Frezyderm Rosacea Review*

Happy new year! My year has started off with lovely calm skin and I think one of the reasons is the Frezyderm products I was kindly gifted by their PR team in the UK.

Frezyderm is a Greek skincare brand founded in 1986. Since 1986 Frezyderm has always strived for high quality skincare products that meet strict pharmaceutical standards, becoming dermatologists’ go-to brand across the world.

Frezyderm remains a family owned, well-renowned and trusted dermo-cosmetic brand, offering premium skincare solutions for all ages and skin types.

I have always been interested in trying their rosacea products, as I’ve seen really great reviews for them.

I was sent the Sensitive Red Facial Cream. It is a soft cream for regulating and reversing the symptoms of rosacea and sensitive intolerant skin. Directly and significantly reduces redness, spider veins, inflammation, blackheads and swelling. Enhances the skin barrier and activates the function of the skin, while providing strong hydration. The soothing action relieves and gives elasticity and skin comfort. With strong anti-acne, anti-wrinkle and antioxidant activity, it is suitable for all ages.

Sounds great! I really believe it does what it says it will. My skin was a lot calmer and my spider veins were less prominent. My mum also used it too and I thought her face looked a lot more even and smoother. So, it worked on different ages and different issues. I highly recommend it!

I was also sent the Sensitive Red Skin SPF 30 CC Cream, which is one of my new favourite products. Firstly, a little goes a long way so it is a bargain! It covers the skin nicely if you are looking for a nice light to medium coverage for daytime wear. Also, the key part is the sun protection. Those of us with rosacea know how important it is to wear SPF all year round! I can’t recommend this product enough. The colour matches a variety of paler skin tones, so that was great for me. If you wanted heavier coverage or to change the tone slightly, I think it would make a great base. One of the best rosacea products I’ve found.

Another lovely product I was sent was their Mild Wash Liquid. It offers gentle cleansing and does not cause irritation. It also strengthens the natural skin defenses, protects the skin barrier, has moisturizing and emollient properties and a cool texture that gives a sensation of wellbeing. I usually don’t use water on my face, but I did like this as a cleanser. My face felt clean but not stingy. Also, it can be used on all the body (all!), so if you have other sensitive skin issues this is a go to product for the shower!

 

I am so impressed with these products and I will certainly be buying them again and more from the range! Thank you Frezyderm!

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Hotter Shoes Blogger Evening

A while ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a Hotter Shoes blogger event in Bromley. I’d heard good things about Hotter from a lot of people, and I’d really been looking for some hypermobile feet- friendly shoes!

As soon as I arrived I had something fizzy in hand, so I was very happy. There was also a lovely selection of nibbles and treats, so we were spoiled as soon as we got to the door.

I’d never actually been in a Hotter shop before and I was pleasantly surprised. I think a lot of people are under the misconception that they make ‘old lady shoes’ but this just isn’t true. Yes, the emphasis is on comfort, but there were a good selection of stylish shoes on display.  Many have #comfortconcept features like “memorise” insoles, extra wide or even dual fitting. I am a big fan of the memorise insoles. The painful heels I’d been suffering with have really gone away since using them.

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I picked a pair of stylish trainers called Stellar as my gift from Hotter and I love them.

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I’ve been wearing them to the gym for a few weeks and I’m very happy with them. They’re lightweight, easy to get on and really supportive. I definitely recommend them as trainers for anyone who has trouble feet or just doesn’t fancy standard sports brands.

I am a true Hotter Shoe convert. I think I own about 6 pairs of Hotters and I know that collection will be ever growing!

Here I am at the event talking about my trainers:

10 Things I Did to Rid my Rosacea

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Today I am very happy with my skin. I have never seen it so clear. Rosacea is a chronic condition, so it might not be the case that it stays like this. Hopefully it’ll last a while and either way, I have found many ways to manage the symptoms before they get really bad.

Quercetin Supplements

Quercetin is a type of flavonoid antioxidant that’s found in plant foods, including leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and broccoli. I am a big fan of quercetin. I noticed a huge difference in the flushing part of my rosacea when I started taking the supplements. I found that taking small doses of it before I ate best.

Azaliac Acid

I was prescribed this by the GP after trying a few different topical treatments to no avail. I definitely think it helped with the little spots and evened out the lumpy areas. I am prescribed a gel, but you can purchase a lower dose suspension by The Ordinary Company which I have linked above.

Pure Potions Daily Moisturizer

I was gifted with this product by Pure Potions and it definitely changed my skin. It stopped looking so angry and feeling hot. This brand is great for people with sensitive or dry skin. I always put it on before the azaliac acid to minimise the drying out. It is cruelty  free and all natural ingredients are used.

Ranitidine

I found I was flushing whenever I had a drink and I hated it. I don’t drink that often anymore, but still really enjoy a social drink and wasn’t willing to stop. I then found a thread on Reddit about Rosacea and ranitidine. Apparently, it is street knowledge that if you take one tablet 20 minutes before having a drink, it stops the flush. I thought I’d give this a try, as I already have to take things for stomach acid. It did seem to work for me, but I don’t make a habit out of it. It’s best to speak to your doctor about medications before taking them.

Rose Hip Oil

I use rose hip oil everywhere now. I swear by the Trilogy one. I really think this is what took my skin from looking good to excellent. I think it has helped heal leftover scars from spots and gives me a lovely glow. I cannot get enough of this product.

Polaar Arctic Cotton Scrub

I was left with lots of dry flakey bits after spotty episodes and felt like I needed a good scrub. It’s hard to find scrubs which are suitable for rosacea. A lot of them aggravate it and make my spider veins come up. This one is fine and very gentle, but very effective. It also smells amazing. It is my favourite smell. I try to limit myself to using it twice a week, because I just want to be smothered in the smell everyday.

FODMAP Diet

I took a food allergy test a few years ago because I suffer terribly with bloating and general tummy troubles. I had positive reactions to dairy, egg and gluten. I cut out dairy and eggs but ignored the gluten, because I thought it would be too hard.

I was still getting a lot of bloating and also felt that my skin flared up after certain foods, but still wasn’t sure which ones. I decided to try the FODMAP diet after reading a blog by TalontedLex.

It involves cutting out a lot of foods and is extremely hard. I used an app by Kings College which I have linked above, to scan foods to tell me if they were suitable. It was handy when I fancied a treat and there was a long list of ingredients on the packet.

I found that the inflammation in my skin had completely gone after a month of doing it. I really think I put it down to cutting out gluten and soya. I still try to stick to a FODMAP friendly diet, but am less strict if there are traces of some of the high FODMAP foods in something I want to eat. I try to keep meals as simple as possible, and eat in small portions. I no longer feel bloated and the red patches on my skin have gone.

Face Mist

Stopping my face from getting too hot has been a big part of my strategy. I carry around the Trilogy Face Mist with me everywhere I go and have a fews sprays a day. It gives your make up a nice dewy look but also soothes and cools your face instantly. Perfect to stop you drying out in the office!

Not Washing my Face in the Morning

This sounds really weird, but I found using water on my face first thing in the morning seemed to make my face go blotchy. So I switched to just dabbing on cleansing oil. I felt that doing this started to break the cycle of flushing.

Antihistamines

I do think a lot of my issues are allergy based. Before I was diagnosed with Rosacea, I was constantly getting hives on my face. Keeping topped up on certirizine has kept my itchy skin at bay and it also means I’m touching my face a lot less.

 

Rosacea is such a miserable condition but with a good plan of attack hopefully it can be controlled!

Vegan Nutty Marzipan Cake

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This is my twist on an Easter Simnel cake. I’d gladly eat it all year round!

Ingredients

170g Raisins

170g Sultanas

1 Orange Zest

5 Tbsps Disaronno

170g Unsalted butter

170g Chopped Mixed nuts

170g Light brown sugar

4 Portions of egg replacer

170g Plain Flour

85g Ground Almonds

1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 Tsp Apricot Jam

Dr Oetker Marzipan

Instructions

  1. The day before baking the cake, put the dried fruit and orange zest in a bowl. Soak ingredients in the disaronno overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Lightly grease the base and sides of a deep round cake tin.  Put the mixed nuts for the cake onto baking sheets and roast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees. For the cake batter, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg replacer a little at a time, beating until combined before adding more. Tip in the dry ingredients and add a pinch of salt and fold together. Add the mixed nuts, dried fruit and mix it all together. Scrape the the batter into the prepared cake tin and for about 2 hours. Take out of the oven and leave to cool.
  4. Cut the marzipan to desired shape and add to the top of the cake. Decorate as desired!

‘May Require Heavy Lifting’: jobs and Disability

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*RANT ALERT*

I’ve had some bad interviews recently. I mean, blog worthily bad.

I’ve always performed really well in interviews. Generally, if I’ve got my foot in the door I can get the job. This has changed recently, but I don’t think it’s entirely my fault.

I am dyspraxic, I have vertigo and I also have Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder. The way this affects me in regards to jobs are that I can’t lift heavy things, I can’t climb up high things and I can’t crawl around on the floor or anything like that. These shouldn’t really be a problem for me because I come from a writing background, so have worked in social media and copywriting for big well known brands. My disabilities never caused any issue in my past jobs.

I’ve had a couple of really weird interviews recently, in which the job descriptions did not reflect what they were looking for:

The Tea Company

This job looked fairly interesting. They were looking for a social media manager to lift the profile of their tea brand online. They had advertised for someone with copywriting, photography, SEO and general social media skills. This is pretty much what I’ve been up to for the past 4 years, so when I was contacted by a recruiter about it, I thought it seemed quite hopefully.

When I turned up to the interview it was very odd. They also owned a luxury home company, which they wanted help on social media with. I thought, that’s alright, I can do that. It suddenly turned to ‘well, you’d be on a building site most weeks’. Hang on a minute. How have we gone from social media manager for a tea company to walking around in a hard hat and up scaffolding?

He then asked ‘well, could you cope working with all the men on the building site?’ Firstly, if he’s trying to stereotype these men, e.g. they’re wolf whistling or whatever, that is their wrong, not mine for ‘not coping‘. Secondly, why would I be working with people on a building site as a social media manager. Maybe, I can imagine occasionally going to take some photos or something, but this seemed as if it was the main part of the job.

He’d done what SO many employers do and presumed that ‘most’ people can walk around on a building site, so why does it need mentioning? Of course it needs mentioning, you can’t make assumptions that everyone applying to a writing role would be physically able to do that. You haven’t advertised anything physical, so why should I know that will be expected of me?

I wonder, if I’d turned up using some form of mobility aid, whether he would have just rejected me immediately.

Also, when he left he said ‘oh don’t worry about paying for the teas we drank’. In the teashop he owns…thanks m8.

The School

This was one has upset me recently. I got rejected from this job, and I can’t claim it’s because I’m disabled, but there was something in the second stage interview that was odd.

This job was an office based job. The job description detailed social media management, website management, relationship outreach, copywriting and event planning. The first interview went really well and seemed very positive. I was there for 2 hours discussing all the ideas I had for events and we went on a tour of the school so I could see the facilities I could use if I worked there. I told the first person about how I may struggle with lifting heavy things at events as I have dyspraxia, but I’m very happy to help with all other setting up. They were absolutely fine with this and told me that the site manager usually does stuff like that.

I was invited to second stage interview and the day before my second interview, they wanted me to get my references to hand in personal and detailed references by the end of the day of my second interview-I thought this seemed quite positive too.

On the day of the second interview, I was interview by the deputy headmistress which went well. Then I was interview by another lady, who I hadn’t been told I’d be interviewed by. I was told she just wanted a ‘quick chat’. I thought it was that she wanted to meet the person she may be working with and to introduce herself/explain what she does.

Straight away she got a clipboard out and started grilling me. She briefly touched on my experience and made remarks such as ‘I see you have a lot of experience in social media, have you used Facebook before?’ COME ONN. If she’d actually read my C.V, she wouldn’t need to ask such a basic question.

She then really honed in on the event side of things. Her question was ‘how do you feel about getting really stuck in with setting up the events?’ My response was honest; ‘I’m very happy to get involved in as much as I can, but I can’t lift really heavy things because I have dyspraxia.’ She looked really taken aback and didn’t really respond. So I said ‘I was told the site manager usually helps with those things.’ She replied ‘well, yes, but I like to do it myself and get properly stuck in’.

For the rest of the interview, she spent the time craning her neck to look out of the window behind my head and didn’t really look at me again. I found it so rude and upsetting because it happened almost immediately after I’d said about heavy lifting. She made me feel like I should be embarrassed by my disabilities.

When I asked why I’d been rejected from the job they used the reason that I had less event management experience than the other candidate. Now of course, this other person probably was just more experienced than me, but It did make me wonder whether it was related to that strange reaction from that lady.

Some people have said to me that I should just nod along and say I’m happy to do these things. I don’t think I should have to. I have applied to jobs in good faith, thinking they have been advertised correctly. Yes, all jobs sometimes have extra duties not advertised, but these jobs main focuses were completely different to the advert.

I shouldn’t have to lie and risk hurting myself or someone else. Any job which may require heavy lifting or climbing up ladders etc should include that somewhere in the advert or they should be able to cope with someone who can’t do those things, but excels at the core parts of the job.

These are only a couple of experiences, but I’ve had so many where people have made me feel as if I’ve been a nuisance to them because I can’t lift heavy things. Trust me, it’s more annoying for me than you. Dyspraxia and hypermobility affect me every day of my life in lots of little and big ways. I’m incredibly adaptable because of this, but there are a few things I just can’t do, and that’s ok. I’ve been honest and applied to jobs which haven’t detailed those things I can’t do.

I just wish employers acknowledged that disabled people do exist, they do work, they all differ. I cannot begin to image what it is like for people who do use mobility aids or have  more physical disabilities than me, who have turned up to interviews like this-I’m sure it must happen often.

Also please advertise if you have an office dog! I love dogs so much, but I am incredibly allergic. Epipen level allergic. I know it must be annoying for people with dogs, but it’s worse for me. I need to know if there will regularly be a dog somewhere I’m regularly going to be. I won’t be able to take the job and everyone’s time will have been wasted if I go to interview…and I’ll just get sad that I can’t stoke the dog.

 

A Full Body Service with Anatomicals*

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I love Anatomicals. It has long been one of my favourite brands. I think the packaging is by far one of the best around, and the smell of the products is better than any other. So, I was very excited to receive a parcel from them, to whip my body into shape. I’ve been neglecting my beauty regime a bit recently, so I thought I’d give myself a full body service!

Hands and Feet

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I suffer with dry skin, and the first thing to go is always my hands and feet. The hand cream has already become one of my favourite hand creams. It smells amazing and has a gorgeous texture. It also adds a lovely shine to your nails. The shea butter is deeply moisturising but not heavy.

The foot cream smells just like a spa! It feels like you’re having your own pamper session. The eucalyptus scent is invigorating and refreshing. My feet are definitely softer and less callused.

You can purchase the hand cream here and the foot cream here.

Lips and Eyes

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I love these lip balms. I usually buy a stick lip balm, but these are liquid. The nice thing about them is that they are really softening but don’t like an early 2000s over glossed look. They definitely protect your lips properly from the elements and make them look plump and kissable! The spf element is definitely a winner too.

The eye gel is incredibly cooling and not heavy. Exactly what you want to waken your eyes up. It is not sticky and soaks into the skin immediately. Dark circles and lines visibly reduce using this. A little bit goes a long way! Works on my sensitive skin, so I believe it is safe to use on all skin types.

You can buy the lip balm due here and the eye gel here

 

Skin, Muscles and Joints

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So I have some areas which get particularly dry. One knuckle on my left hand seems to be a real bugger to get rid of. I like this balm, because it does seem to be keeping it a bit more in check than usual. It’s definitely less angry looking. I have been applying it around 3 times a day. I think a few more times a day and it could well be almost gone in a couple of weeks.

I get the occasional bout of muscle aching and joint pain in my knees and fingers due to hypermobility, so it’s always good to have something handy to reach for other than a load of pain meds. I like this rub because it uses arnica, which is amazing for inflammation and pain.

You can buy the both here.

Hair and Body

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I like these because they smell lovely…obvs, and they’re really handy to take to the gym and swimming with me. I’m not often one for 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioners, but I like this one because it’s not so conditioning that it makes your hair greasy.

These come from the Jet Set Saviour Pack, which is one of my favourite weekend away kits. You can also find the lip balm and dry skin balm in this pack, which is an absolute bargain. It also includes my all time favourite body lotion.

Full Body

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My legs have been really flakey recently, I don’t know why. I wanted to find a scrub to use in the shower that wasn’t too rough and also didn’t leave that over-the-top greasy residue on the skin or gravely bits in the bath. This is a really great scrub because of course it smells amazing (duh) but it’s a nice texture and does the job I’m looking for. My skin feels freshened up and soft after using it, but not red and scratched. Also, importantly it is microbead and paraben free. It uses walnut shell to revitalise skin.

To add the finishing touches, the Mango and Coconut Body Lotion (guess what I think about the smell of this product) is perfect. It is enriched with vitamin E, so leaves the skin silky soft and you feel like you’re on a tropical holiday using it.

You can buy the scrub here and the lotion here.

I really do love everything about this brand. It’s cruelty free, well packed, smells AMAZING, does what it says and is a great price for what you are getting.

Anatomicals is sold through ASOS, Superdrug, Ulta Beauty and…Anatomicals 😉

*Some of these products were gifted to me, but all the opinions are honest and my own.

Pairfum Innocent Vanilla Reed Diffuser Review*

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I love all things smelly, (good smelly of course). I am constantly trying out new scented candles and air fresheners. The only thing is…I’m rather allergic to a lot of things. So, I was looking for something which would keep my room smelling fresh and inviting without making my skin and eyes itch!

I was very kindly sent the Pairfum Large Reed Diffuser (£37.50) in the ‘Innocent Vanilla’ scent from the lovely people are Pairfum. The diffuser contains 250ml of fragrance which is composed of natural and organic essential oils that are non-toxic, non-flammable and non-carcinogenic. The perfume oil in the diffuser is non-VOC which is safer to use and VOC oils are not healthy for the lungs and they deplete the ozone layer so this one is much safer to use and better for the environment as it is contains a non-VOC fragrance oil.

I had absolutely no negative reactions to this, so was really pleased. It also fit really well into my newly decorated room.

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The bell shape bottle and black looks really classy and simple. The box it arrived in was lovely, so would making an excellent gift for someone.

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The scent is also just as classy and simple, it isn’t overpowering sweet fake vanilla smell, like a lot of scents. It is clean and smooth vanilla. You can change the intensity of the scent depending on how many reeds you use. I’ve been using five, but since I like the smell so much I’m thinking of putting in the rest of the reeds.  The more reeds you use and how often you turn them, the stronger the fragrance will be.

The diffuser should last between 6 to 9 months which sounds fantastic, so really it is rather economical compared to ‘cheaper ones’.

Pairfum offer a range of perfume products, such as candles, perfumed botanicals, room and linen sprays. Not only do they add a wonderful smell to your house, but they can be part of the overall decor. I will certainly be buying some other products from the range and cannot wait to try some of their other scents!

You can follow them on Instagram here and Twiter here.

*this product was gifted to me, but all the opinions are honest and my own.

Esocare African Raw Black Soap Review*

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I’ve read a lot about African Raw Black Soap, so have been keen to try it for a long time. I was very excited when Esocare sent me some to try out.

African Raw Black Soap is one of the most beneficial, yet unheard of soaps you will ever find. It is a natural source of vitamins A & E, iron and an all-natural cleanser. It helps relieve rashes, scalp irritations, oily skin, dry skin, acne, blemishes, eczema, and other skin problems.

It has a delicate texture and a natural, earthy smell. It is not oily, and can be used for hands, face, body and hair. It’s most commonly found in Ghana, however other countries have their versions of black soap as well. Other words for black soap are Alata Samina, Anago Samina which comes from the Twi language in northern Ghana.

I’ll be honest, I’d never actually seen African Raw Black Soap before, so didn’t know what to expect. It has a very unusual appearance, but I think this is because we are so used to laboratory made, chemical based beauty products. It has a very natural, raw and organic appearance.

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I have rather dry skin, so have been using it in the shower as a body wash. It lathers up so much! I did not expect it to create so many bubbles. It leaves your skin feeling very soft and extremely clean after using it.  It feels so much like a way of pampering yourself in the shower, and you know you’re also treating your skin well.

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I recommend buying this soap through Esocare because, all their products are plant based, vegan and organic. Suitable for the whole family and can be used, on hair and skin.

Each product is packed with an affirmation card in which you use whilst nourishing yourself. It is owner Luna Afriyie‘s belief that, absorbing an affirmation with your daily skin care/ beauty routine helps to recharge and reprogram your subconscious mind. She is trained in Neuro Linguistics Programming, so understands a lot about psychology and the power of the subconscious mind.

Try adding this product and affirmation into your daily routine and I’m sure you will feel the difference!

https://www.esocare.co.uk

*This product was gifted to me, but all the opinions are honest and my own.

 

 

Invisible Disabilities and Gigs

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So, I went to a gig last week. I’ve been going to gigs regularly for years, but over the past year my hypermobility and dyspraxia are manifesting themselves in a way that is making it really hard and painful for me to stand for long periods now. I always buy a seated ticket when available, but I’m finding it hard to accept not being able to go to gigs which aren’t in seated venues. Why should I miss out?

There are some gigs that I understand, aren’t suitable for me anymore, but the one I was at last week was far from it. The standing section had little cut out sections at the sides for disabled people, with seats and a little area of flat ground standing area (the venue had a sloped floor, which was really hard to stand on). I had spoken about not being able to stand very well (I also have a broken toe at the moment!) with the venue beforehand, but they said seating was not available. When I’d booked the gig, I hadn’t broken my toe, so I thought I’d just about manage standing. (I would probably have been wrong anyway!)

When I noticed the little area, I waited until the main band came on stage, to see if anyone else needed to use that area, and only two other people had gone in. So, I stood on the flat bit of floor at the very back of the area, in case others needed to use the chairs, or wheelchair users needed floor space. I felt happy, because I could cope better with standing on the flat floor.

About 3 songs into the main band, a lady in a wheelchair came into the area, so of course I moved further back to make sure she had enough room, then the security guard came in and told me to get out and that I wasn’t allowed to be there, it wasn’t for me. Then a large group of people dancing pushed past me to get in the space. I can’t comment about whether they were disabled, because this is the point of this blog. I don’t blame the security man, but this is an issue which is very prevalent in society. I felt really embarrassed and like I had to qualify my disabilities to him. Sometimes I feel ashamed, as if they think I’m lying, because I look fine.

We are so quick to judge people’s health or ability without knowing anything about them. I look like a ‘fit healthy young woman’, but I’m not. Some days, I can’t walk very well at all, and have to tape up my joints which are in shooting pain. Other days, I’m at the gym on the cross trainer (not being the most graceful though, I must add!). It’s confusing for me, so I know it must be confusing for others.

A lot of health and disabilities fluctuate massively, so why can’t we get this is our heads? And it’s not just able bodied people who do this, people with health conditions do it to.

My friend has hEDS, Fibromyalgia and POTS and uses a wheelchair or a walking stick. She was sitting behind a counter at work and a man who was a wheelchair user buying a ticket from her said ‘you don’t know what it’s like to be disabled!’ I’m sure, he must’ve been having a particularly bad day and was feeling frustrated…but he shouldn’t have made that assumption.

I think the main thing to take a away from both mine and my friend’s experience is, to never make assumptions about anyone’s situation. I’m still training myself to do this, in other areas of life.

As for gigs, I really hope there are more areas like this in gig venues, because I thought it was a great idea, but there needs to be more communication between the venue and people who need to use those areas. It would’ve been better, if I could’ve privately explained my situation to someone and they gave me a wrist band for the area, avoiding embracing questioning.  I’m sure people with visible disabilities also get these sort of issues arise at gigs also. I sometimes look at venues and think ‘this is definitely not accessible’ and there’s really no need. I’m not expecting to be right up the front and stage diving, but I think everyone has a right to watch a show they want to see.

What happens when you assume…

 

 

 

 

 

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