So we are nearing the end of January 2014 and again things have moved on.
College/University is still going well and still achieving outstanding in all areas bar math, but its math, that can be forgiven and after all it was still a pass.
Thoughts have changed on which area I will specialize in as would like to combine CBT/ behaviorism with Psycho dynamic approach. With this in mind I have been looking at studying either a Masters or PHD. So this summer I will be looking for a placement to get experience in a therapy setting.
Since my own CB therapy I am refusing to let anything stand in my way or my dreams. This I have found is a difficult thing to do when you are disabled. You get so used to people telling you that you can't do this and you can’t do that and before you know it you believe them. Challenging that assumption is a hard road to walk (or wheel!) and it is so easy to sit back and believe them and give up. But if you did that look at how much you would miss out on.
To me the most difficult thing I have ever had to do was challenge that belief, accepting that this might be as good as it gets health wise and moving on. Although I enjoyed working prior to the amputation and in some respects after as well, dynamics do change when your disability is no longer something that people don't notice. You feel a burden, inconvenient as if you are getting special treatment as people are too scared of being labelled with disabled discrimination. It leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Always wondering if you were employed for your skills or because they were too scared to tell you were not good enough for it. Or was it the simple fact that they have to be seen as being diverse? Are colleagues helping because they want to or because they have too? in some respects it is more daunting going back into education as not only do you have all of this to contend with but the fact that the majority of people you will be mixing with have not had experience of someone in a wheelchair or an amputee with no or very little life experience behind them that will enable them to deal with it. In fact looking around college some have barely got out of the stage of getting pocket money and worrying about makeup and what you look like (which can cause issues as neither prosthesis nor a wheelchair are high item accessories!...I think I will take the pimped wheel chair this morning with the bling in purple because that's what’s in style this week...). But somehow these people seem to have more insight and more patience so there is hope yet for the human race. There is no second guessing about what people think as they are just as insecure as you are.
The results from the sleep clinic came back and I have sleep apnoea, so no surprise there. However this is at the rate of 40 times a night that it affects me which is really high. So I now have a CPAP machine to use at bed time. Apart from worrying it will give the husband a Dearth Vader fetish, it seemed to work well last night so lets see how things progress with that one. Still battling with the weight issue. I did do very well at Xmas and managed to not put on any extra weight and I have made myself a spread sheet for stats (btw passed IT module 95%) that I am checking every day. This is so I can control my own exercise and diet as at a glance I can see how much or how little I have done in a week/month but also how well behaved or what areas I need to sort out for my eating. AS for the split in the stump I have found some dressings that protect and cover so using those and it is working. Also I have had my appointment through for my MRI scan in two weeks so see what happens there.
Looking to the future, there is not long before the experience of college is behind me and I face my next challenge of being on campus. Hoping also that the CPAP machine helps my energy levels and fibro and I can then exercise more which in turn will enable me to lose the weight I need. That’s when the real challenge starts. Can I leave the wheelchair behind or is it part of me for life?