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JUDGEMENT

June 24, 2020
Picture description - Me holding Sawyer. We are standing in fields and it’s sunny. We have summer clothes on, and I have my dark hair down.

I can’t believe this one is going to be 1 this weekend. I know everyone says the same thing, but I honestly don’t know where that year has gone. Sawyer is the sweetest, happiest baby and has bought me so much joy in the midst of my despair over my Stargardts diagnosis. 

Me and Sawyer Smiling
Me and Sawyer Smiling

I got told by another mum this past week, that she saw absolutely no logic in me having another child knowing that I have a genetic, progressive eye condition and she just couldn’t understand why I would do this to a child. There is SO much wrong with a comment like this and people need to realise just how ableist it is. People who don’t live your life, have no place to pass judgement on the decisions you make. My eye condition has a less than 1% chance of being passed to my children and even if that chance was higher, does someone who has vision loss, not have the right to be a parent? Do others see a child with vision loss as less worthy than a fully sighted child? Should I not have been born had my parents known I would have Stargardts and lose my eyesight? 

When a person makes a comment like this, they are only thinking from their own point of view and how they would cope. The fact is, people with vision loss and especially those who lose their eyesight at a young age, go on to achieve the same as a fully sighted child. People push out their own fears without thinking about how they may affect the recipient. The truth is, I’m as worthy to be a mum as anyone else and any child with a genetic condition is as worthy of life as any child without. Please everyone, think before you speak, you never know how powerful your words can be to someone.

Please be kind ♥️.

Health and Beauty Lifestyle Vision

Behind The Smile

February 17, 2020
Smile

“It’s not always the tears that measure the pain. Sometimes it’s the smile we fake”.

Most people will have heard by now of the tragic death of Caroline Flack ♥️ the woman who seemed to have the perfect life and the brightest smile. We seem to assume that if someone appears happy on the surface and especially on social media, then all must be ok.

It’s so very easy to hide behind a smile, a smile is easy to fake. When people ask, “how are you”, the simplest reply is “ok thank you”. How many of us have done this, when inside we are really holding back the tears? Through my time of having severe anxiety and panic attacks in the past, I have felt that desperation and wondering of how I can go on when I was having several distressing panic attacks daily and then again when I was diagnosed with Stargardts. Without support, which thankfully I had, I can honestly see how things could get too much for someone to bear and how the darkness can take over your thoughts.

Be Kind Text Quote
Be Kind Text Quote

I don’t know what’s happened to society of late, but when someone in the public eye appears vulnerable or makes a mistake like the rest of us do every day, the British media and trolls seem to attack that Person relentlessly. People forget they are a real human being, who has feelings, hopes and dreams, and when someone is feeling vulnerable, those vicious words day in and day out can destroy any ounce of self-worth they ever had.

The sad fact is most of these trolls are brave because they sit behind a keyboard and I guarantee the majority would not say anything to that person they are hounding in real life. I am not a celebrity, but some of the things I have had said to me on social media about my vision loss, is awful, but luckily I am in a good place and I just let it go, but I think these people need to be held accountable for their actions.

The British media also need to take a long, hard look at the way they report and the whole innocent until proven guilty needs to be put into practice and details need to be kept private until someone is charged for their mistake.

My point of this post is just to remind people that kindness really is everything. If you have nothing nice to say, just say nothing at all. Spreading hate and sadness is such a waste of time and can have catastrophic consequences. If you are trolling people because you are unhappy in your own life, please seek help because this behaviour is destructive, and it costs lives. A reminder to everyone else is when you ask a friend how they are and they reply, “Ok thank you”, ask them again and see how they are truly feeling, you may be surprised at their answer ♥️.

For anyone who may need some support x

*Samaritans charity – https://www.samaritans.org

Mind – https://www.mind.org.uk

Anxiety U.K. – https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk

SANE – http://www.sane.org.uk

Lifestyle

Remembering You

February 4, 2020

Yesterday I said goodbye to my Grampa George. It was honestly one of the hardest days of my life, but something I couldn’t avoid and just had to get through it. It was a lovely day as strange as that sounds, and he would have been proud of his send off. I would do anything to have just one more conversation with him 💙, but I know that this can’t and won’t happen. 

The last few years have taught me that life can change in an instant. Nothing is ever guaranteed, and we have to try and make the best of everyday. Some days are hard for many reasons, don’t get me wrong, but we need to try and accept the bad times so that we can keep on enjoying the good ones.  

Daffodil Photo
Daffodil Photo

My Grampa always used to say to me that life is so short and that his had passed in a flash and he said the reason for that was because he was always happy with what he had, he never felt the need to compare himself to others and what they had and I think that is the best way to live. 

My eye condition eats me up inside sometimes and I often can’t help but compare myself to others, but this is a time waster, because it won’t change anything. Sometimes we completely forget the positive things in life and it’s only when something happens, that we realise just how much time we gave to the negative. I’m going to take a leaf out of my Grampa’s book and try not to compare myself to others and wonder why I am losing my eyesight, but instead embrace all of the opportunities Stargardts has given me and the friendships it has created and the shy anxious person inside of me that it brought out of its shell and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

My Grampa George xx
My Grampa George xx

I know the person rooting for me the most will be watching over me always now, with a big smile on his face knowing that I can do this, that I was strong enough for this life I have been given with vision loss 💙 sleep well George xx.

Lifestyle

You will always be in my heart, because there you are still alive 💙

January 15, 2020
Me and My Grampa George

On Thursday evening, my Grampa passed away suddenly. I will never forget the phone call from my mum. My Grampa was the only constant and consistent male relative in my life from the day I was born and was more like a dad to me 💙.

It was so much better for him to have left us the way he did, but because he left without warning, I feel like I haven’t been able to say all of the things I wanted to and I really wish Christmas Eve hadn’t been the last time I had seen him. I know by now that some things we desperately want to change, just can’t be, so there is nothing I can do now and I will just have to remember all of the lovely times we had together and that he met both of my boys and loved them both so much.

My Grandparents, Little Boys and Me x x x
My Grandparents, Little Boys and Me x x x

My Grampa George was always the one who wanted to know every detail about any eye appointments I attended and asked me all the time how I was getting on. I really appreciated those chats and I will miss them so much. I’m not religious and never really believed in heaven, but I’m hoping so much that there is one, as I can’t imagine never seeing him again 💙.

I Think I Will Miss You Caption
I Think I Will Miss You Forever Caption

I apologise if I am quiet for a while, I am hoping after the  funeral, I can get some closure and find some motivation to start blogging again, but until then, I’m just going to try and focus on all of the good times and what an amazing, positive and happy person my Grampa was and how lucky he was to be so loved and how lucky we were to have known him xx

Lifestyle

The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel

January 1, 2020
Me, not looking sad on the outside, but sometimes we are on the inside.

This is so true and something I struggle with a lot. New Years is one of the hardest times  for me mentally as I hate all the pressure of feeling you have to have big goals and huge dreams when in reality a big goal may just be getting out of bed and a huge dream may just be making it to the end of the week without losing it and do you know what, that is ok. New year is also a reminder of another year gone where my vision is declining, and it scares me.

Someone asked me the other day how I stay so positive whilst losing my eyesight and the thing is, I’m not always positive. I cried this morning because I felt useless and upset that it’s me going blind, yet I got dressed,  did my makeup, put a smile on and posted my Instagram stories and nowhere in those stories of mine would anybody realise how down I have been because we don’t post pictures of ourselves crying. It’s easy to post a picture of a smile, but it’s harder to post the true reality of sadness and my picture just proves that. Don’t live your life by comparing it to others online, it is a joy stealer and I will try not to do the same. Maybe that should be my New Years resolution ♥️.

Lifestyle Publications Vision

Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2019

November 12, 2019
A picture of me with my blu light blocker glasses on.

Purple Tuesday

With today being purple Tuesday, I thought it would be a good day to discuss what I have been invited to on Thursday evening, but first here is a bit about today 💜.

Purple Tuesday is a day that makes customer facing businesses more aware and is to inspire them to improve a disabled persons customer experience when shopping with them. By a company making just one positive change to their business for accessibility, it will create a wider audience and shows that they are an advocate for equality. Equality is so important so that everyone can feel accepted and catered for, so this leads me to the event I am attending Thursday. 

Purple Tuesday Logo
Purple Tuesday Logo

Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2019

On Thursday, I have kindly been invited by NAB – my local sight loss support charity, to attend the Northamptonshire food and drinks awards ceremony, that will be taking place at the Royal and Derngate. This awards ceremony is to celebrate all that is great about local food and drink and recognising excellence within the culinary sector of Northamptonshire.

For the first time ever, NAB will be presenting the ‘Dining for all’ award and I will be with them to represent young people with vision loss in Northamptonshire. The ‘dining for all’ award will be presented to the venue from among the category finalists which excels in its service for those with sight and hearing difficulties. This award will enable the visually impaired, blind and deaf members of our society, to know exactly where they will be catered for when choosing to dine out. It’s for the eateries that went above and beyond to enable these people to have the best experience when choosing to eat out, an experience that should be as enjoyable as anybody else’s.

northamptonshire food and drink awards logo.
Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards Logo

Things that were noted when deciding who should win this award were simple things like, is the menu available online to enable the visually impaired to browse and choose their meal beforehand using a screen reader? Staff explaining where the food is placed on their plate or where they’re drink is placed at the table? Staff asking how they can assist individuals with low vision or who are hard or hearing. Simple things that can make a big difference to that individuals dining experience.  

So, make sure to follow my stories on Instagram on Thursday night to find out who won this fantastic award and to find out who goes above and beyond, to make all of our dining experiences as stress free as possible. I’m really excited to be a part of this amazing evening and especially excited to find out who wins the ‘dining for all’ award. I look forward to sharing the results with you all soon! And don’t worry, if you aren’t on Instagram as I will be writing a follow up blog post all about my evening after the event for anyone who is interested ♥️.

Lifestyle

Baby Wearing

September 11, 2019
Me baby wearing on the beach.

When I first had Sawyer, I tried my hardest to breast feed as not being able to with Harvey really got me down at the time. Sawyer was perfect at latching but was such a big baby, I struggled to provide him with enough to ever settle him. The main reason I gave it up however, was that I was desperate for my hormones to settle to give my eyes some kind of a chance to right themselves after having him and I was desperate to apply for a trial for anti-progression tablets for my Stargardts at Southampton hospital, which I couldn’t do whilst breast feeding. My blind spots had started flashing all the time and I had terrible double vision towards the end of my pregnancy, and it frightened me a lot. 

Close up of me baby wearing.
Close up of me baby wearing.

After giving up breastfeeding, I spent a lot of time feeling sad over it and feeling like I had let Sawyer down and myself down and worrying that I wouldn’t build a bond with him (which I realise now was irrational). I had been reading about baby wearing and felt that this was a big way to bond with him and to feel close to each other, but that also when he is in his push chair, I struggle to see him. I often miss if he has been sick or if he is smiling at me, I don’t realise.  I have to say this carrier has been an absolute god send and has provided us with proper one on one time whilst he is growing and whilst he is in this, I can see everything he is doing close up and I don’t miss anything. Some people may feel that carrying a baby most of the time can make them hard to put down, but they are only little for such a short space of time, that I am happy to carry on wearing Sawyer for as long as possible and I wish I had done the same with Harvey too 💙.

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