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Showing posts from 2018

When Cerebral Palsy comes to the festival...

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It is two weeks after I attended my first festival and I absolutely loved the experience. Despite still recovering (or at least I think it is the festival I am recovering from) a blog post needs to be put together to document my thoughts.
I attended YNot Festival in Derbyshire on the 27th- 29th July and the only phase that seems to come to mind is "what a night!" from Mamma Mia. It is safe to say the experience was a positive one. However, you cannot leave Cerebral Palsy at home when you choose to go on such adventures and despite the perks it may bring, it is not the easiest thing in the entire world. Sometimes it would be a whole lot easier to leave it at home for a weekend, let CP rest in bed while you go out and have fun...

Despite this, accessibility at the YNot Festival was really good! On arrival I received a PA wristband for my friend and we camped in the accessible campsite which was a lot closer than general camping. The weekend brought sun, wind and rain- but in tr…

Cane Adventures: 12 months later

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It seems very odd to say that I have had my cane for a year, because it really doesn't feel like that long. Initially, I had intended to wait until October to write this post due to not really using my cane until then. However, I guess not using it, and the reasons behind that, are all part of the journey that I have been on. Also, it is the 150th anniversary for RNIB and I felt this post could work alongside the stories they have been publishing and follow that theme.
I had briefly known about getting a cane before I was first introduced to one, but even then it seemed unexpected and unneeded. It was first mentioned by an ECLO (Eye Clinic Liaison Officer) after I described the things that had changed as my vision deteriorated and the things that were starting to be problematic. However, holding one made it seem all so real. No more hiding a visual impairment behind glasses. I have say, it was slightly heavier then I first anticipated and getting the hang of it took a while. It ta…

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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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*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: www.cpstudentblog.blogspot.co.uk
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 …