My life & Blog
What is it that fuels each and every one of us in this world? For me, it is my son, family, friends, and becoming Pip Disabled Mum. Since I started my blog on the 9th June 2019, I have found such a sense of fulfillment in my own life and helping to make a difference in the lives of other people living with disabilities. I enjoy writing about my passions, raising awareness, becoming part of projects, advocating for change, and sharing it with the world. With each passing day, Pip Disabled Mum gains more Facebook followers, and with that, my voice becomes stronger.
Life hasn’t always been so great. I enjoyed a career in the Royal Navy when I left secondary school in the summer of 06. Just a couple of months later, on the 19th November 2006, I left my home city (Durham) for Plymouth. I had a really active life, trained as a chef and enjoyed a few deployments. But in 2009 I started to have stomach problems, regularly being sick, experiencing joint pain and debilitating fatigue. However all tests were all ‘normal’.
Struggling to keep up with the demands of military life I left in 2010 returning home just before my 21st birthday on 5th November, applied for uni and was offered a place to start the following week at my interview! A couple of people had dropped out, so the following Monday, I started Studying Mental Health Nursing at Teesside University.
Half way through my first year at uni, I work up one morning, barely able to see, speak or move. Admitted to hospital we feared the worst, and after a couple of weeks I was diagnosed with Behçet’s Syndrome. An autoimmune syndrome causing mass swelling around my body, horrific mouth and genital ulcers with serious vision problems.
It took me months to recover, and while Uni had put me back a year I went to collage to do a night course in BSL. I returned to uni the following year, choosing to start again from the beginning to help me integrate with the new cohort. I met John, (my husband) and moved to Middlesbrough. Having already completed the majority of the first years assignments, the first year was so much more enjoyable. Our relationship blossomed and we started a new life together. But managing uni, supporting myself working, placements and long hours on my feet soon took its toll. I was in and out of hospital frequently, now with John at my side, making sure I wasn’t off for more than 10 days, fearing I’d be out back a year, again. But soon, it was too much for my body and I ended up bed bound. In chronic pain, interrupted from uni and unable to attend work, I ended up jobless. I sunk into a very, very, deep and dark depression.For a very long 8months. I wasn’t fit enough to go back to uni, so I gave up.
I became so depressed that after a few incidents; I was hospitalised, I’m sure I’ll talk about my experiences in a mental health hospital at a later date....
Long story short, I didn’t think I could live with a chronic health condition. I had no real friends, no job, no self confidence, and didn’t see the point to my existence. To make matters worse, John had left for long trip that had been planned for years. I told him I would be fine on my own, I didn’t want to hold him back.
I limited the amount I told him, because he was thousands and thousands of miles away. But on his return, he was told I was currently an inpatient in a mental health hospital. I was in a wheelchair, catheterised, on morphine, and hadn’t slept in days.
He picked me up, literally and emotionally.It was then I decided to give myself a month, to see what I could achieve. If I couldn’t make something of my life, then in my eyes, it wasn’t worth living.
I decided I needed a job, because a job would allow me to talk to people, would give my life focus and a reason to try and get out of bed.
But who would employ me? I couldn’t sit up for more than 2 hours, I was catheterised, in a wheelchair and in chronic pain.
That’s when I started my first buisness, Pip’s Embroidery UK. And just like that, my life took off. My business took off, and with it my confidence.