I’m at work, of course. I’ve been working ridiculously long days, trying to help get a magazine out. Sometimes I’ve started work at 8am and got home at midnight, without a proper break. Sometimes I’ve been too busy to get up out of my seat.
On this particular day, four years ago, I’m sitting at my desk, as usual, and someone asks me a question. It’s a question I know is going to create another set of problems but I’m trying to solve it. I try to pick up the flatplan in front of me, but I can’t seem to make my right hand work.
‘There’s something wrong with my right hand,’ I say to my Editor. ‘You’re not making any sense,’ she says. ‘Are you alright?’ Later she tells me that when I thought I was saying ‘There’s something wrong with my right hand,’ what I was actually saying was ‘blughiehoghgagoihbjghoighioajgh.’ Or words to that effect.
Someone brings me a glass of water and I try to pick it up with my left hand but I can’t. My arm won’t move. So now I have no movement in either of my arms or hands.
I’m taken to hospital. For a few brief moments I wonder if this it, and I want to call home, but I can't speak properly to tell anyone.
It takes a while for my speech to return. Gradually I’m able to use my left hand and arm again. The right takes a little longer.
It’s a hard way to learn you can’t work long, exhaustive hours and not take a break, that trying to make a living isn't the be all and end all if you don't have a life left to live.
But it’s a lesson you never forget.