Saturday Submissions – Switching Up My Life: How Gaming Helps Me Cope With Disability

Today’s ‘Saturday Submissions‘ guest post comes from the lovely Melissa over on the blog ‘AutisticZebra

You can also find her over on Twitter by the handle @TheAutisticZebra

Here, in the very first of our ‘Saturday Submissions‘, Melissa speaks about how Gaming has helped her to cope with her Chronic illness. If anyone knows me, they’ll know how much I love gaming, especially Nintendo, so I am quite jealous as well as being delighted for her with what she just picked up for herself and this post seems very appropriate to be the first of the Saturday Submissions!

Please enjoy and if you would like to take part in Saturday Submissions, please see below the post for further info.

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Switching Up My Life: How Gaming Helps Me Cope With Disability

“I turn forty next week. And as an early birthday present, I have just bought myself a Nintendo Switch. I will, of course, share it with the kids, but even if I didn’t have any kids, I’d have bought it. I never thought I’d get into gaming in my thirties, but here I am.

The Nintendo Switch box, plus The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild game.

I was never that into gaming as a child. We didn’t have a console and had limited access to games. The only game my dad ever bought us was a PC chess game. Somehow we ended up with two other games, Prince of Persia and one I think was called Leisuresuit Larry in the Land of The Lounge Lizards! Oh, and Tetris. And Solitare. So, a deprived childhood.

Original Donkey Kong Game

Original Donkey Kong Game

On the odd occasion that I’d be visiting a house where video games were played, I’d do my best to join in. This was how I got to experience Donkey Kong and a few racing games. And I did terribly. I could not understand the rules or controls or stand not doing that well. And being teased about it. And yet, I loved watching the others play. I admired the graphics and everything else that went into the games. I just thought they weren’t for me.

Nintendo Wii

Nintendo Wii

And then, in 2011, when I was the grand old age of 34, my son won a Nintendo Wii in the school Christmas raffle. He was four, and as he has since proclaimed: “that day changed my life forever”. He’s not the only one. We have since moved on to the Wii U, as well as two 3DS handheld consoles, and a laptop bought just for gaming.

Playing Life in Hard Mode!

Playing Life in Hard Mode!

The arrival of video games into my life happened to coincide with when my health started to go seriously downhill. And I discovered that video games are the perfect accompaniment to days spent unable to get off the sofa. They provide the ultimate distraction. On days that I can’t physically play them, I watch the kids play them and that helps with the pain as well.  They help keep my brain sharp. They are a fantastic way to bond with the kids, to enter their world. Especially as both my kids are completely obsessed about video games and hardly talk about anything else. It’s a real advantage to know what they are talking about.

Original Nintendo Consoles With Games

Original Nintendo Consoles With Games

And so, to put it mildly, I am hooked. I told my kids that my ultimate life goal is to play every game that Nintendo has ever released. They laughed and said it’s an impossible goal. I say nothing is impossible, and at least it gives me something to aim for!

Nintendo Switch Logo

Nintendo Switch Logo

And so, this morning, I picked up the just-released Nintendo Switch. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I actually feel happy, rejuvenated, really alive. My pain has melted into the background as the excitement and adrenaline is kicking in. And as I wait here for the kids to get home from school so we can have a great Unboxing Ceremony, I can’t help reflecting on how gaming has allowed me to cope so much better with being disabled. And I’m sure I’m not the only one!”

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Thanks so very much to Melissa from The Autistic Zebra for giving us our first post for our Saturday Submissions guest blog post.

How do you distract yourself from your chronic illness? What hobbies and pass-times do you enjoy? Are you a gamer too?
Please leave a comment of advice or help for Melissa and others in your situation. Share your thoughts on how to take your mind off your illness.

Be sure to check out Melissa’s links above and show her some support 🙂

————- Wanna Be Part of Saturday Submissions? ————-

All you have to do is tell us a little about yourself and write a blog post in relation to your chronic illness, all welcome!

You can include photos (preferably your own, if found online be sure to add links to where you found them)

Be sure to add links to your social media accounts so people can link back to you OR You can write it anonymously if you like
🙂

You can send your submissions to: irishpotsies@gmail.com

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David Bowie Tribute Gig

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Thanks to John Steele and all involved for organising this years David Bowie Tribute Gig as a fundraising gig for both myself and Zondra Meaney (She is also from Limerick and also has Dysautonomia, EDS, and many serious secondary conditions) with all proceeds going towards each of our respectful Medical Funds.

It is on Friday the 10th of February in Dolans Wearhouse Limerick. Tickets are only €10 and can be purchased HERE, Last year this Bowie Gig sold out fast so be sure to get your Tickets early!

It has an excellent line up of local talent including: Falldogs, Shardbourne, Eammon Hehir, Parliament Square, Theme Tune Boy, Siobhan O’Brien, Ronan Mitchell (Foxjaw) The Alvin Purple Experience and The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, to name just a few!

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To raise extra funds there are also beautiful posters designed by Ken Coleman especially for this night, They are size A3 on a matt card finish at a price of €20 each, there are only 50 made and a lot of them have been taken already so to be in with a chance to get yours put your name down HERE asap.

If you cant make the night but would perhaps like to find out more or donate to the funds separately you can do so at the links below:

Lette Moloney’s Go Fund Me

Zondra Meaney’s Go Fund Me

Alternatively, sharing this blog post to your friends would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you all and again to all involved,

Lette 🙂

Rare Disease Day Ireland 28th Feb 2015

IDA FB HeaderRareDDayIf you would like to submit your story, an image or anything you like to raise awareness for Saturday’s Rare Disease Day please email irishpotsies@gmail.com and I will run it on the Facebook page and blog, it can be anonymous if you prefer.

I left all of this a bit late but will attempt to do a blog update highlighting the shortfalls in the Irish Health System relating to the treatment of rare diseases and I hope to do a video.

I have been feeling pretty rough lately so I will do my best 😉