Once upon a time our family had a cat which had kittens. There was a Ginger cat which was called “Ginger Biscuit”. It very briefly had a rather wry misname of ‘Crumb’ when Mum baked out of the drive way and it didn’t get out of the way. It sustained a broken leg and after a very expensive trip to the vets, came home with a metal rod in its leg. He survived to sun bath on our concrete for his vitamin D, but alas that’s just background. The temperament of this particular cat was really sweet. I once picked him up and sat with him on the couch. At the start he didn’t much go for my need to sit with him on the couch, so I had to hold him to my chest with both arms. Poor Biscuit didn’t have a chance really, however luckily within 2-4 minutes he was touched in and fast asleep purring…
There is something about having a disability and being taken away from your home where you can maintain some of your own independence that is like being held hostage.
When at home, I can pretty much fend for myself. I don’t leave the house every day of the week if I can help it and I prefer to have the help of a carer on the days I do leave the house, but when I’m out of my comfort zone I have to rely on the volunteer assistance from family or friends. I cannot do my own hair, trim my own fingernails or toenails or dry and dress in a timely manner and endeavour. Eventually, like Ginger Biscuit I just accept fate and take what I can get, make the most of it and go to sleep.
And this plays on the depression.
If you think it’s a 1st world problem that I can’t do my own mani/pedi, I should be so lucky! My nails are soft these days and bend back causing pain, my left toenails if too long get stubbed and badly damaged. My left fingernails get in the way when I’m trying to exercise that hand and keep my fingers flexible. So, yes? My fingernails are an issue. But if you want a stronger example: try this.
Met a woman from the Barwon District, who had come to tell us of her experiences of the NDIS being piloted in her region.
She was in a wheelchair and probably in her late 40’s – early 50’s. She had a package to provide her carers and as she needed a Carer to go from bed to her wheelchair where she spent her day and to a toilet and back to her chair or bed, you might like to imagine the timing of her carers could be rather critical.
She gave the example that one particular day, she couldn’t wait to go to the toilet and her carer was some hours away, so she rang her service providers to request her carer earlier.
They could not provide it to her.
As she sat in her chair on the stage, she told us she couldn’t wait and in the best of spirits announced to us that when her carer did arrive at the rostered time she would have more of a mess to clean up!
Now, I’ve had some “shitty days!” But she was so brave to announce it to us like that and can you imagine it’s a way some people get held hostage to a situation far from their control…