“Of course you can’t go to a concert, festival or any type of big event Vanessa you have got Osteogenesis Imperfecta”… the word ‘No’ has been imbedded in all of us that have O.I for our whole lives. The answer is always no you can’t, or no it’s too dangerous – and yes, sometimes that is the situation,= but also its only dangerous if you don’t be smart or safe about it. So, my answer back has always been ‘Why Not?’. Yes, there are a lot of things that we need to take into consideration having O.I a lot more than the average person I know, but it’s not impossible. I’m going to share with you all how I got round these obstacles, because of course you all know by now that I was and still am determined to live a ‘normal’ life.
First things first, I’m not going to lie going into a big crowd still, and always will, terrify me, especially because of my small stature. I feel like I am in overdrive… constantly having to be on the lookout for any potential hazards, anyone that could bump into me or basically anything that could cause me to have a mishap. It is super scary at first but it doesn’t have to stop you if that’s what you want to do, we shouldn’t have to miss out on ‘normal’ fun activities that we can enjoy just because we have O.I.
When going to any event, concert or festival etc, I will always book any disabled assistance or seating or whatever they have available. Now don’t get me wrong, when I was younger, I never wanted to, as I struggled with accepting the fact that I had to be a little different at times. I was always scared of missing out, but in actual fact I realised that it’s so much easier asking for that extra help and its way more beneficial. I now think to myself, if I live with O.I why not take anything and everything that is going to make it easier – I think we will all agree that we totally deserve any perks that we get. I think my friends love it more than I do, they are thinking that we are the Kardashians, getting the V.I.P treatment everywhere we go. Most places are very good with accessibility and you’re always guaranteed to be closer to the front and get to skip all the queues, if that’s not a win win I don’t know what is…
Last year I went to an outdoor camping music festival but instead of camping, myself and my friends booked into a house down the road from it and stayed there so we could still go to the festival but have the luxury of sleeping in a proper bed… everyone agreed it was the best decision we made. Was I annoyed that I didn’t get to camp like everyone else? Absolutely not! Camping is totally not my thing anyways so that part didn’t bother me. Was I scared of the huge crowd and alcohol etc being involved too? Yes of course I was, but again, we were just smart about it. We stayed in the ‘V.I.P’ box and my friends went and got us drinks or anything I needed so I didn’t have to make my way through the crowd, and you best believe that I used every disabled toilet and got an escort to the toilet if we felt like we needed it.
If you ever feel overwhelmed ask for that extra help, it is there for a reason. I have to say, my friends and family are always so good to me if we are out and about, I don’t think I would be half the person I am today or have the confidence to be out and about without them being by my side and always looking out for me no matter what.
Never let your disability stop you from doing and experience life to the fullest that you possibly can.