Things need to change!

It’s amazing how things change. If a teacher asked me to write even just todays date I would have turned into “Kevin & Perry”! Nowadays I get up in the morning looking for things to write about.

Scrolling through Facebook as I often do, I see a disturbing story about a woman who works in a well known high St Bookmakers. She has suffered terrible working conditions and poor pay.

People who know me know that I was a multi-site manager for a high St Bookmaker also and this brought flash backs of horrible times when I used to work there.

The most horrible event that I still remember to this day is being held up in a little shop in Glasgow at knife point by a machete. You can’t forget quickly having a machete to your throat, and for what a couple of hundred pounds?????

Another time was when I was followed to my car and a man tried to mug me for my banking on the way to the post office. I seem to meet all the charmers!! I told him I wasn’t giving him the money, instead, I would get in the car and if he didn’t move I would run him over!! I think he thought I was nuts as he actually walked away.

When I came back there were ambulances, police cars and riot vans outside the shop. I asked what was going on and I was told the man had stabbed the cashier over a can of juice!

I was certainly lucky that day!!

This is just a couple of stories that stood out, however I have hundreds over a ten-year period. It’s a terrible place to work where you face daily abuse for low pay conditions and extremely poor working conditions. What employer leaves you to work on your own in a betting shop of all shops for hours on end and you can’t get to the toilet or get anything to eat.

Even after all these years and even though I can’t work I still feel so passionate. I still see stories in the media and things seem to be getting worse and nothings changing. I feel so glad I’m out of the situation but it’s awful for the staff that are still stuck. These companies have a responsibility to look after their staff, not treat them like animals!!!

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There’s always light at the end of the tunnel

It’s a bad day when WordPress sends out a search party for you! I thought I better get my finger out and start writing!

With the end of the year coming close. It only seems fitting to write a bit about how the year’s went. It’s definitely been up and down with surprises in between.

In the beginning of the year it started on a real low. I was housebound, lonely and isolated after being made disabled due to 15 brain operations. I spent most days sitting in my chair looking out the window, watching everyone going about their business, taking kids to school, going to work etc. While I sat wishing I could do that and wish I had a purpose.

As I tell many people I try to help on my Facebook page, no situation stays the same forever and I found out about an organisation called the Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA). They honestly changed my life! I went from feeling isolated, lonely, no friends, and no sense of purpose. Now the GDA have put me on confidence building courses, invited me to big events, I also campaign for disabled people’s rights. They have given me the confidence and the tools to do other things in my life too. I have also made many new friends.

Due to my new found confidence I decided to apply to the Open University to study BA Honours in Sociology. It’s been a lifelong dream and I’m loving it and enjoying the sense of purpose it has given me.

Lastly I became an Author and written a book to help kids with Hip Dysplasia facing surgery. I’m so proud of this achievement and so happy at the amount of kids that the books helped so far.

I’m hoping this shows as one door closes, another door opens and no situation stays the same!

I have spoken to many people who have underwent Chiari surgery etc and they feel their life has ended. However, with some positive thinking your life has actually just begun!!

I hope my sharing has helped and I wish you all the luck for 2018 and sending lots of positivity!!

Love Karen x x x

Glasgow Disability Alliance – My saviour!

I started blogging initially to raise awareness amount my brain condition and help others with Chiari Malformation. I wanted to give hope and support to others that I didn’t have when I was going through my journey of over 15 brain operations! Understandably I ended up in a deep depression for many years due to being housebound, lonely and struggling to come to terms with my new disability. I tried for a long time to find help, company or some sort of club but there was nothing unless you were over 65.

Then I stumbled across The Glasgow Disability Alliance. I can safely say they have changed my life forever! They offer support, company, courses and much more for disabled people around Glasgow. They are also major activists for disabled people’s rights with their Drivers for Change group which Isla runs which I love being part of.

I have attended many courses to help my self-confidence, positivity, motivation and goal setting. Due to attending these courses I am now able to go out on my own, I have stopped my antidepressants, I have written a book and I have started an Honours degree in Social Science. 6 months ago, I never thought I would have been doing any of these things and I owe it all to the GDA. They have given me my confidence back and gave me the tools to start my life again.

More importantly they have helped me come to terms with my disability. It’s not a barrier anymore and I will GDA to be a voice for other disabled people who are struggling!

It’s just a thought!

It’s just a thought!

It occurred to me I’ve not written a blog in ages so I thought I better put pen to paper (so to speak)! Then the problem of what to write about??? Luckily for a change I’ve had an interesting time of it!! So where to start????

I visited the GP a few weeks ago to ask her about stopping my antidepressants and we agreed over a few week period to drop the dose until an eventual stop. I now have been off them for about a fortnight and feeling ok. I’m really proud of myself!!

In around a week my open uni degree starts which I’m really excited about. I really needed this for a few reasons, to give me a sense of purpose, to give me something to fill my time and to keep my brain functioning!! I think this will be really good for my life in many ways and the subject is something I will enjoy learning about so it’s a bonus!!! I also want my daughter to be able to be proud of me and be able to talk about me with pride if someone asks about her mum. Now she can say “my mum is doing an honours degree in sociology and has written a book”. Before I sat in a chair ill and sore all day!!!

I’m now writing book number 2!!! I’ve had many people come forward and say why have you not written a book about Chiari with all your experience?? So what am I doing now??? I think I’m mad!! I’ve currently written a few chapters so it’s started and that’s the hard part getting it started. I’m actually excited to see how it will look and hope it helps to spread awareness about the condition.

Finally I was at a course this week called “steps”. It’s a course to help self confidence, self talk, motivation, goal setting and much more. I found it eye opening and really useful. I wish every person suffering from depression could go on this course because I think they could really benefit from it.

They teach you about who you should listen too, who’s truth is actually the “truth” , and that a thought is just a thought!! I think the last is so important when you’re suffering from depression!! Bad thoughts come into my head all the time and bring me down and now I tell myself it’s not real, it’s just a thought! It works! The course was invaluable!! I feel much more confident and happy in myself!

I hope everyone is doing ok and remember I’m here if you ever need an ear 💜

Remember when you’re feeling low it is just a thought!!

Join me on chiari support 💜💜💜

Love karen x x x

Spica Warrior

There's never been a truer quote said "you've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself" (Glenda, the good witch). That's exactly what I did!! I believe we all have the power inside of us, you just have to find it!!

The last few months has been crazy and I never thought I'd be doing the things I'm doing. There's a nice thing my Gran always said to me and I think it's something everyone should do "aim for the moon because if you miss you'll land among the stars"

So I'm an author!! I can't believe it! I struggled to write a shopping list! This book meant so much to me and I was so passionate about it, it felt easier to write. At times I didn't know how I got it completed as I was going through a really low,rough time personally. I think the thought of letting the kids down kept me going. I'm so glad I managed to get it done as already kids are benefiting from it and all feedback has been great.

I'm so proud that around 50 books have been sold, we have around 200 likes on our Facebook page and we are on Kindle and Amazon!!! This is just since June!!

I feel like if you are positive and put your mind to something you can do anything. I'm the perfect example of this!

Whatever you want to do, go do it now!!!

Come and join us on Facebook

Spica Warrior by Karen Kerr and Chiari Support

Love Karen x x x

Spica Warrior

There she goes spinning like a Catherine wheel! I have to hold onto my tea just so I don't wear it!! Who would have thought this time 5 years ago Lauren would have been going in for her first surgery of five and spend the next 18 months in a cast! It was a really tough time for the whole family as we had never heard of DDH and there was no local support.

Over the next next 18 months Lauren had a closed reduction, open reduction 2 femoral osteotomies and 2 pelvic osteotomies and countless cast changes. The worst worst part was handing my baby over to the anaesthetic nurse and not knowing if I was going to get my Daughter back!
It was also difficult as part if the way through Lauren's treatment I had to start my brain surgeries for a brain condition I was born with.
Everything seemed to happen at once and we definitely felt we were getting tried!!

However Lauren was amazing and she really helped me through it all. She was an inspiration! Not once did she complain and she smiled and laughed everyday. She also walked, ran, jumped and climbed in her cast. I once caught her on a trampoline!!!

Five years on Lauren has perfect hips and does gymnastics, ballet, hip hop and dance! It's so important to stay positive your wee one because you might not see the light right away but it's there!

That's why I decided to write the book "spica Warrior", a book about kids with Hip Dysplasia facing surgery. I know some parents struggle with finding the positives or telling the cool about surgery. This book is a "tool" that helps parents find the right words to talk to their children about the difficult subject. It also makes the journey seem less daunting and less scary for kids too. I wanted to use our experience to make other people's experiences easier and less daunting!

So far the book has proved positive and people like it which is great! I'm so glad that it's starting to help families as that's exactly what I wanted to achieve. I want to continue to share and make more and more families aware of the book to help as many people as possible.

You can purchase Spica Warrior on https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/524511446/spica-warrior?ref=listings_manager_grid

Lots of love

Karen x x x

Don’t look for problems! We have enough already!

I've not written a blog in a while but due to running a Facebook page and being an admin for another I speak to many people and there was a theme that was forming when speaking to members. I've found that many members are trying to find problems in situations before they've happened or generally just focusing on the negatives of their situations.

I felt that passionately about this I had to put my thoughts down in a blog! People closer to me know that I have been suffering with severe depression so I have been practising different ways to feel better. However common sense would tell you, what good is going come from imaging problems that might never happen? You're just going to make yourself ill and everyone round about you miserable.

Using my condition as an example, chiari malformation I have had conversations were people say that their life will never be the same and they are miserable.
I have had 15 plus brain operations, been in a coma for 8 days and been left disabled and I would say my life is better than it was before. Sometimes I think people want to be miserable. There is positives in every situation, it's just a matter of finding them and making the most of your new situation.

I think if you think positive good things will happen and you can make things happen! I am the perfect example of that!

If I can help anyone get to where they want to be, please just send me a message karenkerr@live.co.uk

Let's find the "new you"

Find us at Chiari Support

Lots of love

Karen x x x