Happy New Year and happy 1st birthday to Not So Terrible Palsy! I cannot believe that I have been blogging for a year and what an amazing year it’s been, I for one did not think that a year on people would still be reading my blog I’m incredibly thankful. So, I thought I would reflect on 2019 and discuss how much of an impact it has had on my future career…
At the start of the year I knew that I wanted to do more with my disability which is why I started my blog, but I did not think that 2019 would be as influential as it has on me. During 2019 I learnt a lot about myself, my disability and of course occupational therapy and in which my views on these three things have all changed as the link is becoming more apparent making me think more about how I want my future to look like. As mentioned one thing that has changed this year is how I see myself as a disabled individual and I feel like during 2019 I realised that not only is my disability a strength but actually my disability is the best part of me and this is all thanks to CP Teens UK. In January 2019 I went to my first social event with CP Teens and it made me realise just how much I’ve been missing out on. I’ve always been a bit hesitant about going to events with other disabled people as when I was younger, I didn’t want to be seen as ‘disabled’. Which I know seems stupid now; that’s how I saw it! However, I had a really great time at bowling and after this event, I was determined not to miss out again.
In February I met Lost Voice Guy at one of his incredible show! It was a brilliant moment for me because when explaining who I was to Lee he replied “I know who you are” this was really important to me as a few weeks before this Lee had also commented on my blog saying that he loved the name and couldn’t wait to read more. At the time my blog had only been around for a month so to get the response was something special.
February was also great for another reason as Tommy was born! Tommy has taught our family so much in which I have mentioned in my previous blogs No Longer Being the Only Disabled Member of the Family and Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month 2019. I can’t believe Tommy’s not even been in our lives for a year, it’s crazy! Tommy, we love you so much, and hats off to Tommy’s Mummy, Amanda for being a great advocate for Down’s Syndrome awareness during 2019 I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for you.
March, (in case you haven’t realised we’re going to be here a while). For Cerebral Palsy awareness month in 2019, I went all out with 5 posts in a month- I loved it. The challenges Ruby’s Makeup, Cutting the Grass, Attempting to Play Darts and Cooking Dinner were so great I enjoyed doing them (and dragging my whole family into it). They all went down really well I even received messages from people saying how much they loved them and couldn’t wait to read another challenge the following week- I was really taken back by the response I received from these challenges! I hope to bring them back soon!
From the end of March to the beginning of May I learnt a lot about my personal and professional development as I undertook my first occupational therapy placement in paediatrics. I absolutely loved this first placement and was very thankful for the opportunities I got given through this placement, I knew right from the start that I wanted to have a paediatric placement so I feel very lucky that this was my first placement and could see myself working in paediatrics in the future! During my time on placement, I delivered my first ever presentation about my blog and what an amazing experience it was I am truly thankful for this opportunity as without this I wouldn’t have found out about other opportunities such as the CountMeIn conference in June 2020. In which I got asked to be a keynote speaker, I am truly honoured and humbled to have been asked I am very much looking forward to going to this incredible event.
This placement will always be significant to me as my response from my presentation made me realise where I want my career to be heading, in which I discuss in my blog and Why I Study Occupational Therapy. So, thank you to all those who made this placement so significant and I look forward to working with you in 2020!
But of course, May doesn’t end there… I can’t forget about driving!
Yes, we all know because I bored you all to death about it in a super long blog post but in May I finally got my car! Getting my car has to be the highlight of the year as I’d been waiting so long and even now when I’m having driving lessons I’m still in disbelief that I’m where I am.
Looking back May was probably my favourite month of the year, from having the best time on placement to getting my car and of course, let’s not forget about the sponsored wobble with CP Teens…
At the sponsored wobble in May, I brought quite a big crew and we all loved it so much it was one of the best days of the year, my family love this charity so much and will go to great lengths to help raise money for it as long as we can.
Sticking with CP Teens at the end of May I got asked to be an ambassador in which I whole-heartedly said yes to and had my first blog post for them published in June! This has got to be one of my best achievements this year I have been wanting to become an ambassador for CP Teens for a while and I did not think that I would become one in 2019. But here we are 6 months in, and I’m absolutely loving it! CP Teens has been a big part of my life this year and I honestly believe that they have helped me to become the person I am today who isn’t fazed by her disability in the slightest.
In July I enjoyed some time off to really work on Not So Terrible Palsy- due to being a full-time student I can’t dedicate as much time to my blog as I would like so it was nice to have the time to work on it and to finally get it to the way I wanted it to look. As a new blogger, this was my opportunity to get my name out there and so I did and had a story featured on The Mighty and also had a few of my blogs published on The Occupational Therapy Hub.
However, over the summer I did enjoy some time to myself! In August I went on holiday and took my new electric wheelchair with me for the first time which was an experience that I was very nervous about; it turned out to be great, I felt so much more independent- no looking back now, my electric wheelchair best be prepared to face more adventures. As well as catching up with friends over the summer I FINALLY had the pleasure of seeing my favourite artist Ed Sheeran, and what a night this was. I still can’t believe it’s happened I don’t want to sound corny, but it really was a dream come true!
As you can tell I like to be busy, so when September came around and it was time to go back to university, I was so ready!!! I love being back at uni- the course, the people just everything about it. I always get scared that I’ve not picked the right course and that I’m going to fall out with it but being back at university brings back all the warm feelings towards occupational therapy and I know that this is the perfect course for me. I have to thank university for being so supportive of my needs which I mentioned in my blog about Reflecting on My First Year at University. University is also very supportive of my blog and commitments outside of university and makes sure I have everything in place to get this balance right and I am very thankful for this. In fact, in 2020 I have a very exciting placement coming up in which I get to use NSTP as part of it- all will be revealed in February.
October, which means my favourite day of the year! World CP Day!!! I really do love this day so much and this year I decided to do another challenge in which I caught the bus in my wheelchair. Not only this the word was out, I could also finally tell everyone that I was going to be a keynote speaker I was so excited, I always wanted to announce this on World CP day so when I found out that I could I was so happy- perfect timing!
At the end of October through to mid-December, I was on my second occupational therapy placement, this was challenging but such a great experience, I really did learn a lot yet again about my personal and professional development as mentioned in my blog about Transitioning from a Service User to a Healthcare Professional. I’m so lucky to have had two wonderful placement experiences this year!
Of course, let’s not forget about one of the best nights of the year the CP Teens annual ball in November! What an incredible night it was, I will certainly be returning next year!
Christmas has been great, and I really have ended the year on a high note with the most beautiful family wedding congratulations Mr and Mrs Shaw!
31 posts on Not So Terrible Palsy.
Had my driving story featured on The Mighty.
Had 2 blogs featured on The Occupational Therapy Hub.
Became an ambassador and have written 4 blogs for CP Teens UK.
Completed 2 placements.
Got asked to be a keynote speaker!
What a year it’s been thank you for all your support I couldn’t have achieved any of this without it. I’m still taken back every time someone leaves a positive comment on my blog and says that they enjoy reading my content. So, as much as this blog is to say thank you for your support it’s also to say thank you for believing in me!
THANK YOU! I can’t wait for what is to come in 2020!