Danielle

Danielle


When you’re born and brought up in the
Hebrides, you have a deep-rooted sense of belonging Not to someone but to the
islands and it goes down generations You’re from here, you’re proud to be from
here. The islands have a tie. You’re connected to the outdoors here because it was your life and I think the competitiveness did probably start
there. Competitiveness is in our blood but it’s
not always against other people it’s with ourselves. Competing with somebody who has got a bit of control over you, it’s not a nice feeling but you’re
willing to give in a little bit to them, because there’s no point in having a
pension in your life if you’re not there to get it. It’s not just me now. I’ve always been active from a young
young age, horse riding six days a week. There was no word of boys. Boys were not on my schedule. Horses, dogs and athletics were all on my schedule, but with horse
riding that was where my heart was all the time. I didn’t go far competing
all over the country, I didn’t want to. I had Corrie and we still thrashed the
race horses that came to the yard. I trusted Corrie with everything. With
horses if you’re honest with them they’re honest back, so you have to earn
their respect and you have to respect them back and when you’ve got that
connection with a mare, it’s a bit like you would have with your child. We do everything together,
everything in the house. Whether it be homework, walking the dogs, going with the horses, playing football. We do everything together. He is number one in everything I think about. Peter is the type of child that learns to
love everyone, no matter what it is. I’ve always tried to put that in to him, so if
I was in a wheelchair or had a stick I know that he would say, you look really
pretty today mum. We try not to dwell on what could be because you just don’t
know for anyone what’s around the corner. Right, come on in please {LAUGHTER} Can you manage that one? All six toes! No {LAUGHTER} Straighten up your tie yourself? Is that straight? Everything good? I spent every day I could as a child
outside, still even as an adult. I couldn’t have spent an extra hour
in the sun because I was out in it already. I remember saying it was home’s fault
and if I’d lived anywhere else in the world I wouldn’t have been sick. I remember feeling a lump on my back but
there was no lump there at all. I was losing weight, I was sick, it was like it was shaking inside me. My skin started to feel like pins and
needles that changed to numbness when I was in the shower. I would sit down, have
the shower hose on my leg running up and down so that I
could feel how far the drops would go down and it was literally like you’d
split my body in half. I went away paralyzed from my upper
chest down on one side. The nurse couldn’t even touch my skin without it feeling
like she was poking me with a hot poker. Then I found out I have relapsing remitting MS. It’s where the immune system is attacking the nervous system. You get
sick quite quickly, but you get better. But each time that you do get better
there’s a little bit of you that’s missing. The chances of having MS in the
Hebrides is a lot higher due to the lack of sunlight. Well I generally cope with things pretty
well but when I was diagnosed I remember just breaking down, thinking that I’m
never gonna walk again properly My son is going to lose out on so much
because he’s going to have to look after me And I was only 24. I just didn’t know, why me? What had I done to deserve this?
I wanted to run away but I couldn’t walk never mind run. You think that
everything’s been robbed, you think life is unfair, you think you’re never
going to get out of that, but you do you always do, eventually. You’re hungry Want to go and play football after this? Where? At the new pitch. We will have to play wee games. Is that OK? Why? Why does mummy have to play wee games? Because you have sore legs. Will 20 minutes be ok? Yeah. Uh-oh. Here comes a wiggly worm! He doesn’t actually know the words MS.
Peter just accepts that mum gets a little bit tired. The physical side now
is that I take longer to recover but I push through because of the type of
person I am and I don’t realise I’m pushing through until I’m really
tired and I’m struggling to get out of bed in
the morning. I have learnt that you have to look at what you can do as to what
you can’t do, because your body’s telling you and if you don’t listen to your body,
it’s gonna stop listening to you In the end, if you fight MS, MS will
always win and the only person that loses there is
me and that’s how I’ve got to look at it. I’ve got to compete to make my life as
suitable for MS as it can be. MS can cause a bit of a storm inside you
and living here can be a bit of a storm too. It’s getting by and accepting the elements,
just like you’re accepting what’s happening inside you. Nothing you did
could ever be silly or boring Ben, she said If you want to be a plumber and it’s your dream than no one can take it away from you. Do you understand? All you can do in this life is follow your dreams, otherwise you’re just wasting your time. The fire service is my wee escape. It
means so much, it gives me the ability to give something physical back to the
community and having MS and still being able to do that is really important. To
prove to myself that I still can do it. and then I will probably still keep doing it until I
choose not to, or I can’t. When I’m having a really bad day and I’m getting a bit
upset about things or I just feel like I’m not doing what I could be doing, I’ll
go and see her. I haven’t ridden in nearly two years.
She’s not got years and years left because she’s 29,
but again I’m grateful for all the years that I have had with her, rather than
looking at, I’ve not got much left. Just being on this animal that
completely respects you and is willing to take you as far as you
want to go or as far as you can go. You have complete freedom
and you feel at one. You are completely free of anything
that could stop you from doing it I would like to see myself having a
happy, healthy life and if I can just keep that, the future is good. Even with
MS it can still be happy and healthy. You just get yourself out of the big
black hole, because it’s actually not that deep. It’s not. It’s not.

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