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Sunday, 1 December 2013

FULL STEAM AHEAD

Another 5 month have passed since I last put anything down for you.  Its now the beginning of December and I have now been at College for 2 1/2 months.......and I LOVE IT !!

I promise I will try to update this blog every month with what is going on in my life, difficulties I have experienced and help I have found or help I have had that worked for me.

First things first, still no further forward with getting out of the wheelchair. The cold weather is playing havoc with the arthritis and the fibromyalgia. The weight gain has slowed down but still not good, so I am personally not very happy about that. I am still experiencing issues with the stumps splitting and it is the same one that splits all the time. It has now happened twice more since my last entry. I know it is due to the legs swelling and the weight gain so the plan is to try and control this. So although we are only 23 days away from Christmas, I am going to restart the exercise routine and cut out the snacking on a night time. Yes I will indulge during the three days of the 24th 25th and 26th but that's OK as long as it is controlled, and that is going to be the key for me control. Went to a seminar about weight loss surgery which was recommended by my GP but it scared me silly, the risks where way too much and the surgeon didn't even think it would benefit me due to the Fibro, so I don't think that is an option for me. Although any one who does go through it is brave in my books.  The results are due from the sleep clinic in a few weeks so will try to update the blog with that before Christmas and still waiting for my MRI to take place.

And that is where we are up to with the health situation..now for the good bit...my life.

Can I say the best thing I ever did was leaving the rat race to go to University.

I am doing a extended degree in Psychology through Sunderland university, the first year is with Sunderland College. As a disabled student as well as a wheelchair user, the help I have had form both the college staff, lectures and the University has been outstanding! The support as well, that I have received from the DSA of student finance as well has helped me so much am extremely grateful.  They have provided me with the equipment to enable me to actively take part in all the lessons and the ability to complete work at home as well.
 I will be honest I was really worried about going to University/college as I was nervous about how much I would stick out like a sore thumb, or how much trouble it would be for others to include me,even how much disruption I would cause to the lesson. Questions such as "would i be left on my own?" "would any one want to mix with me or even do projects together?" " would I be seen as an outsider/ inconvenience?" " would people talk to me and accept me for who I am?""would I be nothing but a nuisance to people? "
Its bizarre the way you think about yourself or see your self when you are in a wheelchair or have limbs missing, its like a double whammy when it is both.  But all the worry was for nothing. Don't get me wrong not everything has ran smoothly, there are a few issues with doors for example and some kerb heights, getting under some of the desks  are a bit of a night mare and some rooms are so small , forget about a turning circle!  And if I have to leave my legs off and use my stump boards then college is just a no go. Hell I even had one of my foot rests ran over by a taxi driver..twice! guess the first time he wasn't certain he got it.  I guess there was a chance that all my fears could have been founded but it depends on how you want to few things.

 Just before starting university I was having a course of CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy), which helps you to help yourself. Basically it changes the way you few the problem or issue and how you view it, makes you challenge your view point, then gives you the tools to deal with it in future.  At first I thought it wasn't helping, but after a few sessions things changed in my head, and I realized that my view of myself and how I thought people saw me was skewed .
 Yes, OK there is going to be people out there who are ignorant gits, who do see you as an inconvenience and should just go away, but thankfully they are few and far between. They will be a certain amount of changes that will need to be made to include you, but that's OK, you are entitled to access the same as everyone else and most people understand this and are patient. Those that aren't, screw them, take longer just to annoy them lol. The point is that is their hang up/problem not yours and don't let them put their hang ups onto you, after all their not out of the race called life yet and who knows what the future holds.

I guess what am trying to say is don't let anything hold you back. If going to work or college or university is what you want to do then do it. There is support and help there to access such as the DSA (Disabled Student Access) through Student Finance, the college/University or work place itself, also if it is work connected there is the Disability Advisers at the job center and Access to Work who can help with everything form transport, office equipment and grants your employer may be entitled to, work place evaluations as well.

On a personal note things are going well. Still counting down to Florida 2014 and now Christmas. Thank god am all done. As some one who is disabled and in a wheelchair shopping in any mall, shopping centre or town centre is a bloody nightmare !. People seem to suddenly become blinkered, rude and ignorant. On line shopping is a god send.When I do have to go into town at the moment my temper seems to instantly shoot through the roof. Sick of people leaning over me, stepping back into me (although it hurts them more then me but the number of people that I have nearly had sitting on my knee...), stepping in front of me then glare at me as if it is my fault, and my personal favourite, tutting at me..for being there. All the kids are doing well and for the first  time in 10 year I was able to attend two of my children's class assembly's . What a proud mam moment that was.The eldest is doing well at University as well and cant wait to see him when he comes up for Christmas. Had some of my first assignments back and scored 80% for my Physiology report, 49% for my first maths exam, 96% for my word processing exam, 100% for my PowerPoint exam and still waiting for my result from my presentation assessment and my spread sheet exam.

My goal with this degree is to specialise in possibly CBT my self and become a Psychotherapist, all going well after my degree I will be looking to do a PHD as well. So remember if you are in a wheelchair, Amputee, friend or family member of an amputee, even if you are curious and just need answers please feel free to contact me via this blog or my face book page. All links will be put at the bottom of this entry.

https://www.facebook.com/dcphotographysunderland?ref=tn_tnmn

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/overview

http://www.yourdsa.com/

http://www.sfengland.slc.co.uk/media/559155/sfe_dsa_1314_d.pd

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