Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists. Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.
The prompt reads as given:
Health Activist Choice Day 1…Write about what whatever you want today!
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about for today’s post. As we all know living with chronic illness is like riding a rollercoaster with a number of highs and lows; and unfortunately many of these are lows. However as much as I struggle living with my neurological condition, I try my best to remain positive despite it, and so therefore I would like to write about an achievement that I have finally managed to accomplish. As most of you may know, due to my neurological condition (a long-standing brain stem lesion) one of the main symptoms that accompany the said condition is severe and constant dizziness.
The dizziness, as we have found out is triggered by certain visual stimuli, such as large stores with its open spaces, high ceilings and fluorescent lighting. This therefore, restricts me into where I am able to shop, for example the clothing store Next, which also happens to be my favourite clothing store. A few years ago, a Next opened up in a local retail store near to where I live, however, I was unable to shop in there because the store itself would trigger the dizziness and vertigo, and as a result make me feel very unwell. When my carer started working for me, approximately fifteen months ago, we made one of my goals to be able to go into the store that was one of my favourite retailers. Over the months we have tried and tried to no avail; sometimes we got as far as the door but the dizziness became so intense that we had to go straight back to the car.
However, last Thursday on a whim I decided that we should give it another try. As we are due to go on holiday soon, I still need some new clothes to take away with me and seen some clothes that I liked whilst browsing their website. I have to admit, I love browsing their website and their delivery options are fantastic, for example you are able to order certain products by 9 PM and have them delivered the very next day. However, there is a delivery charge, and when you order as much as I have done over the years, it really adds up.
I did it! I managed to go into store, and what’s even more is that I managed to shop and browse their lovely clothing and accessories for nearly an hour! And even managed to buy a couple of items! I cannot describe the sense of accomplishment that I felt when I paid for my items! I actually did it! I defeated the dizziness and vertigo; pushed through and won. I admit, there were a couple of moments that I nearly collapsed, and even went back to the car at one stage; and apparently at one point I even went green when the dizziness became so severe it made me feel very sick. The trembling in my legs was also quite severe, but I took along my wheelchair which made it much easier; and even when I was just pushing the wheelchair it have me a sense of stability, and at least I didn’t have to contend with the worry of my legs collapsing beneath me.
I really have to thank the entire staff of Next at the Talbot Green Retail Store, who really made the experience much easier and were very helpful towards me and my situation. One staff member noticed how unsteady I looked and offered to open up one of the cash registers to save me from queueing. And the members of staff who diligently looked for items that I was looking for; going up to the stockroom to show me some of the options that were in stock. It is fantastic customer service that really helps when suffering from a chronic illness or disability and more than makes us more likely to return.
So, I managed to conquer a very debilitating symptom and managed to physically shop in a store which I love. Now, I have done it once, I look forward to many more visits to Next…
I hope you have enjoyed the new blog post! Have you conquered any fears or battled through severe and debilitating symptoms to accomplish something that you have wanted to for so long? As ever I would love to hear your comments and stories of triumph over our symptoms and conditions!! Feel free to share below in the comment section…