Monday, 16 February 2015


First off my apologies for not submitting anything for a long time.

A lot has happened in 6 months. Started university in Sunderland and although some days are better then others am managing alright for the most part. The Reg Vardy building has a few issues in regards to accessing the rooms for seminars and the lift has been off a few times in the last couple of month , but over all not too bad, I have seen worse . The prospect building where the bulk of the lectures are held and the library is housed is great and very easy to access. I have a support worker to push me around with me not being able to self propel due to the fibromyalgia and to take notes if things get too bad, but the lecturers have been extremely helpful. Not doing too bad on the work side of things and coming up to exam season soon so preparing for that. Busy finishing up the last of the essays and reports. Can't believe the time has gone so quickly.

Went back to Florida again in October and what a brilliant time. Flew with Thompson and I have to say their attention to detail was outstanding.

The help we received with the wheelchair and getting the help I needed to get on and off the flight was brilliant. We stayed in a Finding Nemo suite in the Art of Animation and although it was budget it was a lovely resort, very accessible for me including the pool area. They have accessible rooms with roll in showers which where fantastic.  We used Tiffany Town cars to get around outside the park and again great when it came to dealing with me and the wheelchair.

No matter where I went, shopping, Universal or the Disney parks the staff where all very helpful and it never felt that me or my needs where an inconvenience. I have to admit the first time I thought of going on holiday after the amputation never mind abroad it was terrifying ! Then to go abroad on a 9 hour flight, well lets just say I thought I was insane to do it with 5 kids in tow, but if you are willing to take a leap of faith it is worth it. I experienced more this time and made a point of going on more rides and taking part in more photo opportunity's which is exactly what I did.  To be honest it is a shame that places in the UK don't take a leaf out of Disney, Universal and Thompson book with regards to how they treat disabled people and children with disability's

Tyler was never left out of anything either due to his ASD. When the ques where too much for him and there was issue with sensory overload due to his ASD they give us a card . You went to some one on the ride showed them the card and they would give you a time to return for that ride FREE. Now this might sound familiar and so it should. It is the same principle as the fast pass system used in this country at places such as Alton Towers and Thorpe park, but these you have to pay for on top of your admission ticket. In the UK you are made to feel like an inconvenience in these places or that you are making people go out of their way to accommodate you. This in turn can make you feel like you don't want to take part or get in the way, even when you are like me and have a hide like a rhino.

November and December passed with a few issues concerning my health and Tyler's school.

A small run in with a teacher who was teaching back in the day when children being "too clever for their own good" or the attitude of no such thing as ADHD just naughty children applied. Tyler and him had a few run inns just before Christmas which caused Tyler's ASD to escalate. This accumulated in a suggestion being made that he should go to a inclusion school as he would never pass his STATS due to being uncontrollable , (this was news to us as Tyler has never had any issues like this at school before) and things happening like Tyler walking out of class and getting into arguments with the teacher. (mind you why a grown man is arguing with a ten year old to start with never mind a ten year old with ASD !!). After a very interesting meeting where it was pointed out that said teacher shouting at Tyler all the time was the same as him physically hitting him.,(Tyler's ASD is sensory so loud noises cause him pain), and asking why things that had been agreed to be put in place had not been implemented yet, making sure things that had been implemented where still being carried out I requested for him to see a Educational Psychologist.

After various tests it turns out that Tyler is a gifted boy and there should be no reason why he wont pass is STATS, go to comprehensive in top sets and fly through University ! Said teacher is retiring this year.
So Christmas came and went and so did my kitchen. After a hole appearing in the floor it was deemed too dangerous for me to use the kitchen with the wheelchair. So I started trying to cook meals alternating between the kitchen and taking rests in my wheelchair that I had parked at the entrance to the kitchen. This did not work well. Then the real problems started.

Now am used to my left stump splitting, after checking with the limb center I was told that this was nothing to worry about as it was the way the scar was and it was just rubbing in the liner. But now my right stump has split and there is no reason , nothing to rub and it has split along my scar. After a run around with the NHS and being bounced from a NHS direct call center , to a paramedic, to the GP, to a skin specialist who turned out to be a district nurse and finally to the limb center, I have ended up on antibiotics and a emergency appointment at the Limb center. However this has unfortunately lead to nearly two weeks off from University,

 So now you are all caught up.....just about. There is some interesting news on the horizon. A colleague and me are going to be doing some research into therapy pre and post op in the hope to push this through into a regional center to provide support, advice and therapy for people  not just with amputations but with all disability's. I am also looking at expanding the use of this blog into assessing venues, events, hotels, pubs, cinemas, clubs etc for the ease of use, treatment and helpfulness. AS well as this we are looking to set up a website and information leaflet. Watch this space !!

Next blog I will let you know how my daughters 16th went and how the restaurant helped me to make the most of the night with my family. I have two birthdays coming up at different venues in Sunderland as well as Newcastle Film and Comic Con at the Newcastle Arena, which I will be reviewing as well, hope fully am looking to get some input from said venues and events as well.

 Hopefully though my experience of taking chances like going back into full time education, starting my own business, going out to work etc I can encourage and help other people to do the same. Showing that just because you have had a amputation, or you are wheelchair bound or in fact have any kind of disability, even if you know some one ,a family member or friend maybe even your child who has a disability  that effects them, there is places you can go, things to do and experiences to enjoy.

Live life to the max. Never give up.

Useful links from this blog: link to the town car service used in Florida.  -  Link to FAQ about issues concerning disability's on Thompson holidays and flights - Link to Disability services at Sunderland University.

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