Fun fact Friday [ 54]

Hello and welcome to Fun Fact Friday where I share facts about myself that aren’t linked to my cerebral palsy.

It’s been a while since I did one of these. Because I suck, but I thought I’d let you know that I’ve bought Christmas cards and another present today.  I’m still no where near ready for the big day. Though.  I like to be almost done by now.

How about you?

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Shopping and cerebral palsy

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I love to go shopping. Well, unless I’m going shopping for shoes that is. I’ve mentioned these things quite a lot in the past, but I’m not sure I’ve ever really talked about the difficulties I face when going to the till to pay for my things.

Continue reading “Shopping and cerebral palsy”

A surprising shopping trip

It was my birthday earlier this week, and it was a really lovely day for me.

The weather was quite kind to us too on that day because it was dry instead of rainy, and I went out for a shopping trip with my friend. I decided that I would take my walking frame Martha with me instead of my wheelchair like I might choose to do if I was going to be out for the whole day.

I haven’t walked as much as I would have liked to over the past couple of weeks. I didn’t really leave the house all that much in the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas, and when I did,  I mostly used my wheelchair because of the wind and rain that we had.

When I went out, I was expecting to need to take more rest breaks than I would usually have needed to because of all of this, but actually, I surprised myself by not needing as many as I was expecting to.  I think that this is mostly because I took advantage of the seat that my walking frame has on the back of it. I could just unfold the seat and use it while I was waiting for my friend when she stood in line to pay for her things or use shop changing rooms to try things on, so I think I took most of my walking and standing breaks in more frequent, shorter bursts throughout the day. I think this probably made a huge difference. Don’t get me wrong, I still had a couple of long sit downs, but I’m still quite proud of myself on the whole.

A couple of years ago, I really don’t think I would have been able to handle walking around the place that we went to because of the size of it, and so I always used to take the wheelchair with me. I still do go there in my chair if I’m having a bad day, but I like to think that me being able to use my walking frame there now, even with lots of breaks scheduled into the day, is a sign that the effort I’ve been making in recent years is paying off.

While I am feeling rather tired today, I think that has more to do with the fact that I don’t think I’ve quite managed to catch up on my sleep from the past couple of weeks just yet. I think a couple of early nights are in order from now on.

Exciting news!

Hi all,

I’m taking a break for my Surgery Dairies series of posts today, because I have some exciting news!

Alicia over at Sapshionista had done a blog post about me, which you can read here.

I urge you all to go and read her blog about looking good and feeling good, no matter what your age, body shape or abilities.

Thank you to Alicia for giving me the opportuinity to feature on her blog.

Enjoy folks!

Nic

The Surgery Diaries: Getting the new wardrobe

I think it’s fair to say that when I had my surgery I was going through what you could call a Goth style phase. I could usually be found sporting mostly black, oversized clothes with characters like Emily the Strange and Ruby Gloom on them. I wore dark make to school most days, dyed my hair black and had the nail polish to match. Most people wouldn’t know it though to look at me now, and that is thanks to my surgery.

It didn’t take long for me to realise that none of my cargo pants and jeans were going to be wearable for the next few months while I recovered from the surgery. They would be tight on my hips and press on my new scars. At the time before I had the procedures done, I was too self-conscious to wear dresses and skirts. Mum and I took to the clothes shops to get something for me to wear. We got dresses and skirts in all different colours, lengths and styles. There was even a pale denim mini skirt! I really didn’t care what I wore as long as it was comfy and looked half-decent, (which was more than could be said for me).

When I went back into hospital for operation number two (which we’ll get to soon, I promise) my family told the doctors that I’d taken on quite a different dress sense . Even for a long time after operation two I kept wearing The New Wardrobe. Even after I did go back to my jeans, I got rid of my old clothes. It didn’t feel like me anymore. And, my family had spent so much money on the new clothes, I didn’t want it to go to waste.

My problems with summer clothes

The UK is still enjoying lovely warm weather which has given me the perfect excuse to break out my summer wardrobe of dresses and skirts that I’m usually just too cold to wear. You would think that I’d find these things easier to buy and put on, right?

Wrong.

I have loads of pretty ones in loads of colours and patterns, but I have to be quite choosy about which ones I buy. I’ve written before about the problems that I have when I have to shop for clothes and shoes at the best of times, but I have my fair share of issues with summery garments too.

Lots of women’s dresses come with zips. I don’t usually have a problem with the ones that come on coats and jackets, (usually being the word), but when it comes to dresses and cute vest tops its’ a whole other story. They’re often on the left side of things which happens to be the same side as my weak hand. Guess what this means? I can’t often can’t do them up without help, or manipulate my arm well enough to get it through the straps. Needless to say that I usually go and smile sweetly at my mum or little sister at this point so they can help me into it. For reasons unknown I can usually get back out of them on my own, which is better than nothing I suppose. Thankfully I haven’t had to go to sleep in something until there’s someone around I trust enough to help me if I get stuck inside something, but I just know it’s going to happen one day if I ever live on my own…

As for zippers on the back of stuff – forget it. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had to help my able-bodied friends with these though so I don’t feel too bad about that one. I usually try and go for things that I can step in/out of or that go over my head as much as possible.

Then once I’ve had to navigate my way through those, there is the issue of tights. Given how cold my feet pretty much always are, I always have to wear at least one pair. I struggle with socks on a good day, so you can imagine how many times I’ve fallen over/ripped pairs/sworn trying to deal with these things. Once, I went through three pairs trying to find some that I hadn’t already laddered, I was nearly in tears with effort but I got there in the end.

I love my summer wardrobe, it’s just a shame it doesn’t love me back.

Supermarket Shopping

There are times when I feel like I practically live in the supermarket. I know that I talk about it a lot in my posts, but there are times when trying to navigate the endless isles and trolleys almost reduces me to tears.

When I was at university, I had help from an outside care agency who would help me run my weekly errands, but every now and then I would run out of those odd little things like milk and bread that send you into meltdown as soon as you don’t have them in the house.

So I would grab my old Kaye Walker frame Betsy and head on out to the store. Thankfully I lived across the road from two little express branches of two big supermarket chains so at least getting there and back wasn’t too difficult.

The staff in both stores were usually pretty helpful and would offer to carry my basket of goods around the shop for me. As much as I would’ve loved to accept their help but I always had to decline. I liked to try and carry things for myself, or at least hook the basket over the side of the frame, because I didn’t want my shopping to get too heavy for me to carry home without me noticing. Sometimes, people would look a bit confused until I explained my logic and then they understood. A lot of them would still stand in the queue at the till for me when it got to the time for me to pay for things because the spaces are often narrow because of special offer displays. By that point my arms I usually so tired that I’m really grateful for the small rest before walking home again.

I always have to try and avoid using self-service checkouts no matter where I am. They get on my nerves because I often move too slowly for them and they end up asking me over and over about wanting to continue and sometimes I end up having to start all over again. I get really flustered and paranoid that everyone else in the shop will be looking at me, or waiting to use the machine.

Thankfully, while I live at home, my mum takes care of that kind of stuff at least, but I’ll always try and get a few things for her on my way home if I’m passing through town to try and help her out a bit. As much as I’m not a fan of going food shopping, I know it’s something that I should get as much practice as possible to get better at it.