Meeting Report – Saturday 19th October 2019  

See the full Report on Our meeting and Listen to our Guest speakers here –

Our Meeting was held at Leicester Racecourse, thanks to the generous support and community spirit of Rob Rob Bracken, CEO of Leicester Racecourse, and the hard work of Yvonne Holyland head of their hospitality department – Thank you from all of our members

Introduction

Where we clarified some guiding principles of the group and our meetings 

Confidentiality 

As a support group, we encourage all to speak openly about what issues that they face, but as such we ask everyone to respect everyone’s privacy and keep confidential any specific personal matters that are supplied during our meetings 

We are not doctors  

We are not medically trained or qualified, so we will never seek to advise on treatments or medical matters. Whatever advice or personal experiences are shared, everyone should always consult with their own medical and healthcare experts for the best medical care and advice. 

We are not a charity 

We are not a registered charity, we handle no money, we have no money. We are just people helping people.  Where we require money to fund leaflets or posters, we approach local companies for them to buy on our behalf. 

Positive Only 

We are a support group, with the emphasis being upon support, so we encourage everyone to seek the positive in what we discuss, in our members situations and our overall attitude to our mutual challenges. Let us always try to find solutions rather than be dragged down by the problems, and let us always give encouragement and hope to each other. 

Tolerance & Friendship  

The group is for everyone, and we can all seek different things from belonging to this group, but at the very least I hope we will all find some degree of friendship and comfort from meeting and knowing our fellow members.  Let us all be tolerant of differences and respect that balance disorders come in many flavours and affect any person in any walk of life and at any age – so we of all groups, should acknowledge and celebrate the variety and differences in our members. 

Charity Support 

The group is supported by the Menieres Society and VeDA as an official support group listed by both of their web sites. We support both charities in their good work for all things related to balance issues.  We have agreed to abide by their own good and common-sense guidance for support groups and we will encourage members to consider membership of either charity and sharing of member contact details with both at future meetings. Fund raising ideas on their behalf will also be discussed going forward. [See Our Friends section for details and links for both charities]

Guest Expert Speaker Was Michaela Burton   

Vestibular audiologist, hypnotherapist and mind coach

Michaela is a vestibular audiologist, hypnotherapist and mind coach.  Working at Leicester’s renowned NHS Balance Clinic.

Michaela’s presentation will be on aspects of her work in helping so many balance disorder patients to find a better quality of life , through her approach to both the body and the mind. 

Title – “Yes and no…” It depends on how you look at it.  Perception of your experience and the meaning it has to you affects your response influencing what happens next. Stress and anxiety impacts balance and recovery.

If you have a balance condition and suffer with anxiety  – Michaela’s presentation is one to watch !

“Based in Leicester since 2000 I have had the benefit of working with Prof. Peter Peter Rea and Mr. Anil Banerjee, world renowned consultants in balance assessment and treatment, for many years. I have always found it very important to be a calm and approachable listener whilst helping people find what is right for them and assisting them achieve their aims in a way that provides the most benefit. My experience in treating people with imbalance led me obtaining my MSc degree in Audiology rehabilitation with specific interest in the effects of anxiety in imbalance . In addition I studied and gained the Diploma in hypnotherapy and mind coaching. 

I take great joy and pride in being able to help people with both the physical rehabilitation of their balance system and in improving their mental well being, whether this is directly associated with imbalance or from other factors or circumstances. 

You can find out more about Michaela, her work and how to contact her on  www.do-it-differently.co.uk

View Michaela’s Presentation in full on our facebook page

Click the link below

https://www.facebook.com/lifeonthelevelsupportgroup/videos/1006081523071643/

 Following Michaela’s presentation,  We then heard from our own support group member and our “head of media”

Rupal Rajani – BBC Radio Leicester Host

Rupal Spoke about My life as a broadcaster and journalist –  and facing the challenges of a serious balance disorder, whilst maintaining my career.  

As an experienced Broadcast Journalist who has worked for the BBC for 29 years. Rupal has produced and presented various programmes at BBC Leicester, BBC Asian Network and East Midlands Today. Born in Uganda and arrived in the UK when she was only two, Rupal’s documented journey back to her country of birth won Rupal an a Race in the Media award in 2005. She has continued to present various programmes on BBC Radio Leicester and met and interviewed many celebrities in her time.

Around 9 years ago she was diagnosed with Vestibulopathy with Visual Preference. Damage to her inner ear which has affected her balance significantly. She was able to continue work after an absence of around 8 months with the help of the Leicester Balance Clinic and regular vestibular physiotherapy . The condition worsened again in early 2015 which led to her being off work for over two and half years. She works as a freelancer and writes about how the condition has affected her life and hopes to help others through her blog https://rupalrajani.blogspot.com/

See Rupals warm and intimate story on our face book site by clicking on the link below

https://www.facebook.com/lifeonthelevelsupportgroup/videos/2462779903995973/

We then discussed possible members participation in

Partners On The Level

Our dedicated focus upon the role of partners and how we can share best practice, advice, knowledge and support to all partners.  Often the role of a partner is also very difficult, as their lives are significantly affected, yet no one is available to help them – until now.   We have launched a sub group where partners can join, contribute and even contact other partners to help each other “be the best partner” that they can be. 

Members Stories

Members are encouraged to share their own story either in writing or being interviewed and videoed by our own Rupal Rajani.

Member 2 Member Contact

An opt in service where members share their contact details with each other to maintain contact between our meetings.

Informal conversations between everyone in small groups 

Finally, conversations were held between members, including our guest speaker, enabling friendship and sharing. This phase of the meeting lasted for over two hours, as much of the benefit for our members is found in simply meeting people who share so much in common with themselves, and being able to talk to people who do understand completely what is being discussed.

Well done and thank you to all members and guests who made it to the meeting – your involvement is what makes each meeting so special and rewarding for all.

Please come and join us if you feel we can help and don’t wish to face your challenges alone.  You are very very welcome. 

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