I’m back this week with the second Outside Looking in on my blog, this time from one of my housemates, Rosie! If you want to know more information about this series, you can find it here!
What is your relationship with the individual who suffers with a chronic illness/es?
I met Peyton in my first year of university. She lived at the same accommodation as me, in the house behind. She is now one of my current housemates for this year and the next.
Did you know them before or after they were diagnosed?
In your opinion, what changed in your relationship after the diagnosis / as the condition progressed?
Peyton has dyspraxia, which is developmental disorder of motor function, therefore as a disorder there is no real progression, compared to other chronic illnesses. The only change it made to the relationship was that I learnt about what dyspraxia was as I had never heard of it until Peyton told me!
Have you been able to support them with their condition?
- If yes, in what way?
I think the only way that I have been able to help her with the dyspraxia is that I have taught her to be more open about it. I taught Peyton that it is nothing to be ashamed of, and that self acceptance is important to understand ones self and improve self esteem. Once I was able to help Peyton become more confident and overcome her embarrassment, I was able to help her get over her irrational fear of frying pans and taught her how to knock up a killer spag bol!
- If no, please explain why or how that makes you feel.
Do you find anything about their condition frustrating when you are together?
I think that my patience with Peyton is sometimes low as she takes longer to do specific tasks. Sometimes its hard to differentiate whether it’s because of the dyspraxia that is causing it or whether it is just because she is inexperienced at certain life tasks.
What do you find difficult to understand about their condition?
As I have never heard of dyspraxia, honestly I find the whole condition hard to understand and confusing. I don’t have a chronic illness or a disorder, therefore it is hard to put myself into Peyton’s shoes and comprehend the limitations that it brings to her on a daily basis.
Have you ever had a question you did not feel able to ask them about their condition? If so, what was it?
No, I haven’t ever had a question I’ve felt unable to ask Peyton. She is now more open about dyspraxia and if I’ve had a question to ask, I’ve gone ahead and asked it. For example, when she was diagnosed, how they found out that she had dyspraxia and lastly how it affected her childhood.
What has their condition taught you about life with a chronic illness?
It has taught me that it can make life challenging, with dyspraxia specifically, like all chronic illnesses, there is no cure for it, however it is about adapting to your surroundings to ensure that you are living your life to the full like others who don’t have a chronic illness.
What main piece of advice would you give to someone in your position?
I would advise people to make sure that they understand the illness, there is no shame typing into google “dyspraxia” to read up on it. And secondly, don’t let dyspraxia define the person, treat them as you would to anyone else who doesn’t have it.
P.S. my last piece of advice is to make sure that when your dyspraxic friend is drunk in Bier Keller doing the Hokey Cokey, video it. It’s comedy gold.
- If you haven’t seen it already, why don’t you head over to Jodie’s blog to read the first Confessions of a Spoonie guest post?
- Keep an eye out for the NEXT guest post on SATURDAY 8th April which will also be over on Jodie’s blog and is another Outside Looking In post!
- I will be posting my Mum’s Confessions of a Spoonie guest post on my blog on SUNDAY 9th April!
Remember, if you would like to be involved with either of the series, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get something organised!
For more information on Confessions of a Spoonie, click here, and for Outside Looking In, click here.