Friday, 29 August 2014

Heels on wheels






Like almost every female on the planet, I love shoes, specifically heels. Heels are the best. The only time I can wear heels these days is when I'm sat in my wheelchair. I'd love to be strutting around in a pair of killers, rolling in a pair of killers doesn't look or feel as good, it doesn't compliment my feminine assets like it did when I used to walk around in a pair of 5 inchers, and it doesn't make me appear taller or more slender. Like anything in life though we have to make the most of what we've been given and seeing as I've been given a body that doesn't work as it should do, if heels are only to be worn whilst sitting, that's what is to be! You've got to work with what you've got!



Thursday, 28 August 2014

Allied Mobility: Disabled accessible vehicles to hire



Today I want to share with you a service which I think my disabled readers, and readers with long term illnesses as well as their families might be interested in. Since I've been a wheelchair user I've seen just how difficult it is to get out and about with a wheelchair, especially if it means travelling in a vehicle. Public transport can be hell, and if the boot of your car is small like mine, getting your chair in and out of it can be extremely difficult. I dread to think how those with electric scooters cope. Not all of us can afford to pay the price for a disabled accessible car, and if like me you have an illness whether it's short term or chronic rather than a permanent disablement, you're probably not going to want to splash out that kind of cash anyway. For the amount of times I leave the house, I'd be throwing my money away if I did that!



Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles For Hire


This is where Allied Mobility comes in. Allied Mobility offer many services to make travelling and transport more affordable, and easier for disabled people, because let's face it, when it comes to transport we need all the help and assistance that we can get!

Have you ever wanted to go on a day trip, or go away on a holiday but the lack of accessibility and space in your own car has put you off? Is using public transport a big no no? Why not consider hiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle. It could be just the thing to make your day trip/holiday wishes come true! Of course there are many reasons why hiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle is appealing. I could sit here and list a thousand reasons, but 1. We'd be here a while, and 2. If you're disabled you can probably think of lots of reasons yourself! 



The vehicles Allied Mobility have available all have a wide range of accessibility features which help to ensure travelling in your wheelchair is as comfortable and as trouble free as possible. If you don't want to or can't afford to buy a brand new car tailored for all of your disabled needs, hiring an accessible car for a day, a week, a few weeks or even for a few months could prove to be extremely helpful. I wish I'd have known about their services a long time ago, they could have spared me many unpleasant journeys not to mention more trips out of the house which in my opinion are just as important as medication. Nobody wants to feel isolated because of a disability or illness.

The vehicle's accessibility features include:

  • A lightweight wheelchair ramp
  • Lowered floor
  • Full wheelchair restraint system
  • Lap and diagonal seat belts for wheelchair and seated passengers

You can even bring your dog!


The Cars


Allied Mobility have several cars available in both automatic and manual depending on the preference of the driver (very handy) which all have different options so you can easily find the car most suitable for your needs and requirements. There are cars available from different manufacturers including Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen, and they offer a choice of seating arrangements to accommodate as many people as you need which is great if you have a big family, or if you are thinking of going on a day trip with your friends! The more the merrier as they always say!


Why I love this service so much that I wanted to share it here on the blog

I love that something as simple as hiring a vehicle that is wheelchair accessible gives back some Independence. Disabled people want to stay as independent as possible, but unfortunately that can be difficult when you are facing obstacles caused by your disability. I'd love to have a road trip with my friends, or go out for the day with my family without having to worry if there will be enough room for us all plus my wheelchair. I love that there is such a wide range of options available on their website www.alliedmobility.com covering so many areas and needs and there is something for everyone no matter what your disability is, or if it is temporary or permanent. When I see services that make life easier for disabled people it makes me happy and it makes me do a little spin of joy in my wheels. Allied Mobility have premises all over the UK, and they have lots of friendly people to advise and offer a hand in choosing the best service for you.

Have you used any services from Allied Mobility before? Is this something you'd like to do?
What do all my spoonie friends think about one big road trip with a hired car?! That would be pretty amazing, wouldn't it!


Links:




Monday, 25 August 2014

Hairspiration

Happy Monday everyone! I thought I'd kick start the week with some hairspiration. I have to admit, I'm not the best at hair however much I wish I was, so when I see images like these it makes me wish I was blessed with hands that know their way around a head of hair. I find hair washing and styling exhausting (Possibly the worst chronic illness symptom = guaranteed daily bad hair days) so even if I was blessed with a talent for hair it would be a waste anyway. (It wouldn't but I tell myself this to prevent having a hair breakdown) These styles are great for working with hair that hasn't been freshly washed, because let's face it, hair washing is . such . a . chore.



Braids love greasy hair more than Honey Boo Boo loves greasy food. If there was ever a reason to skip a hair wash and spend an extra half an hour Netflix binging, this is it. Girls, take advantage of this trend. Netflix, shampoo? Netflix, shampoo? Netflix...





Accessories are your successories is one of my favourite quotes ever. It doesn't just apply to clothing and jewellery, it goes for hair too. Hair accessories are fun and can complete an outfit. Whether you're opting for a hat, hair jewellery, flowers or a headscarf, your hair wants to be dressed up just as much as your neck, wrist and fingers do. Talking of hair and rings, HAIR RINGS. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the genius idea that is rings that go in your hair. GENIUS.

If like me you love lusting over beautiful hairstyles, and want to get your regular fix of hairspiration, then go and follow the best hair stylist in the world, Jake, on Instagram @jakegallagherhair

And visit his website www.jakegallagherhair.co.uk 

I hope everyone has a good week. Do you like these hairstyles? What is your favourite hairstyle?  


Peace and love!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sun, sand and sea in Alicante

Almost two weeks have passed since we got back from our holiday and I've spent each day since in bed recovering. I didn't think it was possible to feel so happy whilst being in so much pain! This holiday was such a big milestone for me. It was the first holiday I was able to go on in since I became unwell AND it marked the first time in 4 years I was able to leave the house five days in a row. For me that is a HUGE achievement and I couldn't be happier about it.

My boyfriend and I couldn't have wished for a better trip. I actually felt quite well (by my standards at least) and I was even able to do some activities I never would have imagined I'd be able to do again, like go on a jet ski, SO . MUCH . FUN! And do some snorkeling. The best 6 I ever spent was on a snorkel! I may have had my moments and I was probably the only person in the whole of Spain during the peak summer temperatures needing to have a long soak in a hot bath for an hour each night, and needing to go to bed with a hot water bottle and half a dozen heat pads scattered allover my aching body (Cue horrendously awful but ridiculously appropriate holiday song - Ole ole, ole ole, feeling hot, hot, hot) but none of that stuff matters, what matters is that I did it, I actually did something normal, and I had such a great time.

It felt AMAZING to be away with my favourite human enjoying the sunshine and just taking it all in. This was the sort of thing I dreamt of doing just a few years ago when it was almost impossible for me to make the journey from my bed to my bathroom so I made a conscious effort to fill my lungs with sea air and take in and appreciate every single moment. Ok, maybe I didn't appreciate seeing a floating poo in the sea, but I did appreciate everything else!

The highlight of the trip for me was a submarine we went on, which was incredible. I've always dreamt of being a mermaid and that will probably be the closest I'll get to ever being one, chillin' down at the bottom of the Med with all of my new fish friends!

The low-light of the holiday was when my camera broke (cries) which is why some of the photos are from my phone. The holiday you have spent years dreaming about and your camera goes and bloody breaks, how typical is that!? We still got some lovely photos though, but more importantly than that, we made some amazing memories.







We're all going on a yellow submarine..

Under the sea, under the sea...

Wearing my footless sandals made by the lovely Sian who blogs here


Debuting my TRIANGL bikini





The amazing view from our balcony




Our hotel had the nicest bar, they served the most delicious cocktails (non alcoholic for the Granny over here)



Have you been/are planning on going on holiday this year?
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?


Peace & love!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

There is always something to be thankful for




There is always, always something to be thankful for. What are you thankful for today?

I am thankful for you guys, for your continuous support, your sweet sweet comments, your thoughtful gestures and your friendship.
Yesterday's stranger can become tomorrow's friend.

For those of you that have followed this blog since the early stages when I really was very unwell, I am so thankful you chose to stick around and thankful that you chose to continue reading my posts because without readers this blog would probably have been abandoned long ago, and this blog has been my light in all of the darkness. It has become my escape, my creative outlet and a place I can be free.

I am thankful for every single email I have received, every single 'Stay Strong' every single 'Hang In There' and every single 'Don't Give Up!' I am thankful for your kind words because they are what gave me the strength to keep on pushing through, to keep on fighting, and without the support of some of you amazing people out there I don't think I would have made it to where I am today. I am in such a positive place right now and I'm more determined than ever to kick M.E's butt and show it who's boss and a big part of that is down to you and the strength you give me. 

Everyday we wake up to a new day, and we're alive. I am thankful to be alive, for to be alive means to have life and to have life means to have hope, hope for a better tomorrow. I'm still waiting for a cure, but until then I have hope and I have some wonderful people who give me hope every single day - you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you!



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Travelling abroad as a disabled person




























































Travelling abroad can be tiring and stressful for any healthy person, but when you're facing travelling as a disabled person or person with a disability, things start to become a little bit more tricky.

As I recently flew abroad (holiday blog post coming soon!) as a disabled person I thought it might be helpful for my disabled readers if I did a post about my experience, and to give you a few tips. The first time I flew abroad as a disabled person I had no idea what to expect and it was quite a nerve wracking prospect! However, with the right help, flying abroad cripple style couldn't be any less scary.




Special assistance




First things first, Special Assistance is a disabled travelers best friend. Without a shadow of a doubt if it wasn't for this service I wouldn't be able to travel. Special assistance is basically a service for anybody flying who has a disability or is disabled in some way. The SA team take care of you from your arrival at the airport right the way through until your departure at the other end. There are several types of services they offer depending on your individual needs, and depending on how much help you think you're going to need. This is particularly good if you are an independent wheelchair user but you just need to know where the lifts are, etc...



Although I always travel with my own wheelchair, if you prefer you can use a wheelchair provided by the airport. Whatever the reason is for you choosing to travel with assistance, they will never ask for confirmation as to why you are using the service. Anybody can use the service, including other members of your party so you won't be separated, and you will always be treated with the utmost respect and care. I can't praise the SA staff enough.

The best thing about the special assistance service is that it is completely free! Almost all airports now have a special assistance service in place, but be sure to check on your airports websites before booking.




Hand luggage essentials

(please note these essentials were for a two hour flight only. Longer flights would need more essentials)


If like me you are going to be travelling with a wheelchair, you want your hand luggage to be as light as possible otherwise you will have a heavy bag sat on your lap for who knows how long whilst waiting around in the airport. Here are some of the essentials I take with me in my hand luggage:


  • Compression socks - I have an illness known as POTS, and compression socks are vital for travelling as they help ease the pain in my legs. They also help stop my blood pressure rocketing to dangerous levels and preventing me from fainting - nobody wants to be that person that fainted just before take off...
  • Medication - Take a little bit extra just in case of delays. Be sure to take travel sickness tablets if you need them and take enough pain medication to keep you covered. The uncomfortable aeroplane seats can be a pain for those with chronic pain.
  • Entertainment - I always take an ipod/pad and a book. I listen to meditation audio tapes before flying to relax. It is normally quite hard to hear them on board over the noisy engines so I always make sure I've got a film on my ipad to keep me entertained, and a good book or magazines to read in case my battery runs out.
  • An eye mask - Depending on what time you are flying and how long your flight is you might want to take an eye mask on board with you. I always take one so if I'm tired and need a nap I can easily drift off. It's also good if you have sensory overload and lights hurt your eyes. Comical animal mask is preferred, but not essential.
  • Baby wipes - Because it's better to be safe than sorry! If you go to use the flight toilet and there's no toilet paper, you're going to be glad you packed these. They are also ideal for a quick freshen up if you're a little bit hot and sticky, and they are perfect to use if you happen to spill diet coke all over your legs! (True story)
  • Cane and other mobility aids - My fold up walking stick is always in my bag so if I need it, it's there. You can travel with special assistance with other mobility aids free of charge, including crutches and sticks, which is handy!
  • Snacks - We all know that airlines rip you off when it comes to food on board. I like to take a selection of healthy snacks to keep my energy levels up and I will never fly without a pack of chewing gum in my bag. Ear popping on takeoff is not fun.
  • Emergency contact details and a medical card - On the off chance that things don't go to plan and you have a funny turn, it is best to have your medical notes and an emergency contact number easily accessible in your bag. As I normally fly on my own this is especially important and reassuring. If anything was to happen, I know that the first aid flight assistant will know how what to do.





I'd definitely recommend flying with special assistance if you're unwell, disabled or have a disability. The service is second to none and with their help you have absolutely nothing to worry about. It might seem daunting if you've never flown as a disabled person before but you are treated like royalty and they take good care of you. You get to skip ques and you are normally seated before everyone else. I've flown with SA a couple of times now and I've always had an entire row to myself which is normally a rarity!  

Don't forget if you want to use special assistance to book with your airline before you arrive to travel!

If you're thinking about travelling abroad and have any questions, leave them in a comment below or message me directly :)

Have you ever flown as a disabled passenger before? What was your experience like? 


This article is also very helpful and informative. I would highly recommend reading it as it is full of lots of advice and information about traveling as a disabled person or person with reduced mobility from Gatwick Airport. Thanks to Paula for sharing it with us.

https://www.help-me-park.co.uk/Blog/tips-for-gatwick-disabled-passengers-and-prm


Peace & love

Sunday, 3 August 2014

A reason to be happy



Later on today, I will be going on my first holiday since I got ill. This for obvious reasons makes me extremely happy! I have been too ill to be able to go on a holiday for so many years, and although we are just going for five days, I know it is going to be amazing, and a break we both deserve, and definitely need. After all, it has been a tough four years. (Understatement of the Century) 

I am going with my boyfriend Alex, who I haven't seen in months and months because I've been stuck in England with so many medical appointments and hospital stuff to attend to (damn you chronic illness for keeping me apart from my favourite human for so long!) whilst he has been busy working in Madrid.

We are going to the beach (of course) in Alicante, Spain, and then following that I will be going back to Al's home in Madrid! Que feliz estoy!




































I am ridiculously excited, but I must admit I am also quite nervous because I honestly have no idea as to how well my body will cope. Five days on the trot getting out of bed is a big deal for anyone with severe M.E, so please keep your fingers crossed for me! I can't wait to share with you guys some snippets from our holiday. If anyone needs me I'll probably be dipping my toes in the Med.

I'm also going to be doing a feature on travelling abroad with a wheelchair so if that's something that interests you be sure to keep an eye open for it in the upcoming weeks.

Have you been anywhere nice this year or are you planning on going anywhere soon? I'd love to know!


Hasta pronto chicos y chicas!