How I Cope With My Disability …

As many of you know, I have a disability that puts me in a lot of pain most of the time. I either have to use a wheelchair or use sticks to get around and sometimes it takes up to an hour to get out of bed.


Sleep at night can be hit and miss. When I move, it wakes me up as shooting pains course through me. I used to use blogging as an escape from the discomfort until I started having difficulty thinking of things to write because of the pain.

I turned to playing games on the XBOX One as it allowed me to disappear into another world, another realm, another place completely by chasing down monsters, battling robots, or travelling through space to new galaxies, wiping out whole colonies of bad guys. Or good guys, depending on the character. My gamertag bought amusement to people as it is Toe Blarone. A play on the chocolate, and keeping the one word I have had in my tag for years – Toe. [Edit -13/05/2018 – This has recently changed as Toblerone didn’t like me using the name. It is now Chocolate Toe]


I started watching a few broadcasts of people playing the same games I did and enjoyed what they were doing, and I would talk to them in their chat and ask them how they find “streaming”.

  1. (noun) Computing 
    A method of transmitting or receiving data (especially video and audio material) over a computer network as a steady, continuous flow, allowing playback to start while the rest of the data is still being received.


One of the people I spoke to about it, said that they started it due to their disability. After I thought about it for a few days and visited more and more channels, I decided to give it a go myself. A proper go. I had already tried twice before. Once for a couple of weeks on and off on the streaming platform Twitch, and then once at a special event on 29th April 2017 on the newly merged with XBOX channel, Beam.


I spoke to these people for a few weeks until I thought about it myself. Maybe if I gave it a proper go. On the recently rebranded MIXER – which had been Beam. When I started, I had 5 followers. They were all friends. People who also had an XBOX and played games, and on occasion, streamed. I mentioned in a couple of the other channels that I was going to give it a go, and … things didn’t’ go as planned.
The stream would stop suddenly and turn off; the quality would drop to unwatchable; the sound would turn robotic; the video would just freeze. So I decided to give it up. I mentioned to one of the people I followed that it had turned into a cake full of laxatives and rotten eggs. They told me to contact the support desk and get it fixed. I did so. Over the next two weeks, I was getting support for each new issue that popped up, and it was being fixed almost straight away. Because I had streamed in that event in April, I was given one year of Mixer Pro for free, which meant I got priority support.
By the end of September, my stream was working well, and I had built up 50 followers on there which was seriously impressive. To me. One of the people who helped me, well, I say help, more like inspired me to start, was a “partner” of Mixer. A partner is someone who stands for the company, they show the face of the business and promote it by being the best they can be and by being interactive. I decided that I was going to subscribe to this person as he had shown me a lot of support.
By the end of October, my follower count had passed 100, and I was so moved by it. That 100 people wanted to watch when I was online. Of course, not all of them turned up. Most days, nobody did. I felt dejected and wanted to throw in the towel again, but was persuaded otherwise. Told that if I have a schedule, then that would help. So I set a schedule, and posted every time I went “live”.
When I had no one there, I still talked. I acted as though I had an audience there. I talked about what I was doing. I talked about anything. Even current events. Sometimes it felt so good just talking. It really took my mind off everything. I didn’t think of the pain which made it easier.
I started feeling a lot happier as streaming made me smile. It didn’t make me think about going outside which I am very limited in doing. (Have you ever tried getting a wheelchair down 3 flights of stairs?) By the end of November, my follower count was at 200. I never thought I would ever reach that amount of people. Some even came back regularly to watch.
77 09 September 7th 2014
Mid-December I decided I wanted a target by the end of the year. I wanted to go into 2018 with 300 followers. December 30th I was on 296. I resigned myself to being at that stage, as I didn’t plan on streaming on New Year’s Eve. I was convinced otherwise though. I was told I should see in the new year, live on stream. So I did. With 305 followers.
I had done it. I decided I wanted to be at 500 by the end of 2018. I figured that at the rate the followers were growing, I should about do it by November.
The Partner who I had subbed to, and he had later made me a moderator on his channel, decided to “Raid” me in January. When a streamer finishes his or her stream, they take all of their current viewers to another channel and host them. It gives them some more air time and introduces the viewers to someone they may not have seen before. This caused my follower count to rocket, and I was dumbstruck and starstruck. To have someone of that calibre raid me was something I never dreamed of happening.
 As a result of that, by the end of January, I was on 496 followers.
I was part of a raid that went into the channel of the highest profile streamer on Mixer. This guy was the first person to reach 100,000 followers and 1,000,000 views. This guy knew very few people in his channel as they would come and go. He knew his mods and a few of his subscribers.
At one point he said “Toe Blarone? I’ve seen that name. I have heard about you on twitter. I have heard good things.” (I may have fangirled a bit there) This guy knew my name!
It is now 18th February 2018, and I have 588 followers on Mixer. My aim is to be a Partner. Maybe this year, maybe next. I think I can do it.
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Streaming helps me deal with my disability. It helps me deal with not being able to go out. It helps with my anxiety. It helps with talking to people. It helps me to not think of things. It helps tremendously. And I no longer hide my face. I have my camera on when I am “Live”.
I am currently saving to buy a computer that allows me to better my streaming capabilities as my laptop just can’t handle it. I already have some parts on order, but a have a few things left to get. I am hoping to be fully interactive by the end of June this year.
If streaming can do this for me, then there are activities that can do the same for you. Maybe streaming isn’t your thing, but there may be things you can do that will help. It is not the end of everything with a disability. Things can get better. Things will get better. But you have to work at it a bit to make it get better. You can’t have it fall into your lap.
I have made a lot of new friends. doing this.
If you want to put a face to the name, then head to my Mixer channel below.


Sunday Photo Fiction – A Dragon’s Tale

Every week a photo is donated to use as a prompt to create a piece of fiction in 200 words or less. The challenge runs from Sunday to Sunday, and y9ou can take part at any point in that week, not just on a Sunday.

If you want to have a go, then click on the Sunday Photo Fiction, image and head over to the page. If you want to read what others have written, then click on the blue frog image below it.




I watched the people walk past, completely oblivious to my observations and plans to lay waste to the area around. My time of watching is now over.

I smile and leap from my perch. I spread my wings to their full width and flap them; the beat of my leathery membranes cause a “wumf” and I feel the power as I soar upwards. I laugh as the humans scatter, screaming and running for cover.

“Diiieeeee!” I shout as I reach the pinnacle and turn downwards. I take a deep breath start grinding my rear teeth to start sparks. I release a billow of flame melting everything in my path. Fire leaps from house to house, from person to person. I laugh louder at the screams of terror, and the cries of the dying.

I soar upwards again and turn sharply to plummet. I fold my wings back to my sides, and release another billow of flame and watch the humans turn to ash in front of me. I see the devastation around me, and …”

The child taps the side of my perch stopping my daydreams. I can’t even move my wooden eyes since the spell turned me to this.

Friday Fictioneers – Date Night

Every week, Rochelle gives us a donated photo to use as a prompt to write a piece of fiction in around 100 words. If you want to have a go, then click on the Friday Fictioneers image, and if you want to read what others have written, then click on the blue frog image.



Photo © Liz Young

 “Hey babyface, how ya doin’ t’day?

Look Army, I have told you before, I am not interested

Aww, g’won. A night out wi’ me is a step up from dese fools

I don’t care. You went for a drink with Dolly and no-one has seen her since

Don’ worry ’bout ‘er. She’s arahnd somewhere

Look, Army. I am going to use small words that you will understand

Aww, don’ be like dat



Because your dates always disappear. Where’s Dolly? Tell me that.

Okay. Ah’ll tell ya. She went on ahead an’ had a beer an’ got smashed.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Children Of The Earth

Every week a photo is donated to use as a prompt to create a piece of fiction in around 200 words which is called Flash Fiction.

If you would like to have a go, click on the Sunday Photo Fiction image, and if you want to read what others have written, then click on the blue frog image.


 “The world was a lot different then,” Paula stated to her students. “We thought we could control the course of the planet. We thought by reducing our energy we could save it. Some felt otherwise and stood against climate control. They claimed it didn’t really exist”

 “We tried to turn solar power into life-saving formats. They worked for a while, but the planetary resources no longer existed and the planet became unstable. Quakes became so regular; you could set the time by them.” Looking down at her notes, Paula thought back to the days before the quakes. The days when sitting in the sun did not kill.

“Some people said following the path of Noah, and building an ark, heading for pastures new.”

“Of course this started arguments across the world as to who would or should go in the ark and who would lead when the world ended.”

Looking out the bubble to Earth 7, HD13931 system, Andromeda galaxy, she wondered how long until it all happened again. Who would become the next Children of the Earth, as she had become one when humanity destroyed the sixth planet to share the name, like the five now destroyed predecessors?