Hello, my name is Lisa. Welcome to my blog Alieshia.com where I blog about personal finance in a disability-friendly and accessible way.
I had huge plans for my life including going away to university to study veterinary medicine. I wanted to be well-off and ‘successful’ in life. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to my plan.
I started to get sick in my early teenage years, I was diagnosed with ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) By my early 20’s became completely reliant on care, I couldn’t tolerate any light or sound and needed help with feeding. I spent years in bed whilst life passed me by. My peers had graduated from university, settled down with partners, and were starting families. In a world that was completely alien to me.
By my early 30’s I had improved enough to be able to do 1 day of very limited activity a week but I was far from recovered.
One day I dislocated my knee simply by changing direction when walking. After that, I noticed myself dislocating more and more joints doing relatively little. Unfortunately, my health started to further deteriorate. I noticed that I was getting a lot of other health problems such as difficulty with swallowing, difficulty urinating, very rapid heart rate, and so on.
After seeing many specialists at various different hospitals, I was diagnosed with a genetic condition called Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. hEDS affects a type of connective tissue in your body called collagen. My body makes mine to the wrong recipe. Collagen is the glue that holds everything together in your body. With hEDS, this glue is more than a Pritt stick than superglue.
I was also diagnosed with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which means my heart rate shoots up if I go from lying to sitting or sitting to standing. POTS and hEDS go hand in hand.
Over the years I have struggled with anxiety and depression relating to feeling a failure because of my conditions. I have been unable to do all the things that I considered I needed to do to be a successful person. I didn’t get to go to university. I’ve not worked since I was medically retired from the part-time supermarket job straight out of school and I have had to live on disability benefits for many years. Meaning I am about as far from well-off and I could get.
It has taken me a long time to realise that there isn’t just one measure of success. I have learned to live within the constraints of my disabilities and the situation I find myself in. I take health matters in my stride. Whilst I may have lost my mobility and have to spend vast amounts of the day laying down or asleep; just to get through, my brain still works ok. My situation could in reality be much worse.
I have had to learn how to manage on a limited budget so that I can live and eat well without breaking the bank. I have learned to manage my very limited energy resources so I can spend time reading and writing. I’ve learned that success isn’t defined in only one way. I can set my own goals and it doesn’t matter how small they are or how long they take to complete. I can live a happy life and that in itself is a success.
It is from these things I’ve learned over the years that gave me the idea to start my blog.
Disability is very expensive. On average disabled people face costs of £583 more per month and when you are often on limited means to start with it takes a lot of juggling just to survive.
I want to share all the tips and tricks I have learned that allow me to have a semi-decent lifestyle despite a lack of money. I also want to show people that you can be successful whatever your situation. We can design our own standards of which to live up to.