A so far unpublished memoir
About the book:
Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of seven, Nicole Bradshaw from Sydney Australia has always “lived her best life”. By her early thirties, she was happily ensconced in a world of family, friends, fun, travel and drugs (all legal of course!). Over the years, her life had been interrupted by numerous joint replacements, fusions and reconstructions, or by a blood clot from her ankle to her groin. But life was good. She had it all under control, or so she thought. Suddenly and when she least expected it (like you ever would), her head fell off. Just like that!
Nicole had a basilar invagination – no, not a condition described in a gynaecological pamphlet! A basilar invagination occurs when the odontoid peg (that’s the little peg your head sits on) moves up through the base of your skull. Nicole’s did just that, and was touching her brain stem and spinal cord, causing her to lose strength in her legs and arms and feel indescribably weird.
She was admitted to hospital via emergency and waited for a week to see a surgeon – lying flat on her back with a collar tightly wrapped around her neck, she awaited his return from holidays – it was Christmas! Just hours after their first meeting Nicole was placed, whilst awake, into a halo brace that was screwed directly into her skull. It was attached by rope to a bag weighted down by twenty pounds of water, and there she lay in traction, for days, until the surgery that would save her life, or at the very least the use of her body. Surgeons operated putting a couple of rods, about a dozen screws, a plate and some bone from her hip into the back of her skull and neck. She was imprisoned behind the bars of her halo for months, coping with panic attacks, clinical depression and complete strangers wiping her bum, and all while she was learning to walk again.
In the midst of this trauma and while she was still in hospital, her father died suddenly and completely unexpectedly. This was the catalyst that made her realise how important it was that she got herself well, for her Dad, for the rest of her family, and for her.
After six months getting herself together (with lots of help) she was released from the rehabilitation hospital only to be dragged two days later by ambulance, sweating and shaking with pneumonia, back to where it had all begun months before – the emergency ward of a Sydney hospital.
Nicole intersperses the story of her halo and breakdowns with flashbacks to a life lived, from a very young age, with a disability. She tells of coming of age as she came to terms with being “different”. She admits to sometimes taking advantage of it – and who wouldn’t, as she always says, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”!
Hers is a journey into the hospital system and back out the other side. It’s a voyage around the world (literally) and through the life of a young woman who just happens to have grown up with an “old person’s disease”. And has had a hell of a lot of fun doing it.
So, now I have your attention…
PLEASE READ CHAPTER ONE HERE ON MY WEBSITE
AND PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT
and if you would like more please let me know via a message.
If you enjoy it, please pass the link on to friends, family, and colleagues so they can read and comment too.
If you want more, let me know and I will be encouraged to continue with this whacky idea to get published
Thank you for reading the beginning of my book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy the life I have been given.
To quote Oprah – I’m definitely trying to “Live my best life” and hope you are too!
Warm regards Nicole
CHAPTER ONE IS AVAILABLE FREE ON THIS SITE – CLICK ON THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE WHERE IT SAYS CHAPTER ONE – READ IT HERE FOR FREE (or click here).
CHAPTER TWO IS ALSO NOW AVAILABLE – JUST CLICK ON THE RIGHT
BUT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU READ IT. please…
Thank you Nicolex ();-)
Oprah makes me want to be a better person.
Ellen makes me want to be a better dancer.
And yes, I really am a dag.
Dag is an Australian colloquialism and bascially means I’m a bit odd, idiosyncratic, casual, informal.
Which is not a bad thing by the way. In fact I’m kind of proud of my dagginess!