The arts past and present: OU

Dear readers,

Today my friend came over and helped me deal with my OU text books which I had been drowning in since they arrived… had I bitten off more than I could chew? The answer is no. Once she’d broke it down and explained it, it became a lot easier to deal with.*smug grin* I’ve actually started prepping for my first assignment and classes don’t actually start till October.

Tips for OU

  • Get a diary set up – this needs to contain all your cut off dates (preferably a day to view) in one colour, your personal appointments in another, an assignment count down and the days that you study write down what you hope/have achieved.
  • Your assessment guide is your bible – WHAT is the question asking you to do? Highlight the key words. Focus on one assignment at a time. It also provides info on submission format and plagiarism.
  • Use apps like Ref me when providing your sources, it practically does what you need it to do.
  • Get organised – what books do you need to complete your assignment? (set them apart from the others so it doesn’t overwhelm you.) Get a USB, a good laptop and a notebook. All this needs to be in a quiet place where you can concentrate.
  • Don’t worry about the activities, your not marked on them and technically there’s nothing to say their compulsory. I would focus on the assignment but, if you have time to do them, great! They’ll help your learning in prep for the assignment.
  • Be disciplined, as I’m practically housebound I’ve decided on doing four hours a day, three days a week. Make sure it’s a productive session and get what needs to be done and if it’s complete earlier than that’s an added bonus.
  • Bookmark all websites you use.
  • Highlight info in all you need your assignment in the designated chapters for the assignment.
  • Don’t copy word for word, if you don’t understand the sentence – get a dictionary and thesaurus.
  • Make use of class forums/group chats and help each other.
  • Right! Let me crack on!
  • Post surgery: Two years on

    So on October 24th 2018 marks two years since my discectomy. The pain wasn’t half as bad in my back but obviously now with my pelvis being under investigation it’s flared up again…

    I was sitting up and doing gruelling physio within two weeks as well as being back in college too. It was lovely to be pain free for a good year and a half and to not be on so many medications but, my pesky body had other ideas…

    When I have an update on my MRI I’ll let you know. Pain has been somewhat manageable with the help of my CBD oil.

    Meanwhile I’m focused on getting my novel published, I was given a contract last week by a London publishing house but, I had to contribute £1900 and that’s money I cannot afford to give away. It’s great and I’m honoured with the offer but due to me being unpublished and not having an agent I’m focused on submitting to smaller publishing companies. A writer friend of mine, is helping me write a proposal for potential companies and her support has been invaluable. It just shows that my writing has the potential to be something great.

    I’m still entering competitions and I’m not going to give up until I see my name in print.

    I’m still waiting for a flat and I can’t wait to start my OU degree in October.

    How I injured my back

    Okay, I’ve cheated and taken this from my old blog Wheelzandheelz (don’t judge me. Sometimes it’s tiresome to type the same story thrice over.) It was December 14th (I remember because it was my nan’s birthday) and my usual bus driver was off sick.  So, it was up to the escort to strap me and the other wheelchair user in but, she didn’t know how to strap the back of the wheelchairs, including seatbelts and told the driver ‘it’s okay as long as we drive slowly’.

    We pulled up at school and we were late because he didn’t know the route. So she unstrapped me and I switched my phone off put my headphones round my neck (as I always do) and I clearly heard the escort say ‘come back’  and I heard the ramp noise and out the corner of my eye I saw the ramp there.Except it wasn’t, the next thing I remember I’m lying on my back in my crying. The escort told me to shut up at one point. Another taxi driver rushed to help me up. My TA saw and thought someone was playing a joke but as soon as I saw her I burst into tears. After some shortbread and hot chocolate. They noticed I had I curve in my back and I experienced some back pain. My mum drove to And E fast and I felt like the bloody Stig.

    They couldn’t find anything wrong only a slight curve and sent me home with some codiene. I had this pains and deteriorated so quickly it robbed me of four years and only now I’m I getting in sparkle back.  I even had a Doctor who thought I diagnosed myself with cerebral palsy and bought my own wheelchair and said to my mother if there was a magic wand don’t you think your daughter would’ve had it by now?  At that point I changed consultants.  My chair had a fracture so I had to wait for a new one which took ages. The doctor saw that I had prolapsed disc  said it was only minor and didn’t require surgery. The pain deterioration was unbearable. I then had a  to go into hospital as my nerves were pressing on my bladder and I couldn’t pee, leaving me with a permanent catheter bag. They thought a few injections into my back and I’d be fine.

    Except I wasn’t. I was on more drugs than the lot in train spotter and I it didn’t do anything for my pain. My mum took nearly 2 years out of to care for me and it was hard every day and depression was just like a dark cloud.

    They thought they could relieve my nerves by Botox but that only made it worse, then I saw my new consultant in Swansea she saw my MRI and finally gave me the answer I was looking for, she took out the two prolapsed disc’s. Before that, they tried a baclofen pump and a morphine pump at the back of Baclofene pump only made me violent and suicidal but the morphine pump was like heaven.  But at what point do you say you can’t have any more morphine?  So she agreed to surgery and it was the best day of my life it was like I’ve been given a part two. ( I will do a more detailed post on surgery day at a later date ) Okay so today I still have sciatic pain and pelvic pain which they don’t know the cause of it but, I take that any day over back pain so I could live my lifeAfter the accident  we try to sue the bus company but they believed the wheelchair user at fault which is unbelievable because I never drive with headphones on.  This post can only give you an inkling of what I went through but the main thing for me from getting back to that 15-year-old girl that I was before this accident happened.

    The Pros and Cons of having Cerebral Palsy

    Pros

    1. Skipping lines
    2. Concessions
    3. Great parking spaces
    4. Exclusive toilets that have better hygiene
    5. Great painkillers
    6. Learn tons of medical tips
    7. Catheters
  • Cons
    1. People taking up blue badge spaces
      Catheter blockages
      Pain
      Physio therapy
      Startle reflex
      Wheelchair breakdowns
      Bullying/ patronising comments

    Do you have any personal pros and cons of life with Cerebral Palsy? Let me know in the comments!!