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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The Stages of a Medical Setback
Unfortunately, as with a lot of medical
conditions the affect that it has on our bodies is not constant, it can
fluctuate, it can flare up, it can misbehave and it can happen at any point.
The most recent example of this for me occurred due to a fall, having a
significant effect on my walking. It doesn’t matter how many setbacks you’ve
had, it never gets easier and regrettably it won’t be the last. One thing I do
know is that there seems to be ‘stages’ that we have to go through in order to
overcome a big obstacle in health, to move on from it and carry on the lives we
Things can happen in a split second. Your
health can be doing pretty well, minus the normal aches and pains, which you
consider your version of normal. Suddenly you are in the back of an
ambulance, things going wrong that are completely out of your control, beeping
machines and lots of new faces wanting a response from you. The only word that
make sense in the hospital are “not again” or “this can’t be happening”. A few
days may even have past, the pain is there but it is yet to actually hit you, what happened has merged into a blur that you don’t want to think
about. In this situation it may be hard to believe what has happened, with it
all going so fast. You are running on adrenaline and medication, you may sleep a
great deal which doesn’t help with days turning into nights and nights turning back into days- they are just the same thing.
2. Sadness and frustration
When things finally hit home it’s
upsetting, of course it is! You may have just got over the previous setback,
completely knowing the long road you are now faced with again. You’re upset
that all the hard work you have previously invested in improving your health
seeming pretty pointless at that moment. It’s upsetting how you thought for once
you might have beaten part of the issues you are facing. This could lead to frustration,
and that’s okay. Be annoyed at the fact you are in hospital, be irritated by
the fact that you feel no one is listening to you and be cross at the fact you
can’t even rely on yourself to function ‘normally’ for a short period of time. As
cliched as this sounds, you just want to be like everyone else, and yet again
you are reminded that this is not the case.
3. Why bother?
You have been in the position before, and
you know you will probably be in it again. The cycle of recovering from
something never seems to end. Is there much point putting the time, energy,
pain and so much more into getting back on your feet if you can’t seem to keep
hold of it? As soon as things start looking up, your health has other plans.
Every time you think it’s going well, you have to be proven wrong. You question
it more times than you care to admit, yet never quite decide what you want to
do. Why bother if you know in the long run you will be in the exact same position?
4. let’s do this!
You’ve reached the final stage, and despite how
long this has taken you are glad to have got this far. The stubbornness and
determination that may have been overpowered during the other stages is back. Having
a long term condition is by no means easy, but that is what makes you stronger.
Why give up now? You want to gain back control of the whirlwind you have been
pushed into and enough is enough! You want to prove to yourself that you cannot
be beaten and are aware that won’t be easy, but that it is possible. If you
have managed to come back from all the past setbacks, then it is possible
to come back from the one you are now confronted with. Remember everything you have
overcome, look at everything you’ve beaten that should have knocked you down,
and get ready to do it all again because it is something that your future self
will be extremely grateful for. Do not doubt yourself for even a second because
I know you can do it! ~ Chloe x
For those of you who are unaware, March is always a very exciting month for me. It is Cerebral Palsy awareness month, the anniversary of 'Life as a Cerebral Palsy student' and it is my birthday. March will mean that there is an even bigger push about awareness about Cerebral Palsy which in my opinion is great, although I appreciate my opinion is slightly bias! The core of raising awareness is often teaching people about the basic principles of Cerebral Palsy in the hope that they gain a little more understanding. Cerebral Palsy is the most common motor disability in childhoodHalf of children with Cerebral Palsy were born prematurely Cerebral palsy doesn’t mean never walking. Many can, many will.There are four types of CP: spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, and mixed.People with Cerebral Palsy use three to five times more energy than othersEvery case of Cerebral Palsy is as unique as the person who has itThree in four kids experience recurring pain as a result of Cerebral Palsy…
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…