So I’m back with another story! I met Eleanor at Blatchington Court Trust’s social group for visually impaired people!
Name/s of your condition?
I have two conditions firstly right-sided Hemiplegia, which is a type of Cerebral palsy, which affects one whole side of the body. Secondly I have Hemienopia which effects my peripheral vision in both eyes. I have also suffered with epilepsy however when I was eight years old I had a life changing operation and have not had them since.
How long have you had them for?
I have had the epilepsy since I was a few days old up until I was eight. With the Hemiplegia and Hemienopia I have had these since I was a few days old as well. All of these conditions were caused by a stroke that happened to me when I was a few days old..
How have you dealt with them?
Although I have these conditions I have never let it hold me back. I have always tried my best at everything that life throws at me and given it my all. For example with my Hemienopia I am unable to drive so instead I have found other ways to commute such as getting the bus or the train. With the Hemiplegia even though there are factors in life that I will not be able to do such as tying my shoe laces I have found alternative ways to overcome these such as laces that can be used with one hand. With the Epilepsy I never let it hold me back I still went to a normal school and was in mainstream education although it was a struggle for both me and my family. The epilepsy happened on a daily basis which was difficult for the whole family but we all fought through and I never let it pull me back from life.
Are there any treatments for your conditions?
Currently there is no treatment available for either Hemiplegia or Hemienopia. I have accepted this and am able to live life to the full as I have had both conditions for almost all of my life and so am used to the way that my eyesight and Hemiplegia works and am able to adapt successfully. However for the Epilepsy there was medication that I was given to help ease the symptoms, however the ultimate thing that made them go away for good was the operation that I had. Since then I have not had any Epilepsy.
Did you ever find it hard to speak about and why?
I have always been really open with my conditions and have been able to talk about them both openly to people who are interested. As a result of this it has helped to boost my confidence about my conditions and it has encouraged me to be proud of who I am and not what I want to be.
Do you know anyone who has the same condition/s as you, and if not has that been hard to know that know one you know has it?
Throughout my life I have joined up with a number of charities such as Blatchington Court trust which helped support me with my Hemienopia. The sensory needs service which also helped me with my Hemienopia. As well as this there was Hemihelp which helped support me with my Hemiplegia. These charities enabled me to meet people who either had a visual impairment or who were blind as well as people who have Hemiplegia. All the people who I have met through these charities have never let their conditions hold them back and has never given up.
Has your condition lead to other illnesses?
My conditions have not let to further illnesses, however due to my Hemiplegia and the way I walk it can sometimes lead to my right leg getting sharp shooting pains and sometimes it is more difficult to walk.
What would your advice be to anyone who is dealing with an invisible Illness?
My advice to anyone who has an invisible illness is to never let it hold you back. Never give up and always follow your dreams! As long as you never give up you will become more determined and will ultimately have the confidence to try new things.
FACTS & FIGURES
‘ Around one child in every thousand in the UK is affected by hemiplegia.’
‘About one-third of stroke survivors experience vision loss.’ CLICK HERE
for more information.
Here are a couple helplines if you want to know more about either of these conditions, or are suffering with either of them yourself!
Thank you again to Eleanor for sharing her story with us. It’s so important to be able to share a personal invisible illness experience to let people be aware of them. Always seek help if you are suffering, and remember that there are many different charities and organisation that will be willing to help you no matter what your invisible illness is! Research research research!
If you have an invisible illness that you would like to share through my blog, then please don’t hesitate to contact me!
And feel free to wander through my other posts!