My summary of December 2019

The final month of 2019 is coming to an end. December has been a time to finish off last minute work, making plans for 2020 and, of course, organising and enjoying Christmas.

Disability Horizons

This month has all been about the General Election and I took the selfless (stupid) decision of offering to write a couple of articles ahead of polling day. I read through nine manifestoes, picking out all the policies that would support or effect disabled people. It was a rather gruelling task that took me almost two weeks. Although the election is now over, you’re still welcome to look through the two articles below and admire my writing, research and journalistic skills.

In terms of the result, all I want to say on the matter is all political party options were bad but we had to pick one so I picked the one which appeared to be the least bad!

I’ve also been continuing to finish up editing products and writing an article ready for the official launch of the new Disability Horizons shop in January.

Apprenticeship

In November, I applied for a marketing apprenticeship at Portsmouth City Council. As you may have already seen on social media, I was in a bit of a dilemma.

When I sent my application I gave my reasonable adjustments and mentioned I wouldn’t be available for interview on 9th Dec due to a prior engagement.

Three weeks ago, I received an email saying I had been shortlisted and have been invited to attend an assessment on 9th Dec. I replied saying I couldn’t attennd on the 9th and could I do the computer based assessment from home then attend on the Tuesday instead.

His response was “Thank you for your email. Unfortunately as the assessment contains a group activity you would need to attend at the same time as the other invited candidates so we cannot offer you an alternative date I’m afraid.”

Surely as they are a disability confident employer they should make alternative arrangements for disabled candidates if requested in advance. I had already told them I was unavailable on the 9th Dec and I shouldn’t have to share detailed information on my prior engagement but it is related to my disability and not just a social event.

I understand they can’t re-arrange the group exercise but they could’ve got me to do it with their colleagues or the interviewer.

I think they’ve just missed out on an excellent candidate!

Health

After almost four horrendous months of catheter complications, I finally saw a urology consultant!

I was admitted into hospital for minor day surgery to have a camera inserted into my bladder to see what was happening. It turned out my bladder was rather small, or even shrunk, meaning it was causing more bladder spasms.

The doctor also gave me a bladder wash and enlarged the hole in my abdomen in order to insert a size 16 catheter.

It’s been three weeks now and my bladder has been clear with no crystals or blockages. To keep this flowing nicely, the consultant suggested I get weekly bladder washes and the district nurses should come out to show my carers how to do it.

Unfortunately, the process to get this organised took forever. Two days after my minor surgery, I received a phone call from the nurses saying they would get the doctor to prescribe me the sodium chloride solution to do the bladder washes and come out to demonstrate on the Friday.

The day before, I went to the pharmacy to collect the solution but the pharmacy had no record of the prescription. I phoned the GP surgery to find out and they said it should be available Friday afternoon. I phoned the nurses to rearrange the demonstration for Monday. On Saturday morning, I went back to the pharmacy and there was still no prescription.

On Monday morning, my Mum went to the GP surgery for me to find out where this prescription was. It turned out there was no prescription made. Instead the doctor didn’t know which solution to prescribe and just gave a note to the receptionist to pass on to the pharmacist. However the pharmacist never received the note as it was left in a drawer at reception.

My mum managed to speak to the GP who admitted he didn’t know which solution to prescribe, despite speaking to the district nurses. He gave me a prescription for sodium chloride 0.9% solution but still wasn’t sure if I needed the acid component too. Surely, the doctor should contact urology to confirm the prescription.

Mum went to the pharmacy to collect it but the pharmacy needed to order it in and it wouldn’t be available until Tuesday. I phoned the nurses again to cancel the demonstration and they said they would speak to the GP too.

The next day, Mum went back to the pharmacy and finally got the sodium chloride  solution. The following day, the district nurse finally came to demonstrate the bladder wash. It was a very simple procedure with no pain. I just felt minor discomfort like I was desperate for a wee.

I’m due to go back to hospital in February to have a catheter change and botox in my bladder to try and prevent spasms.

Guide Dog

Some more good news you may have already seen on social media too is I had my initial assessment for a dual guide dog.

The meeting went well I think. I’m still not officially on the waiting list as yet. The next stage is to meet with the handler trainer to decide if I can hold a handle while driving my wheelchair as I only have the use of one arm. Should find out more in the New Year.

Drama

At the beginning of December, I performed in the West End Centre drama group’s Christmas show So White and the Ugly Sinisters. I played the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. I wore white fluffy pyjamas and was handmade bunny ears and a tail.

Left image: Emma in white rabbit costume. Right image: Bunny tail ttached to Emma’s wheelchair

Both performances went very well but the audience appeared more vocal on the second night. Best production we’ve done in a long time!

Christmas

Christmas was a rather good, yet slightly more busier one than previous years.

This year we did not stick to all of our traditions and instead had no stockings, opened presents at my parents house around midday and went to a local restaurant for Christmas dinner. The meal was lovely but I was unfortunate enough to choke on a bit of Yorkshire Pudding – bloody gag reflex!

I received some nice presents including clothes, pyjamas, boots, sweets, chocolates and money.

I treated my family to tickets for The Lion King Musical and John Bishop.

I also enjoyed a game of Scrabble with my family, which I obviously won with ease!

TV

The ultimate highlight of this festive season was the all important Christmas TV shows.

The programme I was looking forward to the most and loved was, of course, the return of Gavin & Stacey. The anticipated comeback was absolute perfection – full of emotion, love and a lot of laughter.

It was added with a shocking ending that brings hope for a new full-length series in the near future – fingers crossed!

Other Christmas programmes I’ve watched this month include:

Audio Description Campaign

Just a reminder that more signatures are needed for my petition to get audio description available on all films, TV shows and streaming services for blind and visually impaired people. I would appreciate it if you can continue to sign and share far and wide.

Donations

Since the end of August until now, the blog has received £50 in donations. This Christmas I want to give 20% of all donations made to a worthy disability charity. So if you can give anything from £5 to £50, it will be very much appreciated if you give what you can by 31st December 2019.

I’m planning to give the money to Guide Dogs, who support people with sight loss across the UK and possibly one day have the chance to give me a guide dog too.

Guest Bloggers Wanted!

Please remember I’m very eager to fill my blog with more guest bloggers for 2020.

So if you’re a lifestyle, disability and/or music blogger, send me your blog stories.

I’m flexible with any type of blog posts; life story, disability awareness, music event, musician promotion – basically anything to do with life, disability or music!

Blog survey 2019

Thank you to those of you who completed my survey as part of my 2 year blog anniversary. If you have any other feedback or tips you’d like to share, comment below or on social media.

I do have an additional question, which you can view on my Facebook and Twitter – “Would you like me to continue my monthly blog summaries in 2020?” Please cast your vote by Wed 1st Jan 2020.

Blog post roundup

In case you missed any of my blog posts this month, here is a roundup of them:

1. General Election 2019: Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem disability policies

2. General Election 2019: what disability policies are the other six UK parties pledging?

3. 2 years of Rock For Disability

4. Live Music Reviews: 2019 roundup

5. Music Interviews: 2019 roundup

6. 6 blog posts of Christmas

5 Favourite Blog Posts

Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:

1. BEING DISABLED DOES NOT MAKE ME A BURDEN TO MY PARTNER by Kerry Thompson at My Life, Kerry’s Way

2.Meeting owls from Apollo Falconry by Kirsty at UnseenBeauty

3.How The easyTravelseat Makes Air Travel Simple For Disabled Travellers by Emma Muldoon at Simply Emma

4.8 reasons I’m grateful for my vision impairment by Holly at Life of a Blind Girl

5.The Show Must Go On by The Secret Blind

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DONATIONS

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Published by Rock For Disability

This blog follows my life as a disabled person, reports disability news, share music reviews, give advice pieces, shows multimedia content plus much more!

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