Disabled Parking Anxiety

22 October 2015

Story time, this is gonna be a long one. Once upon a time, when I was in the sixth form I used to drive to school because we live in the middle of nowhere and I was too classy to take the bus (never ready on time). This meant that I could drive my crappy body to the shop to grab some lunch because it was too far for me to walk. One miserable day me and a friend headed to co-op to grab a sandwich and probably some doughnuts because who doesn't love a good doughnut? As I am a disabled girl who is a blue badge holder I parked in a disabled space. Makes sense right? When I got out I noticed a guy giving me evils but I ignored him and went and got my foods.

Clearly too fabulous to be disabled.

When I came out the same guy was waiting for me by my car. He told me that I needed my disabled family member with me to park in that space and I couldn't just use my Grans badge because I felt like it. I politely told him I was the disabled member and tried to get to my car. He kept shouting at me, demanding to see my blue badge. It was raining, I was getting cold and wet and he let his giant boxer jump all over me. Now I'm a huge fan of dogs but it is extremely intimidating of a stranger to let his giant dog jump on a teenage girl let alone one who has said she is disabled. It nearly knocked me on my ass. He kept saying there was nothing wrong with me until I gave in a showed him that the photo on my disabled badge was in fact my face *Shock horror*. He had no right to pressure me into showing him personal information but it was the only way I could get him out of the way so I could actually get into my car. The police were contacted and he was found and cautioned and I'm pretty sure he wont do it again.

Since then I've had to start using my chair a lot more so it is very rare that I walk into a shop now. However, if I'm on my own and am walking a short distance I freak out that it'll happen again. I don't have the energy to fight my corner. Not that I should have to. I know I don't have to explain myself to anyone but when people are getting arsey and judging you you kinda feel like you have to defend yourself. Its human nature.

The other day I went shopping and took Wilfred, my electric wheelchair, because I wasn't feeling well enough to manually propel myself. I pulled into the disabled parking space singing loudly to Spice Girls. The guy in the car next to me was blatantly staring at me. Like not even trying to hide it. I mean I know I'm fabulous and my singing is top notch but really? I put my badge in the window and got out the car with him still watching my every move. Even when I made eye contact and smiled he still stared. Didn't even smile back. RUDE.

Annnnd then I killed poor Wilfred. I caught one of the wires trying to get him out the car and ripped it out. I then had to wrestle to get a broken electric wheelchair back into the car which was exhausting. The whole time this guy was watching me. I then felt like I was doing some sort of walk of shame when I walked away from my car without my chair. I spent the whole shop paranoid that I was being judged regardless of the fact that I was relying heavily on the trolley to support me. A trolley which only actually had two things in it.

Then came time to leave the shop and I realised I was panicking. I was actually freaking out that the weird staring guy was still going to be there and question me and I really wasn't in the mood to explain myself to ignorant strangers. Plus I'm one of those people that bursts into tears when they get angry which would just be totes awks. For a few seconds I was actually scared to return to my car because my disability is always questioned, even by medical professionals.


I have also been in a shop where I have almost asked the security guy if he would walk me out to my car because an angry looking guy had watched me walk into the shop and hovered around my car checking my badge.

I should not have to be walked to my car because people feel entitled to know what is wrong with me and know my full medical history. Chances are even if I told them what was wrong they wouldn't believe me because they've never heard of it and I'm "Too young" to be disabled.

NOT ALL DISABLED PEOPLE USE A WHEELCHAIR. It's not that difficult to get your head around. There are many reasons people need a disabled space which don't involve a wheelchair.

It is none of your business what is wrong with them and what makes them require that space. None, zip, nada. There is literally no reason you need to know why they get a badge. 

Also whilst we're on the subject YOUNG PEOPLE CAN BE DISABLED TOO. Not that difficult to get your head around either. To pretty simple concepts. If you wouldn't ask a walking old lady why she was parked in a disabled space dont ask a walking young girl. Simple. And personally, I have seen more old people parking in spaces when they are not entitled to than young people. Some Older people class it as their right as an older person. I've even had one man tell me that. 

So next time you see someone who doesn't fit your idea of disabled parking in a disabled space Please don't stare and make them feel so uncomfortable they are scared to return to their car.

If you got to the end thank you so much for reading and give yourself a gold star.

Beth...x

Spoonie Survival Kits

21 October 2015

As usual I had so many plans to have this written and published this morning at an acceptable time. Then my body decided that it wanted to have a hissy fit. Soo I had to doze in the morning to catch up on some zzz's and try and escape epic knee pain. All fun stuff and now I'm awake when most people are heading to bed and still no sign of sleep.

Anyways this post is all about one of my first chronic illness friends I made way back when I joined Twitter looking for support. Pippa is honestly one of the nicest, most supportive and caring girls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and one day I will meet her and give her the biggest hug.

Pippa has started the most adorable project to raise money, awareness and happiness. The Spoonie Survival kits, which you can get on Etsy, are little bags of happiness made by chronic illness sufferers for chronic illness sufferers to show that you are not alone. Everyone who works on the project has a chronic illness and they offer accessible volunteering options for anyone with a disability who wants a chance to do something. Each bag is a surprise with a different range of sizes to suit everyone's budget. 25% of the money goes straight back into the project, funding more bags, and the other 75% goes to a chronic illness charity.

You can find out more about them here and follow them on Twitter.

Spoonie survival kit

Now here's where you come in. Pippa and her spoonie survival kits need your vote for a chance to win £10,000 to further develop the project and reach more people. This money could make a huge difference to the project and help make so many more people smile. All you have to do is click this link and give them a vote by click the thumbs up. Easy peasy. You can also watch Pippas video which explains the project. Voting is open until the 28th and it would mean so much if you could take 5 seconds out of your day to vote and share.

Thank you so much in advance

Beth...x 

Dorkface Shop

19 October 2015

I have wanted a new header for a while now to spruce up the blog and make it more me but I didn't really know what I wanted. When I saw that Jemma had started doing customised headers I knew I wanted her to do it. She is so talented and creative and I knew she would be able to come up with something amazing. All I asked for was a pink haired mermaid and oh my I am so in love. It is everything I wanted and now I just keep going on my blog just so I can see it. It also got my Dads seal of approval as I squealed when I put it up and had to show someone and he was the only one home. He didn't quite match my excitement levels but it was pretty close.



If you're not already following Jemma on Twitter and Instagram what are you doing with your lives? She is one of the nicest girls ever and her instagram feed is just too cute. Also if you want to be inspired to be creative daily you need to follow her blog.

If you don't need a new header but still want some of her art then fear not. She does personalised illustrations and custom work and she also has an Esty Shop where you can get adorable cards like these. How freakin awesome is the Mermaid in Disguise personalised card?

I fell in love with the pink haired girl for obvious reasons and when Jemma put it up on Etsy I have never purchased something so quickly. She also tweeted about needing people to buy stuff so she could buy more art supplies so really I was just helping out a friend. I love it so much and it looks so awesome up on my wall but I couldn't get a picture because the lighting sucks and it kept coming out yellow and gross.





So if you need a new header or just want a custom piece definitely keep Jemma in mind. She's honestly so lovely and talented.

Beth...x


New Animated Films// Home & Penguins of Madagascar

18 October 2015

So I'm a massive kid and a huge fan of animated films. I'm pretty sure the majority of my extremely large film collection is probably animated including nearly all the Disney films. Dreamworks is definitely competing well with Disney for producing some of my favourite animations. The Road to El Dorado, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods to name a few so I was pretty excited to add to new films to my collection. I may however need my dad to build me some more shelves soon. 

Home



Home Review



I've wanted this for ages but as I'm poor I've been waiting for it to come down in price but I just couldn't wait any more. Then the week after I bought it, it dropped by about £3 so you're welcome guys.


At least it was worth a tenner. I've already watched it 3 times so I'm getting my moneys worth. I love it. The way Boovs talk is so damn adorable, everyone should definitely talk like that from now on. It has such a cute story line even though it's about an Alien invasion which separates Mother & Daughter. Tip and Oh become an unlikely pair trying to prevent a second alien invasion whilst finding Tips Mum. Its cute and sad and funny and I love it. 


Penguins of Madagascar



Penguins of Madagascar review

My mum thought I was joking when I said I wanted to watch this film so I had to buy it myself. Shocking behaviour. I decided when I had to stay overnight with my brother in hospital it was the perfect excuse to treat ourselves. I love the Madagascar films (third one not so much) and I saw the advert for it on the Home dvd and it made me actually lol so you know it had to happen.

This film has the most adorable start with cute fluffy baby penguins and it is definitely on a par with Madagascar. The one liners are hilarious and Dave the octopus is such an awesome villain. They storyline is also pretty adorable and I just want to hug Private and tell him he's a valued member of my team. Super spy animals and ninja like penguins going against an evil octopus is a winning combination. 


Have you seen them yet? What did ya think?

Beth...x

Autumn appreciation

16 October 2015

Sorry I disappeared. I've been in  France visiting my Grandparents and then I crashed for a few days because you know Queen of over doing it and all that.

I'm not normally a massive fan of the colder seasons as my body and cold do not get on. I'm a huge sun worshipper and love wearing shorts, getting tanned, going to the beach and being warm. Summer is my favourite. However this year I have found myself getting swept up in the huge love for Autumn minus the being cold bit.


1. Being cosy in big fluffy jumpers and super soft blankets and basically being a burrito of soft things for several months.

2. Sitting in front of the fire for like 5 mins because then I get way too hot and complain that my family is trying to cook me whilst wearing as little clothing as is acceptable.  

3. Drinking all the delicious hot beverages without over heating. All the coffee and all the fancy hot chocolate. 

4. The gorgeous colours and amazing sunsets. 

5. Being inside wrapped up warm listening to the rain and knowing that someone has to actually go out in that whilst you're all cosy.

6. Halloween and scary films. 

7. Boots and fluffy socks. My feet might actually be warm for a little bit. Maybe. Probably not

8. Beanies. I mean no one can tell I haven't washed my hair. What's not to love?

9. The food: soups, stews, casseroles, shepherds pie, custard, rice pudding. Mmmmmmm

10. Going to the Sea. The Sea is so much more exciting in colder windier weather and it is soo refreshing. Definitely need to wrap up and means there's an excuse to eat chips to warm up. 

11. Darker nights mean I can go to bed earlier and not feel guilty about it. Hello Netflix.

What do you love about Autumn?

Beth...x

Wilko Fruits Rhubarb & Vanilla Handwash

6 October 2015

I never thought I would be writing a post about soap but here we are. The Wilko Fruits Rhubarb & Vanilla Handwash has to be the most amazing smelling soap I have ever used so I just had to tell you guys about it. It smells just like rhubarb and custard sweets so it may give you a craving. Its so magical and at the bargain price of 95p.

Wilko Fruits Rhubarb & Vanilla Handwash

I am currently on my second bottle as it smells so good. I nearly cried when we ran out and I had to go back to boring smelling soap. The smell lasts on your hands for ages and you will get caught sniffing them. A friend came round and after they used it I kept catching them with their hands on their face. Its too good to resist. For 95p it lasts really well and bubbles up with only a small amount and then you smell like a magical sweet fairy. They have a huge range of scents if you want something more fruity, less sweet etc and they are all awesome bright colours. There's coconut, lemon, passionfruit, orange, blueberry etc.. There really is something for everyone.

The hand lotion also smells amazing but it is not the best hand lotion I've ever tried. It does sink in to your skin really fast and doesn't leave them slimey. However it doesn't really feel like it adds any moisture to dry skin. If anything my skin felt drier after use. I would just stick to the soap for gorgeous smelling skin.

Cute Cups for Crappy Hands

5 October 2015

If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I am super clumsy and always spilling drinks. In fact I wear a bib when I eat dinner most nights because I'm so damn messy (True story. My Grandma gave it to me as a joke and I love it). This is mainly due to my chronic illness affecting the grip in my hands and causing spasms etc and also because I'm just a clumsy person.

Anyway I've been on a few shopping sprees recently and spent way too much money but I kept getting sucked in by adorable cups that are perfect for my sucky hands. They all have lids and/or straws and they are all adorable. One is even mermaid print (I squealed when I saw it in the shop). They are all pretty purse friendly as well (It may have been the 2 pairs of shoes I got that my bank account was not impressed with).

So I thought I would do a post on all the cute cups (for hot & cold drinks) I have that keep my clothes spillage free and are also great for travelling even if you are blessed with sturdy hands. Spoiler alert: I have A LOT.

Hot Drinks


These two are my absolute favourites and I take them with me whenever I'm travelling. I cannot leave to get in the car without one of these bad boys. I love the But First Coffee one and tend to use it around the house as well but man the Bodum one is amazing.

The only downside to this mug is that it is so damn good at its job that you have to wait at least an hour and a half for your beverage to cool down enough to enjoy. Plus side you can make 2 drinks at the same time and then by the time you're ready for your second one it's perfect drinking temperature. Win win.

Cold Drinks



Cups with lids and straws make the world a better less sticky place. I absolutley adore the cute mason jars with lids. The two smaller one are from B&M and only a pound. There were loads of designs to choose from as well. Matalan also do some for £3. The bigger one is from New Look but I cannot find it on the website.


When I saw the mermaid cup in New Look I may have squealed a bit. It is perfect. Also the Unicorn bottle was too damn hard to resist. Unicorns and mermaids are life and I just couldn't ignore them. These are my main drinking vessels at the moment.


 I also have Penny the Penguin from the West Midlands Safari Park (my brother calls everyone clever/silly little penguins for some strange reason so we are obsessed with penguin themed stuff now). Its so damn cute and even has a carry strap so I can look super cool.


I also have a childs sippy cup for really bad days as its non spill and light enough for me to pick up. I can also have my coffee in it and drink lying down. This is the Tommee Tippee Easy Drink Beaker but I just went into Asda and picked one that was a nice size (and colour - very important). These are a life saver for bad days.

Helen has also done a post on helpful drinking aids for anyone who struggles. Its amazing and I've already added some of the things she suggested to my to buy list so go check it out

What cute cups do you use?

Beth...x

11 Thoughts I Had As A Graduate At Freshers

3 October 2015

Last saturday I headed back to Bangor to meet up with my old flatmates and pretend that we were still students for one night. We stayed in an adorable hotel, watched the rugby and reverted back to drinking sourz out of the bottle and playing drinking games. Sourz was spilt, awesome selfies were taken and a lot of laughing occurred. However once we got to the club I felt sooo old.


Here are some of the thoughts that went through my mind in between drinking, dancing like a pro and belting out R. Kelly Ignition.

1. Why is it so expensive to get in the club? Back in my day...

2. Why does everyone look about 12? Am I really that old? Like seriously how did they get in?

3. Why is everything so sticky? Do I even want to know?

4. What is this music? Do I know this? Is this even classed as music?

5. I may have done a lot of embarrassing things but at least I never had to be carried out of the club by a bouncer or puked on the middle of the dance floor at 11pm.

6. Why are guys so creepy? Do they think this is actually gonna work. No one wants to sleep with you. Please leave

7. I really want a cuppa, is it bed time yet?

8. Whyy do I always get a drink spilt on me? I dont understand. Am I a drink magnet?

9. Yesss Chips time.

10. Thank you kind taxi driver for not being creepy but do you really have to charge so much?

11. Oh my god a bed has never felt this comfy. I never want to move who even cares about the massive patch of spilt sourz.

It was an epic night and the hangover was worth it. Massive shout out to spoons for their unlimited coffee and their epic breakfast. Also Lucozade you are my number one.

Beth...x

Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2015

2 October 2015

This week is Invisible Illness Awareness Week and my body sure as hell knows it. If you read my blog or follow me on the Twitter then you will know that I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome as well as fibromyalgia, raynauds, chronic costochondritits and a few other issues. I also currently have a cold which has sent my pain into over drive. We should be exempt from getting normal people sick on top of chronic illness. It's not fair.

So here's a little insight into being as awesome as me.

These photos are still not me on a really bad day and I still have the remnants of the days makeup on so I look even worse in person. I must remember to get some actual bad day photos. Not that that is high on my priorities when I feel like death,

Yesterday morning I dislocated my hip getting off of the toilet which is an excellent way to start your day. Luckily I didn't have to get my dad to come help me because that would have been awks but he totally would have done because he's awesome. I was then awake for the grand total of an hour before I had to go back to bed for a nap because being awake is exhausting. Seriously all I did was drink a cup of coffee and browse Twitter. That should not be nap worthy. I then woke up from my nap with a beautifully dislocated shoulder which is always a fun way to wake up.

The other day I also somehow managed to pull a muscle in my back getting into the car (clearly didnt warm up properly before doing vigorous exercise). This then sent all of my back into an angry muscle spasm making moving and even breathing horrific. Soo I had to spend the rest of the day horizontal which caused my hips to drop out of place. Why is my body so damn complicated. I've been too exhausted to do anything but also in too much pain to sleep.

Today my muscle relaxants and pain killers seem to be finally working and my back is less angry and I can move without groaning and swearing. However, one of my ribs has decided it doesn't like living where it does any more and has decided to move in with its next door neighbour which is really really uncomfortable. Soo still no breathing for me. Who needs to breathe any way?

Today is the first day I haven't had to have a nap in ages but that may be because I didn't actually make it out of bed until 11;45am. I have however managed to get a lot of blogging done which feels amazing buuut has made my back a lil angry again.

I need to shower because I can't actually remember when I washed my hair & wet wipes and flannels have been my bestie recently. You don't understand how exhausting showering is. Some days it feels like running a marathon. There is so much involved in that one small act of getting clean and I don't have any to spare. It's also freakin painful. Some days even the pressure of the water on my skin hurts.

At the moment my illness isn't that invisible because I look like actual death or zombie chic as I like to call it. However most days you can't tell (minus the lil indicator that is my wheelchair). I still look fabulous with killer eyeliner and banging lipstick and (when its washed) freakin awesome hair but my body is still falling apart. When you see me there is a 99.9% chance that I am in pain, sleep deprived and needing coffee.

Just bear that in mind when you judge someone for parking in the disabled spaces and looking fine. They could be in huge amounts of pain, be struggling to breathe, be super dizzy, want to vomit on you and you will have no idea. If one of your friends/family has a chronic illness and cancels on you a lot please remember it is not their fault. They would love to be able to do it. Maybe offer to rearrange days or even change the plans to something they can join in with like a quiet night in with films and food they can eat.

And don't forget if you need anyone to talk to or just want to know you are not alone I am always here. You can tweet me or email me mermaidindisguise@outlook.com or leave a comment.

Beth...x

30 Things About My Invisible Illness


It is invisible illness awareness week and my body is making sure I know it. I wanted to do so many posts but I have been flat on my back with a horrific muscle spasm which has made my back so angry. It's taken me all of this week but I have finally finished the 30 things about my illness.



1. The illness I live with is...
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome but also Fibromyalgia, Raynauds and chronic costochondritis as a result of the EDS

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year...
2001 maybe. I cant remember I was quite young so one of the lucky ones to get a diagnosis that early.

3. But I had symptoms since...
Birth. My mum said she knew there was something wrong with me as a baby (I was always weird) but no one believed here and just thought she was paranoid or making it up.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is...
Accepting that I cant do everything on my own and that I need to ask for help. Im too damn stubborn for my own good.

5. Most people assume...
That Im lazy and don't want a job. The truth is just living is a job for me some days. Not many people understand how painful just existing can be let alone trying to work as well. My concentration is shocking, I get brain fog, I cant sit or stand in the same position for any length of time and I can't do a lot of things on my own. I'm definitely gonna get hired. 

6. The hardest part about mornings are...
The pain and the exhaustion. I have never woken up and felt refreshed and I usually have to wake up at least half an hour before I actually want to get out of bed so I can move my joints slowly and take painkillers before attempting to move

7. My favorite medical TV show is...
Greys Anatomy. Im addicted. Although I cry every damn time. 

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is..
 
My phone. It's how I communicate with friends (twitter) and my family some days. I've totally face timed my dad to bring me up food/drink when Im in too much pain to get out of bed. I also set alarms for meds and stuff like that on it too

9. The hardest part about nights are...
 The pain and the insomnia. Being so exhausted you can't do anything but stare at the ceiling but still not being able to sleep is torture. 

10. Each day I take 15-20 pills

11. Regarding alternative treatments
I tried acupuncture and it was great for relaxation but nothing else helps with my pain. I have to take medication to function.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose...
I use a wheelchair when Im out and about so my illness is kind of visible but I still get questioned. People are more helpful when Im in my wheelchair but I get asked if I really need it or told I'm too young etc. So I dunno.

13. Regarding working and career
I've just finished a 4 year degree in Biomedical science which was a massive struggle and now I know that that field of work is just too intense for me to go into. I'm struggling to find work that I can physically do and at the moment but I've been volunteering with a charity supporting disabled children.

14. People would be surprised to know...
That I am in pain every minute of every day. I cannot remember the last time at least one part of my body didn't hurt.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been...
That I cant follow the plan I had set out for myself. When I manage to move out I will have to have personal assistants come in and help me with my personal care and cooking etc. I have to plan what I can and cant do. I have to say no more than I want to. I have to cancel plans last minute because my body is too broken.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was...
Graduate university with a 2:1 and go on holiday with my friends. 

17. The commercials about my illness..
Don't exist in the UK

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:
As I was diagnosed so young and have always been ill I don't really have a life before illness. My life has always involved pain. But since my health deteriorated I had to get rid of my horse and I miss him every single day. I would love to get back into horse riding. 

19. It was really hard to have to give up...
Horse riding as mentioned above. Also driving a manual car. I know it's only something small but I loved driving manual and having to switch to an automatic was really hard. It was also heart breaking to have to give up my dream of becoming a vet. That is all I ever wanted and still do but Im just not physically capable of doing it.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is...
Blogging. It is something I can do from my bed, I can do on bad days and I have made some amazing friends and had amazing experiences. 

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would... 
Oh my god I dont even know. Go for a super long walk. Climb the stairs as many times as I wanted. Do a load of baking. 

22. My illness has taught me... 
Who my real friends are. Thanks for sticking around. It's also taught me to not take the little things for granted

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is...

"At least you don't look ill"
"I don't think of you as disabled"

24. But I love it when people...

Make accommodations for me when we are going out without me having to constantly ask. Understand that I might have to change plans. 

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is...
"Life isnt about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain"

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them...

There is so much support out there. Don't let shitty Doctors get to you. You will make amazing friends and they will help you get through this

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is... 
How many amazing people are out their struggling with their crappy bodies. Also how crap some Drs can be.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was...
Sent me an amazing care package of beautiful things I love to cheer me up. Also someone stayed up really late to keep me company whilst I couldn't sleep due to pain.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because...
There needs to be more awareness with making the invisible visible. If people actually opened their eyes and paid attention they would realise it's not so invisible.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel.. 

So happy and loved and I want to give you a big hug. Thank you <3

If you have any questions you can tweet me, email me at mermaidindisguise@outlook.com or leave a comment and I will get back to you. Im here for all of you if you are ever struggling and if you've just been diagnosed and are scared hit me up.

Beth...x
LAYOUT BY MINTY FOX DESIGNS