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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New wheelchair?! :O
Oh my word! Middle of May already!!!
Yet again this is slightly delayed.....
On the 1st May, I received my new wheelchair :) From now on 1st May will be known as wheelchair day in my calendar, a time when I said goodbye to an old friend (or wheelchair) and hello to a bright, new, shiny, PURPLE one! (Xenon Quickie for all of you wheelchair hunters)
As far as wheelchairs go, I've never been a fan. (Various posts in the archive that back this up). It's never something I would want to use, or even use when it would probably be the 'safer' option. If you can walk, then walk- i'm a strong believer in the 'use it or loose it' phenomena.
However we have to accept that we ALL have good and bad days, weeks, or even months. So sometimes, just sometimes we need to pack away the stubbornness (shove it in a pocket) and sit in a wheelchair despite our own feeling. The way I try to get around that is by pushing myself, at least way I still have my independence and can get around school myself, as well as being able to choose where you want to go, and avoiding running over small year 7's (not that I can talk, me + wheelchair= smaller then the majority of year 7's!!).
I love my new chair, it's amazing! Firstly it is purple, my favourite colour, and it's lightweight and so much easier to push! After nearly 2 years of the standard NHS chair (aka- tank), which is really heavy, high back and sides it's a big change. Don't get me wrong, it served the purpose and got me around, however it doesn't compare to my new chair. On the other hand I can say that after using to my new chair there just seem to be a bond to my old chair (that's sad I know). Just like an old friend there may be slight emotional attachment to an inanimate object of a chair.....
Also the reaction which I have got from my new chair has been really good, and all positive, which can help. For the first time I have received complements on my wheelchair! Like it was the latest accessory on wheels, rather then a hindering tank that just gets in the way. Furthermore due to the lower back and lack of high side I also feel more comfortable. It feels part of me for once, rather then something which doesn't fit me at all. So I would like to send a big thanks to my grandparent who bought it for me <3
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…