26 years ago....
For regular readers of my old website, you'll know that every year on 14th Feb I do the same thing. I have chocolate cake. I have wine. And I celebrate another year of my pancreas being dead, useless and a general pain in my entire body.
In all seriousness, 14th Feb is celebrated slightly differently in my house. Because on 14th Feb 1996, at the age of 8 years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I've told the story many many times, but it's something I'll never forget. I don't think it's possible to forget projectile vomiting over your classmates while watching Oliver Twist - or the terror of being in hospital and being told I was stuck with this condition for the rest of my life. Because it was terrifying, and at that time I'm not sure I really understood at the time what was going on. Nor did I understand just how close to dying I was.
But here I am, 26 years later. I've seen some incredible changes in diabetes treatment and have gone from injections and finger pricks to an insulin pump and flash glucose monitoring. I've been through epic rebellion and now suffer with complications because of it. But you know what? I'm still here. And I'm beyond grateful for every single day that I have - diabetes no longer controls my life. It certainly tries to at times that's for sure.
In other news I'm still cracking on with the writing. I've completed the chapter on Lucrezia Borgia for the Maligned Women book and am still working hard on the Resident Evil book. Interviews have been conducted with some wonderful people and I'm trying hard to get hold of some of the devs of the games. I've also started taking karate classes! I actually did karate when I was a kid but unfortunately had to stop when we moved away. I decided it was time to start it back up so here I am, 20 years later, back in the dojo and learning the style of Goju Ryu - and do you know what? I'm really enjoying it.
Keep an eye on twitter and facebook for book updates, folks. In the meantime I'm off to scoff chocolate cake and drink red wine.