Things Just Got Complicated.

Relationships are complicated. Relationships while one or both partners are chronically ill or disabled results in an explosion of chaos that equals filling a volcano with Coca-Cola and Mentos mints, and then making it angry by filming it with a phone rather than living (and probably dying) in the moment.

Finding wheelchair-friendly date venues is like looking for a needle in the worlds’ largest haystack while blindfolded, and only being allowed to search with your nose and mouth. Lots of places have steps in the door and the members of staff at such establishments don’t seem to grasp the concept that no, I can’t take a bleeding run up. Sometimes the rarest of all luxuries will be provided in a ramp, or even more special a level entrance. Even then the accessible entrance may require unlocking by a member of staff who is distinctly inside the building, and once inside the tables may be so tightly packed together it’s impossible to get around. I have even known cases where the tables are very tall and I need a periscope to see my drink. Best of all the inaccessibility is usually put down to “well, no one in a wheelchair ever comes in here”, having failed to understand that we can’t get in. So the same few cafes, bars, shops, and the cinema become second, third, fourth, and fifth homes, and I have loyalty cards for every single one. It’s got so bad that the café usually has my order ready for me by the time I get to the counter, and they are on first name terms with me.

Once we’ve embarked on a date the second complication rears it’s rather ugly head. No one thinks it’s a date, probably because going on a date is so damn complicated in the first place. Jarred is mistaken for my carer so frequently I’m considering buying a bell to summon him when I need his assistance. When he puts his arm around my shoulders or pecks me on the cheek, the looks of shock and disapproval he receives is something quite extraordinary. They seem to think that he is taking advantage of an innocent disabled girl to get laid, and that I couldn’t possibly figure this out and defend myself if this was the case. It’s not possible for someone disabled to be in a relationship of their own accord is it? Spoiler alert – it is.

Eventually the relationship progresses to the stage where the two families wish to inspect your partner and their family. Since trains don’t appear to know how wheelchair physics works travelling any sort of distance is difficult, and sometimes the cost of travel or their work and family commitments prevents other family members from travelling up to see us. While to some couples this would be music to their ears because Mother-in-law being an anagram of Woman Hitler wouldn’t be so funny without the Mother-in-law clichés, most members of each respective family are actually nice people. Quite a few of Jarred’s family have managed to travel up to the north of England to see us, and we’ve managed to travel to London for a central meeting point on other occasions. Unfortunately moving closer to them would distance ourselves from my family, and the problem would simply affect different people.

After a while Jarred and I moved in together. The challenge here started when none of the letting agents that weren’t exclusively for student accommodation were accessible, so Jarred ended up doing the leg work there. Then we had to find an accessible home near the city centre within our budget, which was about as likely as an Oompa Loompa being elected for the US presidency. Oh… We found an apartment that was so central to the city that it confused Google Earth, and I could access it by entering the garage and going to the rear of the building. It came within mere pounds of our calculated budget, so I put the deposit down on the flat quicker than Usain Bolt after drinking 10 cans of Red Bull before anyone else tried to steal it, and it is now fully christened with tyre tracks on the floor.

Now I just have to organise an accessible wedding…

One Good Turn.

It was a dismal day in late October and the drizzle had soaked me from head to foot as I traveled into town. The light was fading quickly and the temperature falling even faster. There was little doubt in my mind that the first of the winter’s frosts would develop overnight.

I turned left onto a bridge crossing a main road. People were passing across the bridge in droves, it being one of the busiest routes in and out of town for pedestrians. To one side, huddled beneath the railing, was a homeless man. His thin and worn blanket gave little protection against the cold and every possession he had was dripping with rain water.

Nearly everyone on that bridge saw the homeless man and nearly everyone carried on walking anyway. I’m sure they had their reasons. However, for whatever reason, I just couldn’t go past him and leave with a clear conscience.

I had a flapjack in my handbag which I’d been planning to eat upon returning home. I reached into my bag and handed it to him without making a fuss. It wasn’t a big deal; he had far more need of it than I did. He looked up and thanked me with such genuine compassion it took me by surprise. We exchanged a few short sentences and then I set off again, thinking nothing more of the matter.

A couple of months later I was at a Christmas event serving free mulled wine and mince pies, which was inevitably crowded. Among those in attendance were several homeless people, who the staff welcomed along with everyone else.

I was struggling to navigate through the crowd, most of whom completely ignored me if they were even aware of my presence at all. I came to a heavy door, which I struggled to hold open as I tried to pass my wheelchair through the narrow gap without hitting anyone. Clearly someone had noticed my predicament, because I felt the weight of the door taken off my wrist. I looked up to thank the person holding the door open for me, and to my surprise and genuine delight, I recognised the homeless man I had helped before. He simply said “one good turn deserves another”, and then he was swallowed up by the crowd.

A couple of years later I was sat in a bar with a good friend, when the same homeless man walked past us and nodded at me. Naturally this led to me explaining what had happened. When I’d finished speaking, my friend laughed and called me “the Good Bradfordian”, à la the biblical parable.

***

When I was a child attending Sunday school the parable of the Good Samaritan had always confused me. It seemed to me to support basic racism because we are repeatedly told that certain passers-by were expected to help, and that the Samaritan wasn’t simply because of where he was from. I didn’t understand why being Samaritan excluded you from the expectation to help, nor why being from elsewhere guaranteed your help.

Similarly the story also suggested that it was a good idea to help people because you would be rewarded, and the richer the rescued person was, the greater the reward. I failed to grasp why a motivation to do the right thing would be needed, instead believing doing the right thing to be the reward itself.

I expected no reward for being the one who did the right thing. Why should I? Just because I’m from a stereotypically rough city doesn’t mean I can’t help others and have no compassion for them, and neither does being disabled. I am almost certain the homeless man expected no reward for holding the door open for me, and probably failed to understand why others wouldn’t help me either. I would hope we would be in mutual agreement upon this matter; it is simply a shame he may never get to read this.

Boredom Looms.

It’s a commonly held mis-belief that scientists are not creative individuals, but given that we create new techniques and products on a daily basis, I would beg to differ. As a scientist myself I turned to creativity when I fell ill, as suddenly the large chunk of my free time spent being active became an empty void of boredom and brooding. Fortunately over the past few years, crafts as relaxation and therapy have become popular, meaning I had access to a wide variety of relatively cheap materials.

Among the most popular crafts of the time were the small, multi-coloured, elastic “loom bands” that somehow managed to work themselves into every nook and cranny from children’s noses, to between the cushions on every sofa. I bought a couple of books full of patterns and models to make and even bought some beads and charms to incorporate into my designs. I spent many happy hours engrossed in the craft and I don’t suppose many people are excited to receive a huge bag of elastic bands for their 20th birthday.

Although the products of my efforts were somewhat cheap and cheerful, they got me a lot of attention when I was wearing the bracelets, particularly off admiring children. They also made great gifts when I wasn’t sure what to get someone.

Image description: a black bracelet with silver stars woven in.

For our first Valentine’s Day together, I bought Jarred the clichéd aftershave, and also made a dodgy-looking Kylo Ren and Rey out of the loom bands, characters we had both adored in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and The Last  Jedi. Jarred found them particularly charming, but one of the bands had snapped whilst in the gift bag, and Kylo was decapitated by his own light sabre. Fortunately it was easy enough to weave another band into its place, although his head is slightly askew to this day.

My personal favourite of my creations is the skeleton I produced using white bands, with silver beads for ball-and-socket joints and black beads for eyes. It was far easier to create than it looks but is still effective, and makes quite the addition to the pin-board beside my bed.

Image description: loom band skeleton.

Childish as this craft may seem I enjoy it and find it relaxing, and I enjoy the looks on people’s faces when I surprise them with a little model. They might not be costly or glamorous but people appreciate the time and skill that was put into creating them. All in all it seems to me to be a good use of my time, and is a definite improvement upon being bored and broody.

Can’t Be Treated.

You may have heard the saying “there’s more than one way to skin a rabbit” and I used to believe that this was true when it came to treating a disease. I’ve been through puberty since then, which is enough to make anyone a little cynical, although I have come to realise that the efficacy of a treatment is not always down to the treatment itself but how it is administered. At least, this is my personal experience of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Graded Exercise Therapy had failed me but surely CBT would help me to control the depression that had blossomed from that experience? Nope.

The problems started when the therapist decided I wasn’t depressed (self-harm and a suicide attempt seem pretty indicative to me, but I’m not the expert), and that the CBT would somehow cure the physical symptoms of my CFS. While the behavioural aspect of CBT, which means making lifestyle changes, is undeniably beneficial for CFS sufferers, I had already been through all that as by this point I had had the condition for over 3 years.

The problems escalated when I was informed that the CFS wasn’t nearly as bad as I had said and that I was merely seeking attention. This was news to me but I could understand why someone might perceive my condition this way. The symptoms don’t visibly manifest themselves and I was smack in the middle of puberty which is a difficult and delicate time. I decided to ignore the warning signs and continue anyway, as it appeared I hadn’t learnt my lesson from the previous physiotherapy experiences.

More problems reared their ugly heads; I can’t say I was too surprised at this point. The therapy office was extremely difficult to get to as a wheelchair user but they refused to come out to me until we agreed to meet in my school during a break time. I also wasn’t being independent enough; I couldn’t afford a powered wheelchair so relied upon an assistant-propelled one, and at the time no other option was available to me. It was even implied during one particularly bad session that my family were holding me back and refusing to let me reach my full potential. By this point I considered the therapist to be somewhere between a moron and Taylor Swift. To give that context, I don’t especially like Ms Swift. The therapy was actually making my mental health worse, not better.

Eventually the time came to review the effectiveness of the therapy, and I’ve never told such a big lie as I did then. I told them I was practically cured and no longer needed their support simply to get myself away from them. Perhaps I should have reported my concerns to the authorities, perhaps I should have spoken my mind. I don’t know. All I could think of at the time was my own self-preservation, and my need to get as far away from the CBT as I could. It became water under a bridge and I moved on.

About a year later I found a private counselling service. I was allowed to take a course that was described only as generic counselling and not CBT, but what I received matches the description of this far more closely than the actual CBT did. Given that it also targeted the depression instead of the CFS, which was what I really needed the help with, it’s not too surprising to say it worked wonders.

Unlike GET, I am not against CBTs’ use to treat CFS. What I am against is it being administered to address the CFS when help is needed for a different reason, and the case being handled with all the insensitivity of an anaesthetised slug. CBT is helpful but only when administered correctly.

GETting Nowhere.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is one of those strange conditions that has no real treatment protocols assigned to the disease, mainly because so little is known about it, but also because the symptoms are so variable that one treatment won’t work for everyone. Aside from various painkillers, anti-sickness medicines, and sometimes antidepressants, most treatments for CFS aren’t actual medicines. One of these other treatments is Graded Exercise Therapy (GET).

GET is a process where a low level of exercise is performed every day and the level of exercise increases at regular intervals, until the patient is able to undertake normal everyday exercise. This is particularly useful for injuries such as damaged bones, muscles, or tendons and ligaments, allowing the tissue to gradually repair itself and return to its former healthy state. However I have yet to figure out how GET helps CFS sufferers, which is now believed to be an autoimmune neurological disease of the brain and spine. All the same countless CFS sufferers are subjected to GET, myself included.

I started GET in October 2011; at this point the CFS wasn’t particularly bad. I was able to walk, albeit slowly, around most places, and if I rested regularly I was able to live a relatively normal life. The physiotherapist at the local hospital was bubbly and friendly and we had an in depth discussion about my current level of activity, and which symptoms impacted me the most. She then observed me doing a few basic exercises included step-ups and star jumps, and counted how many of each I could perform before reporting a flare up of my symptoms. I was then assigned a certain number of steps, step-ups, and star jumps to do daily, increasing each a little every week. This process ignored one vital factor though; what I could do as a one-off is not the same as what I could manage on a daily basis.

I started the exercises the following day and for the first few days it went swimmingly. The problems started when I had to increase the exercise; my legs burned with every additional step-up and the star jumps repeatedly jarred my back, which was one of my most painful symptoms. We contacted the physiotherapist; I was told to work through the pain barrier. For some strange reason I thought the professionally trained and experienced physiotherapist would know what she was doing and so I stuck to her advice. The pains got worse with each session and I needed more resting periods. The fatigue grew until it felt as though I was wading through treacle with a lead weight tied to my neck. Even the few steps I had to walk became pain-ridden and exhausting. I carried on regardless, sure that one day I would pass through the pain barrier as I had been promised.

A few months later I returned to the physiotherapist far weaker than I had been before. Apparently I just wasn’t trying hard enough. I was advised to buy my own wheelchair but not to become dependent on it, using it minimally. This was the point at which I became skeptical; I hadn’t needed a wheelchair before and now I did, but I was told that the GET wasn’t responsible. However, I was desperate for something to make me better instead of worse and since this appeared to be my only chance, I continued.

A matter of weeks later I had to stop. Just rolling out of bed was an exercise in itself, and the stairs were more like an Olympic sport than a mode of getting around. I needed the wheelchair more and more and more. Despite stopping the GET I continued to get worse for about a year; once on the downward spiral, there was nothing to stop myself from falling even further. I ended up where I am today; able to walk around a small apartment for the most part, but needing my wheelchair for everything else.

At first I blamed myself for what had happened. Maybe if I’d tried harder the outcome would have been different. Maybe I was just weak and pathetic. However, when I look back on this, I consider it to be no coincidence that everything went to pieces when I started GET. It might not be entirely responsible for the outcome, but it was the trigger. My naivety towards some medical professional’s attitudes to CFS didn’t help, nor did my inability to respond to the symptoms quickly enough, but I consider myself to be relatively free of blame. GET certainly has its place in modern medicine, but not to treat CFS, which is just too complex for so simple a treatment.

The Battle of the Wheels.

A collaboration between Diary of a Disabled Person and Seeing ME in Reality.

It surprises many people that self-propelling a wheelchair takes a lot of effort and energy; after all you are pushing the weight of both yourself and the wheelchair with smaller muscles in your arms. While this is often suitable for those who still have some upper body strength and motor control, it is not a viable option for those without such strength. This group includes CFS sufferers, a condition which affects both of us. We are left with two options; a powered wheelchair or a manual wheelchair pushed by another person, and the experiences of those using these wheelchairs are more different than you would imagine.

Using a Powered Wheelchair: (Diary of a Disabled Person).

Powered wheelchairs are phenomenally expensive, as I found out when I bought a second-hand one for over £1,000, and are also heavy and virtually impossible to fold up when not in use which made transporting it extremely difficult. Despite these disincentives the powered wheelchair gave me a freedom and an independence that I had not had since first falling ill a few years before. It had been years since I had been able to leave the house on my own, as up until then I had been reliant on having someone with me to push the wheelchair. All of a sudden, I could go out when I wanted, to where I wanted. I could go to the doctors on my own, I could go and look at the items that specifically interested me in shops and ignore the rest, and I could go to school under my own steam. I finally had the independence of a normal teenager, and it both thrilled and scared me a little.

Soon enough it was time to fly the nest and go to university, something which would have been impossible without the ability to go out on my own. I couldn’t afford carers and the assistants provided by the university were not permitted to leave campus and go to students’ homes. Even when an assistant didn’t turn up, which occurred more frequently than I would have liked, I could still get to lectures on time, albeit with a small struggle.

Now I live in a city centre apartment surrounded by shops, cinemas, museums, galleries, pubs, cafes, restaurants, and public events. I can go out at any time without relying on my long-suffering fiancé to get me there, who has his own stuff to do anyway.

There was one other significant benefit to using a powered wheelchair that I had not anticipated. When I was being pushed by someone it was rare that people spoke to me. They would always speak to whoever was pushing the wheelchair under the assumption that I couldn’t communicate, often asking questions using “she” rather than “you”. While in the powered wheelchair, although some people still continue to ask questions about me to whoever happens to be with me, or just ignore me if I’m alone, this sort of treatment is a lot rarer. This does have the minor inconvenience that charity representatives will now stop me in the street to ask for donations, but aside from this, it’s nice to be treated as a person again, even if I am a motorised one…

Using a Manual Wheelchair: (Seeing Me In Reality).

Wheelchairs are an emotive subject for those who use them and those who don’t. I haven’t spoken much about my wheelchair story if you want to call it that. After a significant relapse of my M.E/CFS, which left me unable to leave the house for three months my options were limited. I couldn’t go out with my family and at the time we didn’t know how long this new reality would be for.

I fought against my Mum’s outlook that I needed a wheelchair because I didn’t want to get stuck. I was petrified of how people would react to me, but above all else, I didn’t want to face up to how much I had deteriorated. I was fifteen and my world had irrevocably changed.

Eventually, without my knowledge, my Mum borrowed a wheelchair from our doctor’s surgery. I had no idea how to react,  I was devastated but came to terms with it slowly. Henry as I called the wheelchair got me out of the house again.

I learnt quickly that wheelchair users need thick skins and that for as bulky as the metal we sit in, being invisible is a usual occurrence. I think that phenomenon is universal regardless of whether like me you use a manual wheelchair or electric.

I have been lucky that several times I have been offered an electric wheelchair, which is a great opportunity that I am thankful for, but at the same time, I know I would be an energy-depleted mess halfway up a tree. I need to conserve energy, which is why I have someone push me as it takes a lot of the hassle of navigating away. I also live in rural area, so transporting an electric wheelchair would be complex and add more effort to each outing. So whilst sometimes I do want to be independent and go exactly what I want, due to my health and where I live it isn’t very easy. If I were to live city central like Em, then it might be worth the investment and change.

Over the years I’ve gotten used to taking displays with me in shops or nudging people due to bad driving (not mine), you have to see the funny side of temporarily wrecking shops and apologising profusely to people who got touched by the metal I sit in. To me it’s amazing the lack of personal space and reaching over people will do to an individual in a wheelchair, but as soon as you enter their personal space they get touchy. Conversely, I was surprised at how vulnerable I felt, I relied on the person pushing me to get me around safely. If I were left momentarily, people being truly invasive would swarm me.

I have to say I do feel invisible often from my wheelchair. It is a strange feeling when you are ordering something in a café and the barista talks to the person behind you, rather than you. I learnt to just keep talking and to let any off colour comments go over my head. I would say regardless of the type of wheelchair you would face some of the same invisible or negative experiences. It is amazing how invisible you can feel when out and the flipside being how much staring many people do. I always smile at people when I catch their eye, as I believe it humanizes the person in the wheelchair. Most of the time its curiosity that makes people stare.

Wheelchairs and any other aids rarely cater for all sorts of heights and needs. I am pretty tall  (5 11″) and wheelchairs are too short for me.  Luckily I had my latest wheelchair adapted to suit my height better but that again was really complicated. It’s not exactly right either but it’s better than it was. Wheelchairs are expensive and not great for catering to different heights and different needs. I am waiting for them to put integrated cup holders into one of the arms but that might take a few years to come through. Wouldn’t that be great?

Sometimes I would love the independence to go out and about and not have to rely on someone else. It isn’t that often I feel like that which means to me I’m too ill for this to change right now. I would need to be able to drive myself around realistically to make a change in wheelchairs necessary.

I think most people who need a wheelchair at some point or another end up with an attendant wheelchair, which is the stepping-stone for them finding a good fit for them. It’s a personal choice depending on people’s unique circumstances.   Maybe in my future, I might change over to an electric wheelchair but for my life now a manual fits my life.

The Leibster Award.

The Leibster award was created in 2011 in Germany, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers online. This award focuses on small blogs, recognising their potential to grow and acknowledging those with the kindest, welcoming, most-valued musings.

Image description: the logo for the Liebster Award is a aqua-blue circle with a pink ribbon across is saying "discover new blogs!".

To accept the award after being nominated the blogger is requested to accept the award on their blog, thank the blogger who nominated them with a link to their blog included, write ten random facts about themselves, answer ten questions from the blogger who gave the nomination, nominate a few other blogs, and give these nominations ten questions to answer.

Accepting the Award.

It would be an understatement to say that I was pleasantly surprised to receive a nomination for the Leibster award less than a year after establishing this blog. In all honesty I wasn’t familiar with the award prior to my nomination, but I was still over-joyed that my small corner of the internet was deemed noteworthy. Having just surpassed this blogs’ first birthday, I decided that this would be the perfect time to accept the award.

I was nominated by the author of Wheelescapades, another wheelchair user living in England. Her own blog has already been nominated for the Leibster award, which is well-deserved, and her blog can be accessed here: https://wheelescapades.com/

10 Random Facts About Me.

  1. I was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, where I lived until I was 18. I moved to university in Leeds after studying Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics at A-level.
  2. I have no siblings.
  3. Throughout my life I have had five pets. Bramble, our black and white cat, had been adopted by my parents before my birth and was a constant companion until her death in 2008. Athens and Berry were my two goldfish. Syrup was my first Syrian hamster, who I owned as a teenager. Lastly we have my current pet, Tribble, also a Syrian hamster.           Hesitant.jpg
  4. I was a member of a street dance crew from age 8 to 10 years.
  5. When I was 11 years old I learnt to play the drums and over the next few years I played in two bands. Unfortunately my illness has prevented me from drumming on a regular basis, although I can still technically play.
  6. I also had singing lessons and was a member of the school choir for many years.
  7. Unsurprisingly I have always loved music. My preferred genre is rock and metal, with particular favourites including Green Day, The Killers, and Foo Fighters, but I also have a secret soft spot for Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
  8. I have a passion for both the Star Wars and Marvel franchises. I go and see almost every new release in the cinema across the road and own all of the good ones on DVD. I have at least 5 Star Wars t-shirts, some BB-8 earrings, and some Deadpool earrings as proof of my devotion!
  9. I also love video games. I still have my old PlayStation 2 with a plethora of Burnout games to play, and also play on the PlayStation 4. Currently I’m playing through the campaigns of Doom and Need for Speed: Payback, and plan to try Horizon Zero Dawn when I’ve finished these. You might also spot me on Fortnite Battle Royale, although I’m usually hiding in a hedge!
  10. I now live with my fiancé (and Tribble) in Leeds, West Yorkshire.Mike and me.jpg                                       10 Questions From Wheelescapades.
    1. Q: What made you decide to start a blog? A: The disabled don’t need someone to tell them how bad being disabled can be; they know. What is needed is someone to communicate this to the able-bodied, but without being so pessimistic as to simply be passed off as whiny wimps. I came to realise that blogs doing just this were few and far between, and I decided to fill the gap. I wanted to communicate for those who were unable to, and educate those who didn’t have experiences to learn from. Diary of a Disabled Person was born.
    2. Q: What are your hobbies other than blogging? A: I adore animals and will do just about anything that allows me to get up close and personal with them. I also love music, films, and video games, and cannot deny the joys of a good book. I do a little arts and crafts too, with what I shall call mixed results.
    3. Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? A: As a nutritionist this is killing me inside, but if I really had to choose it would be cake, particularly chocolate cake.
    4. Q: When making tea would you pour the milk or water in first? A: Water, absolutely no question about it.
    5. Q: Mention 3 things for your bucket list? A: See Green Day live in concert, see a WWE show live, turn this blog into a book.
    6. Q: What would be your dream job? A: Being a professional writer full-time.
    7. Q: Where in the world would you most like to visit and why? A: I’d love to visit Holland. I know several people who have spent time in Holland, and they all rave about how beautiful Amsterdam is, how good the food is, and how polite the Dutch are.
    8. Q: Describe yourself in 3 words? A: Ambitious, funny, and stubborn.
    9. Q: What personal trait has gotten you in the most trouble? A: I have a tendency to be extremely blunt. While people know they will get an honest answer from me should they ask me anything, if I have to give a negative answer I often forget to phrase it so that it doesn’t sound like I’m trying to destroy their entire self-esteem. I have hurt people’s feelings by accident on many occasions.
    10. Q: If you could give someone one piece of advice, what would it be? This relates to my school-age self, but could apply to anyone in a similar situation; stop trying to fit in with the cool kids and the bullies, and just do your own thing. When I started to show my true colours, was honest about the music and films I liked, and admitted that I was a nerd to the core, I got a lot more respect than when I was doing everything to be just like them.My Nominations.It’s recommended that you nominate between 5 and 10 other blogs for the Leibster award, but I have only 3 blogs that I know of with less than 200 followers who I feel deserve the award. One of them would actually be the blogger who nominated me, Wheelescapades!

      Without further ado, the other two are:

      The Disability Diaries (https://disabilitydiaries.com/) – This blogger provides insight into student life from a wheelchair user living in South Africa, and frequently tackles big issues surrounding disability head-on in a diplomatic but firm manner.

      Seeing M.E in Reality (https://seeingmeinreality.com/) – This blogger tackles the subject of life with the same condition that I suffer from, proving that we are not defined solely by our illness, but have many other aspects to our lives.

      10 Questions for my Nominees.

      1. Cats or dogs?
      2. What is your favourite time of year?
      3. What is your favourite genre of music?
      4. What is your favourite film that was adapted from a book?
      5. What was your favourite childhood toy?
      6. Tea or coffee?
      7. What is your worst habit?
      8. What is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
      9. Who are your role models?
      10. What is your biggest ambition?

      It fills me with great pride that I can finally say that Diary of a Disabled Person is an award-winning blog!