Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Day 360 - fractious

I haven't posted for a while (yet again), and I must admit that (due to deadlines) I was on the verge of skipping another day among many, until I received a very sweet message from an equally sweet friend. He expressed his disappointment, as a fellow blogger, at the lack of updates this month - especially as I was at home for most of it and subsequently doing lots of physio and 'training'. This, alongside the realisation that I've somehow reached Day 360, motivated me to give myself enough time amidst essays to blog tonight. I won't, however, give you much of an update - not because I haven't had all sorts of exciting experiences in the remainder of this April - rather because I've got so many important topics clamouring for attention in my brain that I know I won't do them justice if I write them now, jostling as they are with final essays.

The air I'm breathing at the moment, as I approach the first anniversary of my mission (if not quite this blog), has been feeling crackly - crackly with tension, anticipation, fear and joy - as though its individual and usually disparate particles were about to collide and cause a great deal of havoc. Unspecified havoc, neither particularly positive nor particularly negative, but havoc nonetheless. It's fractious - hence the title today. That, though, is a double entendre (albeit one without any raunchy connotations) because I was right - there was havoc brewing.

On Friday, I had a little outing to A&E, with a very sore ankle - and it soon became clear, following a couple of xrays, that I had a hairline fracture (see the titular pun now?). How this came about is hilarious (at least to someone with my wry and twisted sense of humour) because it had nothing whatsoever to do with me. It would appear that not only can I, being a (currently) non-ambulant girl, procure 'runner's injuries' and the afflictions of a 'marching soldier' as I have in the past; I can also fracture my ankle by someone else lifting it up in exactly the same way that they always do.

Since I'm fine, comfortable, and can still stand for transfers, the only possible response is to laugh. We have no idea when it happened and the only treatment is a combination of tubigrip and good sense. So I'll chalk this one up to experience, add it to the list for the sitcom I'm going to have to get round to writing, and take it as a sign that often a choice of word to describe the atmosphere can turn out to be all too apt. I felt fractious and I fractured. Ha. How's that for cosmic foreshadowing? 



Thursday, 11 April 2013

Day 341 - motion sickness

I woke up this morning feeling rather nauseous, something that hasn't been around for a good while. (Important Note: once again, no, I'm not pregnant.)

Great way to start a blog post, hey? Sorry - and you'll be wondering what on earth this has to do with my mission. I'll endeavour to elucidate. A few posts back (in my snow post) I wrote about the speed at which physical improvements have been occurring - and how I'm coping with them, along with the periods of time when physical work isn't possible, because it seems it's either one or the other of these two extremes with little or no middle ground. This post is about the former - the speed at which things have been happening since I've been home for the holidays.

I appear to have been making some rather radical changes over these last four weeks. For the most part they're not likely to be noticed by people other than those who work most closely with me, although some will be, but that doesn't make them any less radical. The thing is, my whole approach to my physicality and the way I move is different. Whether a switch has flicked, neurons are firing in a new way, or something else has happened, I don't know. All I can say, like the true musical theatre geek I am, is 'something has changed within me'. I think it might be a continuation of my newfound ability to notice (finally!) and to celebrate my body as it is, and all the wonderful things it (and any relatively healthy body) is able to do - like breathe, pump blood through my veins, and be alive. But I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it's wonderful - and it's caused such a fundamental shift that my vestibular system is all over the place, as though I'm being repeatedly knocked off balance.

But I don't mind feeling sick as a result, because I'm learning to read my body's signs, so I'm viewing this nausea as just another reminder that I'm on the right track. If it happens again tomorrow I'll try my best to smile - it simply means I'm in motion.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Day 335 - a digression, but a related one

This morning the UK woke up to the article you can find here. Now, I view this blog purely as a space to document my progress towards my goal, and consequently try not to veer off topic too frequently, if at all, particularly in relation to politics. (Although I imagine it's pretty obvious by this point that I'm left-leaning, and not just because of my spinal curvature!) This is why I refrained from penning a post on the recent drastic welfare reforms to which the country has been subjected, however much I may (vehemently) oppose them - because, despite the significant impact the changes will certainly have (and have had) on my lifestyle and on those of the people I care about, they aren't directly relevant to the subject of this blog.

Today, though, I'm going to flout my own rule and add my two-penn'orth to the indignation provoked by the evidence of the article linked above - namely pictures of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, standing next to his chauffeur-driven Land-Rover as it was parked in a disabled parking space. A space which, last time I checked, he had no need for - nor, indeed, any legal right to use. If the former reason (lack of need) was not enough to cause the outrage that it has, then the latter (illegal [mis]use of public property, punishable by fine) ought to be a more than sufficient impetus.

I emphasise the illegality of his actions because they come from a man at whose behest the UK government have recently been taking ordinary Britons, their electorate, to task for living in ways with which they do not agree because they do not find them expedient or economically viable. Housing benefit for some of the most needy and vulnerable people in our society has been cut, along with the introduction of a 'bedroom tax' which will affect tenants of council properties which have spare rooms and are deemed to be underoccupied. (Now, I'm all for efficient use of council housing, but not when it means that families quite within their rights to have an extra room are in danger of being evicted, nor when people with disabilities who require carers or PAs are told that it doesn't count. It means that when I graduate in the summer I won't be able to live independently of my mum, although the flat we currently share is adapted for my needs, because a PA 'could sleep on a sofa-bed in the lounge' and doesn't need a room of their own.) These 'reforms' come at the same time as a large-scale, and quite simply brutal, overhaul of the once-trusted National Health Service on which so many people depend - as well as the abolition of the Disability Living Allowance and its conversion into the less-accessible (but sneakily-named) Personal Independence Plan.

As I've said, I wouldn't normally be so explicit about the impact of changes in legislation on my life, and I don't want to turn this post into a rant. After all, I'm lucky enough to be able to speak, and thereby can at least vocalise the problems I face independently of anyone else - and I'm receiving a university education. I am very privileged in these senses, and wouldn't seek to deny it. My only aim in writing about this today is to highlight how many of my friends who have disabilities, and how many people across the country, have been affected and do not have the support available to do anything about it. For us to see today that the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the man who on the one hand has been praising the potential of our 'aspiration nation' and on the other has been accusing us of cheating the system and wasting money) has so little awareness of the lives of people like us that he parks in a disabled bay, is to have a bucketful of salt chucked in our wounds.

In closing, then, as a young woman with cerebral palsy I have this to say to George Osborne - you want my disabled parking bay, you take my disability, too.