“But it’s not the same!” – chronic illness, learning disabilities, and continuity 

So on the 5th of September 2017, I failed my driving theory test. 

Now, at first glance, that’s not a massive problem- lots of people fail first time.

Until you ask me what I failed on. My friend’s response was ‘How did you fail hazard perception?’

My driving instructor’s response was that at least I did well on the ‘hard’ section.

And at first I didn’t understand either. I worked out eventually that dyspraxia, the introduction of yet another new drug to my body, and a typical bad flare day (pun unintended) were to blame. 

I should have passed. I got a pretty high score on the multiple choice test section (47/50)…..On the hazard perception, I got trigger happy in a blind panic. I can, almost every time (still learning) can spot and react to developing hazards whilst I’m actually driving.

But the past week or so has been a tough one to start with: my GP decided a few weeks back, I should give amitriptaline another go.

What a huge mistake.

I’d been in ‘limping-walking-stick-zombie-mode’ ever since.

Safe to say they soon got canceled as a bad idea.
I’ve been learning to drive for a while now- a while being 3 1/2 years- and only now is me taking my driving test actually a possibly. 

I passed my theory test on 19th of October. This was after it was explained to me that looking for hazards wasn’t just my understanding of physical objects like cars and people walking in the road. Oh!

This time I wasn’t trailing new medication, and it was a relatively good day pain wise, so my brain wasn’t hugely pre-occupied. I still had to work really hard to ignore the clicking of other people around me (when I’ve had uni exams I’ve always been in a separate room)

I feel that there should be better training for Hazard perception tests. There’s hardly any prep for them.

I suppose something I have learnt is that, even with all possible barriers taken away, some things will always be difficult. But that also doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.

I’ve been learning to drive a manual car for almost 3 1/2 years now.

I’ve literally completed my degree in less time.

And yet I persist.

Maybe next year I’ll be driving for real, instead of watching the hazard perception videos?

A girl can dream.

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Driving as a dyspraxic human being 

So I’ve been learning to drive for a while now (3 and a bit years- yes- I know)

And I see it pop up a lot in dyspraxia forums ‘will I ever be able to learn to drive?’
I suppose one of the key things to be remember here is that driving is learning a new skill.

Some new skills take longer time to learn than others.

This isn’t just true of those with learning difficulties but true of everyone.

Some people are better at learning some types of skills than others.

Poem: priorities 

This morning when I got up

My main priority was to finish off those few tweaks to my assignment

Tonight, I have achieved  the following: showered, fed, and dressed myself

This morning when I got up

My main priority was what I would wear to go out with friends in the evening

Tonight, I sit with a hot water bottle, drugged up to cold undead eye sockets, on prescription medication

This morning when I got up 

My main priority was to make it to my lecture 

Tonight, I come in from a hospital dash- it was one of those days when my perscribed medication was doing nothing 

This morning when I got up

I watched the able students of the student body pass my window without a care

This evening I am wiping the dirt off of my walking aid, and hobbling to the kitchen 

That morning, just after my 21st birthday, my priority was to be treated for my pain 

This evening, 4 years later, I still wait

Poem: priorities 

This morning when I got up

My main priority was to finish off those few tweaks to my assignment

Tonight, I have achieved  the following: showered, fed, and dressed myself

This morning when I got up

My main priority was what I would wear to go out with friends in the evening

Tonight, I sit with a hot water bottle, drugged up to cold undead eye sockets, on prescription medication

This morning when I got up 

My main priority was to make it to my lecture 

Tonight, I come in from a hospital dash- it was one of those days when my perscribed medication was doing nothing 

This morning when I got up

I watched the able students of the student body pass my window without a care

This evening I am wiping the dirt off of my walking aid, and hobbling to the kitchen 

That morning, just after my 21st birthday, my priority was to be treated for my pain 

This evening, 4 years later, I still wait

Poem: priorities 

This morning when I got up

My main priority was to finish off those few tweaks to my assignment

Tonight, I have achieved  the following: showered, fed, and dressed myself

This morning when I got up

My main priority was what I would wear to go out with friends in the evening

Tonight, I sit with a hot water bottle, drugged up to cold undead eye sockets, on prescription medication

This morning when I got up 

My main priority was to make it to my lecture 

Tonight, I come in from a hospital dash- it was one of those days when my perscribed medication was doing nothing 

This morning when I got up

I watched the able students of the student body pass my window without a care

This evening I am wiping the dirt off of my walking aid, and hobbling to the kitchen 

That morning, just after my 21st birthday, my priority was to be treated for my pain 

This evening, 4 years later, I still wait

The answer is no: A poem (I think it’s a poem?) about how fucked up the world is.

If I stopped you in the street. Would you stop and help me?

I’m not begging, but there’s some issues that the world needs to address.

At what point did our society, in search of progress and innovation,

Turn the calm sea that washed away impurity, to one that washes away the bodies of those broken by war?

The sun beating down on the poverty stricken is the same sun, regardless of if you have access to a food bank or not.

Regardless, of if you have a job or not. 

Poverty lives.

Never has been truer, the Shakespearean phrase ‘there are daggers in men’s smiles’

Than those gleaming daggers in the mouths of politicians.

Bombing for peace.

An oxymoron of propoganda and distain for fellow human beings.

But they aren’t like us, you tell me.

Forgive me, sir, 

But the last time I checked, 

they breathed and their hearts beat like ours.

The daggers gleam once more, as they separate the people in their land into those who are worthy and those who are not.

But I can tell you sir. All human beings are worthy of life.

This is a disability assessment 

This is a disability assessment
This is for Personal Independence Payment
This is death
This is humiliation 
This is judgement day 
This is the fine line between scrounger and innocent 
This is the difference between food bank or a food shop
This is being able to heat your home
This is the key your freedom 
This is the key your destitution
This is your fate- decided
This is a prompt for a UN enquiry
This is a test 

This is a trial 

This is ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘sometimes’

This is the way the government defines disability
This is wrong 
This needs to stop 
This kills disabled people
When will that be enough?

Image credit: http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/03/29/our-last-good-friday-easter-monday-beginning-of-the-end-for-uk-poor/