disability

All posts tagged disability

Hot Off the Press – 19th May 2020

Published May 19, 2020 by helentastic67

Hot off the Press!

Sometimes, blogging about the here and now and the most important reason to blog gets lost in all the detail. So, being careful to consider someone else’s privacy.

Imagine being 29 and all you want to do is survive, to thrive, with a pre-diagnosed medical condition, you have a stroke!

Again, not my story, but a friend.

After over a month in hospital, being tested for everything including CoVid19 and with no answers. Sometimes, this is the way. No answers.

Being kept company by parents, day and night so nurses give the best care. The same care they would give to anybody without disabilities or pre-diagnosed medical conditions. No matter what they are. A short stint in in-patient rehab, where physio appointments went cancelled because of the low expectation of recovery. Parents needing to still be there to advocate for their child to make sure they get what they need.

What to do now?
Well, the hospital and the patient, to be fair want the patient discharged ASAP. The patient obviously very keen to be home where his parents can arrange the best for their child. Well, adult child and the parents could get a reasonable night’s sleep, to continue to love and care for their child as only parents can.

So, in a perfect world, a caring parent/advocate/carer applies to the NDIA for a change in circumstances, so the patient can go home. Extra carer hours can be utilised to provide adequate care in the home. Plus, some much needed respite for the parents. And sufficient physio and Occupational Therapy to return to at least the bare minimum or return to the same level of independence my friend had in the comfort of their wheelchair, not so very long ago. Is it too much to ask? Is it even possible? I guess we don’t know until my friend is in the best environment for this to happen. Which is clearly at home.

They can’t go home until these things can happen.

I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t have the funds to pay for these kinds of things, so the NDIA, a government organisation should prioritise these things, no? Let’s see how long it takes for my friend to be able to go home.

And lastly, I’ll leave you with this great quote that I only know about because a great Aussie disability advocate used it.

Disability is seen this way………
“The soft prejudice of low expectation!”

Please share through your networks to show your support. While these stories go untold people get away with providing sub-standard care. Let no single person with a disability be left behind!

Cheers,
H

Grumpy Old Lady

Published March 9, 2020 by helentastic67

Grumpy Old Lady

Ok, for once I’m not writing about me. Ok, the grumpy old lady in question is not me. I was there and there was a grumpy old lady and for once it wasn’t me.

You know those accessible toilets? The ones with the heavy door (we work at that first) because it’s operated with a button. But I never see the button until I’ve put my whole-body weight against the door and sworn a bit at how hard it is to open and because it’s operated by a button, there is a light to indicate if it’s engaged.

I mean, no one pays attention if the normal lock states if it’s engaged anyway. People still put the stall door and sound surprised when it’s actually locked.

I know, right. I don’t know about anyone else, but I always call out “I won’t be a minute” and I take as long as it takes.

I’m not the one being rude. But I digress, frankly I get access to the accessible loo, I take my bag off and hang it on the strap on the wall and I hang my walking stick on the other. Don’t worry, this will not be a blow by blow account. But, while I’m “busy” the door opens wide and a woman, older seemingly “well to do” looking down her nose at me.

I can only describe this woman or her personality in these words. The look on her face told me she felt her shit didn’t stink. It is a pure Aussie Bogan term at I can’t sugar coat it. There it is.

And I’m 100% sure she looked at my face and thought I was ‘young’ and didn’t belong there. I’m also sure she considered I was on her throne and I should feel shamed enough to just get off. I did not move.

She just seemed happy to stand there in an authorative pose to argue and debate it with me. The damage was already done. She had seen me on the toilet (not that there was anything to see) but no one else needed to see me.

I was ready to suggest if the conversation wasn’t over, she could come in or go out, but could she please close the door. When she decided to leave.

I finished my business and left without another incident. The following meeting with my local DAC (Disability Advocacy Committee) in my local council, I mentioned my fun ‘little’ story of total humiliation.

I learned the lock automatically disables after ten minutes, so homeless people don’t go in there and spend the night and so junkies don’t go in and overdose.

Ok, I get it. But ten minutes, I’m one handed. Have you ever tried working these toilet rolls one handed? That is frustrating too. That is the making of a serial killer.

 

Online Dating

Published March 6, 2020 by helentastic67

Online Dating…. Arghh

I know I covered the Barren Spinster thing, but I didn’t as yet cover the dating with a disability thing. Until now.

After a few years of being single, I tried consciously to do the online dating thing.

Sweet Jesus! The Millennial’s! Can we blame them for that?

I mean, I did the clubs thing back in the 90’s, I was out there, I had exposure and nothing. Most of my 20’s, single.

Can you think of the top three questions you get asked doing the online dating? Please imagine my profile mentioned I did not drink, imagine it was something akin to personality. I wasn’t looking or interested in a quick sleaze. I wanted that eventually, but not from someone old enough to by my dad.

Right!

Question 1, What do you do? I tell them I’m retired. (to avoid catfishing, I quickly follow with retired, but poor) and I do advocacy for people with disabilities. Let me tell you what they want? 1. A quick shag, almost on order like Uber Eats. Cringe!

Older guys want Jennifer Aniston, wearing a tiny bikini while lying on the beach drinking a beer.

  • Are these men A-Grade specimens of man? Deserving of a Jennifer Aniston? Don’t be ridiculous.

Playing the Disability Card

Published December 2, 2019 by helentastic67

Playing the Disability Card

There are times when I have to play my disability card to get results. Sometimes I throw it out there and I have to hope for the best, because it can very quickly be taken out of my hands (in this case, just the once) as I can’t control everything once it gets away from me.

You know that time “You attract more bees with honey?” and I’m sure there’s something about putting innocent bystanders in a situation where they witness something happen and you have to hope someone comes to your defense.

Like today for example.

Buses have replaced trams on my tram route while roadworks are being completed. Today, while leaving my acupuncturist, I saw three buses go past and seeing none anytime soon. I walked about three tram stops. I’ve walked further, in fact the whole way home, but I had an evening adventure planned that I had to save some of my spoons for.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory

So, I saw a bus (tram) pull up to a stop and I stepped it up a little to make it to the bus. If I couldn’t get to the front door of the bus near the driver, maybe I’d make it to the back door. I got to the door half way down the bus and I saw the teenage school boys (I presume they said nothing to the driver to ask he to wait for me, Yes? They had seen me coming) the door started to close, so I put my walking stick in the door. A woman stepped forward to stop the doors closing and yet the bus started to move.

Oh dear!

I tugged at my walking stick; it really was stuck. I could see some people on the bus standing in the isle call and look towards the driver. The bus stopped, thankfully and I put my right foot up on the floor of the bus using my right hand pulled myself up. My walking stick now dangling from my wrist strap.

A woman in a seat near the door moved to get up and I thanked her and told her I was only going two stops. The bus driver appeared at the door behind me asking what was stuck in the door?

 

I explained, I had wanted to catch the bus and my walking stick had been stuck in the door. He didn’t say anything, he just looked ‘put-out’. He got back into his seat and behind me someone else offered me a seat. Word passed down I wasn’t going far anyway.

Once off the bus, I saw a man in high-vis, when I asked him about the roadworks back in Clifton Hill and if it meant they would be completing the accessible tram stop on this route, he had no idea and had simply gone where he had been told and worse still, did not normally do this area, so really had no idea whatsoever. He just directed every question to the PTV (Public Transport Victoria) website and phone number.

Guess I’ve got another thing to add to my list tomorrow. But it just goes to show, people did come to my aid when I needed it and I don’t ever know who they are.

Now, while you read this post, who had a vision/image of an old lady like Mrs Magoo with the grey hair and grey dress being dragged beside a bus by her walking stick?

Yeah! Me too! That could have gone so much worse as the cord around my wrist often gets twisted on pretty tightly, making it rather challenging to get it off in a hurry.

 

Clayton’s Holiday

Published September 23, 2019 by helentastic67

Clayton’s Holidays

There was a drink back in the 80’s and I has become part of Aussie Pop Culture references that crosses all things. The ad was for a drink (beverage) called Claytons.

It refers to it being the drink when you don’t feel like having a drink. A drink without being alcoholic. So, this is a post about a Clayton’s holiday. Get it?

About five years ago, I was with an agency that arranged holidays (group holidays) for their clients. I was able to and included on two holidays, which was really nice as I think it’s been about ten years since I actually had a holiday and even then, that was to Tasmania for two-three nights.

So, the group holidays work out to be only a half day drive from Melbourne and only away over night or two. The other client’s range in age from five (one client’s daughter) to sixty-five (maybe). There were two mini buses with wheelchair lifts on the back (two wheelchairs in the back of each) and usually a car.

I usually bags the front seat of the mini bus (I will do a polishing motion on my backside and one of the carers will effortlessly lift me and deposit me in my seat). Yeah, I do that sexual harassment for the ladies. But I won’t allow a male carer to man-handle the goods. (I’m not light these days, but one lady just effortlessly lifted me making me feel so light.)

Being on a little get away with a bunch of strangers and three or four carers means you have a polite but temporary family type experience.

I always pitch in to help prep a salad or something in the evening as we usually stay somewhere we have a shared meal where ever we stay on the first night, as most meals are eaten out.

The first holiday I went to we stopped on the way back to Melbourne at an outer Melbourne suburb for a lunch and a little adventure.

A friend lived there, so I suggested they join me, so I could catch up with them. Said friend had recently been diagnosed with something quite nasty. They are still in that honeymoon stage of diagnosis where they have had the sugar-coated version of their diagnosis. Goes something like this “OH, you only have 3 lesions…”

Note, privacy being maintained here, yeah. This medical condition is such that when people hear I have a brain injury, I tell them, “Hey! It’s okay, this is my bottom line right now. At least I don’t have XYZ.” Because XYZ is degenerative. It gets worse. It gets shitty. I just gets’ worse.

So, this friend joined my little group of holiday buddies and I briefly introduced them to the group. I’m going to say, I’m terrible with names and I’ve been around this group of people with disabilities now a few years, so in a little desensitized re: medical conditions.

My introduction went like this;

“Brain Injury, MS, Stroke, Stroke, Oxygen deprived at birth (Brain Injury) etc, etc”. And I finished with referring to one particular person in a wheelchair (of which there were five) but the last person I pointed to had the XYZ my non-holiday friend has. “That will be you one day” and they paled considerably.

To be continued

Society

Published August 9, 2019 by helentastic67

Society

Today, my carer told me the most ridiculous thing in the world, I have possible ever heard. This particular carer who will be reading this when it goes live (Yes, I’m talking about you).

A young lady (it’s a loose term, but let’s go with it) cut her hand off to avoid having a job and work. I flicked a demanding look at this carer and gave her a “What the fuck” there’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Apparently, the parents took her to hospital and they were able to re-attach it and with rehab she can use that hand.

I then suggested she could have cut off some fingers (not her whole hand) or some toes and she might qualify for a Disability and get a free pass from work. My carer and I laughed at this suggestion.

I then finished with, if she was one-handed, she would work, everyday for her God-Damned Life.

I’m sure that is enough to make on this point and for my older more mature followers who are still (I hope) reading at this point completely get that the real lesson here is how society is going to hell in a hand basket, if the younger generation think they need to avoid working by doing something so drastic.

Being the age, I am and despite having a brain injury, all of my life I have a good work history. Ok, ‘good’ might be exaggerating it a little, but I don’t know how to sit still and not contribute to the world somehow.

 

Happy Stupid Millennials

Published June 7, 2019 by helentastic67

Happy Stupid Millennial’s

Today, I was down in Collingwood where I rarely go these days and after I saw something that rather pissed me off. I got to do something that made me happy, then very quickly grumpy.

Firstly, I saw a young Millennial take a bite of something out of a paper bag, crumble up the bag and throw it behind her into the gutter.

To be perfectly clear, I would have handled this scenario the same way twenty years ago, or even fifteen years ago before my disability. This shit is like a red flag to a bull, to me. I motioned to her to stop. I told her to go back and pick it up and that there would be a bin around her somewhere and go put it in the bin. This makes me happy to growl at the ‘younger people’.

Then she completely ignored me, walked past me back into the shop she likely got it from, to get something else, that she didn’t do as I suggested, pissed me off even more.

 

Love or Hate, Hit Like

Published April 15, 2019 by helentastic67

Love or Hate, Hit Like

There will be some posts I write and you read when you won’t ‘Like’ at all what I have to say. You may not believe me even. You will be absolutely fair to want to HATE it.

However, you should still give me a ‘Like’ because I say it as I see it and then you can do something about what you have heard if you can and if you believe in it and think the world can be a better place for everyone.

These days I live in a rather wog area of Melbourne, they are mostly baby-boomers in age, their children having moved out, started their own families with more room in suburbs slightly further out.

On a rare occasion, there is a 50-somethiing still living with parents in this neighbourhood and it’s because on occasion the “child” is still in many ways a “child”.

It means they have intellectual challenges for those reading this post, don’t have to live with every day.

Wrong

Published April 12, 2019 by helentastic67

Wrong

There are brief and rare moments going FULL WRONG that makes all thing’s about disability anything but wrong.

I have a habit of weight-baring on my walking stick. I’m not the only one, it just goes to show I do need it, but there are times I use it rather forcefully to the great annoyance of some around me.

One lovely day, going off to our early December family Christmas lunch, which was somewhere nice. We girls can’t always get together on the actual day, so we do a nice lunch out.

It was on a Sunday, because it’s when we are all free.

Are you all aware I go off-grid on the weekend? I don’t go out, I don’t put on a bra or shoes. Yes, I have a shower, however, I don’t do PERSON.

So, going to Hellenic Republic in Kew, George Collobini’s great Greek restaurant. Definitely, a bit expensive, but special so it’s the way to go and it’s got my name on it.

But Sunday, HARD to do PERSON. So, walking stick was riding that thing, have hard and noisy.

Mum growled at me ‘Do you have to be so noisy?’

To which I replied ‘I’m sorry, if only I could live without it!’

I’m sure I also told her to ‘Go ye forth and multiply’, but in other words, yes my favourite ones. Starting with my favourite F word ending in “off” and mum laughed.

So proud of my relationship with my mum at times like this.

I’m More Than Just a Stroke

Published March 29, 2019 by helentastic67

More than just my stroke

I’m More Than Just a Stroke

There is so much judgement to having a stroke. Normally I get it by just a look sent my way from someone in passing. I usually notice it and go for the wry smile anyway. I prefer to kill with kindness.

The look

Sometimes others witness this judgement and they take care of it too. To be clear my mum personalises every single slight that happens to me. So, she reacts like it’s all happening to her. She can’t help herself.

Mum

But the carer while arranging her social engagements for the Sunday afternoon, she told her friend she had me in the morning. She described me as and in the context of “Helen’s forty-five and had a stroke.” Something about the tone she used, I responded with a “Yes?” with the end of the word lifted. Raised my eyebrows some. She sniggered a little and seemed reluctant to share.

Sniggering 1

Her friend’s judgement was swift “forty-five and had a stroke? That’s young for a stroke.”

I reminded her I’d been in my late thirties, but she informed me that he had put him (her friend) in his place, that I hadn’t been a drinker or a smoker.

Drinker and Smoker 1

Big love her way. Bless her cotton socks.

But I reassured her, I’m used to that level of judgement from complete strangers. I told her it was fine, I wasn’t even offended. I had a fairly thick skin in some ways these days and I will growl a questioning grumpy “What?” at someone who gives me a look of disrespect or I will give them a “FUCK YOU” if needed.

Fuck you

So, there are times, it’s just not worth it to need to advocate every single time someone disrespects me or I wouldn’t leave the house or answer the phone or deal with family. I would just stay home and wait to die.

Waiting to die

I do of course reward and thank people who take the time to simply step out of my way, so I can pass and I don’t make a big thing of it, so I incline my head slightly and give them a quiet thank you in their direction.

Thank you

 

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