Featured

Disabled people aren’t so different from you!

Statistics state that two-thirds of the British public feel awkward talking to a disabled person, why is this? Because disabled people aren’t that different from what you might have thought. Understanding, willingness and an open mind to learn to understand the disabled world.

We are just as human as you are!

This one is simple and straightforward as saying the words ‘we are human’ – at the same time it’s sad that we have to remind people that disabled people are people, too. If you’re looking for similarities between you and a disabled person, look no further. This obvious yet needed reminder should make you stop and think, disabled people haven’t been discovered by the starship enterprise living on a faraway planet. We’re all made up of the same beautiful cosmic dust, what a wondrous thing that we all have in common.

We love

Being human we all have this fundamental need to love and be loved. This complex human emotion that inevitably brings us together in this complicated yet amazing world we live in. Abs against all the odds, we reach out to one another to form a connection that we all hold dear to our hearts. Love does not discriminate on your ability, or any “differences”. – Disabled people love and are loved. We form romantic relationships, have family and friends we love, and most of all we are LOVED.

We like to enjoy ourselves

Now, not everyone, disabled or not, likes the same things if we were the same it would be boring and none of us would have anything to bitch about over a cocktail or 5 – People seem to be shocked to find out I do like going to the pub or a night out (granted not right now), but like many people in my age group. I think this frame of mind comes from “disabled people don’t leave their house” misconception. Just changing that one thought process about disabled people, maybe you wouldn’t be shocked to see us at the grocery store or having a yummy pub lunch. It’s sad that society doesn’t expect that just because we are disabled we couldn’t possibly have a social life.

We have hobbies and passions

Despite the common belief and misconception that disabled people just live to exist doing nothing, complacent due to our inability to be as physically able as you might be, sorry not sorry to pop that bubble for you. Ability doesn’t equal your worth. Passion and enjoyment in life doesn’t require any physical ability. It requires a lust for life and experiencing new things, however that looks for you; disability or not. My passions/hobbies are Music, writing, advocating, shopping, fashion, beautiful countrysides, human rights, new foods, meeting new people, formula One and travelling. I am sure whoever you are reading this right now, we have at least ONE thing in common. Well look at that, a disabled and non disabled person having something in common. who would have thought it stranger Things have happened?

We have friends

Society likes to believe when they see us out and about we are either with family or caregiver whether that’s a PA or carer, it never crosses their minds that non-disabled or disabled people might like us and we do have friends that enjoy our Company. I like to think I’m a pretty good friend.

We aren’t so different than non-disabled people even though the way we live and accomplish tasks can look a little different. we all have one fundamental thing in common: the need for human connection.

Kisses K

Are you disabled or non-disabled have you got one I might have missed off what do you we have in common? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

Being disable doesn’t automatically make me depressed

You don’t have to prove yourself

How to stop comparing yourself to others

Featured

Disabled and older people deserve better than ‘making do’

Let’s get right down to the wheels this year has proven to be challenging for most people, but for too many disabled people the challenges have and still been significantly worse because of access issues within their home.”

Disabled people for far too long now have been expected to ‘make do’ and ‘just put up with’ being unable to carry out even the basics of daily living with very little or no Independence.

In September Habinteg Housing Association published the results from the YouGov poll that it commissioned. Worryingly, and yet not surprisingly it revealed that inaccessible housing had a significant impact on the wellbeing of disabled adults during this trying time.

  • 35% were “unable to carry out all daily tasks and activities at home without assistance.
  • 24% of disabled people do not have a home that meets their access needs.

To add insult to wheels, the Government introduced a temporary Care Act easement. What does that mean well it gives local authorities the means to not have to complete all the assessments or meet all the needs usually expected of them. Although not all councils have applied easements, this doesn’t mean that it’s not adding that additional worry for disabled people who require that vital and much needed assistance in order to live an independent life.

It is difficult enough for disabled people when they are living in adequate accommodation and require that extra help but for those in inaccessible housing, the problems are multiplied. Having experienced firsthand what it is like to live in an inaccessible home I can understand the difficulties that disabled people have faced over the months.

April 2020, 86.3% (9 in 10) disabled adults said that they were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the effects the current times was having on their life.

Including feelings of isolation, fears about contracting the virus and concerns about accessing vital services.

People’s homes have played a central role in most people’s lives for a significant part of the year. those in inadequate housing are more likely to suffer adversely; physically, mentally and emotionally. Also, a higher percentage of disabled than non-bodied people have reported feeling unsafe when leaving their homes, hence confining them even more to their own four walls.

Home building will need to be far more accessible than it is currently. With the possibility of further social restrictions shortly, the Government needs to ensure that local authorities are in a position to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people to enable them to live independently.

This is why I started campaigning for better accessible homes as well as joining forces with Habinteg as an insights group member with other dedicated disabled people wanting the same outcome. #ForAccessibleHomes

This week I met everyone on the insight group, Virtually of course to discuss the accessible homes consultation followed with a virtual meeting with myself, Habinteg’s Nicolas Bungay and my local MP Ben Everett to talk about why we need more and better Accessible housing.

It cannot be denied or ignored that disabled and elderly people deserve more than just “making do”.

Kisses K

I would love to here what would you like to see in the accessible homes consultation? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

Referring to people with disabilities as inspirational

The word ‘Inspirational‘ it’s a funny old word but what does it mean, if you google the Word inspirational it comes up with ‘providing or showing creative or spiritual inspiration’.

Fact – if you have a disability you would’ve been called ‘an inspiration’ at least once in your lifetime!

I get called ‘an inspiration’ at least once a week, And this hasn’t just started happening since I became more known as a public figure. I noticed that peoples perception of me changed as soon as my condition progressed and I started using a wheelchair. As I have a Progressive muscle wasting condition called Muscular Dystrophy.

Normally I’ll smile politely and say, ‘thank you that’s lovely of you to say!’ but I’m alway left feeling slightly bewildered. I’m not telling you this to brag or say hey look at me I’m inspirational – I’ve just always felt very awkward about being called inspirational.

The way I see it is I start my day of the same as everyone else – well I have a little help! But I’ve still got out of bed, got dressed and been to the loo, just because I use a wheelchair doesn’t mean it magically happens any other way. In the grand scheme of thing there are plenty of non-disabled people that struggle to get out of bed every morning.

I’ve not won an Olympic gold medal or cured world hunger, Just because I have a disability doesn’t mean that I’m constantly overcoming adversity. Sometimes I’m just collecting food in my big boobs!!

I watched a video of the late Stella Young. She couldn’t of put it any better in a TedX talk, where she coined the term ‘inspiration porn’. For instance, a quote you might have seen ‘ the only disability in life is a bad attitude’. Stella suggested that society has been sold a lie: the idea that living with a disability is a bad thing, something that makes you exceptional. Seeing people with disabilities as inferior is imbedded within our culture. That’s 100% true Society isn’t born prejudiced.

I wouldn’t change my situation for the world. My disability is not something I am ashamed of – quite the contrary: I have huge disability pride, if I didn’t have my disability you wouldn’t be reading this article, I wouldn’t be a disability advocate or started campaigning.

So yes my disability may be a big part of who I am – it also does not by any means define me. I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but having a disability doesn’t make you exceptional; it just makes you who you are.

An ableist society is what disables disabled people.

inspiration porn: memes that objectify the disabled community for the benefit of the non-disabled world to make them feel better about themselves, to create a feeling of ‘I’m glad I’m not in their position’ or ‘I couldn’t go through what you do!’.

Why do we/Society consider it not only acceptable, but complimentary, to say such things about disabled people? – Could you Imagine if part of who you are were used as a ‘worst possible scenario’. It would be problematic to repost memes like ‘at least your not overweight’, ‘life may be bad but you don’t have a face like that’.

It is not my intention to shame or call out anyone who calls me or anyone else with a disability inspirational. I don’t want to perpetuate the already existing awkwardness that exists between the two communities – two-thirds of the British public already feels awkward around disability, But clearly, society’s perception of what it means to live with a disability is flawed.

Everyone’s achievements including my own change the narrative towards disability in some way – it’s not that I don’t like the word inspirational I just feel very awkward around it. as I all I’m doing is trying to make the world a more inclusive place to live.

Have you ever been called inspirational and how do you feel about being called inspirational? Feel free to leave me a comment I would love to hear from you.

Kisses K

A friend Sanjeev has made a short and brilliant documentary Connecting Without Borders that I think you’ll all love.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

Is it too hard to understand we just want independence!

Lately, I have felt the majority of my conversations with people have been around the word independence – why I fight so hard and why we deserve to have our Independence. Surely it can’t be that difficult to understand why?

Maybe it’s just me and my stubbornness to make the world a more inclusive place for not just myself but for other disabled people too. Being disabled shouldn’t mean the world is closed off when it comes to accessibility like housing, toilets, shops, holidays, hospitals and care.

It’s scary when you hear someone saying ‘going into a care home you’ll be better off’ do we still live in an era where sticking disabled people into a home is the best and only option, all because the world can’t figure out that we are still human beings with a right to make life decisions, whether it’s living at home with a supportive family or receiving help from an outside source. It’s down to us to choose and for the rest of society to catch up.

The majority of society think it’s very easy to be disabled when in fact we have to fight for pretty much everything that we have from equipment to care, it’s not handed to us on an independent silver platter. Everything is a post-code lottery.

The unfortunate truth is that no non- disabled person will ever truly understand what it is like to have to fight for your Independence daily, they’re never gonna understand how it feels to be told you can’t go to the toilet, you can’t enter a shop, you can’t have your own home, access to vital equipment that will save your life.

From the basic to the essential.

Being able-bodied, your capability and freedom to live independently and autonomously will never be in question. But for disabled people “independence” can be that one thing we feel like we’re constantly dreaming about and spend their whole life fighting for.

An ableist society is what disables disabled people. To win full access and inclusion in society we need to continually use this idea in all our arguments.

Kisses k

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |PinterestInstagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

Is Ignorance really bliss!

The saying ‘Ignorance is bliss‘ but Is it when that ignorance is potentially harming others?

Most people that know or follow me know that I’m extremely active when it comes to fighting for an inclusive world, not just for myself but other disabled people whether it’s visible or non-visible, so as you can imagine the people that are close to me have seen my struggles first hand and just how much I fight for the world to just understand the disabled world better.

Last week I found myself being extremely annoyed and disappointed with someone that’s should quite frankly know better, just because they didn’t want to wear a mask in a public building because it was inconvenient for them they decided that wearing a sunflower lanyard for invisible disability was okay!

My disability might be visible to the naked eye but others not so much.

This had me thinking about everyone else that is miss using not just Sunflower lanyards but something similar. For what reason other than selfishness and ignorance of not understanding what it is like to have an invisible disability let along a visible one. I could quite easily have a conversation with this person but is it gonna make a difference when they’ve already shown their lack of understanding.

Society already makes it hard enough with the lack of knowledge and understanding into disabilities, without adding insult to the situation using a disability for their gain just because they think it’s okay or because they don’t think anyone is going to confront them. If it wasn’t for the current situation we’re all in would they even know that these type of things are available like the sunflower lanyard for invisible disabilities? My guess is probably not.

Why should I be down to us to educate, when some in the world is so quick to use something that wasn’t designed for them. It’s for that reason alone it’s not theirs to use.

Society right now – The conspiracy theorists standing their ground on not wearing masks on their soap boxes telling anyone that will listen – The moans about wearing a mask and making a point of saying they are – The exempt/Shielders wearing masks because they don’t feel safe – The under the nose wears just not understanding it’s meant to cover both nose and mouth and lastly the ones that think their The Avengers and invincible to even a common cold.

What category do I come under I will openly tell you I come onto the exempt category but I still wore a mask to not just protect myself but for my Nan, husband, mother-in-law, other family and friend on the 3 times I’ve ventured out only local as in 5 minutes from my home.

When it comes to applying for a blue badge, CEA card (cinema card) you have to proof your entitled to one. So why is it not the same when it comes to exemption on wearing a mask, they have made it as easy as a click of a button for people to use and apply for one, it just makes life even harder for these fighting to just be seen as equals and included in a world that just see us as inconvenience but convenient when they need something!

For those of you that are exempt here is where you can get your lanyard or badge:

Sunflower lanyards

Euan’s Guide

Kisses K

What are your thoughts on this subject? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

unhelpful and unwilling people

The yearly awaited text message pinged into my inbox Monday morning – ‘We would like to invite you for your annual flu vaccine. Please kindly call to make an appointment. Thank you’.

That seems like a simple request yes? Call, book, get jabbed in the arm simples!

I’ve been having the flu jab for over 20 year’s, why because living with muscular dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting condition my body has a tendency to have a mind of its own that I don’t have control over, so the need to take control of what I can in my life is understandable. Like keeping as healthy as I can, protecting myself from catching the flu makes sense especially as muscular dystrophy affects my respiratory as well as other muscles.

Have you ever come access that one person who is just very unhelpful, unwilling and rude that no matter what you say they are just never going to help and yet if you dared to be rude or abusive and unhelpful towards them it would never be tolerated so why is it acceptable to do it towards us!?

I’ve struggled on and off with some of the receptionist at my doctors surgery some are like block aids you just can’t break though to get to the other side, which has put my health at risk sometimes because of the lack of knowledge and understanding.

Monday morning it happen again just this time I was gobsmacked at the response I got, when I said I didn’t feel comfortable attending the flu clinic with other patients as I was still shielding myself the responses was ‘well other shielded patients have managed to attend appointments in the surgery’. My response – that entirely up to them that’s unfortunately isn’t myself, then this ‘well if you don’t want the flu vaccination that’s fine’.

Frustrated and shocked yet when I sat back and thought about it I wasn’t entirely surprised unless you have a disability you’ll never really going understand the barriers, battles and anxiety someone that is disabled faces in a daily basis. But this constant need to have to explain my condition, how things affect me the dangers and the why I don’t want to be in a room full of people just baffles me.

Only I can control myself and what I do, I certainly don’t have control over how other people choose to live their life that’s the simple truth. So if I choose to protect myself and my health why is that taken as if I don’t want the flu vaccination!?

It really doesn’t take much to be understanding or caring to others needs especially at a time when people are so uncertain and nervous especially with their health is at risk – protecting ourselves doesn’t warrant someone to be rude just because we are looking after our needs.

I would like to point out that not all receptionist are rude or unwilling to help there is some truly wonderful receptionist that are willing to go above and beyond, thankfully the following day I got just that someone willing to help me.

I would love for you to share the most unhelpful and the most helpful experience you’ve had – leave me a comment.

Kisses K

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |PinterestInstagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

My boobs and my disability

Well ladies let’s talk tits, boobs or breast. Whatever you like to call them it’s a subject we should definitely warm our hands up to and Cop-a-feel, well that’s what all the adverts and professionals say checking yourself regularly is a good thing but that’s all fair and well – unless you’re physically unable to, being disabled or having a disability you can already be faced with a multitude of health issues, that’s before it comes to having cervical screening and mammograms.

Having Muscular dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting condition I haven’t got the arm strength or ability to be able to check my own breasts, I’m lucky enough that my husband cops-a-feel every day – as he’s putting my bra on while he’s getting me dressed, so you can all get your minds out the gutter!! But yes he probably does know my boobs better than me.

Last year by chance it was actually myself that noticed I had a large lump on the inside of my left breast after doing my normal party trick of holding a small can of Diet Coke in between my boobs (big boobs come in handy sometimes!). I already had an appointment with the paramedic from my doctors surgery to came out and see me about something else, so to be on the safe side I spoke to her, she checked me over but wasn’t overly concerned but gave me a course of antibiotics as she could feel a lot of swelling around the lump.

A week later and no real change an appointment was made for me to go to the breast clinic at Milton Keynes University Hospital, i was slightly worried at this point for various reasons the lump for one and the fact I am use a wheelchair and had no idea how accessible it was going to be for me.

My first appointment – The nurses where great made me feel at ease plus made sure there was a room big enough for wheelchair and me plus hubby, asked if I was able to get onto the bed but said it wasn’t a massive issue as I could be examined in my chair after the doctor examined me she wanted to do a full MOT on my boobs as I was 40 at the time and had never had a mammogram or breast ultrasound scan.

Before I carry on just so you all know I’m ok nothing was found other than a few pesky cysts!

Intrigued on just how accessible it was going to be as a wheelchair user, how was they going to achieve getting my boobs squished into a machine!? not having the strength to hold my own boobs let alone my balance half the time!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The appointment was made longer so there was no rushing round I could stop and start if I need to, the breast clinic had there own hoist which I was pleasantly surprised about but unfortunately that wasn’t charged over night so it had no battery, but it was ok this time as hubby came with me so he was able to stand me to sit into a specialist chair for anyone with Disabilities, this chair was higher off the ground and was able to recline so you could lay completely flat as if you was on a examination bed.

Hubby was asked to leave the room, i’d like to add very well looked after by the Brest clinic nurses with chocolate cake, coffee and the tv while waiting.

A third nurse was ask if she could help by holding my head and arms as a pillow was placed behind me for better Comfort. The mammogram machine was able to move up, down, left and right which definitely made things that little easier, top off boobs out and the chair push into position as far as it could go, pillows placed around me for support, boobs into the right position it was time to start taking pictures. I was amazed just how my boobs including my body could be pulled into that many different angles.

The whole process itself wasn’t completely painless as you can guess when your boobs are being flattened like a pancake that wasn’t hugely comfortable or painless. The nurse where amazing listened to every direction working with me to make me feel so comfortable and safe.

Picture time finished I was covered up and wheeled into a different room so the doctor could do an ultrasound scan, as I explained earlier of the specialist wheelchair they had was able to lay like a bed with the nurses still helping move my arms the doctor carried out the Scan.

As a disabled woman or person when it comes to having personal appointments or any appointments it can be very difficult physically, emotionally and mentally, when there’s no thought of what our needs are, it’s the simplest of things that can make the world of difference like a specialist chair, bed, hoist and more time.

I would love to here your boobie stories men included if you have one. Leave me a comment.

Kisses K

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

What my wheelchair has taught me about life.

Everyday is a life lesson some way or another.

I have a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy a progressive muscle wasting condition I use a wheelchair 24/7, 365 days of the year unless we have a leap year of course. That has been my reality of more than two and a bit decades. But my wheelchair has given me a unique perspective that I wouldn’t trade for all the tea in China.

Transitioning for adults and children new to the disability community, the thought of having to use a wheelchair can already be hugely daunting and scary place but it’s also surrounded With some negativity. You only have to look at the words and phrases we use to describe it: “bound,” “confined,”. “have to use,”. While old-fashioned these words and phrases, unfortunately are still in our everyday language and the way we/Society think about disability.

My first wheelchair was when I was 25 wasn’t anything fancy or powered it was your standard run of mill manual wheelchair in sexy black of course from wheelchair services, with big wheels and long handlebars which gave me the option to not only be able to push myself and get around but it also allowed my partner, family or friends to push me where I needed to go. Hubby on several occasions wondered off and left me hanging around the shop aisle forgetting he needed to take me with him!!

Since then I have upgraded and had a few powered wheelchairs over the years that have given me even more freedom and independence you could say a whole new lease of life. At times, my wheelchair has also allowed me to see the not-so-nice side of life, but it has also opened up a world of opportunities that would not have been possible without it.

Example, my blog, the campaigning work with Tesco and Changing places, being a freelance writer, the awards I’ve won and tv/ radio opportunities without my wheels I probably would not have done any of these things.

Let’s face it when people see/met you for the first time your wheelchair is the first thing they see, it’s definitely been a conversation starters. using a wheelchair, you’re going to either stick out like a sore thumb or become invisible. I’m one of those really annoying people that constantly has a smile on their face which seems to work – allowing people to feel comfortable approaching and striking up a conversation.

While my wheelchair has opened up some incredible doors and positive lifelong friends, my husband and other amazing people. it’s also a reminder that there are some not so great people in the world. Having a wheelchair or any type of disability you will quickly notice that people will judge you. Stare at you. Say ignorant things. Say some pretty awful things. Say you can’t do it. Tell you no. Ask you a lot of questions.

Life can be hard. But life can be hard for everyone. Life can also be really, really great.

In the past, It would make me so angry I would want to scream and shout at them I quickly realised you can’t argue with stupid and ignorance will always be ignorance. But what I can do is teach the ones that want to make a difference by sharing my story, my struggles, the barriers I face every day. A wheelchair will quickly teach you who is worth your time and energy.

A wheelchair gives you the platform to be an advocate not only for yourself but for creating a more equal playing field for everyone else.

I’m thankful that I’ve been able to see the world on both sides of the fence from being non-disabled to disabled it’s definitely made me appreciate the life lessons, it’s taught me to see the world in a very different way, to be more patient, caring, understanding and humble.

A wheelchair gives you, your freedom and Independence the opportunity to participate in life, get engaged, and gives the gift of a unique perspective and valuable skills that will take you throughout your life.

The saying really is true that when one door closes, another opens. Focusing on the negative will only blindside you into seeing the things you cannot do instead of looking for the opportunities that you can.

The best life lesson that my wheelchair has taught me is to appreciate life! My chair has travelled with me, introduced me to lifelong friends, campaigned for a more inclusive and diverse world, allowed me to spend time with my family and friends, wheeled me down the aisle on my wedding day, I don’t know where I would be without it and it is a good reminder to appreciate the little things in life.

Kisses K

I would love to hear your Wheelchair stories what do you appreciate about having a wheelchair or you might not have one and have questions feel free to leave me a comment.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |PinterestInstagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

Women Sexual Health and disability

Let’s talk about women’s sexual health, especially disabled women, sorry not sorry gents this might not be one for you but definitely stick around as you might learn something new!

It’s time we/us as disabled women spoke more about the barriers we are still facing when it comes to sex, periods and cervical screening. It’s definitely a subject we don’t speak enough about but most definitely should be. As who will teach the young disabled women plus make it so they don’t face the same barriers we all face today.

Let’s face it, It’s one of those subjects most of us shy away from disabled or non-disabled, it’s even more difficult when you have a disability because people have an assumption that we don’t or can’t have sex, periods or need smear tests because our bodies are seen as medical, not sexual.

Surprising this is one of the biggest questions I’m asked by someone I know or a complete stranger ‘can you still have sex, or want sex’. Shock horror Disabled people are out here having sex, let’s make that clear, But even when people accept that there is still a presumption we only sleep with other disabled people, so it doesn’t matter if we’re having safe sex or not – we can just have hanky-panky all over the place with each other without checkups.

It seems to be common practice to perceive people with disabilities as objects rather than complete people

I have Muscular Dystrophy a Progressive muscle-wasting condition and as my body changed year on year so the things like having a period or smear test became harder.

My husband is my full time care giver so does all of my personal care needs, trying to keep that level of women mystery about you is difficult in a relationship – plus how do you ask or even expect your partner to help with a period every month? so I made the decision to have a Marina coil fitted this stops all my period so I’m able to manage my period that way I must stress this might not work for all this if my personal preference.

Society’s view is that disabled people don’t, won’t and can’t have sex.

So what happens when no one will discuss sex, cervical screening and periods with you when medical professionals are letting you down when it comes to your sexual health, or when those around you see you more as a child than a sexual being.

With funding for sexual health services in England and Wales drastically cut in the past five years: it’s reported £64m less is being spent on services, equivalent to a 10% budget cut, according to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. A restructuring in 2013 has also seen responsibility for sexual health fall to local councils rather than NHS England. These cuts pose problems for all users and with Public Health England saying they seen a growth of 5% in the past 12 months in 2019. But with additional issues faced by the 13.9 million disabled people in the UK. These is already a lack of access to these health centres I.e no hoist, large enough room and bed available or untrained staff.

The real danger with the lack of access, understanding and knowledge. Disabled women are missing out on vital test/treatment like smear tests and contraceptive. My own experience with access to smear test I had a 10 year-long battle to get access for a re-tested after an abnormal result and a 5 year out of date coil resulted in me having to spend 24 hours in a high dependency unit and being put under for an operation just for a full fanny MOT!

I received so much negative backlash sharing my fanny MOT story online from the non-disabled community but that just shows the lack of knowledge, understanding and ignorance when it comes to disabled women and sexual health – it scares me to think of the thousands of women with disabilities that don’t have access to life-saving treatment like the cervical screening just because of the lack of access no one should have to go through what I did.

So what needs to happen we need to see better access at GP surgeries and sexual health centres and better education across the board when it comes to disability and sex, Not talking about these important subjects can lead to somebody feeling like a lesser person, feeling less desirable.

Just because we have a disability doesn’t mean we’re not hot and sexy!

Most of all, as women with disabilities we should feel empowered to talk about sex, periods and Cervical screening because it could save lives.

So let’s get talking ladies let’s show the world just because we have a disability we are sexy, sexual and deserve to be treated as just that and receive the same medical treatments as other women.

Please support my friends petition for better access: by clicking on the LINK

Kisses K

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Posts you might like to read

My fanny MOT

HDU Ward 6 – Milton-Keynes University hospital

Accessibility issues within the NHS

Featured

Incompetence nearly killed my mum!

Disclaimer: my life Kerry’s way is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,  and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

I feel like I have been staring at a blank page for days, trying to process feelings I have locked away in order to stay strong and level headed – now it comes to write them all down I’m struggling – how do you process something that hasn’t happened to myself but to someone you’ve loved unconditionally your whole life. – I feel so much rage and hurt, helplessness, disrespected, fear, discussed, ignored, anxiety even hate. There isn’t an emotion I haven’t felt/feel. With one I just haven’t been able to suppress thought out this whole situation the worst feeling of them all ‘Failure’ the Constant feeling that I’m failing as a daughter to protect my mum from the very people that are meant to care and protect her as they would their own family.

I feel like my life is being held hostage by Caremark – someone please help me!

When you have carers/agencies you’re passing all of your care needs over to them, you’re entrusting your whole life to them. We all know that’s not an easy thing to do, so imagine losing all trust in the care agency.

Apologies don’t make a blind bit of difference anymore from this care agency ‘Caremark’ When I’ve witnessed them constantly continuing to be ableist, full of excuses, disrespectful, character assassination, lied, bullied, avoided the truth and quick to blame others for their lack of management, training and common sense.

Time to speak ‘MY TRUTH’ they nearly stole my mum from us because of their incompetence.

WHY – The level of care Caremark provide or lack thereof is classed as Domiciliary care whereas my mum needs are complex care/nursing care as she needs a cough assist machine and ventilator – domiciliary and complex care are polar opposite here’s why:

Domiciliary care is defined as the range of services put in place to support an individual in their own home. Services may involve routine household tasks within or outside the home, personal care and other associated domestic services necessary to maintain an individual in an acceptable level of health, hygiene, dignity, safety and ease in their home.

Complex care, also known as long-term care or continuing care, is given to patients with significant, continuing healthcare issues such as chronic illness and disabilities These health care issues could include muscular dystrophy, ventilators. Complex care requires the carer to be proficient in an array of specific caring methods, which can be learnt and taught at dedicated training centres. As well as providing complex care, carers should also consider facilitating patients to lead independent, active, and fulfilled lives whenever possible Carers can provide complex care to patients but, as mentioned above, they need to be proficient in specialist care techniques. These could include enteral/PEG feeding, stoma care, gastrostomy feeding, nasopharyngeal suctioning, oral suctioning, bowel management, oxygen therapy and tracheostomy care.

Caremark have made me feel so helpless on numerous occasions because of their openness to neglect and unwillingness to rectify their mistakes let alone admit they have made more than one mistake.

My mum is worth more than your bottom line and lining your pockets!!

There will never be any justification for their confident lack of not giving a sh*t who they send in, I’ve been so angry and broken-hearted so many times I’ve lost count like 6 hours of constantly calling the office and speaking to the manager ‘J’ I shouldn’t have to explain until what felt like I was blue in the face, that if a carer can’t even provide basic care needs they should not be sent. Which became an ongoing theme of leaving my mum with no fluids, medication, food, cold, in pain, no light, no repositioning or ventilator sometimes for hours or days. Yet numerous times Caremark was told of inadequate care.

Many times I have threatened safeguarding and calling the authorities as this wasn’t just neglect it was cruelty. My blood boils at the thought of how anyone knowingly treats another human being with such disregard and neglect, especially knowing this person is unable to move their own limbs and care for themselves. The simple FACT is they had knowingly put my mum in danger on multiple occasions.

Safeguarding have been called more than a hand full of times by different people, even another care agency.

If my brothers care team had not done an emergency step in, when my mum was found barely breathing and slipping in and out of consciousness with the Caremark’s carer doing NOTHING, even after my brother’s team stepped in this carer still didn’t report to Caremark that there was a serious situation – finding out this news broke me into a million pieces the one weekend I thought it was safe to not check-in like I normally do, this CARE agency very nearly stole my mum from myself and my brother because of their negligence sending inadequate and untrained staff. What makes it even worse is they continued to send this carer in the following days after this incident knowing they nearly killed my mum, THAT scared me. Whats even more concerning is that wasn’t the last time they sent this carer.

I’m now so petrified that every time I speak to my mum this will be our last conversation, my last memory, the last time I get to say I love you.

The lack of care from Caremark stems even from their supervisor ‘T’ – ‘this so called’ carer took what seemed great pleasure character assassinating my mum for 45 minutes on the phone trying to convince me that my mum is the issue, that she is rude, abusive and how carers didn’t want to go back. T told me that all they have ever done is be caring and helpful followed with I even scrubbed your mum’s infected toe with a toothbrush. I came off that call inconsolable and so angry how dare T be that disrespectful who on earth do they think they are, no child should ever be put though anything like that, especially when you know it’s all lies. It was at that point I realised Caremark just didn’t want to understand or ever going to understand let along admit or take responsibility for their actions. For the lack of training, language barrier or admit their carers have told them they didn’t want to do complex carer. No, it’s easier for Caremark to push ALL blame on the vulnerable disabled person.

Several occasions I have had to keep my mum company via the phone, one time was nearly 6 1/2 hours long until 3am talking, because we both knew it was going to be a ruff night for her. I cried myself to sleep yet every hour woke up to check my phone just to make sure I hadn’t missed a text or call. I’ve cried myself to sleep most nights or lost sleep in the fear of getting a message or worse a phone call.

Terrifyingly ruff days and nights aren’t the only issue, being told my mum has no care for hours is apparently acceptable to Caremark.

It’s been a constant mentally draining battle with Caremark to try and get adequate care, you would think I was asking for the impossible – If it wasn’t a language barrier it was lack of training or just rude bullying staff. We’ve all watched an undercover Panorama or Ch4 documentary on care agencies that provided home care with family members breaking their hearts watching video footage of their family member being mistreatment. Never did I ever think I would be that Family member I’ve watched hours of heartbreaking video footage – of numerous carers just being rude and bullying one example a carer could be seen repeatedly bullying saying ‘say my name, can you not say my name I can say yours’ with mum begging her to leave and stop or she’ll report her, the carers response was ‘report me, I’ve done nothing wrong!’. My blood has boiled on more than one occasion where complaints are not taken seriously even with evidence. Caremark are quick to report statements sent in by their carers, yet never called to check and see if mum was ok or hear Mums side of the story, is that because they would have to admit they lied on more than one occasion?

My heart sinks, my anxiety kicks in every time the phone rings or a message flashes up on the echo so worried to pick up or listen.

I had to sit back and watch Caremark make idle threats and backhanded comments to pull the care in emails for weeks, knowing that if I react there’s a very high change my actions could be taken out on my mum. It frustrates me there is never any repercussions with care agencies like Caremark. Even after you constantly complain to the people that are meant to be there to help you.

False promises with no action or repercussions.

I’ve been so physically and emotionally drained I’m unable to function some days where my husband and my own pa’s have been so worried about me putting my own health at risk. Having muscular dystrophy myself it hasn’t helped my mental health, but I knew I had to put my mum’s needs before mine. For the first time she needed me, my mum needed me to be strong for her, she had never felt like she could confide in me before now, as much as it is breaking my heart listening to the treatment my mum was having to injure I needed to be strong.

Do they even acknowledge or understand the lasting hurt and damage they have caused my mum, myself, my brother and family.

Your time is up, it’s time to truly hold your hand up and say you FAILED – stop hiding behind your lies and the CCG.

As for me I will continue fighting and supporting my mum because she’s worth more and deserves better than Caremark!

Kisses K

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Featured

I want to scream I’m still here!

I don’t know about all of you – I sometimes have this overwhelming urge to shout ‘Hello, I’m still here’ I’m not invisible while frantically waving my arms in the air – well, if that was at all possible, I’ll need to rope in one of my PA’s to do that part! I’ve openly said the disabled World is a forgotten world or afterthought and the fact it’s not a new concept most of us haven’t felt, read or written ourselves.

The outside world is moving forward as I watch from the window.

Yet when we remind the world that Society has left us behind that same society not all but some. Act as if we’re moaning that nothing is good enough when in reality all we are asking is that we are treated the same as the non-disabled world.

It’s paraded all over the media then as quickly as we all agree yes, yes this is how I feel it disappears. It then just feels like a broken record constantly repeating itself until something else happens and we give Society a little nudge again to remind us that we are here and nothing has changed.

Do you ever get that feeling you need to find a very big field and just scream!

You could even say that we’ve become so immune to being left behind we just get on with life and adapt because that’s all we can do until someone truly wants to listen. Which unfortunately is up to us to keep talking and sharing just why we feel left behind. Because how else are people going to learn the barriers we face in everyday life like accessibility with toilets, housing, shopping access to hospital appointments the list is endless.

So yes there is a need for action there is a need to scream I’m still here even in the ‘new normal’ everyone keeps going on about we are living and yes absolutely we will adapt because that’s who we are but no we shouldn’t have to we will keep fighting, why because of my life matters, your life matters, disabled lives matter.

I’m not here to educate you on disability, but I will.

EVERYONE is entitled to live in an diverse and inclusive world.

Kisses K

We all have our ‘we feel left behind stories’ so please sharing them with me by leaving a comment.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

For Accessible Homes

Have you ever looked around at your home and thought I really hate living here not because of the decor or the area that you live, but because you’re stuck in one room unable to access any of the other rooms in your home. This one room acts as your living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

For Accessible Homes week 14th – 18th September

Disabled people like myself and their families have been living in unsuitable homes or forced to live in care homes due to the lack of enough accessible housing available to live in. Back in 2018, I wrote about how the new ‘housing crisis’ that was being reported. Yet this wasn’t a new concept to the disabled Community we have been fighting the Government and councils for years screaming that there has been an issue way before it was being reported.

Safely in and out of your home is the simplest thing most take for granted, yet disabled people are living in a home that’s not designed for anyone with disability needs, how are we still living in a world that access to your own home is a problem, I’m lucky enough to have a home Provide by Habinteg that’s my forever home it’s made a huge difference in my life where I’m able to have my independence but with the population ages and rates of disability on the increase, less than a quarter of homes built outside of London by 2030 will be suitable for older and disabled people.

In July of this year, I met virtually with Housing Minister, Rt. Hon Chris Pincher MP, to discuss the lack of accessible housing in the UK. Alongside Habinteg’s CEO, Sheron Carter, Director of Strategy and External Affairs, Nic Bungay and Anna Dixon, CEO of Centre for Ageing Better representing the Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition. The meeting was convened by Liz Twist MP

Sharing my first-hand experience of living in an unaccessible and accessible home I urged the Minister to launch the public consultation on accessible housing standards that was promised by Theresa May before she left her post at number 10 more than one year ago. This is after an Insight Report was published by Habinteg last year revealed just 1% of homes to be built outside London by 2030 are set to be wheelchair accessible properties. The Minister also mentioned that the disability strategy being led by the cabinet office, will include accessible housing.

On 8th September Robert Jenrick, the secretary of state for housing announce the consultation document and plans to make all new homes meet ‘lifetime’ standards the housing ministry is asking for industry views on changing building regulations to ensure all developments must meet the “category 2” standard for accessibility – broadly equivalent to the old “Lifetime Homes” standard.

Those whose homes do meet their accessibility needs have reported improved health and wellbeing. However, an accessible home is not only beneficial to the people living in it. Just having the right adaptations to the home can create significant savings to the public purse, reducing social care costs for local authorities and health costs for the NHS as the number of accidents at home will significantly reduce.

It’s not a luxury to live in a suitable home and I believe everyone, old and young, disabled and non-disabled, deserves to have somewhere to live where they can feel at home. Being a disabled person means you’ll constantly face mental and physical challenges so why not make the few changes to new builds that make it easier for people and families with a disability.

Kisses K

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

Accepting a new normal

Accepting a new normal when I was just feeling like I had found my feet… well wheels!

‘Normal’ what does that even mean and does it really exist?

Everyone’s normal is different or we would all be boring. plus life has this way of dealing us different cards of change from time to time whether it’s through choice or necessity.

Being disabled life already throws many different challenges at you on a daily basis, and as much we take those hits time after time on the chin – obviously finding ways around them they can also be extremely difficult to come to terms with and, understandably, most disabled people often miss and mourn their old life I know I have even if I have embraced my disability it took me a long time to get to where I am today and yes absolutely I still miss many things I’ve just learnt to live without. So accepting this new ‘Normal’ is far from easy.

Finding acceptance is often the only way to enjoy life again.

Having muscular dystrophy A progressive muscle wasting condition – acceptance has had to become part of my life, as each year passes my body changes or I lose the ability to do something for instance recently the strength in my left arm has gotten weaker so wash my own face has become harder and harder.

With so many rule foundries, people not social distancing it’s hard to feel safe. The world maybe moving forward and opening and yet I missed and still can’t go to vital appointments with health specialist like my 6 monthly respiratory to check my lungs are doing ok, my neurologist doctor and his team.

So accepting this new ‘normal’ isn’t it going to be that easy for some of us.

I could totally say to you all right now look for the positives like I would in most situation and I’m totally not saying don’t as you should always at least try, but with so many of the disabled Community still feeling left behind as the rest of the world tries to move forward. In all honesty where do we even fit in within Society? With so much confusion, scaremongering and people just avoiding/ignoring the feeling of those that have been shielding or taking those extra precautions.

This year I have been out of my house 3 times – that’s 3 times in 8 months.

I don’t know about you guys but as much as I’m exempt from wearing a mask I’ve found myself wearing one on the two occasions I’ve ventured out only to my local shop 5 minutes away but still made sure I had one on. Why, In a way i feel It’s to prove a point that just because I don’t have to wear one I’m still wearing one because of people kicking up a fuss that don’t want to wear one but should wear one!

Acceptance – is a process that only you can do at your own Pace, it’s not a competition it’s about how comfortable your feeling about things, it’s not about how other people want you to feel. Its okay to say that we miss our old lives. That we miss who we once were. And it’s okay to be angry, sad or say that life is unfair. Because, sometimes it is.

So for right now in this moment I’m stubbornly throwing my wheels up at all this change it’s not bettering my life if anything it’s put my wheels in reverse!

Everything definitely is and feels different

But. I will find a new ‘Normal’ because like I always do I will do thing in my own time move at my speed.

Kisses K

Have you found your new normal or still looking for it?? Leave me a comment I’d love to know.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Posts you might like to read

Feeling anxious about returning back to normal

Barriers we face as disabled people

Featured

Freedom is more than Just a state of mind, it’s my wheelchair

Independence. What does that one single word mean to you?

Most people take their Independence for granted – that’s ok because not everyone will stop and think about how in their every day life they are free to make decisions and act on them. Like being thirsty their ability to make themselves a drink, annoyed or bored by something or someone free to walk away, need the toilet to go looking for one and if a big hairy spider sits in the middle of the living room floor staring you down you can run away screaming and waving your arms like an idiot or just grab hetty the Hoover!

From the moment we’re born this is the first glimpse along the road to Independence from our first attempts at crawling, right up until our bodies don’t want to play at life anymore. We gain abilities to explore, learn and interact with our surroundings and other people – these are all hugely important parts of shaping who we are and understanding the world – right?

Learning the value of independence throughout our lives. We grow from dependent babies into ‘hands into everything’ exploring toddlers through to ’know it alls’ rebellious teenagers, finally making our way as independent adults into the big wide world.

But wholeheartedly most people won’t have even given the process a second thought, and like I said before that ok because why would you unless life didn’t quite go as it was meant to.

What if that Independence wasn’t there anymore due to an injury, an illness or a disability that didn’t disappear? Your environment would suddenly be your biggest enemy, that drink and toilet suddenly become unreachable.

This is my world along with thousands of others – I have a Progressive muscle-wasting condition called Myofribillar Myopathy muscular dystrophy – my experience of an independent world has greatly changed over the years growing up learning how to function as a free independent adult to now experiencing solely reliant on other adults for my Independence. In a way as each year passes I’m missing out on far more than just being mobile.

To me freedom is definitely more than just a state of mind my powered wheelchair symbolises freedom, independence and empowerment. It gives me that sense of control back in a life that I have to solely rely on others for help, it enables me to see the world differently but still see the world, I know first hand just how much difference the right wheelchair can make to one person’s life. It may only look like a piece of equipment with wheels you sit your bum into to you, but it’s this bit of equipment that gives me my legs back. So yes this bit of equipment is so important and key to having my freedom and independence.

Kisses K

What gives your freedom and Independence I’d love to hear from you leave me a comment.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |PinterestInstagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

Campaigning 101

Over the last 3 years campaigning has become such a massive part of my world, which got me thinking about all of you, yes I think of you all on the odd occasion don’t get too excited now!

Have you ever thought about starting your own campaign or just wanting to get involved in a campaign/ing but just not sure where to even start. Well look no further here are a few helpful little tips I’ve found that have helped me along my campaigning trail.

START A CAMPAIGN

  • Find a campaign to start advocating for that you’re passionate about I.e Changing Places or carers rights for instance, but there are so many great campaigns already going it’s just a case of picking one you want to get involved in, in your Local Area. You might already have something in mind you feel needs attention.
  • Once you have your campaign your next step is to write an email to whoever has that YES power or who can pass it on to the person who’s in charge for the facilities for your campaign.
  • Share with your friends and family your campaign, social media is such a powerful tool these days when it’s used In the correct way.
  • Arrange a meeting your story is the most powerful tool you have when campaigning, sharing it in person even more powerful.
  • Contact your local newspapers tell them what your up to and why your campaign is so important. You can even see if there is an online local newsletter as well.
  • Start an online petition for your campaign or see if you can share one already established, then share your story along with the petition at the same time.

Well, that’s me, for now, I hope these little tips have helped you get your campaigning juices Flowing, feel free to reach out to me and share your campaign I’d love to hear how it’s going or what campaign you’re going to start.

Until next time thanks for popping by and reading!

💋 Kerry

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |PinterestInstagram

Posts you might like to read

Featured

Rolling up your sleeve – Free Flu jab

It’s that time of year again, even though it feels like yesterday I was last jabbed in the arm – most of us are use/waiting to receive a text message or a call from our GP surgery inviting us for the annual arm jab. This year will be very different when it comes to having a flu jab the government and NHS have extended the annual free Flu vaccination scheme in England to reach more people. With the ‘possibility’ of a second-wave of Covid-19 to hit during Flu season this winter,

My opinion, it’s hugely important to get vaccinated but that is just me having muscular dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting condition just catching a common cold can be deadly so the flu just the same. But as much as I feel it’s incredibly important there are a few people that don’t feel comfortable having or have a reaction to the Flu vaccination.

What changed

The minimum eligible age has decreased. Children in year 7 will now be eligible and anyone who is on the shielding list and their household members.

  • adults 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • pregnant women
  • people living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
  • children in primary school
  • children in year 7 (secondary school)
  • frontline health or social care workers

Over time the list has evolved as more groups have been added and individuals by their GP or specialists. Normally if you was classed as an extra on the list you would have to get special permission from their GP for the Flu jab. Crazy I know as I see it if you need or want to protect yourself or loved ones you should be allowed.

Why should you roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated against flu?

Influenza (Flu) is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes unfortunately death. Every flu season is different, and the flu can affect people differently, but It does affect millions of people every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year.

An annual jab in the arm protects you from catching the flu and spreading it to others, which may help lessen the burden on hospitals and medical staffs.

It gives people a sense that there are some things you can control

Old wives tail – people have believed in the past that the flu vaccination contains the flu it is made with inactivated (“dead”) or weakened viruses, which are not infectious, However, a flu shot may cause slight flu-like symptoms that can last for a few days, such as: mild fever. a headache

Your GP should contact you about your Flu vaccination but it is important to speak up if you feel you may have been forgotten. You may have been added to the shielding list without your GP’s knowledge. If you’re still unsure about the flu vaccination speak to your nurse or GP get more information from them, they are after all the experts.

Happy arm jabbing when your time comes

💋 Kerry

How do you feel about the flu jab for it or not??

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Featured

Sharing in times of need.

Being disabled sometimes comes with a short or long list of needs It can feel like a military operation just leaving the house – well that’s if you’re anything like me and that doesn’t include my Mary Poppins handbag with the kitchen sink! Whether it’s equipment or supplies it’s not something we can just say ‘oh well it’s ok if we run out or leave behind’ so what happens when you do forget or can’t get supplies what then??

What if I told you there was a way? What if I told you there was an online charity that was designed for just that ‘time of need’ made up of individuals who are willing to help others by providing missing care consumables and specialist disability equipment in unexpected times of need.

So what’s this charity called??

Skiggle

A little about them – Skiggle is a nationwide online charity network of UK-based disabled people, family carers and health professionals. Their ever-growing community is made up of truly incredible individuals who are willing to help others by providing missing care consumables and specialist disability equipment because let’s face it, it’s happened to one of us at some point we just never know when something essential might be forgotten, go missing, or need replacing.

So, whether you’re running out of specialist feed, continence products or suction catheters, with Skiggle, there’s a community ready to come to your aid.

What does Skiggle offer.

SOS – Their website is connected to an SOS system where members can request care essentials immediately in unforeseen circumstances, free of charge, from someone else’s surplus supply.

Marketplace – They also have an online Marketplace where items can be bought, sold or offered for free. For personal safety and the safety of others, members will be asked to agree to our terms and conditions relating to the movement of products when signing up.

Anyone wishing to use the Marketplace following the loss of a loved one whether it’s a disabled friend or family member, they will add their Bereavement Angel to items this will help to ensure that any transaction is handled sensitively.

Facebook – Looking for advice or support? Their Facebook page is a very popular space where families and carers can chat, ask questions and recommend products to each other.

Skiggle is a unique name, for a unique concept

The reason behind the name –

A family brain storming exercise one Sunday morning with Christine’s two girls looking at a domain website. They all wanting a name that really stood out, then Christine’s youngest (7 at the time) thought of the name Skiggle it sounded a bit like Giggle. And there you have it a unique name for unique concept.

The story and people behind Skiggle

The mastermind behind this great online charity Is Christine she’s the mum of Will who has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy.

The charity development manager – Helen is Will’s carer she has been with Will of the past 7 years.

Both Christine and Helen care for will’s full- time, all while they co-running the charity on top of their care duties. Christine is a former dog groomer and cattery owner, and Helen is a former lighting technician in UK theatre.

The story

The charity was formed through personal experience: here’s Christine story in her own words.

“It all began one family holiday. We were going away for a few days, so we packed the car with all the usual holiday kit. In our case, clothes, food, buckets & spades, and everything Will would need; medication, continence products, feed, breathing equipment and extra clothes for the inevitable mishaps.

Excited, we set off on our family adventure! The holiday started brilliantly until we realised we had forgotten to pack a box of milk feed; feed that Will is reliant on and needed imminently.

Panic! What do we do now?

I rang the out-of-hours doctor. After three hours of trying, she was unable to get the feed and instructed us to drive home or check Will into a regional children’s hospital. We didn’t want our son to spend our family holiday in hospital so, to avoid infection, we made the trip home to collect what was needed.

Following this experience, my husband and I thought; if only there was a space to store everything we could possibly need, accessible any time, day or night. But who would fund it and where would it be located? No single location would be suitable.

Then a light bulb moment!

Many carers of people with additional needs have a ‘space’ in their own home. A garage, shed or spare room where everything they need for their loved one is stored. Someone, somewhere near us could have almost certainly helped by lending the feed we needed to get us through our short break. If only we had known who to ask or where to find them.

That’s when Skiggle’s SOS messaging service was born. An online community ready to help those in need and a place where you can find help when you need it most.”

What Skiggle means – Skiggle means extra grey hairs and a developing gin habit for both Christine and me, but it means offering a lifeline to people around the UK living with disabilities by giving them somewhere to turn in times of unexpected need.

I had the amazing pleasure recently in meeting via zoom these two incredible ladies. The passion that came through from both of them was just heartwarming and infectious, I could’ve totally spent the day just chatting about everything and nothing with both Helen and Christine. I can’t wait to see this online charity go from strength to strength helping hundreds of disabled people and their families in their ’time of need’.

Have you come across Skiggle or what are your thoughts about Skiggle? Feel free to leave me a comment I would love to hear from you

💋 Kerry

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Featured

Challenging myself – while fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy

Three weeks ago I came across a post on social media by Muscular Dystrophy UK, they were launching their big 60 challenge. Now normally when I see any fundraising events it’s either something to do with running or jumping out of a plane – unfortunately having Muscular Dystrophy myself I need to know my limits and running is definitely not one of them jumping out of a plane, on the other hand, I would definitely be up for by my husband might have a heart attack if I even mentioned it!

Thinking that this was an events that I couldn’t get involved in – until I read the words the ‘event for everyone – no matter your age or ability, where you live or how much time you can commit, anyone can take part!’ It was like music to my ears finally I can get my thinking cap on and raise some money for a charity that is so close to my heart.

My Challenge

For six days straight I got my legs out now don’t get too excited not in the way that you are possibly thinking!! – Over six days I did 10 minutes on my pedal bike making it 60 minutes altogether over 6 days.

An electric pedal bike

On my fifth day I even had a special guest join me all the way in Cornwall my very best Cornish favourite human being Ross Lennon from A life on wheels which was amazing. It definitely gave my fundraiser a nice little push that it needed, and to have his support was even better.

My friend Ross on his pedal bike

My challenge is now complete my legs feel like jelly and definitely need a little rest but I’m so glad I reached my goal and target, I set my sponsorship target of £200 and I smashed it thanks to so many wonderful people that have supported and sponsored me through this cycle journey. To date I have managed to raise £342 which will go towards supporting the thousands people living with Muscular Dystrophy and their families.

I know this might sound crazy to some but I definitely feel like I’ve achieved something that I’ve wanted to achieve for so such a long time now, being disabled I am very limited to the types of fundraiser that I can do like I said at the beginning running definitely is not my forte!

It also wasn’t just about fundraising for me, it’s been a long time since I’ve really pushed myself out of my comfort zone pushing my body and mind. Having muscular dystrophy myself a progressive muscle wasting condition I knew I was probably going to have to push my body though the tiredness/fatigue testing my mind at the same time,

But i’ve always said that I would never let my disability stop me from achieving anything that I want to achieve yes it may have taken me six days, yes I have push my body more than I would on an average day, but if we didn’t test ourselves every now and then how would even know our limits.

Why the name big 60?

For more than 60 years muscular Dystrophy UK have been there funding world-class research and supporting families living with over 60 rare muscle-wasting conditions. Unfortunately like most charities, MDUK has been affected massively though COVID-19. it’s important to keep charity like MDUK going for years to come because of the massive work they do help not just people like myself but for the hundreds of families out there living with Muscular Dystrophy and for the not yet diagnosed.

💋 Kerry

Here my end video hope you enjoy because I’ve had a blast.

A roundup of my Big 60 Challenge over six day’s

My just giving page

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Featured

My life with Myofibrillar Myopathy – Muscular Dystrophy

Lately, I’ve spoken a lot about having a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy a progressive muscle-wasting condition – If you’ve been following my journey you’ll already know and if not welcome.

I’ve never really explained in detail the type of rare Muscular Dystrophy I have and how it affects me so It’s probably time I explained a little bit about my MD maybe you know someone with MD. Or, maybe you’re new to the world of Muscular Dystrophy.

You might be surprised to know according to the muscular dystrophy UK website there are over 60 forms of muscular dystrophy – It’s a large misconception that Muscular Dystrophy is it’s own disease, but in reality, it comes under the umbrella term for several types of muscle weakening diseases. Certain types of MD can appear to be very similar but at the end of the day, all are unique and affect each individual differently.

The type of MD I have is called FHL1 Gene mutation – In other words, I’m a superhero! that comes under the family of Myofribillar Myopathy. There are different types and my type happens to fall into this category. The FHL1 gene provides instructions for making 3 versions of a protein that plays an important role in my muscles for movement (skeletal muscles) and in the heart and other Muscules within the body, You can’t just have Muscular Dystrophy you can have a type of Muscular Dystrophy.

What are Myofribillar Myopathy?

Myofibrillar myopathies are a group of conditions called myopathies that affect muscle function and cause weakness. They primarily affect skeletal muscles. A weakening of the heart muscle is also common.

Symptoms of myofibrillar myopathies can vary widely and affect each individual differently, even within the same family, for instance, my brother was diagnosed at a very young age, my mum late teens and of course myself 24. Typically depending on the underlying genetic within the family. Most people with this condition begin to develop muscle weakness (myopathy) in mid-adulthood. However, symptoms can appear anytime between infancy and late adulthood.

Common symptoms

People with myofibrillar myopathies can experience weakness in the muscles of their hands, arms ankles and calves, frequent falls caused by weakness in their feet (I always remember my friends saying it was like watching a tree fall in slow motion!) – as a progressive muscle-wasting condition weakness in the muscles closer to the body can also develop muscle pain, joint stiffness and abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine (scoliosis).

Muscles responsible for speech and swallowing can also be affected leading to swallowing difficulties even changes in the tone of voice. Breathing can also be affected and get weaker, causing difficulties and leading to respiratory problems. You’re heart being a muscle also you may experience problems that can be mild or severe.

So now you know a little bit about my type Muscular dystrophy how does it affected my life – I can no longer walk but stand with help, rely heavily on a powered wheelchair as my new set of legs. My spine is slightly curved, my tummy leans to the left, i’ve learnt to become ambidextrous because I’m naturally right-handed and now my right hand and arm doesn’t work as well as my left. My heart likes to skip a beat every now and then but if my hubby asks it’s obviously for him! And my lungs don’t let me screen the house down which my hubby loves but my face will happily tell you mood I’m in. All in all I class myself as one of the lucky ones I don’t have any real pain and try to live a happy healthy life embracing my muscular Dystrophy as part of my identity.

I hope this has given you a little insight in my type of muscular dystrophy. As MD can affect just about anyone, most types are genetically inherited. I say most because another misconception is that they ALL are genetically inherited.

We all have our unique thumbprint within a world of billions that’s makes us 1 in a billion.

💋 Kerry

Do you have muscular dystrophy or know someone? I would love to hear from you.

Disclaimer: I must emphasise that the following information is representative of my own personal experience.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Ask about my disability if you’re curious

Our marriage – muscular Dystrophy

Featured

Being disabled doesn’t automatically mean I should be depressed

I’m one of those really annoying people that you meet/see that constantly smiles about absolutely nothing and always says hello to a complete stranger as I’m wheeling past. I think I’m a happy go lucky person that tries to see the positive and not the negative in every situation, I try not to sweat the small stuff – picking each battle as I go along very wisely.

My glass is always half full, not half empty!

So why do some people think that just because I’m a disabled person I should automatically be depressed, I’m praised because I “keep smiling despite all that I have” – yes I’ve experienced a life without muscular dystrophy but I’ve spent more of my life living with muscular dystrophy, Learning along the way to accepted and embraced it as part of who I am.

Every so often I encounter strangers who say “look at you smiling away with all that you have”. I usually respond by saying thanks life’s not that bad while laughing, because I truly don’t understand why someone would automatically think my life is full of doom and gloom. Yes, of course I have bad days who doesn’t just because I’m disabled doesn’t mean I’m not like every other person out there,

But how do I explain my internal battle, how do I reveal a ‘weakness’ when people already see a very visible one. because if I let my inner ‘weakness’ out for everyone to see then it will become part of my reality, a bit like someone who invades your space and doesn’t get the hint to leave. Even more so how can I make people understand that my disability isn’t what triggers my mental health?

Muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscle-wasting condition of which I have a rare form of [Always knew I was rare one!!] it wasn’t something I was born with but it was already in my genes and didn’t become noticeable until my late teens. I know what both worlds look like standing and sitting. Yes it was hard at the beginning to really accepted and embraced my new life as a disabled woman but It is part of who I am, so how can I dislike or reject it? It would be like rejecting and hating myself over something I had/have no control over. I would definitely rather love myself than hate myself.

When you say this to people, I can see the disbelief behind their eyes and that look of pity slowly comes across their face, all while thinking ‘we know you aren’t happy because of your disability, and just trying to hide it’. Maybe my face is telling a different story to what I’m thinking who knows? Having a disability does not have to affect your quality of life – my quality of life is only affected by the lack of accessibility, inclusion and knowledge within the world. (Please remember this may not be the case for all as one size doesn’t fit all).

It baffles me people can’t see there are so many other factors that will affect your mental thoughts, like childhood trauma, relationships. It can sometimes feel like your constantly ‘fighting’ a new daily battle; for instance, whether it’s for acceptance, a job, new equipment or your age because people believe you should have a short shelf life. and you know it’s your disability that is being rejected. Missing appointments or events because you can’t find a taxis or they won’t stop because of your wheelchair.

My question why are some so quick to blame the disabled Community, is this not an outdated attitude? More importantly, why would people really want me to be miserable because I have a disability? In reality, it is them that have the problem with my disability and not me!

Any advice to be given would be to look at the person, not their disability. Look at our inner characters, not our appearance, talk to us. Get to know the person inside not the person you automatically see. Do all of that before making sweeping assumptions based societies stereotypical beliefs that have been ‘taught’ throughout the years about being disabled.

As the saying goes don’t judge a book by it’s cover!

Over the years I have worked hard – learnt that talking and writing about my mental health has not just been beneficial to myself but also to others in similar situation.

💋 Kerry

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

A letter to my 10year old self

What you need to know about Muscular Dystrophy

Featured

Is it disability or accessibility – The social model

This is a subject that I’m coming across a lot more lately whether it’s online or in conversation – the social model of disability. What does it actually mean? Many people that are disabled see it in different ways, why because one size doesn’t fit all, in other words, each person’s disabilities affects them in different ways – for one it could be a pain aspect then for another it’s accessibility.

The social model of disability identifies systemic barriers, attitudes, and social exclusion.

The social model of disability is based on two distinctions between the terms impairment and disability. The word impairment is used to refer to the actual attributes (or lack of attributes) that affect a person, such as the inability to walk or breathe independently. The word disability is used to refer to the restrictions caused by society when it does not give equivalent attention and accommodation to the needs of individuals with impairments.

In other words – example, if a person is unable to climb stairs, the medical model focuses on making the individual physically able to climb stairs. The social model tries to make stair-climbing unnecessary, such as by replacing the stairs with a wheelchair-accessible ramp. According to the social model, the person remains impaired with respect to climbing stairs, but the impairment should no longer be considered disabling in that scenario, because the person can get to the same locations without climbing any stairs.

As a disabled woman, I try very hard not to make my impairments an inability but in the same sentence as a campaigner for disabled rights who fights for better access in a world that is still struggling for inclusion, it hard not to see that it’s not my impairments that’s the problem it’s the accessibility.

Councils, high street shops, homes, supermarkets even the government have been for years denying accessibility and passing g the buck on each other – expecting someone else to provide a facility they could easily provide, to make it more inclusive for the disabled world that are just asking for better facilities.

Many people seem to have this misconception if somewhere says it’s ‘accessible’ it automatically means it has a ramp, maybe electric doors or a lift. But that doesn’t make somewhere accessible, It simply just means you can get in. Being fully accessible means you have to catered to ALL walks of life so that everyone is able to enjoy the venue and access the same things, regardless of ability or non-ability. And as an ambassador for purple Tuesday – the purple pound is the spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth a staggering £249 billion and is estimated to be raising by 14% per year.

In the words of Jack Sparrow, “The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude about the problem”

And this is where lies the problem the law is outdated and out of touch with the disabled Community, when you have non-bodied people trying to navigate a world they have no experience in. This just allows people to interpret what suits their building/business, which in some circumstances is understandable as what may be reasonable for a multi-billion pound company may be extremely unreasonable for a small newsagent for example.

The lack of knowledge and understanding has meant that people with all different types Impairments are still being treated like second class citizens in their communities. We are not treated as equals and are left feeling unwelcome in many places. And it’s not just the disabled person who feels this way, it’s also our families and friends that feel the frustration.

Having Muscular Dystrophy a progressive muscle wasting condition means I cannot visit places for any length of time unless I can get my powered wheelchair inside and they provide a changing places facilities, yes we all knew at some point I was going to mention my favourite subject, if you’re not sure what a changing places toilet is – it provides a bigger safe space for more than one care giver, a ceiling hoist, toilet central to the wall making it easier to transfer from either side and high adjustable adult size bed. A standard old style ‘disabled’ toilet may work for some but it’s an outdated facility whereas a changing places toilet can be used by ALL with visible or invisible disabled people.

The Government announced on the 19th of July 2020 – new legislation was passed making it compulsory now for any new large builds a changing places facility will need to be built within.

The passing of the buck will never completely disappear unfortunately as Society finds it very easy to pass blame on to people with impairments as the problem. Because taking responsibility for the lack of accessibility is a concept some people find very hard.

I will leave you with this thought – The disabled population is the largest minority group on the planet – it is also the only minority group any one of us could join at any time.

What are your thoughts on the social model of disability? Feel free to leave me a comment I would love to hear your thoughts.

💋 Kerry

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Are you being ableist and don’t even know it

Forgotten the world

Featured

Having a disability isn’t a weakness

Having a disability isn’t a weakness, it should be seen as a strength.

What does the word disability mean to you?

When you look at someone with a disability what do you see strength or weakness. Is the first thing that pops into your mind ‘oh bless it must be hard’ or ‘I’m glad I’m not them’ or how can they add anything to Society.

I have a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy and progressive muscle wasting condition, I was diagnosed at the age of 24 but before that the signs where already showing from a teenager, first came the limp then the muscle weakness gradually got worse and worse I’m my arms and legs. But I’ve always believed it should never hold me back from anything I want to do, yes, I might take longer to do certain things and of course, there will be things I can’t actually do like run a marathon but with careful planning why can’t anyone with a disability achieve anything,

My disability doesn’t define me. I just happen to have muscular dystrophy it just part of my identity.

As someone with a disability over the years I have faced many people telling me ‘I can’t’, even my own husband has in the past he obviously knows better now! These are just a select group that don’t know you or your disability that will openly tell you, you can’t or bully you because of your disability. This just drives me even more, so I can wheel on by saying sorry what did you say, I can’t what!

A bruise will heal, a cut will heal, but when you let somebody take away who you are, it’s more damaging than any broken bone and deeper than any cut.

Disability is sometimes perceived as a negative [sadly, generally by people without a disability. Viewed as the worst possible thing that could happen to someone. But your wrong it’s so far from it. The word “disabled” can be seen in a good light. Look at all the amazing disabled athletes, movie stars, with so many amazing people out there that have a disability just talk to one and you’ll see. There’s nothing wrong with being disabled, Disability is not an ugly word. Disability isn’t a bad thing.

I certainly wouldn’t be in the position I am in today without my disability and be able to utilise what I know about living with muscular dystrophy, I wouldn’t of started my blog, become a disability campaigner or won awards, everything I have achieved is, yes because I’ve worked hard but it’s also been achieved living with a disability.

I will never let my “disability” get the best of me. I, myself, don’t see my body as disabled. I look at muscular dystrophy as a little bumps in the long road we call life.

Having a disability doesn’t mean we don’t add to Society we can still get married, work, have sex, have children.

It’s time to show people that disability has ‘ability’ in it. People look at a disability as a weakness but it should be seen as a strength. The representation of disability needs to be improved. If we can make this happen, we will in turn help change attitudes towards disability across the world.

So. The next time you look at someone, think about what they could be going through. Whatever their disability might be, don’t think for a second it will hinder their performance. Who knows, maybe they’ll teach you a thing or two.

💋 Kerry

Have you a disability how do you see it as a weakness or strength?? Feel free to leave me a comment I would love to hear your opinion.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Featured

The barriers we face as disabled people

Have you ever had a moment where your face tells a thousand stories, that real eye-rolling moment in a conversation when someone says ‘oh I know just how you feel I once had an injury and couldn’t do anything for weeks’, I don’t know about you but I can pretty much tell when someone is about to say something along those lines and I’m thinking ‘please don’t say it, please don’t say it’? nope. There it is, you totally said it!

I spoke about ‘Ableism’ in my last post and this is one of those moments but not in a nasty way more of a they just didnt think before opening their mouths. As a disabled woman living with muscular dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting condition I know the barriers, I face with a disability, as I’m sure most of you do. So what are the biggest barriers we face?

5 Biggest Mobility Barriers For People With Disabilities

Accessibility – The Physical barriers in our lives can be a huge stress to anyone with any disability that can cause anxiety, depression even feeling segregated from the world. it’s not a question of having the ability to go out it’s a question of does the restaurant, shops, GP surgeries, working environment even a toilet have the right access. When you’re faced with Physical barriers it can be down to the simplest of things like steps, stairways, kerbs, escalators and paving. If you cannot access the entrance of that shop or go to work because of a narrow doors or steps your facing a barrier that your unable to defeat.

The law has prohibited discrimination against Disabled people for more than 20 years, and yet we still face many barriers and sometimes find it impossible to access services. This is largely because it is left up to us to enforce this law.

By taking action to combat discrimination, you don’t only make changes for yourself: you are improving things for other Disabled people.

Public transport – Disabled people face considerable challenges when it comes to public transport from bus drivers not willing to take down the ramps, the bus being too old, forgotten on a train or no access to the platforms even staff refusing to allow you on. The lack of wheelchair-friendly taxis can even pose as major barriers.

1 in 4 disabled people say negative attitudes from other passengers prevent them from using public transport, while 40% often experience issues or difficulties when travelling by train in the UK,

Work environment – The barriers faced by disabled job seekers will vary from individual to individual, the first barriers many disabled people face is the simple act of disclosing their disability. It brings a fear that this disclosure may lead to discrimination. Employers are also under a legal obligation to provide reasonable adjustments for their disabled employees, but what is provided varies from employer to employer. some disabled people rely on PA’s [Personal Assistances] or carers and require some level of care during the work day but frequently care packages, provided by Health and/or Social Care within a local authority, aren’t enough to cover them.

The government’s Access to Work grant goes some way in covering specialist equipment and support but many aren’t sure what support employers should supplement and Access to Work is only available for paid employment – those working on a voluntary base do not receive any help.

Accessible housing – With a chronic shortage of suitable housing some disabled people are feeling trapped in unsuitable homes. There are over 400,000 wheelchair users in England living in homes which are neither adapted nor accessible, according to a Habinteg estimate, which will only add to the pressures on the health services, and local authorities.

Just 9% of English homes currently provide even the most basic accessibility features.

Disability awareness – A lack of understanding and awareness of disability is also a significant obstacle; nearly half of non-disabled people feel that they do not have anything in common with disabled people, and 26 % admit to avoiding engaging in conversation with a disabled person.

13.9 million disabled people living in the UK.

I would love to know what barriers do you face in your every day life? How does it make you feel?

💋 Kerry

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Accessible housing needed

My disability my identity

Featured

Are you being Ableist – And don’t even know it.

Ableism

This is definitely a word I’m seeing pop up more and more, but this word has always been lurking in the corners as if it’s waiting to say ‘remember me’. It has played a very significant role in all of my life even before I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy because I grow up in a house where my mum has muscular dystrophy.

So what is Ableism – it’s discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief of what Society deems ‘normal’. At its heart, ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. Like racism and sexism, ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than,’

For me, as a disabled woman I often find it hard calling someone out or addressing the subject on ableism, just because like many forms of discrimination, it can come from a place of ignorance or able-bodied people with ‘good intent’.

A great example that I have encountered many times is those that do not have a disability believe they know more about someone’s chronic condition or impairment more than the person with a disability. I have a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy a progressive muscle-wasting condition caused by changes in the genes responsible for the structure and functioning of the muscles, there is no treatment or cure.

But I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told by a stranger that I should just build up my muscles with the correct exercise and food. It doesn’t work that way yes exercise will keep the muscle memory but will never ‘build more muscle’. Hold that thought while I go sign up to a gym and solve all my issues.

As much as I’ll make a joke out of it, it’s really not that funny in the grand scheme of things when you look at the bigger picture. I’ve not just grown up knowing this condition it’s now very much my life so I definitely don’t need someone to tell me to ‘exercise more’ As if I don’t know what’s best for me.

Condescending? Yep. Patronising? Yep. Harmful? Absolutely.

Facing ableism every day can be exhausting, and yet we are expected to be something more. We are called inspirational, incredible, superheroes.

Surprisingly we’re not all the same, everyone’s experience of disability, their conditions and symptoms are different and complex. Unless you are an expert on that condition. Probably best to button it, keeping your comments to yourself – Try learning from listening. Telling someone their condition can be ‘Fixed’ by doing something like more exercise to build up the muscles. Is belittling plus it’s also saying they have no ability to make decisions about their own wellbeing.

I’ve also received many messages from people saying ‘I have excellent news have you heard of this a cure’ or I deserve my disability because of something I did in a past life or I should have been aborted. These experiences haven’t been sunshine and roses, plus these are all based on the premise that disability is a bad thing or a punishment. Er, NO. It’s also annoying when people treat you like an infant and not the grown arse woman you see in front of you.

As much as we didn’t pop to our local supermarket to pick up a disability of our choice, don’t just assume we’re all crying ourselves to sleep every night, wishing not to be disabled. Yes, some days are hard than others, but most of my daily struggles come from living in a world that’s not as inclusive for ‘All’.

Just recently I read something where a non-disabled person had an unpleasant encounter with a disabled person ‘they were really rude and snappy with me when I was just trying to help!’ I can almost guarantee that many instances of this ‘help’ could be seen as ableism. it comes down to the ‘thinking you know better than the person with the disability’.

Scope reported that 1 in 5 brits feel awkward about disability.

The reality is ableism isn’t a rarity and this feeling of awkwardness non-disabled people feel just leads to exclusion and why it’s not seen as a huge deal. Disabled people are still just people, we can have our bad days like everyone else, scream, shout even swear, struggle with mental health on top of our physical impairments.

This is probably why non-disabled people feel so comfortable and just shrug off using an accessible facility or parking space when they have no reason to use it, other than it just being convenient for them. Ableism can manifest into verbal interactions like using disability as a punchline or mocking, physical actions or less obvious prejudice, all of which will still have significant impacts on the lives of disabled people.

Getting rid of ableism is to recognise what’s happening to push back against the ideologies and practices and remove them from society, But making sure people with disabilities to the table where decisions are being made.

💋 Kerry

What are your experiences with ableism or have you been ableist and not even realise until now? Leave me a comment.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Featured

Home care agencies neglect and indifferences – Who’s responsible

In 2017 it was reported that ‘social care’ was in cataclysmic crisis.

Disclaimer: it’s important to remember NOT ALL Carers and Care Agencies are the same and this post is just about care at home not care homes.

As someone who relies heavily on having extra help at home due to having a disability with complex needs I have experienced having a council sent care agency as well as a private care Agency. But I’m sure we have all watched a documentary or read in the news a horror story about having home care and the level of care people have received probably with your mouths wide open, hitting your social media platforms in utter disgust that people are actually treated this way, all while screaming at the TV! Or you could have you own horror stories.

Last week I sent out a message on my social media asking people if they didn’t mind sharing their experiences with me of having care agencies who provide their care at home, It was a mix of good and bad but mostly bad. It seems to be a common frustration with most people that use care agencies the lack of –

  • Communication (language barrier)
  • Skills
  • No Basic knowledge
  • Respect
  • Common sense
  • Lack of Training
  • Lateness
  • Jobs never completed
  • awareness

but in the same sentence, some people’s needs were met and they had nothing to complain about.

There are an estimated 13.9 million people living with a disability in the UK.

What is adult social care?

Adult social care covers a wide range of activities to help people who are older or living with disability, physical or mental illness live independently. It can include ‘personal care’, such as support for washing, dressing and getting out of bed in the morning, as well as wider support to help people stay active and engaged in their communities. Social care includes support in people’s own homes (home care or ‘domiciliary care’); support in day centres; Social care is often broken down into two broad categories of ‘short-term care’ and ‘long-term care’. Short-term care refers to a care package that is time limited with the intention of maximising the independence of the individual using the care service and eliminating their need for ongoing support. Long-term services are provided on an ongoing basis and range from high-intensity services like nursing care to lower-intensity community support. Both long and short-term care would be arranged by a local authority and could be described as ‘formal’ care.

In 2018/19, 841,850 adults received publicly funded long-term social care, primarily in care/nursing homes or in their own homes. In addition, there were 223,605 episodes of short-term care provided.

When I was reading everyone’s comments some of the stories were heartbreaking to read, Disabled people with complex needs are being put in dangerous situations because of the lack of knowledge and skills.

Here are a few examples (Disclaimer these are the words others, not myself),

  • Most didn’t like staying for the full length of time but expected to be paid for it. No training in regards to using vital equipment. Carers are given no information except name and address when going to someone for the first time. Lack of communication, Lack of knowledge in regards to mental health issues. Being taken advantage of my memory problems. Not willing to help with basic home hygiene. Lack of respect/understanding/common sense. Carers using your equipment for their needs.
  • No awareness of the emergency situation around them I.e losing consciousness because the carer had communication barrier and didn’t have the knowledge and skills in how a ventilator worked.
  • I don’t consider myself complex at all but due to my need/ wishes but angecies don’t seem to cope with understand my needs it varies from day to day, carers are used to working with the elderly and know what they are doing and what they need. The lack of knowledge mean that i been stopped from standing as they assumed i couldn’t walk (and forgot) people from the office have always worked against me rather them with me.
  • My experiences of having Carers for a year employed via the council. Left me very vulnerable more than once. Not much good to say I’m afraid!
  • I’ve been left without care again this evening as they arrive early they never arrive on time. Often hours late or early and just expect me to be ok with it. I’ve lain on the floor for hours or had no medication or food multiple times.
  • I’ve been bullied, left hanging in pain in a hoist while they make themselves a cup of tea, gone with out fluids and food for ever 12 hours. I’m bed bound and been left in the same position for hours because the carer didn’t have the skills or knowledge to under what I needed.

And these are just a few examples of what disabled people have/are going through, even just having to write them all down after reading them again infuriates me at the way people are treated when you rely on care 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day, 365 days of the year. But yet your you’re expected to be treated this way and grateful for the care given. This will be hugely detrimental to anyone’s mental health and wellbeing when already faced with everyday struggles of living with a disability.

Unfortunately, you can’t teach common sense or awareness that is down to the individual but the Agency is itself can make sure that the appropriate training and knowledge is given before sending somebody into care for someone that relies heavily on their help for their care needs.

We also need to remember that For every bad carer out there, it does unfortunately reflect on all the amazing carers that do the job because they care and enjoy the job it’s not just a job to them.

My question is who is accountable. The carers? For their actions or The administrators of these care agencies or the local authorities like commissioning support units and CQC Care Quality commissioning. Surely more can be done, yes.

💋 Kerry

I would love to hear what your experiences with having care at home? Good or bad? You might even be a carer with your own story to tell, feel free to leave me a comment.

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |PinterestInstagram

Post you might like to read:

Featured

Overcoming negative body image – when you have a disability

Overcoming negative body image is never easy, even harder when you have a disability.

Have you ever compared yourself to somebody else? Yep me too. So many of us are guilty of obsessing over our bodies or what other people think and the way we look. With social media platforms like Instagram, Tik-Tok and YouTube you can’t help but look at others and what new trendy, look, weight loss program or treatment to make you look good is out.

As a teenager growing up in the 90’s it wasn’t much different to now, the only difference is we didn’t have social media, yes that is correct NO SOCIAL MEDIA I’m sure all of you under 25 would find that a very strange concept! I always remember my mum saying to me as a teenage ‘it’s not a fashion show you know’ I never understood because all I wanted was to look like all my friends, they always came across full of confidence and I just wanted to be the same. Obviously all grown-up now it makes total sense what my mum was saying, I never had a school uniform so it definitely was a free for all on what everyone was wearing and how they looked. I mean fruit of the loom and high ponytails was a big trend in my day!

We are our own worst critics.

My early 20’s I found my body confidence with the attitude of ‘I don’t give a f**k’ i loved my body how I looked I had found my identity as a woman I felt sexy, it wasn’t until late 20’s when I was diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy A progressive muscle-wasting condition, as I started fighting with my body more and more my body confidence gradually disappeared especially when I started using my first wheelchair. It slowly became a downward spiral in how I looked at yourself I wasn’t that sexy blonde with the ‘I don’t give a f**k’ attitude anymore, I now looked like I was carrying triplets and 3 dress sizes bigger.

It’s been a long road to love myself again – I still struggle at times.

With a real lack of relatable bodies within the media and fashion industry, it is even more difficult for people with disabilities to have a positive body image. Especially when Society tell you disability doesn’t scream sex appeal, plus I don’t know about anybody else but I find this Constant battle with our bodies is exhausting and so unhealthy.

A survey done in 2019 by Muscular Dystrophy UK found that 80% said the body image had a negative impact on mental well-being.

Loving our bodies can be so hard when Society sometimes doesn’t allowers, with people still thinking it’s acceptable to body shame someone’s image. The term ‘body neutrality’ has become more popular after being used by activists such as actor Jameela Jamil who started the movement called ‘I Weigh’ the aim is to understand that loving our bodies isn’t always realistic and having days where you don’t is OK – it’s about finding the balance. In the grand scheme of things it’s definitely a better and healthier way to look at yourself .

But. As much as I agree I think it’s harder for someone with a disability to not forget the role their body plays in how you live your life, you can’t just pack a disability away in the cupboard, so sometimes it’s not as straightforward to just detachment mentally from your body when your body lets down. For disabled people to truly feel confident, beautiful, valued and proud of who we are there needs to be more than a few movements to tell us that we shouldn’t give a sh*t what people think and that loving ourselves is okay.

So let’s show the world just how fabulous, beautiful and fierce disability is, and we need to see society embrace disability – not turn away from it.

💋 Kerry

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

The power of positivity

You don’t have to prove yourself

Featured

A letter to my 10 year old self.

I have always loved the thought of being able to travel back in time to maybe the roaring 20s or the flower power age of the ’70s, even 18th Century could be interesting but especially travelling along the course of my own life. I think it’s got a lot to do with recognizing how much my life has changed — from who I was as a 10-year-old girl to who I have become and how my experiences have shaped me to who I am today.

So here goes.

Dear 10 year old Kerry.

Hi – I’m your 41-year-old self. Don’t freak out, I know I seem really old and I promise to try to keep this brief because if I told you all the ins and outs of the last 31 years you’ll probably question how we’ve even made it this far. Surprisingly mum was right, as you get older you really do get wiser. We’re definitely not we’re we thought we would be living the country village life surrounded by horses.

Life has been full of surprises, twists and turns, I’m looking at you now playing roly-poly and cartwheels in the back garden with grandad and Giles treasure those moments with grandad and give him a big hug and tell him you love him, I know you already have questions of ‘why you’, no one will ever tell you this so I will it wasn’t your fault he was the teacher and adult and you are strong enough to turned it around to not be a victim. I’m sorry to say you will face more ups and downs in your teenage years some great moments and others not so much like being bullied by people you thought where friends and the relationship with your stepdad not great but you find love and calm in riding and looking after your horse Tom just know that everything will be alright and you get through it.

You will live with your dad and his family a few times but it never really works out, he’s a bit of a useless father to you but you end up having a great relationship with one of his daughters later on in life she’ll be a big support that comes as a welcome surprise. some people are just not meant to be in your life and this is okay you will begin to understand when you get a little older.

Mum is your hero She will be there for you through it all helping you even when you doubt it, don’t be scared to tell her about being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at 24 out of everyone mum can help you transition through the hard and dark times. It’s takes you awhile to come out the darkness and truly embrace your disability. You will struggle at times to find your identity while trying to understand where you fit in within Society just don’t be afraid to ask for help and that’s okay. You got this, the family will be a huge support and you find some truly amazing life, long friends, along this journey. You even get married yes married something you tell people for years is never going to happen!

You will eventually find your calling and passion as a disability blogger and campaigner. I could tell you about all the special things that you are going to experience when you become a campaigner but I am going to save that for you to experience first hand. I will say though it’s going to completely change your life and those around you. Plus it’s an incredible journey you definitely don’t want to miss.

This virus outbreak in 2020 is going to be one for the ages. I’m not sure how to quite explain the magnitude of it and put it into words. But you will have to shield yourself from the outside world as well as the outside world from you over 140 days. It’s not going to be easy and you question a lot about life and why Is the disability world such a forgotten world. And don’t worry you will see family and friends again.

Before I say see you in 31 years – Allow yourself to be the best version of you learn from ever experience, never regret anything you do and never let anyone tell you what you can not be. People will try telling you differently and not everyone will embrace you if they don’t like you so what, remember if everyone liked you you’re doing something wrong, so Instead of focusing on those people focus on the ones that do. Your life is going to be full and you will have many moments of laughter, tears and happiness. keep working hard, enjoying life, I’m proud of who you are going to become!

💋 Kerry

What would you say to your 10-year-old self??

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

You don’t have to prove yourself

My disability, my identity

Featured

BIG announcements for Changing Places

It would be pretty unusual if I didn’t talk about my favourite subject on today of all days Changing Places awareness day!

My journey with Changing Places started with a blog I wrote in 2017 it seems like such a long time ago but in reality, it was 3 years ago. After reading a blog written by my now beautiful friend Carrie Aimes from Life on the Slow Lane. That was my first introduction to a Changing Places facility where I quickly realised that the years of struggling to use a standard disabled toilet had come to an end. But then it dawned on me the lack of any of these facilities available in the UK from this I found I had a real passion for campaigning for disability rights. And here is where my ‘favourite subject’ begins.

I have been very fortunate within my campaigning work it has taken me in a direction I never thought it would.

With over 1/4 million disabled people and their families with complex needs a standard disabled toilet just doesn’t cut the mustard. With a toilet shoved in the corner of a space too small to move, let alone fit one carer and a wheelchair, a red pull cord and handrails make no difference. Standard disabled toilets are just frankly an out of date toilet that’s not accessible to all.

For me as campaigner when a new changing places facility is built it’s a huge win, it doesn’t matter where it has been built it is still a win and one more to add to the list. Why, because its not just about my needs it’s about how many disabled people’s live will benefit, for the better.

The Announcement;

Today – Changes will be made to legislation to make Changing Places toilets mandatory in new, large public buildings in England. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Government announcement

And

More funding will be made available to install Changing Places toilets at 37 motorway services stations. This announcement came from the Department for Transport (DfT).

This incredible news and fills me with huge amounts of joy having access to more changing places toilets means ‘freedom’. For not just myself but the 1/4 million other disabled people and their families. Making a much-needed change the building legislation will make life easier and more fulfilling, having access to a safe space that most people take for granted on a daily basis I.e shopping, cinema and trips out just opens up a whole new world for everyone that needs these life-changing facilities. Having news like this It’s a huge boost to the changing places campaign there is still a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction with every new changing places facility that is built. When I started my campaigning journey myself and many other disabled people had a lot less freedom due to the relatively small amount of changing places available throughout the country.

All these changes are helping myself and thousands of others ”To live the life that we choose, not one that is chosen for us’

This has been long awaited it was first mentioned in June 2018 when Paula Sherriff MP shared my story along with a few others in the 10 minute rule bill in the House of Commons. As I’m sure you can all imagine not being able to shout this news from my wheels has been extremely hard. Plus being apart of something that is changing future lives, is as you know something close to my heart and one of the reasons I started campaigning. Along with every campaigner, I am ecstatic that this news falls on changing Places awareness day.

Announcement made by MDUK

Below are quotes from MDUK CEO & Tesco property manager.

We are delighted with this news. The changes to legislation will improve the quality of life for 250,000 disabled people, and their families and friends. They will have much more access to enjoy what others take for granted – the basic human right of access to a toilet when they go out! This wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless campaigning of so many people. I am delighted for the campaigners, individuals and families that this will benefit.

A quote from Catherine WoodheadCEO from Muscular Dystrophy UK

I’m really proud to have been involved in driving this change, with changing places facilities now available in more than 75 Tesco supermarkets across the UK. A fantastic achievement and a credit to everybody that has played a part in delivering such an important initiative – yourself [kerry] included.

A quote from Paul Shepherd – Tesco property programme manager

💋 Kerry

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Post you might like to read:

Featured

Using a disabled toilet when you don’t need to

Anyone that knows me, knows that my favourite subject is talking toilets yes it’s a strange subject to get my wheels excited about I know. But not just any old toilets you’ll find me normally talking about changing places but this time around I want to talk about all accessible toilets. And a subject that probably gets on the nerves of most of the disabled Community!?

So what is that subject…

Using an accessible toilet when you don’t need to use one.

It’s an age-old question that never seems to disappeared, should you be using a disabled toilet if you don’t have a disability!?

If I had a pound for the number of people who have admitted they – in fact – have I would totally be a millionaire by now, it’s not from people I’ve just met either friends and family have held their hands up. usually with a cheeky grin, a hint of guilt and a little embarrassment admitting it to someone in a wheelchair. Not seeing there’s any harm in it, it’s followed with ‘the queue for the non-accessible toilets was just so long’ and assuring me ‘they were quick!’ It’s always justified in their eyes by saying I did have a good look around and couldn’t see anyone in a wheelchair!

The Reality – out of 13.9 million people living with a disability, less than 8% are wheelchair users.

The simple truth is – it doesn’t matter if you ‘think’ it’s okay or acceptable to use a disabled facility whether it’s a disabled toilet or changing places when you don’t need to, it’s hugely damaging to the disability community as it’s not just wheelchair users that use them which is a huge misconception.

There are many different types of disabilities like the invisible ones I.e crohn’s, IBS or you have multiple sclerosis and autism theses are just a few off the long list that also use a accessible facility. People with these types of disabilities can find using public facilities greatly overwhelming and distressing not just for themselves but family members also, whereas an accessible facility ‘accessible toilet or changing places’ filters out the background noise and is much more user-friendly.

There may be no law against using an accessible toilet, plus nothing stating that only people with disabilities get first dibs sitting in the accessible thrown. However, the simple fact is applying a little common sense and that disabled toilets have been renamed as accessible toilets just re-enforce the argument that those with disabilities – visible or invisible – really should be the only people using them!

50% of people that suffer from Crohn’s and colitis have been subject to discrimination using an accessible toilet.

In 2017 changes were made to many facilities across the UK with new bathroom signs being rolled out replacing many of the iconic ‘wheelchair’ symbols with a universal ‘Not Every Disability is Visible’ plus changing the signage from ‘disabled toilet’ to an ‘accessible toilets. Yes, the plumbing may work the same way as a non-accessible toilet and you might not have noticed the difference between them, there are features that are different making life a little easier and safer which is hugely important.

For instance, the pull-down handrails around the toilet, they might be a pain in the arse for you but yet for someone that needs them it’s a vital bit of equipment to help them transfer and support themselves in a safe manner, ever wondered why the sink in an accessible toilet is so close so you are able to wash your hands before transferring back to your wheelchair so your not taking the lovely toilets gems to your wheelchair. Even moving or tying the emergency red cord can be dangerous for someone with a disability if they were to fall off the toilet they then have no way of calling for an emergency.

To get your Red Cord Cards for venues and businesses that have an accessible toilet. Click here.

Still, think you have a right to the accessible throne? Then let’s talk my favourite subject ‘changing places’ This campaign is very close to my heart not just because of my needs but the other 1/4 million disabled people and their families with complex needs having these accessible facilities available is the difference between having the freedom to leave our homes and having a safe space to being confined at home, limiting fluid intake, to never experiencing day trips.

It’s a huge difference between having no Independence and having independence to living the life you choose to it being dictated by others and the need did accessible toilets.

So next time you head towards an accessible bathroom, stop and think how you would feel if someone compromised your independence simply for their own convenience. Or worse, their own laziness.

What are your thoughts are you able-bodied or have a disability feel free to leave me a comment.

💋 Kerry

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

My secret toilet campaign with Tesco’s

Nearly getting caught short

Featured

Accessible Housing needs

13.9 million Disabled people in the UK. 1.8 million have an accessible housing need – 580 thousand are of working age.

We’ve heard government saying like ‘Build better, build beautiful’ or the newest one ‘Build, build, build’. Remember the famous movie of a young farm girl, clicking the heels of her sparkling, ruby red slippers and longingly chanting the words, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…” Her tale isn’t a far cry away from most disabled people’s dream of wanting their own forever home.

Getting on the property ladder can be challenging for most millennial, it’s something most of us dreamt about when we where younger leaving our parents and setting up home and living independently. But if your like me – have a disability finding the funds to put a deposit down Is the least of our worries.

only 7% of English homes currently provide even the most basic accessibility features.

I first came face to face with the barriers of accessible housing when I was diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting condition in my 20’s, Learning to navigate the world differently to my able-bodied peers was a new experience as I was once able-bodied and able to use stairs, kitchen, bathroom.

My world, my home was becoming inaccessible having others do everything for you may sound idyllic to some, but actually It can feel like your own version of a prison at times mentally, there is nothing worse than having to wait for others to help do basic daily tasks, knowing you are half capable of being independent but your environment is disabling you.

For so many disabled people the impact of not having access to an adapted home can be devastating. For example, disabled people living in inaccessible homes are four times more likely to be unemployed the impact can also mean they become isolated from society, having a detrimental effect on their mental health and mental wellbeing. It’s definitely did for me.

93% of homes in England do not even meet basis access standards.

This means even if I wanted to visit friends, go to a party or bbq it’s a 7% chance of saying yes because if I cannot access a bathroom get thought the front door or even to the front door I’ll be the one waving at you from the pathway or drive way. Feeling like part of Society is vital yet so many disabled people are being constantly excluded.

I believe, living independently is a huge factor to leading a happy life, that’s way I count myself lucky to have my own accessible home provided by Habinteg housing association, just one of the few providers that provide and recognise the need for accessible homes.

Having the appropriate housing can dramatically improve disabled people’s ability to live independently.

So, why is my accessible home convenient for me?

Firstly, all the doors are wide enough for my wheelchair. I don’t have to worry about not being able to go into certain rooms or possibly damaging the door frames with my wheelchair. Secondly, the kitchen counters can be adjusted to the appropriate height for me to reach, I also have a wet room which allows me to move around freely and not worry about how much water I spill. Some of these features may not sound like a big deal, but for a wheelchair user, these features are the difference between an independent and restricted life.

Those whose homes do meet their accessibility needs have reported improved health and wellbeing. However, an accessible home is not only beneficial to the people living in it. Just having the right adaptations to the home can create significant savings to the public purse, reducing social care costs for local authorities and health costs for the NHS as the number of accidents at home will significantly reduce.

It’s not a luxury to live in a suitable home and I believe everyone, old and young, disabled and non-disabled, deserves to have somewhere to live where they can feel at home. Being a disabled person means you’ll constantly face mental and physical challenges so why not make the few changes to new builds that make it easier for people and families with a disability.

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |PinterestInstagram

You might like to read

A beautiful home, a beautiful accessible home.

Featured

Having a disability comes with a big price tag.

Ever looked at an item thinking I can totally find that cheaper elsewhere or online – every penny helps right?. But what if you already know it won’t be cheaper elsewhere but it’s something you need to help keep your Independence.

Society seems to have this deluded conception that when you have a disability everything comes for ‘Free’ when the real truth is we are paying way over the odds for ‘basic’ products and equipment that is labelled as ‘Disability’ or ‘specialist’ item with a price tag that can make your eyes-water!

On average 1 in 5 disabled people will incur extra costs for £583 per month – with 25% looking at £1000.

This is calculated after welfare payment designed to meet those costs have been taken into account.

Charging the disability community for the privilege to dare to be independent seems to be a thing as well, that seems to come from the attitude of we won’t spend the money to make the world more accessible place but we’ll definitely ask you to pay a premium and if it’s not in your budget. Never mind!

Get the feeling your being ripped off

Price tags

Need an electric wheelchair starting price from £2000 up to £30000 that’s before you’ve added on the extras you might need like seating and backrest cushions plus headrest that can be hundreds, spending doesn’t stop there you have maintenance and new batteries that set you back £200 – £600 depending on your wheelchair. It’s not like getting a second hand electric wheelchair for a fraction of the price helps as wheelchairs do have a shelf life as your body changes so does your wheelchair.

My neater arms that help me to keep my arms moving as well as keeping my muscle memory came with a price tag of nearly £4000 because it’s classed as a specialist disabled item. It’s interesting to see the premium often put on items named ‘Special needs’ or ‘Disability’ like pedal exerciser £24 add disability or elderly at the front £190. Cutlery less than £10 for a normal set add ‘disabled’ or ‘ specialist’ just for 1 fork £10.

Insurance companies deem us as ‘high risk’ so charge you more sometimes exceeding the price of a holiday. I was once quoted £859 and my husband was quoted £14 for 7 days away. Meanwhile booking an accessible hotel room aren’t as accessible as you might think, need a hoist you’ll need to buy and transport it yourself no problem just a few grand!

Adapted wheelchair vehicle can set you back from £3000 even more depending on what you need and that’s upfront no payment plans as your paying a monthly fee as well if your on the mobility scheme. Ordering an accessible taxi to go just a few miles £10 each way that’s if you can find a taxi company will take you.

My own home is controlled by voice-activated equipment such as the Amazon Alexa, turning my lights on and off and controlling my heating and tv. Nevertheless for a more bespoke home alterations cost over £14,000, as 93% of homes in England do not meet basic access standards.

My question is how are disabled people and their families supposed to live independently when devices and adaptive products are unattainable and leave many of us with financial burdens? When living an independent life has been proven to create a healthy mental wellbeing meaning it saves Society money in the long run,

As much as society might think we’ve never had it better and things have gotten better for us by having an inclusive fashionista range of barbie dolls and our very own set of disabled emojis. As much as I love them it’s more of a token gestures of inclusion and equality like a wheelchair user emoji that represent me with blonde hair is nice and all but definitely does not make me feel like an equal member of society when I’ve had to fight for 2 years for a new wheelchair. But thanks for the acknowledgement.

Surly the government position as the minister of State for Disabled People, work and health should be disabled person representing the disability Community having that knowledge is key to understanding just what it’s like living with a disability. The bottom line is the most vulnerable members of society are being taken advantage of and pushed further into financial hardship.

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |PinterestInstagram

You might like to read

My disability, my identity

My personal independent payment and decision

Featured

I fight for disability rights for the future me’s

Growing up it was very much an non-disabled world from a child’s eyes, it wasn’t the topic of conversation over the dinner table and I think that’s how my mum wanted it to be, not for any reason of being ashamed but more to show my brother and myself that even though she had her own struggles with muscular dystrophy we could still live a relatively normal life.

My disability wasn’t noticed until my late teens and mid twenties was my first walking aid.

Apart from having a physical disability myself looking back on my childhood other than my mum I didn’t know anybody else who was disabled or had a disability, there were no disabled characters in any of the TV programmes I watched, I didn’t have any other friends with a disability plus you the school curriculum doesn’t teach you anything on disability history.

Admittedly i was still very blasé carrying on with life still not really knowing very much about the disability world and the struggles with unaccessible homes, shops, toilets or the constant battles for vital equipment. Even though both my mum and brother had muscular dystrophy my mum never showed us the struggle of everyday life with a disability. I am i awe of my mum’s strength I definitely take my strength from that.

Was it wrong or selfish for me to have lived such a blasé life?

My real waking moment and I guess that burning fire you need was my own struggles when I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy myself at twenty four. Realising just what my mum, brother and thousands of others with disabilities have to go though and fight for. Was it wrong or selfish for me to have lived such a blasé life in my beginning years knowing that my mum and brother are both disabled. No, I don’t think so, it not like I didn’t have any interest it’s my mum and brother I love them so of course i did, I just never would have truly understood their struggles, plus I grew to be the person I am today because of everything I have been though not because of what others have been though, the only difference is now I can relate.

I fight for disability rights so the future me’s aren’t fighting for the same reason I am today.

Before the age of social media and google it wasn’t as easy as it is today to read or hear about others with disabilities, so yes. I feel very blessed to be in an era where so many influential disabled role models exist, for all it’s flaws the internet and social media platforms have given some truly amazing disabled individuals a way to shine for the world to finally see them as they should be seen as human beings and not their disability.

What would the now me say to the past me absolutely nothing. Why, because I don’t regret my past my past is just that my past. Yes it has shaped me to be the person and campaigner I am today but then so has watching the struggles of others and my own.

Personally, knowing what I know now and just how hard other disabled people fought for the rights I have today makes me, as a campaigner, want to fight equally as hard – if not harder. To ensure the future generations never feel vulnerable, ostracised or left struggling and wanting for what they are entitled to. My mission is to make this world a more equal and safe world to live in.

For the non-disabled world let’s face it you will never truly understand what it is like to be disabled or have a disability that I can understand. but it also does not mean as human beings we can’t learn – educating the next generation to know more about the disability world and it’s past, present and future, it’s long of due to re-educate and overcome ignorance as disabled people are still very much still used as scapegoats and mocked

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

A forgotten world

A world where I feel included

Featured

Ask about my disability if your curious.

Being a disabled adult I am acutely aware of the many challenges i will face in life, becoming somewhat immune to forms of discrimination and aggression. I almost expect not to be able to get into a shop because there’s a step or two to get into the shop or the Ilys too small for me to navigate my wheelchair, I’m also more likely to be ignored by any assistance.

Over the years being faced with these obstacles regularly I have learnt in my own way to navigate though them. However, that said it definitely does not mean I don’t get frustrated and angry to the point of wanting to shout from the roof tops my frustrations in the hope someone listens. I do most of my shopping online as it’s easier and less frustrating plus I can avoid any inaccessibility on the high streets.

Ask about my disability if you’re curious, just don’t patronise me.

Then you have the other forms of aggression, by that I’m talking about the negative comments or acts I experience, for example being patted on the shoulder or hand from people that feel awkward about my disability. Not forgetting the patronising comments like ‘you don’t look like you need a wheelchair or disabled’ not sure what Is someone is meant to look like or ‘is your husband able bodied?’ Question, followed with a shocked face when I answer yes he is. Then there’s the people who completely ignore me and talk to my PA’s or husband just because they see my wheelchair, assuming I can’t speak for myself.

These are acts commonly referred to as micro-aggressions.

Micro-aggression Simply put, a daily reminder of common assumptions and negative stereotypes which don’t leave you and over time can make an impacting your mental wellbeing. The thing is micro-aggressions they don’t come from a place of nastiness or malice is more a place of ignorance and lack of knowledge, many people are unaware that they are coming across as being ableist. Making it hard for the for someone to challenge.

I’ve always believed knowledge is power.

Negative stereotypes towards those with disabilities have been deeply embedded over years within society it hasn’t just happened over night so will of course take time to be undo. And If we do in fact now live ‘woke world’ then ignorance is no longer a valid reason to treat or view disabled people with outdated views.

I will always encourage healthy curiosity.

I have always been very open and forthcoming about why I am in a wheelchair. There are ways for you explore your curiosity without being disrespectful and causing offence, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask someone with a disability how they can drive a car, if you’re unaware that cars can be adapted to suit their needs. Just don’t then be a dickhead and follow it with ahh bless you, well done.

My advice is simple

Remember when your parents use to tell you ‘think before you speak’ when you was younger well same applies here – if you wouldn’t say it to a complete stranger then don’t say or do it to someone with a disability. Have empathy and compassion try thinking about how you would feel if a Shop assistant or Doctor didn’t acknowledge you, completely ignoring you was even there just to talk to your partner/family member or friend.

It’s also Important to remember we are all guilty of Micro-aggression no matter who we are, in order for change we can only but continuously learn gaining knowledge from others who share their different life experiences.

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

My disability, My identity

Giving a positive messages for new wheelchair users

Featured

The Power of Positivity

Today I’ve decided to keep it short and sweet all the while channelling positive vibes, as I think we could all do with a bit of positivity.

it’s a great time to spread love and positivity.

Let’s get straight into it.

The power of positivity can create a huge impact on your life it’s an amazing feeling to have when someone or something impacts you, It makes every moment worth experiencing and every goal worth working for. By just thinking positive you can’t help but be optimistic, the best thing about being positive I am much happier blonde in a wheelchair, less stressed and more satisfied in life.

Here’s my quick tips to how I stay positive:

  • Create new, positive habits
  • Laugh & smile more (I do this everyday)
  • Change won’t & can’t to I can & and I will.
  • Limit exposure to negativity on ALL social media.
  • Find things to be excited about – difficult one I know at the moment as I know us shield community is still struggling but try to make a plan of action.
  • Read positive quotes
  • Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
  • Leave the past where it belongs in the past
  • Remove toxic people from your life (This one is a big one best decision I ever made.)
  • Be grateful for the small things.

my personal favourite is removing toxic people it makes such a big difference on your mental well-being and if you know me you’ll already know that I am a huge advocate for keeping my mental Well being healthy. Not all of these will help everyone it won’t get rid of all your problems or completely solve all of your negative thoughts BUT now hear me out. It’s worth trying at least to retrain your mind to be more positive, maybe try for a quick burst of positivity a good quotes you can find so many great ones online, whether it’s for some inspiration or motivation you can find a quotes for every mood/feeling.

You’ll be surprised what a good quote can do.

I understand some of these might be a little harder to achieve right now as we can’t really go out and chase our dreams so get creative do a mood board or vision board add something everyday and eventually you will have lots of things you would like to achieve/go out and do! Let’s start creating more positive habits!

Being positive isn’t pretending that everything is good – it’s seeing the good in everything.

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say hi.

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Staying calm in stressful situations

Boost your productivity

Featured

Are you Accessible

With the UK slowly coming out of lockdown and re-opening all our lives will start to enter into a new normal of wearing face masks and social distancing. Following markers on shop floors, eating in restaurants and drinking in pubs will never be the same are you ready for this to become the new normal?

Today marks 101 days of shielding for me.

While many of you have been chomping at the bit to get a bargain at primark and rummage though the huge re-opening sales, it’s got me thinking about all the none accessible places as well as the ones that are accessible for people with disabilities, before lockdown it was already hard enough to find an accessible place to go, with many places advertising they are accessible when in actual fact they’re not as accessible as they claim to be. From having steps at the entrance, doors not wide enough to the disabled toilet being to small there are many reasons why a building is not accessible for people with disabilities.

But

My question is what happens now are the places that were already accessible ‘still Accessible’ with the new rules and guidelines are shop assistant and other workers still going to be able to help someone with a disability if they needed help? What happens when a wheelchair can’t social distance.

Then

All the places that were not accessible before are they now going to make themselves accessible or will it be the same answers with an add extra excuse of why they can’t be more accessible because of the new rules.

Before Lockdown

Disabled people make up 1 in 5 in the UK that means the Purple Pound is an estimated 249 Billion spending power of disabled people and their families, and yet hundreds of companies where already overlooking their disabled customers.

1 in 3 disabled people that’s (34%) have said that poor customer service prevented them from making a purchase, while 33% said the lack of understanding from staff about their needs. improvements should include ‘being treated the same as anyone else’ and having ‘knowledgeable staff’.

So as we all enter a new way of living just how accessible will this new way of living be for people with disabilities!

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

Featured

You don’t have to prove yourself

Being disabled comes with it’s own challenges but it also mean you can be judged very quickly by people before they have even said hello. Which is a natural human reaction that we all do, we have a tendency to stereotype and categorise people.

My early 20’s I was full of confidence, carefree and didn’t give a crap what anyone thought about me, I was still walking and working just with a limp but that confidence and carefree me disappeared when I fully transitions to a wheelchair, having muscular dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting condition my body changes in stages year by year.

I soon noticed people started treating me very differently I found myself in the early parts worried about what people would say about me, worried about bumping into people I knew and getting that pity look. I became overly cheery when meeting or bumping into people making sure I only ever talked about the good things in my life. What’s the saying fake it till you make it I was definitely doing that. When all I wanted to do is hide away as if I was ashamed of being disabled.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO PROVE YOURSELF!

For instance

The most common sentences I hear from people are;

  • Well done for getting out the house
  • It must be so hard for you
  • Ahh bless your doing so well
  • Your so lovely
  • Ahh your in a wheelchair
  • Your always smiling

Looking back at the me then to the me now I think how ridiculous but also I don’t blame myself for being that way either it’s definitely shaped me to be who I am now plus who doesn’t want fight negative assumptions?

I am definitely not ashamed of being disabled

So what changed for me to now be the disabled confident, carefree definitely do not give a crap what people think about me. I realise it takes up way to much energy consuming your everyday life taking you away from being the real you.

If everyone liked you, your doing something wrong.

I’m now not faking it till I make it. If I’m happy and cheery that’s because it’s naturally me, the real me. It’s also not my duty to just share the positives in my life just to make sure people don’t label or categorise me. It also doesn’t matter if people feel sorry for me that’s their feeing you’re never going to be able to stop them from feeling that way.

Would it be world ending if we really didn’t care?? Probably not, No. don’t get me wrong I know it’s easier said than done it doesn’t come over night and we can’t mentally download an app it takes time but just think of how free you would feel when you started to not care.

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

10 reasons I’m pretty awesome because of my disability not despite it

I’m not a wheelchair

Featured

Diabetes & Me

This week is the end of diabetes awareness week so, I want to raise awareness of this condition and how you can live a normal life while managing your symptoms. Last year I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it was a shock at first but I have learned I can manage it with careful dietary plan and leaning more about this condition.

So, What is diabetes

Diabetes is a life-long condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become high, there are two different types of diabetes type one and type two unfortunately here is no cure. Both are equal as serious though and need to be managed in the right way to say healthy, Diabetes.Org.uk is a great source for information breaking down the differences between both types.

But the main things to know are:

  • Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin.
  • Type 2 is where your body can’t make enough insulin and what it does make, might not work.

Type 2 can be reversed with a careful food plan and Weight loss management

The cause for type 1 isn’t fully understood yet but in Type 2 what I have some contributing factors are weight and diet but both types can be managed by talking instilling, but people like myself with Type 2 can often have other options like taking tablets or changing your diet.

Around 8% of diabetics suffer with type one and roughly 90% have type 2

How should people learn to manage diabetes independently

I found it’s all about trial and error when I started my journey with Type 2 diabetes I was so scared to get it wrong just in case I made myself worse, changing lifestyles and routines can sometimes be daunting especially when you’re newly diagnosed with something you have no idea off. Thankfully the help and options that are available to everybody are great, I found speaking to a dietician was very beneficial walking me though The dos and don’ts. With different medications and a carefully planned low-carb diet and regularly checking my blood sugar levels twice daily I was able to take full control of my diabetes within 6 months.

As the grown adult I am in charge of a wheelchair I do like a cheeky wine or Spirit with mixer every now and then but alcohol can play havoc with your diabetes so I do have to be extremely careful. However there are ways I help control my type 2 diabetes by making sure i check my blood sugars regular not forgetting to eat just before hand and sticking to diet mixers plus drinking water in between keeping myself hydrated, I don’t need to go crazy with alcohol so I will only ever have one glass of wine with diet lemonade and of course i don’t do it regularly.

Disclaimer: I am by no means encouraging drinking alcohol while you have diabetes it is my own personal choice to do so on a very rare occasion.

Who can you speak to?

Dealing with this can be tough on your own so I do recommend going to a diabetic clinic with a great support system in place, like consultant, nurses, dieticians and counsellors, the best source I have found for information and support are other diabetics they are all going though the exact same thing as you are, you can find big groups online like on Facebook who can give to food ideas or just a friendly ear if your finding it hard.

Telling friends

I must admit I needed to get my own head around having diabetes first before telling my friends, I already have a muscle wasting condition called muscular dystrophy so letting my friends in on this wasn’t hard as long as you have a great friend group which thankfully I have, they will always give you the support you need.

Coping all together

To start with it was hard getting use to taking my blood sugar levels twice daily as well as remembering to take medication at set times, changing my diet was probably the easiest thing but I did get very strict with myself at first I have learnt to ease up on myself a little now.

It’s important to remember that everyone is different and manages their condition differently to myself, so if you need specific advice, always speak to your doctor or specialist.

What are the symptoms of diabetes

Both type 1 and 2 share similar warning signs. However, The main difference is how quickly they appear in type 2 it’s a slow process than type 1.

Symptoms can include:

  • Going to the toilet more late night
  • Being thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without even trying
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts or wounds take longer to heal
  • Itching around your private area, or repeatedly getting thrush

If you’re worried you might have diabetes speak to a medical professional immediately.

Kerry 💋

I would love to here from you if you have diabetes and how you manage yours.

Come give me a follow and say

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

Newly type II diabetic

Invisible disabilities

Featured

Brightly making carers visible

This week is national Carers’ Week and the theme is ‘Making Carers Visible’.

Did you know there is an estimated 6.5m people in the UK who care for a family or friend with a disability, mental or physical illness. All while being classed as being ‘unpaid’.

Yes some may receive carers allowance at less than a £1 an hour, then others do not meet the criteria, then you also have the millions of child carers who also won’t qualify. So yes it’s about time that light was shining very brightly to make carers visible.

Thank you

If your a regular reader you will of already heard me talk about my husband though out my blog sometimes the funny situation we get into then other times about how my life would be very different if I didn’t have him at home, my husband has been a key factor in me being able to stay in my own home and keep my Independence, I have a rare form of muscular dystrophy a muscle wasting condition. I’m more than a full time job I’m a 24 hour job which I don’t think people actually realise, I can’t dress, wash, toilet and feed myself with out help. His job certainly doesn’t just end when he puts me to bed either even then I still need help.

Carers save the economy £132 billion per year thats an average of £19,336 per carer that’s a pretty decent wage yes – Well cares allowance pays £3484 a year.

Caring for a loved one is never going to be an easy job especially as it’s a 24-hour, seven days a week 365 days a year job. That certainly comes with its ups and downs. As a carer for someone you love at home you’re sacrificing your own life for someone you love to keep them safe, you can’t just pop out or be spontaneous It’s not that easy.

The government give carers on cares allowance £67 a week to do a full-time job Coronavirus has put a spotlight on how much the system needs to be changed and how it needs to be better funded. It’s a job that affects not just your mental health but physical health as well because it is 24/7 care. I love my husband as he loves me hence why he is my full-time carer but there needs to be more support for carers everywhere.’

Fun fact – I was a child care for my mum growing up as she also has muscular dystrophy.

I love you

So thank you to my husband Nicky who I know will read this at some point he’s only 3 blogs behind! I love you your my world, my free entertainment, my rock, my biggest cheerleader and I would lost without you even if I want to run you over daily thank you for stepping up 13 years ago to care for me 2 years into our relationship.

Extra thank you

I would also like to thank my two PA’s having both of you has taken a little of that pressure of my husband it may only be eight hours a day five days a week but we would be lost without you both so that you.

Kerry 💋

Are you at home Carer what are your experiences or is your partner, parents or friend your cares feel free to share your story with me and everyone else by leaving a comment.

Come give me a follow and say

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

Being disabled doesn’t make me a burden to my partner

A quest for more independence

Featured

A different world

Sunday seems to come around so quickly again only feels like yesterday I was saying ‘Hi how are you, it’s Sunday AGAIN!’

During the last few months i have had waves of different emotions; as I am sure most of you have been feeling too, but this past week I have struggled with whether I have the right to feel the emotions I have for different reasons. If you have been reading my blog for a long time you will already know that I have alway said my blog for me is sometimes like a therapy session which has been hugely beneficial to helping with my mental health. One of the greatest things this platform allows me to do is share and express my thoughts, feelings and opinions with you all so I want to stay true to that.

2020 definitely has not started or possibly going to end how we all imagined it would, it has been a very difficult year for so many of us whether it be emotionally, physically and/or Financial. Firstly, COVID-19 has taken over our everyday lives and continue to do so definitely not looking like it Is ending anytime soon. It is like Mother nature wants to remind us she is in control of all of our lives. Being confined in our own homes, unfortunately for some of us that Is still the case, bring us uncertainty, anxieties and stresses we could all do without.

I will be completely honest part of this next part I really was not sure if I had the right or knowledge to even make a comment on how I felt/feel. However when is the time if it isn’t now for me to stand side by side with my friends and say enough is enough. Just like they have alway stood by my side though being disabled, not that it is in anyway the same.

This last week I have noticed the world is changing around me for several different reasons, my life has changed forever thanks to a virus that we know nothing about and has taken far to many lives before their time. I have been feeling lost at just where my place as a disabled person fits into the new world. Will I ever be safe to leave my home, will I ever be able to be in a crowded shopping centre again am I stuck at home for the rest of my life because it’s safer.

Then you have a world full of hate and violence against POC that is unjustified. It is by no means anything new racism or discrimination it has been deeply rooted within society from the beginning. Whether you have a disability, look different, have a different religion or just a different race. It is not just a hashtag or a movement to talk about for a couple of days for many people this is their everyday lives as a disabled person I face discrimination most days but no means anything like POC have to face and that makes me sad and angry, I will never understand just what it is like but it also does not mean I can not stand side by side plus as a disabled woman I fight everyday for diversity and equality we are all the same race, we are all human being the fight for one is the fight for all.

Educating ourselves

Let’s be honest we have all seen what is happening right now time after time, I have friends that I class as family that go though it daily always thinking they are okay but never asking if they are truly okay. Why?. I honestly can’t answer as I have no idea why, it’s a question i have asked myself this week several times. When something happens it becomes the topic of conversation everywhere like social media then in a couple of days we all continue with our everyday life. I’m not saying this is wrong as we will never truly understand just how mentally hard it must be dealing with racism over and over and learning to brush it off and just carrying on with life, as I’m sure people would/should say they could never understand what it is like living with a disability everyday. But sharing a few words on social media won’t change the world. Yes we are contributing something which is great but are we really learning anything; No. To try and even remotely understand we all have to re-educate ourselves reading a book, listening or talking to someone that has the knowledge to help us think and act differently is a great start, I never really understood what white privilege truly meant it doesn’t mean you haven’t had a tough life it just means your life was not made tougher by the colour of your skin, we need to using that privilege to part of the solution.

I have always wanted people to educate themselves about disabilities so this is no different we cannot not try because we are fearful of getting it wrong, I know I would rather someone ask me about my disability than to just ignore me or turn their back on me you then become part of the problem. After reading, learning, re-educating myself and understanding more than I did before. it is nothing to be ashamed of re-educating ourselves. We have to change in order to change the world we live in.

We are not born racist.

Being united

The most beautiful thing I have watched though out this last few months is seeing how united people have become. From neighbours and total strangers helping one another, to children teaching us how humanity should be, people standing together and understanding that you can not fight one without fighting the other. Yes there are still some evil people in this world, but that is over shadowed by the love people are showing right now.

Change

People have been fighting and waiting for Society to change for years and sadly it never seems to happen, but this time feels very different I can’t explain why and I could be totally wrong I hope I’m not though, Hopefully everything won’t just go back to normal for some people whereas for others, it is a daily issue they have to face for the rest of their life. But I have faith and belief that we can all change to make the world more inclusive place to live and I am stick with that.

I hope I have articulated my thoughts in a way that has not offended anyone. It is time to end this injustice together.

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

Featured

Hanging out at home

Hey everyone welcome back, how are you doing?

Adjusting to hanging out at home!?

Even after this weeks announcement I know a few of us have made the decision to still stay in the safety of our own homes. Over the past 12 or so weeks I have been ask this question a lot so I thought I would use this time to write a few tips that have helped me though this difficult time of only seeing the inside of my home. Along with many others from the disability world I was told to shield myself from the outside world and told to stay at home, now the sudden government change of it’s safe to go out; anyway that’s another post for another day I feel.

After this weeks announcement I know a few of us have made the decision to still stay in the safety of our own homes and ride it out a little longer. As some of you may already know staying at home for a long periods of time isn’t anything new having muscular dystrophy a progressive muscle wasting condition my immune system isn’t that great, catching anything from the common cold can be deadly for myself.

Find a routine that suits you.

We are all different; be pretty boring if we were all the same let be honest. However, not everyone likes starting the day at the crack of dawn myself included but if you are I am slightly jealous you have the will power to get up that early – setting a routine is hugely important as our bodies naturally crave being in routines, surprisingly we function and work better in a routine so setting a time that suit you to start your day then gradually doing small jobs as the day goes on it’s important to remember if we were working in an office we generally wouldn’t do everything all at once Space it out throughout the day so being at home works the same.

Learn to know how your feeling.

It is very easy to get stuck giving the same generic answer when asked ‘how are you doing’ Answer ‘I’m fine thanks how are you?’ Be more honest if your not feeling 100% tell someone your trust, it is ok your not alone you never know just how the other person is feeling also, sometime letting it out actually helps.

Finding the joy in small things.

Taking Comfort in the small things like a great movie, book, favourite snack or sound track, I love nothing more when I am at home than sticking my favourite sound track on taking that time for me to sing (like an angel obviously!) and enjoy that moment of doing nothing, what’s the saying all work and no play…….I will let you all finish that one.

It may take time to settle.

Change can be daunting and unsettling at the best of times our brains can work over time imagining the same situation day in day out, so do not put pressure on yourself to have everything sussed out and adjusted in a few days let the natural flow of thing happen to adjust and remember your day is naturally full of ups and downs so this is no different.

Concentrate on the present moment.

It Is totally natural to worry our brains are programmed to worry about things that make us uncertain and in this type of situation you are probably thinking about when will things get back to ‘normal’ or when is it safe to really go outside. It is very easy to focus on that uncertainty but we still do not know enough to protect ourselves, so try to keep your mind active and focused on the present time even if it is just a hour.

So as I sign off until next time i have Alexa serenading me in the background and Dua Lipa physical has just started so I’m off to sing my little lungs off.

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

Friendships can be powerful & magical

Self-Love it’s not selfish, it’s necessary

Featured

Quarantine Brain

Welcome back, can you believe it’s Sunday already the weeks seem to be flying by!

Have you ever wheeled/walked into a room to forget why? Misplaced an item to many times or just struggling to focus on a single task at time. Yes yes and absolutely I will totally hold my hands up more so lately.

If so, you might be suffering from quarantine brain. Who even knew that was a thing. Did you? It wasn’t until a few weeks ago I came across it but after reading about it, it totally make sense.

Here’s why

Two months of limited social interaction and spending a LOT of time in one place it’s probably taking it’s toll on all our minds. There’s even been a hashtag making the rounds on social media #QuarantineBrain

Seeing the same people or no one in the same surroundings everyday means the everyday challenges our brains are used to facing have been taken away. Like, navigating a new place or having a conversation with a stranger is leaving our brains feeling unstimulated and out of sorts.

Easing that foggy feeling

Silly mistakes

These happen when you are trying to do too many things at once. Right now for some of us we are social workers, cook, cleaner, teacher, accountant, virtual social organiser – all from our living rooms. When your brain becomes overwhelmed you often think too far ahead, meaning you miss out on certain steps along the way and making simple mistakes like adding a red top to a white wash.

  • Organisation is key set your morning alarm 15 minutes earlier so you have time to write a list of all the tasks you need to complete that today.

Forgetfulness

Ordinarily we would all be organised but have you the last few weeks entered a room and forgotten why or just sat looking at your phone or laptop screen only to realise you have no idea why. With new routines been busy and slightly chaotic your brain is not getting the same mental challenges it’s use to, without a “normal” structure, the days are merging into one then then allows the brain’s memory to become lazy, resulting in you forgetting little things that would normally be second nature.

  • Make a point of distinguishing between the weekdays, you might have Spag bol on a Monday or Tuesdays is movie night, also try escaping with a puzzle, crossword or my favourite colouring in. These tasks can help stimulate the mind but also relax it from the stresses of quarantine.

Poor concentration

Reading everything twice for it to make sense I can’t get through more than one episode of that Netflix boxset without losing interest. Usually, our days have a lot of natural breaks, we commute to work, have an appointment, meet friends. Now, your brain has no outlet leaving it feeling like it is being overloaded with information, this results In us being unable to focus and be really frustrating.

  • Regular breaks is very important especially if your still working from home, whether it is watching your favourite tv shoe or boxset episode, having a catch up with a friend over the phone. Something that makes you happy this can reduce stress and restore mental focus.

Irritability

Tempers are probably starting to fray a little by now and your finding little things that generally would not bother you annoying you more than normal, cabin fever can make even the most zen of people crabby, and living in close quarters with the same people for months on end can have a negative impact on your brain making your crabby.

  • Be sure to get some “me time” make sure you structure in alone time for yourself every day. It can be writing down your feeling, reading a book or setting in the garden if you have one. It’s important to have that time away from the person or people irritating you, it will give you time to get some perspective.
  • If you live alone and your the irritating yourself it’s not as easy to remove yourself from yourself so give a friend a call or write down how your feeling.

Thank you for reading I hope these little tips help with the brain fog if you’ve been suffering though this time. Feel free to tell me what you have been doing to help keep your brain stimulated I would love to know.

Kerry 💋

Come give me a follow and say

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read

Ways to motivate yourself

Things to keep you occupied at home

Ways to cope with anxiety

Featured

A broken system

Welcome back everyone and not forgetting all you newbies also. Hi how are ya?

Last week I wrote about my shocking experience with my local wheelchair services AJM Healthcare over a two year period to the present day, since then I have been inundated with messages and comments from other wheelchair uses about their own bad experiences with their local wheelchair service provider but also not forgetting the handful of good experiences people have had which was lovely to read.

I have known for many years this service does not work as it should from my own experience and the amount of story you constantly hear or read, you would of thought that some improvements would have been made to make not just the experience better the service itself.

So why has it still not improved, why are wheelchair uses still complaining about the same problems over and over year on year, from waiting long periods of time or not receiving the help they so desperately require to feeling like their needs do not matter. For far to long now wheelchair services have been inadequate, it’s time that real changes where made that the people who actually require and understand their body’s better than somebody with no understanding where listened to. There is an estimated 700.000 disabled child and adults that require the NHS funded wheelchair services this service is to help improve quality of life and independence of disabled people and their families.

Providing a better service rather than being marginalised surly is not that hard? Instead of leaving a huge amount of wheelchair users immobilised, frustrated and ignored.

It’s heartbreaking reading so many disabled people having the same issues, one women told me she’d been fighting for 3 years for a wheelchair for her needs and this is just a standard one no fancy extras, another story was from a gentleman who’s been a wheelchair user for 45 years and can’t remember a time where he has not had an issue of some sorts. The sad thing reading all of these individuals stories over past 2 days have all been very similar from all walks of life all different areas but the same experiences and always ending with

I am not surprised this has happened, unfortunately this is very common.

What should wheelchair services focus on

  • Better knowledge: Understanding the individual. listening & acknowledging the individual’s disability.
  • Waiting times: set better guidelines on response & waiting times.
  • Getting the right equipment: Doing a thorough assessment helps make sure the correct wheelchair and equipment is given the first time.
  • Responding to changing needs: people can struggle when their needs are not evaluated. Ie pressure sores, loss of independence.
  • Better Communication: keeping the lines of communication open leaves less confusion on what’s going on.
  • Be real: Tell the truth do not make excuses.

When left with no options but to use an unsuitable wheelchair can result in pain, discomfort, poor posture and unnecessary injuries.

Like myself i have been left in this position with a wheelchair not fit for purpose and dangerous to use, having muscular dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting condition my body changes year on year, my fight continues.

Wheelchair services in all areas unfortunately will never improve until each individual company acknowledges their wrong doings and Failures.

Kerry 💋

What have your experiences been with your wheelchair services good or bad?? Feel free to leave me a comment I would love to hear from you. What else could wheelchair service do to make it better?

Come give me a follow and say hi:

Twitter | Facebook |Pinterest| Instagram

You might like to read:

Is feeling like a second-class citizen okay

Be kind

A service that has massively failed me