The Future of my Blog: I’m Still Alive
It’s been 15 months since I last posted. I know many of you have been wondering where I got to. Those of you who are regular readers will also know I have been struggling with chronic illness in the form of M.E. – a rather crippling condition which has far more extensive symptoms than just extreme fatigue.
What was the conclusion of the last 12 months?
Last year was a year of extreme stress on all fronts. My residency in Norway – where I have lived most of my adult life – was in jeopardy due to not producing my own income and relying on state welfare. My health was deteriorating and I was hospitalized several times, the last trip for a month. Debt was mounting. The threat of not being entitled to further welfare was looming. I was not getting the help that the state is paid to provide, with several treatment disputes (tribunals) in the works and forced to rely on my friends for things like groceries, cooking and making sure I didn’t injure myself in the shower. Huge battles were to be fought, yet lying in bed most of the time I was in no shape to come out fighting.
Well, in all areas I’m pleased to report that things have improved dramatically. Acquiring a lawyer who was an expert in immigration law and kind enough to discount her services on account of my financial state helped me to secure permanent residency. The combined help of my doctor, nurses, hospitals and medical consultants, plus others who had fought the system before over their M.E.-related need for welfare led me to – after 4 years of financial insecurity – secure a permanent state pension. It’s a meager amount which only accounts for basic living necessities, but at least I won’t get thrown out of my home. I still don’t get the practical help I need from the state and have given up pursuing it, but the rest is a huge weight off my shoulders – so much so that I didn’t realize just how stressed out I was or how damaging to my health it was until the issues were solved.
Fighting with my last breath has pulled me back from the brink of disaster.
What about your actual health?
Contrary to expectations, we have all noticed an improvement. While I am still housebound most of the time and still sleeping very much, my pain level is somewhat reduced and my energy level slightly increased, although it comes in phases of medium and very low energy.
Besides the continuing support from my friends and the teenagers which I’ve talked about before, one thing did happen which changed my perception about “mind over matter”. For the first time in 9 years, in April 2015, I found love. I’ve never been one to function well without a partner; I always find myself more motivated and focused when I have a reason to do things other than for myself. This effect is at its strongest for me in a loving relationship. What I didn’t expect was that I now feel more energetic and more inclined to try and take up tasks that may produce a little income.
I’ve been very lucky to find an understanding partner who realizes when I’m not able to do things and helps out tremendously, doesn’t get upset that I’m poor and has the same work ethic. With a strong interest in maths and science and the same drive to learn and work on our own projects together in our spare time, we are able to pursue our interests separately yet together. Yet she still does the housework without being asked – which may sound amusing but it is really of genuine importance with my physical health. I really hope it lasts.
At this point, the predictions of my death from the doctors seem to be exaggerated. At the end of 2013 I really felt like I was on death’s door, but I’ve stabilized. It may improve, get worse or stay the same. We just don’t know, so I’ll try to make good use of each day as it comes.
To those who wrote or donated
Over the last 15 months, I’ve received donations from time to time, both large and small. I’ve also received many comments and kind words of encouragement from my readers. Most of the time I have not replied for one reason or another, but I can say that I have read each and every message and your kindness has really touched my heart; actually it has brought a tear to my eye on occasion. Many of you offered advice and tips on M.E. and I really appreciate that.
If you are one of the people who wrote or donated, and I didn’t reply, I would like to say sorry for that. Oftentimes, an inbox full of email you have to reply to is a ghastly affair as I’m sure many of you know, but I absolutely appreciated every message and every donation, so thank you all so much!
What’s happening with the blog?
I really want to get back to blogging. I have to plan it in a way that doesn’t cause me to over-exert myself. This means shorter, snappier articles and no late nights doing 8 hours of research and writing. Writing my articles a little at a time rather than trashing myself for 2 days writing then being sick for a week.
I’ve cleaned up hundreds of spam comments the last days so the blog is finally clean again. After working a lot with C++ and PHP in recent years, I’ve recently had reason to refresh my knowledge on .NET and web development technologies. This means the likely focus of my next articles will be on topics such as C# language features, jQuery, AngularJS, ASP.NET MVC, Azure and so on, as these are my current focus. I have also done a pile of 2D collision detection examples of various kinds from last year, which need to be written up. As always, I’m open to suggestions for any topics on any software development area whatsoever, so if there’s an article you’d like to see, just let me know on the contact page 🙂
Become a supporter!
I’ve never taken the traditional female role in relationships. I like to be the breadwinner while my partner does the housework 🙂 Given my overall life situation, I think it is appropriate now to ask for support in my article writing. To this end, I have set up a Patreon page which allows you to pledge a fixed amount (up to a monthly limit) for each article I write – not including ones like this of course. I won’t usually be writing every week so it shouldn’t break the bank – just a few small pledges from a few people will soon add up and this will surely motivate me to keep blogging, then hopefully it will be a win-win for us all.
So please go check out the Patreon page and of course don’t forget to follow the blog here on WordPress to get an email when I write new content.
Here’s to some fun programming ahead!
Thank you all again,