29 June 2008

HANICAPPED VS DISABLITY

Hi friends
I would like to talk to you about the diffrences between a handicap and a disability. You might be thinking, are they the same thing? No they are not. everyone has some kind of handicap in one way or another. My handicap is trying to do a sidekick to break a board. Until I figure out a way to do that, it will be my handicap. Now a disability is a medical term that doctors use to decribe a physical or mentel disorder. Until the 1970's doctors has said that spina bifida was a disease when it really was coused by not enough folic acid. Many babies die when it's not treated fast enough, but like myself I made it. If you would like to learn more about spina bifida, go to the spina bifida assoiation web site for more info. Now for my progress in tae kwon do, I hope to be tested for my red belt soon and i'll video tape it and put it on myspace page for you to see. my myspace address is www.myspace.com/hiroshi74 thanks for reading.

SPONERS WANTED

hi friends
my name is Patrick and I'm a second degree blue belt in tae kwon do. I have spaina bifida and i'm on a quest to become a black belt and a teacher in tae kwon do for peoples with disabilities or prehaps open my own school. In these hard time's when money becomes tight and work is hard to find and it is difficalt to keep up. I'm with champion karate in michigan. for more info go to my friends list and look for champion karate. I'm looking for sponsors to help me with the cost for my classes. if anyone would like to help or give me suggestion's on what to do, feel free to e-mail me. I am a honest person and every cent will go to my classes. this is my dream and I hope I don't have to give it up. I wish to become the best in this art and to teach those who want to be more confident in themself's in a world that don't give much respect to us. My friends at champion karate are the best friends anyone could have. so if you think you can help me, drop me a line. I look forward in hearing from you. thanks for reading.

I GOT A BONE TO PICK

hi friends
I seen a lot of web sites and myspace pages on spina bifida. All i'm seeing is people telling us how to prevent it. Awareness is great, but I can't help feel insulted and discriminated by the word PREVENT. It's like they don't want us to be born. God has put us here to test mankind in living with someone who is different. For what I can see, a lot of people are failing that test. All these site's are sending out the wrong message, it's interesting on why spina bifida happens, but telling people to Prevent children from being born with it or any disablities is discriminating. Let us come into the world and teach you. For those of you that are reading this, if you have a site on spina bifida and telling people to prevent it, take it down or re-word it. we have as much right to be in this world as you do. You might have good intenions by it, but it's not doing any good. All we want is to be excepted. Not just for spina bifida, but for all peoples with disabilites, so please let us come in this world. If we all prevent disabilites from happening, then the younger generation will be the last of a dieing breed. The world needs people with disbilities, without us this world would be a boring place to live in. For those of you that have a disablitiy and feel the same way, write a blog about it, let people know how you feel. For those of you that disagree with me, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. I will respond to you and we will talk about it. thank you for reading

Mr.Patrick

28 June 2008

Butterwick Hospice

Well it's the end of another week and a reasonably busy one at that. In terms of been out and about Stockton hosted another great farmers market and I bought some lovely marmalade and my all time favourite Wensleydale cheese and its not because it is a favourite of Wallace and Grommit, although I love them also, I just love the cheese.



Anyway during this week the weather hasn't been too bad and there was one day where it was really sunny, so decided to go out with my friends for a wander around the shops during our dinner. We all went to the Butterwick Hospice shop and I said ah, I will have to wait for you because I can't get up the step. The next thing I knew my friends had gone in and the Manager came out with a ramp, I couldn't believe it, in fact it was the first time I had seen this with any of the shops. So off I went up the ramp and I was in!!! this was great, because I could enjoy looking around with them also so was able to participate!!! Well Done to the Butterwick Hospice

27 June 2008

Bowen is still working well

Yesterday I had another session of Bowen Therapy after a 2 week break, and I have to say I am feeling really good, my body feels more aligned and I feel so much straighter which is great for me, because I didn't think I would get any straighter with having the rods in my spine, but I am and its proved me wrong, long may it continue I say. What is more my therapist is also pleased because my muscles seem to be more balanced and the tissues seem to be more level and maintaining the improvement. I cant wait for the next session to see what improvements there are still to be made, the more and more I have this therapy the easier my walking seems to be getting.

26 June 2008

Living IT

When I was born just over 26 years ago I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy of the lower limbs and after Mum pushed for an investigation, rigid scoliosis of the spine. (I’ll come back to this a little later).
The medical professionals told my parents not to expect much because according to their research CP suffers were pretty much ‘vegetables’ in most cases (understanding of the condition was much less than it is today and society’s attitude was very different).
Having a disabled Son was too much for my Dad, who was part of a very wealthy family whom had made their fortune in the construction industry, he and his family tried to persuade Mum that she should put me in an institution as having a disabled Son would have brought shame on the family in the circles in which they mingled as disabled people were seen as stupid and frankly not human and so of course I would not have been a suitable heir to their empire.
Thankfully Mum told them to take a hike and continued to fight the hospitals to get me the operations I needed.
They initially told her that there was nothing wrong with my back and that she was just being neurotic.
After obtaining a second opinion from one of the foremost experts on Scoliosis it was finally acknowledged that I had the condition, Mum made me do lots of exercise and I can do a lot of things that traditionally people with rigid scoliosis cannot, this is the end of the medical bit!

Education

For the first three years of school I was placed into a school for kids with special needs as the consultant I was under for my Scoliosis was concerned that I could get knocked over on my crutches and that it could damage my back or kill me in the worst case.
It was good fun but I was mostly learning things at home because the curriculum was geared toward those with severe learning difficulties and so did not stretch the brain very much.
After 3 years I moved to a mainstream middle school so that I could integrate.
Unfortunately, it did not quite work out that way, due to the appearance of my back and the fact I wanted to work I was subject to bullying.
I did however have one good friend, an able-bodied girl called Kelly.
Unfortunately, her family moved to Australia for a time and then came back and I bumped into her about 10 years ago but unfortunately I forgot to exchange contact details and as she is not particularly tech savvy I’ve got no hope of getting in touch via the web  (one of life’s regrets I suppose)
Anyway it was here that I discovered my love of technology and I learnt all I could about MS-DOS and the BBC micro and was frequently called upon to sort out problems when the teacher responsible for IT was not available.
I also left my mark on that school; I managed to persuade the headteacher to apply to the council for funding to put in a ramp up to the playing field.
The council approved, the ramp was built and still stands to this day!
From there I moved to secondary education, unfortunately the bullying continued and I was told by one person ‘I’m sorry I can’t be your friend as otherwise they will bully me’
I withdrew from socialising and concentrated on developing my knowledge of computer systems and technology in general, this did unfortunately give the bullies more ammunition but I didn’t really care, I got tagged as having a ‘social problem’ by the education authorities
I did average in my GCSEs and went onto study GNVQ Business at Intermediate and Advanced levels, achieving a Distinction in both despite the continued bullying.
I got an offer for one of the top Universities in the UK for technology but my grade for mathematics was just below the entry requirement and I nearly had a coronary when I looked over how much I would have walked out with as regards debt so I decided not to go that route.

Work

After completing my GNVQs I was offered a job working as a Learning Support Assistant at my secondary school for a year to work with kids with special needs to improve their IT skills as the other members of the team would not go near a PC (I had done this as my service to the school when I was in sixth form)
After a year, the funding for my post dried up so I was made redundant.
I then applied successfully for a job on a technical support desk for a large distance education provider and have been there for 5 and a half years now.
It took a while for colleagues to accept me and that I knew what I was talking about but at least they now listen to me as in 2005 I successfully passed the exams to become a Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician on the first attempt, the only person in the office to do so!
Since then only two sat the exams.

The person I am now and my future plans

I am probably viewed as quite an intense person (if by that you read boring as a lot of people do then so be it!) and my primary interest is still technology, particularly networks and I am looking to develop my career within this area and would like to start my own business providing consultancy services.
I also have an interest in trance music which is a subgenre of what many retailers term electronica (but no I don’t compose or play a note but I do fancy having a stab at DJing some day)
I should also be learning to drive sometime soon.

Anyway, thanks for reading, if you would like to drop me a line or leave a comment, please feel free to do so.

23 June 2008

16 upwards.........

As I was approaching 16 years of age, there was discussion of what I would do when I left school. It was advised that I should attend a residential college, for youngsters with disabilities, in Nottingham. From the start I was dead set against the idea, as I wasn't happy at the thought of being away home and my friends. In the end I agreed to visit the college in Nottingham for an initial 5 day assessment. I travelled up to Nottingham by train. The journey took a few hours, and I was very anxious. We arrived late afternoon, and once formalities were over, it was time for an evening meal. I hated the place from the start and couldn't wait to get home. Each day I attended lessons, but didn't enjoy one minute of my stay. Of course I was offered a place to become a student, but I flatly refused to accept. The whole experience made me feel a great deal of resentment towards my disability. Why did I only have the option of going away from home to further my education. Was it because I was disabled!! I developed a hatred towards any kind of residential institution to do with disability. My view was, we should integrate not segregate.

It was my wish to go to a local college of Further Education. My wish was granted, and I enrolled at a college not to far away from home. I was to travel there each day by Mini Cab. Once I started my year long course, it wasn't all plain sailing. My fellow students were all able bodied. Most were very nice towards me, but a minor few made unkind remarks. After a few weeks I was transferred to a different course. I gained experience in office duties, such as typing, filing and letter writing layouts. I began thinking how I would love to apply for office jobs and work for a big company. Unfortunately, because I was a wheelchair user, at a mainstream college, there were no adapted facilities. I missed out on a lot of the course subjects, because half of my lessons were upstairs, and there was no lift available. I did try using the stairs, but this proved not be practical from a health and safety point of view. During the periods of not being able to participate in lessons, I had to sit in the college library. As I had covered only certain parts of course, I was unable to take the end of year of exam, so left without any formal qualification.

In my quest to go to work, and be a part of society, I set out typing a letter to employers. I gathered names and addresses out of telephone directories. It transpired that over the period of a couple of years, I sent nearly a thousand letters to prospective employers. I can still remember some of the big names I approached. IBM, British Telecoms, British Gas, Christian Aid, Ministry of Defence, Local hospitals, Metropolitan Police and so many more............... I got interviews, but reasons for not employing me ranged from, slow typing speed, inability to write by hand, inadequate speech for telephonist work and Fire risk, as well as unsuitable offices up a few stairs. By this time I was eighteen, and enjoying a good social life going out to pubs every weekend with friends. I was also enjoying holidays in Spain. But my failure to find employment resulted in me becoming very depressed. I became bitter that my disability placed restrictions on me, not allowing me to have a job.

22 June 2008

School Years

Progressing through school, it became apparent my handwriting was never going to be that good due to motor skills. Teachers found my writing ineligible, and hard to read for marking. It was decided I should learn to type. I have used a typewriter since I was 8 years old, at school and home.

My school was a junior and senior school in one building. I moved through school at a steady pace. Where my disability was concerned, physiotherapy was ongoing. While in junior school, I went horse riding at a riding centre, at Buckingham Palace mews. When sitting on a horse, I did exercises to co-ordinate upper body balance. Whilst at the riding school, I had the opportunity to see close up, the Queens Golden stage coaches, which are still being used for state occasions today.

From the age of ten I started swimming. Our school organised swimming trips at a local sports centre, once a week. Then it was decided to have our own swimming pool built attached to the school. We all helped raise the money towards the pool being built. Every pupil was sent home with a yellow labeled collection tins. At the time my grandmother worked in a cafe in a local market arcade. I can remember the yellow labelled tin sitting on the counter for people to make a donations. Once enough money had been collected, the building work commenced. From the school hall, through huge windows, we first saw, the ground being cleared, then the foundations and pipes being laid. Next came the red bricks which gradually formed the walls. It was an exciting time for us, as the pool was to be officially opened by celebrity Jimmy Savile. Months passed, then finally the pool was ready. Being purpose built for disabled children, it had two ramps for wheelchair users, or those who walked, but could not climb stairs. One ramp took you up to a sort of platform which had the second ramp going into the pool itself. I was never able to swim unaided as I found it difficult to learn to float, so had to always wear an inflatable rubber ring. The temperature of water was very warm and relaxing, I remember having enjoyable swimming sessions in the school pool.


Around the age of 11, while attending physio sessions at the hospital. The physiotherapist treating me, suggested I go to a boarding school. I was totally against the idea, as I hated the thought of leaving home. I was very happy at school and home, so why change that. Because I made my feelings on the matter very clear, it wasn't pursued any further.

Since birth, my weight, height and disability were checked regularly at appointments, to the hospital outpatients clinic, and then reviewed by a consultant. My right leg had always had problems with weight bearing. When standing, my right leg would rise up into a bent position, so I would look similar to a Stork. A surgeon examined me, to see if any surgery could be carried out. The consultant thought my hamstring was to tight and required an operation to loosen them. After investigation, it was decided that an operation would have little effect, or accomplish any improvement. And an initial result following surgery, will only be temporary and not permanent. Therefore, continuing physio was the only route to follow.

As I approach my teens, I became very interested in fashion and make-up. I was always good at reading, and enjoyed teenage magazines. One very popular magazine during the seventies was called Jackie. Magazines became a passion of mine, as I would study and ponder the models showing latest fashion trends. Then I became obsessed with cosmetics. As time went on, I experimented with make-up to see if I was able to apply it well, and to my surprise I could. I remember well known cosmetics brands out then, such as, Avon, Rimmel, and famous vintage perfumes by Faberge' and Lentheric. My favourites were Kiku and Tweed. And Avon did a range of products mainly for children named, Peaches and Cream.


My interest in music gathered pace during my teens. I went through the phase of having my walls covered with pictures of pop stars, from floor to celling. It was a time of incessant Rock and Pop music. The decade of the seventies, served as a period of me liking all sorts of music in the beginning. I started with Cliff Richard, which now seems ridiculous for a young teenager. But, I moved on to the likes of Slade, Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy and The Osmands and more........ Then I discovered Soul Music, in the form of Motown from America, as well as Disco. At this point all my wall posters were torn down, and thrown away.

Where it all began

My Parents separated when I was 4 years old, and I was an only child. However, the first four years of my life, we lived in an upstairs flat, reached by climbing two or three flights of stairs. It was in the same street as other relatives. My Grandparents lived just across the road from us, plus aunts and their families. Our road was a bit like Coronation Street. Everyone knew each other, from one end of the street to the other. We then had to move to a ground floor flat, when I was nearly five, because I was becoming to heavy for my mother to carry me up and down stairs. But, we made frequent visits to where we first lived. My weekends would be spent at my Grandparents home. I remember many Birthday parties taking place in neighbours back gardens. I also spent a lot time playing with my cousins. We had firework parties in my Grandparent back yard, and Christmas parties at one of my aunt's and uncle's house. As a child holidays always included the whole family. One of my uncles owned a Chalet near the seaside, we also stayed at holidays camps. The whole family treated me the same as any other child. My disability was not an issue then, it may have been because I was an active child in my own way.

St Thomas’s Hospital in London

On the 3rd May 1961, at 1.05am, I was delivered in a breech position (Feet first). Almost immediately the medical team realised I was not breathing, and placed me in an incubator for 3 days. At just 3 days old the hospital instructed that I should be christened. I eventually started breathing by myself, but had to stay in hospital until I was six weeks old, before being allowed home. Significant brain damage was apparent. My development was slow. Because I was unable to hold my head up, I was like a rag doll, having no control over my body. Not being able to suck, I had to be spoon fed, which gave me a lot of wind. The hospital told Mum, I should have been born by Cesarean.

Around the age of 3, I was fitted with a surgical neck support collar. I gradually learnt to hold my head up properly, and became much stronger, and more controlled. I was also having extensive Physiotherapy. I remember crawling a lot to get around. I crawled everywhere indoors, and in the garden. It’s a wonder I have any skin on hands and knees!

I was also born with a severe squint, in my right eye, which was very noticeable in photographs. At age 4, I was admitted to St Thomas’s Hospital, for an operation to have squint corrected. The results of the operation were very good.


The hospital recommended that I attend a local school for Physically Disabled Children. I started school in the nursery when I was age 4. The school had It’s own physiotherapy room, where I attended regular sessions two or three times a week. And had further physiotherapy sessions at a hospital, two nights a week after school. Physiotherapy consisted of balancing and walking exercises. From an early age I walked with a walking frame. I even tried to run at times, but was forever falling over. Throughout my childhood I suffered constant bruised knees and bumps on my head. Once at some ones house, I fell against a wall unit, and cut my head open which required 3 stitches. I also have memories walking around outside our flat using my Silver Cross Twin Dolls Pram. As the pram was heavy, and was quite sturdy.

21 June 2008

18 June 2008

More gadgets

Well it's been awhile since I have wrote and that's because we have had a busy time of it. Mum is doing really well with walking and is increasing the distance and also the length of time she is able to wear her limb which is great. One thing that has frustrated her is that she finds it hard to reach the sink to wash up, struggle no more is the answer, and when I came home on Thursday we had a visit from Occupational Therapy and they brought her a high backed stool, so now she is able to transfer from her chair and onto the stool. Now she is happy because she can now independently work in the kitchen, so that in turn raises her confidence.

Friday morning I felt like the worlds strongest man, when they have to pull those huge trucks because the lift at work had been out of order and was fixed when I had arrived, I had to walk up a steep ramp to get up to the lift so I had to take small steps and lean forward so that I could get up, all I needed what the rope and the truck behind me and I could of qualified.

08 June 2008

Mum going from strength to strength

Well what an improvement Mum has made in last couple of weeks, she can now put limb on herself with just a little help from me putting her shoes on. It's sort of come full circle, because Mum has always had to help me with my shoes and now i am helping her, but hey I don't mind we all have to help each other in life. Her walking has really come on and today she managed a series of walks which is great compared to a few weeks ago. I think we will be racing each other soon!!!!!! It was quite funny because when she stood this morning she said "wow I'm not sure I like been this high up" meaning she has has forgot how tall she is because she has been using her wheelchair for 5 months, so has probably got used to been at the level and now she is able to stand again she is seeing the world from a different angle

07 June 2008

Bucket List

I am a fan of Morgan Freeman so when Bucket List came out I couldn't wait too see it, and Last night I got too see it, What a great moving film it is and although it is sad it is well worth a look. It moved me and also had a profound effect on Mum, to the point where for the first time ever when watching a film she actually cried, I knew why it hit us the way it did and that's because we have lost family to Cancer. Although it was sad it was also very funny, and it proved that no matter what's happening in life you can live life to the full because you never know what is around the corner. It also proved that as a world we are complete strangers but we do have the ability to come together and become the best of friends, no matter what age sex religion and disability we are

06 June 2008

Beyond Boundaries

What an amazing end to a truely aw inspiring documentary I was so inspired by everyone that took part, I was really touched by Julie how she fought the spasms and carried on, I felt everyone one of them, and knew exactly how she felt, as I used to have servere spasms so I can relate to her pain. I would just like to congratulate everyone and who knows next time they might team up disabled people and non disabled people for the show and see who has the determinatation to complete