For the latest issue, New Pathways spoke to former medical profession and now full time carer Don Snuggs about what led to him turning to writing…here’s a sneak peak of the interview…
As I age I see the world and its continual problems repeated again and again. By putting my thoughts and ideas into print, I can now see things more clearly and tell the tale more carefully, thoughtfully and honestly, and hopefully come up with a better idea of what really matters – enabling us to cope with our lives.
In writing about myself it has to be honestly done, otherwise those who know you or want to know why you tick may be affected by your statements, and one must avoid kidding oneself that actions turned out as you would have wished. I did not leave a golden age behind, for all its faults, today is preferable to the dark days of the war when you never knew what horrors were to come next.
I can recall as a youngster my father telling me there were things he had done in his youth of which he was now ashamed, and in my writing I have always tried to show how things turn out that could have been done better, with a bit of thought.
When I left the RAF in 1977 after serving for 22 years, and re-entered the NHS, I found I was just another grey suit and without the close friends I had in the services. After a few years of fighting battle after battle, I developed my own ideas about caring for the sick by studying alternative medicine, and then working in my own private practice.
It was here, in what little time I had on my hands, I looked back on my service career and found pleasure in writing down my recollections. It was successful, the gloss taken off however by the publisher going bust and taking most of my books with them. But it was well received by readers, mainly ex-service people who said ‘yes, I remember that, it happened to me as well’.
Sadly my dear wife developed a malignant condition which after three horrendous years and many types of treatment and surgery, throughout which time I nursed her, she died, and left me bereft.
However after many months of loneliness, and still trying to run my practice, I remarried in 2007 on my 75th birthday to a former patient of mine who had severe MS and was in a wheelchair. At this point I closed my practice.
Sandie is a wonderfully comforting lady for whom I do everything and love doing it. My new life, satisfying as it is, is totally different, with different things to do, but without the intellectual component found in medical practice of seeing up to 20 patients a day.
I needed an outlet for my thoughts and different people to talk to.
As I continue to write, it gives me a safety valve. It’s better than talking, and I can look at what I’ve written in ire and correct it before it goes out without doing thoughtless damage!