Interview with Alexis Read (Guest Blog Post #12)

Hi everyone,

Today’s guest post is from my friend Alexis. Alexis runs a Facebook page all about her guide dog,  Yankee.  Be sure to check out her Facebook page to learn more about Yankee.  🙂 Thank you Alexis for being a guest.

  1. What is your name? My name is Alexis Read
  2. Age?: I’m 37 years old.
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

My teacher of the Visually Impaired, Phyllis LeDosquet, inspires me as she was such an excellent teacher. Her teaching inspired my work with others with vision loss. When Phyllis was my teacher, she taught skills and concepts using real examples. For example, when I didn’t know about sizes of fruit in late elementary school, Phyllis took me to a grocery store to show me various fruit. She also had a brilliant idea when I was so negative. She had slips of paper where each negative comment was written. Phyllis had all of these comments on one side of the desk. As each comment was read, Phyllis explained why the trait is positive. She then moved the trait to the opposite side of the table. This activity helped me develop my own teaching tool for a 10 year old student in the summer of 2003. Another person who inspires me is a man from Louisville, KY. He’s blind and has a variety of physical disabilities. His arms and legs are unable to be bent so he’s unable to walk independently. He plays the piano and trumpet as well as sings. He has a message of positivity and setting achievable goals. His PAT acronym is something I use regularly when setting goals. PAT stands for perseverance, passion, patience, attitude, and trust.

image1 (1)
Photo of Alexis and guide dog Yankee.                                                                                          Photo credit: Vicki Curtis Stoner. She’s a local photographer.
  1. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? In my spare time, I enjoy reading, playing with my guide dog Yankee, and listening to music. Some of my favorite authors include Jodi Picoult and John Grisham. I also enjoy learning more about forensic science.
  2. Name a bad habit that you have? A bad habit is using scientific words with people who aren’t familiar with the terms,
    If I could meet anyone living or dead, I’d love to meet Patrick Henry Hughes. This is the young man from Louisville described above.

6. Name your best quality? My best quality is my attention to detail.

  1. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

If I could meet anyone living or dead, I’d love to meet Patrick Henry Hughes. This is the young man from Louisville described above.

  1. What is your college major/Minor? I have a BA in psychology and English literature with a minor in German. These degrees were obtained from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. My master’s degree is in vision rehabilitation therapy. I obtained this degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI.
  2. What school (college or university) did you go to?
  3. What is the title of your blog? I don’t have a blog, but my guide dog Yankee has his own Facebook page. I decided to start this page because I thought it would be fun to write from his perspective.
  4. When and why did you start your blog?
  5. Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to be working at a university with students with disabilities. This would be very rewarding because I believe college education is important for individuals with disabilities.
  6. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? My vision loss was caused from optic atrophy and nystagmus.
  7. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? I have more central vision than peripheral vision. I use a guide dog for independent travel. He’s a sweet and smart yellow Lab. I use screen reading technology to access the computer and my iOS devices.
  8. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? Others appear to accept my vision loss, but acceptance isn’t a universal theme. There are people in Society who seem not to accept people with disabilities. Society’s ignorance is the biggest barrier to success for those with disabilities.
  9. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? If I could offer any advice to others with disabilities, I’d advise young people to find a field they enjoy and that has good job prospects. I also would advise people to have good blindness skills like daily living, travel, and assistive technology skills. Being competent in the skills of blindness will serve you well in life.
  10. Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)   www.facebook.com/YankeeGuide

 

Interview with Hannah Lawrence (Guest Blog Post #11)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing my friend Hannah. Hannah is very active on Twitter. Please be sure to give her a follow as she tweets out interesting content. Many thanks to Hannah for being a guest. 🙂

  1. What is your name?

Hannah Lawrence

2. Age? 28

3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

In my life, there are  so many inspirational people, but above all I’d have to say my granddad. He was born with extreme curvature of the spine, but never let it limit him. Even though it stopped him being eligible to fight in the war, he served in the home army. He also played cricket. Gosh, he loved that game. By the time I sprouted into his life, his eyesight was bad, he was nearly deaf, he needed oxygen at night because his health wasn’t great. Yet he never missed a moment playing with my brother and me.

He’d be the first chasing us around the ball pit, or taking us down slides, and he learned to swim at the age of 83 so he could take us to the baths.

His spirit was indomitable, and his curiosity, his insatiable desire to understand everything, inspired me as much as his love for life. We’d watch the Christmas lectures every year together, and he’d read to me all about dinosaurs and paleontology as a child, saving his National Geographic magazines to read to us as bed time stories.

He was quietly strong, he never complained, and he inspired me in so many ways to be a better person in the hopes I’d make him proud.

And when I was hospitalized, it was the memory of how well he handled adversity and physical weaknesses which gave me the strength to still smile.

Best man I ever knew.

4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I love taking really long walks, and I’ve taken up indoor climbing with a friend. I’ve also become addicted to the gym because the cross trainer allows me to run, and I’d forgotten how wonderful that felt.

As well as that I love cooking. My Iranian family are currently teaching me some of the more tricky traditional dishes, although I’ll be honest, I  could live on Tah diq forever, and we branched out to try a tagine the other week. It was lush.

I also do kids work, and while I’ve been too ill to do that for a while, now I’ve had my operation I’m hoping to return and pick up where I left off.

When I can, I also love to do any kind of water sports.

5. Name a bad habit that you have?

I love this question and I’m trying to think of a more interesting answer, but honestly my bad habit is probably just keeping chocolate under my bed and eating it before I go to sleep. I keep telling myself I’ll quit, but then more chocolate just appears 🤷

6. Name your best quality?

Interesting question here. I guess the quality I like most about myself (because it means life is never dull) is how I’m always daydreaming and imagining new things. I’m perfectly happy in my imagined worlds, and this means I’m never bored.

Which is fantastic for me, as it’s like having a cinema system on-tap in my head.

7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

I’m a sucker for ancient Egypt, so the person I’d probably want to interview (as they just always capture my imagination, and lived through such a fascinating time in Egypt) is Nefertiti’s daughter, Ankhesenpaaten/ Ankhesenamun.

Her parents changed the face of Egypt, rearranged the religion to a monotheistic worship of the sun god, and then they died and everything they did was erased, but Ankhesenamun had to change her whole life to adapt to the traditional Egyptian worldview.

To be able to interview her on her honest opinions, her actual thoughts on her parents and on religion… well, that would be just fascinating.

7. What is your college major/Minor?

My Undergraduate degree was Japanese studies

8. What school (college or university) did you go to?

I went to the University of Sheffield

9. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself with a book published, working on more to sell, (this is my hope, at least!) in a home I’m not renting, with a pet dog and a cat and a degu.

I also see myself fostering children and fostering other animals. Lots of animals.

10. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I had spinal surgery, which caused temporary paraplegia. My condition is steadily improving with physio, but so far I’ve been unable to walk unaided for over three years.

 

Picture of Hannah
This is the day I was discharged from the hospital, in my wheelchair. It was a while before I was using crutches, and I found day-to-day life in a wheelchair was extremely difficult to get used to. Things became a lot easier when I was safely mobile on two elbow crutches. Photo provided by Hannah.

11. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis?

Since I cannot walk unaided, I require a walking stick at all times.

From using crutches/a stick for so long, and putting a lot of weight through them, I’ve also developed tendonitis in both my arms.

I’ve had to have the house I live in fitted with grab rails.

And I’ve had to take time out of work and pay for weekly physio, and take time out of work for hospital appointments and tests.

Honestly, I’m used to this now, but when I was first discharged from hospital and my condition was far more severe, the daily effects of my condition weighed a lot more heavily on me.

My condition meant I wasn’t fit for work; I had to have carers in every day to help me with basic thing; for trips out of the house I had to have the wheelchair with me, which limited who I could hang out with as not everyone had a car, and even out of those that did, not many had cars big enough for my wheelchair; I was basically limited in ways I had never been before and it was very difficult.

Things have greatly improved since then, I’m pretty much able to do most things. I’m no longer socially isolated, and can hold down a job. Sometimes, until someone reminds me, I can even forget about the walking stick that is my extra limb.

12. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I’ve had various comments. My ex-boyfriend’s friends made some rather horrible comments, and a few people have given me funny looks, although those are the only two negative things. I’ve been extremely lucky. Some people barely even register it now. Some of the youth I volunteer with decorate my stick, and grab it when I’m not using it. They enjoy sitting there and clicking the little notch markers. My cousin’s cat has adopted my walking stick as her family and lies across it whenever I place it down, like a dragon guarding her hoard. The kids I look after love to play with it, one pretends he’s gandalf, another pretends it’s a sword.

My friend’s often ask for progress on how I’m doing with mobility, and are so supportive.

One of my youth pokes the muscles in my legs to see how they’re coming on and it has become our inside joke that she’s my unofficial physiotherapist.

Sometimes it upsets my family that I’m not walking yet. They know how I love being active (I used to adore karate, running, assault courses, mud runs etc) and they want that for me again.

So while I’ve had some bad comments from certain people, I’ve mostly been surrounded by support, curiosity, understanding, and love.

Sometimes, when I’m climbing and I balance my crutch against the wall as I grab onto the hand holds, I get curious questions, and lots of surprise and praise at the thought I’d be able to climb at all (I can only do the easy routes with very generous hand holds) which is kind of them to say, but it feels strange to elicit awe for doing something so basic (routes that require no skill)

I can see that I using a stick points to a physical limitation in such a loud way, so i understand the comments, it’s just sometimes I forget how others see me. And sometimes forgetting is nice.

13. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

I’m coming from a position of my condition improving over time, so I’m not sure how helpful my insight can be as this isn’t the case for many, but I’d say the one piece of advice is give as it helped me so much is to find things you can do, and see yourself improving with, whether that’s a hobby/skill you already had, or something new you’ve never tried, and pour your energy and frustrations into that. Because there will be frustrations, and when things aren’t improving physically you’ll want something you can do which you feel a sense of achievement with.

For me that was writing. I had been saving up money to travel before I was hospitalised, and saw that I wouldn’t be able to do that in a hurry, so used the money I’d squirreled away to get a Chromebook and I started to write.

Now, three years on, I have something to show for this journey, and through my writing I’ve found a way to thrive, even when life was dark and felt hopeless.

Perhaps for you it could be art, knitting, learning a language, or trying a sport, but I’d say just (if you can) find something to pour your energy into. To excel at. To thrive in.

It helped me get through many dark times, and it’s not a fix-all solution, but it could just bring some light.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

I’m on Twitter if you want to connect @Hannah19168315

If you would like to be featured on my blog feel free to email me at: amanda@amandagene.com

 

Interview with Luke (Guest Blog Post #10)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure  of interviewing my friend Luke. Luke has his own blog. He is an amazing blogger.  Please be sure to check out his blog and other social media links. Many thanks to Luke for featuring me on his website.

  1. What is your name?

Luke

  1. Age?

I’m 28, although I feel much older.

  1. Who has inspired you the most in life and blogging?

I would probably have to say my Mum. She always supports me whatever I do, but my biggest blogging inspirations would have to be Mikhela and Caroline Hirons.

  1. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I really like to read, mainly Autobiographies, and also love to watch as much TV as I can.

  1. Name a bad habit that you have?

I occasionally pick my Nails, but I can often go months without doing it.

  1. Name your best quality?

I would probably have to say my willingness to help anyone.

  1. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

I would have to say either Joan Rivers or Sarah Millican, as I think that they would have some great stories about their lives and the people that they’ve worked with to tell.

  1. What is your college major/Minor?

I don’t have one.

  1. What school (college or university) did you go to?

Queensbury School in Bradford. It was a decent School at the time but it’s gone very downhill since I left and at one point ended up in special measures, which is kind of OFSTED’s, the governing body of Schools, naughty step.

  1. What is the title of your blog?

Luke Sam Sowden.

  1. When and why did you start your blog?

I started on the 1st of October 2014, and I started because it took quite a lot of work. to film, edit and promote the YouTube videos that I was uploading at the time.

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully still writing my Blog but to a bigger audience, and maybe even the owner of some kind of small business.

  1. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I have Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is a hereditary Eye condition, which unfortunately means that I have Tunnel Vision, which is more like looking through a Funnel rather than a Tunnel, Night Vision, which means that I can’t see at Night and floaters, which are like little pieces of White Fluff that float around my Eyes every so often.

  1. How does your visual impairment or other disability that you may have effect you on a daily basis?

My visual impairment makes it difficult to read text like my mail and misjudge where things are.

  1. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

Most of the people including my Family and Friends, are perfectly fine with my condition as they know that I can’t change anything about it, but there are some people that aren’t and somehow take the fact that I can’t see properly as an insult towards them but I don’t give them a second thought.

  1. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

Just that the best thing is to get on with your life and don’t take any notice of what other people might think.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

My Blog |http://www.lukesamsowden.com

YouTube |http://www.youtube.com/user/lukesamsowden

Facebook |https://www.facebook.com/lukesamuelsowden

Twitter | https://www.twitter.com/lukesamsowden

Instagram |https://www.instagram.com/lukesamsowden

If you are a disability writer, blogger, or YouTuber and would like to be a guest on my blog feel free to contact me by email at: amanda@amandagene.com

Interview with Beckie (Guest Blog Post #9)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca (Beckie)  L. (Torres) Holland. She has her own blog and her own book. She also writes for the magazine Captivating. Please be sure to check out her book, website, articles in Captivating, and her  social media links. Many thanks to Beckie for featuring me on her website as a guest blogger.

  1. What is your name?

My name is Rebecca L. (Torres) Holland. I am a writer, disability advocate, and pastor. A small book of my poems,  Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse, was published in December of 2018.  All the profits made from the sales of that book are being donated to the church where I serve. I am also a staff writer at CAPTIVATING! Magazine.

  1. Age?

I turned 30 in July of 2018; however, many people tell me that I look younger.

  1. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

There are many people who inspire me. The person who has inspired me most in my life is John Wesley. He and his brother are the founders of the United Methodist Church. The ministry of the Wesley brothers inspires me to live a life rooted in love and service.

Stephanae McCoy from Bold Blind Beauty is the blogger who inspires me the most. She is also the editor and co-founder of CAPTIVATING! Magazine.  I admire the work she does to raise awareness about sight loss, educate people about disabilities, and empower members of the disability community.

  1. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a voracious reader. I love to read and last year I read over 120 books. I also enjoy running, yoga, and making music. I play the flute and sing in a choir. This year, I am training for my first marathon.

  1. Name a bad habit that you have?

I have a tendency to worry and to over think things. Sometimes, I worry so much that I can actually make myself ill. When I control my tendency to worry, it can become a strength. This habit makes me conscientious and attentive to detail. It also inspires me to plan to and to consider decisions from many different angles.

  1. Name your best quality?

I am kind and empathetic. I always try to see human beings as multifaceted individuals. I try to view the world from the perspective of other people. My natural empathy is a valuable attribute in both my ministry and my writing.

  1. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

I would interview my favorite poet, Mr. Alexander Pope (1688-1744). His poetry defined the neoclassical age and it is the most beautiful thing that I have ever read. His work inspires me. He led a fascinating life. He  knew many interesting people and had a variety of interests. I would love to ask him about his thoughts on writing, the publishing industry, art, geology, philosophy, theology,  and horticulture.

  1. What is your college major/Minor?

I have a Bachelor in the Science of English Education and a Master of Divinity. I am a certified and licensed English teacher for grades 7-12; however, I have put my license into inactive status because I am not currently teaching.

  1. What school (college or university) did you go to?

I attended Millersville University of Pennsylvania for my undergraduate degree and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. for my master’s degree.

  1. What is the title of your blog?

My blog is entitled Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray

  1. When and why did you start your blog?

I started my blog in October of 2018 as a way to share my writing, talk about books, and raise awareness about issues related to disabilities. Along the way, I’ve met some wonderful people from all over the world. I have also learned a great deal about writing.

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m very happy where I am right now in life. I have a loving husband, a lovely place to live, and I’m working at my dream job. In five years, I hope that I will have written two more books. I also dream of one day being published by a traditional publishing house.

  1. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I was born with cataracts on both eyes (bilateral congenital cataracts). I needed nine surgeries before I was a year old in order to remove the cataracts and the secondary membranes that grew back over my eyes. When I was four, I developed glaucoma as a complication of surgery. I have had thirteen surgeries on my eyes.

  1. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis?

I think about my visual impairment every single day. It inspires me to work harder in order to achieve my goals. I know that as a female of minority descent with a disability in a profession dominated by men, I need to work ten times as hard to be taken half as seriously as many of my colleagues.

  1. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

My family was very supportive of me when I was growing up. My mother worked hard to instill in me the belief that I can do anything that anyone else can do- I just might have to do it a little differently.

  1. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

Work hard and always put your best foot forward. I truly believe that success is composed of a little bit of luck, a lot of perseverance, and a ton of hard work.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

Blog: http://www.BeckieWrites.com

Amazon Author PageRev. Rebecca L. Holland

Goodreads: Rebecca L. Holland (BeckieWrites)

Twitter@BeckieWrites

Instagram@BeckieWrites

Facebook: Rebecca Torres-Holland

Linked In: Rebecca (Torres) Holland 

If you are a disability writer or blogger and you would like to be featured on my website please feel free to reach out to me via email at: amanda@amandagene.com

 

 

 

Interview with Stephanae McCoy(Guest Blog Post #8)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Stephanae McCoy. She has her own faux fashion magazine cover, called Blind Beauty. This is a high level snapshot and it’s aim is to highlight the beauty of women who are blind and visually impaired. The goal of this faux fashion magazine cover is help break down barriers and to educate others about the misconceptions about blindness. In addition to this, she has her magazine called Captivating.  She is also on social media. Please be sure to check out her links. Many thanks to Stephanae for featuring me on her faux fashion magazine cover.

  1. What is your name? Stephanae McCoy
  2. Age? 58
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging? My grandmother, it was because of her and the way she lived her life, that I learned and deeply appreciate the true meaning of beauty.
  4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? Reading, playing with my grandson, catching up on several Netflix TV series
  5. Name a bad habit that you have? Binge-watching Netflix and an addiction to popcorn.
  6. Name your best quality? My work ethic.
  7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? I’d love to interview Sandra Bullock for no particular reason other than she seems like a down to earth person who’s relatable.
  8. What is your college major/Minor? N/A
  9. What school (college or university) did you go to? I studied Business Administration at Wheeler School for Business and Duff’s Institute.
  10. What is the title of your blog? Bold Blind Beauty
  11. When and why did you start your blog? I began blogging at the end of 2014. I created Bold Blind Beauty with the idea of changing people’s perceptions about people who live with disabilities, specifically blindness/sight loss. My belief was and still is, if I could find a way to connect sighted and non-sighted people this would help break down some of the societal barriers by revealing our commonalities.
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years? I no longer think in terms of where I’ll be at any given stage because for me it’s more important to remain mindful of where I am. I’m pretty content and have been for the last 10 plus years. I’ll continue doing my advocacy work but beyond that I have no idea where I’ll be in five years.
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? Macular holes that came about from high myopia was the initial cause of my sight loss. I also developed glaucoma, cataracts, torn retinas, and uveitis. Only the cataracts were a direct result of my macular holes as I had to have several vitrecomtomies in an attempt to repair the holes and restore my sight. Unfortunately, in spite of my retina specialist’s best efforts, I was declared legally blind back in 2009.
  14. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? For the most part I have adapted well to my sight loss as I use a white cane to navigate the world around me and thanks to the advances in technology I’m able to work on my computer, use an Android phone and read audio books. I still have days where I run into a snag or two but for the most part since my sight loss has become my normal it’s no longer a major issue for me. My biggest concern around my blindness are the misconceptions I encounter on a daily basis.
  15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? What other people feel about my blindness isn’t a real concern of mine other than to help those who are willing to listen understand that sight loss does not equal less abled. There are always going to be people who are skeptical about people who are on the spectrum of blindness, and they won’t be convinced otherwise. Honestly, I don’t have the time nor desire to try to alter the mindsets of people who are unable to express empathy for others.
  16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? My advice to anyone with a visual impairment or other disability would be to not give up, keep on living life and not let anyone else define them or their idea of success. Knowing yourself and remaining true to who you are is important and this can be done by periodic self-assessments.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

Bold Blind Beauty: www.boldblindbeauty.com

LinkedIn: @StephanaeMcCoy

Facebook: @BoldBlindBeauty

Instagram: @BoldBlindBeauty

Twitter: @BoldBlindBeauty

If you would like to be a guest on my blog please feel free to email me at: amanda@amandagene.com

Interview with Nicola (Guest Blog Post #7)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Nicola. She has a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and blog. Many thanks to Nicola for allowing me to interview her and for allowing her to interview me in return. Do not forget to check out her social media accounts and her blog.

What is your name?  Nicola

Age? 40, although deep down I think I’m an old lady.

Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

My mum has been a big inspiration to me.  She was a single parent and taught me how to be me.  As for blogging Sass Wyatt of Thinking Out Loud and Alice of Notebooks and glasses are my biggest blogging inspiration.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

When I have some spare time on my hands, I enjoy watching movies and tv shows. I’m a huge sci fi fan and enjoy shows such as Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who and many more.

Name a bad habit that you have?

A bad habit of mine is that I am an over-thinker and worrier.

Name your best quality?

I’m terrible at listing my qualities.  If you were to ask my husband he would say that it is my kindness.

If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

This is a toughy.  Michelle Obama, she’s a kick ass woman.

What is your college major/Minor?

My degree was in Communication studies.  Looking back I should have chosen a more specific topic to focus on.  Communication studies covered a lot of different areas.  I wish I could of went for journalism or PR instead.

What school (college or university) did you go to?

Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. At the time it was a college/university as it didn’t have the right number of students to be just a university.  Now I believe it is a full fledge uni with a bigger campus.

What is the title of your blog?

Nicola J Ogston – Parenting in Pain.

When and why did you start your blog?

I originally started blogging in an attempt to stave off boredom.  I wasn’t able to work anymore, which meant I was stuck at home alone and lonely.   I wanted to share my experiences with the world, then I became a mother and wanted to share what it is like parenting in pain.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ideally, I would still like to be writing and sharing my journey as a chronically ill parent.  A big dream of mine is to write a book, probably fiction but a book for other chronic ill parents would be something I might do.

What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

The main cause of my visual impairment is something similar to Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR).  Although no one else in my family has the condition.  Therefore my ophthalmologist hasn’t been able to give me an exact diagnosis.  My condition has some of the traits of FEVR, however I was born with it and from what I know it is a progressive condition.

As well as my visual impairment I suffer from chronic costochondritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hypermobiity as well as depression and anxiety.

How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis?

My visual impairment makes it difficult to read signs, directions of food packaging, small print and sometimes my mail.  As for my chronic pain conditions, they make day to day life very difficult.  Getting out of bed, off chairs, walking and carrying things can be extremely painful.

  1. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I think that my close family and friends feel that it is part of me and understand the struggles and challenges that it may bring.  There are however some people who don’t understand my conditions and act like if they can’t see it, it’s not necessarily real.

  1. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be?

The advice that I would give, would be to don’t be afraid to ask for help and support.  Take the time to explain to loved ones what your condition is and explain that although you might not be able to do the activities you did before or spend as much time with them as before, you are still the same person.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/nicolajogston

FB https://www.facebook.com/nicolajogstonblog/

Instagram http://www.Instagram.com/nicolajogston

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/nicolajogston

 

An Interview with Jaidie (Guest Blog post #6)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Jade. She has a Twitter, Facebook, and blog. Many thanks to Jade for allowing me to interview her and for allowing her to interview me in return. Do not forget to check out her social media and her blog. 🙂

  1. What is your name? My name is Jade, though I prefer Jaidie as I believe it best suits me. I’m called other things apart from jade far too often
  2. Age? I’m 24 years old.
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging? There are many people who have inspired me in life and blogging. I met a man named Dale who has been an inspiration to me for many years. My grandmother is also an inspiration to me and someone that I have looked up to for most of my life. In terms of blogging, I look up to many of my fellow blind or vision impaired bloggers out there.
  4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? I love reading. Reading is something that I have loved for many years. I have memories as a little girl of being told to put down the braille book long after lights out and my brothers have gone to sleep. I also have a passion for slow cooking. In fact, I’m planning a curried sausage dish as I write this post.
  5. Name a bad habit that you have? I stress. Far too often and I also don’t believe in myself as often as I should.
  6. Name your best quality? This is something I struggle with. Physically, I think it’s my hair. In other aspects though, definitely my writing.
  7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? This is a tough one. I’d love to interview some of the authors of my favorite books.
  8. What is your college major/Minor? I haven’t actually completed my course due to taking a mental health break, though I will eventually complete my grade 12 certificate before I find something else to study.
  9. What school (college or university) did you go to? I am completing my course through Tafe Queensland.
  10. What is the title of your blog? The title of my blog is Jaidie’s Words.
  11. When and why did you start your blog? I started my blog in 2017 as a hobby. I would love to turn it into a means of earning a little bit of money though to fuel other project ideas.
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years? I struggle with this one. I hope to be living happily with my partner, continuing to blog and surrounded by animals.
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? My condition is called optic nerve hypoplasia. It’s basically an under-developed optic nerve.
  14. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? I don’t let it. If there is something that I want to do I find a way to do it.
  15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? I’m often asked how I do what I do. People don’t believe that blind people can do all they do, and I make it my challenge to change those thoughts.
  16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? Live life to the fullest. Don’t let others put up barriers in front of you. Make life what you want it to be, even if it means adapting what you want to do so that you can enjoy it.

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

I can be found on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/writingjaidie

My Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/jaidiesblog

And of course, my blog link is: www.thejaidie.me