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I am officially an employee

Yes that is right- I have got a job! I am officially an employee. It may not sound a big thing, especially when I tell you it is four hours once a week. Nevertheless, those that know my journey will know it is massive. It is a step in the right direction. A step towards being independent and self sufficient.  I am so pleased. It makes me feel like I am contributing to society, and valued. For so long I wondered whether I would ever be able or well enough to get a job. Hannah working Obviously, I couldn't survive on the wages of 4 hours a week, unless I was well, maybe a footballer, or top lawyer or something! I think maybe with a footballer, 1 hour would be sufficient, however I am told I have exceeded my peak of 25, I am not a male and my mobility maybe a problem! Therefore, for the moment I will still be on ESA (Employment Support Allowance). I hope, however in the future I will be able to build up my hours and at some point come off ESA. How did I get my job? In 2019 I finished
Recent posts

#BenHannah3530 stage 1 complete

I did it! I have completed stage 1 of my #BenHannah3530 challenge. Between 1st January 2021-15th March 2021 I walked 30 lengths of my garden, in stages with support of my four wheeled walker, specialist splints and the support of two people. The weather has made it more challenging, with lots of rain, snow and ice along the way! This has meant that on some days, even when I have felt up to it, it has made a walk not possible. Nevertheless, three weeks after my initial planned finished date, I completed my 30th length of the garden. Hannah with her parents, after completing stage 1 of her #BenHannah3530 challenge  I have been overwhelmed with the support I have received for my challenge. Initially, I was hesitant about starting it as it was a very dark time, with up to 1800 or so people loosing their lives each day to Covid-19, people were just trying to get through one day to the next, without thinking about challenges and fundraising. However, friends encouraged me, with several peopl

Turning 30

On Monday 22nd February I turned 30. Three decades. The beginning of a new era, or stage in my life.  Somehow, my twenties only felt like just after my teenage years, so still young. Thirty sounds like a 'proper' adult. Although, I only feel about eighteen at heart, maybe I need to realise I am an adult now! Sometimes, I think big birthdays have an impact on people. Like a sudden realisation that they are getting older. Although, to be honest, we all are getting older everyday from the day we are born! How does it feel? For me, I think it is mixed emotions. I really don't like the idea of getting older. Part of me feels like I am still holding on to being a teenager from when I was well. It is almost as if I would like to be able to go back in time, to being a teenager and continue my life from when I was well. Unfortunately, though this is not possible. I think I feel this way because of all the experiences I feel I have missed along the road. Nevertheless, the time I am t

#BenHannah3530

About a year ago or more I came up with the idea of completing a challenge for my 30th Birthday and doing something to remember my dear brother, Ben. Overtime, this has changed and evolved, to what I am undertaking now. Turning 30 is one of those big birthdays and although I miss my brother dearly all the time and on every birthday, those big ones are even harder. More poignant. My journey with chronic illness and disability has also been a long and difficult one. However I have made some huge gains. I am fundraising to support 3 charities (Starlight Children's Foundation, White Lodge and Child Bereavement UK) to celebrate my 30th birthday in February 2021 and in memory of my dear brother, Ben and celebrate his 35th birthday in November 2021.   Ben and Hannah in Hertford My story Most of you know my story but at the age of 14, I suffered an injury playing netball, I sustained nerve damage which led to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. 14 months later I was totally bedbound. I was an

2021- My aims and goals

Happy New Year! I know so far it has not been a 'happy' new year. I hope that there will be some improvement in the coming months. My first and main aim for the year is just to survive and keep safe and that my family and friends are safe. I am sure this is something many of you can relate to. 2021-My aims and goals I don't have too many goals at the moment, also the ones I do have I feel it is okay if I don't achieve them; we live in a turbulent time. Furthermore, I have not been feeling great recently and it has just made me realise we need to be kind. I find it easier to be kind to others, but I am not so forgiving or good at being 'kind' to myself. This is probably not helped by having limited pots of time, due to energy and pain and things taking longer to complete or achieve. I hope to continue my blog and write regularly, but write freely and without the pressure of a regular twice a month schedule.  I would like to transfer my blog to WordPress. Well I s

2020-My year review

What a year, but at least its Christmas. Hannah and Dandy, Christmas 2020 A year, that probably, most people don't want to repeat. I feel, personally I have had even worse years. 2011 would be my worst and then years of isolation in hospital, however it has been a particularly challenging year for so many people. Now, there are tighter restrictions, plans are having to be cancelled and people are not  able to spend Christmas with their loved ones. I do feel for everyone who has been affected. Christmas is a time when families should be together. I am lucky in some respects. I live with my Mum and Dad. Firstly, their support and love has got me through the pandemic and this difficult year, but secondly I can spend Christmas with them. However, on the other hand we as a family are not lucky, as it will not just be one Christmas that my parents don't get to see their son and I don't get to see my brother. It will be every Christmas going forward until hopefully we meet again i

The art of pacing

Pacing is something that individuals with a chronic illness would have heard so many times. Especially, those with chronic pain and or fatigue. "You need to learn to pace!" Pacing What is pacing? The idea of pacing is to manage to live and do activities regularly, without exasperating pain and fatigue to unbearable levels. In a way, the whole society needs to pace to a degree, we all have our limits. It depends on somebody's illness and the severity of it, to what this picture can look like. The purpose of pacing is to avoid the boom and bust cycle and a downward spiral of health and mobility. 'Booming' being when you overdo it one day and suffer the next, meaning as a result, you 'bust' and do nothing, or a lot less than normal. If you imagine a graph that shows your activity level and time, instead of having a line that goes up and down, with peaks and troughs, if you pace you have a more stable straight line across. The theory is also that over time, th