Friday, August 14, 2015

A new paradigm...

As I sit here on my borrowed hospital bed I'm waxing philosophical about the changes in our family life this summer. This has been a week where I've felt like Don Quixote charging at the windmill...  Our healthcare system and community level supports have been gutted like fish and left hanging - and I don't mean in a good way. What I experienced as a part of the healthcare system in the 70s and 80s is certainly very different today.  There is confusion and a lack of true backbone.  Everything we've got to allow me to cope, from wheelchairs to ramps to crutches have come about because we got them not because the agencies who are supposed to exist to support us have done anything - the agencies are so back logged and so bereft of funding they can do nothing for months.  Even the hospital's in the region are suffering because they can't employ enough people to do the diagnostic testing required.  All radiological departments should have 2 shifts running - an MRI that was ordered on July 7 hasn't even been booked yet!  Southlake Hospital, RVH and Soldiers Memorial are all booking into December.  That's nearly 6 months... I won't know if I need surgery until after the MRI and my doctor cannot send me for the advice of the specialist without a proper diagnosis.  So I sit and suffer and my family suffers as they attempt to adjust to this life change.

I'm frustrated and I'm trying to channel my frustration into activities that are co-creative with the universe, like making jewelry and doing my prayer shawls...  Teaching has been a godsend and although I joke with my students that I feel like a giant "talking head", at least I feel like the students are benefiting from the life wisdom and healing skills I've garnered over the years...

Since I last wrote I've managed to get an electric wheelchair and the loan of a manual wheelchair to take in the van.  Brian and friends installed some patio stones along the side of the driveway to accommodate the transfer of my walker and the wheelchair to the van; prior to the installation of the patio stone walkway I was sinking into the sand and twisting my leg.  We're looking for something that's as high as a barstool but really sturdy so I can sit in the kitchen and try to cook.  I haven't cooked a meal in 2 months.  Brian rebuilt the stairs from our office to the living room, turning what was 2 steps into 3 so it's easier for me to negotiate.  I've had a fabulous physiotherapy session and another one coming on Monday... 

Back in the day many of these things would've been covered by our healthcare system but not anymore.  Keeping disabled, middle-aged and senior citizens in their homes should be the objective of our governments - fewer paid staff, fewer buildings to maintain and happier constituents.  I want to live here as long as possible because it 58 I shouldn't have to give up my home for the want of about $7,000 worth of equipment.

Suffice to say we're doing our best to cope...  Angeni turned 17 this week and will be having a bonfire party tomorrow night with about 11 of her closest friends.  In previous years I would've made the cake and decorated it in that strange, mutant way I always did...  But not this year.  It will be a purchased cake and I will do my best to instruct my husband on what disgusting things to pick up at the Bulk Barn which I can use to at least decorate the cake...  He will be supervising.  Perhaps I should really stretch to see the positive in this - 12 teenagers? In our backyard?

I look forward to being able to drive sometime in the next month.  The thing I want more than anything is to get a stair lift so I can sleep in my own bed.  I desperately want to get back into my own bed.  I'm grateful for this hospital bed but it's enough now...  Trying to take one day at a time.  I feel and see the passage of summer without experiencing it since I can't get outside very often.  I hope your summer is going well.  It is new moon today and here's to new beginnings for us all!

Blessings friends.

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