Sunday, 26 July 2015

Metrocentre Accessibilty


Linking into the last post, I have some rather exciting news about a little project I've been working on.

I've been working with the Metrocentre to help disabled people access the shopping centre more easily, in particular, the lifts. Now, from one of my suggestions, they are reforming their maps to show which shops have lifts in. You probably wouldn't know how much of a difference this makes unless you are in a wheelchair or have a pushchair, but I'm really pleased with the outcome. 

'I really like your idea of noting the lifts within stores in our guides and have discussed this with our Marketing Manager who is going to investigate it some more. So next time we print the guides this will hopefully be added'

There's such a growing number of disabled and buggy shoppers which require lifts and simply don't know where to find them. Hopefully this will make someones life just a little bit easier when shopping!

Kate x

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Little Things Mean A Lot


Today is a little blog post inspired by the little things in life which are getting me through at the moment. 

I've had a bit of a rough time at the moment health wise, to the point where eating has become an issue. It's a hard balance to keep your mind busy from anxiety and rested from tiredness. But here are a few things which have helped, and, might help others suffering too.

First and foremost, my family have been my rock. I've had a few really good friends who've been offering visits and have been texting which has been amazing. These things get me through more than anything.

Never underestimate the power of comfy shorts and fluffy socks.

Comfort is key. Knitted blankets, soft pillows and fluffy toys.

Something to take your mind off things. In this case, little craft projects.

Relaxing. Notebook for thoughts, magazine, cream for massages, headphones for music and my anti-anxiety remedies.

For trouble eating/swallowing I have nice teas, energy gel and straws.

And for resting. Eye mask and ear plugs.

Hope everyone is doing well, Kate x

Friday, 10 July 2015

Don't Run Before You Can Walk


'Don't run before you can walk'.
Its a saying we're all familiar with and understand that it means taking things step by step; one thing at a time. 
Well, if i would abide by this rule, I probably wouldn't be where I am now. But sometimes, you just have to push your limits.

After relapsing in September 2014 I had to take little steps again. And when I say little steps, I mean little. We're talking about sitting up for 5 minutes longer, or, standing for a few seconds more. Before that, however, I was taking giant strides. I definitely craved the progress I made and was probably a bit too determined to start improving again. Over the last month or so I started making progress at a faster rate and started to 'run at the light' again. Pushing myself further and further.

I finished my a-levels (finally - if anyone who's got a chronic illness is reading this, stick with it. It may have took me 5 years but I got there in the end!) and then had a lot more time on my hands. My usual routine of going on my recliner, watching some tv, revising and going to bed had been abolished. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, as coming up to exams I had a years worth of work to cram in in 2 weeks, so all my energy was spent on revision. So, when exams were over, I was expecting relief. Instead, It'd been replaced with frustration. I was getting frustrated that I wasn't achieving anything anymore and had nothing to do. I wanted to achieve by doing something but totally lacked the energy and motivation. Looking back, I still was achieving so much. Project Parent, rehab class, a small amount of teaching and little outings. I wanted to do something new and stupidly started looking at what other people were doing and comparing it to what I was achieving. 

I'm lucky enough to be friends with many inspirational people. And I'm not just talking about people who do a good deed a day. This is life altering stuff and making a difference on an entire community. I love seeing what they're doing but sometimes, when my mood isn't as stable, I find myself thinking I should be doing amazing things like them. I do often have to remind myself I'm ill too, and know that my number 1 priority should be to get myself stable, instead of taking on the world. So, after getting frustrated for a week or so, I finally cam round to thinking what I was currently doing was good enough. I don't need things like having 12k followers on instagram or having an article published on a well known website. I'm doing my own little things and if I help anyone else along the way, that's a bonus. I want to do so much but my health is so restrictive, and I'm fine with that 99% of the time, but sometimes it just gets too much.

So, because of all of this, I was trying to do too much. I also started having panic attacks again, which people who have them will know are energy draining. I started running at the light again where as I needed to be slow and steady. Which has got me where I am now. Due to my EDS flaring up I haven't eaten a meal this week, causing me to collapse this morning. It was a bit of an eye opener really, and now I know that I've just got to take small steps and build myself up again. No giant leaps... yet. 

It's good to test your limits. How will you know where they are if you don't? But maybe, Kate, hold it off for now, and just focus on getting some stability back.

Kate x

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Birthday - Part 2


Well, it's now July, meaning I have finally stopped celebrating my birthday! I think I've majorly overdid it, but it was well worth it...

My birthday weekend was the last weekend in June, and what a weekend it was. Some of my favourite people travelled far to celebrate with me which meant so much! So a special thanks to Alex, Becca + Andrew for all that travelling. We started the weekend by going to the Great North Children's Hospital's 5th birthday party. I made a cake (which in the end we couldn't give to them...) but we met Jean-Christophe Novelli (which I'm not going to lie, I had no clue who he was!) and we had a look around. Andrew smashed (literally) the coconut shy and they had gluten free goodies which was perfect!

There was a stand with a bike school. Now, take you back 7 years ago before I got ill, I was always on my bike. I've wanted to at least try get on a bike for awhile now, and since there was a whole team there to support me, that seemed like the ideal opportunity. And, I did it! We only went a few metres but it felt so good. Achievements all round!

My party was in the afternoon and I had close friends and family round to celebrate. It wasn't a huge gathering as I struggle having many people over, but it was just the perfect amount. People who I haven't seen in many months turned up which was so lovely!

In true ME style I had to have an hours rest whilst my 'party' was happening. Andrew took this photo when he came to wake me up!

We got a taxi into town and went for cocktails for a few hours. We all (eventually) got a photo by the quayside which was so special. This is one for the photo album!

Here we all are (plus 2 random guys). Thank you so much to everyone who celebrated with me :)

We got some lovely pictures in the evening. One of which was the beach by the quayside - not ideal in heels!

So yeah, overall, a lush a special birthday. This month I have definitely learnt who my true friends are and a special selection of them made it a birthday not to forget!

Kate x