Wednesday 27 March 2013

Disabled Parenting

Last night as part of the Baby Britain season BBC Three aired a documentary called A Special Kind of Mum, featuring two young mothers, Michelle and Trish, who happened to be disabled.

Michelle has dwarfism and is a single mother to 2 year old Treziah. Trish, suffers with Arthrogryposis a condition that fuses joints together leaving Trish unable to use her arms and legs, together with husband Paul they have three children, Jessica 4, TJ 2 and new born Amber-Jane.

A Special Kind of Mum showed both women tackling their roles as mothers despite the difficulties and prejudice they faced on a daily basis. Both have been told by strangers and loved ones that they should not be mums, that they are selfish to have children in the first place and were both advised by medical staff that they should consider abortions.

Lately since I’m in my late twenties and have been with Mike (boyfriend) for 7 years, I’ve thought about having children and not a week goes by when someone doesn't ask when we’re going to take the plunge and have mini Lynsey’s running around the house.

To be honest I’m absolutely terrified of having children. Like Michelle and Trish I’ll struggle with the day to day tasks of motherhood but my problems will start during pregnancy. I’ll have to forgo the pain medication I rely on and a growing bump will cause all sorts of problems with my spastic muscles causing yet more pain.

I often wonder how will I cope once my children are born?  I’ve ask my nearest and dearest for advice but most people just say “Oh you’ll cope” or “You’ll be fine” no one gives me actual practical advice to specific problems but after watching A Special Kind of Mum I saw how it’s actually done.

Having little to no use of her limbs Trish did everything using her mouth and teeth. From cooking, dressing her children, changing nappies and picking up the baby, Trish is a brilliant Mum. How people have the cheek to tell her she’s a selfish mother to her children I don’t know!

Trish picking up Amber-Jane
(Image borrowed from the BBC)
Looking at Michelle’s gorgeous little boy Treziah, you cannot comprehend how anyone could have suggested for her to have an abortion. Motherhood for Michelle is tough, her son although is only 2 is catching up to his mums height making him harder to control when he’s being naughty. Michelle even goes on to say she’s trying to be super mum to compensate for her disability but she is doing a brilliant job.

Sadly I know parents who have abused and neglected their children, these people are perfectly able bodied and of sound mind and many of them go years or a lifetime never being pulled up on their behaviour and yet Michelle and Trish are called bad mothers for doing a stunning job, how many of you would be willing to change a soiled nappy with your mouth?

There is a lack of advice, equipment and services for disabled parents, many are just sent in the direction of social services. One parent trying to change that is former Hollyoaks actress Kelly-Marie Stewart who has set up a campaign called Invisible Mums so that disabled parents can have an independent life with their children and those who have not had children, like myself, can begin to plan for their children’s lives rather than living in fear that they might not be able to cope or at worst having the children taken into care because they simply cannot cope. You’ll find the petition here please sign it!!

I may not be able to push my future children in their pushchairs, I may not be able to run around with them at the park or be able to carry them down stairs without having to bump them down whilst sitting on my bottom but I know I’ll do the best job I can do. They will be well loved, fed, kept warm and clean, taught their ABC’s and their manners I’ll just have to leave rugby, hide and seek and hockey to their Dad!


P.s You can watch A Special Kind of Mum online by going here! If you are already a parent and in need of support please go here or Tweet questions to @disabled_parent 

Friday 22 March 2013

The Vitality Show 2013

Yesterday I attended the 14th Vitality Show (as mentioned in my previous blog – click here) and it did not disappoint!

With hundreds of stalls, shows, classes and testing stations there was something for every woman!

Although I was granted a press pass to write about the event,  my lovely (almost!) Mother-in-law bought me a V.I.P ticket to the expo beforehand, so when we arrived we were fast tracked into Earls Court Two and given directions to the Neal’s Yard day spa for champagne, a facial, a V.I.P goodie bag plus entry to the luxury seating area.

Neal's Yard
 (Photo borrowed from The Vitality Show  Facebook page)

I had an facial with a lovely therapist called Lyn. With all this cold weather we’ve had, my skin is very dry and tired looking at the moment so Lyn suggested that she treat me with Neal’s Yard’s Rose hydrating collection. My skin felt beautifully soft afterwards and promised Lyn that I’d take better care of myself!

After facials my group and I chilled out with a glass of cold bubbly, excitedly going through our goodie bags and we planned our best route around the stalls so we didn’t miss anything.

First we made our way to our second goodie bag of the day, everyone who attended the event it given a lovely bag of samples, nibbles and a drink including a bottle of Sprite, BelVita Breakfast biscuits and L’oreal’s new Ever Pure range.

Just half of the goodies I collected/bought

As we made our way through the stalls there were jewellery collections, creams, lotions and serums for all skin types and problems like BOMB cosmetics and Cool Herbals. There were health food booths including Munchy Seeds, Urban Fruits and Upbeat protein shakes who were all very generous with the time to chat and advise.

My gorgeous Bomb Cosmetics Candles
Exercise and sport is a big part of the Vitality Show and there were stands selling Yoga mats, work out clothing and a range from the Pineapple dance studio.

Not only could you leave the show feeling fabulous you could look the part too. There were hairstylists, manicure stations, massage booths, foot and hand treatments all available at discount prices.

We saw Yoga and Pilates’s classes and Aerobics sessions in full swing although we didn’t join in they were fun to watch and admire all the skinny beans joining in.  We also listened in on some very interesting and inspiring talks and Q & A sessions with sex therapists, life coaches and nutritionists

I have to say my two favourite parts of the show are the goodie bags you can buy and testing out all the creams, foods and drinks along the way. Certain companies such as the magazines Zest and Womens Health sell goodie bags filled with dozens of new products for you to try. For example my Womens Health bag cost me £10 but it included £100 worth of products.

We tried so many foods and drinks that we joked we may not need dinner. Blossom Hill were presenting their new low calorie Vie wines, which by the way are delicious and very much needed in the wine aisles!

We also sampled The Food Doctors crisps, Rachel’s Organic Yogurt, Wyke’s cheeses, Tea Pigs green tea (which by the way was very tasty and I usually hate green tea!) and Peppersmith natural gum but to name a few. I don’t think there was anything I didn’t like – typical me I suppose!

After all our shopping, sampling and treatments we were knackered, but we all came away happy, healthier and looking our best!

I’d like to thank my (Almost!) Mother-on-law for my ticket to the show, I really hope you’re not suffering too much and get well soon! To Mike – thanks for getting me there and spending the day in London on your own whilst I spent all our money! To Elly (Vitality’s Press Officer) thank for my press pass and the perks – please come visit soon! To Emma (My almost Sister-on-Law) Pru and Emma for being brilliant pamper buddies – same again next year? And lastly to my gorgeous Niece Abigail for coming along and being so quiet and smiley all day – you’re the cutest 2 month old around!!

Abigail - The Cutest Baby around!

L x

Wednesday 20 March 2013


It seems I’m in need of some TLC. After my freaky foot panic (click here) I ended up in A&E this weekend with stomach issues caused by my pain medication. I’m feeling rather fed up with my broken body but luckily I have a perfect solution.

This week at Earls Court 2, the Vitality show will be in its 14th year. The Vitality show is a health, wellbeing and beauty expo – just what I need! (Click here for details)

I went to my first show last year but instead of writing about it I got side tracked by the awful services of the London Under/Over ground. This year I’ll be making the most of my time!

There will be 100’s of experts premiering the latest health trends and technology, from Heinz to Urban Fruits, BOMB cosmetics to OMG Nails. There will be over 60 free yoga and fitness classes (I’m not sure I’ll be joining in, although they’re fun to watch!) and plenty of inspiring make over classes for the inner and outer you!

Images provided by The Vitality Show Press Team

I cannot wait to the pampered, preened and poked to perfection!

Images provided by The Vitality Show Press Team

On a more personal note; I e-mailed the Vitality Show team in regards to disabled access and concessions when I noticed one of Mike’s old school friend, Elly, was in charge on the publicity for the Vitality show (such a small world!) and she’s invited me along as “Press” – how exciting is that!

So tomorrow (Thursday 20th) I’m heading into London with Mike’s sister and a friend to the show, the tickets are selling fast and thick with some treatments fully booked already but if you can spare a day to go along please do; it’s a fun, positive and inspiring day out with so much to do and see! I’ll let you know how I get on!

L x

Thursday 14 March 2013

Freaky Limbs

Sorry I haven’t been in touch for a while. I’ve been somewhat occupied with my health (yes I know – yet again!). I became very worried when my left foot started turning dark purple and borderline black; it looked like a fleshy human lava lamp with red blotches and dark blobs.

I thought, after a month, I should see my GP. They couldn’t hide their worry when they examined the limb and couldn’t find a pulse! I started to panic... surely if there’s no pulse, it’s dead? My GP faxed through an emergency appointment with the cardio vascular department at Southend hospital.

A week later I went to the said appointment expecting the worse. Since my Dad had a partial amputation of his left foot several years ago, he started to recommend me surgeons and consultants for that kind of surgery... these were not the footsteps I planned to follow my Father in! (Pun completely intended!)

For all the fuss and worry it turns out my leg is just plain lazy! Because I don’t walk around my leg isn’t pumping the blood around my leg effectively so it’s pooling in my toes causing the dark colours, although it might look horrible – the panic is over!

It’s amazing even when you have a catalogue of medical conditions; you can still take your health for granted. I’m now planning and looking forward to pampering my freaky little multicoloured foot!

Say "Hello" to my funky little friend!

L x