Things you should not do.

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Hello all,

How are we all doing today?

Normally I do not go out alone as I struggle to get to new places independently. Getting to work I do alone as it is a familiar route.

When getting on and off trains it can be quite difficult for a few different reasons, one of which is when the platform and trains are busy.

It can be very helpful when someone asks me if I need help. My preferred way of people asking is if they say ‘hello’ rather than touching my arm to get my attention. This is just because I don’t like people in my personal space.

If I say yes to you your help then please let me take your arm and the guide me onto the train. Then help me to find a seat. Once we have found one I will say thank you and that I am happy for your help.

People will ask me if it is OK to ask a Disabled person if they need help. My response is always, please ask if you are unsure. The reason I say this is because it is always nice to be asked and if we do not need help we will politely say no.

Things I do not appreciate as a White Cane user are people assuming I have no site at all and using this to think it is ok to push past me.

This week in one train journey the following happened:

The train pulled up and I was about to get on when someone got on in front of me. Then another person decided to the same. The second person did so as my cane was helping me navigate the train step. My cane caught in between his feet and he could have fallen over or I could have misjudged the gap and hurt myself. This is all because people are arrogant and want to get on first.

The train is not leaving any quicker because you got on first.

Then getting off the train I stood waiting to go through the doors from the carriage into the exit. My cain was stuck out and I was ready to move through the door. Then someone stepped round the side of me and pushed through the door before me. These doors are quite narrow. My cain got stuck between their feet as they continued to walk off the train. Once again this could have ended up in injury to myself or them.

If an injury were to occur, it would not be my fault. I have a cain for a reason, if you chose to ignore it and you fall over it is not my fault at all. You may think that’s a bit harsh, but it is not. My eyes don’t work well, which is why I have the cain, your eyes work, so please use them.

Please be respectful of Disabled people, well everyone really. Personally I think if you were to ask if someone needs help it is OK to do so. As long as it is coming from a good place then it is all good.

Thank you for reading.

Scoliosis

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Hello all,

I have decided this weeks post will be all about Scoliosis. Recently I have adjusted the exercises I do so I can try get a better balance, strengthen my core and shoulders. How exciting.

Doing physio exercises is very tiring. Normally when you go to a physio via the NHS you get exercises to do and they will, if necessary do a sport massage to release some of the tension. This is not normally the case though.

I do my exercises and then I have sport massages separately. Yes they are costly however I think it is really worth it. The sport massage releases the tension and helps you to start again. Then you can do the exercises to rebuild your strength and reset your muscles.

All of this does not stop my need to take painkillers on a daily basis. Right now for example, I am sat in my comfy chair but I have had to take pain killers. I am also wearing layers to keep my back muscles warm.

Scoliosis is very hard to live with and there is no cure. Even if you have the surgery you still have scoliosis. You still have days when you are in pain.

If you have any questions around scoliosis please feel free to drop a comment a below. Also check out SAUK.org.uk

Thank you for reading.
Twitter @PhilippaB

CVI

Hello again,

Thought I would drop in. I was wondering what to write about and then I decided. My horrendous eyesight.

So the other day I was helping to put stuff away after shopping and the front door had been left open while we bring stuff in from the car. I heard a noise which sounded like a bell. I turned around and looked towards the door. There was something there, I couldn’t make out what it was. So I was startled. The mystery thing then moved. My eyes refocussed and I realised it was a cat.

The cat was black and white and our carpet is a dark blue, almost black. This is what made the cat more difficult to see.

One of my eye conditions is Cerebral Visual Impairment. My brain and my eyes do not always communicate with one another. Which leads to instances like the above where I can be looking directly at something but my brain just can’t understand what it is at all.

This can be very dangerous when crossing roads.

When I realised it was a cat I saw it turn around and move back outside. I went to close the door. We do not have a cat so this is why it was startling because it was out of the ordinary and clearly my head had no idea was to do with the information.

The same thing happened again this morning. I was putting on a fleece and a small moth was on the sleeve, I did not realise and then it moved onto my hand. I flapped my hand and it wouldn’t move. So I flicked the moth off and it disappeared.

It is very difficult when you can’t see but when you have CVI its all confusing because you are looking but your brain is just not doing what it should be with the information it is receiving from your eyes. This is very exhausting.

Please follow the link to the CVI Society to learn more https://cvisociety.org.uk

I am off to enjoy a nice cup of tea and watch some TV. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon.

Thank you,
Philippa B.

Being Sociable when disabled

Status

Hello all, 

It’s been a while. I’ve been enjoying some time away from my blog and it’s been nice. 

One thing which I am very excited about is the summer coming. It is always nicer when the weather is warmer and we can spend more time outside. The other thing I like about the spring/summer is that the days are longer. This means I can try and go out a bit more than I would in the winter months. Being visually impaired means I don’t do well in the dark. Having scoliosis is also another factor which stops me doing stuff in winter. The reason being my back hurts more due to the cold. 

But spring and summer are on their way. 

The other day I got to meet up with my friend which was lovely. I have not seen them in a while. We went for cake and had a wander.  It was lovely to catch up. 

I struggle to get out at times as I get quite tired with work. This is frustrating as it leaves me with little energy. So I often feel as though I can’t see my friends as often as I would like. But this is one of the problems when you’re disabled. I am always grateful to my friends who are understanding of this.

This problem of not feeling able to socialise as much as I would like is something the disabled community is not new too. We all have problems with being able to get out for a variety of reasons. Either due to tiredness or lack of access for our needs. There are many reasons.

I hope the world can be more accommodating for the disabled community as we have so much to offer. We just need support.

Anyway that’s my post for today. I shall try be back again soon with more posts. Have a great day. 

World Book Day 2022

Hello,

How are we all?

This week we have World Book Day coming up on the 3rd of March. Last year I did a small blog about what I had I had been listening too and I thought I would write another one about my love of reading.

Quite often you may see the discussion around are Audiobooks really reading? In my opinion, yes it is. For one reason I am Visually Impaired and without AudioBooks I would have lost the ability to do one of my favourite things. Reading.

My recent listens are:

Divergent Mind by Jenara Nerenberg
Click here for Audible 

Full Circle by Michael Palin
Click here for Audible 

All of the Marvels by Douglas Wolk

Click here for Audible

*other formats are available 


When it comes to rereading I enjoy a variety of different books, unfortunately fiction is not something I am listen to very often.

My latest listen is ‘All of the Marvels’. This book is great because it goes into a lot of detail about the Marvel Universe and how it has grown over time, the way it has addressed issues going on in the world and how it has an infinite scope to just keep going. If you are a fan of Marvel I would definitely give this one a read.

When it comes to books I love that you can always learn something. The argument that audiobooks are not really reading is pointless in my opinion. If you are enjoying them, if you’re learning something, if they are helping get you through the day then what’s the argument, really?

Stories and books should be for everyone. Whether you’re Visually Impaired and can’t see the book, or you’re Dyslexic and you struggle to follow along. It should not matter. Books are there to be enjoyed and if you enjoy reading then enjoy it by whatever medium you see fit.

What books have you been reading lately?
Don’t forget to check out #WritingCommunity on Twitter.
Charity Shops are a great place to pick up books.

Thank you for dropping in and see you soon. 

Lucy and Yak Fleece

Hello again,

For a while now I have been wanting a fleece from Lucy and Yak. The materials are recycled so it’s a great win for the environment. Also everyone I know who has their stuff seems to really like what they buy.

The other day I treated myself to a nice dark blue fleece. The fabric is very soft, the colour is lovely and the fit is very snug and cozy.

When I’m buying clothes I have to be very careful as I  am quite fussy about the feel and the fit. As I have a Scoliosis it is very important to me that the fit is comfortable. I ordered a small after looking at the size of the model was wearing in the picture. Normally I would go for a medium. But fleeces are meant to be baggy so I went with the small.

When it arrived I was happy with the packing, all recyclable and mostly paper. So it all went in the recycling bin. When I took it out it felt nice and soft. I have been wearing it for two days now and I really like it.

I tend to be quite cold so need to wear three layers. Even in the house. However with this fleece I am only wearing two layers! My back feels comfy in the fleece and I am nice and warm.

I reckon I’ll be buying another item in the future.

The price was £45 which for something so comfy and which was from a recommended brand I wasn’t too fussed by. Its also going towards items which are better for the planet, so why not.

I know this isn’t the usual kind of blog I post, but it does link to my Scoliosis as clothing is very tricky when spine is curved.

If you would like to read a few more posts about Scoliosis please look here.

Thank you for reading, speak soon. 

Philippa.

*I have not been asked to write this or have not received anything for it. I just like what I bought.

Self Care

Hellon all,

How are we doing?

I am feeling better than last time I wrote. I have a bit more energy back. Which is great.

I thought I’d write today about self care. I wrote about this a while ago. But think it needs re looking at.

One thing I have recently started to do is listen to my audiobooks before bed. This helps me unwind and to help my brain relax a bit before bed.

I also like to treat myself to stuff from Lush every so often because a good bath can make the world of difference when you’re trying to relax.

Everything can feel quite rushed and very frustrating at the moment, what with everything going on in the world. It’s important to stop and take time for yourself.

Perhaps just make time for a cup of tea on a morning while you don’t do anything else? Five minutes out of your day could make a big difference.

It is really good for your overall well-being to stop and reflect. This is super important.

I am going to go now, I’ll check back in soon.

New Long Cane

Hello all,

Last week there was no blog as I had caught Covid.

What I was going to write about, which will be topic of this weeks post is the first week with my new long cane from RNIB. No Jab Long Cane.

My new long cane held in my left hand, it has a red handle.

The cane is a little longer than normal but it is still safe to use. It is a graphite cane with red sheep skin handle, I know right…fancy. With it being graphite it is lighter than my aluminium one.

The opening line for the description by the RNIB is ‘This revolutionary shock-absorbing long cane is designed to eliminate the sharp jabs that can occur when cane tips get stuck, for example, in a drain, while you’re out and about.’

The shock absorbing element of the cain is the reason I bought it. Due to my curved spine I find that my pain levels are increased whenever the cane whacks against something.

DareDevil.

As soon as I opened it and saw it, I just thought DareDevil. I mean who wouldn’t? I messaged my friend straight away and sent her a picture. It’s so good.

But does it really work? 

Yes, yes it does. The Caine absorbs 80% of the shock created when you walk into something. It’s especially helpful when you are walking along uneven pavements and the cane catches causing me to have a lot of pain.

I had to swap the tip though as it came with a marshmallow tip, I prefer rollerball. The reason being is I feel it glides a lot more smoothly along the floor and works better with my back.

The cane cost £56.99 ex VAT. It was a worthwhile purchase and I would urge anyone who can to try it out if they suffer with any form of neck or back pain.

Let us know how you get with it.

Until next time, Philippa B.

First Blog of the Year

Hello all,

So here we are a few weeks into 2022. It’s scary isn’t it?

Well I thought I’d take the time to stop and reflect a little on where I’m at after a busy 2021.

Last year I pushed myself out my comfort zone quite a bit with work and loved it. I’m aiming to do the same this year.

The other thing I really want to do more of this year is listen to more audio books. I know I said this last year. My brother got me another Audible Subscription. I recently finished Divergent Mind by Janera Nerenberg. This book was fabulous. It really resonated with me a lot of the things she was saying.

It can be very tough finding the answers you’ve been searching for for so long and never quite being able to understand. Books like Divergent Mind, Neurotribes By Steve Silberman and Odd Girl Out by Laura James are incurable reads. Which for me, really helped me to understand more of myself which I have never fully understood. But that’s not for this blog…

I don’t normally set a lot of goals for the year, I find when you do, you can get quite down when you don’t achieve them. But I would love to listen to more audiobooks. I want to go to London and visit my brother. I would also love to be able to see more of my friends.

We all know the last few years has been exceptionally hard. I’ve just had a few days off and the other day I got to see my friend who I haven’t seen in two years. We went for afternoon tea. It was lovely. We didn’t hug. Hopefully next time. Stupid Rona. I missed my friend. 

I hope you all have plans for 2022 which you manage to achieve.  Remember if you can’t achieve them all, It’s OK. Set a few loose ones you know you want to achieve. Then you can feel accomplished and feel better.

I’m off now, I have a few things to crack on with. But I’ll be back soon.

I’m on Twitter @PhilippaB

December 2021

Hello all,

It’s midway through December and I am feeling a bit tired. This morning I have been doing a few bits of editing on my blog, like updating my fundraising info.

This year has been full of new challenges for everyone and as we look forward to 2022 I think we are all hoping for a better year ahead.

I have been able to complete my fundraising challenge for The British Heart Foundation and The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. This was my way of celebrating turning 30. It was additionally important for me to mark this milestone as it was also my 30th Anniversary of having open heart surgery.

Thank you for helping me raise money for a brilliant cause. 

As we go into the final week before Christmas there’s still a whole load of wrapping to do which I will try and get stuff done this weekend. I have a few days off over Christmas which I am really looking forward too. Then a few days booked off in a January.

Anyway, I am off now a bit and I will try be a back again later.