>Melting Pot of Links

>To celebrate the fact that I upgraded to the latest version of wordpress and not only is it working properly, it’s the first time in about six months I’ve upgraded and not had it go slightly wrong… I thought I would share a few links (because working WP means I can use the VRE and not code the links myself, yay!)

Nelba over at Chocolachillie wrote a post about perspectives to medical care and disability and life in general (I guess).  It’s well worth a read.  And it’s called Cheap Shoes Always Squeak which is just the best blog post title I have read in, basically, forever.

Kathryn’s Ryn Tale’s blog is always worth a read.   She makes me think and I like blogs that make me thing.  From The Outside In touches on a topic that I have wanted to write about for a few weeks now but obviously does it much better than I ever could.  Still when I’m over this random viral thing I seem to have I will give it a try.

Pedestrian Hostile held the latest Disability Blog Carnival.  It’s theme was Simply The Best (does anyone else get a mad urge to run around the house singing Tina Turner when they read that or is it just me?!).  I need to find some time to read more of the contributions but absolutely loved the ones I read so far.

If someone could tell me the name of the song in Moulin Rouge that goes on about how “We Could Be Heroes” (forever and ever…) I would love them for at least the next day or so.   Because The Goldfish wrote a post of the same name and now I have the song in my head.

>Crafts, Crafts, Crafts!

>I’ve been busy…

I’ve been doing soooo much knitting lately and really enjoying it. And I really want to get on with a Cross Stitch of Tenacious that I bought (but am also worried about starting it because it was so expensive!). And I’ve got my planned favourite writings project to get properly stuck into and finish. And I’ve loads of photos that I want to scrapbook. And I really want to figure out this crochet lark. And, And, And…

So many crafts, so little time!

>My Heart is Heavy

>My heart is heavy today. And truthfully, has been for a few days but today brought news that focussed it all for me.

Several people on the periphery of my life have had challenging, tough and scary times over the last week or so and it makes me ache for them, worry about them, feel.

So my heart is heavy with all of that. And it makes some of the more trivial and mundane things annoy and irritate me.

Especially because today brought the news a work colleague was out walking her dog last week and was hit by a lorry. She’s in hospital and her daughter tells us she’ll be ok. But her injuries sound very nasty and pretty scary (cracked skull, multiple broken bones). So she has been in my thoughts most of the day.

Then there are the reasons why my heart is heavy in a good way – because I am preoccupied and excited about next weekend.

And because last night ended sailing for the year for me at least (I will write more about that tomorrow).

So my heart is heavy with memories of fun times and gratitude for the help, support, friendship and love that I am shown by my fellow sailors. And with my (misplaced) guilt that maybe I haven’t/didn’t do enough to show my thanks and how much it means to me.

Welcome to The Life and Times of Emma, please leave your angst at home, there is more than enough here to go around.

>Look Great in 2008 Week One!

>I’m up 1lb.

Which is ok.

Trouble is last week I had regained 2lb.

So that’s 3lb that had gone now back here visiting again. And I’m grateful it’s not more because I did eat out twice yesterday and I did binge a couple of times this week. When I weighed earlier in the week it looked like I’d gained more.

If I got a report on my weight loss it would probably say “Emma tries hard but could do better.”

That’s ok. but it’s also sucky considering that I was loser of the week this week.

But all I can do is go onwards and upwards. And take it back to basics.

On with the next week…

>Simply The Best

>The next Disability Blog Carnival is on Thursday and it’s theme is “Simply The Best”

I love this as a topic and was thinking about what to write about. Several ideas crossed my mind but nothing really seemed *right* to me.

Then just as I had written off this as a topic that wasn’t for me, it hit me.

The thing that had made me happiest today had a no longer really noticable to me disability beginning and that’s what’s Simply The Best.

At this current moment in time, I would say that meeting people who would never have come into your life if not for your disability is Simply The Best thing about having CP.

My oldest friend, Maryse, was my physio when I was nine. We are still close now even though we haven’t seen each other since 1999 and she lives in Germany. No CP would have meant no physio and that would have meant I never met someone who I love dearly and who was a confidante and a trusted adult whilst I was growing up – and who was able to turn the trauma of physio into something I looked forward too.

Then there is Ruth. She was disability support coordinator when I was at college doing A’Levels. She helped me learn an important lesson about other people, about attitude and about self worth. It was a tough time that led to that incident and it was disability related. Take away the CP and the circumstances would have been different. But I am glad I learned those lessons – I have friends who tell me they wish they knew them too.

Some of my best friends I met thru disability activities or because they were my or my friends carers. Some of them I was paired with at school so we could receive support together – at the time I hated that, and I hated a lot of them because I resented being made “different”. I got over that, they became friends and the rest as they say, is history…

Or it could be the journey care assistants at my local stations… I couldn’t exactly say they were friends but they always say hi when they see me, stop me in town, ask how I am, make me laugh, hug me (sometimes) and occasionally fight over who gets to help me on and off of the train. Knowing I can trust them really helped me when I first started traveling independently on the trains. They are all really good people and they brighten my day.

But if it wasn’t for my chair – they would just be “station staff” and so I have another reason to be grateful for CP, more people who touch my life in a simply way and enrich it so much.

Before I went to university I had academic support at school (learning support assistants) but I had never had a true carer from outside of the family. I was a little nervous about that. But mostly nervous about the going to uni thing as a whole.

Incidentally, I realised (and was a bit shocked by) totally by accident this morning whilst surfing facebook and looking at Birthday reminders that the day I left home and went to uni was seven years ago TODAY.

My first ever carer was Kim (this entry has the story of when I met Kim and my first day at uni). She drove me a bit crazy but we got on well and grew to be very close. Unfortunately, as happens I lost contact with her for several years. Last week we got back in touch through FaceBook and we e-mailed.

Tonight I rang her and it was so wonderful, curled up on my bed with the window open and a breeze drifting over me. It was dark and the only light came from the twinkling of my fairy lights round the window. Just me and a phone, talking to a much loved friend who brought back so many memories, who helped to shape those memories too. I reckon it must be at least four, if not five, years since we spoke. It could have been yesterday.

We made plans to meet up and catch up the Saturday after next. I can’t wait.

And I was left thinking that whilst there are many small things and experiences CP has brought into my life. For me, what is Simply The Best about being in a chair is the wonderful people that are and have been in my life because of it.

>Opinions Wanted

>I got an e-mail about NaNoWriMo today!

I knew it was coming up but I hadn’t really realised that the festivities kick off so soon – sign ups start 1st Oct!

I have half of a badly thought out fiction idea that I could do. Or I could write my life story. Both are projects I’ve written a few words of and abandoned time and again for more years than I can count.

So… which do YOU think I should write?

>Bullets

>Bullet points of life for a Saturday evening:

  • Have hugely fun plans for really really soon. Very excited and can’t wait.
  • Am slightly concerned that fun plans maybe too much for me. Have decided that I don’t care.
  • Have much too much yarn and yet I want to buy more.
  • Have had genius idea involving yarn, fun plans and possibly Christmas.
  • Slightly scared that I considered Christmas already.
  • Supermarkets have advent calenders and christmas stuff out already. This is scarier.
  • Also have too many books and yet I want to buy more.
  • Fun plans are also likely to be of some use here
  • Am wondering quite why I have so many DVDs that I’ve not finished watching (mostly box set)
  • Genius Fun Plans not likely to be of any help here.

>Loser!

>If you are here from Tales From The Scales – Welcome. Or if you’ve been here before either from TFTS or somewhere else – Welcome Back!

If you never go to the TFTS site, go now. And check out This post. I’m the Loser of the Week this week!!

I won’t repeat the stuff I wrote from the site because you can go there and read it (and comment, and maybe, be inspired to join the new challenge?)

Beth has put both of the before and after photos I shared as one image and even I could see the difference there – so I will share that here.

Something I think I didn’t mention over on TFTS is how much the accountability and the wonderful support I have received has helped me and kept me going. Receiving Beth’s e-mail yesterday gave me a real boost and the resolve to make it a great day. So thank you Beth – and thank you everyone else!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I’m going to be Looking Great in 2008 (click the image for more details of the challenge). Why don’t you join me?

>ow ow hurty ow

>I’ve done something to my back. ow ow hurty ow. And randomly my left side (including my arm weirdly) is super spastic and tight.

I said to my sister that I thought I’d put it out – I don’t think I actually have but I’ve definitely bruised it or something.

My back can get painful if I spend a long period of time in my wheelchair with no breaks and on Saturday between my wheelchair and the car I went fifteen hours with only a few loo breaks. NOT GOOD. But it couldn’t be avoided and it was loads of fun.

I would take that as the cost of having such a good day and be pleased and happy to do so.

But it’s more than that. Not only did I spend too much time in my chair on Saturday. I also fell out of the damn thing. Backwards.

Well maybe saying I fell OUT of the damn thing isn’t quite right.

There is a point at which you can’t right a wheelchair when you tip it. My parents were getting me over a step. It was a high one so my dad had the front and my mum the back. Wheelchair tips too far and hits the floor.

Result- Emma is still in the wheelchair but the wheelchair is tipped on it;s back and Emma’s legs are in the air. Emma is extremely grateful that her mum lost the “you must wear a dress” argument.

So yeah, I really don’t recommend that.

I do recommend heatpacks and codeine and baclofen however.

And more importantly I wish “up and over” steps were banned. Because they are seriously evil.

>Facebook Love

>You know how every so often I go on here about how Facebook is depressing and I don’t really like it (yet spend sooooo much time on there it’s unreal)?

Well, in a display of how unbelievably fickle I am, I have changed my mind.

This is the post in which I say how much I love facebook.

I love facebook.

And a got an e-mail from a very old, much loved and extremely missed friend today thanks to it.

It’s strange – we’ve not seen each other in about four years, we’ve not spoken or e-mailed or anything in at least three. But reading that e-mail today… it was so “her”, so normal, so like we just saw each other last week, just spoke yesterday.

It’s strange – but it’s also really, really good.

And it really, really made my day.