Why I Study Occupational Therapy

I have been considering writing this blog for some time now and this is for two reasons. The first reason being that I just feel that I need to explain why I was drawn to occupational therapy and the second reason being to discuss my future with occupational therapy. But on the other hand these two reasons were the same reasons why I didn’t want to write this blog as I shouldn’t feel that I need to justify why I study what I study and I didn’t really want to discuss my future without knowing what the future holds. Then I realised that this blog post would be a great blog post to refer back to in the future and could potentially be a learning kerb so I thought I would give it a go, and at this minute whilst I’m sat here writing this I don’t know where this blog post is going to end up! So just stay with me because I do have a point or two to make!

Here we go point one and before I make this point, I am sorry if this comes across in a controversial way but this is a question that I have been meaning to answer for quite some time. I’m not going to bore you with all the reasons why I chose occupational therapy and why the course stuck out for me. But just for a bit of background information – occupational therapy was the right course for me as I’ve always wanted to explore the field of healthcare. OT also entails a lot of problem-solving as sometimes with occupational therapy the answer isn’t right in front of you so seen as I love maths (sorry I’ve mentioned it again) this felt great! Not to mention that the signature colour for occupational therapy is green just like CP I mean can it be more perfect!

However, the aim of this blog is not to rewrite my personal statement the aim is to answer a few questions that I have been asked around occupational therapy since starting my university journey. So, let’s get the big question out of the way… ‘Why go into the system when you’ve just come out of it?’. I have been asked this question few times, sometimes it hasn’t been as direct as others but I’m capable of reading between the lines. I find this question quite annoying especially when it’s someone I’ve just met because it just makes me aware that I am probably never going to stop answering this question. Apart from the fact that I might not even go into the system (which relates to point two), the thought of potentially going into the system and changing people’s life makes me feel even more determined to complete this course. This is not because I want to change the system. A big reason why I want to go into occupational therapy is because when I was younger my occupational therapists were just phenomenal and they played that much of significant role in my life, that they inspired me to go for this career. If I can make half the impact on an individual that they’ve made on my family and I then I know it is all worthwhile.

The other questions I have been asked, have been around my capabilities within occupational therapy, these questions don’t annoy me as such because yes, my disability will always be the elephant in the room; again, this is based on so little understanding. Occupational therapy is such a board profession as you could be working in a clinic or hospital or you could be working in a driving skills centre. So, I think eventually I’ll find an area of occupational therapy that I want to work in, I’m not saying that it won’t be harder and that my options aren’t limited because it would be wrong of me to think that they weren’t. But I know that there is certainly a role in occupational therapy out there for me, that works with my needs.

This then links on to point two… I’m only in my first year at university so I don’t have my heart set on an area of occupational therapy just yet but I have a better idea of what areas I want to and don’t want to explore than I did a year ago. A few weeks ago, I did a presentation about my blog, I wanted to make this presentation slightly more interesting and wanted to talk about more than just blogging. For a while now I’ve said that I’ve wanted to link occupational therapy in with blogging, so I had the idea of doing research about the impact of occupational therapy online to incorporate this into my presentation. Then after researching, I found that there wasn’t much around this, and I realised that this maybe the area suited for me.

As you probably know if you follow me on Facebook this presentation was done recently therefore, I haven’t really had the chance to investigate this any further. However, prior to this I had also had a discussion with my university lectures about linking blogging in with occupational therapy, and from this, they had advised me to write this blog. I’ve been towing with the idea of writing this blog for sometime now because I didn’t want to tell everyone about my future in occupational therapy without knowing what would happen. I asked myself a lot of questions around this with one of the big ones being ‘Where am I going to start?’ and therefore I decided to write this blog because this is where I am going to start. I can’t start something without a general idea of where it’s going to go just like I’d built up my work online before starting Not So Terrible Palsy. So, this is me starting my journey within occupational therapy!

You’re probably thinking why this blog is named Why I Study Occupational Therapy and why did I talk about this if this is not the main reason why I wrote this blog. This is because the reasons for studying occupational therapy is also listed in point two as well as in point one, even if it doesn’t seem apparent. In my first blog post, I wrote ‘I believe that I was born with Cerebral Palsy for a reason’ and from my previous work, I’ve realised this reason could be to create a link between the online community and occupational therapy. I study occupational therapy as I can bring to the table my personal experiences as well as professional experiences and this how blogging links into it even if this link isn’t visible yet. So, now that I’ve almost finished my first year, I can finally say that I know all the reason’s I study occupational therapy and why I’m more than willing to go back into the system!

As previously mentioned, I don’t quite know how and if this idea will work but what I do know is that I am very determined to get my idea off the ground!

Thank you for reading, I did warn you that it might be long!

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Having a Little and a Big Sister!

This blog is dedicated to my sister, best friend and the reason behind the name of my page, Matilda.

As I have gone into occupational therapy and have got older, I am more aware that having a disability has an effect on other non-disabled siblings and I know that over the years my needs have meant that I have had to have more attention than my sister. But I’ve never heard Matilda complain once about this! Matilda does things to help me that I could never do for her, this is a bit disheartening at times because I’m the older sibling and I should have been the one looking after her instead of her looking after me; this has only brought us closer together. There is 15 months between myself and Matilda, which meant that due to my CP we reached quite a few developmental milestones at around about same time, for example walking and due to this, it made us closer. Matilda and I have always been close, and we always will be, but we are closer because we’ve had to deal with quite a lot, some of which most sisters won’t have to deal with in their lifetime, therefore these experiences only make our relationship stronger.

As a young girl I’d always envisaged that I’d be the one doing Matilda’s hair
and makeup, and that I’d be the one painting her nails; then I came to the
realisation that, that was never going to be reality and that in fact, it was
going to be the opposite. Matilda has always helped me to achieve these activities rather
me helping her, and I will never forget this. Rather than me teaching her how
tie her shoe laces she taught me, and she would always stop to watch me try and
conquer whatever task big or small, even coming up with ways to make the
task easier! Just recently she bought me chunkier brushes to help me with my makeup,
she saw me struggling and then acted upon this, and I will be forever thankful
for this. These little gestures mean the most. The police came into her college
recently and did a talk about safety regarding contact-less cards, and they got
given a cover to protect their cards; Matilda came straight home and said that I could
have hers because I’m a much more vulnerable target. She thought of me and put my
needs before her own, she probably thought this gesture was nothing, but that
gesture made my day that day.

I’m lucky to have this amazing support network around me, with all my family members not just my sister; I don’t give Matilda enough credit, she never asked for this life! Yes, I understand it’s a different situation because she’s never known any different, but I will still always appreciate how she’s dealt with what’s been thrown at us. Having a disability doesn’t just affected me it’s affects the whole family dynamic; Matilda has just accepted this dynamic and embraced it. Yes, at times, I may make her do my makeup when it’s the last thing she wants to do, but we make this fun she always finds a way to distract me so that she can do my mascara and those fiddly aspects! At the end of the day she takes my bracelet off and this is means a lot to me, more than she will know. I studied psychology at A-level and Matilda is currently studying psychology and whenever she  asks me for help with revision, and I get excited than most because I am actually helping her with something.

I am very fortunate to have a little and a big sister all in one as not many people can say this! I have always used this term and Matilda uses this term for me too as it does tell people a lot about our relationship, however our relationship isn’t just made up of Matilda helping me out, we do have laughs and jokes too just like a normal sisterly relationship! We do spend a lot of time together, and like any other relationship our time a part is good too because we still have our disagreements. I know that at times I perhaps rely on Matilda to much; then other time she can almost insists ‘Georgia just let me do that’ (knowing full well that I’ll be trying for half an hour). I’m so thankful we’re close in age as I don’t remember life without my sister helping me, even though I do wish I could be more of a big sister to her, I wouldn’t change our relationship because this is what makes our relationship mean so much. Matilda, is the first person I talk to in a morning and the last person I talk to at night, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Thank you for reading,

Happy early 18th birthday sis, can’t wait to take you for cocktails!

 

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

How My Physical Disability Can Be Perceived

As I am getting older, I am becoming more aware of the stereotypes that people make when initially meeting me. When it comes to stereotypes, I have mixed feelings, I don’t hate the fact that I get judged because that’s just part of life and everyone gets judged regardless of having a disability or not. But its the fact that the judgement comes from such of a little understanding! Now that I’m 3 months into NSTP I’ve made it clear that I ’embrace being disabled’- (a bit of a cliché) and I will never not want to be disabled because without Cerebral Palsy I would be a different person (and another). However, sometimes I can’t help to think that if my disability wasn’t at the forefront of everything do would the judgements not be as common?

For example, as previously mentioned my CP is pretty visible due to my walking and my speech difficulties, so therefore without knowing me or anything about CP its still prominent that I am disabled. Which is fine, this blog is not about being negative it’s just about making people aware that even though I don’t get down about the stereotypes it still doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. With my disability being so prominent judgements are certainly more common and people do perceive me in a different light, and this can be frustrating. I know this has always happened and is always going to happen and even though my disability makes up a big part of my personality there still aspects of my personality that don’t have disability running through it. So, I always wonder that if my disability wasn’t so prominent would this fraction of my personality come through more?

I am an ordinary 19-year-old that likes to go out with my friends, I know I have to be careful in the nightclubs due to my epilepsy; I can still have a good night. In the nightclub, stereotypes tend to happen the most and people tend to think that you’re ‘drunk’ or ‘high’. Due to these remarks, I feel the need to explain myself, which I know I should never feel the need to justify myself; I would rather people know my situation then think I’m high. The judgement about my CP after I’ve explained doesn’t get to me because I know that this can be a completely new situation to people and quite frankly if you can’t get over it, I’m not bothered. It’s just the presumption of I’m staggering in a club so I must be high or drunk!

This second assumptions it the one that gets some the most, so apologies if I’ve already mentioned this but it’s something that’s been happening for the last 3 years and to be honest I’m not sure that this assumption will ever disappear. At college I studied A-level maths so when asked what I studied I would just say maths and straight away people assumed that I was resitting GCSE maths. Therefore to stop people from assuming I would say A-level maths but then you still get the comments like ‘even I couldn’t do that’. This is because people see the way that I present myself and just automatically think that I have a learning disability and sometimes explaining that you don’t have a significant learning disability can feel like losing the battle.

Due to my CP causing mental fatigue I do have slight learning difficulties and I’m not denying that; my learning difficulties just mean that it takes me a little longer to read or write a piece of text that’s all. But still stereotypes are made and I can’t do anything about this, for the time being which I accept; on the other hand, there’s a part of me thinking its 2019! Why is it a big deal that I’m going on a night out? Why is it a shock that I studied A-level maths? I’m not writing the blog to show you how amazing I am and to show you what I can do in spite of my disability, I’m writing a blog to show you that I’m just an ordinary 19-year-old. I’m aware that the perception of my disability will probably never change. Does it mean that I just sit back and do nothing? No, because then how will ever know if they’re not shown? We’re all human we all make judgements that’s life but instead of just ignoring judgements and blocking them lets face them! I’m not saying start world war 3, I’m saying just question them because no one will get anywhere without questioning! We all get feelings that can’t be helped but we will never be able to dig the root of the feeling up if we don’t let it be found.

Thank you for reading, have a lovely Easter weekend!

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Saying No Is Not Always as Possible as It Seems

At the moment, I am on my placement and going on placement and getting into a new routine has been extremely difficult as my body is adjusting to a new body clock! Therefore, energy levels are low and fatigue is making more of an appearance! Due to this fatigue, at times I just get more stressed because even though I need to look after myself and not do work, at the back of my mind I still know the work needs doing so fatigue levels may decrease but stressed levels increase.

Due to my CP it doesn’t take much for me to fatigue meaning that just having a full day at placement can really effect my energy levels. I always know when a break coming up because I become a lot wobblier! When I realised how the semesters worked at university, I began to worry that I wouldn’t make it till Christmas without having a day off. However, I wasn’t in university all day long, every day before Christmas and this really helps, as I think if it wasn’t for this I wouldn’t have been able to have made it to Christmas without becoming ill. Therefore my placement is not a worry because I know I can go 5 weeks without a day off but it is still stressful knowing that I need to get work done and then still be on top form in order to get the most out of my placement.

I feel like over the years I have gotten better at knowing my own body and I feel like once I figure out how to judge my own needs half of the work is done. Knowing when to rest my body is key and I have become a lot less tired now that I am more aware of how my body works as for me doing little and often works. I find that taking regular breaks works for me rather than just doing 5 hours none stop. Reading my own body does work well and I feel like this is a useful, skill for me too.

However, I certainly haven’t mastered knowing when my body needs to rest, and I don’t think I ever will as just a few weeks ago I was quite ill, and it was all stress and fatigue related. For someone like myself who always wants to be on the go all the time, masking this can seem impossible and saying ‘no I can’t do that’ can be hard. I previously have had to turn down something that I wanting to get involved in and turning this opportunity down was hard to come to terms with. But why worry and stress over something that isn’t a priority? I have taken this attitude on board a lot more recently and I have previously tried meditating which has worked for myself and it has made me realised that I don’t have to take everything on I can always come back to that opportunity I turned down. Meditation has given me a new perspective and has helped me to prioritise and realised that some of my worries weren’t worth worrying about.

Writing my assignments to a good standard as well as getting the most out of placement is still stressful but for someone like myself it will never not be stressful because that’s just, the way my body works. But this is okay a bit of stress and pressure is only normal and in fact others may say it’s healthy, just as long as I know when it’s getting too stressful. As you can gather I like to be at the top of my game but does it matter if I’m not on top of everything all the time I can always ask for an extension on my assignment the resources are there and even though I don’t like using them it doesn’t matter because I’m obviously entitled to them. So yet again why stress?

A few of you are probably reading thinking why am I blogging and adding more stress… But I’m not adding more stress as I sit here writing this blog I’m feeling less stressed because I’ve just put my worries into perspective. In fact I see blogging as I an opportunity wind down, and I have actually written quite a few of my blogs to help me wind down after a stressful day. Yes, I worry about my blog sounding right and making sure I have topics to talk but that’s only because I’m passionate at blogging and want to make a career out of it one day. But at this moment in time, I’m liking where NSTP is taking me and I’m not stressed because I can take control if a miss a week of blogging this really doesn’t matter all that matters is that I’m enjoying it. It’s so cliche but it’s true why take on board something if, the stress overweighs the enjoyment? Not So Terrible Palsy is certainly more fun than stressful.

Overall, I feel like I have really got into university life and haven’t had much trouble when doing my assignments due to my fatigue levels. But going on my week placement has been very tiring and working long hours every day has caught up with me but again for me this is all about knowing my own body again and compensating for this. My hours on placement have been long but once I get into the routine I’ll not be as fatigue some nights I might be too tired to do my assignments, but this is fine as long as I’m not getting behind.

It is okay to say no!

Thank you for reading,
Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day 2019!!

A few weeks ago, I realised that I’ve never shared my story on NSTP so I thought it was time and I couldn’t think of a better time than National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.

I was a premature baby by 5 weeks, it was apparent from birth that something was wrong as I was in intensive care for 2 weeks and during this time, I was having regular seizures. I eventually got my diagnosis of spastic CP when I was 18 months old with my official diagnosis being Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy with ataxic/ dystonic features however as my parents had no experience with CP they didn’t know what to expect. It was more apparent as to how my CP was going to affect me when my younger sister was developing faster than me. But my parents were very determined to help me, for example, making me walk and doing my physiotherapy with me, I believe if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to achieve the things I’m doing today.

So once I was diagnosed, I was obviously back and forth to the hospital. CP affects me in all 4 limbs, pelvis, trunk, head control also my speech is affected. My cerebral palsy affects both fine and gross motor skills, I can walk short distances like around the house but most of the time I use either a manual or electric wheelchair.

I always have kept active doing dance lessons, drama lessons, swimming lessons, tennis lessons, horse riding and wheelchair basketball. I have never let my disability stop me as you can tell from this list. Some days are good but others my CP really gets the better of me and I struggle just to do a simple task as I can use up to 5 times as much energy as most people, so it is very tiring at times. I do get frustrated at times when I can’t do my hair or put my jewellery on but am I very lucky to have my family help me in do these little things.

But even though my body doesn’t function as easily as others it doesn’t stop me I am currently at university studying occupational therapy, of which I would have never chosen this career path it wasn’t for my previous experience with OT. I’m loving life at university and I believe that occupational therapy is the perfect course for me. However, at times I do wish that I was able to live more of the ‘student university life’ as being so dependent on my parents means that living in halls would have been extremely difficult for me as all my energy would have gone into looking after myself rather than focusing on my work. I still go on nights and days out with my university friends although I do wish that I could go on a night out more often as there have been a few occasions where I’ve had to turn a night out down due to fatigue.  Not only this but as a result of CP, I also have epilepsy, so I must make sure I’m fully fit for a night out.

Having CP means that a few hurdles crop up when least expecting, but with the right attitude and determination, I will get over these hurdles. I am lucky to have a very supportive family that are behind me 100% as some days even though I don’t want to admit it I do need help.

CP awareness month means a lot to me as it gives me the opportunity to write blogs like this because people often think that as a result of my CP I just get more fatigue- when in fact it’s much more complex. I also love this month as then I can read other stories about CP and learn a lot more as no 2 people with CP have the same needs. I wanted to share my story to enable people to get a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors. I consider myself extremely lucky that my disability isn’t life-threatening and that I am able to live a fulfilled life however I still face challenges daily. Facing these challenges can be frustrating but I would never choose a life without CP as without CP I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Happy CP awareness month 2019!!

Thank you for reading I hope I have given you just a little bit more insight into Cerebral Palsy.

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Cooking Dinner!

Challenge 4!!! Can’t believe we’re at the final challenge already!!! I decided to set myself this challenge, this is because cooking is a life skill, therefore, I thought it would be useful to know what I can and can’t do within the kitchen to adapt for the future. Whilst cooking I did think of ways things ways to adapt, so this challenge has been the most useful learning kerb.


Some aspects of this process were more difficult than others, and peeling the potatoes was by far the hardest. I was very slow at peeling them and as you can see, I was peeling off very fine pieces, it was hard to keep the potato still even though I was doing it on my non- slip matt. However with many thanks to my mums suggestion we did come up with a solution of stabbing the potato with a fork whilst peeling to hold it (I was annoyed I didn’t think of this as I’m meant to be the one studying OT) which did make a lot of a difference, halving the amount of time as now I could to 2 potatoes an hour instead of 1! In all honesty, though I was very slow managing to do 1 potato whilst mum did the rest. This is so good to know for the future though as I guess I just thought that eventually, I’d be able to do it, in actual fact this may not be the case and this is okay I just need to explore other alternatives such as buying potatoes that are already peeled.

However, mashing the potatoes was a whole different game and for the better indeed! I have an electric potato masher, and this is the best way forward for myself, it still requires good strength but the difference is stamina isn’t really involved as it only takes a minute.

Putting the beef in the oven was alright a struggle but it’s possible. This challenge really frustrates me because I know how to cook, and I enjoy it, but, because of the physical demands I just avoid it. Of which I know doing this will only make thing worse as the more I do it the better I’ll get! Getting things out of the oven was harder than putting them in as oven gloves don’t really work for myself because of the lack of grip, so again this means I need to explore different avenues.

I’m so glad I did this challenge as it enables me to then understand my weaknesses and strengths within cooking, of which I now can pull apart my weakness to eventually get better at the activity. My plan is to cook on a regular basis and to try and work on my cooking skills by exploring different meals as therefore I will know where my strengths and weakness lie.

I have really enjoyed completing these challenges, as some of these challenges are more than challenges they’re life skills, and this month has made me realised that I will struggle to complete these life skills all the way throughout my lifetime. I mentioned in a previous blog post that with these challenges I just thought that eventually with age I’d be able to complete them when realistically this may not be the case! Yes, this is frustrating as I am very determined, but it’s not worth the worry, there’s always an alternative. A few weeks ago, I did a blog post about unexpected battles and these challenges were definitely unexpected battles to young Georgia, but as I’ve got older, I’ve got used to the idea that not everything is going to be as easy as it seems and this has become the norm.

Thank for reading all the challenges I have loved all you’re support it has been incredible! Happy Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month 2019!!

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Attempting to Play Darts

So here we go we’re at challenge 3 already! Which yet again challenged my fine motor skills. Out of all 4 challenges, this has to be the one I was most nervous about because darts has always been the one thing I’d avoided. Whenever my family play darts I normally have a few shots and miss then give up due to the fear of breaking something.

I got challenged to a game of 101 meaning I had 9 shots to get to 101 points which at first, I wasn’t sure about, knowing that I’d be so far off 101. I wasn’t feeling very positive, to begin with, and I would have been surprised if I managed to get one dart onto the board in 9 shots never mind manage to accumulate 101 points. However, after a few practice rounds, it was beginning to look more achievable and I managed to get to a stage where I was getting darts on the board just as many times as I was missing the board.

As you can see not every attempt was successful! I ended up hitting the wall and losing the darts a few times, but this is okay as this was never not going to happen. It’s still annoying though, for example, I would just manage to accumulate a few points by having numerous successful shots but then I’d just lose it and be back to hitting the wall and the piano. In fact, I reckon if I had gotten points for hitting the piano, I’d be at 101 easily!

Getting to 101 points within 9 shots was super hard, I was just glad whenever the dart made it on to the dartboard never mind the number of points, to be honest, I’d have been happy with no points and just making it onto the outer ring of the dart board! My highest score was 89 this may not be 101 but I’m still extremely happy with how this challenge went. I never thought that I’d be able to get 89 points so even though I didn’t technically complete the challenge I still felt like I was winning!!

I had so much fun doing this challenge many thanks to my auntie for letting my put holes in her walls! These challenges aren’t about me showing off by any means, these challenges are about having a go at activities that I’d normally avoid. With my disability, I guess, at times I can be quick to judge whether I can do something or not, this does not mean that I give up, it just means I try and save myself the from being in an awkward situation. I’d would have loved to have had this time practising to play darts sooner but I didn’t really want to make a scene in a pub and end up getting kicked out! I have learnt not to rule anything out and without sounding cheesy practice does make perfect as I went from not getting a dart anywhere near the board to scoring 89 points.

When it comes to a task such as darts perseverance has to be the key and over time, I will get to 101. I know that I’m never going to be a professional darts player but I not trying to be a professional darts player so who cares that I got 89 points. I certainly don’t and in fact, I look at this as an achievement, I always try and aim big but again you have to evaluate what ‘big’ is in every situation and in this case achieving 89 points is big. So I’d say challenge complete!! This challenge was definitely about having fun and I didn’t care what the outcome was I just enjoyed having a good time, I know I’ll never be the best at darts, so I just enjoyed the light-hearted moment. Don’t get me wrong the better I got the more determined I became but I wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it.

Thank you for reading check out NSTP’S Facebook page for more photo’s and videos!

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Cutting the Grass!

Welcome back to challenge number 2 for Cerebral Palsy awareness month and as you can tell this was cutting the grass. When my friend first challenged me to cut the grass, I was up for it like I’m always up for anything when in fact I’d underestimated how challenging this was going to be. This is because the area of grass on my garden is quite big and flat so therefore, I thought this challenge would be one of the less complex challenges and let me just tell you it wasn’t and I had a lot more help with it than anticipated.

First, I couldn’t start the lawnmower as multitasking was required for this job as I had to hold down the lever whilst starting the engine. Of which this was far too much of a complex task for me as my brain sends mixed messages, therefore, for me to be able to complete this task I was almost be working against my brain! However, once the engine was started I was up for having a go and facing this challenge head on!

Cutting the grass on the flat and straight was fine, a bit tiring after a few minutes, not impossible. But, when I got to the end and had to turn the lawnmower around the task suddenly became a lot more difficult yet again requiring multitasking skills to ensure I didn’t let go of the lever. I did manage to make this manoeuvre, by using up a lot more space than the average person probably would. Meaning that yet again, I found my own way of getting the task done!

The next hurdle was emptying the grass… This didn’t go to plan and after one attempt I made the decision to let someone else do that part.

This challenge wasn’t my most successful challenge and I did tire quite easily meaning I didn’t complete it all and missed parts out like emptying the grass. However, I did get a lot out of the task about my boundaries and how sometimes I’m not even aware of my own boundaries. I could have just told you about all the aspects of the challenge that went well and just ignored the hard parts. But why pretend to be something I’m not? I’m not being negative about my limitations I’m just being realistic and there is a significant difference. I am very determined, and I have always had the attitude that nothing will stop me from achieving and reaching my potential. Although there still must be a point of which I need to be able to take a step back and realistically evaluate the situation.

We’re all allowed to move the goalpost from time to time however we still need to allow ourselves time to think about how manageable moving that goalpost is. I’d like to think that in the future when I’m a homeowner that I am able to use the lawnmower successfully but for now, being able to cut grass is not a skill I need. I get very frustrated when I can’t complete a task successfully and I admit that I am slightly disappointed with how this challenge played out. But isn’t there more important things to worry about? I’m known for stressing a lot but 9/10 times when I evaluate the situation, I begin to realise there’s nothing to stress about. So why waste energy?

I’m Georgia a 19-year-old with Cerebral Palsy and I do struggle to complete activities of daily living like cutting the grass. I’m not going to shy away from the fact that I can’t do these tasks and just avoid them because then how will I ever get better? This was my first time cutting the grass, therefore, this was a learning opportunity as now I know the areas I struggled with. I can think of ways to overcome them. For example, an electric lawnmower would be easier. I may never get any better at using the lawnmower, but I can accept this as they’ll always be other challenges that I can face. It’s about knowing what’s important to you and cutting the grass isn’t important to me so the fact that I’ve not completed the task successfully doesn’t matter. It’s not worth stressing and wasting energy because I can use that energy for something much more important! Having CP has taught me a lot about prioritising and making sure that I put all my energy into what’s meaningful for me. I still get this wrong and put energy into aspects of my life that don’t need as much energy and there’s going to be times where I do this again but if I remember to take a step back and put my needs first then my energy will always be used in the most meaningful way.

Thank you for your time,

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Ruby’s Makeup!

HELLO AND HAPPY CEREBRAL PALSY AWARENESS MONTH!!! As some of you may know this year for CP awareness month I have decided to set myself challenges to raise awareness, improve my own confidence and just have some fun! I’m super excited to share what I’ve been up to with everyone so let’s begin…

So, as you can tell my first challenge was to complete my cousin’s Ruby’s (who is a professionals makeup artist) makeup of which this challenged my fine motor skills. So, the pressure was on but I was up for the challenge!

Eyebrows :

I found eyebrows probably the most challenging to do due to the lack of control of my fine motor skills and dexterity in as I am quite heavy handed, therefore, it was hard to be gentle. As part of my CP, I have ataxic features meaning my hands begin to shake when doing fine movements so as you can see, I’m trying to hold my hand to stop the shaking. Even though sometimes I think this is more psychological! We started off with eyebrows knowing that this would be the hardest part so therefore this meant that if I went wrong on the eyebrows it didn’t affect the whole face. There’s always a way around these issues and this way works the best for me!

Eyeshadow :

Once again doing Ruby’s eyeshadow was all about dexterity and using them fine motor skills! Of which Ruby challenged me, this is because for Ruby’s eye look, we decided to use multiple shades and glitter as you can see meaning precision was key. When I’m doing eye makeup on myself, I often go pretty basic as then I know it is going to be okay so when Ruby challenged me to this look, I felt the pressure. I did find it hard to create detail to ensure this eye look looked effected and to apply the glitter we used glue therefore there I knew I had to be precise!

Foundation :



Applying the foundation was probably the easiest for myself as my range of movement could be bigger. However, it still was challenging to get the foundation blended properly. I also found it hard to apply the foundation around the eyes because I was trying hard not to ruin the eyebrows or the eye shadow, but I still find it easier to complete the eye look first otherwise my foundation ends up patchy.

Contour :

Contour is another aspect of my makeup that I find quite tricky! This is because I often find it hard to get my contour even resulting in me asking myself too many questions. Is my contour too high? Is it too low? Is it even? However, you can always correct contour of which I do by just adding a bit more foundation because it doesn’t matter how I do it all that matters is that I do it! When doing Ruby’s contour, I was pretty even which I was very happy about!

Mascara :

Mascara is always hard for me to do and no matter how many times I practice I will never not get any on my face. Also, let’s be clear I did not apply the false eyelashes after one attempt I decided that I did not want to send my poor cousin the A&E! However, I did manage to apply mascara onto the bottom lashes which if I say so myself, I’m impressed with. Again, I normally apply my mascara before applying foundation as this means I don’t have to correct my foundation so applying mascara after the foundation and contour was hard. But it doesn’t matter that this doesn’t look like a typical makeup look all that matters is that I completed it!

I enjoy doing my makeup but at times it does frustrate me when it doesn’t go to plan and I do get worried that it doesn’t look ‘right’. But what is ‘right’? The beauty of makeup it that it’s your own interpretation! So why worry? If it looks suitable for the particular event, I am going to that’s all the matters and I myself need to take on board this attitude!

Thank you for reading,

Check out NSTP’s Facebook page for more photos and videos!

@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

Also, check out Ruby’s amazing looks on Instagram @rubymccrudden_mua

The Extra Expenses of Being Disabled

As I’ve got older. I have come to the realisation that due to my Cerebral Palsy, there’s a lot of self-care activities that I can’t do that a girl my ages does, for example, painting my nails and doing my eyebrows. I have accepted this as I’ve never really known any different, but for me, the acceptance isn’t the hardest part, it’s the fact that these difficulties come with a cost…

I pay to get my nails and eyebrows done, this is because this gives me a bit more normality and by doing this it helps my self-esteem. My self-esteem isn’t low because I feel as though my nails need to be done to regain some femininity. It’s because when I’ve got to ask my mum or my younger sister to help pluck my eyebrows it can be quite embarrassing so, therefore, getting them done professionally is a lot better for my self-esteem. I don’t have an issue with going to a professional because today this is seen as the norm however, most people get their nails done just because they want them done not particularly because they can’t do them.

However, to live life this way it comes with a cost and I am fortunate enough to be able to afford these costs. Come to think of it over the years I have taken the expensive option a lot to accommodate my needs…

Staying with the theme of beauty makeup is also something that without a disability comes with a cost so when you add fine motor difficulties to the mix products and brushes don’t last as long as, they should, yet again increasing cost. I often have to buy expensive brushes due to me being heavy handed as if not they don’t last as long without becoming worn. I also find that I get through make up a lot faster due to my jerkiness as I very often than not drop my makeup resulting in powder being smashed. Another daily task that is affected by my heavy hands causing an increase in cost is brushing my teeth. I find that due to my lack of control I go through toothbrushes more often again increasing expenses.

When I was younger, I had to wear either splints or inserts, meaning school shoe shopping would be done with great difficulty. I never hated my disability but I never embraced it either, so shopping for school shoes was hard because I just wanted regular and pretty shoes. But again, to have an ordinary looking pair of shoes that fitted my inserts and splints would mean that my school shoes came with a price tag. Yet again this was an important need for me enabling me just to be an ordinary child at school despite my differences.

I often chose the expensive alternatives when at restaurants as well. This is for not just one but two reasons, when picking my food out from the menu I try to look for meals that one I don’t have to ask for help with the cutting up (which depends on who I am with) and two are easy to eat. For example, making sure that there are no sauces that I could potentially get all down my clothes. Of which sometimes does result in me choosing the expensive option to reduce my anxieties when eating and to make me feel more at ease, especially when I’m eating in front of people I don’t know very well.

I’m not materialistic and I am grateful that my parents could afford these expensive options I am fortunate that I still can afford these. But why should I have to pay more out due to my needs and difficulties?

Thank you for reading,

Georgia Vine
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT