Blogger Fundraising for Electric Wheelchair
I’m Sarah, I’m a 29 year old Scouser living in Northampton, and I need your help. I’m a writer, blogger and disability rights campaigner. You will constantly see me writing and tweeting about disability, it’s extremely important to me that disabled people aren’t treated any differently and I would shout it from the rooftops if there was adequate access to the roof.
I’ve lived with chronic pain for almost seventeen years and it never gets easier. I sometimes feel like when I tell people I’m in chronic pain they don’t really know what I mean, so basically every single day since I was 13 years old I’ve been in pain. Not a little ache, or for an hour a day; all the time. Some days are better than others and sometimes my medication takes the edge off but everything hurts and doing things makes it worse. I’ve tried every therapy, painkiller, treatment you could possibly think of and I totally accept that living in pain is my future but I need specialised equipment to make things a little easier.
I seem to be diagnosed with a new condition every year and it’s really tough. My main problem is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type 3, not only does it cause me to be in pain every day, I suffer with dislocations and subluxations (partial dislocations) on a daily basis. I tear muscles, ligaments and tendons really easily, as well as easy bruising, slow healing and chronic fatigue. This is because EDS is a connective tissue disorder and it means my collagen is faulty. Since practically everything in the body is made up of collagen, I have quite a lot of problems. I’m very bendy and it’s not in a good way. The pain is so severe I spend most of the time trapped inside my house. You might think ‘trapped’ is an exaggeration but it’s exactly how I feel. Trapped in my home and trapped in a body that doesn’t work.
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I also have Postural Tachycardia Syndrome which means my autonomic nervous system is dysfunctional. The ANS controls my heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and digestive system. When I’m having a flare-up of the dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint etc. that comes with PoTS, I have to lie down. As you can imagine, I can’t do that when I’m out and about. Not only that but I slur my words and can barely speak because it brings on brain fog; I’ve been asked on a number of occasions whether I’m drunk as I’m not making sense but it’s all to do with my health issues.
I use crutches and a wheelchair every day; I can’t rely on crutches for too long because my shoulders are really unstable and dislocate, and walking is absolute agony. My current wheelchair is so uncomfortable and causes more harm than good, I hate sitting in it and I hate going out in it as it hurts my back, hips and knees so much that I can barely move after using it for an hour. I want a wheelchair that gives me freedom, not one that injures me.
I’m currently fundraising for an electric wheelchair that has all the functions I’ll need to live a more comfortable life, whilst being able to go out and snatch back my freedom. The Invacare TDX with an electric recline, tilt and leg elevation costs £5000 and there’s absolutely no way I’d be able to get the funds together without help. I need these functions as the recline and leg elevation with help my PoTS, and the tilt means I can move the seat so the pressure is off certain painful joints. I’ve currently raised £2700, which is passed the halfway point and I can’t thank everyone enough for all the support. I need more sharing and more people talking about my campaign so I can raise the rest.
Unfortunately wheelchair services in my county are extremely strict and unlucky for me the criterion for each county is very different. Since I can use crutches, albeit for approximately five steps, I don’t qualify for any help in Northants. I can’t push myself in a manual wheelchair and I can’t use the current chair I have as it quite literally destroys me, so I have no other option. If you can donate anything towards my wheelchair it’ll help me be one step closer to my target and change my life completely. If you can’t donate, please share my story on all your social media platforms and do so until I raise the remainder of the money.
People tell me I’m strong, a fighter, an inspiration almost daily but I’m not, I’m just a girl trying to live a life in pain. I don’t see myself as any different but I do need some wheels to get by. Please help if you can.
Please visit my campaign page.