Hello! Firstly, I just want to say thanks for popping by. I know it’s been quiet over here; if I’m not writing my dissertation, I’m thinking about it, or reading for it, or talking about it…it’s pretty time consuming, so I appreciate you hanging around as I know nosuperhero has had to take a back seat. Not long to go, now. Keep your fingers crossed!
Secondly, I just thought I’d share some really delicious, simple snacks that I recently had the pleasure of trying. Meet Ape Snacks; deliciously crunchy, crispy, lightly seasoned coconut curls, with no added sugar, gluten free, vegan AND part of your five-a-day. No, really: they’re fabulous!
I was lucky enough to receive a couple of packets of each flavour, of which there are currently two: lightly salted and slightly peppered.
I love coconut, and anything remotely coconut-related. Coconut oil is my go-to beauty product, as it lends itself so well to so many things, but coconut itself is such a delicious, tropical-tasting treat. Admittedly, I didn’t expect these curls to be so crispy, but they were so incredibly satisfying! When those hunger pangs hit in the early afternoon, it’s all too easy to reach for a packet of fat-laden, salty snacks, and though I do enjoy the traditional crisps, I feel an awful lot better if I snack on something healthy. This is where Ape comes in; not only are they healthy – and practically guilt free – their crunchy texture is so satisfying and easily replicates that hearty crunch I often long for somewhere between lunch and dinner.
Both flavours are simple, allowing the sweet coconut flavour to come through. Admittedly I prefer the lightly salted flavour, but either are delicious and it’s great to know I can grab a packet of these and not feel badly about it!
These would be great as a breakfast topping, or something to accompany your morning smoothie bowl.
Thank you so much to the team at Ape for letting me try your delicious snacks; you’ve made a peckish student very happy!
Hope you’re all having a great day…I’ll have to head back to my desk and trawl through my books. Send positive thoughts!
Hello, lovely! I’m so sorry if you visited this post earlier to find nothing at all; everything I had written up somehow deleted and didn’t make it apart from the title, which is very frustrating. Anyway, here it is, so let’s start again!
A few weeks ago myself and some of the #HBHullBloggers came together to give the lovely Alex from Champagne and Lemonade a cheery farewell as she embarked on her travels for six months. We thought it’d also be a fabulous chance to have a mini get together, and we were lucky enough to have some gorgeous goodies sent to us.
We met at Furley & Co, a fairly new eatery/bar/cafe in the centre of Hull, which serves a huge variety of craft ales, beers and other alcoholic beverages, alongside freshly brewed, quality coffee, teas and other soft drinks. Though Furley’s hasn’t been round for long, it has already made a huge impact on the locals and is widely-renowned for their delicious ‘Freak Shakes’, which you’ll get to see later! We were lucky enough to try some of Furley’s newest menu items – burgers and fries – which are made from chuck steak seasoned in house, lovingly crafted and griddled with cheese and served with your choice of mustard, BBQ mayo or ketchup and pickles. Yum! Although I do sometimes eat meat, I am becoming increasingly interested in exploring vegetarian foods and perhaps switching to a veggie diet altogether, so I plumped for the halloumi burger; griddled halloumi, rocket and onion chutney, all sandwiched between a rich brioche bun. Yummy!
We also had freshly cooked fries, seasoned with chip spice, which was the perfect accompaniment to both burgers. I really liked the BBQ mayo, and would seriously recommend trying it with the fries! After the burgers came the monstrous ‘Freak Shakes’; a sweet concoction of milkshake, whipped cream and plenty of sweet treats. I had the banoffee flavour. A warning though; these are not for the faint-hearted!
Isnt that amazing?! And yes, that is a doughnut! These are quite the party-piece, and we sure gave them a good go. A definite treat, but something I would recommend when visiting Hull!
As I said earlier, we were fortunate enough to have some gorgeous goodies sent to us, and below you’ll see some of the gorgeous goodies. These included Batiste, Benefit, Stargazer cosmetics, Simply Beautiful Collection, Gosh, Paul Mitchell,Make Up Revolution, LYDC and Ultradex. I’d also like to thank Eat Your Photo for making me look good enough to eat! Don’t worry; you’ll get the lowdown on all these fabulous products soon, so keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming favourites! As always, a huge thanks goes to Kat from The Kats Paws for being so wonderful and an organisation-Queen, who even treated us to our very own party bags! Of course you’re never too old for party bags, and the whole evening was so much fun.
Here’s a few snaps; how lucky were we?! I’m sorry there aren’t lots of snaps right now. I’ve had real trouble uploading pictures, but as soon as I’m able I’ll post them for you to have a good nosy at. Technology isn’t always on my side!
Hope you’ve had a great day, whatever you’ve been doing…
Hello, you! It’s great to see you. Thanks for popping by! Though I’d share a recent experience I had at the Hallmark Hotel in North Ferriby a few weeks ago. I was lucky enough to be treated to a deliciously inviting Alice in Wonderland-themed afternoon tea, complete with tiny ‘Drink Me’ bottles and a myriad of lovingly-crafted savoury snacks, sweet treats, pots of tea, and a glass of sparkling bubbly. It really was as good as it sounds!
We were very lucky to have had our afternoon tea on a gloriously sunny day, which can sometimes be a rarity in the North so we were all rather pleasantly surprised! Afternoon tea was served in the grounds of the Hallmark Hotel, with a view of the Humber Bridge. We really couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Our table was strewn with playing cards and adorned with delicate china tea cups, waiting to be filled with freshly brewed tea or coffee. The rabbit ears were a lovely touch, and we all got into the spirit of things and thoroughly enjoyed trying them on. We just couldn’t wait to see what was on offer, and we weren’t disappointed when our food arrived!
We were brought a selection of hand cut sandwiches – including ham and pickle, cheese and chutney, egg mayo and rocket – alongside some homemade scotch eggs and tomato and egg ‘toadstools’. My sweet tooth was well and truly sated with a selection of iced cupcakes, mushroom-shaped meringues, freshly baked scones with dollops of zingy lemon curd and lashings of clotted cream, and adorable ‘Drink Me’ strawberry beverages that tasted deliciously fruity and exceedingly summery. All this was topped off with helpings of popping candy, to delight both children and big kids around the table in equal measure!
The full menu of delights is as follows:
Assorted finger sandwiches/wraps: Ham & Pickle, Cucumber & Cream Cheese, Cheese & Chutney & Egg Mayo & Rocket
Home Made Mushroom meringues
Savoury Scotch Egg and Boiled Egg/Tomato Toadstool
We loved the attention to detail given to the afternoon tea, where the items were carefully stacked on miniature picnic benches and surrounded by Alice-themed paraphernalia. This treat would be a fabulous experience for any Lewis Carroll fiend, or for anyone who simply loves a little bit of magic and Wonderland whimsy!
All in all we had an absolutely fabulous experience at the Hallmark Hotel, and I would like to thank the chef for preparing such a wonderful treat and the staff for making our visit so relaxing.
Why not pop into Hallmark in Hull to experience this for yourself? Prices start from £17.50 without the glass of bubbly and £22.50 for the fizz included.
Hello, you lovely lot! Here’s another gorgeous foodie post for you all. A few weeks ago I was extremely lucky to be invited to try out Nando’s new menu items when they launched on the 17th May, by the wonderful Callum over at Callum Jackson Blogs. I love trying new things, and Nando’s never disappoints, so I really couldn’t wait to see what they had to offer.
We were welcomed into the St Stephen’s restaurant and sat at our places, marked by our favourite bottles of their famous Peri-Peri sauce (what a beautiful touch!) and waited excitedly for what was to come. We were greeted warmly by Callum, who explained what each new addition existed of, and treated us to a truly fabulous night.
Firstly, we got to try the new range of Vinho Spritzers, which are a refreshing blend of wine, lemonade, and heaps of fresh fruit. First up, the white Vinho Spritzer; a refreshing blend of Crispy Cara Viva White wine, topped up with lemonade and garnished with freshly sliced lime and sprigs of cooling mint. The White Vinho Spritzer was a refreshing take on a white sangria, and I could see this being an absolutely gorgeous addition to a balmy summer evening whilst tucking into your favourite Nando’s! The Rose Vihno spritzer consisted of Summer Fruits Cara Viva Rose wine, spritzed with bubbly lemonade and raspberries, sliced lime and sprigs of mint. The Rose Vihno Spritzer was a huge hit with the Hull Bloggers, and would be enjoyed by those who like their beverages fruity and fresh. Finally, we had the Red Vinho Spritzer; Cara Viva Red wine topped up with sparkling lemonade, and garnished with raspberries, orange slices and a cinnamon stick. This was my favourite of the lot, as it reminded me of a summery-take on a mulled wine. It was warming and delicious, and I’d really recommend that one. Wonderful!
Naturally, we couldn’t wait to try the rest of the new items, and it wasn’t long before we were presented with the delicious-looking Fino Platters. Now this was what we had been waiting for! A Nando’s legendary whole Spatchcock flame-grilled Peri-Peri chicken, served with a selection of colourful sides including Sweet Potato Wedges, Fino Coleslaw, Supergrains, chargrilled veg, and Peri-buttered corn-on-the-cob. Yum!
The Fino Platter is a great way to get together with friends and family to share some delicious food and good company, something favoured by our South African buddies across the pond which was the main inspiration for Nandos’ delicious new platter. The chicken is the main star of the show; tender, succulent and easily pulled apart, complemented by a tangy grilled lemon to squeeze over the top as you wish. This was absolutely delicious and it’s easy to see why Nando’s is so famous for its chicken dishes.
Next up we had the corn on the cob; a sweet, crunchy, juicy cob, topped with lashings of spicy Peri butter that complements the sweetness perfectly. Divine!
Supergrain is a new side from Nando’s, which consists of a mixture of grains, including wheat berry, the ancient freekah grain, red quinoa and black barley, with added edamame beans, cannelloni beans, chargrilled bean halves, shredded kale and spring onion. This fabulous mixture is seasoned together, and dressed with light lemon and oregano. This was a real hit, and we couldn’t stop eating it! In fact, this is the first regular side Nando’s has added to their menu since Creamy Mash, so it really is a little bit of something special. It comes in Regular, Large and Nandino portions, minus the dressing for the Nandinos. Stunning, and again, a great addition for a summertime feast.
The other sides – Sweet Potato Wedges and chargrilled veg – were a fabulous complement to the platter, providing just the right amount of variation and deliciousness to complement the show-stopper of Spatchcock chicken. It was a hugely satisfying meal, and seriously delicious. In fact, I have plans to take my friends next week because they need to try these new items! Gorgeous with a Vihno Spritzer to wash it all down.
Finally, we tried Nando’s new delicious brownies, available in two gorgeous flavours; salted caramel, and Peri-Peri! Before you start panicking, the Peri-Peri brownie is not as scary as it sounds, and although I’m a salted caramel fiend, the Peri-Peri brownie turned out to be my favourite of the two! Salted caramel is bound to be a hit with most; indulgent, gooey brownie, laced with lashing of salted caramel goodness, and drizzled with chocolate and a hint of golden sparkle. As you can imagine, these were a huge hit, packed with caramel goodness and a deep, chocolatey flavour. The Peri-Peri consisted of the same gooey, chocolatey brownie base, with a hit of Peri-Peri packed punch. If you’re a chilli chocolate lover, you will love these! Although I was absolutely stuffed from the Fino Platter, these were too good to resist and we nearly finished the whole lot! They were served alongside a cooling scoop of Vanilla Gelado, providing just the right amount of creamy indulgence to finish off a meal. We were also keen to try out Nando’s new Peri Pomegranate dressing, a spicy yet sweet and fruity sauce, perfect for both savoury dishes and great drizzled over desserts. I particularly loved this on top of the Vanilla Gelado, providing a spicy-sweetness to cut through the creaminess of the Gelado. What a treat!
We left Nando’s St Stephens with the biggest smiles on our faces, proving that good food AND good company is a great relief from the stresses of everyday life. I had had a hugely stressful week, and that was just what I needed. Nando’s launched their new menu items on the 17th of May, so they’re waiting for you to get stuck in! Thanks so much to Callum and the St Stephens team for hosting us; I’m sure we’ll be back soon!
Have you tried the new menu items yet? What do you think?
I hope you’re having a fabulous week,
Hello! Well, this is embarrassing. I just realised I posted my first April Favourites on the 3rd or thereabouts, and I promised to get something up with the second installment that week, but (as usual) life got in the way, and I haven’t been able to post this sooner! I apologise profusely, but (hopefully!) it’ll be worth the wait. This is my ‘May-pril’ favourites (thanks, Drew!) and are a selection of things I’ve been loving. As usual, any gifted products are marked with an *. Let me know what you think!
1. Sif Jakob’s pen*
I absolutely love stationery (no, really!) and I’m always wanting to buy new pens, notebooks or additional Filofax inserts, so when I saw this in our Hugh Rice Luxe goody bags I was giddy with stationery-induced joy! This is a gorgeous refillable pen, with a highly pearlised, white finish, and a barrel full of beautiful sparkling faceted crystals. It’s just the perfect size to fit into my Filofax pen loop, and I’ve been using it with my Filofax ever since. Seriously gorgeous and a great gift idea!
2. Handi-help handi gripper
Here is one of the things my dad kindly bought for me to make my life a little easier. It’s a tool to help pick things up which is very useful for me because of my painful back, which is greatly exacerbated by strenuous activity. This has been really helpful for getting washing out of the machine, or picking things up. My occupational therapist also showed me how to use it to help you get changed in the morning on a particularly painful day. It’s really great, and all you need to do is squeeze the trigger. The gripper part can also be rotated to help with particular tasks. A must for anyone who needs a little helping hand!
3. Lab2 I’m Turning Pro makeup brushes*
Here is another fabulous product we received at the #HBMarchMeet. We received some brushes from lab2 last time, and I was seriously impressed, so when I peered into our over-flowing goodie bags I couldn’t wait to try these! They pick up plenty of product with minimal fall out, and have super-soft handles marked with the brush type which make applying make up a real joy. I particularly love the contour and buffing brushes, which are used every single time I apply make up! They’re slowly replacing my trusty eco tools because they’re so versatile.
4. Thomas Sabo jewellery wrap*
Here’s another fabulous little treat we received at the Hugh Rice Luxe event. It’s a gorgeous velvety wrap, with plenty of pockets for storing all your precious pieces. It’d be great for travel!
5. Moschino silk scarves
I had had a particularly bad cbt session, and I decided to go into TK Maxx, where I found these beautiful silk scarves. They’re great for adding a little bit of glamour to an outfit, and I’ve been enjoying trying out new ways to wear them. I also like putting them in my hair as headbands, or tied around a handbag. Hopefully, with plenty of love and care, these will last for many years to come.
6. Kiko Urban Sheen Lip gloss in shades 01 & 04*
Another gorgeous goody from the #HBMarchMeet! These are fabulous little crayon sticks, that provide a sheer wash of colour and a light sheen to brighten up your make up look. These would be really great to chuck into a suitcase on holiday as they’re only small and lightweight, and are extremely moisturising on the lips. Om really enjoying these and will try to share some swatches with you.
Well, we got there! Thanks for waiting to see this; life has been so so busy, but I’m just about getting on top of it now.
Hope you’re having a fabulous week, and let me know if you’ve tried any of these!
PS you can find me on instagram, snapchat and twitter as htlcy; why not come and say hello?
Hello! Just thought I’d share a quick event post with you all today. A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch of the gorgeous Hugh Rice Luxe store in Beverley, East Yorkshire. Those who know me fairly well will know how much I love jewellery. I have many pieces of jewellery in my collection, and I’m fortunate enough to have inherited some heirlooms that are very special and mean so much to me. Jewellery can really add so much personality to an outfit, particularly if it’s meaningful and has great sentimental value. I have been very lucky to have received some gorgeous pieces from close friends and family, so an invite to a jewellery store was extremely exciting. I was joined by my wonderful friend Emma who is also a jewellery lover and has a collection to rival my own!
Em and I have been best friends for around eleven years now (which makes me feel so old!) and I just knew she’d be the perfect person to join me at the launch of Hugh Rice Luxe. Em has treated me to some truly gorgeous pieces of jewellery over the years, and I knew she wouldn’t be able to resist having a peek at the collections on offer. When we arrived at the store it looked bright and beautiful; there were glasses of prosecco carried around on silver platters, piles of tasty canapés making their way around the room, and some rather delicious-looking cupcakes sporting Hugh Rice Luxe’s very own logo! The whole place looked truly luxurious, and to top it all off, we were also treated to some cocktails, or mocktails if alcohol wasn’t your thing. Very decadent, and definitely appreciated after the long week we’d had!
We had a fantastic time browsing at the collections on offer. I was particularly taken by the range of Daisy jewellery, as I love how delicate and dainty the pendants were. I’m also a fan of Thomas Sabo as I have a few charms and a chain already, and the little charms on display were (almost) irresistible! The Sif Jakobs range was also particularly stunning, particularly the small circular pendants encrusted with crystals.
It was such a lovely evening and I had so much fun catching up with some of the Hull Bloggers. We even went away with a couple of goodies, so keep your eyes peeled as they’ll be appearing in a favourites post very soon.
You may have noticed that the pictures in this post are far, far better than my usual, and that’s because Em took some photos of the event and has kindly let me use them here. Em is a really talented photographer and all-round creative, and she’s very nearly finished her final year of a photography degree. Em particularly loves photographing landscapes using mixed media, and her work is truly beautiful. Why not check out her website and give her facebook page a like? You can click here for facebook and here for her website.
We really enjoyed our time exploring Hugh Rice’s newest venture, and thanks ever so much for having us. I wish you every success, and hope the store is everything you wished for!
Isn’t it strange how quickly things creep up on you? That was certainly the case when it came to the hotly-anticipated Hull Blogger’s March Meet. The last meet was a huge success, and we enjoyed an afternoon of drinks, demos from brands such as Lush, Weleda and Viridian and – of course – plenty of chat. Though the March meet was smaller with just under 20 attendees, it was by no means any less fun, and I came away feeling grateful to be a part of such a welcoming and warm community.
The event was held at Al Porto, a gorgeous little Italian restaurant situated on Hull’s marina. You may recognise the name of the place as not only did we hold the Hull Blogger’s summer meet there, but I was also asked to review their delicious Christmas menu with a couple of the girls. You can find these links here and here.
Al Porto has become a favourite with the Hull Bloggers; it serves authentic Italian food in a gorgeous rustic setting. We enjoyed a drink – including wine, if that takes your fancy – and a very hearty portion of delicious food from the lunch menu, which is sure to cater to everyone’s tastes. Their lunch costs £8 a head, and it is well worth it. I can definitely recommend the salmon pasta. Find their lunch menu on their website here.
Al Porto’s food is always beautifully presented and extremely delicious. The winter salad was also a hit with the other bloggers, and I will definitely try it when I go back!
As usual we came away with a fantastic array of goodies. Here’s just a few photos of them, and I’m currently busy reviewing them so hopefully you’ll see the whole selection soon! A massive thank you to all the generous brands who got involved.
Crazy Angel Tan
KIKO campus idol collection
Baylis and Harding
Stick to Stigu
Sass and Belle
Baylis and Harding
There are many other lovely little things so stay tuned to see what I think of them!
As always a huge thank you to the wonderful bloggers who make these events so worthwhile. Sadly Kat (who did an AMAZING job with everything) was too ill to attend, and we missed her very much! You can check out Kat’s blog here.
I can’t wait to review all of the wonderful things for you.
Hello there! It’s very busy over my way. I’m trying to apply for as many PhDs/jobs as possible and it’s all a little time consuming and stressful. I know what I want to do but money is the biggest obstacle at present. Wish me luck!
With all this in mind you can imagine my relief when I got a lovely email inviting me to try out the newly launched System Professional range at Unique salons. It was just the little pampering treat I needed.
I decided to attend Unique’s Beverley branch, and made a little day out of it. I got in early, had breakfast and explored the shops. Beverley in East Yorkshire is historic and beautiful, and is well worth a visit if you’re around Hull. It was nice to head somewhere a little different; I love where I live as it is so convenient but things do begin to become a little bit mundane after a while!
Unique’s Beverley store is nestled right in the centre of town and is really easy to get to from the bus station. When we arrived it began snowing very heavily which was quite unexpected! Typically I hadn’t really dressed for the weather so I was more than glad to get into the warmth of the salon!
The staff were lovely and welcoming on arrival, and I was offered a hot drink which was most definitely appreciated! I was asked to fill out a form regarding what I expected from the appointment, and the lovely John made sure to ask lots of questions regarding my hair type, current hair care regime and past treatments. He noted all my answers on a tablet which the calculated my ‘Energy Code’, allowing us to work out what treatments would prove beneficial to my hair. This process ensures the correct combination of products for optimal results.
Next my hair was washed using the appropriate products; the System Professional Balance Shampoo, the System Professional Smoothen Conditioner and System Professional Reconstructive Elixir. This was a wonderfully relaxing experience, and I felt totally at ease with the friendly staff.
The salon itself was really beautiful, and made the whole experience feel like a very special occasion. After having my hair washed and prepped, John blowdried my hair to see the results.
My hair felt really bouncy and healthy, and it was lovely to have a professional blow-dry. I really struggle to dry my hair with my hemi hand, and often end up unable to do it, so it was lovely to have it done for me.
My ‘Energy Code’ combination was noted down for me so I know what to ask for when I head back!
All in all I was really impressed with my experience at Beverley’s Unique salon. The System Professional range looks extremely promising and I can’t wait to try out the samples I received.
Many thanks to the wonderful Unique Salon Beverley team for making me feel so welcome; I’m sure I’ll be back very soon!
Why not check out Unique Salon on twitter? Search @UNIQUEsalons
You can also find out more about the System Professional range over on their website.
There’s a little analogy those of us with chronic illness and/or disabilities like to use to try and describe the difficulties living with chronic illness create. This is called the ‘Spoon Theory’, and you can read this (rather lengthy) post by Christine Miserando which – perhaps ironically – takes lots of ‘spoons’ to read and understand (see here).
In simple terms, the idea is that each day you’re allocated a certain number of ‘spoons’. These spoons = energy. When someone is chronically ill/disabled, they use far more energy than an able bodied person (and I recently found out people with cerebral palsy expend between 3-5 times MORE energy than someone without CP. No wonder I’m asleep a lot of the time!).
Thing is, when you’re ill/have difficulty coordinating your body, things become harder to do, and you end up having to prioritise some tasks over others. Getting out of bed and getting dressed/doing teeth might cost me one spoon on a good day. That leaves nine to complete the rest of the day’s tasks.
Getting to uni on the bus and having to stand because there’s no seat: one spoon. Sitting in a three-hour seminar: two spoons. Getting on the bus home: one spoon…and, well, you get the picture.
If I exert myself too much one day, I just know I’m going to regret it the next. And if that’s the case, I might wake up with eight spoons rather than ten.
This can make all manner of adulty-things difficult. Before occupational therapy came round and installed some things to help me around the flat, having a shower for instance could be a real trouble, particularly because not only does my spine hurt/my neck hurt/ my right arm struggle to lift above my head to wash hair etc, but my palsy means my balance can be really off. I have slipped in the shower more times than I care to remember.
This also means preparing healthy, nutritious meals can sometimes be a real trouble. Luckily Drew is a super good cook (though he’d never admit it) and he helps me out more than I can say. However, when I’m home alone, and I have very little spoons, cooking can be a nightmare – and don’t even mention the washing up!
That’s why I thought I’d start a new section on here: Easy Eats (or something like that…I’m trying to be creative but failing rather miserably!). Of course, anyone can make these, but my aim for these posts is to create healthy, (hopefully) tasty, delicious meals easily with as little effort as possible, and I’ll try to include some hints and tips to make life just that little bit easier in the kitchen.
When you’re constantly ill eating well is absolutely essential; and, annoyingly so, a lot easier to say than it is to do. I’m hoping this will be a useful addition to the blog; let me know what you think!
…are just a few words to sum up the last few months. It’s really strange. I worked out the other day that I haven’t had a single week free of hospital appointments since I moved back to uni. That’s three months with at least one hospital appointment every week (but sometimes up to four a week).
I am exhausted.
Being perpetually tired is something i’ve had to get used to as of late, and the worst thing is I don’t know what it is that is leaving me so run down. The other day I had my occupational therapy appointment. For anyone who doesn’t know, they basically help you to ‘do’ things better. So in my case – cerebral palsy (right hemi) – they help me to make sure my hand has ‘reached its full potential’ in terms of coordination and control. As it turns out, I have a pretty powerful grip in my palms, but I find controlling my fingers and other fine motor movements completely frustrating. I can’t pick things up with my fingers very easily at all, or do up buttons, or cut up my food at dinner, or use my right hand when my left hand is full (getting on the bus with the change in one hand/ticket in the other/personal belongings balanced somewhere on my person is incredibly challenging).
As is the case for many with a disability you learn to adapt to difficulties, and you manage to find a way around the more challenging daily activities. This isn’t always a conscious effort, and as my occupational therapist pointed out I won’t realise I’m making these changes. The adaptations one makes with CP aren’t ‘natural’; they’re not energy-efficient or ‘easy’ movements because they’re not the movements the body is designed to do. I had always read that people with CP expend between 3-5 times more energy than those without but I didn’t quite realise this until the other day, particularly with regards to my own CP.
My therapist gave me a simple task to complete with my right hand; I had to place plastic pegs into holes on a board. This wasn’t a trick and there was nothing sneaky going on: it was just a simple, easy activity.
But not for me.
As I tried to gain control of my fingers to pick up the pegs I dropped them. I then struggled to get the pegs at the right angle if I managed to pick them up (very awkwardly). My elbow was pointing outward, my wrist was curled under, and my whole posture changed; I was so, so intent on completing this activity my head felt like it would explode. Everything about my body was fixated on trying to complete this one little meaningless task, and it completely exhausted me.
and, most of all, I felt like a failure because I couldn’t.
I’ve never done these tasks before, and I’ve never seen an occupational therapist until this year. Treatment was mostly focused on my leg (physio, the occasional neuro and consultant) and my walking, as I had an operation to enable me to do so when I was very small. I think my hand just got a little bit left out on the way, and as a result I’m finding all these tasks impossible and ridiculous and a little bit of a shock to be honest.
Of course I’ve always known I haven’t had good control over my hand, and I often deliberately avoid using it because I drop things and have in the past been made fun of for it (kids, eh). But this exercise drove it all home to me.
It’s hard to live with a brain injury. It’s frustrating when your body doesn’t behave in the way you want it to. And it’s tiring, because not only is it physically taxing but mentally frustrating.
We had a long discussion about Everything, and it was so refreshing because I felt like she really understood me. We discussed the fatigue, and really it’s probably a variety of things combined into one; med side effects, pain-related tiredness, depression, anxiety, CP…and for now that’s something I have to work through. I need my medication. I can’t just stop doing things. And unfortunately neither my pain nor brain (ha!) can switch off for very long.
But most importantly what my therapist made sure I knew was that it is okay. It is okay to feel this way. It’s okay to take rest days, and it’s okay to have a break.
Living with a disability isn’t easy.
It is not okay however to make myself feel bad about all this, and feel bad about the fact I’m tired, or think of myself as a failure, or less than worthy. Because those thoughts just add fuel to the fire.
Having the depression and anxiety on top of the CP/spinal problem really doesn’t help (and I spend a lot of my day feeling sad/empty/guilty/horribly anxious as it is) but I do not need to add to these feelings.
I am not a failure, because I will learn how to do things differently. I will thrive, because I’ve already come this far without the help.
Getting used to everything is taking time, but I think I am getting there. It’s just going to take time.
I am sorry because this is a really rambling, ridiculous post, but (as always) many thanks for reading if you got this far. It means a lot.
Take care of yourself whatever you’re doing; we could all do with a break every now and then.