Where to start this blog, as I haven`t been here for a while, life has been busy. Also despite finding writing a blog very cathartic, I`m also a little wary about over sharing, which is why I stay anonymous.
Life has been full this year, not by everyone’s standards but by my own as a disabled person. At times it has been tiring, sometime`s I’ve needed some `me` time, but I have enjoyed it and feel a more accepted part of my community, despite never quite losing the disabled lady tag.
I have just looked and it`s been three months since I last typed this!
I made a deliberate effort this year to get out and about. I never went far outside of where I live, (I`m aware that it`s more effort for others then, as in driving, lugging my wheelchair in and out of cars and then pushing me as I can`t take my electric wheels, they`re too big for standard cars) but I went to groups, met up with friends and attended coffee mornings. I visited a museum and made a host of new friends along the way. People remember me, the usual question is, “Have you heard about your dog yet?”
I haven’t heard about meeting my Canine partner yet, (It`s been 18mths) but I feel a new surge of belonging amongst the `purple army` of people that have these dogs. Through Facebook they have embraced me, advised me, reassured me and are as eagerly anticipating that call with me.
I met one of the girls this weekend, and her beautifully behaved boy that stood by her side and greeted everyone lovingly, while never taking his eyes off his `mum` for too long.
I then met the young pup in the picture above, who is now 6 months old and still in training with his puppy parents.
The more I hear and see, the more excited I am for when that day comes, in fact, my bag is starting to get packed and included are a soft toy and chew bone, together with an ID for its collar. The `Purple army` assure me that my life will never be the same again, that the joy of becoming `invisible` is one of the best results in a world, where we`re so used to being looked at or ignored, now their dog is the focus of attention and the start of conversations on equal terms. It isn`t only about what they can do for us physically.
Some of my Family came to stay for a week. Three of my Nephews, all under 12, and their Mum came down south on the train, which took them hours from the North West. We decided before they came that we were going to make memories and that we did.
We filled each day with something, with the help of friends of mine, and including them made it all the more special. I couldn`t always join in, but just watching them and being with them was enough, and they never failed to include me somehow.
Their Mum is a powerhouse, a wonder woman and the best mother I have ever seen, she gets involved in everything they do and often with more enthusiasm than them, lol.
As a friend, there is nothing we can`t talk about, and I simply adore her, she is amazing considering all that she has gone through in life.
To see my nephews after a couple of years was wonderful, they are such well-behaved gentlemen that stand up for other people on buses, shake hands when introduced to people and are always grateful for what they are given. They are great company, good conversationalists and I missed them too much when they returned home, but we had made some great memories and took over 300 pictures between us!
I took over the administration for a Poetry group this Summer too. At first, I was a little self-conscious and didn`t want to be pushy or control the money side of it, and so I opened up and asked another Lady to take that over.I am now part of a duo that gets it sorted for others to enjoy, which is a nice feeling. My Friend who takes me said that I shocked her and I suddenly looked like I belonged and had more confidence. I was a poet, it is my natural domain and I understand it. So now I do all the advertising, putting it out there on local pages to bring people in, and organize the posters etc and then read my own or others poems when I get there. I thoroughly enjoy it.
Ahhhhhhhhh and then there’s this, the menopause! As if Periods, Pregnancy, childbirth, Sore & leaky nipples during breastfeeding were not enough! Now I`m having tropical moments as my friend calls them, and waking up at night as though I’m in a sauna! September gave me a 23 day period but October kindly chose not to give me one at all! My sleep has been all over the show since last year, and roughly six and a half hours is average according to my Fitbit. I feel tired a lot but fortunately, they are my only real signs, I generally feel alright, though not as tolerant as I used to be.
I have visited my hospital as I fear lower bone density, which is any able bodied woman is a worry, but with a woman with Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a double worry. However, I am assured that Osteoporosis and Osteogenesis don`t team up, they run separately, so though I may gain Osteoporosis, it won`t affect my Osteogenesis (Are you following this?) but I still may start to fracture more, simply because of the menopause. (It`s still not good news!)
So off I trot to an occupational therapist for combat strategies, and I leave with info, and a resistance band!
Despite tropical moments, I went back on a dating site, simply because out and about I am usually surrounded by couples and It looks nice.
I was chatting to a guy for just over two months and he decided to ask if I’d like to meet up for lunch the next day, of course, I agreed. He`s not my `normal` type, he`s a couple of years older than me, a little overweight, but let’s be honest, where has my normal type got me so far? We get on well in text and never a day went by that we hadn`t shared our day with each other, so I was quietly optomistic.
So, I was waiting on whether or not a car he had fixed up for a MOT or not (He`s a mechanic) as to whether or not he could meet up still. He texted to say he could. So, I didn`t over do it but I scrubbed up, dressed nice and did my face. I wheeled to the pub with a close neighbour and met up with a lady that has a guide dog on the way for a chat. I could see his Landrover in the car park and his little dog sniffing nearby.
I waved, he waved back and I eventually finished my chat and went over. He`s no Aidan Turner but he has a quiet masculinity about him. I made a fuss of his dog and noticed the gentleman was very reserved. We eventually went in for lunch. He sat down as we decided on what to eat and I noticed his oily jeans and that even his hands were still black & oily. The conversation didn`t flow easily all the time, mostly due to his reserved nature, (He`s the same in texts, mixed signals, contrary and doesn’t give a lot) However it wasn`t uncomfortable which is strange. We parted company, he was in a hurry to get back to work.
A couple of days passed and he hadn’t mentioned our meeting at all, or what he thought of me, not a word, so eventually I asked him outright, I don`t waste my time these days. His reply was a bit tongue in cheek, very him but none the less not complimentary: “Morning , bit mad here today ! Mmm big questions last nite lol , cards on table it was good to meet you finally , i liked you would be nice to have lunch or something again some time i’ll be ur friend as long as you want me to be but nothing more sadly. I’ve pretty much given up on dating site so probably going to be a non practicing homosexual think thats the way forward lol x”
So we met on the 4th, the message about just being friends on the 8th and tomorrow the 17th we may meet up for lunch again!
I recently had trouble with my wheelchair. If I went out with friends they weren`t able to lock the rear wheels back in. MY wheelchair is six years old now, it`s used 365 days of the year and needs a really good clean. I had it fixed once but this time got a friend to do it as he`s an engineer.
However, for a few days, I had to use my outdoor electric wheelchair, and this was a huge life lesson for me. I found it increasingly frustrated to be high up, the footplates do not allow me to get near surfaces and unable to be under my own power. Everything seemed slower, the housework built up around me, if I dropped anything it was a mission if I didn`t have the hand grabber with me. The relief to be back in my manual and free to whizz round at my own speed made me grateful to be able to do so.
I am still on the helpline and still find it fulfilling and even on the days when I don`t really feel up to it, I feel a sense of good after for a call that stood out. It was a little hard to juggle around a life outside of the home and my Son who often comes in and is irritated that he can`t talk to me.
However now, after a telephone course, I am now a mentor too,which means I am able to do one to one calls with people that need that extra time over a span of six weeks. I have my first two service users details and will soon begin.
I had a lovely birthday time this year in mid-October, I was spoilt by my friends and my family, and felt very blessed.
I thoroughly enjoyed Samhain this year too, spending it with my thirteen-year-old Nephew who helped me prepare food and scare the little trick or treaters that came round. We then visited my Mother with Barmbrack and our orange treats.
Of course, it is also our New year, and so I started a new journal and looked back at the past year with a real sense of achievement and acceptance!