How do I feel about the word disabled?

Hi everyone! 🙂

Today I’m going to be talking about identifying as disabled and how I feel about the word itself, the meaning of the word disabled and also what it implies.

I have noticed throughout my life that many people are unhappy to use the world disabled –  admittedly, I was once unhappy to describe myself as disabled, too.

I’d like to say that these opinions are 100% my own, and that I am NOT asking that anybody feels the same way as me!
Whether you are happy to use the word disabled or not, the choice is totally up to you and nobody can take that right away from you. 🙂

What Is PFFD?
Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur.
The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened.

Because of this condition, I personally have had to wear a prosthetic leg from birth, and undergone operations to fix the deformed leg including having the foot amputated.

I was inspired to write this blog post because of the lovely lady @whentaniatalks and discovering her article on the same issue.. I felt inspired by her wonderful and educational post so of course, I wanted to give my own approach to this subject, too!
Click HERE for Tania’s post!

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Picture showing my prosthetic right leg (it’s considerably thinner)
The definition of: DISABLED
(of a person) having a physical or mental condition that limits their movements, senses, or activities.

Growing up I completely despised the word disabled.

Being young, I truly felt like it was a derogatory term because I saw it as the ‘abled’ being taken away?
I just thought it meant something extremely negative and unkind.. and every time my family or doctors/healthcare professionals would refer to me as disabled I’d absolutely hate it.

I remember plenty of times that my family would be, say, booking something up and I’d overhear them say something along the lines of “And one disabled space please” and I very clearly remember that I would angrily tell them not to do this because I hated being considered disabled or people knowing that I had a disability.. I was totally ashamed.

I believe that my previous negative feelings about the word disabled all stemmed from my low self esteem and the fact that I had never accepted my disability at all.

I felt so desperate to be normal; I would try my best in every aspect of my life to hide my prosthetic leg and any sort of pain or discomfort that I would be in because of it.

When I was a young child in all honesty I didn’t even feel disabled!

In my young mind I could walk (though not too well) play, and do everything else all the other children would do so I didn’t see why I’d have to be called disabled – again, I felt like it was saying I wasn’t able.. which I felt I most definitely was!

My friends and family would always encourage me to make myself more comfortable by sitting in disabled areas on buses or coaches, and to bring along my wheelchair when we planned to walk along distance just in case it was too much for me however I very rarely accepted their offers because of how I felt about the word.

Now that I’m older I do look back and think that I was being extremely silly!
The amount of times that I was being stubborn by refusing to sit in a disabled seat even though inside I was craving to sit there due to pain was unreal!

As I’ve said previously, I believe that I felt so negatively towards the word disabled because I had not accepted my disability.

Now that I have accepted my disability – and am even wholeheartedly proud to be different, I feel the complete opposite to how I used to about the word disabled.

Once I had learned the official definition (at the top of this article) It describes me to a T.. wearing a prosthetic does affect my movements and activities.

So.. I am officially disabled.

And you know what? I’m totally fine about it!
It’s true that I’m not as able as others – I find many things difficult because of the way I was born and that’s OK. That’s just who I am!

I see little children with disabilities and I think to myself; would I ever want those children to be ashamed to identify as disabled?

I would never want any child to feel the way that I used to about the word disabled!
I’d love to teach them that it’s OK to be disabled – we can still be able in our own unique ways.. and most importantly, we are still an equal member of society no matter what labels we do or don’t identify with.

Of course I understand too that many people still dislike to use the word disabled or to identify as disabled – and that is their choice 🙂
I do however believe that far too many people see the word as a negative – when we can in fact make it a positive.

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Twitter poll
Above is a twitter poll that I created to get an opinion on this subject!
As you can see, I received 514 votes total and 67% of those did not feel uncomfortable with the word disabled.
19% said they were and 14% felt unsure.

I did not specify that you had to be disabled to take part in the poll so a few followers did suggest I take this into consideration when looking at the final result.

However confident I feel about referring to myself as disabled right now, I still would like to learn more about the 19% that are uncomfortable with the word – what words do you prefer?
I’d love to hear your responses! 🙂

Feel free to reach me through my social media at the top right of this page!

I’m happy to say that I am proud to be part of the disabled community! 🙂 ❤

 

 

 

My experiences at music festivals as a disabled person

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be talking about my own personal experiences at some fantastic music festivals as a disabled person here in the UK.

Disabled access information is a topic that you can’t find much information about when searching online, and the only way to truly know the struggles and the precautions you have to take as a disabled person is if you have spoken to someone that has already attended and can tell you all about what you’ll more than likely need to be cautious about.

When I was attending my first music festival I did try to do a search online and couldn’t find anything to help and advise me.. I ended up having to just email the festival and hope for a reply – which was quite a pain!

Quick note: Every suggestion towards festivals that I have made I am aware would benefit most people, too! Not just the disabled 🙂

What Is PFFD?
Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur.
The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened.

Because of this condition, I have had to wear a prosthetic leg from birth, and undergone operations to fix the deformed leg including having the foot amputated.

I hope this post includes helpful and useful information for any disabled people out there planning to attend a music festival 🙂

Like a lot of people, I absolutely love music! The chance to see my favourite performers live in person – how could I turn that down?! I was unbelievably excited but there was only one worry… would I be OK attending as an amputee?

The first festival that I ever attended was Download Festival in 2014 – I couldn’t wait!
I love rock music and some of my favourite bands were playing there, however like I said I was worried about how my disability would affect me at such a place.

I found that emailing the festival with queries did prove to be helpful as they did respond fairly quickly however I think there could be much easier ways to receive information regarding disability at the festival and to have these queries and worries responded to immediately.

I decided not to camp in the disabled campsite as in 2014 I was not struggling with pain from walking with my prosthesis as much as I am now – I was OK.

The first thing that was a struggle was carrying my luggage.. I do suffer with lower back pain and even though I tried my best to pack lightly I was still unfortunately having a hard time.

The festival did offer wheelbarrow type things to place your luggage in – but I would’ve struggled too much to push that and also.. they charged quite a lot of money for it! 😦 I had to rely on my helpful friends to make it to the campsite.

Finally arriving at the campsite (about a 35 minute walk from the entrance) I was so exhausted just from the walk in –  I had to take a break on a camping chair while my friends set our tent up.

I don’t know what I thought a festival would be like.. but I had done so much walking already and even though I was in less pain back then than now it was still taking a massive toll on my body already!

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My cousins shoes.. you can see how muddy the festival was!
I started to realise fairly quickly that I should have camped in the disabled campsite.. after a few days of walking in pain with my prosthesis and my poor back, I had to stay in the tent for the last day of the festival and purely rest.

I need extra space in a toilet cubicle and I was happy to read that at Download Festival they have disabled toilets all over the campsites, not just in the disabled one.
I have to say.. their disabled toilets weren’t much different to the regular toilets AT ALL which was quite disappointing!

As you can see in the picture above – the mud was horrendous!
I had not anticipated bad weather as this was a summer month and seeing the mud was heartbreaking.. knowing how hard things were about to become walking with my prosthesis.

Wearing my prosthesis and attempting to walk through that mud was close to impossible and I really felt like just giving up! 😦
I asked a worker at the festival if they had any wheelchairs on hand that I could maybe borrow to get back to my campsite as I really felt I just couldn’t walk anymore.. but they had none.

Also, I had to take medication during the day so I asked a worker while in the arena if I was able to have some water in order to take my tablet – and strangely they refused me? Even though I had seen other workers doing this for other people this particular worker told me that it wasn’t possible to hand out water?

Overall seeing my favourite bands was truly amazing and I have memories from Download Festival that will last my lifetime – I have to say the other people attending the festival were all so kind and generous.. always willing to help me when they saw me struggling and even though I have attended a few different festivals I say to everyone that Download Festival have the kindest crowd 🙂

I do think that I made an error in judgement by not camping in the disabled area however there are some things that I feel Download Festival could have done to make life easier for those of us that still struggle despite not camping in the disabled campsite.

I have also attended other festivals too and below are some ideas that I have gathered from each of them that I think would benefit disabled campers massively if ALL festivals were willing to do them:

  • Have wheelchairs and crutches at hand
  • Include more seating around the campsites and on the walk to the arena (which is a 25 minute walk) so that people can take a break if needed
  • Create an information booklet to people that request it including distances to walk, size of disabled toilets, whether all the amenities are accessible, what happens in bad weather etc
  • Have free water at points around the arena and campsites for those of us that need to take medication during the day
  • Frequently ask disabled customers how the festival could improve and how their experience was
  • Keep in mind that it isn’t just access information disabled people are after; it’s everything! from walking distances to water points to what the ground is like.

 

Thanks so much for reading everyone – I hope my own personal experiences at festivals has helped you to get an idea of the struggles as well as how kind strangers can be 🙂

I still love music but unfortunately as my prosthesis is so hard to wear now I don’t think I will be attending another festival for a while (unless I feel comfortable using my wheelchair completely).

Don’t forget to get in touch with me – I’d love to hear from you! 🙂 And my social media pages are located at the top right of this page. ❤

 

The products that I use to self care

Hi everyone! I previously wrote a post talking about how I self care and today I thought it would be a good idea to tell you about some of the products that I use and how they have helped me physically and mentally to relax and heal!
Click HERE for previous self care post!

What Is PFFD?
Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur.
The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened.

Because of this condition, I personally have had to wear a prosthetic leg from birth, and undergone operations to fix the deformed leg including having the foot amputated.

Just a quick note; all these experiences are 100% my own and I haven’t been asked to talk about any of these products – also, I live in the UK so all links will more than likely be local to me 🙂

I want to start off by talking about the products that have helped my disability and the pain/sores that come with that specifically as I feel this could benefit people in a similar situation to myself massively!

Stump sores from wearing a prosthesis:
These sores can be so painful and often I can’t wear my prosthesis for a while after suffering with them as they need a chance to heal.

I have only discovered this recently but using Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream has helped me so much.. it’s a thick cream that can be used for any skin complaint – so I thought it was worth a try!
IMG_2099
I was amazed that it really seemed to heal the sores a lot quicker than anything I’ve tried previously however it is somewhat expensive.
I bought a bottle of 50ml for £10.

I would highly recommend this product if you are suffering from the same or similar complaints!
My sores were healed in about 3 days, whereas in the past using Aloe Vera Gel they would only heal in about a week.

I also use this product on my chapped lips and the next day they are completely fixed.. this stuff really does work wonders for me 🙂

I have to say though Aloe Vera Gel (what I used previously) is very cooling on the sores which has helped me so I still do use it and would also still recommend this too 🙂
Link to Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream: https://tinyurl.com/yael8mrp
Link to Aloe Vera Gel: https://tinyurl.com/o45q2ls

Back pain from wearing prosthesis:
In the past I had just used a simple hot water bottle on my back pain along with taking CoCodamol tablets; however a few years ago I stumbled across Cura-Heat patches and they are extremely helpful.

They are a patch that you apply directly onto the area that is causing you pain and then they let off a strong (but bearable) heat!
I’ve found they work really well when my back pain is at it’s worst – however I do find them quite expensive for the little amount you get.

Saying that though, I will still purchase them on a particularly bad day as nothing eases the pain as quickly as these patches do!
Link to Cura-Heat: https://tinyurl.com/yautvrr5

Below are some of the products that I spoke briefly about in my previous self care post!

Candles
On a budget: When saving money I will purchase tealights from poundland! (Of course, they are only £1) there are 24 tealights in a pack and they come in multiple scents.
For me, my favourite scent has to be the gorgeous french vanilla 🙂
Link to poundland tealights: https://tinyurl.com/ya9muxqu

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Mid price range: When I’m lucky enough to have a little more money to spend, I will purchase a small Yankee Candle Jar!
My favourite scent has to be Vanilla Ice Cream or Pink Sands.. they are both beautiful however Yankee Candle have so many different scents it’s hard to pick favourites!
Link to Yankee Candles: https://tinyurl.com/8xjvytm

High end: I was lucky enough to receive one of these candles as a gift for my birthday last year, but if you have the money to spend I would highly suggest buying from Imperial Candles.
They are made from 100% soy wax.. the scents are gorgeous and even better you get a little treat inside once the wax has melted!
You receive a piece of jewellery worth up to the sum of £2000! I received a beautiful ring in mine!
Link to Imperial Candles: https://tinyurl.com/y94fkbu6

Notebooks and stationery:
On a budget: I have mentioned poundland previously.. because their quality for the price is fantastic! You can get writing straight away and only have spent £1!
I have always been very happy with the quality of my notebooks from poundland!
Link to poundland notebook: https://tinyurl.com/yal63qsy

Mid price range: I purchased my own notebook from The Works – and the price was also amazing! It was in the sale section, though.
The works have many different notebooks to suit many different personalities and I love that they are so fun 🙂 Here is a link to my own notebook: https://www.instagram.com/p/BSYkOiwAF6J/
Link to The Works notebook: https://tinyurl.com/y7a4aff2

High end: I totally adore all of Cath Kidston designs and if I was able to I think I would purchase everything in the shop, including the notebooks!
All of the prints are so unique and fun that they’re impossible not to love!
Here is a link to Cath Kidston notebook: https://tinyurl.com/y77fzhla

Tea:
On a budget: To try and save the most money possible I’d always suggest going to your local supermarket and trying out their own brand of tea!
I have done this many times and found that Sainsbury’s own brand tea is my favourite out of all of them!
Link to Sainsbury’s Basics Tea: https://tinyurl.com/ydxb287m

Mid price range: My favourite medium priced tea has to be Yorkshire Tea Everyday Tea bags.. they are what I would usually buy as they’re so simple yet so tasty! I don’t think you can beat a classic! 🙂
Link to Yorkshire Tea: https://tinyurl.com/y7s24mwx

High end: As pictured below, when I have the money I will buy speciality teas from Twinings. My absolute favourite tea of all time is Twinings Spicy Chai – it’s just delicious!
Link to Twinings: https://tinyurl.com/ycfgnuyu

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Seeing friends/family:
On a budget: Invite them over! Have a Netflix night or catch up on some television! It’s really easy to have a great time without spending a penny 🙂

Mid/High end: You could always go out and have a lovely lunch.. below is me and my cousins doing exactly that! We ordered from a lunch menu so got quite the discount (The food was about £6 total and drinks about £2!) 😀

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Bath and Shower:
On a budget: An amazing shower gel for a budget is the Imperal Leather Marshmallow!
It smells beautiful and makes any shower feel luxurious! Even better it’s usually on sale often so you can almost always get it for just £1
Link to Imperial Leather: https://tinyurl.com/y8ah36ro

Mid/high price range: I was extremely lucky to have received the below items as gifts last Christmas from my brilliant family members!
That being said.. I would re-purchase them in a heartbeat!
The Body Shop scrub smells and exfoliates amazingly (the scent pictured is fuji green tea) and the Soap and Glory shower gel is so moisturizing!
The big bottle is a Bayliss & Harding shower gel that is affordable and lasts SO long!
Link to The Body Shop: https://tinyurl.com/jebvnaf
Link to Soap & Glory: https://tinyurl.com/35845sy
Link to Bayliss & Harding: https://tinyurl.com/ya6ky5xl

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Thanks so much for reading everyone.. and if you have any questions about the products I have mentioned today, please feel free to get in touch with me.

I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Also.. don’t forget to follow my social media located at the top right of this page! ❤

My experiences using a wheelchair

Hi everyone! I’m going to talk about my time and experiences as a wheelchair user and the unfortunate difficulties that sometimes came with that.

I’d like to make it very clear that I was only a FULL TIME wheelchair user for 1.5 years when I was 8 years old and my father was my carer so luckily I would always have him to push me in my wheelchair.

That being said, nowadays I still do sometimes use my wheelchair if my prosthesis is causing me unbearable pain – but I still prefer to have somebody pushing me as I don’t feel confident enough to get around just by pushing myself.

Here are some valuable statistics and the websites that I am quoting them from:

2.2 million people in the United States depend on a wheelchair for day-to-day tasks and mobility.

 

&

There are around 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK, roughly 2 per cent of UK population.

Sources:
https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/rehabtech/conditioninfo/Pages/people.aspx
http://www.efds.co.uk/resources/facts_and_statistics

We can all agree that this is a HUGE percent of the population so we have to ask, why are so many places still inaccessible?

Why are some wheelchair users still having to face struggles that could be easily avoided if accessibility was at the top of our local authorities priorities?

As I’ve said, I was a full time wheelchair user for 1.5 years after an amputation and knee fusion at 8 years old.. my father was the one that pushed me in my wheelchair.

I have to admit that for me life as a wheelchair user was not easy back then – and it still comes with it’s struggles even now!

Me and my Dad faced quite a few problems in our everyday life being out and about that I’m sure a lot of wheelchair users can still relate to.

It was very difficult to enter shopping centres that didn’t have automatic doors or a disabled entrance, as it was impossible for my Dad to go in front of my chair and open the door and then push me through!

We had to rely on kind and helpful members of the public so much throughout my time in a wheelchair. In fact, at some points we even avoided some shops altogether as we knew that the struggle to get me in there would be too complicated.

I distinctly remember the simplest of tasks becoming difficult, reaching for items on the top and higher shelves for example was so hard for me to do alone and I thank my lucky stars that my Dad was there to assist me!

As I recall these memories I have to wonder if I didn’t have my dad to push me in my wheelchair and I had to enter a building without automatic doors or a disabled entrance, what would I do?

I’d find it such a hassle to continuously have to ask a member of the public to hold the door for me, I know firsthand that having to hold the door for myself is near impossible.

A lot of my social media following are wheelchair users, and have publicly spoken about some of the problems that they STILL have to face daily because of lack of accessibility.. these include:

Missing out on family/friends events because the venue hired is not accessible

Not being able to attend a concert/gig as the venue is not accessible

Struggling to open doors and navigate through narrow shopping stalls

Taxi/public transport not being accessible

Curbs preventing them from getting onto the sidewalk (no dropped curb)

These are just five of the many problems wheelchair users may have to face daily because of the lack of compassion from our local authorities.

In my area (Birmingham,UK) there is only ONE wheelchair space on our buses – and when I am using my wheelchair It’s always a worry I may have to wait for the next bus or even the one after that as there isn’t enough room for me because the ONE space may already be taken.

It seems common for local authorities to repeatedly ignore disabled peoples needs.

Personally In my home I have a walk in shower that has a seat – so my bathroom is called a washroom.

I have spoken to Occupational Therapists who have told me themselves that our local council in Birmingham SHOULD be building accessible houses with washrooms built into them, however they’d rather ‘save money’ and just put a simple bathtub in.

The problem is.. they are NOT saving money in the long run! Someone with a disability that is in desperate need for a washroom has to have their house adapted therefore scrapping the regular bathtub and THEN spending thousands of pounds converting it into a washroom.

I have a quote here from Mike Adams OBE:

“75% of disabled people and their families have walked away from a shop due to poor customer service or access issues”

75% is a huge number.. we have to change this, and we have to change it now!

If we all had a magic wand of course things would be sorted instantly, and the world would be equal and diverse for all; however as we know firsthand unfortunately that’s not the case.

I’m sure you’re all asking yourselves the same question – how do we change this?

If you are a venue looking to make your building more accessible for all, here is fantastic article that includes many tips! It’s so refreshing to see other people writing about the same thing and having the exact same end goal in mind.. to make the world a better place for everyone!

Here is the article:
https://www.euansguide.com/news/top-10-ways-to-make-your-venue-more-accessible/

If you are someone wanting to report an inaccessible building or an obstruction near you I suggest you contact your local council. You can do this simply by using google – for example my local council is Birmingham City Council and they are who I would contact in this situation.

Sadly, It’s not unheard of for local authorities to ignore complaints and if this happens to you I think it’s really important you contact your local MP (Member of parliament) or MOC (Member of congress) depending on where you are.

In my experience contacting my local MP really sped things along when I had a complaint about disability rights that was not being resolved! The day after I got my MP involved – I had an email back from the company that I was having problems with.

Please don’t forget to SPEAK OUT! We need to stick together and speak out against any discrimination that we as disabled people may face.
Social media can be a brilliant tool for catching companies and the medias attention!

I’d love to hear your response to this article so please feel free to contact me and share your stories!

Don’t forget to follow my social media located in the top right of this page! 🙂 I’d love hear from you! ❤

My self care routine

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be talking about my self care routine and what I do to relax! I thought it would be great to share my own routine with you all to hopefully give you some ideas on what could help you self care and relax.

What is self care?
Self care is taking care of yourself – it’s that simple! Taking care of your mind as well as your body 🙂

What Is PFFD?
Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur.
The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened.

Because of this condition, I have had to wear a prosthetic leg from birth, and undergone operations to fix the deformed leg including having the foot amputated.

Here is my self care routine:

Candles, candles, candles!
I absolutely LOVE candles.. scented, tealights, pillar candles – I think I own almost every different type! I find it so relaxing to have candles on as my source of light.

They help make me feel calm and of course the scented ones can let off many beautiful smells that can be unbelievably soothing.

As amazing as candles are they can be dangerous too so please always use a suitable candle dish and never leave one unattended.

Tea anyone?
Resting with a cup of tea is one of my favourite things to do.

Especially if I’ve had a day where I’ve been in pain from my disability and need to get more rest than usual; a cup of tea becomes my best friend! I enjoy lots of different types including green tea, chai tea, English breakfast tea – and of course I’m no stranger to swapping a cup of tea to a hot chocolate either.. which is just as yummy!

If you are looking to try new teas I strongly suggest emailing your favourite tea company as sometimes they are happy to send out samples for you to try so that you can explore the different types of tea even further!

Pick up a pen and paper!
As you’ve all probably guessed, writing is the most therapeutic thing for me.. I love writing my blog posts so much and planning out ideas for my next one!

I think lots of people would be surprised just how fun writing can be – you could write about anything! a piece of paper is your free canvas to do whatever you like with it.

Sometimes if I haven’t had the best day I just load my laptop, type out a blog post and when it’s finished I feel so proud of myself and any negativity that I was feeling beforehand just disappears!
I’d advise everyone to try writing.. how about starting with a journal?

Bargain hunting
Retail therapy is fantastic and a really quick and easy fix to cheer yourself up, but what if you don’t have the money? I’ve found that searching clearance sections in some of my favourite stores seriously pays off!

I’ve found top brands for so cheap by browsing the clearance section and people are usually so shocked at the amazing things I find!
Also, I love browsing through charity shops too – especially as any money you spend goes straight to a worthwhile cause.

I usually set myself a small budget (£5-10 for example) and come back with so much for my money..you should try it too!

Music heals everything
There’s nothing better than listening to your favourite music! I’d go as far as to say that listening to music is my favourite thing to do.
It can make you feel so much better just to shut the world off and put your headphones on for a little while.

I am so much more productive when I put my playlist on – I get blog posts written quicker, cleaning done and my concentration just seems to improve dramatically while I’m listening to music!

I always take my headphones to hospital appointments to deal with the waiting around and it really helps distract me from the hospital setting.

Friends are forever
The people that we care about also care about us and our wellbeing.. they want us to be ok, to be happy and cared for!

It’s something that many of us probably forget to do but just simply chatting to the people that you love about your day or how you’re doing is a great feeling.

I have people in my life that I know I can just text, call or go and meet up with whenever I feel like having a chat or sharing my feelings with someone.
I always feel emotionally cleansed afterwards and the other person will usually feel happy and grateful that you were able to confide in them.

Getting squeaky clean
There’s nothing more refreshing than a shower, and nothing more relaxing than a nice hot bath! If I’m feeling stressed I jump into the shower and use my favourite shower gels and soaps.. the beautiful scents instantly lift my mood!

If I’m having particularly bad lower back pain it helps so much to run a bath – I’ll always put some bubble bath in too, usually one with a mild scent that focuses on relaxation.
For me, being in the warm bath really soothes my lower back pain and muscle aches from wearing my prosthesis.

It’s always a good idea to add some candles to the bathroom too just to get that little extra relaxation fix!

Letting go with Yoga
My physical disability means that exercise is pretty difficult for me and there’s only a few specific exercises that I feel I can actually do comfortably that don’t cause me pain during or after the movements.

Surprisingly, yoga is one of these! I absolutely love the slow pace of yoga as it gives me plenty of time to get into the different poses and give my body a workout without causing me pain and discomfort.

I do yoga without wearing my prosthesis and I’m actually pretty good! I don’t attend a club – I have a yoga mat at home and I just load YouTube and look for a routine that I can comfortably do.

After a yoga session I feel amazing, surprisingly energetic and a million times healthier than I did before I started the session. I’d highly recommend yoga.. there is even chair yoga that you can do from a sitting position that is still a workout!

I hope that you all enjoyed this post and I would love to hear all about your own self care routines.. I’m always looking to add to mine! ❤

As always, feel free to message me and share your stories with me!

Don’t forget to follow my social media located at the top right of this page for updates regularly. 🙂

Overcoming my negative experiences

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be talking about the few negative experiences I’ve had because of my disability and how I have learned to overcome them.
This is a post I never thought I’d be able to write because I never imagined I’d have the courage to move on from them and look at them in a different way, but I did!

What Is PFFD?
Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur.
The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened.

Because of this condition, I have had to wear a prosthetic leg from birth, and undergone operations to fix the deformed leg including having the foot amputated.

I hope this post may help you or someone you know overcome their own negative experiences, too.

I’ll start off by saying that I was never bullied in my childhood – the questions that other children in my school would ask me were usually always just out of curiosity and they never really meant to do any harm.
That being said, having to answer questions did make me realize that I was different and I did sometimes start to wish that I was just ‘normal’.

One of the few negative experiences I’ve had happened when I was 16 years old.
I was walking around my local towns shopping centre – I was just strolling along minding my own business when a grown man standing outside of a pub (he looked around 40 years of age) just shouted “pegleg” to me.

I felt so shocked and uncomfortable, I couldn’t believe what had just happened and I remember having to bite my lip to hold back the tears. How could someone do that to me? I thought.. I already had self confidence issues and having someone just blatantly shout at me something horrendously insulting like that made me want to hide away forever, and it fed my insecurities like nothing else.

I went home and cried for hours, I felt like I never wanted to leave my house again and in all honesty I didn’t go out for quite a long time because of it.
Of course everyone around me reassured me and tried to make me feel better but I just couldn’t get over the fact that a stranger would notice my leg and insult me like that, I couldn’t stop thinking whether he knew the upset he had caused? but most of all Why? Why would he do it?

I frequently have negative experiences with taxi drivers and I have no idea why this is! I don’t know if it’s because my leg is a little more noticeably a prosthetic when I’m sitting down or what, but so many times things have turned awkward in a taxi journey for me.

Pretty recently I was taking a taxi home from my Nans house, and the conversation went like this..

“What happened to your leg?”

Me:

“I don’t feel comfortable talking about it”

and his response was..

“Oh right because you fell over or something?”

I literally just fell silent.
I’d already told him that I felt uncomfortable talking about something so personal and he’d pushed and made a pretty odd assumption..the worst part was, he seemed quite annoyed and aggressive towards me for the rest of the journey because I hadn’t told him!

Another negative experience I’ve had in a taxi was the taxi driver turned around (I was sitting in the back seat) noticed my prosthetic leg and reached out to touch it!
I was so anxious I didn’t know what to do, but luckily I was really young so I was traveling with my Dad at that time and he did get frustrated with the driver and made a complaint to the taxi company.

I’ve had strangers approach me and ask if I’ve been in a car crash, strangers ask me what happened (which in my opinion is OK at first but becomes rude once I’ve said I don’t feel comfortable talking about it) you’d be surprised how many people try and push the answer out of you even once you’ve said you’re uncomfortable.

I’ve had a grown woman say in an argument with a family member that I was literally only standing next to (I wasn’t involved in the argument at all)

“What’s she going to do! She’s got a wooden leg!”

of course that was just another thing to feed my many insecurities and self confidence issues.

I have a blog post called Self acceptance with a disability HERE if you’d like a read!

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Feeling extremely confident lately – here I am modelling for the fantastic Trinkets Jewellery Body Diversity campaign! 🙂

Now that I’ve spoken about the negative experiences I’d love to share how I’ve overcome all of this with you!
Even though It’s been really tough at times I think I’m on the right track finally in learning how to overcome negativity.

To overcome these experiences I had to finally listen what everyone else was saying to me. They’d tell me how the people that were cruel towards me were the ones with the problems because it’s so true.
What kind of 40 year old man shouts insults to a 16 year old girl? He is clearly the problem here.. not me. I did nothing wrong and I didn’t deserve to be treated the way I was by him.

Nobody in their right mind would be so rude and cruel towards another human being! I realize that now.. Even though I spent so long torturing myself by replaying the moment and his insult over and over again I’m finally at peace knowing he’s the one with the problems not me.

As for the taxi drivers it’s the same kind of situation – I’ve realized that they’re the ones that have the problem to be so rude and intrusive to a complete stranger!
In every one of these situations I have never done anything wrong to deserve the insults and rudeness that I’ve received even though I was led to believe I was the one in the wrong for not wanting to share my personal story behind my amputation by them.

In order to overcome negativity like this you have to be kind to yourself and try your very best to pay attention to the people that matter in your life, not these mean, cruel people that don’t matter AT ALL.
I’m going to do a blog post about self care soon and will be sure to link this here so that all of you can know in depth what tips help me! 🙂

A lot of the time people who are rude and ignorant are actually uneducated or deeply insecure themselves, and they take this out on others to make themselves feel better. Remember this!

There is absolutely no excuse for bullying behaviour towards ANYONE and that includes disabled people like myself.

I hope you enjoyed this post and If any of you would like to chat about your experiences at all please feel free to message me – I’m always here for all of you! 🙂 ❤

Have a brilliant week and I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂
Don’t forget to follow my social media pages linked at the top right of this page!

 

 

 

 

Recovery after surgery: Tips and advice

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be talking about recovering after my surgery that was a Knee fusion and Symes amputation when I was eight years old.
I’ll include some tips and helpful information that will hopefully help you or someone you know through the recovery process after surgery!

If you’d like to read my post about preparing for a hospital stay – read that HERE.

What is PFFD?
Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur. The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened.

Because of this condition, I personally have had to wear a prosthetic leg from birth, and undergone operations to fix the deformed leg including having the foot amputated.

Tips after surgery:

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Please don’t rush to get better:
Make sure to give yourself a break.
Your body will take it’s time to recover after such a trauma like surgery – so please don’t try to force yourself to be better quickly as this can damage the healing tissue and wound which will just end up delaying the recovery process.
I had to stay bed bound for about the first two weeks to a month after my amputation and I was so desperate to get up and move around – but I knew that if I did it would take me even longer to recover!

Keep notes of your medication routine:
After my amputation I was on a lot of different medication for pain relief and to relieve phantom pain – and it really did get confusing.
The best thing me and my Father did was write down the times of each medication and then a simple tick next to it after I’d taken it, this way I knew regularly what I’d taken and hadn’t taken.
It’s so easy to think you’ve forgotten and take an extra dose by accident – which can be very dangerous.. so please keep track of your medication intake!

Tell your Doctor if you are still in pain:
I was really struggling with shooting pains and phantom pains after my amputation and at first I was hesitant to say anything as I didn’t know if it was normal straight after surgery and if anything could even be done about it.
It ended up becoming unbearable so I mentioned it to a nurse and I was medicated straightaway which really relieved the pain.. so please don’t be afraid to mention whatever you are suffering with even if you think it’s nothing.

Try to keep your spirits high:
Going through surgery is so incredibly stressful and probably the best advice I can give you is to try and stay in the best mood possible.
It’s really easy to get down when you have stay in bed and aren’t able to do much..
some things I found useful were binge watching TV shows, listening to music, watching films, and having family and friends visit me often really kept me distracted. Also concentrating on my schoolwork as after all I was only 8 years old!

Staying clean without a bath/shower:
After my surgery it was so unbelievably difficult to get in and out of a bath and shower so what I was advised to do by my Doctor was to wash in the bathroom just on the edge of a bath with clean water, a sponge and soap.
This was so easy and helped me so much to stay clean and I always felt so much better afterwards! It still keeps you very clean and it’s also important to keep your wound clean to prevent infection.
It’s much better than just skipping a shower; or forcing yourself to climb into one which could damage your recovery process and be rather dangerous.

Listen to the advice of the professionals around you no matter how hard:
I really struggled to get into wearing my prosthetic leg again after my amputation.. it felt different and I was so hypersensitive about having to put my stump inside a prosthesis because it still had stitches and looked very new to me still –  I felt I couldn’t do it.
My prosthetist and my Doctors were telling me that the more I practiced the more I would get used to it – but I didn’t listen and ended up being wheelchair bound for a year. After that year I finally started to practice wearing a prosthetic again they were right – now I can wear my prosthetic leg and I can walk without a second thought!

Eat and sleep well:
This goes without saying for most of us all of the time, but the amazing effects on our body from eating and sleeping better than usual have been proven time and time again. It’s a great idea to try and focus on eating better and enough while you are recovering so your body is getting the nourishment it needs, having a good sleep schedule and making sure you are getting enough rest will help you feel better during the day.
I really struggled after surgery to keep a good sleeping pattern and it made my phantom pains a lot worse as I was stressed and tired.
Don’t forget also to stay hydrated and drink lots of water! 🙂

Be honest about your feelings:
Surgery is very tough and most of the time you go through quite a bit of pain at first before things start to improve.
I was a very lucky child to have such an amazing family as I was going through my surgery and what helped me was being able to tell them when I was struggling with pain or just feeling very weak and low.
My family were extremely supportive of me and I think everyone out there should know that sharing your feelings and admitting you may be suffering in pain or just having a bad day – or even not recovering after surgery as well as you’d hoped is really important because this way you will get the support you need in order to be okay again.

I really hope that you all found this list useful and I will always add to it in the future if I think of any more points that I feel will benefit others out there going through surgery!
I tried to name the most important ones here that really helped me recover as a young child having an amputation. 🙂

Don’t forget to follow my social media pages located top right of this page! 🙂
I hope  you have a wonderful day and wish you and everyone you know the best of luck in any surgery you may be having soon or one day in the future.
As always; don’t be afraid to drop me a message! ❤
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