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Sunday, 11 May 2014

FUTURE PROOFING

Its not long now till the end of my first year on a Degree course. It has been enjoyable and at times frustrating, sometimes down right annoying, but the main thing is how far I have come as a person.

So whilst revising for or last two exams and awaiting the final results for our assignments we organised a visit to St Peters Campus and the DSA team based at The Gateway. This is something I would highly recommend for any one thinking of starting a University course anywhere, Disabled or not. It proved to be the best thing we did. For me it was the peace of mind knowing where I was going to be, knowing what to expect as this helped with my stress and anxiety issues. As well as that it was a dry run for getting around the campus with the wheelchair, fitting into lecture halls and class rooms and through doors. Again this helps with knowing what to expect so it is not a nasty surprise or embarrassment come September. For Jo it was the peace of mind knowing what was going to be expected of us , time tabling for child care and mental preparation.
 We met the head of the module who was really happy to answer any questions we had, talk us through the program and made sure we where comfortable. putting us at our ease.


 The space was incredible and so where the facilities and Jo and I have already sussed out the best root from the library to the Costa coffee shop and the canteen :). The meeting with the DSA team was brilliant as well. Again if you are thinking of attending college or University get in touch with these people. I didn't even realise how much help was available to me during my time at University. Everything from transport to get there, a helper around campus, to access to class notes in advance, rest breaks and support put in place for field trips and exams.
The library 
Looking around the campus the excitement grew and now am bouncing with the idea of starting and feel that September cant hurry up fast enough now for two reasons! I would never have thought 12 month ago that I would be able to do this or even get this far. My health was getting worse (still is but we are working on that), I had to leave work, the amputation hadn't gone according to plan and had not given me the freedom I had hoped and wished for, I was not in a good place mentally with regards to depression, body image and self confidence.

Now here I am, all assignments completed and handed in 3 weeks early, getting ready to sit my year end exams, preparing for moving to campus, looking at joining societies and trying to organize a fund raising event where I will have to be in the public arena and on display deliberately looking silly!(more news of this to follow).
my view of the lecture

Main lecture hall, my view from where I will be sat
This is the beautiful view from the canteen.
 



So this moves us on to my health and weight issues. Recently I decided that I needed to up the game with these two things. So this has taken the form of making sure I do my physio every day and I have added to this a bastardized version of step aerobics using the first step of my stairs and stepping on and off it . I currently can manage 10 of these before it hurts. Coupled with this I have started to try walking to the sitting room, bedroom and toilet with out the aid of my crutches. Its hair raising at times but I can do it...just. I have 141 days left before I head of to Florida and I want to be more mobile to do the things I couldn't do 2 year ago. I also want to try and improve my health so that I can get rid of the CPAP machine and ease the pain from the fibro and arthritis. This is not going to be easy and I know this, but its something I have to at least try other wise I will feel like a failure. I have posted a picture along with a video of me walking, this is a big step for me doing this mentally considering how embarrassed I feel and how much of a low opinion and low self esteem  I have of myself. This is a testimonial of how far I have come so far and the journey still ahead. Wish me luck !!!
This is me now at just over 21st

this is me showing how I walk at the moment and the size I am right now

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