It can be a funny old world at times.
Almost all my adult life I have had a chronic disease, namely multiple sclerosis but I never realised that it would one day give me the opportunity to enjoy my passion for writing while unable to go out to work.
But, let’s go back a while. For a very long time I lived without realising what was wrong. While I knew something was not right, many visits to doctors and specialists left me no closer to the truth. Every test I had, including a lumbar puncture, was negative
In fact, it was not until 10 years after I moved from London to North Wales that the truth was discovered. First, Robin, my GP had suspicions and referred me directly to the local hospital and then, after more tests including an MRI scan, the truth was out. It was MS.
By this time, I was 49 and a successful journalist. I worked for another 4½ years, until mobility – or the lack of it – got the better of me.
Having settled into a life of doing, well, not a lot, my wife and I got divorced in 2011, though NOT as a result of MS. I married Lisa just eight weeks later. And no, it was not a case of being on the rebound; we first met in 2009 and our Florida beach wedding was planned many months in advance.
Since then, life has been great, and in August last year I started this blog – using my journalistic skills. It was a relatively quiet start but I still kept it going through a transatlantic cruise, a holiday in the USA and our eventual move to Spain. It was certainly a busy few months.
Of course, I took a close look at the most popular blog posts and found that MS, disability and health were the most popular topics. It was an easy decision to choose to aim my blog exclusively at that particular niche.
To prove that was the right decision, the viewing numbers have continued to grow with March, April and May each attracting more than 20,000 views. Those sort of figures had not even featured in my wildest dreams.
Of course, when blogging, it is good to network and two weeks ago I was contacted by a guy asking me to add him as a contact, which I did. Mike, for that was his name, replied immediately that he had been following my blog via LinkedIn and introduced himself as the editor-in-chief of MS News Today. He asked if I’d be prepared to write a column for them too.
Of course, there was no way that I’d refuse, and so I wrote two columns, just to get started. Having seen them, Mike and the publisher Chris said they wanted to get me to do more than the initial idea of one a week. It soon became three then five a week.
Now I am halfway through my second week and loving every minute of it. Here I am, sitting at home in Spain, enjoying the sunshine with Lisa and doing what I have loved to do all my life – write.
I hope you continue to enjoy my writings, seven days a week here on 50shades and Monday to Friday at MS News Today. Please do check out both as the content is different.
Please note: My daily 50shades blogs are posted at or soon after midnight European time (11pm GMT); my column in MS News Today is published at about 2pm European time (1pm GMT).