Tag Archives: Support

End Of Life Care: How Does Complementary Therapy Help?

If you haven’t heard the term, palliative care refers to the care of patients that are coming toward the end of their life. It’s about keeping them comfortable, happy and secure as their life comes to its full circle. Advanced progressive illnesses such as cancer and dementia are commonly not responsive to medicinal treatment in a curative way.

When your family member has been through a rigorous programme of drugs, drips and hospital stays, palliative care can feel like a relief. It’s not just about managing their pain at the end of their life, but it’s about providing a holistic approach which incorporates spiritual care services with the view of achieving quality of life for the remaining months they have. If you want to learn some more about spiritual care in end of life patients, Stanford Medicine has a great spiritual care library collection that can be read from online. Many patients find palliative care difficult to handle, and not just emotionally. The side effects of palliative care can be difficult and so those patients that struggle with those effects often turn to complementary therapies.

An Elderly couple holding hands

Image Source

There is a great range of complementary therapies that are available to patients on end of life care. We’ve listed for you below the most common types of palliative care that patients turn to that differ from the traditional medical approach. If your relative is currently looking for additional relief, always seek the advice of a doctor before going ahead.

Homeopathy. You may have read about homeopathy in passing, but the extracts used in homeopathy are all designed to help stimulate the body into self-healing by activating the natural defences. These can mainly help a palliative care patient mentally, providing relief alongside traditional medicine.

Reiki. There are many healing types out there, and Reiki uses the energy of the patient in a positive way to find an internal balance. People have an electromagnetic field surrounding them, and Reiki helps to restore that healthy energy that is missing for a patient under end of life care. It can be used in patients to make them feel calm, relaxed and peaceful; which we all know goes a long way to healing.

Acupuncture. You can read about acupuncture here in more detail, but using needles to restore a natural rhythm to a system that is out of balance can be very effective. Emotional and physical stresses can be relieved in this way, and regular appointments can give patients time to relax and as it’s tailored to the individual, no two acupuncture programs will be the same.

Holistic therapies are often not supported by medical doctors as a method of treatment, despite the numerous evidence based articles that support them. Complementary therapies like the ones that have been listed have all had great success in alleviating emotional and physical pain of patients who are struggling to cope with their course of palliative care – which can be stressful. It runs alongside their regular treatment to provide additional relief, and can always be considered.

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.



How to Recognize the Signs of Anxiety in Children

A Sad little boy wearing a hat

Image source- https://pixabay.com/en/sad-child-boy-kid-young-mood-72217/

 

Many children deal with anxiety and worry in daily life. It’s usually perfectly okay. However, more and more children are suffering from more severe anxiety problems. This is often due to problems at home, pressures from social media and their peers and stresses over school work and exams. Children today have a lot more to worry about than in previous generations.

 

Recognizing there is a problem and seeking help is always the first step to fighting mental illness and as children can’t always do this for themselves, it’s imperative that their parents are aware of the symptoms. Here are some common signs of anxiety in children.

 

Changed Sleeping Patterns

A little girl sleeping cuddling a teddy

Image source – https://pixabay.com/en/sleeping-child-napping-girl-kid-1311784/

 

Children suffering from anxiety may have trouble getting to sleep. They could be lying awake thinking about the day ahead, getting themselves more worried and wound up. You may notice them being tired in the morning, or seemingly over-sleeping as they start napping or have trouble waking up.

 

Eating More or Less

 

Children comfort eat when they are suffering, just like adults. But you could also notice them eating less, binge eating or displaying other signs of an eating disorder. Weight is a common concern for children in modern society, especially as they start getting a little older. So, if you have any concerns at all, contact HeadFirst Counseling who may be able to help.

 

Quietness

 

One of the first signs parents notice is that their usually chatty and open child has become withdrawn and quiet. This doesn’t necessarily need to be about them opening up about problems, you may just notice them being much less lively and talkative than usual. This could be because there is something on their mind, or they want to tell you something but are struggling to find the words. In these situations, it’s important that you find ways to let them know you are there, without pushing and pressuring them to talk.

 

Change in Behavior

 

You know your child better than anyone and will be the first to spot any changes in their behavior, small or large. Keep an eye on them, if there is anything that concerns you, either gently speak to them, or get advice. When it comes to your children and their health, physical and mental, it’s important to trust your instincts.

 

Not Wanting to Do Things

 

Another common symptom of anxiety in both adults and children is a loss of interest in doing things they used to enjoy. In children, this often manifests as not wanting to go to school, to extracurricular clubs and classes or out playing with their friends. Try to look for a pattern in this behavior; it may give you a clue as to what it is that is causing them such anxiety.

 

Spending More Time Alone

 

Children suffering from anxiety often retreat to a safe place. This could be their bedrooms, a den, or anywhere they feel comfortable and safe. While it’s normal for children to seek out some space of their own, if you are having to force them to come out, it could be a sign of a problem.

 

While on their own, these things shouldn’t be too much of a concern, if your child is exhibiting several signs and symptoms you should contact your GP or a counselor for help.

Improve Your Mental Health By Avoiding These 3 Things

Mental health affects one in five adults and can be a deadly illness to overcome. If it’s not treated properly then you could be facing a long and difficult road. Whether you suffer with chronic stress, anxiety or depression, you should get yourself some help. There’s no weakness is admitting that something isn’t right within your mind and in fact, it takes great strength to seek help. There are many factors in life that increase the symptoms of mental health issues, and they should be avoided as much as possible to ensure that your mental health improves and you can start feeling more like yourself again.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol in recommended amounts is generally a safe thing to do, but as humans we tend to overindulge and have more than we are supposed to. Alcohol is a depressant, which upsets the chemical balance in our brains and therefore increasing any underlying issues with our mental health. It also dehydrates us, and it often takes us the following few days to restore the water missing from our bodies. Drinking too much can also affect our judgement and actions, meaning that we may end up doing something we wouldn’t normally do when we’re sober. Staying away from alcohol (or at least sticking to the recommended daily amount) will greatly reduce any feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression. If you think you might be addicted to alcohol, find your nearest AA meeting or speak to your GP for ways to quit and get your mental health back on the right track.

A black tree inside a human head outline

Pixabay

Cannabis

Using cannabis is often mistaken for ‘helping’ mental health issues, but this is not the case. While it may give you a high and relax you for a short time, once you have come down from cannabis you feel the need to have more. The side effects from smoking it actually increase feelings of anxiety and depression, and studies have shown that long term use from an early age actually link to people developing mental health issues in the first place. Things like schizophrenia and depression have been proven to develop in some people that have smoked it from an early age. To stop smoking weed, visit https://canadiancentreforaddictions.org/how-to-stop-smoking-weed-forever/ and give up the addiction that’s making you falsely believe it’s helping your mental health.

Junk food

As much as we all love junk food, it’s unfortunately going to increase the bad feelings that come across you to do with your mental health. Try to eat as much fresh food as possible. Not only will you notice your mental health improve, but you may even drop a few pounds which will add to your self confidence.

Avoiding these three things will greatly improve your state of mind and allow you to take the right steps to recovery. If you are still struggling, see your GP for help on defeating your mental health issues. Don’t struggle alone.

 

 

Disability Q&A #19 Vicky

Welcome back Ladies and Gents to another instalment of my Disability Q&A.

Today we have Vicky, she and I follow each other on Twitter and she reached out and asked to be a part of the series. I’m really happy that she did because her truth shines a light on just how tough life can be living with a disability.

Over to you Vicky 🙂

Tell me about yourself:

Hi, i’m Vicky (AKA LooneyChick), I’m 34 and I live in Cornwall.
I am a Blogger and Vlogger and my hobbies include Blogging, Photography, Social Media, Swimming, mountain biking, Scooting, playing the guitar,
writing music and going to music gigs.

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?
By day I work as a freelance social media, content and SEO manager, at night and weekends, I like
to Vlog and Blog.

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I suffer from a suspected Bipolar type 2, and I also have a bulging disc in my lower back which affects
my mobility.

When were you first diagnosed?
I first saw a psychiatrist in May 2015 and then again in November 2015. They first thought I had a
personality disorder and then they said I had Adjustment disorder, but they couldn’t rule out
whether I had Bipolar because they didn’t have enough evidence to support this because they
needed to see me when I’m on a high.

Did you notice changes within yourself first, or did someone else?
I’ve always felt different. Many people have told me that I like depressive music and my idols are
mainly people who have killed themselves.

Some people have also said that they don’t know how to approach me because they don’t know
whether I will be happy or sad.

I’ve always failed to keep friends and hold down jobs. Some days I can’t focus other days I’m very
over productive, and some days I have been told I can be normal so to speak.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?
Yes because I haven’t got the same abilities as an average person; for example, I hate being in
crowded places, I can’t take lots of information in at the same time, and I have problems with
finances. When I’m on a high, I often overspend on things I don’t necessarily need. I’m extremely
impatient as well.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are
comfortable with the person knowing?
Only my family and close friends know about my disability.

Do you take any medication, or have you in the past?
I was put on Sertraline in September 2013, but it didn’t make a difference, so in February 2014, I
was given the option and prescription for Prozac, but my doctor said that I wouldn’t need pills, but I
would have a choice.
A year later, In February 2015 I was put on Venlafaxine by a Psychiatrist.

What were your initial thoughts about taking medication?
I was disappointed in myself for not being able to stay medication free. I felt like a failure because I
was letting something far more powerful than I could control take over my mind.

Did you suffer from any side affects? If so, please explain.
I once went away to my sister’s to look after her children while she was in hospital and I forgot my
medication. Within 48 hours I was really sick and I felt really low and couldn’t function. I remember
lying on the couch with tears streaming down my cheeks without reason.




If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.

Yes and no. I enjoy the feeling you get when you are on a high, as long as it doesn’t get me into
trouble. However, what goes up must go down and the further I go up, the further I will fall. The
lows are the worst feeling ever
For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?
*
When I’m depressed I always feel tired; I sleep more, although it’s never a deep sleep and anxiety
makes my legs feel wobbly.

How has your disability effected you?
*Socially
When I’m high, I’m a social butterfly, buzzing with laughter and jokes, and often over familiar with
people, and when I’m depressed, I don’t want to see or talk to anyone.
*physically
When I’m on a high, I have lots of energy, and with the lows, I have little energy.
*Mentally
I’m very alert on highs, and when depressed I’m unable to focus, and I’m physically and mentally
drained.
Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…
I probably wouldn’t have started a blog on mental health if I didn’t suffer from it and I wouldn’t have
researched the different types of illnesses.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Learning and understanding the disability. One of the reasons I started my blog to help raise mental
health awareness.
What are the negatives of having a disability?
Having and trying to have a normal life and deal with the stigma.
What would you say is difficult for you being disabled?
*
Relationships and working are both complicated for me because I can’t hold down friendships and
relationships. I’ve also struggled to gain and maintain working in an environment full of people
which is part of the reason why I became self-employed.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?
Make lists and make time for exercise or meditation even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.
still like to make old fashioned lists with pen and paper or on a whiteboard to help me remember
things. I also keep a diary on my desk.
I have been guilty of not taking enough time out from the computer to do my daily exercise and
meditation. I’m hoping to join a gym after Easter.
Do you use Assistive technology in your daily living?
No apps at the moment, Just diaries and lists.
What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a similar
position?
Try and find a local group to visit. If you don’t want to go on your own, ask a parent, carer or a
friend. You will learn more about your illness, and they will help give you advice on how to stay safe.
Also, check my blog www.looneychickblog.co.uk and other mental health blogs. You can educate
yourself and even talk to people on social media who are going through the same thing as you.
Any advice you’d like to give to a person with no mental health issues?
Please take some time out to learn about mental health. 1 in 4 people have it. It’s easy to ignore,
laugh at and just pretend it’s not happening to you or your loved one. The chances are that it’s real
and happening and at least one of your loved ones is suffering from a mental health issue
(undiagnosed) or has previously suffered. There’s no shame in ringing up one of the charity
helplines or going to a group if you are struggling to cope with a loved one’s mental health problems.
Whatever you do don’t abandon them, this has happened to me several times.

Did you seek out any specialist services/charities to help you and your family deal with your
situation?
*MIND – I read their website regularly for up to date news.

*Counselling – I have previously had CBT sessions with the NHS, and I was on the Community Mental
Health Team until the end of last year.
*Support groups
I attend group meetings at a Bipolar Group who are part of Bipolar UK once a month.
Where can people find you out in the world?
*Blog – www.looneychickblog.co.uk
*YouTube – Launching in April (Date to be decided)
*FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/The-Looney- ChickBlog-663020583855452/?ref=bookmarks
*Twitter – @adminChick
*Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110128946030393319190/110128946030393319190
*LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/vicki-williams- 94187611/
*Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/looneychick
*Pinterest – Also going Live in April
*Email – Vicky@looneychickblog.co.uk

❤❤ Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed! Vicky, I love your honesty in what you have gone through, and I love that you encourage others to seek help and learn about mental illness. ❤❤

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

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




Working On Your Wellbeing: Is It Time You Paid More Attention To Your Mental Health?

When somebody mentions the word health, what springs to mind? As a society, we tend to focus most of our time and energy on physical health, but what about mental health? When was the last time you thought about how you feel? Mental health should be a subject in which we all take an interest. You shouldn’t have to have a psychological disorder to pay attention to your mental health. The truth is that we should all be concerned about our wellbeing. If you don’t give your mental health much thought, this guide should come in handy.

A lay looking into the sunset with her arms spread

Image from https://www.pexels.com/search/happiness/

 

The importance of mental health

Do you go to the gym or try and be as active as possible? Do you watch what you eat and try and ensure that you get enough sleep every night? Most of us make an effort to look after our bodies, but it’s much less common to go out of your way to take care of your mind. When you hear people talking about mental health, you may assume that this only applies to issues such as depression and anxiety, but this isn’t the case. Everybody should be aware of the importance of mental health. We all have a mind, we all have thoughts and feelings, and we can all do more to try and improve our mental wellbeing.

 

If you’ve never had days when you find it tough to get out of bed or you’ve never been in a situation where you’ve been crippled by anxiety when everyone else around you seems fine, you might not have given mental health much thought. Even if you are happy and content, you’re not immune to mental illness, and it’s always beneficial to try and take steps to reduce your risk of developing psychological disorders and to improve your mood. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.

I am happy with a smiley face written on a lined sheet of paper

Image via https://pixabay.com/en/happy-i-am-happy-smile-happiness-725815/

 

What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness?

Part of the problem facing a society that doesn’t like to indulge in open discussion about mental illness is being able to spot potential warning signs and symptoms. If we don’t talk about depression, stress, and anxiety, how can we expect people to understand what’s going on in their head? Everyone is different, and some people experience very different symptoms to others. There’s often a lot of confusion surrounding illnesses like depression, as it’s very poorly understood and it’s hard to express how it feels unless you’ve suffered yourself. It’s very easy for other people to view depression as a condition that can be shrugged off, but the reality is that it’s often a very severe illness. You would never tell somebody to shake off a broken leg, but it can be much tougher to understand mental illness because it doesn’t cause bruising, limping, or any other visible signs. Depression is not just feeling down or having a bad day. It’s going through periods of time when you question your worth, you struggle to control your emotions, and you find it difficult to summon up the energy or the motivation to see friends, get out of bed or leave the house.

The back of a woman who has her head and sholders hunched over apearing sad

Image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Figure_5._Anxiety_can_leave_a_person_feeling_extremely_sad.jpg

 

Help for mental illness

If you are worried about mental health, you’ve been feeling out of sorts, or you’re concerned for a loved one, there is mental illness help out there. You may find that something as simple as having a chat with a family member or a close friend is enough to make you feel better, you may thrive on exercise or meditation, or you might need more intensive help from doctors, counsellors, and therapists. The first step is acknowledging that everything isn’t quite as it should be. Once you understand that you don’t have to fight these battles alone, you can start to move forward. Techniques like counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to process things that have happened in the past and prepare for problems that may arise in the future. They can also help you to adjust your mindset and to gain confidence.

 

Many people also find it helpful to talk to others who have been through what they’re dealing with or people that are in the same boat. It’s hugely reassuring to know that you’re not on your own, and it is possible to get better. Charities can provide group support, and you can also link up with others through forums, events, and social media.

A female doctor talking to a female patient

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59308652@N02/5431718990

 

Working on your wellbeing

Every single one of us should want to work on our wellbeing. You don’t have to suffer from anxiety or depression to give your mental health some TLC. You look after your body to prevent injuries and illnesses without giving it a second thought, so don’t hesitate to take care of your mental health too. Often, making very simple changes to your lifestyle and how you spend your time can pave the way for major improvements.

 

To boost your self-esteem, happiness, and confidence, spend time with people who make you feel good and form positive relationships. Make time for yourself, as well as being sociable, and set aside time for hobbies and interests. If being creative or playing sport makes you happy, find time in your schedule to do this. If you are struggling in any way, for example, if you’re stressed or you’re finding it impossible to sleep, think about the causes, try and find solutions, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Triggers can range from a bad day at work to the loss of a loved one. Find activities that make you feel calm and relaxed and know when to take yourself off to a happy place. When things are getting on top of you or you feel low, give yourself a time out, take deep breaths, and calm down. Perhaps you find it comforting to call a friend, you need 5 minutes in the fresh air, or you find it helpful to meditate, stretch or write down what you’re feeling.

A book resting on a Ladies knee as she writes

Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/photos/writer/

 

There’s a lot of talk about mental health at the moment, but we still put a lot more effort into keeping our bodies healthy than we do our minds. If you haven’t given mental health much thought of late, hopefully, this guide has encouraged you to be more aware of mental illness and to take steps to boost your wellbeing.

Depression And Finding The Way Out…

We all feel like it sometimes, but when we sense the black dog on your shoulder, as Winston Churchill called it, we can feel desperate, helpless and everything in between. Your frame of mind is a big part of your health and suffering from a bout of depression can be very debilitating. But it also is important to know about the help that is available, and while a lot of us may choose to try and embark on our own rehabilitation methods, it’s always best to know what is out there for you.

Antidepressants

Diffrent types of medicine on a white table

Image

It can depend on the root cause of your depression whether a course of antidepressants is the right method, and there have been various cases for and against taking antidepressants but it’s proving to be most effective for those that have a case of mild depression or are going through a difficult period. It’s usually the first port of call for many doctors to give out antidepressants but it’s important to discuss with your local pharmacy if there is anything you may feel uncomfortable with it, especially when it comes to the long list of side effects on the package. It all depends on where you live, but some excellent non-profit pharmacies work with healthcare professionals to try and provide a holistic approach to your medication. Places like Rx Outreach services don’t charge membership fees or shipping fees for medication, which if you are in the US, can make a big difference if you are thinking about going on a course of antidepressants or not due to the cost.

Meditation And Mindfulness
A drop of water causing ripples
Pixabay

This is another approach to tackling depression with regards to calming down the symptoms of anxiety. A lot of people find that they function with depression as their baseline and have been operating in this way for many years without realizing it. So taking part in relaxation techniques to help quieten the mind have been shown to work in the long term but it has not proven to be so effective for those that are operating under an extreme level of anxiety. Meditation is a very effective long term practice to have in your life, and once you have got to a suitable baseline of relaxation, it is then that meditation proves most beneficial. If you find that you need to calm the symptoms of anxiety before embarking on a meditation practice there are things you can do such as specific breathing exercises which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and calm the lymphatic nervous system.

Counseling

A man in a counceling session

Picture

If the root cause of your depression or anxiety stems from something that is ingrained in your past, counseling with a combination of cognitive behavior therapy has proven to be very effective, primarily for the reason that the issues are being discussed and dealt with after a long period of time. Depending on where you live in the world, so it is possible to get counseling for free through various charity organizations, but with the right structure, it’s possible to work through your issues with a friend or a confidante.

Depression isn’t something that should be suffered in silence yet most of us tend to. If you are feeling in the grips of depression, it’s important to try and get whatever little help you can, and these three methods can be a springboard to a happier and healthier life, so don’t deprive yourself of this.

Disability Q&A #18 George Rector

welcome back ladies and gents to another #DisabilityQ&A 🙂
I am happy to introduce you to a lovely gentleman called George, we met on Twitter and he is a beacon of positivity and warmth. not only is he a great advocate for people with disability, he is always there to lend a helping hand, or in the case of the Internet, lend a listening ear to anyone who may need it. I am lucky to call him my friend 🙂

Over to you George!

. Name: My name is George Rector. I am married to my best friend whose name is Sandy.

Where I live: I live near Orlando, Florida, USA (near Disney).

Occupation: I am a retired eye doctor. I had to quit practice due to my Multiple Sclerosis. I have been an MS Peer Counselor for about 13 years.

Hobbies: My passion is photography. My ability declined as my disability increased. I also like to read or listen to audiobooks.

Reason for disability: I have the rarest form of Multiple Sclerosis. I also have Spinal Cord Damage and am a T10 paraplegic.

Refer to myself as person with a disability? Yes, I refer to myself as a person with a disability. I don’t like the term handicapped, as I feel it is degrading. I despise the terms “wheelchair bound” and “confined to a wheelchair.”

Do I tell others? My paraplegia is quite obvious from my wheelchair, the elephant in the room. I am open about my MS. As for specifics, I share those with people as I get to know them.

Mobility aids: I use a wheelchair full time and have for many years. My chair is a small, titanium chair that is light weight and fits well most places. I don’t object to some stares, as I think that is normal. I do make eye contact and willingly answer questions from children.

If I could extinguish my disability, would I? For me, personally, no I wouldn’t. While I am quite independent, the disability shifts tasks to my wife. I would like to make her life easier. Otherwise, definitely No. I like who I am and the people I have met.

How does it affect my mobility? I have 2 things going on. The obvious thing is my wheelchair. As a T10 paraplegic I have paralysis below the waist. The MS adds to the mobility issue with fatigue. I think fatigue is the most disabling part.

How has disability affected me? First of all, disability ended my professional career. It affects the house we can live in and where we live. My last winter in the North I got snowed in for weeks, and my health suffered.

Has disability made me who I am today? Yes, indeed, it has. Aside from my ever present wheelchair, It changed my profession to volunteer. I have met many wonderful people. The 2 words I hear most often in Peer Counseling are “alone” and “overwhelmed.” At times I feel like that, as well. I try every day to brighten someone’s day, to make them feel less alone and not so overwhelmed.

Question I get asked about my disability? I get stares because of my wheelchair, especially from children. I get asked what happened? Children get an answer; adults who are strangers get a farfetched story. I like to explain to children and will demonstrate my titanium chair to anyone who asks.

Positives of a disability: 2 things come to mind. First, it makes me think, figure things out, think about who I am and how I can help someone. Second, I have met some wonderful people. I met wonderful people before disability, but this is different. There is a bond, a sense of helping one another get through a rough time.

Negatives of disability: Again, 2 things. It places an added share of the load on my wife, and it dictates the type of house we can live in. The huge negative is the added expense. The costs of a disability are staggering

A difficulty for me being disabled: The worse thing is being down here when the rest of the people are up there. In a group, people stand and look at each other when talking. The sound literally goes over my head. It is isolating

What frustrates me? I deal with my wheelchair and the things I need because of my MS. The frustrations come with attitudes, terms “wheelchair bound” and “confined.” There is no duct tape binding me, and my mommy isn’t making me sit in a corner.

Tips for others: For dealing with paraplegic, I’d like to pass along the 2 basic rules. Call ahead to make sure where you’re going is accessible, and use the bathroom before you leave home. For dealing with MS, remember that there are many things. Vision is one of them. Don’t settle. Learn about large print, magnifiers, reading glasses with prism, proper tint for your needs.

Assistive technology? I have reading glasses that are more than just magnifiers. Tinted lenses to manage light. E-readers to control the print size, and audiobooks. Of course, there is my wheelchair. A custom, ultra light weight wheelchair is a prosthetic body.

Advice to someone newly diagnosed: Much of my work with MS has been talking with those who are newly diagnosed. Ask questions; read; don’t trust feel good stories (crip porn) on TV but get information from sources like National MS Society, United Spinal, NFB, etc.

Advice to the person with no disability: Remember that the person you encounter who has a disability is a person. Not a wheelchair; not a white cane; a real person who loves and can be loved; a person with interests and passions; a father or mother; a doctor; or even a blogger!

Special services I use: I volunteer with the National MS Society, and I get more back from volunteering than what I put in. The MS Foundation is good, also. I’d also recommend the Low Vision Section of the American Optometric Association.

Where can you find me? If after all this anyone wants to find me, I’d be honored.
My blog is Popping Wheelies. It is everything you’ve ever wondered about someone who lives life on wheels, and more. www.poppingwheelies.wordpress.com
Twitter: @grector71
Instagram:Grector71
Facebook: George Rector
LinkedIN: George Rector
Email: grector71@gmail.com or george.rector@nmss.org

Anything that I’d like to add: I’d like to thank Sassy for all she does for so many people. And I’d like to get in another plug for my blog, Popping Wheelies!

Thank you!!!!!

❤❤ Thank you so much George, I love that you see your disability as a positive, and the way it has impacted your life and meeting new people. I think like you, for the most part, we would love to change our disability for our loved ones, for all the times they have had to go the extra mile, or change plans because something wasn’t accessible when it should have been. Also, I really love your blog and I think everyone should check it out!❤️❤️ ❤❤

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

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




Disability Q&A #17 Elin

welcome back ladies and gentlemen to my #DisabilityQ&A Series. Today we have the lovely Elin sharing her story with you.
We met on Twitter and I love reading her blog, so much positivity and great Beauty posts.
Now over to you Elon! 🙂

Tell me about yourself:

My name is Elin, I’m 18 years old and I live in the UK. I am currently working as a Trainee Community development assistant for the RNIB/Action for blind people and I really enjoy my job, I love working within the sight loss field. I have 2 main hobbies, one being music, I play a number of instruments including the piano, harp and guitar and I also like to compose my own songs every once in a while. Another hobby of mine is blogging, it’s a huge passion of mine as I love writing but I also like to share my interest in beauty and fashion with the online community whilst also attempting to raise awareness of visual impairment along with other disabilities in the hope of changing people’s perceptions of disability.

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

What is the medical reason you have a disability?

I have two disabilities the main one being my visual impairment, I have a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and I am registered blind Severely sight impaired.
I also have a disability known as Chronic fatigue syndrom/M.E.

Have you had your Visual impairment / disability from birth?
I was diagnosed with RP when I was 6 years old and I was diagnosed with Chronic fatigue when I was 15.

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

Visually impaired or Severely sight impaired.

Do you have a cane, Guide Dog or neither?

I have a cane and I’m currently on the waiting list for a guide dog.

If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please
explain why.

I think I would.

For those who do not know much about your VI what can you see?

My vision is blurry but I can see some things. I am able to read large print on good days, I can see movements and I can also see objects when they’re not to close or not to far away from me.

How has your disability effected you?
Socially

It has affected me in A number of ways socially, I’ve felt socially excluded at times and I often feel isolated. As I can’t see people’s faces I can’t go up to someone and start a conversation and this is something that has affected me a lot. My Chronic fatigue has also stopped me from going out at times because I’ve been to tired therefore I’ve missed out on social events which has again made me feel isolated.

Physically

Chronic fatigue syndrom results in severe tiredness and weakness and can also make me feel very light headed meaning I sometimes can’t complete certain tasks because I’ve been too physically drained to do them.

Mentally

My disabilities can make me feel very low but I have learnt to maintain a positive outlook on life. Although I do have my down days I find it’s easier to deal with them as i grow older.




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

Yes definitely! I would be a completely different person without my disability, it’s helped me in so many ways and helped me to be a positive person. I don’t judge people, or I try not to, because I know what it feels like to be judged and it’s definitely not a nice feeling.

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

“How much vision do you actually have?” – when I tell people that I am registered blind/severely sight impaired some assume that I have no vision at all so when I explain that I do have some remaining vision they are curious as to how much I actually have.

What are the positives of having a disability?

In my opinion there are a number of positives, meeting fellow disabled people is a great positive as you can relate to those people and become really good friends.
Another positive is that you can help and inspire others who have a disability and make them realise that their is a positive side to everything, I love helping and motivating other people.

What are the negatives of having a disability?

Being treated differently within society and not being able to see certain things that sighted people take for granted.

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

Not being able to go anywhere on my own without learning the routes, having to depend on other people if I want to go places. Not being able to do certain things if I’m too tired or weak to do them.

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

Not being able to find things sometimes for example if they’ve been moved.

*outside your home

Not being able to go somewhere spontaneously on my own, I can’t just hop on a train whenever I want to because I would have to have someone with me. Also not being able to go to unfamiliar places on my own because I wouldn’t know my way around and I wouldn’t be able to see to find my way around.

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

Label your make-up products with braille labels or with a penfriend, it makes finding the products you want to use a whole lot easier.
Keeping your clothes either colour co-ordinated or together depending on what they are.
E.G. keeping t-shirts together, dresses together etc.

Do you use Assisstive technology in your daily living?

I use a lot of assistive technology, I love Apple products because of the accessibility so I use VoiceOver and the zoom on my phone and laptop. I also use ZoomText at work which is a screen magnifier and reader.
I also use a number of accessible apps such as Tap Tap See, NantMobile Money reader, TextDetective, Overdrive and a number of others.

I also use a liquid level Indicator from time to time.

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

It’s hard, I know it is from personal experience but just know that you’re not alone. Living with a disability isn’t easy but you shouldn’t let it stop you from doing the things you love in life. If you feel like you’re struggling then it might be best to talk to someone, don’t struggle on your own, talking always helps. Don’t let your disability define you and don’t let it be a barrier,
I always say ‘no matter who you are, you can live a life without limits’.

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

Don’t judge people with disabilites, we’re not different to anyone else in this world.
Also, don’t assume that we disabled people need help because most of the time we might not need it and can feel a sense of discrimination if people assume that we can’t do things for ourselves. Even though we know you mean well and we appreciate any support it’s always best to ask before assuming that we need help.

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

My family and I haven’t used a lot of services for help but we have gained support from the Amber Trust, VICTA and the RNIB which we are very thankful for.




Where can people find you out in the world?

Blog : https://myblurredworld13.wordpress.com

FaceBook :
https://www.facebook.com/myblurredworld/

Twitter : @myblurredworld

Instagram : @myblurredworld

Email : myblurredworld@gmail.com

❤❤ Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed! I love and appreciate your honesty, sharing your thoughts that life can be tough, difficult and stressful but with the right support, determination and positive mindset you can achieve what you want to!
I also love that you have listed some of the technology that you use, and how to keep things organised! I’m sure lots of people will find this very useful! ❤❤

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

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




Is Your Tiredness A Sign Of Something Serious?

Being tired is perfectly normal in some situations. For example, if you’ve been burning the midnight oil to meet a deadline at work and stay up way past your bedtime, it is a given that you will wake up feeling very sleepy the next morning. And you might have to deal with that tiredness throughout the whole day! Similarly, if you are particularly busy or take part in some very strenuous exercise in the morning, then your energy levels will probably drop, and you will feel quite lethargic in the afternoon.

However, if you are constantly tired without any real reason for feeling that way, it could be a sign or symptom of a much more serious condition. Worried that your lethargy and sleepiness could mean you are ill? Read on to find out more!

Young lady lying in bed with white sheets and bedding

Picture Credit

Depression

Tiredness is a symptom of regular depression, and bipolar depression. But what is bipolar depression exactly? It is similar to regular depression and most patients feel the same feelings of sadness and uninterest in the world. However, there are some other symptoms that can help differentiate between these two depressions. For instance, those who are bipolar suffer from mood swings and sometimes even psychosis. If this sounds like you, it is important you see a medical professional very soon.




Anemia

If you feel run down and generally under the weather alongside your tiredness, then the most probable explanation is that you are suffering from anemia. This is when you haven’t been getting enough iron in your diet and end up with a deficiency. It is most common in women, especially those who have been through the menopause. It is easily treated with iron tablets.

Diabetes

There are various symptoms of diabetes, and constant tiredness is one of them. Diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood or when there is not enough insulin being produced to control blood sugar levels. Other symptoms include a constant feeling of thirst and sudden weight loss.

Glandular Fever

Glandular fever is a viral infection and most commonly seen in young, teenage girls. The main symptoms include a sore throat, swollen glands, and high fever, but most patients also complain about tiredness as well. Even though most of the symptoms will go after four weeks, the tiredness can often affect the sufferer for at least a couple of months.

Coeliac Disease

Some people are unable to eat any form of gluten as they have coeliac disease. When coeliacs accidentally eat some gluten – found in foods such as bread, cereals, and pasta – then their body reacts badly, much like an allergic reaction. Tiredness is one of the most noticeable symptoms, alongside diarrhea and weight loss. There is also often a feeling of discomfort after eating any ingredients that contain traces of gluten.

As you can see, your body might be trying to tell you that your tiredness is a sign of an underlying condition. Think you are suffering from a serious condition? Then it’s a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible!