Cerebral Palsy and I!

As it is the last day of Cerebral Palsy awareness month for another year, I thought I would write a post.

Firstly a definition of what Cerebral Palsy is:

Cerebral Palsy is the name for a group of life long conditions that affect movement and co ordination, caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth. (NHS Website)

As I might of mentioned in previous blogs, I have Cerebral Palsy myself. I was officially diagnosed with the condition when I was three years old, this happened after numerous visits to the doctors and other health pofessionals appointments made by my parents. I was born nine weeks premeture, for a premature baby however apart from being very tiny I was reletively heathy. My parents first suspected that something was wrong with me when I couldn’t hold my own head up and I wasn’t hitting other baby milestones. At first health professionals put it down to delayed development and they thought I that I would catch up in time. My parents knew in their gut that something was not quite right so with their presistence I got the diagnosis made by a physio!

My parents didn’t see me any different they just wanted to know what to do next, which consisted of many hospital and physio appointments and even an operation to help me get around a little better, which i’m sure i’ll go in to more detail at a future post!

Anyway I can sense you getting a little bored now reading about my ‘Normal’ life and my i’m sure my reletive standard diagnosis story as I’m sure many people with CP was diagnosed in a similar way. My idea behind me telling you all is so that people get a better understanding of what people with disabilities have to go through. No one with Cerebral Palsy is exactly the same, yes I agree that we have the same condition but we are all unique to how it affects us. A good way of looking at it is we are all butterflies as butterflies my look the same from a distance but they are all unique in their colour and beauty and all fly and shine in their unique glory.

I personally see this with Cerebral Palsy and with other disabilities as the disability makes people shine and makes us the kickass people I know we are by not letting a disability get in our way to achiveing the impossible and conquring the world!

By the way as a disabled person and i’m sure others will agree with me, I dont mind been called disabled its not offensive to me, I know I am disabled and i”m well aware I can’t change it! the word isn’t going to make me to break down in tears, so to all the people that think “we can’t use that word” on the whole you can and you won’t shock me or other disabled people i’ve heard it all before and I’m sure others have as well. I hope others will agree with me on this issue. I personally embrace my disability every day!

So on this last day of the awareness lets contiue showing the ‘ability’ in disabity and be the wonderful unique people we all are with or without a disability, nothing is impossiple the only thing that stops us all is our own fears! Lets together conquar them all one by one!

We can do this one step at a time or in my case one wheel at a time! 🙂

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Me and My Blog! Questions Answered!

I recently did a internet radio interview about this blog and the reasons why I write! I thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the same questions and a few new ones as a post to give you my wonderful readers a better insight into my life and the reasons why I started writing this blog.

1.Where are you from?

I am from a city in the North of England. (UK)

2. What is your background in terms of Education?

I was the first pupil/student with a disability who also uses a wheelchair to attend my primary school and high school. So as a result of this I was the one leading them into becoming a more inclusive school not only for me but for pupils/students in the future. I then went on to do my A levels and then I went on to get a Bachelors Degree. (BSc)

3. When did you start writing the blog?

I started writing this blog in late September 2018.

4. What is the blog about?

The blog is about being disabled and all the ups and downs that come with having a disability. I am using my personal experiences and knowledge as a disabled person to try and inform, inspire and reassure people. One of my main purposes of writing a blog is to try and make people aware that just because of a disability you don’t have to let it define you or let the limitations control you, instead embrace your disability and turn it into a strength to achieve anything you want to, everything can be overcome and nothing is impossible!

5. Who is the blog aimed at?

The blog is aimed at everyone, but particularly people with disabilities and their families. It is also aimed at parents that have recently been told that their baby/infant has a disability and are upset about the diagnoses and that a worried sick about the future for their child seeking reassurance or advice or just simply just to know they are not alone. It is also aimed at people that are just curious and wanting to find out more.

6. How did you come up with with the name Brightsidebecs?

My friend who has been a big support to me in my life and getting the blog up and running helped me with the name. Becs is a nickname for my actual name and I wanted something that sounded positive as I want my blog to be mainly positive about disability. I also wanted something that people were going to remember!

7. What do you want to achieve from your blog?

As I said in a previous question I want to inspire and reassure people and it would be nice to continue to spread a positive message on disability. Just to know I have helped someone feel a little better about themselves or their future even if its just for a few seconds it’s all worth it! I’d like to think that my blog will empower people to believe in themselves to follow their dreams.

8 You mention your parents in your blog, how have they supported you?

My parents have made me the determined personI am today, they have brought me up as able bodied they have not treated me any different just because I am disabled. They have taught me that my disability is only a small part of who I am and that I can achieve anything and handle whatever life throws at me. They support me in everything I do!

9. What’s your personal plans for the future?

My personal plans for the future are to live independently, I am currently in the process of applying to do a councelling course, to hopefully one day become a self employed consellor. I would also be open to starting a family sometime in the future! All of which I will blog about along the way! I would also love to do a skydive!

10. What do you do in your free time?

I love to spend time with friends and family, I love to socialise and meeting new people. I also love to push myself and my disability to the limits! I love travelling and expirencing and learning new things. I go to a lot of live music and theatre. I also do a few things for charity. For example I have participated in a colour run for charity in my wheelchair.

11. In one of your most recent blog posts, you spoke about your personal expirences of been disabled. What was the purpose of this? What are you hoping/wanting the reaction to be on this post?

I wrote this particular post because I have been wondering for a while if disabled people, (myself included) if we would get treated better with more respect and value if able bodied people knew what it was geniuinging like for a disabled person every day. I was as brutally honest as I could be, and I am going to continue with “my version” of disability in the future. As I couldn’t fit it all into one post and i think it is important ant for me to write about to raise awareness! We are all unique and human beings! The reaction that I am hoping to get/wanting is what I have just mentioned that everyone sees us as just like everybody else because we are!

12. What is the the future of your blog?

As I keep mentioning I want to continue to inspire and empower disabled people. I am going to hopefully start a YouTube channel in the near future which will coincide with this blog. I would also like to work along side disabled organisations to continue to inspire and hopefully make a difference!

if people are interested and want to know more listen to the internet radio interview that I did, I will put the link up on my social media platforms when it becomes available at the beginning of April! all my social media platforms have the same name as my web address for this blog : brightsidebecs, I have Instagram, Twitter and a Facebook page! My Twitter name is Brightsidebex.

Love is Love!

As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, people are quick to stereotype, one of the major stereotypes that’s so absurd in my view, is that people with disabilities can’t have what’s considered as a ‘Normal love life’and that we can’t have a family of our own! Of course this is completely incorrect. Disabled people are exactly the same as any other human being on earth! We have the same desires and dreams. From my personal experience being in love is one of the best feelings in the world, being in love with someone who is also your best friend is incredible! Which I proudly can say has happened to me!

Being in a disabled relationship is not much different to the average ‘able bodied’ relationship in terms of dating and all the ups and downs that dating entails , for example finding time for each other with very busy schedules, and of course the arguments! Right? One of the major challenging factors or difference if you want to do what I hate and compare! Is that when your in a ‘disabled relationship’ people don’t take you as seriously as people that are in ‘ordinary ‘ relationship, which in my personal opinion is just closed mindfulness as it does not matter if you are in a wheelchair or not love is love no matter what the circumstances or what is considered ‘normal’ within society. There is no such thing as Normal! Another issue that can be a problem when you are in a disabled relationship is that people tend to have an opinion more often on your relationship as you don’t have much privacy due to the extra support that is sometimes required, so for instance an argument is sometimes over heard and as a couple you may of forgiven each other but for other people their opinions have accidentally formed and that is sometimes hard to change, this can of course cause conflict in any relationship but can be made worse when you are disabled! Everything just needs more planning and discussions when deciding to progress the future of the relationship in terms of living together and family planning etc. I assure you it is all worth it! All that is required is the relevant support, care plans/ packages are up to date and that the correct provisions are put in place so that you can continue living the life you want to live! Nothing is impossible! If I had the chance with a very special someone once more, I would love nothing more then to break down the barriers that got in our way which can of course be done and have an incredible future together! Anyone in love or has been in love in the past will know there is absolutely nothing you wouldn’t do to be with the person you love! Unfortunately however I didn’t act on my own advice and things didn’t go the way we both intended!

The rules do not change just because you are disabled! There is no guide book to love, every relationship whether you are disabled or not is hard at times and no relationship is the same!

Just follow your heart, take that leap of faith because it’s better to have a go then be scared of something that might be the best thing you have ever done, like I said love is love whatever the circumstances or conditions!

Goglewitch……

Say no to the stereotyper!

One of my personal bug bears as a disabled person is being automatically put in a “stereotype box”. What I mean is, as soon as somebody meets me for the first time (at least 80% of people) they unknowingly fall into their own stereotype. The bending down talking to you real slow is a good one.  “Aaarrre- youuu- oookkkk” I hear, with my completely functioning face. My personal favourite is the high volumed vocals as they assume you’re deaf! I just laugh to myself thinking, who are you taking to? It’s a toss up between a toddler and my 90 year old neighbour! There literally is no inbetween. Hey, I gotta get my kicks from somewhere, right?

My point is, when a person hears the word “disabled” they think of all the negative connnotations, which might seem trivial to some but it’s important to show the word “disability” in the correct light! Questions wondered tend to be “can they drink alcohol?” “Can they have relationships?” “Will they be able to participate like everybody else?” These are just a few; I could go on all day but then I’d loose readers through boredom because there are so many!

To reassure parents and other readers, I’ll answer the questions. Yes disabled people can drink alcohol (if they are of legal age whether it be 18 or 21) so long as they have full mental capacity to know what they are doing and not on any prescribed medications that don’t permit alcohol. I always say, even though I am disabled I have the same organs and most likely will eventually die just the same as everybody else! Shocker, I know.

Yes disabled people can have relationships and children just like able bodied people. We just require additional support. By this I mean I would need someone to get up and do night feeds (when I’m a parent) every night, that’s all. I’m just kidding- Possibly. We just need support in place so we can live the exact life as an able bodied person.

Another stereotype is if you have a disability, your full brain activity is not that of an able bodied person *cough cough* bachelors degree *cough cough*.  People have a tendency to talk to my careers instead of me because they think I can’t hold a conversation. Disabled people,  me included have the same level of intelligence as the next person! We are underestimated. I say that people with disabilities are intelligent not just by academia but by common sense and are very driven to prove every stereotype and society wrong!

Whatever time a disability enters your world,  whether it be as a child or through an event or situation later in life, just ignore the stereotypes and say, SOD you! For everyone that says you can’t, you tell them “yes I can and yes I will”. Do it bigger,  better! If you are a parent of a disabled child, my best suggestion would be do what my parents did and bring them up as able bodied as possible, meaning obviously make adaptations wherever is required but in their behaviour and personality. Bring them up as you originally planned when you thought they were going to be able bodied so that they will grow up as I have.  Let’s prove these stereotype wrong and achieve everything we want and more!