Allow me to re-introduce myself

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Me with my hair in plaits

It recently occurred to me that a  lot of new people have started reading View from a Walking Frame since Employable Me aired. I realised that not all of those people will know a lot about me or this blog, so I thought today it might be nice to re-introduce myself and explain a few of the things I natter on about on here.

So, here is a bit of a potted history of my life.

About Me

I’m pretty sure most of you will have worked this out already, but if you haven’t then I’m Nicola Golding (although I go by Nic) and I have cerebral palsy. I write a lot, read just as much and drink way, way, way too much tea.

I also have anxiety and depression that flares up a various points in my life, which I talk about a lot on here (and my YouTube channel too).

I have a boyfriend of nine years, two cats, a dog, and a degree in multimedia journalism.

That’s about as interesting as I get to be honest, but if you want to know more about me that isn’t related to my disability or mental health, then you can always look through my old Fun Fact Friday posts.

About my cerebral palsy

There are about 17 million people in the world who have cerebral palsy, and while I’m definitely not a CP (or disability) expert, I am perhaps the only expert in how cerebral palsy truly effects me.

To cut a very long story short, I was born 14 weeks premature and had a bleed in my brain, and that is how I got CP, or spastic diaplegic cerebral palsy to be specific. There are four main types of cerebral palsy, but mine is the spastic kind, which means I have muscle tightness. Diaplegic means I have it in two limbs (both of my legs). Although, my left arm is also impacted a bit, so some professionals call me triplegic (three limbs).

There is no cure for it, but I can learn to manage my pain and the various other challenges my disability throws at me.

The main problem I have is pain. There is not a single day where I am ever completely pain free. Some days are worse than others. Now I’m getting older (I’m 27) I’m noticing that the bad days are getting more and more frequent, and some months they outnumber the good.

The main thing is that I wouldn’t change my life. I wouldn’t take away my disability.

In truth, it actually makes me quite sad when people tell me they think ‘it’s a shame’ that I’m like this, because it’s really not.

 

Anyway, I think that’s enough about me. Why not tell me a little bit about yourself  in the comments.

Love,

Nic xx

 

 

What 4 years of blogging has taught me about my disability

As cliché as it sounds, it doesn’t seem like two minutes have passed since I hit publish on my very first post, inviting you all to share my journey as a young woman with with cerebral palsy living in the UK. Yet, here I am still typing away, only the year on my laptop is telling me it’s 2017 now.

I might not have been around as much lately while I try look after my mental health, but View from a Walking Frame is always at the forefront of my mind. Not only has this tiny part of the internet helped to give me something to talk about at job interviews as I still try to find full-time employment, it’s been my lifeline. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is that it’s taught me a lot about my own disability. And today, I thought I’d share those things with you:

 

I need to learn to let go

One of the toughest journeys I’ve been on with this blog is learning to let go of so many things. Back when this blog started, I used to shy away from talking about my bad CP days. I thought everyone reading would think I was being an ungrateful whimp. I thought you’d only want to read about the good days.

I was wrong. You are all so kind and supportive and understanding.  You are all kinder to me and more supportive of me than I have ever been to myself. I’m learning so much from all of you.

Which leads me onto…

I need to stop worrying about what other people think

My bad CP days are mine, and even though I can try and explain how they make me feel, only I know the truth. I should be allowed say I’m hurting and not worry about being judged.

My mental health is just as important as my physical health

Honestly, opening up about my mental health as well as my cerebral palsy on this blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. You’ve all helped to make this blog a place where I feel I can be honest, so thank you.

When I started View from a Walking Frame it was purely about disability. It is about so much more than that now. I never realised or paid attention to the emotional impact of a bad cerebral palsy day until I started talking about it on here. I guess I didn’t really think it was important, but it is. I’m learning more and more about how my disability impacts on my life every day, and I have blogging to thank for that.

Naps are good. Rest days are good. It is important.

You guys have all helped me realise that needing a rest day is perfectly normal and I don’t have to fight against my body every second of every day. In fact, I might catch some Zs after I’ve written this post. #Sorrynotsorry

Again, thank you all so much for your support. I hope my blog helps some of you even a tiny bit more than it helps me. If it does, then it’s all worth it.

So, who’s up for another four years? I’m game if you are!

Love,

Nic xx

 

 

Acupuncture Update 03/03/17

Howdy guys!

Something pretty amazing has happened…

I actually discharged myself from acupuncture! I don’t think I’ve ever reached a point where I’ve been ready to end some treatment purely of my own choosing (with anything relating to my cerebral palsy) before.

Man, it feels so good to be able to say that. I’m pretty convinced my acupuncturist is amazing to be honest. She warned me right at the start of this second block of appointments that I might not notice a dramatic change in my pain levels so quickly this time because it wasn’t as bad as it had been the first time I came to see her.

Some of you might remember that I’ve been having a second round acupuncture appointments for that thing that I not-so-lovingly call my Mystery Hip Pain. Acupuncture has been the only thing to ever make it go away, which doesn’t seem like an east feat to me (with my zero amount of medical training) given that no one knows why I have it in the first place.

A couple of appointments later when I told her I was worried that it wasn’t realy havng a impact of me at all, she changed her approach a bit and stuck even more needles into me, and lo and behold, the MHP was practically gone a couple of weeks later, and bothered me so little that I told her I felt like it was probably as good as I could get. And bless her, she kept my referral open for a month or so in case I changed mind. Well, that month has past now and I still don’t feel like I need to go back.

Yep, she must be magic.

 

 

November is getting crazy!

Yes, I am we’re still only in October (just) but November is already shaping up to be a pretty mental month here in Nicland.

I already have three appointments scheduled, two are CP-related and one isn’t.

I’ll be heading to the dentist for my regular check-up, which should hopefully only be one session, as well as going to the orthotics department to get news shoes fitted for my calipers, and having another round of Botox in my legs to help relax the muscles.

But that’s not all that I have going on.

November is also National Novel Writing Month, a project that challenges people all around the world to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That might not sound like a lot of work to some of you, but when you’re trying to balance that with everything else going on it your life, time can pass by without you even noticing.

If you want to know more about  how I get on, I’ll (hopefully) be doing weekly videos on my YouTube channel again. Either way, it will be nice to get some more positive content going up on this blog in the next few weeks.

Let the fun begin!

My Love/Hate relationship with London

In case you can’t tell by the title of this post I have a very love/hate relationship with London.

I think I went for the first time about three years ago, and before that I’d tried to avoid it because the thought of being a physically disabled, not-very-fast-moving girl in such a big and busy city scared me. Oh, and the fact I have no sense of direction didn’t make me feel any better.

Fast forward three years, and I’ve just got back from my third visit there with my family. The thought of being a a physically disabled, not-very-fast-moving girl in such a big and busy city still scares me. I’ve only ever taken my wheelchair and not even tried to take my walking frame yet, but I know that if I ever decide that I want to brave it alone then I’ll have to because I can’t push myself in my self-propelling wheelchair very well.

Doing London in my wheelchair isn’t pleasant; not for me anyway. When I’m sat in it I tend to come up to people’s waists, and when all you can see around you at busy times is bodies everywhere that are far taller than you it can feel quite claustrophobic and makes me very nervous.

However, because I only ever go to London for holidays, I think about all the fun things that I do in London and all the places that I like to go when I’m there like Southbank and Soho and I think ‘yes I like it here’. Until, that is, I either have to find my way back to where I’m staying or to the next place I need to go and the cycle starts again.

I don’t know if I’ll ever have the guts to do London alone, but I do know that I don’t  feel ready just yet, and I think that’s okay for now.

 

 

 

 

Feeling the cold

It’s definitely getting colder in the UK now and I am most definitely feeling the difference. On days where I’ve still been wearing dresses, I’ve also had my socks on over the top because my feet often feel the cold more than anywhere else.

That said, my legs always feel it too, especially the upper half above the knee, (which, as it happens, is probably the place I get the most pain when I’m on my period too.)

For the last couple of days I’ve either been sat with a blanket over them or with a wheatbag on my knee to try keep warm.

Today, I’m noticing it more than ever because it felt like the cold had worked its way right down into my bones this morning. The wheatbag approach didn’t really help, but a hot shower did so I can’t complain.

Continue reading “Feeling the cold”