Safkhet Publishing ~ Summer Reads

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Taking the Plunge ~ Carol E Wyer!

Today I have with me Author and Indie Book Award Medallist Carol E Wyer!

Chosen as Stafford FM Book Club Book of the Week!

Take it away, Carol!

I am honoured to be on Sheryl’s Blog today. Many thanks for letting me clutter up your place, Sheryl, and spend hours droning on about myself.  I hope I don’t frighten off your followers.

We all have things we have to face up to. My mother always told me that problems and fears would grow if you didn’t face up to them and as always, she was right.

I come across as a ‘gung ho’ sort of person and I certainly have had a jolly good old go at tackling challenges, both physical and mental. I’ve taken up all sorts of activities that make people say, “Wow! Aren’t you brave?” The fact of the matter is that I am not brave at all. I am just a woman on a mission, a mission to enjoy as much of life as I can, while I can. What you read next might surprise you because I am, after all a person who writes humour, is glib about almost everything and doesn’t seem to take life seriously.

When I was a young adult, just turned seventeen about to take my A levels, I had trouble with my back. The situation deteriorated rather rapidly and I found myself stuck in hospital for thirteen weeks on traction. I got to stay in bed for weeks, every teenager’s dream, with large weights suspended from my legs. I lost three stone, also every teenager’s dream but after undergoing major spinal surgery I came out feeble and with my spirit dampened.

I bounced back; after all I was only seventeen and I went on to University where unleashed for the first time I discovered freedom, fun, alcohol, boyfriends and intense back pain. (Not due to any activities with aforementioned alcohol or boyfriends.) I was admitted to hospital at the end of my first academic year for tests which involved enormous needles full of dye being injected directly into all of my discs. The reaction was terrifying. My back went into violent spasms. Consequently I was admitted to the emergency ward and worse still, I lost the use of my legs the morning after the procedure. I was paralysed. The discs in my spine had collapsed, my spine was weak and I would need further major surgery.

An operation was out of the question until they could ascertain why I could no longer walk. No one knew if I would regain the use of my legs. The surgeon and my parents sat in huddles at meetings while I lay on a trolley wishing my life could just end, there and then. My future was bleak. I was twenty years old and afraid.

I turned to writing at that time. I wrote about all the people I met in the hospital: the little old ladies smelling of lavender that had come in to have hip operations and who sat by my bedside telling me stories about their lives, each one with twinkling eyes and an optimistic attitude.  I wrote about daily events in the hospital, about getting a cold bed pan bath at five in the morning from two giggling nurses dressed as rabbits who thought it would be a “bit of fun” and about one of the more grumpy of the patients wheeled outside into the corridor late at night because they snored so loudly they were keeping the ward awake. I wrote about the amusing characters on the ward. There were plenty of them. I wrote about the funny side of working in a hospital with episodes such as the man who was admitted with a Hoover attachment stuck to a certain appendage and other funny incidents regaled to me by the nurses. Over the following weeks much like if you lose your sight, your hearing intensifies, so in the face of bleakness, I developed a crazy sense of humour about it all.

After a while I was sent home. Baffled surgeons still couldn’t work out why I had no use of my legs and decided to leave nature to take its course for a while. That night I decided I had a choice. I could mope about being miserable or I could try and take charge of my life and health. When my parents went off to work that morning I tried to get out of the bed. Even though I am a writer I cannot convey in words how difficult it was for me to move. The pain in my back was excruciating but worse than that was the fact that I couldn’t get my mind to will my legs to move. There is a saying that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.  I persevered. Every half an hour I tried again. I even tried every hour when my parents were asleep at night.

Without dragging out the story, it took a further gruelling week but eventually I could pull myself out of the bed and stand for a short time.  A couple of days later I told my father that I thought I could attempt a few steps to the landing if he helped me. The look on his face was worth every ounce of effort.

I gradually got better. I had the all important operation and my spine was fused together to prevent further problems. I promised myself that when I was recovered I was going to milk every drop out of this life I’d been given and that is why to this day I take up opportunities and challenges.


I am not brave. I was lucky enough to have been given a second chance. I continue to spend it enjoying life but also encouraging others to appreciate theirs too.

Never be too serious. There is always something to make you smile. Laughter and optimism have seen me through most of the dark times and I live by the mantra “he who laughs...lasts!”

Surfing in Stilettos
Due for release: 16th August 2012.
Available from: FeedARead, all good bookshops and Amazon

Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines
Available in paperback and Kindle format (buy): Amazon UK (buy): Amazon US
Also available in eBook format from: Smashwords

Author website:
Facebook Page: Carol E Wyer
Twitter: @carolewyer


Carol E Wyer said...

Thank you so much for inviting me onto your lovely blog Sheryl. I have loved being here, in fact, I feel so comfortable here I don't think I'll go home :)
Huge thanks too for all your support. You are without doubt one of the nicest people I know!

Nicky Wells said...

Carol, I had no idea. What an amazing story of determination and sheer willpower. I take my hat off to you (not that I actually wear one, but you know what I mean). I wish I just had an ounce of your courage! Congratulations on your launch day and I hope it goes fantastically well. Can't wait to get to Surfing in Stilettos!!

Sheryl said...

Isn't she just an inspiration. Carol I take my hat off to you, too! And I do wear one - in the rain, whilst trying to get my boat through the locks and trying very hard not to utter expletives at man keeping nice and dry under the awning while I do!

I love your books. I love your sense of humour. I totally admire your courage. Go that girl! (Or you can stay if you really want to ;)) Good luck, sweetie! :) xx

fishducky said...

I knew you were amazing, but I can't believe what you went through! I also knew that you are a VERY FUNNY LADY!! The title I gave you, BOTUK, stands taller than ever. You are truly "Bombeck Of The United Kingdom"!!!!!!

Melanie said...

Yikes! That sounds so painful, Carol. You're one determined person that's for sure. Glad you were.

Your book, Surfing in Stilettos sounds like a fabulour read and I can't wait to do just that.

Kim The Book Worm said...

As you both know I'm having a bit of trouble with the discs in my back at the mo, but feel a bit of a fraud having a moan about it every so often - well quite a lot actually - when you've gone through what you've gone through. You are a true inspiration to me personally Carol and you have given me a kick up the bum to get mine sorted out and achieve some of those things that I've always wanted to do. This year I was going to do a skydive for charity, but can't do because of my back, but when I'm better, I promise you I'll come begging for sponsorship money because I will do it! Thank you so much for sharing such intimate thoughts with us and Sheryl for letting her loose on your blog! Love you both lots, Kim xxxx

Sheryl said...

Aw, thank you for your comments on Carol's behalf, guys. She really is an amazingly talented and determined lady! And uber-supportive and lovely with it!

Kim, when you do your sky-dive give me a shout and I will come and cheer you on every step on the way. I've never know such a fabulously supportive group of people. It warms my little cockles, it really does. We're all juggling life, work home and family - illness and trauma, too, sometimes, and yet we still find time to cheer other people on. We're all right, you know. Love you right back, Kim! Thank you! :) xxx

Linn B Halton said...

Second chances are the stuff that changes a life - sometimes we forget to live each day as if it's our last. One day it will be, when isn't in our hands ... but ensuring we enjoy what we do and follow our hearts is key. That was a lot to experience, good on you for turning it into such an inspiration for grabbing life with two hands!

Anonymous said...

Carol, you are a total rock star! How cool is that? Thanks for sharing your story! You are an inspiration. Best of luck with Surfing In Stilettos!

Carol Hedges said...

I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you for being a bright and beautiful inspiration. The rules for this award are: Thank the person nominating you and link back to them. List 10 things about yourself. Here is the link to my previous acceptance: Nominate 6 blogs you think deserve the Kreativ Blogger Award.