for all of us. We were so happy and it was a very excitable day in the Solheim house. Especially as the first time, around the two shops, was achieved during a period that we classed as a bad day. Where my back was very tender. 

Other changes are my blue badge which enables us to park in disabled spots and on double yellow lines, which gets me much closer to the shop to start with and give me an even better chance of making it around the shop. 

Lastly there is my new pain medication. Yes I finally caved and agreed to Perscription pain medication which wasn't an easy choice for me. I had heard so many horror stories, but in the end the pain just became to much. 

It hasn't completely gotten rid of my pain but it has eased it. It has other effects to though. It makes me very tired the first few days I was taking it, I struggled to keep my eyes open.

Given a choice, no one would choose this but sometimes in life we don't get choices and we are forced to ride an emotional roller coaster. I'm on mine but I am adapting and coming to terms with it. Slowly. 

But here is where I want to get serious because here is where you can help people like me and it's simple. Don't stare! We are people just like you. So we had some bad luck, so what. Will get on with it and get over it, but that is made a lot harder when people constantly stare at you. It makes you feel judged. It makes you feel like you don't have a right to be out there in the world with all the normal people. Feeling like that, worrying about others opinions, has been the biggest and hardest hurdle to me. 

So look if you must, but at least offer a smile or a friendly word along with it.

I hope you all have a lovely day and I'll try to blog again soon. 

Love and hugs 
joss xx


  1. Joss, thank you for sharing this. First of all, congratulations on making 70k!! I can't begin to tell how jealous that makes me, when I've spent way too long on my 90k. I finally think it may be ready, but what an ordeal getting there. I'm so sorry to hear about your back and the struggle you've had being disabled. I can't begin to the imagine the physical and emotional pain you've endured. I'm glad the crutches have helped. Better still if therapy or something else could help you walk again! My hope is that you are part of a good writers's group that can offer some sisterly support, although your family sounds pretty supportive :). Take care!

    1. Your very welcome and thank you for stopping by. 90K is a huge achievement regardless of how long it took to get there so well done to you also. Sadly therapy is not an option yet. Possibly after surgery it may be, but all of that needs to be worked out with the doctor first and it is a very slow process. Fingers crossed though. I'm sadly not really a active part of any writers groups. I've wanted to be for a long time but have no idea where to start. It maybe something I will have to look into more. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  2. Good to hear from you Joss. Sorry things have been so tough but pleased to hear what an improvement the crutches have made They are very funky, you were right to go for something bright and colourful. Congratulations on the writing, 70k is fantastic. All the best to you and your family.

    1. awww thank you Suzanne. Yes they are definitely funky. Hubby had a fight with a tree a couple of weeks ago and hurt his leg pretty bad and had to use my crutches to go to the hospital. He looked so funny but got lots of compliments from the nurses. That's the nice part about them you get good comments and it seems to make people think you are more approachable because you have fun crutches. So there great. Hope you have a lovely weekend and thank you so much for stopping by xx

  3. I love the crutches.They look funky. I got Mma the boring blue ones and now I'm thinking, we should have gone with pink. Or some other fun colour:-)

    I'm very impressed with your making 70k, especially considering that you're in pain and taking prescription pain meds which can make you so sleepy it's not funny.

    I don't like prescription pain meds either. When I give them to Mma, for whom I'm caregiver, they knock her out and I feel like she becomes Zombie-Mma, bringing to my mind those old people in old age homes in horror movies. I like it better when she's awake and aware and driving me nuts with unwanted advice on everything, including how to make her bed:-):
    Damaria at

    1. Awww your mum sounds awesome. She will no doubt get a lot of great comments if you do get her the funky ones. I know I do. I think having fun crutches makes people feel that I am more approachable and gives a starting point for a easy conversation about my disability. Often I think people are curious but afraid to ask.

      The pain meds did make me very sleepy in the beginning as well as incredibly spaced out but I cope better with them now. They are temp ones just because the doctor wanted to see how I did on them, at the moment they are helping to take the edge off the pain a little but not fully stopping it.
      well I hope you have a lovely weekend and thank you so much for stopping by xxx

  4. Well done for reaching your 70k Joss, a brilliant achievement and one I'm envious of.
    I'm pleased that you've found a way to get out and about and spend time with your family again, I imagine it goes a long way to making you feel better on many levels.
    I'd like to think I'm not a starer, but do have a glance mainly to see if I can help in any way, holding doors and such. I'm trying to teach these manners to my daughter too so that she doesn't judge and has more of an understanding.

    1. Awww thank you Heather and I wish more people were like you :) It's not so much people looking that fazes me, especially if they have a warm smile and even more so if they offer a hand with something. Trying to use crutches and pick up items is never fun lol. It's when they just stare and then whisper to a friend or act as if you're contagious or something that it bugs me. The fact that you are teaching your daughter to be the same is also awesome. Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend xx

  5. Congratulations on getting so much work done! And I'm so happy the crutches are doing well for you.

    1. Thank you Catherine. The crutches are brilliant they have really given me a lot more freedom. Have a lovely weekend and thank you so much for stopping by :) xx