To pace or not to pace, the art of getting through life with chronic pain

When you have a disability or chronic illness it can be vital to pace yourself so that you get through the week in one piece. However, I’m currently on the train to London and about to speak at a conference. So, you could say I am falling at the first hurdle!
When I was about 15 years old I started to get involved with more health specialists like occupational therapists and pain management teams. They all loved the word ‘pacing’. Long before this word was introduced to me I had already been pacing myself to some extent. In a nutshell it’s about not over doing it. If you have a busy Tuesday, then be sure to have a relaxing Wednesday to recover from the adventure. For the most part I follow these guidelines and have become pretty good at planning things that are a little spaced out. 
But life doesn’t always follow this rule.
What if loads of exciting things come up at once, or I have two day trips in a row? Sometimes I would be sensible and choose which one I wanted to do most, sometimes …

Going on holiday with Cerebral Palsy

After finishing my second year of university I couldn't wait to go on holiday. With my health improving it meant I could get travel insurance a lot easier and therefore wasn't going to miss this opportunity. I was fortunate enough to go to Spain with my family and then go to Portugal with my best friend. However, going on holiday with Cerebral Palsy can be a little different, but that should deter you from going away.

Before the holiday
How we all wish we could spontaneously jump on a plane, fly to somewhere warm and be on holiday, but some level of planning beforehand is vital. Like I have just mentioned, travel insurance was a lot easier to get this year compared to the past. Unfortunately, being hospitalised more than once in a period of 12 months can be extremely problematic when you want to leave the country! I would still recommend looking at comparative sites to ensure you get the best deal and that they are fully aware of your medical needs. Next on the planning list wa…

Work placement with RNIB

Part of my university degree is to complete a six-week placement at the end of your second year. With my degree being in psychology and child development, it will come as no surprise that most of the cohort end up in schools or nurseries. However, after thinking about the career I would like after university, and looking at the experience I already had, I felt something a little different would be more appropriate. 
This is where RNIB came in. The charity support blind and partially sighted people in many ways and I had worked on campaigns with them in the past. I felt doing a placement with RNIB would allow me to be on the other side of the charity, as well as support others in a more journalism kind of way. By doing so it would mean I would be moving slightly away from psychology, moving away from children and just get more experience in that field in general. After being in touch it was decided I would work two weeks in each role: connect, fundraising and campaigns.
For the most part…

White Cane Vs Yellow Stick

This blog post was first featured on the Our Disability Community:

Having multiple mobility aids can be tricky, especially when both are needed. Yet it can be even harder when you can only use one at once. I've used a walking stick for about 4 years and it is safe to say that I've relied on it fairly heavily. Aside from giving it a name (Peppa and Albert) it has allowed me to walk further with less falls- not to mention the fact it was purple and then yellow! Then the long cane made an appearance last October. With my eyesight deteriorating and being registered as partially sighted in March 2017 the long cane has now been on the scene for about 8 months, it too has been an invaluable mobility aid when given the chance.

But how can someone use a stick one day and then a cane the next? Also, how do you decide which one to use?

Granted, I know it is theoretically possible to use both at once, two hands and two aids, but try telling my left hand that! I'm pretty sure if I tried m…

What is it like to have a PA?

Since coming to university two years ago I have had a Personal Assistant (PA) to help me with various daily tasks which has allowed me to live independently away from home, attend university and socialise with friends. It feels very odd to think they have been in my life for only two years as I cannot imagine life without their support as it has allowed me to do so much. It definitely is not part of the normal university experience, but it has been fundamental in my experience.
But what is it actually like to have a PA?
Over the years I have adjusted, and it is probably more of an adjustment then you think. You get very close to who ever is supporting you, and it is probably fair to say they see you more then they see their own family sometimes. To begin with it can be so hard to define the role of a PA, with them being there to help you but not constantly look after you. On the other hand, their role may differ slightly from day to day depending on what is required. On Monday I could …

An ‘old’ young woman with Cerebral Palsy

*This blog post first featured as an article for Scope*

My name is Chloe Tear, I am 20 years old and am studying Psychology and Child Development. I have mild Cerebral Palsy that affects my legs and left arm, as well as being registered as partially sighted. In my free time I am a blogger and freelance writer, with my platform being called ‘Life as a Cerebral Palsy student’ which I have written for the last 5 years. My blog can be found at:
What do you see when you look at me? Do you see a young woman who is at university and having fun with her family and friends? Or do you see an old woman who can be hunched over with a walking stick and who’s eyesight is decreasing way beyond her years?

I hope it was the initial option, yet I am likely to be the first to joke at how much of an ‘old woman’ I can be. Laughing about certain aspects of my disability may seem criminal to some. However, making light of a situation can encourage a more open outlook and make …

Why do I describe myself as wobbly?

A few weeks ago I was participating in Student Council at university. The training was to prepare us for the next academic year as we had been elected for a role within the Student Union. For me, this is the role of Disabilities Officer. At the start of the training we were asked to describe ourselves in a few word. I said the first word that came to mind: wobbly
Despite being a way to introduce my disability to a room of almost strangers, it does sum me up pretty well. It wasn't like I felt the need to explain my disability (after all, I was there because I had just been elected for the position of Disabilities Officer) but I do tend to use humour in most situations. Yes, there is a time to be all serious, but if you can laugh about something then why not? Joking about your disability can help to normalise it in a social situation, but also shows other you are quite open about it and it isn't such a big deal. I hope I come across as open and that others feel they could ask m…