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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Radio Interview

Hi folks, apologies again for not having been in touch, but as my last post implied, my pain has been pretty bad of late.

Despite the above, today has been a pretty wonderful day spent having Sunday lunch with friends, followed by sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine buried underneath a blanket, at the fear of hearing my squeaky 'mouse on helium' like voice, on my first ever radio interview, talking about my life both pre and post disability and how events have lead to me starting this blog and subsequently my charity Get a Life!

Despite my anxiety, I actually really enjoyed the interview with legendary host of Britain's longest running non-stop radio chat show John Hannam -the product of which you can listen to again this evening between 10pm and midnight, (Deacon Blue & Celia Imrie appearing first & me featured about one hour in, so just after 11pm) on John Hannam Meets- Karen Reader

If you did listen to John's show and this is indeed your first visit to Discover Disability, then why not check out my first ever post below.

It was such a privilege to be interviewed by such a broadcasting legend who has literally interviewed everyone- royals, musicians, actors, authors...  and now little old me!

The interview will be available to listen again on line in the next few days at Isle of Wight Radio Online & I will post a link to it here & on the charity website Get a Life Charity

Enjoy a lovely Sunday folks- I'm going off to celebrate with the rest of my glass of Sauvignon
Blanc! Cheers!

So here it is folks, once again the first blog from Discover Disability...

Well here goes nothing; off I venture into the wonderful world of blogging. Be gentle with me, I'm a blogging virgin....

Why should you read this blog?

 The date is 29th April in the year 2011, & the big day hath cometh at last. No, it’s not the much awaited nuptials of Wills & Kate, nor is it the anticipated arrival of the latest season of 'Glee' to hit our shores; instead it is the arrival of a sleek, sophisticated & pretty darn sexy new companion in my life- ‘The Beast’: the 4x4, off-roading, road legal power chair, that I am not too ashamed too admit, I have already fallen deeply in love with!

If you had told me five years ago that I would be getting this excited about a wheelchair, then I would have laughed you all the way to the mobility shop: however, the new woman that I have become as a result of my circumstances isn't laughing, & is indeed sincerely smitten!

Having only recently accepted in my heart that I'm disabled, I class myself as a newbie to this interesting & challenging existence of ‘one with a disability', despite which, I’m not too naive as to think that my perception of these new milestones is one shared by all - or is it?  
I honestly have no idea; which is an element of why I am writing this, in the hope that one of you may pick up your laptop to respond to me! 

On reflection of this last paragraph, I appreciate that the very fact that I am referring to life with a disability as ‘interesting & challenging’ is subjective in itself. 
I'm starting to appreciate the minefield of unintended offence that I may cause as a result of not having lived the years of disability that some of you may- however, equally, I no longer share many of the feelings & experiences of my able-bodied friends either.
I fall between two lives; one where after 23 years, I was just beginning to get into my stride, & now one where everything is new & pretty daunting at times.

I can see that some of you may find it a little grating for a woman who's lived a mere fraction of your own life with disability, to be merrily singing the joys of her shiny new chair, (when perhaps you have been imprisoned in your own for your whole life); if this is so, then please simply close the browser window & get on with your day. I wish you well.
 Alternatively, if I'm intriguing you, irritating you to the point that you want to share your contrary opinion; or possibly pleasing you that someone is finally vocalising elements of that grey area that comes with becoming disabled following an able bodied-life- then please stick with me through my personal growth & adaptation from able-bodied to disabled; dancer to writer. So on I go….

I assure you that the very last thing that I want to do is offend or antagonise any of you who have taken the time to read my rambling thoughts & feelings thus far- provoke opinion & passion yes; but offend you, no.

I am on a personal quest of acceptance of this radical change in my lifestyle, & as a result of which, I have finally acquired the conviction to stop resisting my difficult feelings attributed to this transition, & instead accept that they exist, are valid, & perfectly acceptable to share with others: be it with those who may be feeling precisely what I am, those who have no experience of my plight, & just want to empathize with others; or with those who are somewhere on the spectrum between the two. 

 Like life in general, there is not a manual for learning how to live with a disability, & how to emotionally put to bed the life, & aspects & aspirations of such that you had before. 
There is a whole new set of ‘life skills’ & emotional strengths to be learned, as well as a whole new list of hopes to dream of.

It was through my attempt to get my head around this seemingly incomprehensible metamorphosis, that I got the impetus to create this blog, & with it the associated charity that I intend to establish alongside it.
The proposed objectives of this charity are to raise awareness & funds to necessitate the appropriate infrastructure of psychological support for those going through the transitional period from being able-bodied to becoming disabled.
Having experienced this personally, I passionately feel that the current situation is far from adequate, & that those such as my husband & parents, (who have been involved first hand in my accident & subsequent rehabilitation), could too benefit from more structured emotional assistance.

I would love this site to reach out to those who are experiencing this transition, & for this website to become a community in which all are welcome to share their thoughts & feelings either of their own experiences, or in response to an opinion felt by reading about mine

I feel it imperative for my blog to also highlight how different we are as individuals notwithstanding our physical state.
Before we became disabled we were different characters & personalities, & just because we have experienced circumstances that now class us as such, does not mean that we should be classified as one voice.
We all have different levels of physical disability, mental disability, emotional trauma & pain, as well as levels of tolerance, acceptance & patience like those who are blessed without disability.
Some disabilities are plainly visible for all to see, whereas some are imperceptible to others- both situations are not without their relative frustrations.

 I hope that we can use the similarities & the differences between us to educate, relate & inform, so that anyone walking those few paces or wheel strokes behind me, may find those answers that I was unable to in that darkest hour of adjustment.
I plan to share the facts & feelings that I obtain & learn along this journey, &  more importantly I yearn to be enlightened particularly by those who have always been disabled & have never been given the opportunities that I have been blessed with, ( & no doubt at times squandered), in my 23 years of able-bodied life.

Whatever you may take from these words of mine, I wish you luck on your own journey ahead of you. Whatever your place of origin may be, or whatever your level, or form of disability; we are all heading on the same path - the path of acceptance to embrace our lives.

I pray that as a Discover Disability community we can be thankful for the blessings that we do have, however plenty or few, & get living the years that we have been blessed with. Good luck all. I hope to see you again! x

My transition between two lives; from dancer & air hostess, through hospital hell to a new life. There's no changing it, so lets get living it!

Dancing days

Flying around the world as a 'Virgin hostie'!
Spinal surgery isn't much fun, but it is definitely made easier with a lovely hubby holding your hand!Learning to live again
Embrace & enjoy your life, whatever form you & it may take.

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