OT Week 2019: Small Change Big Impact

Happy OT week 2019! This week many occupational therapists have been sharing their stories through the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and social media to spread awareness about a small change they’ve made and how much of a big impact this has had on a service user. I sit here writing this blog on day 2 of OT week and I am already loving reading the stories that keep cropping up on my social media. So, this got me thinking… even though I haven’t particularly made a big impact on a service user as I am only on my second placement my OT’s have certainly made a big impact on me as without them I wouldn’t be studying OT today and this blog probably wouldn’t exist. Therefore, I thought I’d share some of the small changes that have been made in my life that have had a big impact on me enabling me to carry out more activities of daily living independently.

Let’s start with my favourite Dycem! For me, Dycem is one of the greatest inventions and at times is an utter lifesaver, I mainly use Dycem to put under my dinner plate and drink to enable me to keep them in the correct position, it’s fair to say that without this I would be chasing them around the table! Over the years I have gotten better at not being so heavy-handed when eating and when I’m out and haven’t got a piece of Dycem on me I certainly find it a lot easier than I used to, but I can still tell. When I was younger and had less control over my fine motor skill’s I used Dycem for a lot such as writing and drawing in school, Dycem has had a big impact on me and has enabled my independence.

Plate guard! Like Dycem my plate guard (or ring as I call it) has been a useful weapon and has saved me many of times from having a few embarrassing moments at the dinner table. This acts as an aid to help me get hold of my food- I push my cutlery against my this to enable me to get the food. My plate guard is also useful whenever I’m having something like bake beans or a roast dinner covered in gravy as this stops the liquid from spilling over the edge of the plate. I feel like whenever I’m out and having a roast dinner I miss my plate guard as food fly’s everywhere- it’s not a pretty sight!

My bath board has certainly made a big impact! Being able to get in and out of the bath independently is wonderful because now when I have a bath, I can go in the bathroom completely alone and no one else needs to be around to help me get in and out. I feel like since having my bath board I have used the bath a lot more because now I don’t need to depend on anyone.

My shower seat has yet again just like my bath board has made a very big impact, before I could never just get in the shower whenever I wanted, because someone always had to be around but now I have my seat I can just shower when I please and take as long as I want (I love a shower on the temperature of the sun setting). Before I used to fall in the shower, I’ve always used a non-slip mat but still at times I would trip over the mat. I remember the first time I used my shower seat I was beaming with independence and didn’t put my non-slip mat down thinking that I wouldn’t need it anymore and then when I stood up to turn the shower off I fell over so now I always put the non-slip matt underneath! In terms of my independence, I think my shower seat has offered me the most out of everything and I’d certainly be lost without it.

As you can see all this equipment I use has certainly had a big impact on my life in terms of promoting my independence and activities daily living and I owe my OT’s a huge thank you for all the support that I have had throughout my life and not just in terms of equipment. So, this blog is dedicated to all the lovely OT’s I’ve had as without them I wouldn’t be here!

Happy OT week 2019!

Thank you for reading,

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Diabetes Awareness Month 2019

It’s November, which is diabetes awareness month, which means that I finally get to introduce you to my mum. My mum has type 1 diabetes which has a massive impact on her life just like any disability, yet she still carries on and is a huge inspiration to us all. I know that that word is used too often and I don’t want to be that person who calls someone inspirational for just carrying out day to day activities but when you have your own needs and own appointments and also have to deal with a child with demanding needs you deserve some credit.

Mum has diabetes as part of having an auto-immune disease which means she gets very poorly very easily resulting in fatigue. Meaning that we have a lot in common, even though cerebral palsy and diabetes are very different, and fatigue will be caused in different ways we can still relate. This forms a big part of me my mums relationship because we all have bad days when our disability gets the better of us and I’m human- if it’s been a bad day fatigue wise I complain to any member of my household but being able to talk my mum is special because when I say I’m fatigue she gets it. Although I know that mum suffers a lot I am weirdly extremely thankful that I have someone so close that understands, just that little bit more than the rest! As small as it sounds it’s great because we usually go for our flu jabs together which to someone else may not seem a big deal but it’s nice to think that the morning after the flu jab when I’m moaning about my achy arm my mum understands my pain.

But it’s not just our similarities the make our relationship special it is out differences… Even though elements of our disabilities are similar we also understand that we can never fully know one an other’s needs. This is something that we often talk about, in which this helps our relationship as we can then have respect for one another.

I often worry about becoming diabetic myself as it’s on both sides of my family which means the chances of me developing it at some stage are higher. You’re probably thinking that if I was going to develop the condition, I would have already got it but mum was diagnosed at 42 so this means there’s still a chance. I worry about having diabetes because I often think that diabetes and cerebral palsy would be too much, I mean I would have to have the pump for sure… let’s not talk about me injecting. But even though I worry I look at my mum and just see how she handles it so amazingly well especially whilst juggling her other conditions. I guess I’ll always have some worries about how I would handle diabetes if I ever get it. But it doesn’t eat away at me because how can I let it when I’ve had the best teacher and role model?

When I wanted to walk at the CP Teens sponsored wobble!

Life must have been a juggling act when I was younger and was more dependent on her, and I guess in some ways it still is as I might not be as dependent on her but I’m still not totally independent. Yet, this teaches us more so to just make the most of life and enjoy it. It’s fair to say that my family probably faces more challenges than the ‘ordinary family’ but you know what that’s okay because without these challenges we wouldn’t have these significant bonds. My mum has been there through every appointment and still is, she text’s me most dinner times to check up on me, I always text back to check up on her too and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Happy diabetes awareness month 2019 mum, thank you for everything you do and continue to do for me despite facing your own health battles on a daily basis. I know you don’t do social media and don’t let many people share photos of you never mind dedicating a whole blog post but, you deserve this recognition because I wouldn’t be writing this blog today if it wasn’t for you! Oh, let’s add some cheese… I love you mum I know you’ll always support my needs, and I’ll always support yours.

Happy diabetes awareness month 2019 everyone, please raise awareness!

Georgia
@georgia4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

How Cerebral Palsy Affects Me During Illness

This week I have been a bit poorly and I think it’s fair to say that I certainly have the ‘it’s autumn- welcome to the colder months cold. Everyone has a cold as unfortunately, it’s cold and flu season, however, having CP means that when I become ill it’s affects me a lot more in terms of fatigue and energy levels. So, I thought I’d share what I do to ensure that my body gets the rest it needs during a period of illness to ensure that when I’m well again I am not just well again but I am on top form!

1. Putting my own needs first!

Old mug!

Putting my needs first should be a given but when I have other things going on such as university deadlines it’s not that simple. I’ve been lucky this week in the sense that I’ve had 2 days off and not a massive workload but next week I’m on placement so if I’m still ill I will find it a lot harder to say ”I’m going to bed” when I get home knowing that I have a reflection to write. But going to bed is just as useful, self-care is vital and is, if not more important than that assignment! On a good day, it’s takes me twice as long to do a piece of work than it perhaps would an average person. So what good is it wasting more of the little energy I do have on a small amount of work that probably won’t be up to my standards anyway? So, I might as well top up my energy levels so I can have more of a productive session the next day!

2. Prioritising

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

In my opinion putting my needs first is crucial and a good way to do this is by prioritising. I make a to-do list most weeks, but I find that when I’m poorly they come in useful, this is because as crucial as putting my needs first is, it can be stressful when I’m poorly around deadlines. So I feel like writing down a to-do list and prioritising what needs to do helps to take the pressure off, when I’m poorly and stressed it’s easy to get myself in a tangle but writing down what I need to do it really helps me to relax. For example on Wednesday, I didn’t feel great however, I was worried that I was going to waste my day off because of being ill, so I wrote down my to-do list, which made things clear and actually made me realise that I didn’t need to do that much work at that moment in time. I just did the tasks that needed doing for Thursday and then spent the rest of the afternoon regaining some energy.

3. Remaining positive

When I feel rubbish and must carry on when all I want to do is curl up in a ball it can be very frustrating! However, remaining positive about my situation certainly helps, the reasoning behind this blog is to make people aware that having a cold affects me a lot more; it’s only a cold and yes I have to be careful and not to push myself (which I’m known for) but I’m not in no means going to be the most unwell I’ve ever been or ever will be from a cold. Remaining positive is easier said than done and don’t get me wrong I love a good moan too; realising that my situation could be worse helps me to put a smile on and get through the rest of the day. However, it’s also important to admit when I’m not okay and when I’ve had a rubbish day, like I said I’m human, I’ll feel sorry for myself for an hour or 2 but I always think there’s someone out there having a worse day…

What are your tips to get through the cold and flu months?

Thank you for reading,

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

World Cerebral Palsy Day 2019- Catching the Bus

HELLO AND HAPPY WORLD CP DAY 2019!!! As some of you may know World Cerebral Palsy day is my favourite day of the year, and I am so excited to finally share with you what I’ve been up to for World CP Day 2019! I cannot express how overwhelmed I have been by the response from my friends and family on previous World CP day’s, my social media has just been filled with the most amazing messages and if it wasn’t for these messages I wouldn’t have got such amazing memories to look back on. However, this only makes it harder, to be creative and try to top previous years. I highly doubt that my challenge this year will go the same way as my piano video did last year (as that was one crazy weekend) but a challenged is what you lovely people asked for so a challenge is what you got!

So if you haven’t gathered from my title this year I was challenged to catch the bus in my wheelchair- which if you’ve read my previous blog on restricted independence you will know that this is rather daunting for me, and gives me great anxiety.

Not only was I anxious the occupational therapist in me was overthinking everything- which in this case didn’t help! As part of my first year, we had to give a presentation of all the skills used in a particular activity and the activity I did was getting on the bus- if I’d have known that I was going to do this challenge I probably would have picked a different activity! But despite my brain going into overdrive my Auntie had set me this challenge and I was not going to let her down!

With my nerves in mind, we had a plan! My friend and I would go out on the bus to a local retail park, on the way there my friend helped me but, on the way back, I had to catch the bus independently without a word from my friend! Don’t get me wrong this challenge would have been a lot better if I could say to you that I did it entirely on my own but I didn’t. One of the reasons I didn’t despite my anxiety is that my friend said ”If I wouldn’t have been here what would be different?”… After thinking about this question, I answered ”Well, nothing.” She had made me realised that if I’d have wanted to I could have done it and I did do it on the way back as whilst getting on the bus my friend didn’t say a word to the bus driver I did it all alone in which she said ”Challenge complete.” and the challenge was complete and once I was on that bus I felt absolutely fine!

From this challenge, I certainly feel a whole lot better about getting on the bus, because it isn’t as scary as I think. Will I be using the bus a lot more? Probably not. If the bus was my only option, would I feel a lot better getting on it? Certainly! This is all that matters!

I love World CP Day so much because to me it means a great deal, Cerebral Palsy is such a board term and it’s hard to know how CP affects an individual unless you are close to that individual, therefore, World CP Day allows me to spread awareness and educate individuals on what this disability entails. Each year I want to do something different whether this is a challenge, piano video or just a blog talking about something I don’t normally talk about because I want to continue to raise awareness so people can understand that my disability, just like all disabilities, is so much more than what people see!

Happy World CP Day 2019!

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month 2019!

October is Down’s Syndrome awareness month which gives me a reason to do another post on how adorable Tommy is. A few months ago I did a post about Tommy and my feelings towards no longer being the only disabled member of the family. However, that post was 4 months ago now and Tommy is now 7 months old so since then he has taught me an awful lot about what being a cousin means. I am very close to my family and we are always in regular contact- to be fair I would say that me and my cousins are a lot closer than most. I am very fortunate to be so close to my cousins and am thankful for their help as just like I’ve said about my sister sometimes even with my younger cousins I still feel like I am the one being looked after. I’m the one who has to grab on to their arm and I’m the one who asks them to carry my drink. As I’ve said time and time before this is fine I’m used, to it I’m not going to have a break down about it anytime soon; when a younger cousin asks you to help them and you have to redirect them to their other cousin, that’s also younger than you it can be a bit disheartening even if it’s something small like carrying their drink.

But with Tommy it’s completely different… Yes, I’ll never be the go-to cousin for practical elements and I can’t pick him up and bounce him; I can offer Tommy something that no other cousins can because I have a sense of understanding and that will always make our relationship special (even if he wriggles too much to sit on my knee). Even though Cerebral Palsy and Down’s Syndrome are completely different conditions Tommy and I have similarities and can understand each other in a way that no other family member can. Just like my parents have a new connection with Tommy’s parents because they understand what it’s like to have a child with needs. Since Tommy has been in our lives he has taught us so much and has enabled us to be closer as a family especially Amanda and me. This is because we now have something in common that we never thought we’d have in common and I must admit sharing experiences of disabled activism with a close family member is a very good feeling. I feel like I have taken on two roles one of them being the best big cousin to Tommy and the other one being the best little cousin to Amanda!

Amanda always keeps me updated on Tommy’s latest appointments- I love hearing about how he is getting on as I said sometime’s I can’t give advice but sometimes I can and even though my experiences aren’t the same as Tommy’s at times they are similar. An example being that me and Tommy both do physio and even though Tommy’s physio is different to mine me and Amanda still send ‘physio selfies’ and can still talk about it, mine and Tommy’s physio needs are different but we both have physio needs and that forms part of our special bond. I also relate to Tommy from an occupational therapist perspective- I have always said that I could see myself working in paediatrics’ so being able to listen to Tommy’s experiences just inspires me to become a paediatric occupational therapist even more because I want to help Tommy and understand his needs in the best way possible. I do feel like I have a better understanding of Tommy’s needs and the reasons for his therapy interventions such as ‘tummy time’ even though I’m only a year into my degree.

But, despite having this bond with Tommy- I love him for being Tommy and yes we would have had a different bond if I wasn’t disabled but I still would have loved him the same. Just because I understand his situations a bit better than other family members doesn’t mean I’m an expert on Down’s Syndrome either because I still have a lot of learning to do. Does it help me that I’ve had a seminar on it? Of course, but my own learning on Down’s Syndrome has just started, and this is what Down’s Syndrome awareness month means to me. Down’s Syndrome awareness month is an opportunity for me to learn more Down’s Syndrome and to learn more about Tommy. Yet, this blog is a start because when I’m writing about Tommy I learn so much about our relationship and the steps I need to take to keep building our relationship in which I and Tommy can always look back on to remember how significant our bond was even just 7 months in to his life.

Thank you for reading. Please share and spread awareness about Down’s Syndrome!

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

The Hidden Elements of My Disability

A few months ago I wrote a blog post on How My Physical Disability Can Be Perceived in which I kind of defended myself in saying I’m not always as complicated as I seem. I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions that I don’t like the fact that when I say I did maths at college people assume I had to redo my GCSE’s, but on the other hand this doesn’t mean that my physical needs aren’t demanding because at times they are. I’m not writing this blog post to write a list of my needs and tell you what I can and can’t do, because let’s face it that’s a bit boring and a bit too much information. However, I want to give you a few examples of how not everything is as it seems…

For example, take my profile picture- on this day I was going to a party (I’m aware I need a much more professional picture hopefully I’ll have a new one soon) so, I have my hair done and my make-up on. Everything looks ordinary, yeah? It is ordinary but I didn’t do my hair or my make-up, my sister did. I’m not saying the sole reason why she did my hair and make-up is that I couldn’t have done it because I can, it just wouldn’t have been as good. I understand, that I’m not an artistic person and I’m not saying that without CP I would be a hairdresser or a make-up artist, but this would certainly be easier. So, why am I tell you something I’ve already told you before? This is because on this night people at the party who didn’t know me and was sat at the other side of the room probably just thought that I was an ordinary individual with no complexities. This isn’t a problem, I am an ordinary individual and I do want to be treated the same but, at the same time, I wish that people could just see how much effort it’s taken me and my sister to get my sat there looking how I wanted to look.

Another example is when I’m sat in a restaurant eating with friends or family, to other people around me I’m just enjoying a meal. Which I am (I always enjoy food); the people around us won’t know that whoever I’m with has had to cut up my meal or that I’ve ordered a burger because it’s a lot easier for me to eat. Whenever I go to university or placement I always make sure I look respectable; people don’t realise how much effort goes into me looking respectable for example when I’m on placement I have to have my hair tied back which again means that my sister or mum has probably done it. I love fancy tops it’s very rare you’ll catch me in a plain t-shirt, in which I might have a top that buttons up, meaning that someone has helped me that morning to button it up.

I don’t mind that I need help in these situations because I’ve never known any different and I have got more independent at doing tasks like my hair and my make-up over the years; I know that I’m always going to struggle with buttons. Which is fine I don’t want people to feel sorry for me but if people knew how much effort these daily tasks take me then I feel people would understand my complexities a lot more. For example, in the winter I go to university I have a cold- so what it’s winter everyone’s got cold, I’ll put a brave face on and not complain. But it affects me so much more in terms of fatigue and puts me at the risk of potentially having a seizure and even though I may not complain at university I’ll come home have dinner and go straight to bed because I’ll be too tired to do any other work. I’m not saying that an able-bodied person doesn’t also do this, but it’ll be a lot easier for them to push themselves than it will me because that work may only take them 30 minutes but for me, it’ll take an hour.

I’m not writing this blog to tell you how complicated my life is and to be negative, I’m writing this blog to explain to you how many elements of my disability are hidden. When I went to Berlin with college, my friends said that they didn’t realise how much I depended on someone because when I’m at college and university I don’t need to depend on someone as much because plans have already been put into place; when I get home and I need someone to cut up my dinner and bring me a drink upstairs so I can wind down and watch TV whilst drinking a tea. It’s fine that these parts are hidden we all have private aspects of our life’s disability or not but my hidden aspects hide a lot about my disability and I just feel like if more people knew this my needs would be a lot more clear and I wouldn’t have to explain why I’m not going out that night even though I may only have a sniffle. I’m not saying that people wouldn’t help either; at times situations occur where I don’t feel like explaining and telling everyone about the private aspects of my life.

Thank you reading,

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Maintaining Braces with Cerebral Palsy

Hello as if we’re in September already! I decided that this week I would do my first throwback post, to my younger years, as I haven’t really talked about my childhood that much therefore, I thought I would start by telling you all about my braces. I’ve decided to tell you about my braces because this was a difficult period of my life- anyone who has had braces knows that they can be difficult at times, but when you add CP into the mix the level of difficulty increases.

So, the background story… Anyone who knows me knows that I never do simple and my situation with my braces wasn’t simple, to say the least as, more or less straight after I’d had my initial appointment to see if I needed braces I had my braces put on as I was classed as an “emergency case”! I was classed as an emergency case as my last tooth that was coming through wasn’t coming through in the correct position and it was, in fact, damaging my nerve. This meant that after I had my braces put on I had to have an operation to remove my last baby tooth and two more teeth (as my mouth was too small for all my teeth), then I had a gold chain put in to bring the tooth that was damaging my nerve down slowly into the correct position. Already this process was a lot complicated than anticipated I remember when I got told all this information and I come out of the room and turned to my mum and just said ‘Why me?’. I just felt like my life was complicated enough without this- which looking back is rather selfish of me, but my 13-year-old self didn’t have the same outlook on disability as I do now.

Having to wear braces never got me down; looking back now I probably would be able to take my situation on board a lot better. However, this still doesn’t mean that physically I would have found it easier because physically maintaining my braces caused a lot of issues. Due to my situation being complex I had to get my braces tightened more often meaning that I was in pain most of the time. It was also very hard to keep them clean independently, due to my CP I don’t have a lot of control over my mouth and tongue so when food gets stuck in my gum I must physically go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. Meaning that if this happened when eating in a restaurant it would leave me feeling a bit embarrassed, over the years (as this happens regardless of braces) I have developed techniques to subtly resolve the situation in my own way without people knowing. But, with braces, most issues were caused due to my lack of control; like I said my control with eating still causes me a lot of issues today but this is a whole other blog post and to be honest is probably something I’m not quite ready to be 100% open about.

I was very keen on making sure that my braces were always clean and I always did what the orthodontist told me but as said it was hard to do this independently and my parents did have to intervene a lot more than I would have liked. However, I did get into a routine. Overall, I had my braces on for 20 months, so I did get better and become more independent towards the end!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Elastic bands are common with braces; in my case, they lasted 2 weeks before I had to call the emergency orthodontist on a bank holiday weekend! I’d struggled with the bands and was cautious that I’d end up doing damage, but I didn’t think I could somehow break the bar at the roof of my mouth and cause it to stick into my tongue. Let’s just say, I never wore elastic bands again after that incident.

As you can see having braces wasn’t the easiest 20 months of my life; I am happy with my teeth now, still annoying that this was all because of one tooth but it taught me a lot. It taught me that not every thing’s as easy as it looks at first however practice makes perfect (a clichè, I know) but, it’s true! Yeah, this was a very frustrating period and it would have been a lot easier if this situation wouldn’t have occurred but that’s life, unfortunately, this isn’t the first frustrating situation to occur and it won’t be the last. So, I might as well reflect on it and look at what’s it’s taught me rather than focusing the negatives, this situation is never ideal even for an able-bodied person, but worse things happen!

Thank you for reading,

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Taking My Electric Wheelchair Abroad for the First Time

Hello! This is my first time writing a post for NSTP in almost 5 weeks as I was all prepared a week before I went away as I was very busy the week leading up to my holiday so it feels very good to be back! I wanted to write about taking my electric wheelchair on holiday because this was a very big deal for myself as I am still not very confident in my electrical wheelchair as I mentioned in my blog post about restricted independence. I took my new electric wheelchair on holiday as my old one is far too heavy to take on the plane in which this was my reasoning in buying this new wheelchair, for more independence. I have nothing against my family pushing me- it’s certainly less stressful but I’m 19 now it’s time to grow up and become independent! When we made the phone call to the airline company to confirm that I was taking my electric wheelchair it was very exhilarating however, I was still a bag of nerves…

As mentioned, this wheelchair is new and works differently to my other one, so I was worried about getting it around the airport never mind tackling Spanish pavements. So, let’s start at the beginning… Manchester Airport- this was fine I was worried about getting it through duty-free with all the glass stands but no one died! No, there were no incidents at all. I took my wheelchair right up to the doors of the aircraft and I was boarded so far, so good! However, when I got it back in the ambulift in Spain I soon came across my first hurdle- a missing nut. Quite an important nut as well, this particular nut tightened my steering control to my armrest therefore, it was loose and holding the control and steering at the same time, just wasn’t happening I made it to the shuttle bus but there was no way I could’ve carried on like that for 2 weeks! We arrived at the villa late at night, so it was case of going to bed and dealing it with it the morning. The morning came and I was worried about it straight away as we were going on a walk that morning to find somewhere for breakfast, we were searching the draws in the villa for something to use to temporally put it in place until we came up with a solution… WE FOUND A SOLUTION! We found a nut in a draw that was a perfect fit- I couldn’t believe my luck!

With that situation dealt with it was all back to normal and I was ready for the challenge! The area we stayed in was very hilly, but we knew this before I decided to take the chair and let’s face it, it’s better than my parents pushing me up and down the hills in my manual chair. It took me a few days to get into it and to know what speed I needed to get down the hills, as I had to get down 3 hills to get to the main strip, but I got into it. I made sure I had it on a lower speed when I went down the hills and around corners but then I needed the chair on a higher speed to ensure that I wasn’t holding the traffic up when crossing the road. Which seems obvious I know but, at the beginning of the holiday I was feeling very nervous and going slow across the roads made me feel safe; then I soon realised that this was, in fact, making things unsafe. So, after a few days, I found my feet (or wheels) and was feeling a lot more confident! An issue we did have was the lack of street lighting, late on at night it was very dark resulting in us using our torches on our phones. As I had one hand on my control, I found it difficult to use my torch with the other but I had 5 other torches lighting up my way so, I was fine; if I was on my own this would have been tricky.

After getting to know the area more we decided that we would take a different route home and explore… This route was a very nice route it was interesting to see something new; it was by no means practical! BIG HILLS! Up and down and up and down. I was slightly panicking when going down them, to say the least- I told my auntie to get her camera out as there was no doubt that she could have made £250! But, with thanks to my uncle holding on to the back of my chair we made it without a scratch; we certainly did not take that route again.

Turismo Mojácar Village

During the holiday we went up to Mojácar Village and as you can see this is quite hilly so, due to my lack of confidence in my new wheelchair, I decided to walk. Having been up to the village now I am positive that I made the best decision as I would have been on edge all day. I was very tired and in a bit of pain later that evening but with a swim and a bit of physio, I didn’t suffer as much as I thought I was going to. I did see a few other wheelchair users in the village so I do reckon I would have been okay; we’ll save that challenge for another time!

I have no idea what my feet are doing either!

I am very pleased with my decision to take my electric wheelchair on holiday, as it was great to gain a bit more independence and improve my confidence! I’m aware that I’m still not the most confident driver and do not know all the tricks of the trade, but I’m learning and most importantly I’m willing to learn. I am proud of myself, to say this was the first time taking my chair abroad I think I did very well, and there were no causalities!

Let me know if you want more posts about my wheelchair adventures!

Thank you for reading,

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

What Going on Holiday Means to Me

Everyone needs a holiday, disabled or not we all need a few days or weeks off to just wind down and get our heads out of the game! Well, I certainly do, I’m always ready to go on holiday and in need of a break when times comes to it. So, I thought I’d tell you how going on holiday helps me because I’ve mentioned quite a few times about how tired I can get when I’m ready for a break. I like to keep myself busy, and at times despite how tired I am I still find it hard to wind down and switch my brain off but going on a summer holiday and lying around the pool really helps me and gives me the reprieve I need!

What I get up to on my summer holiday:
My summer holidays are generally relaxing pool holidays and let me just tell you when times comes to it this is definitely the type of holiday that I need and although I find it hard to switch off when I get on the sunbed I can relax. I mean not for hours as I find the sunbed very uncomfortable; having the sun on my muscles is a very good feeling. In winter I suffer from a lot more aches and pains and there are nights I come home and want a hot bath so even if it’s an uncomfortable sunbed getting on there and just letting my muscles soak up the heat is very relaxing…

But as mentioned I can’t just do nothing, so I do have to have my kindle in my hand or have my earphones in to enable me to stay relaxed a little longer. Getting into a good book on my holiday is a must for me to enable me to relax, all year round I rarely read but for those 2 weeks on my summer holiday, I become a book worm! I generally read fiction books and enjoy getting into a good novel, last year I read a book called ‘The Ables’ by Jeremy Scott, which is about superheroes with disabilities. This book was recommended to me by a friend, I would certainly recommend it too! This is the first book I’ve really read about disabilities and I really enjoyed it so if you have any recommendations please send them my way.

Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Pexels.com
I’ve clearly not taken this photo, I’m still getting into taking aesthetically pleasing photos for my blogs but, the drink has a straw in it so, I’m not complaining!

MUSIC!!! Music plays a massive part in helping me to relax when I’m on holiday, as in case you haven’t gathered from my logo, I’m really into music. I like quite a range of music to be honest but when I’m winding my number 1 choice must be Ed Sheeran, he’s just my ultimate favourite! My Ed Sheeran playlist is by far the longest playlist I have in my music, I know not all his song are relaxing but when I put Ed Sheeran on, I go to a different place no matter what song! However, I will certainly be listening to Lewis Capaldi around the pool this year as well his music is amazing.

I just thought I’d show you how ridiculously long this playlist is! I’m even listening to him whilst I write this blog- so holiday or not music, Ed Sheeran in particular always enables me to wind down.

But going holiday also means I get to go swimming which isn’t always relaxing; it still means a lot to me. In my last post, I talked about physio and how I’m not the best at it but of course, swimming in the pool is one of the best types of exercise for me as it enables me to get all my muscles working. Again, I don’t go swimming at home but when I get on holiday it is one of the aspects, I love the most! I’m not the best swimmer and I never go down to the deep end but just doing a few widths is enough for me and gives me great pleasure. I also really enjoy floating in the water, that I find really relaxing, I’ll admit I need support when floating but with the right support I can easily float for a good length of time!

So that’s what going on holiday means to me! Going on holiday really does help to relax me as I am a person that gets stressed very easily so not only does it help relax me physically it helps me to relax mentally, I know this for sure as I can guarantee you that when I come back I become ill because I’ve let my body to relax. But as mentioned disabled or not everyone needs a holiday!

What do you get up to on your holiday?

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

The Physical Complications of Getting Older

If you follow me on Twitter, then you will know that lately, I’ve been talking a lot more about how I feel the need to do more physio. I don’t live in pain every day and I feel lucky as I know my situation could be a lot different but, I still experience pain and for the past 2 months this pain has become more frequent. Therefore, I have started to up my physio and have been doing it a lot more regular- don’t worry this blog isn’t a blog telling you all about what physio I do because that would be wrong of me as we all know which therapy my interests are in but I just thought I’d share my thoughts with you. Also, I’m hoping this will be a short post as I really owe you something short for all the rambling I’ve been doing recently.

I’m not writing this blog to complain about my pain either because I don’t really have the right to- yes, some days it’s painful; I’m fine it’s not affecting my activities of daily living. I’m going to openly admit that I know I don’t do physio as often as I should and only really do it when I’m experiencing pain but since I have been doing physio regularly, I’ve seen improvements. I’ve started to step up the physio not only because of the pain but because I don’t want any further complications and seeing these improvements has made me realise how important it is to continue doing my physio. When I was 11, I had the conversation with my consultant about how my disability could affect me in the future and we discussed how I might end up having Botox’s. However, the next time I went he said that it would be unlikely that I’d need them until much later so with this in mind I just thought I’d keep doing what I’m doing because something was obviously working.

But I was a lot more active then I was still at school, therefore I was still doing P.E weekly, and a lot of extra activities outside of school. Whereas now, I’m not so active in my daily life because my circumstances have changed so therefore, that’s probably why I’m experiencing a lot more pain. A few weeks ago, I was meant to go to race running try outs unfortunately I was ill and couldn’t make it, I’m hoping that I’ll try out for it one day, I might not but it has certainly made me realise that I need to be more active. When I’m at university or on placement and have assignments to complete I do find it hard to make time for exercise and I don’t have much energy either. However, since I’ve been off and have had time to fit it in, I have realised how much I do need to stick to my physio in order to keep on track. If I do end up having Botox’s further down the line it won’t be the end of the world; right now, I want to try and prevent needing them whilst I can, and I intend to keep sticking to my physio. In September when I go back to university, I probably won’t do it as much, when I come home after a long tiring day; from now on, I am determined to incorporate it into my life as much as possible!

As I said, I haven’t decided to write this blog post because I want people to feel sorry for me but I’ll be honest right now as I sit here writing this post I am in a bit of pain (obviously my inspiration behind writing the post).However I don’t think my pain is anything to worry about for now and it’s highly likely that it’s probably just one of those days! But as I mentioned doing physio and looking after my muscles is certainly not an area of expertise.

So, how do you cope with pain?

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT