• 2019,  advocacy,  CP related,  things people say

    Picking my battles

    Unfortunately I had to gently complain about an ableist comment that someone made about/to me last week. The comment had been shouted across to someone (it was about my access needs) and that had been my biggest issue with it. It’s one thing to say something inappropriate and ableist to me, it’s a whole nother ball game to shout it for hundreds of people to potentially hear. It was in one of my favourite places and the person I complained to I’ve known for a few years through there. She commented that I’m always patient with them. And I thought “I’m not. “ I’m not. I’m picking my battles. If…

  • 2019,  attitudes,  CP related,  lymphoedema,  things people say

    Realistic

    I’ve been thinking a lot over the last week or so about how having a chronic condition or disability shapes your thinking and how this can be taken by those who don’t have the same experience (this is a topic I thought I’d written about follow a similar incident back in 2017 but I can’t find a blog. Which suggests it may have been a social media rant and lost to the abyss). When I went to lymphoedema clinic recently my legs were still the same size as when I was last seen in clinic in March. And the specialist nurse I see told me that she thinks it’s likely…

  • 2019,  Action 4,  disability normal,  Quickie Jive,  things people say

    In which able-bodied people are weird but if I point it out I’m the weird one.

    I was in my manual chair on Thursday while the powerchair was with the tech. My morning carer said “Wow you must be strong doing that.” And I was pleased because I feel like I’ve lost so much strength and can do so little in my manual compared to years ago. But I was managing well and I liked the compliment. An hour later the tech came and took my powerchair. Once he left the guy who was here working on my bathroom asked if there was something wrong with it. I explained that it had gone for some routine stuff. Then he said “it must be hard pushing that…

  • 2018,  acceptance,  disability,  things people say

    The Things I Can’t Do

    Someone declared a few months ago that there “must be lots of things I want to do but can’t.” They mentioned someone they knew was ill (I believe – had been hospitalised anyway) and was finding they couldn’t do stuff. I think they may have been venting frustrations. I said no, I didn’t know how that felt because I can do everything I want to do. From her reaction, I don’t think she believed me and I ended up back tracking and justifying that statement by pointing out that I’m lifelong disabled so I’ve never known any different (I am annoyed with myself that I allowed her to make me…

  • 2016,  acceptance,  argh,  attitudes,  awareness,  CP related,  frustrations,  things people say,  Uncategorized,  wheelchair

    “She’ll run you over”

    There are a lot of allegedly jokey comments that people make about or to me as a wheelchair user.  Usually well meaning and perhaps an attempt at being funny. They aren’t funny.  Most of them never were but one or two may have been if not for the fact that I hear them all the time.  I’m talking about the “women drivers” comments. The people who say “do you have a license for that thing?” Those who randomly see me and go “no speeding!” And many others. I often roll my eyes at that sort of thing and let it go because it’s usually strangers and theres no point getting…

  • 2016,  things people say,  Uncategorized

    It’s not what you say

    As a wheelchair user there are certain comments, questions, and even jokes about my disability and/or being a wheelchair user that I hear often.  And that’s sort of OK.  I’m used to it and over being bothered by them in most cases. People (strangers) will ask why I’m in a wheelchair, have I been disabled long, that sort of thing.  Sometimes I answer, sometimes I ask why they want to know.  That usually depends on whether they take me by surprise or not and how feisty and argumentative I’m feeling. And answers to my replying “Why do you want to know?” tend to be interesting too. But this week I’ve…

  • 2015,  blogging,  carnivals,  CP related,  depression,  disability,  disability blog carnival,  disability blogs,  disability voices,  I want to change the world,  internet,  personal,  perspective,  questions,  things people say,  thinking,  twitter,  Uncategorized

    Rotation Curation for #Disability #rocur

    I’ve been curating the @OxfordIsYours twitter account.  It’s a RoCur (Rotation Curation) account for Oxford and the person who runs it said living in Oxfordshire counts. Basically RoCur is where there’s an account (often on twitter) where people take a week at a time to run it and share their experiences and tweet on the subject.  Most of these relate to places – like with Oxford Is Yours I’ve been tweeting about where I’ve been and what I’ve done – but some relate to hobbies or jobs or organisations or anything else. I’ve been enjoying it and have learned about a place in Oxford I’m going to visit soon I…

  • 2014,  disability,  things people say,  Uncategorized

    Polite Small Talk

    I meet usually at least two new people each week through CAB.  If I see them as clients I can often find out a lot about them.  They rarely learn much about me.  I do tell them my  name but often that and the fact I’m sat there in a powerchair is all they learn about me. I also do resident involvement stuff with the housing association I rent from.  I’ve made one really good friend through that and I’m friendly with several others.  But I’ve met loads of people there.  And also because I’ve done disability awareness talks there for staff and tenants there have been a few occasions…

  • 2014,  antidepressants,  depression,  fluoxetine,  honesty,  meds,  mental health,  personal,  Sertraline,  things people say,  treatment,  Uncategorized

    Apparently people with mental health problems just need to “tell someone”

    So Robin Williams has died.  Suicide.  And that’s sad as any death is. Facebook is full of posts with his picture sharing phone numbers and websites of helplines.  Ones telling people that “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  And declarations that if you’re feeling down, if you have depression to make sure you tell someone.  Friend’s saying that they hope their friends feel capable of telling them.  And similar on twitter and other places. Here’s the thing: I have a depression diagnosis and I have a lot of anxiety at times which has been recognised by medics although it’s never been given a label like GAD (generalised…

  • 2014,  disablism,  things people say,  Uncategorized

    Can you actually hear yourself?

    Sometimes I think I should start carrying a dictaphone or similar around with me everywhere and recording my conversations.  Because just lately so many people have said things to me – people who I know – and have come across so ableist that I’ve been shocked.  And in a couple of the cases I’ve known what they’ve actually meant and suspected that if I made them listen back to what they said they may well realise how inappropriate their wording was. In two of the three most recent cases I feel confident that the other person in the conversation didn’t mean to hurt me and was just wording things wrong…