A Williams Lake woman living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is finding distraction and satisfaction by writing books.
Carole Martin, 44, has self-published four books and is working on a fifth.
Two of her books delve into the psychological effects of MS brain lesions.
In the first book — Lesions of a Beautiful Mind — she invites the reader to take a closer look at mental health issues and how brain lesions play a part.
“I wrote it because I was not aware of what MS caused mentally and never clued in that it could actually be affecting my mental health.”
She said more people should know there are mental as well as physical impacts from MS.
Her second book — Lesions of a Beautiful Mind The Depressive Mind — continues the discussion with examples of her own experiences, a glossary of terms and a list of websites and phone numbers where people with MS can get help or more information.
“I found it very important to write both of those books,” Martin added, noting so far she’s shared the second book with her family and ‘a lot of people’ bought the first one.
Illustrations in the books were done by her daughter, Angelique, as well as for My Little Sweater Boy Ash, a storybook and colouring book for children.
Martin’s newest book is a novella titled The Secret Life of Jack. It is the story of a young man’s journey through self-discovery.
“I just came up with the idea and thought I would make up a story,” she said. “I had my family involved because they know I suffer from cognitive impairment. We started shooting ideas together.”
Martin was diagnosed with MS in 2004 but grappled with symptoms six or seven years before that.
“I was shocked, but at the same time I knew something was not right. I had gone numb on my whole left side had been doing research.”
A typical day finds Martin feeling fatigued and if it is a really bad day she is in a lot of pain.
“Some days walking seems OK and other days my legs aren’t working or my brain is not functioning and I cannot think straight.”
Over the years she’s tried different approaches such as changing her diet and trying to treat herself naturally, but can only fight to a certain extent.
In 2007, she stopped taking daily medical injections into her muscles because of the side effects she was experiencing.
“Today they say they have better medications, but I’m still afraid to go on them.”
Originally from Ontario, she moved to Williams Lake three years ago when her husband got a job in the Cariboo. They have two young adult children.
Back when she was 12 she tried writing poetry and said writing was always something she wanted to do.