• Disability issues

    How Small Things Can Sometimes Be Huge

    And how it can make a difference In my life the smallest things can make the biggest difference.  Today my senior carer told me that are putting time in my care plan to wash my hair once a week.  This has made my day.  It’s a relatively unimportant thing in the grand scheme of things at the moment but for me it’s huge. Back in the day when I was living my ‘normal’ life, I would get up and shower every morning.  It was my routine and I washed my hair everyday.  I have very thick hair so I would often wake up looking like I’d got a bush from…

  • Disability issues

    Why do I think of myself as not normal

    And does it really matter? I love watching travel and wildlife programmes. I find them quite peaceful and easy to watch, especially before going to sleep. The cinematography is stunning. They inspire me to want to see these places and things for myself. I am thinking about things I would like to be doing or things I wish I could do. I always think ‘if I was normal I could be doing that’ . What is this ‘normal’? I spend most of my time writing about how disabled people should not be seen any differently to able-bodied people, about accessibility, about attitudes, and yet, in my private thoughts, I am…

  • Disability issues

    How My Life Changed Almost Overnight

    And what I’ve learned In 2004 fear took over my life. This is when the first symptoms of MS began, and I had no idea what was happening to me. I went from a fit, active person to someone who could only walk a short distance, had difficulty driving, could no longer type with both hands and so many other things. Almost overnight. The fear was intense, I suffered panic attacks, I cried a lot, lashed out at my husband and he at me. This was completely alien to me, we had been married for a long time and for the most part happily. Neither of us could understand why…

  • Disability issues

    Why should disability exclude us from travel

    The simple answer is it shouldn’t I have been thinking a lot about accessible travel (again) over the last week. In April I want to travel to France for a family wedding. I’m a full time wheelchair user, and I fly only once a year now. That’s because it is a horrible experience. And that’s if it runs smoothly. If it goes wrong it can quickly become an absolutely horrific situation. I have had so many of these that I’m wondering whether to bother any more. It is so stressful. Then I think how unfair it is that a whole section of society can potentially be excluded from travel, when,…

  • Disability issues

    What to Do When Plans Go Wrong and Do We Need Them?

    Plans can be important when you have a disability or chronic illness. If they don’t work out does it make you feel anxious? Believe me, it’s not just you. As a full time wheelchair user, my life has limitations. In September last year I decided to start a blog. It gave me something to focus on. I love writing and up to then had just kept a journal where I wrote about anything and everything, especially after my MS diagnosis. I realised over time that plans were an essential part of living with a disability if life was to run smoothly. Any outing has to be an almost military exercise.…

  • Disability issues

    How it feels to live with chronic illness

    Six things I learned that may help “Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life”. – Seneca – Letters from a Stoic These are wise words indeed, especially if you are living with a chronic illness or are a disabled person, when everyday can bring different symptoms, different feelings and obstacles. Not so easy though is it? Yesterday, I gave in. For two days I had been feeling awful, deep down I knew why, but, as usual, I kept going. For two weeks before Christmas I was busy as we all are. Being in a wheelchair doesn’t mean I get away with not planning…

  • Disability issues

    How do we change attitudes

    Disabled people are not another species I started this Blog with no clear idea of exactly what I was going to write about. The idea was that I didn’t want to be defined by my disability. The thing is, I have since realised that it is so much a part of my life – it IS my life – that I write everything from the perspective of a disabled person. When I read the newspaper to gain ideas and information for my writing I am instantly drawn to disability issues. Inevitable? Probably. Two news stories caught my eye today. Although they are different, they both relate to how disabled people…

  • Disability issues

    Living the very best life you can

    What we can learn from the Stoics I read an article two or three days ago about how Stoicism can help you be the person you want to be. I took quite a lot from it and considered how I could apply it to my own life Under the heading ‘View from above’ the writer suggests re-evaluating ones life; perhaps in the evening, you review your day and how you feel about things that may have taken place. He writes: ‘How many times have you had a conversation or an interaction with someone and thought afterward “oh man, I should have said that”, or “I wish I hadn’t done that”?‘…

  • Disability issues

    Moving Forwards

    How to face your fears and move on Wednesday of this week for me, was momentous. You will probably think that what I am going to say next is not much to write home about! I went out in my new power chair. There it is. I can hear the murmurs ‘and?’ ‘so?’ ‘and that was momentous because….’. Having a power chair after years of depending on other people to be pushed around is a wondrous thing. Having no choice as to where you can go, concern about whether the person pushing is able to manage awkward spaces, being parked while they go down a supermarket aisle or go off…

  • Disability issues

    Life with MS – how it can make you feel

    Learning to live with feelings and frustrations Yesterday was extremely unproductive. I was frustrated at the end of the day so I wrote exactly what I was feeling. I have never done this before, not where it might be seen anyway. I didn’t intend to publish it. But then, I thought, why not? What follows is what I wrote; absolutely no amendments. Please keep reading, the end is positive I promise. Monday I can’t be bothered to do anything today. Not even to play games or listen to my book. I’m cold and I’m tired and I just want to go to bed. This is how it is sometimes. MS…