Tag Archives: Emotional

4 Ways to Improve your Mental Health Today

A woman with long Blonde Hair sitting on a beach looking out at sea

Image: here

Mental health is becoming less of a taboo subject, and in the past few years alone there has been a marked increase in those diagnosed with conditions such as anxiety and depression.
It could be partly blamed on the stressful, corporate world we live in, but also the fact that many of these people were scared to admit they had a problem, for fear of being judged.

However as the online world is exploding to the forefront of everyone’s eyes, more and more people are stepping out of that shell and seeking help.

Today is the day to look at yourself and see something positive, to fight through those feelings and truly live in the moment. Here are four ways to improve your mental health today. Also feel free to check out my other post on this subject: Improve Your Mental Health by Avoiding these 3 Things.

Break up your day

Monotony can be one of the worst triggers for anxious and depressive thoughts because the mind allows itself to wander to a different place and let bad experiences take over. If you are doing the same job every single day, you may start to feel down, unworthy and sad. If there are a few different task you must complete each day, break them up throughout the day to wake up the brain. If you have to write 100 emails and create a spreadsheet- write 50 emails, then complete the worksheet- and go back to the emails later. Keeping the brain awake and alert is an effective way to improve mental health.

A bath bomb sitting next to a candle
Image: here

Reset the mind

Learning to step back from stressful situations is a valuable skill in protecting the mind. If you’ve experienced a particularly stressful week, take a step back and switch off. Have a bath, pour some wine, relax. Learn to pamper yourself and have that all so valuable alone time once in awhile.

Ask for Help

Asking someone for help is one of the most difficult things to do when suffering from mental illness, but it is something that is so valuable and will lift a weight off your shoulders instantly. If you don’t feel like you can talk to a friend or family member, talk to a stranger. If the day is overwhelming, or you feel like you are going to hurt yourself for whatever reason. Talk to someone, visit an urgent care clinic, or simply write it down. It will lift a weight and help you to recover from whatever feelings are taking over.

A person striking a yoga pose as the sun is setting behind them
Image: here

Take Care of Your Body

It’s just as important when it comes to taking care of the mind, to also take care of your body. It has been proven in studies that eating healthy and exercising increases the presence of neurotransmitters such as serotonin- the happy hormone. If you feel too anxious to visit a gym, there’s no need to force yourself out of your comfort zone. There are plenty of videos online which will teach you easy at home workouts with no need to fancy equipment.

The mind is a fragile thing which you should take care of with care. Following these simple tips, you will be able to improve your mental health, today, tomorrow, and in the future.



To my first, and forever love

A letter to my first and forever love.

I call myself a blogger and yet here I am at a loss of how to put pen to paper so-to-speak.

There is no-one quite like you; fiercely loyal, utterly stubborn and hungry for knowledge.

It’s you Harry Potter.

You have been in my life for 20 years now and I know we will be friends until my dying day. The story may be about you, but it’s your journey of friendship, family, faith and hope that i’ve fallen in love with.

I’ve been a reader my entire life but no other story can intrigue, enthral and enrage me quite like you.
I remember the day I was introduced to your world.
At first a world of loneliness and resentment, and gradually a world full of warmth, happiness and comfort.
There were dark and terrible times ahead, just like life itself, but through compassion, solidarity, kindness and courage you fought your way through and came out triumphant.
You have taught me to appreciate who I am, and to ignore the negativity that comes with staying true to yourself.
You’ve taught me that looks can be deceiving and to never judge a book by it’s cover.
You’ve taught me that being bookish and brainy is the new beautiful.

Harry potter books in Order from left to right

You’ve taught me that being courageous doesn’t always mean fighting the biggest battles sometimes it’s about standing up for what is right.
I’ve learned that making mistakes is apart of life, but we have to learn to forgive others as quickly as we forgive ourselves.
I’ve learned that true friendship is worth more than what money could ever buy.
I’ve learnt that heartbreak is torturous and that loss is inevitable. But what i’ve learned the most is that love will always prevail. There is room in our hearts to love as many as we can, yet that love will never be lost just because someone is gone.

Harry's Wand infront of two candles and a wax melter

Harry Potter, you’ve been a source of comfort in the lonely days, a place where I can escape to, and a gentle reminder that hope can always be found.

7 books, 8 films and 20 years of my life that i’ve learnt, grown, adapted and survived:with you by my side.
My first, and forever love.

“Even after all this time?”

“Always,”




Understanding M.e. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

Hi, I’m Ellen! Sassy has kindly given me the opportunity to write a bit about ME, (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), and my mum’s experience of suffering from it. I think it is so important to raise awareness and I have included some tips for anyone who wants to help somebody suffering from the illness.

In 2011 my mum was diagnosed with ME after many months of feeling very ill and numerous doctor and hospital appointments.




What is ME?

It’s not easy to define what ME is due to many different symptoms and theories as to what causes it. Some say it is a neurological disorder, others an immune dysfunction, but much research is still needed.

How ME effects my Mum:
ME effects people differently and can vary in its severity. For my mum, in addition to an overwhelming tiredness she gets body aches, pains, dizziness and nausea. And I’m talking 24/7. It’s like having bad flu every single day to the point where you can’t get out of bed.
One of the hardest things for suffers is the lack of understanding. You can look well on the surface or perhaps be having a good day but that doesn’t mean you’re cured. The next day might be a very different story. It’s much more than just feeling ‘a bit tired’ and can’t be made better by a good night’s sleep!
The stigma around ME:
Many doctors, (though not all!), don’t understand ME, probably due to not knowing the cause of it. Some can be unsympathetic and dismissive. It’s important to find a doctor who understands and supports you as this is the first step in being diagnosed and feeling better.
How to support someone who is suffering with ME:
Depending on the severity, developing ME can completely change your life, in some cases leaving you bed ridden. If you know someone suffering here are some ways you can help:
• Don’t tell them that they just need ‘a good night sleep’ or to take ‘a refreshing walk in the countryside’ to feel better. The only way to manage ME is to allow your body to rest and pace your activities every day.
• My mum can’t easily plan ahead as she never knows whether she will be having a good or bad day so be flexible and understanding. Plans may need to be adapted to include less walking for example.
• Encourage them to take time out each day to rest. This is the main way my mum can manage her illness. If it means having a Spanish style siesta each day, go for it! And don’t let them feel guilty for missing out on things!
• Offer to help with the more mundane life chores e.g cleaning/walking the dog. It means they can save more energy for the fun things!
But it’s not all bad news! When first diagnosed my mum couldn’t even walk from her bedroom to the kitchen and had to spend months in bed. But now she leads a normal yet slower paced life by building in time each day to rest! Most people improve over time and are even cured after 5-10 years. It’s all about balance and staying positive!
In a funny way I think my mums ME has actually bought some positives to her life. She takes a lot more time for herself and has rediscovered hobbies and interests that she’d given up during the usual frenetic pace of life. Now I’m older I look back and realise how hard it must have been, even at her worst she was always there to pick me up from school and cook me dinner and never complained about how ill she was. She’s an amazing mum!
If you have any questions or would like to find out more, come and say hi at www.ohhelloellen.com or on Twitter




#GuideDogDiaries Day 8

#GuideDog Diaries Day 8

I can’t believe it’s Monday already! This week has sped past and i’m loving every minute of it!Even when Ida tries to be a little madame! 😉

Last night I had a bit of a scary moment.
At dinner we were not in our usual area for eating so when it came time to leave the cafe I became disorientated.
Not that I realised that at the time…
I ended up heading in the opposite direction to my room and tried to get Ida to “find the way” (don’t do this when your dog is not on harness).
She ended up taking me to a flight of stairs that went down into the bar.
I only knew this when it was too late and i dropped onto the first step. Luckily I caught myself and got Ida to stop.

I took her back over to where we were sitting and set off again.
Again, asking her to find the way.
The same thing happened again.
I will point out here that stairs have always scared me., my arthritis hinders a steady and smooth assent or descent, meaning I can lose my balance quickly, which can then end in disaster.

Ida once again took me over to the steps and walked down them, because I was still totally unaware that i was going the wrong way, I got a shock all over again, and I became very stressed.
Thankfully a member of staff noticed me and came over to offer help, she got us to our corridor and i thanked her and headed to my room.

It wasn’t until I was safely in the room that the terror hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I phoned Gary and started crying, saying I didn’t know how I would cope having a Guide Dog.

I’m truly scared off stairs, and falling down them. So much so that I was reserved about having a Guide Dog and having it pull me down the stairs.
I was so scared and unsettled I didn’t want to train with Ida, encase it happened again and this time one or both of us weren’t so lucky.

Gary helped calm me down and see sense, explaining that I really needed to tackle my fear of stairs with Ida, speak with Mikyla in the morning, and ask her to show me how to manage stairs safely.

I felt better after talking to Gary and gave Ida some cuddles, more so for my own comfort than anything else.

I woke up ready to tackle the day.

I spoke with Mikyla first thing and she reassured me that it’s ok to be scared and stressed, but of course with us both being disorientated Ida took me back to the same place a second time because she wasn’t sure what I was actually asking of her.
All of this is my fault and I took and take full responsibility for it, and I think once I slept on it, and saw just how much I had expected of Ida when she wasn’t on harness and I was steering her in the wrong directions, I would be ok to manage stairs with her as long as I was under the guidance of Mikyla.

I skipped lunch and spent time bonding with Ida, I felt terrible for my behaviour the night before and knew that this gorgeous little pup was the best decision I had made.
Also, not one to be defeated by my own psyche I decided that i was going to take Ida up and down a flight of stairs to ease myself into it, and put a lot of rigidity on the gentle leader so I would not allow her to pull me.
This was successful and made me feel more confident that I could slow her down, or even speed her up if she wasn’t going the right speed for me on the stairs.

In the afternoon after our walk I asked Mikyla if I could do stairs with Ida on harness and under her supervision, which she fully supported.

Having Ida on harness, on the stairs, especially going down, made the world of difference to me and my confidence.
She was far more controlled and because the harness Is a metal handle there is no room for slack, which gave me the perfect walking distance between us when travelling down the stairs!
The relief I felt was overwhelming and I couldn’t help but give my pup the biggest love and fuss she deserved!

Mikyla also said that there was other options of using the stairs with a Guide Dog and she gave me instructions on the different methods available.
I tried them all, but having Ida on harness was definitely the best way for me to travel on stairs safely and confidently! 🙂

As Gary rightly said the night before, i’m going to make mistakes, and doing it while on training is the best time, because I have support in the form of Mikyla to talk things through and find new solutions to each and every challenge I face.
This is exactly why I love him, he knows me better than I know myself and he brings me back to a place of sanity and roundedness! 🙂

The very best part of the day definitely had to be the morning, a day of my life I will never forget!
WE did traffic awareness.
Traffic awareness is when you and your Guide Dog are in a controlled environment, in the form of another GDMI, driving a car at you and your Guide Dog, and wanting/ hoping that they will spot the car and disobey your command to cross the road!

We did near traffic: asking Ida to cross the road right as a car is pulling up in from of you.
You give the command to go; “forward” and you want them to stay stock still/ plant themselves and not go.
I am beyond ecstatic to say that Ida did this perfectly and disobeyed me!

As Ida is such an obedient Guide Dog on harness both Mikyla and I were apprehensive that she would follow my command and try and move.
Mikyla reminded us that we needed to stay as calm as possible, use your normal voice, and if, Ida did move forward, gently correct her and say “no.”

My clever little pup didn’t move a muscle, completely disobeyed me, and shocked me so much that I actually squealed with excitement and gave her massive fuss…
Mikyla had to tell me to calm down haha, and we both laughed about it.

Because this was a controlled environment and Suzie was driving the car, as part of the traffic awareness she deliberately stopped and didn’t pull off straight away. Giving me time to ask Ida to go forward again.
Again she did not move, and i’m happy to report, I managed to keep my composure this time too! 😉

Once I had waved Suzie on, and checked all traffic was clear, I got Ida to cross the road. 🙂

One of our controlled traffic awareness tests was to cross a back alley where Ida’s view was blocked by a wall.
I was to tell her to go forward, and when she saw the car approaching she was to stop.
Again, if she did not, it was a firm no, but not chastising.
We want our Guide Dog to learn through positive
reinforcement, not negative reinforcement.

The other type of traffic awareness we did together was far traffic.
This involved crossing the road and Suzie meeting us in the middle. The goal was for Ida to stop us continuing to cross the road.
We did this twice, and both times she aced it!
Mikyla reassured me that Suzie would be travelling quicker, because she had to time it correctly to meet in the middle.
I will admit when I heard the engine go faster than it had previously I was a bit nervous, but I knew this was a controlled environment, and Ida was amazing!

The last type of traffic awareness we did was being vigilant of a car pulling into a drive. Stopping us continuing, even as we were walking at a steady pace in the middle of the pavement.
She did a cracking job, and I made sure the driveway was 100% clear before I asked her to go on.
This meant she was aware it was safe to continue.

In the afternoon we went back to a familiar area, where we have been doing our walks.
Ida took me through the town, full of human traffic and obstacles. This included bus stops, bollards, A-Boards, wheeliebins, parked cars and the odd dog and pigeon distraction.
She did fabulously!
We also did a number of different crossings including, side streets, driveways, 4 way intersections, zebra, pelican and split pelican crossings.
This was the first time I was out in the area without Mikyla using the support lead to assist me and gently move Ida.
As I had had some practice the day before in the mall, I was far more confident asking Ida to move over if I felt her going too close to anything.

This was also the first time i had done a split crossing with Ida and she did a brilliant job of guiding me!

As I had been getting Ida to move across a lot in our last couple of walks together she was very aware of keeping a safe distance from objects.
This just happened to include the pedestrian crossing button box.
With my little arms and legs I couldn’t quite reach far enough so I got her to come up to my side after I had positioned myself next to the button.




Things I’ve learned.

•How to walk up and down stairs using both the gentle leader and harness.

•What to do in each situation when there is near or far traffic.

•If Ida goes in a different direction to the way i’m asking, and she doesn’t register, then getting her to sit and doing a controlled turn works very well.

•If Ida is not sitting straight before setting off, and she seems to be getting in a pickle correcting herself, putting the gentle leader in your right hand and feeding it around your back, and then swapping back to the left hand will get her straightened up perfectly.

•Ida does not like to be benched: a battle of wills occurred this morning, and after speaking to Mikyla, she said to put her lead on, and this will snap her back into doing what you want.



After my wobble the night before it was great to wake up happy and ready to take on the day.

Ida’s fabulous traffic awareness, smooth and safe stair travel and then having a focused afternoon really reminded me just why this little pup is perfect for me and just how lucky I am to have her!
I’ve known her 5 minutes and I love her so much already! ❤

Bring on tomorrow, round 2 of traffic awareness! 🙂 🙂

Sorry For My Absence

I’m sorry for my absence. I’ve been contemplating writing this for a while now. But i’ve been holding back.
The reason for this is that i’ve begun overcomplicating things in my own mind.

I started this blog to share with you the rollercoaster ride that seems to be my life. I wanted to share everything from the highs to the lows hopefully attempting to show that although having a disability sucks sometimes, there’s a lot in life for us all to be grateful for, and in my case, find the funny side of it all.

As more time went on I realised I didn’t just want to share my story but share other people’s stories too.
I wanted to be a platform for people to learn something new, become more open minded and even to be a resource to for those who may be seeking it.

I have a thirst for knowledge and a passion to educate and support others.I put my energy into creating content that I hoped would be of use to others, and put my own thoughts and stories on the back burner, until I thought they would be of use.
I’m open and honest on this blog and fingers crossed it’s somewhat entertaining…

But i’ve been overcomplicating things… I wanted my blog to be a resource, a platform, a network and a home to share it all.
I started my campaigns in the hopes of creating a community. I wanted to be inclusive of everyone; fromAutism to arthritis or cystic fibrosis to depression, right through to those that care for people with a disability.

My #DisabilityQ&A took off, and I was excited to be sharing peoples’ stories, and i’m extremely grateful for those of you who got involved!

I tried my best to create the same enthusiasm with my other campaigns, as well as trying to encourage those with any #Disability to get on board with no avail.
I was disheartened somewhat but I had a million and one other ideas for blog posts that I thought would be interesting and useful. So I kept going.

Blogging not only became my passion, but it became an obsession. If I wasn’t writing content I was thinking of what material to use and researched it to make sure my facts were correct.
I joined in fabulous linkys, I had a tribe and I spent all my spare time talking to bloggers, reading their awesome blogs and promoting as much as I could.

I was having the best time, I was making new friends around the globe, learning new things and achieving what I hoped with my little corner of the internet.

But then I began to overcomplicate everything.

I was in a tribe that were all on a similar level to each other, constantly supporting one another and giving continuous encouragement and praise.
It was fantastic, I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and kind bunch of people to be around.

But the further I delved into the blogging world the more I realised how technical things got.
I was knee deep in blog posts or conversations that revolved around stats, branding and monitisation.

I became interested in raising my stats; the prospect of working with brands who could help further my campaigns, give my blog exposure and in turn become the platform I hoped it could be.I thought I could really make a difference; doing reviews, giving talks and getting more people to share their trials and triumphs.

I was eager and excited at the prospect of doing something good: exposing other campaigners and my little blog being recognised for creating a community of support and resources.

So I joined blogging groups, blogging platforms that would connect brands with bloggers and even emailed PR’s and organisations to introduce myself and explained my ambitions for the blog.

And that’s where things became complicated.

I quickly realised that I was too niche for brands, PR’s and even organisations to want to work with me.
Review opportunities came in the form of fashion, kids accessories, beauty or luxury jewellery.
These reviews were not quite what I was looking for, and the odd time I thought I could work with a brand to review things from a disability standpoint I was stopped at the first hurdle.
“5000 followers minimum to apply”

I appreciate each and every follower and reader of my blog.I want people to follow me because they have a genuine interest in my blog and my campaigns.
I’m not a parent blogger, fashion or beauty blogger.
Although I have interest in fashion and beauty i’m not going to pretend I follow the latest trends… I have little to no knowledge of these things to even warrant blogging about them.

I was also getting nowhere with contacting PR’s/ organisations via email. The few times I was lucky to get a response I was congratulated for what I was trying to achieve but ultimately they did not have the time or budget to work with me.

At this point I was surrounded by fabulous bloggers acing it with stats, brand work and even getting paid work! I couldn’t be happier for my friends,but I found it increasingly overwhelming and at points unworthy to be in their company.

I wasn’t achieving what they were.

Even the bloggers I was reaching out to for my campaigns seemed no longer interested in joining them.

I became deflated and even at times frustrated… I was trying to make my blog into a place that was more about the community than it was about me.

Even though I had blog post ideas zooming around my mind and cluttering up my drafts; I started posting less and focused more on promoting the blogs myself and others had already taken the time to write.
After a while I slowed down on the amount of linkys I joined too.
I began to notice that unless I was one of the first people to link up, my posts I pretty much got ignored.
I used to spend hours reading and commenting on blogs and even sharing them over my social media, but the less often I shared or commented I began realising that people clearly weren’t interested in my blog.
It had become a: you scratch my back, i’ll scratch yours mentality…

Aside from the few people that genuinely enjoyed reading my blog, left me meaningful comments or shared my posts my stats dropped faster than an avalanche.

At this point I was done with spreading the blog love. I put 100% effort into my posts, and I wanted nothing more than to educate people who had little to no knowledge of disabilities and be a place for those with disabilities to find support and even new ideas.

By the time I had been in hospital for a week: after breaking my leg I wasn’t even sure if I should blog about it.
I’d become so wrapped up in wanting to be a space to share knowledge, ideas and experiences I thought people wouldn’t be interested in hearing my holiday dramas.

I began my blog to share my story, yet in my mind I feel it’s become something bigger than that.
I guess that it’s because I wonder often, what makes me so special that I should spend day after day talking about myself.
What is it that makes me more interesting than any other blind or disabled person out there?

And the answer is, there isn’t.

I’m just another blind person talking about their disability.

But it’s my space.

If my little corner of the internet can educate one person or give another disabled person a someone to relate to then i’ve done my job.

Stats, brands and opportunities are great, but this is no longer my focus.
Of course if a worthwhile opportunity were to come knocking, I would grab it with both hands.
But most importantly i’m grateful for my lot, and anything else is a bonus.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
– Theodore Roosevelt.

The Last Leg

“Sleep is for the weak!” I screamed as the hospital ward lights flickered on.

OK i’m joking. I was extremely tired and the combination of excruciating pain, and the constant need for the bathroom didn’t allow me any quality of sleep.

I was fed, washed and dressed waiting for the Doctor to arrive. He came over and asked all the usual Doctor questions. I explained my blood pressure cuff analogy to him and said that the pain had worsened the longer I had the cast on.
He was very friendly and supportive, even saying he would take my cast off to examine my leg. But as he did not perform the surgery, and wasn’t my Doctor, he had to wait to speak to a Consultant to see what to do.

Not too long after, my nurse came over and said he’d heard I had been uncomfortable all night, and I was complaining about the pain in my leg; to which I agreed.

“It sounds to me like your cast is too tight, let me go get some scissors and i’ll cut it off for you.”

The relief was evident on my now smiling face!

It took Rich, my nurse, a while, but he managed to cut the cast all the way down to the top of my ankle.
The relief was almost instant, my leg was on fire and heavily pulsing, but I actually managed to feel the blood pumping around my leg.

After a serious dose of medication and about half an hour later, I could feel my leg again, and not just agonising pain!

The Doctor came back not too long after and asked how the pain was, he was surprised to hear how drastically my pain scale had reduced.

“My ankle still feels really tight and sore, but it’s like my leg is able to breathe again.”

Rich, my nurse, was with me at this point and the Doctor said there and then to cut the cast off completely, the cast was obviously too tight and I should be fitted with a brace and not another cast.

You would have thought i’d just won the lottery with that comment, I was so ecstatic and relieved at the same time!

Again, as he was cutting the cast off my foot, I could feel the blood beginning to move freely around.

My entire leg was massively swollen, but the tight pain had almost fully disappeared!

Unfortunately it seemed like the surgeon, Doctors and nurses had not taken into consideration my Arthritis.
Whenever I have had a knock or bump to my body in the past, my Arthritis tends to balloon. So the combination of my accident and surgery on my leg, my joints were bound to become inflamed; specifically my knee and ankle.

And that was exactly what happened…

My leg had doubled in size… Couple that with an extremely tight cast and you’ve got a lot of pain through lack of circulation.

First brace given black with foam pads as support and Velcro straps leg is extremely bruised and swollen

I trust Doctors, after all they are the one’s who went to medical school, but i’m an advocate for no-one knows your body better than you do. I’ve lived with chronic pain since the age of 7, so I know the difference between normal pain, and abnormal pain.
*****

Leg with 17 stables closing two long cuts down the right side of the leg

With each day that came and went my leg pain decreased, I owe a special thanks to my friend Oramorph for helping me with my pain relief!

Those first few days on Oramorph were certainly interesting, I was a little woozy, mostly sleepy and my brain felt like it was trudging through sludge… it even got to the point that I declared to the occupational therapist that if nothing was going to happen over the weekend then I was just going to go home and come back Monday – until my friend kindly pointed out that this was a hospital and they weren’t just going to look after my bed for me for the weekend until I decided to return!
When my brain and tongue finally engaged, I realised how ridiculous I sounded, and we had a good laugh at my expense! ;)*****

On a more serious note I did realise just how understaffed, overworked and underpaid the Nurses and Health Care Assistants actually are.

Some patients needed more support due to their age, physical restrictions and sometimes a combination of the two. It was eye opening to watch just how demanding some patients can be, and how in turn that has a domino effect on the rest of the ward and staff.
I also noticed the lack of financial funds that the NHS have on the ground and how that is impacting on patient care.
One particular lady was brought in because she had a fall and had broken her foot… She was also very elderly and suffered with Alzheimer’s

It was heartbreaking to watch her in such distress asking where she was, what had happened, where her parents were as they would be getting worried about her and the why couldn’t she go home?
When she first arrived she had one on one support from a nurse, but that didn’t last very long as the nurse had other patients and duties to attend.
It was awful to bare witness to her on a continuous loop, that turned into hysteria when nurses couldn’t be present to talk to her and soothe her.

When the nurses weren’t around I tried to engage her in conversation as best I could, going through the motions of answering her questions. At some points she and I had conversations about her life and the odd time she was even lucid for a few minutes, so it was lovely.

However being witness to this happening over a few days on one ward I am saddened that there not are specific wards for such patients who need that extra care, support and attention.
Unfortunately this wasn’t the only patient I saw this happening with. I moved wards on Saturday around midnight and there was a similar case with another elderly lady.
Thankfully this ward was much smaller and quieter so nurses and HCA’s could give more attention to her. However, other patients such as my neighbour and myself were forgotten on several occasions.
I blame the Government for these situations, not the Doctor’s,Nurses and HCA’s on the ground. But it’s plain to see that even being in a first world country, patients still aren’t getting the full care and attention they truly need.

*****

New black brace with soft padded supports and clear plastic dial.

Leg without staples or brace on, 2 long cuts with visible staple holes and scabbing

I’m grateful to both hospitals for the care and treatment I received because without them I wouldn’t be at home recovering, trying to live a normal a life as possible as a one legged, blind short arse can 🙂

It’s not been plain sailing; lack of medication, supportive equipment, medical appointments and staples being in my leg 3 weeks longer than they should have been haven’t made my recovery easy but it’s been just over a month since my operation, so i’ve only got 8 weeks left to go!! 🙂
****
It was lovely to bump into you Becca, and meet you Eileen, i’m just sorry it was in such crappy circumstances!
I hope your recovery is going well and you’re kicking butt 😉

Much love,
Sassy x




Join My Campaign: Think of The Carers

Think of the carers.
We all know that carers are the unsung heroes of today society! They look after their loved ones with no thought of themselves, no rest bite, and very little recognition for all their hard work and effort.
Most people would say it’s all in a days work, especially if it is their child that they care for. But I believe they deserve recognition for what they do.
If you are a parent/carer of an unwell/ chronically ill/ sensory impaired or disabled person I would love to hear from you.

I would like to hear your side of the story; how the diagnosis made you feel, what it means for you as a person, and tasks you have to do on a daily/ weekly/ monthly basis just to support a person you love
This guest series is about hearing disability from the carers perspective, and I hope to raise awareness and understanding of all that you do.

If you would like to participate, I would love to have you! Please contact me on the following:
Email:
SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter:http://www.Twitter.com/@SassyPant6
FaceBook: https://m.facebook.com/Thinking-Out-Loud-Blog-525815087584791

Much love, Sassy X

Happy Diaries #13

Hello Diary,

I’ve had a very fluctuating week and the weather being bipolar wasn’t great either!

My cane tip arrived at the end of last week which meant i could actually leave my home, see friends and volunteer 🙂

I wrote a guest post for the lovely Lolly earlier in the week and it was called Are Mobile Phones Materialistic Or A Necessity 🙂

Spending time with friends was particularly good as I felt that it was truly needed.

My Sister has come to stay for a few days so it will be good to spend some quality time together and go shopping!

Gary, Francis and I went out to a Thai restaurant with a few friends and it was rather enjoyable; Francis particularly enjoyed her dessert – pistachio ice-cream with frozen strawberries and strawberry sauce!

Gratitude List

Having Gary around when i’ve been at my most vulnerable.
Getting a massage from my friend, it always releases my Arthritic tension 🙂
Seeing and spending quality time with my sister
Eating yummy food and enjoying brilliant company
it’’s only 6 sleeps until BritMums or five if you are going to the welcome drinks like me!
I am extremely excited for the week ahead!

Until next time!




Disability Q&A #8 Emily Davison

Welcome back to my #Disability Q&A series! 🙂

Today’s interview is brought to you by the lovely Emily Davison, before I started blogging I had come across her YouTube channel and loved what she had to say. She has pazazz and an obvious love for fashion and beauty.
When I started this Disability Q&A I knew from the get go I wanted to have her on board! So I was extremely happy when she agreed to participate! 🙂

Without sounding too much like a fan girl i’l hand you over to the lady herself…
Tell me about yourself:
Hello i’m Emily Davison, i’m 21
and I live in London, England. I’m a

MA Student, Journalist, Public Speaker, Podcast Presenter and Writer.
I love writing, reading, swimming, astronomy, blogging and nature photography.

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?

I’m just your average kind of girl, I’m at University studying for an MA in Children’s Literature. I love to write and read books,

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I was born with a condition known as Septo Optic Dysplasia, a congenital condition which affects the endocrine system, hormone production system and in some cases, vision.

Have you had your Visual impairment / disability from birth?
I have, yes.

Which terminology do you prefer: Partially Sighted, Visually Impaired, Sight Impaired, Severely Sight Impaired or Blind?

I prefer to be called Severely sight impaired.

Do you have a cane, Guide Dog or neither?
I have both, but my guide dog is my number one choice of course!

If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.
I wouldn’t, it’s how nature intended me to be. I was born with my disability so I don’t know life any other way. I’ve grown to accept the person I am, disability included and I couldn’t imagine life without it.

For those who do not know much about your VI what can you see?
I have no vision in my right eye and restricted vision in my left. I have only central vision in my left eye and can only see things that are relatively close by.

How has your disability effected you?
Its more a physical kind of thing, it affects my sight as well as my immune system and I suffer with low blood sugar. So it can be very debilitating at times, but it can sometimes affect me mentally in so far that in the passed I have suffered with Depression and Anorexia as a result of it.

Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?

Absolutely, my disability has taught me so many things about who I am as a person, what I can do, my strengths and how to overcome adversity.
Its taught me to embrace diversity and not to judge people for who they are and the choices they make.
It’s taught me to try and not judge a book by its cover and remember that everyone is going through their own battles.
Its enabled me to look deep inside myself and find the strength I need to get through each day and grow as a person.
Its shown me where my passion lies and what my strengths are, I now know that I want to be an author writing books with characters that represent people with disabilities. It’s shown me that I can channel the power of words to help others like I do with my blogs and articles.
Its taught me to embrace myself for the person I am.

Is there a particular question you get asked often because of your disability? If so, please explain below.

“Are you training that guide dog?”

I get asked this a lot and I think it’s due to the fact that I am a confident person in the way I walk and act. It’s as if people cant accept the idea that someone with a guide dog can also be a confident and outgoing individual. And so anyone who is must therefore be a guide dog trainer.

What are the positives of having a disability?

The humor, being a person with a disability is very comical at times. You get into some very interesting conversations with people and some awkward situations and even though some can be utterly cringe worthy. A lot can be used as some great stories at parties.

It brings me closer to my friends and family because I do a lot of things with them or when I need help with certain things.

The perks, getting discounts on tickets to events, theatres and cinemas, I mean who doesn’t want to get into an event for cheaper?

The people I meet, I get to meet so many amazing people through networking with disability charities and organizations as well as online. I’ve met so many incredible people who have such amazing outlooks on life and stories to tell and that I am truly grateful for.

What are the negatives of having a disability?

When it can hinder the things you want to do or make it that little bit harder. Like when I have to plan a route to a venue based on which tube stations are accessible, that can be frustrating.

Having to deal with remarks about what I can and cannot do and having to deal with negative comments.

What would you say is a difficulty for you being VI / disabled?

People judging you, the hardest part about being disabled I would say is having to hear people’s remarks about your disability and how you should be because of it. It’s so difficult to deal with people who believe that being disabled means you cannot have a quality of life or do anything for yourself. I receive so many remarks from people like “you don’t look blind” or “you don’t seem disabled.” Or when I read comments on my YouTube channel from people who argue that I cannot be visually impaired and that I must be lying because according to their opinion people with sight loss cannot look attractive, wear lipstick or adorn nice clothing.

I can deal with the personal struggles that my disability pits against me, but it’s harder to cope with the stigma that surrounds having a disability that society can create.

As a person with a disability, what are the things you face on a daily / weekly basis that frustrate you?

I think the issues that frustrate me most are when I’m traveling and using public transport. I become most frustrated when I’m on a bus and there’s not enough space for my guide dog. I also find it frustrating when I’m using tubes and other services and the stations are not accessible, such as when they do not have lifts or stairs that I can access.
Using transport, as a disabled person can be extremely stressful at times and I think that is the most challenging aspect, for me, about living with a disability.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another VI/ disabled person?

There are plenty! I’d need a year to simply write down and divulge my little tricks and tips. But, here are a few.

Organize your clothes in order of the color spectrum, in order of red all the way down to violet. Make sure you have a system to organize your clothes so that you know where everything is and you can plan outfits easier.

With makeup, try and make your life easier by doing little things to help like tinting your eyelashes and threading and tinting your eyebrows. If you struggle to apply brow products or to get the shape of your brows, use stencils, which can be bought for a few pounds on eBay. They are honestly a real life saver when it comes to brows.

If you cant see the print of something like on a package, simply take a photo of it on your iPhone and zoom in on it to see it. Its simply, quick and easy.

Do you use Assistive technology in your daily living?
I use all Apple technology including an iPad, iPhone and a Macbook. I love Apple technology because it has all the accessibility features built in and you can easily customize them to your needs and preferences.
But, I also use an application on my Mac called Claro Read which can read text to me and scan documents into accessible formats such as PDFs and Word documents.
I use a Snow electronic magnifier to read print and magazines.
In the kitchen I use a talking microwave, talking scales, talking jug and liquid level indicator.
I also use the Kindle App, which can be made accessible on an iPhone with the Voiceover features.

What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a deterioration in vision / or mobility?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, asking for help is a human need and we all have to at some point or another, disabled or not.
But, the other important thing to remember is to keep an open mind, take on board all the advice you are given and the support you are offered. Do as much as you can to enrich your life and take on whatever opportunities you can to move forward and move on.

Any advice you’d like to give to a person with sight / no disabilities?

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Always keep an open mind and remember that behind each person lies a story. Until we know that story we can never begin to presume anything about who they are.

Did you seek out any specialist services / charities to help you and your family deal with your situation?

When I was 6 I began to use Blind Children UK and RNIB Talking Book Catalogue to access books and to read independently. I also used the RNIB and their services including their helpline and products throughout my school years and still do to this day. I also used the RNIB helpline for advice when applying for DSA and University related advice. When I was 17 I contacted Guide Dogs to apply for a guide dog and when I was 18 I was given a beautiful little four-legged friend by the name of Unity who is my eyes, my confidence and my freedom.

Where can people find you out in the world?
Blog: fashioneyesta.com
YouTube: youtube.com/user/fashioney…
Second YouTube Channel: youtube.com/channel/UCX-t0…
FaceBook: facebook.com/Fashioneyesta
Twitter: twitter.com/DavisonEm
Instagram: instagram.com/fashioneyesta2…
Pintrest: pinterest.com/emilykd94/
Audioboom: audioboom.com/fashioneyesta
Tumblr: fashioneyesta.tumblr.com
Email: fashioneyesta@gmail.com

TtT




Thank you so much Emily! I’m blown away by how much information you’ve shared with us today! I am sure many of us will be taking away a lot of your useful tips to help keep our lives running that bit smoother!
Thank you also for sharing some of your darker times, as you said everyone is human and we all should ask or at least accept help now and again! 🙂

Please don’t forget to follow her links, and why not share the love? Leave her a comment, we would both appreciate it!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

If you enjoyed this interview why not check out the others in the series so far?
Interview 1
Interview 2
Interview 3
Interview 4
Interview 5
Interview 6
Interview 7




Disability Q&A #7 Leah Miller

Welcome back to this months disability Q&A!

Today’s interview is brought to you by Leah. She and I met through our love of blogging, when I started to read her blog not only was I fascinated by how honest and open she was about disability, but I loved that she too was trying to spread awareness of mental illness.
I knew I wanted to have her guest post on my blog in one way shape or form, and she kindly agreed to the Q&A!
I hope you enjoy her guest post, and learn something new! 🙂 over to you lovely…

Tell me about yourself:
Hi, I’m Leah Miller, I’m 33 and I live
in Hampshire.
my jobs include: Social Media Manager, mummy, wife and skivvy! I love reading, writing, blogging and photography 🙂

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I am medically diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety.

When were you first diagnosed?
I was first diagnosed in 2011, having suffered for over 10 years.

Did you notice changes within yourself first, or did someone else?
I knew the changes were there, but couldn’t associate them with anything other than feeling all wrong. It was my husband who finally came to me to tell me I needed some help.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?
Not anymore, because I am managing my situation. It is also very difficult for people to understand mental illness as a disability, many people still see it as a choice.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are comfortable with the person knowing?
It took many years to feel comfortable enough to talk about it. It wasn’t until I realised that by talking I could help others that I took the plunge.

Do you take any medication, or have you in the past?
I do, I take daily medication.

What were your initial thoughts about taking medication?
I knew that I needed it, to the point of almost craving it.

Did you suffer with any side affects? If so, please explain.
There were no side effects, until I had to come off the tablets when I fell pregnant, then I was incredibly sick.

If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.
No, because it has helped me to become the person that I am today. I didn’t like the old me at all. In fact I would go as far as to say I hated her. Now, I can honestly say that I like myself, and am learning to love certain aspects – baby steps!!

For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?
*Tired/ exhausted
*Weak
*Unsteady on your feet

All of the above, it makes every small thing seem like the most epic task. It makes the world seem dark and unfriendly, and it makes you so incredibly conscious of everything.

How has your disability effected you?
*Socially
*physically
*Mentally

Again, all of the above. It stole 10 years of my life, my entire 20’s, and the first years of my kids lives.

Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…

100%. The old me is gone, and it has been replaced with a much better version, like a Leah Mark 2.

Is there a particular question you get asked often because of your disability? If so, please explain below.

What have you got to be depressed about?

It has been said to me so many times it has almost become laughable. It hurts, so deeply, and yet I am starting to learn that people just don’t have any understanding. They are not meaning to be cruel, they are just uneducated on the subject. I am using my blog to try to change that.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Realising that you are not alone, and having the rallying support of true friends and family.

What are the negatives of having a disability?
Complete and pure isolation. A constant feeling of worthlessness and hating yourself.

What would you say is a difficulty for you being disabled?
*Relationships
*Parenting
*Working

Again, all of the above. My marriage was strained but not broken, my parenting was tested to its full extent and I struggled to work due to my crippling social anxiety. I left my job, for many reasons, and was shunned by my work colleagues who had no understanding of my situation.

As a person with a disability, what are the things you face on a daily / weekly basis that frustrate/ worry you?
*In your home – One of the symptoms of my diagnosis is that I am unable to control my need to keep a clean home. Unobtainable perfection has driven me to the verge of insanity. There is also the feeling of being trapped, and yet the idea of going outside is scary beyond belief.
*outside your home – My social anxiety means that I avoid all eye contact and conversations. I struggle massively to make friends and assume that everyone is laughing at me.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?
*Remembering to take medication? Definitely.
*Making sure you keep any plans that you make.
*Meditation – This really helps, it is an opportunity for reflection and quiet time.
*Exercise – This has been a literal life saver for me, it raises the serotonin levels in your body, which are your happiness levels.

What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a similar position?

It gets better, take your medication, take counseling if offered and you will soon see a difference.

Any advice you’d like to give to a person with no mental health issues?

Please show some understanding. Please listen and don’t judge. And please look out for people who may need help, and are not yet ready to accept it themselves yet.

Did you seek out any specialist services / charities to help you and your family deal with your situation?
*I attended Cognitive Therapy session, though didn’t find them helpful for me.
*Counseling was invaluable, it was the best decision I ever made, even though I nearly didn’t attend my first session.

Where can people find you out in the world?

*Blog – www.and1moremakes3.com

*FaceBook – www.facebook.com/and1moremakes3

*Twitter – www.twitter.com/and1moremakes3_

*Email – and1moremakes3@hotmail.com




Thank you Leah for giving us a glimpse into your world living with depression and anxiety! I’m so grateful that you have shared your story, because I to believe that it’s not talked about enough, and people do think that mental illness is a choice. And it really isn’t! I am so happy to hear that you are in a better place now and your husband supported you throughout! ❤️

Please don’t forget to follow her links, and why not share the love? Leave her a comment, we would both appreciate it!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

If you enjoyed this interview why not check out the others in the series so far?
Interview 1
Interview 2
Interview 3
Interview 4
Interview 5
Interview 6