Hi! My name is Chloe Tear, I am 19 years old and I'm a university student studying Psychology and Child Development. I have mild cerebral palsy which affects the left side of my body as a result of being born 8 weeks early and weighing 3lb 3oz, as well as epilepsy, chronic pain and impaired vision. During this blog, I will talk about what it’s like being a student who may face a few more hurdles than most. I hope you're able to follow my educational journey because anything can happen!
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Aka a bit of plastic which restricts movement. Not making it sound appealing am I really? I used to wear an AFO splint on my left leg with a hinge from about the age of 7 till 10, so not that long but I did make massive improvements and I was so happy when I no longer needed it and just had to use orthotics in the bottom of my shoes. I was able to wear 'normal' shoes and not big bulky trainers. I remember been so jealous of people's shoes.
As I entered the big wide world of high school I would like to think that my cerebral palsy was not noticiable and unless I told you then you wouldn't know a thing. I remember about a term into year 7 and is made two new close friends (still best friends now :) ) and when I mentioned cerebral palsy they had no idea and in a way I liked it that way. It doesn't bother me if people know and I was trying to keep it from anybody if anybody asks I will happily explain. It was just year 7. You know what it's like settling down, I wanted people to get to know me first without the preprinted label of CP which made people anion around me.
Now I'm in year 11 it's a slightly different story but I'm fine with that. People know me and my cerebral palsy and if anybody has any questions I would hope they would ask. Now by having the splint it backs up the fact that I have CP and "your putting if on , you don't have anything wrong with you" has fizzled into the back ground. Unfortunately for people who don't know it has turned into the stare game at my trainers I wear for school (which don't nessesary blend in to the busy corridor or the zebra print pattern which can be seen on one leg if I wear a skirt (I might as well have a funky pattern if I'm gonna have one).
I do think it is working again. Which is always good. I'm gradually getting my range of movement back and walking is getting better now I have got used to it. Howerer if you think if means I can't wear skinny jeans or a skirt. Then that is where you are wrong, I may have to wear this bit of plastic daily but it's not gonna control my wardrobe!
In order for me to complete university away from home, and get to lectures in one piece- a PA (Personal Assistant) has been vital in me being able to be as independent as possible. I have actually enjoyed the process of hiring PA’s despite it being a little stressful to find one in time. Yet, when looking for a PA, it had to be someone who could drive as well as being capable to suit all of my needs. By having a car it would mean that I could get to hospital appointments easily. However, when advertising it was often extremely hard to find someone who was fairly young (not that this is essential!), was capable of the job, could drive and was okay being with people aged 19- 21 all of the time. After 30+ applications it became clear this was all quite a big ask! Who knows my full medical history? Who would have experience in Cerebral Palsy, seizures and visual impairment? Who can drive and wouldn’t mind being with young adults all day? Who would actually quite enjoy lectures? There is a…
Dear Chloe, You're currently 7 years old and are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. This journey will show you the world in a completely new light, it will show you things you never thought you would see, and allow you to meet people you might otherwise have never met. Unfortunately, this journey is tough, it will test you past the limits you thought you had and cause so much frustration and upset- but you are capable of overcoming this, you can find tremendous joy in every aspect of your life. You have just been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. You have never heard of this, and have no idea what it is! But don't worry- mum's done lots of research and has your back! These hospital appointments may seem strange, and unnecessary as you don't think anything is wrong, but it will all become clear with time. Ever wondered why you walk on your toes and fall over more than your friends? Ever wondered why you can't hop, struggle with maths and feel tired? Or hav…
I am a part-time wheelchair user, this means that one day I can use my chair, and the next I can be walking with my stick. Being able to use a wheelchair on a part-time basis allows me to managed my energy levels and reduce pain, allowing me to function more effectively in everyday life. I am exactly the same person whether I use my stick or my chair, so why does the behaviour of others sometimes change?
Over the last few years, I have noticed people act differently to me depending on the equipment that I am using at that time, yet it was when doing my food shopping, of all things, that made me realise what those differences were.
I've noticed that when I use my stick, people don't tend to mind. I sometimes get a few inquisitive looks as they tried to figure out why a 19- year- old is using a walking stick, but apart from that it is fine. People in shops talk to me, telling me how much the items cost and expect me to pay- good job really considering it is my food for the week…