I’ve had carers or support workers now for about thirteen years. Long enough to know the more people between me and my carers means anything they need to know, do, which entrance to use, etc. The more things can potentially go sideways.
When things go sideways that early (most of my carers in the morning around 9.30am) As I’ve been blogging how long now? I knew I mentioned in my early blogging days, I would complain about carers arriving early. This shit is still happening.
This is when I would point to my face and ask “Do I look like a morning person?”
Twenty-four hours a day is morning for me. I’m not a morning person, I’m not a go out at night person, I’m barely a person. I don’t mean I’m not human. I just am constantly grumpy and don’t cope.
My main agency lately, that provides my morning and rare afternoon carer doesn’t have the personal to cover all my shifts. They have already merged with another large agency I’ve dealt with years ago, but they still don’t have support workers in my area. So, two of my shifts each week, they outsource to another agency. One shift to another agency, the other shifts to another agency. Can you feel my frustration already?
Ok I will blah
I have passed on enough details.
No perfume, park on this side of the street, in this supermarket carpark. Enter the apartment complex here, not here. Come up in the lift to the second floor, etc, etc.
Sounds like a lot, but trust me, I glossed over bits or streamline.
We think money makes the world go around, but I think EGGS can build a community.
A carer started buying me eggs, I would get a tray of thirty farm fresh eggs for $14.00, then I would give a dozen of them to my masseuse as I don’t otherwise pay her.
I have other ways to pay her which I think she appreciates. The carer who would bring me the eggs had a collection of egg cartons. I started decorating them with a thick black texta in the hope that other people would join in. Add to the drawings, answer the question and posted inside by announcing what they intended to make with the eggs.
Mine stated “Destined to be Carrot Cake or Omelette or Bread and Butter Pudding” (Which needs eight eggs)
After a time, I found my own supplier which was two less things for this carer to do for me in her own time. I do like to be self-sufficient, but my contact has trays of twenty eggs for the same amount ($14). And again, free range and ‘Picked’ that day at 4am.
You should realize eggs don’t grow on trees, but are laid. The eggs are rather big, 800g and ‘twins’ or double yolkers are plentiful.
The issue is, I need to order two trays for my egg guy to deliver for free.
So, I asked around my neighbours and my ‘people’. My first order was two trays, one for me, one for a neighbour. My second order was five trays.
And this is how I’ve been trying to create a community.
So, help me God! There are some days Advocacy is needed for everything and the simplest things. Tuesday, I met with my Service Co-ordinator (in old terms my Case Manager) and I mentions to her again, I’m still yet to be sent hard copies of any of my invoices. I seem to have this conversation EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE MY SERVICE CO-ORDINATOR.
Nothing changes, to be clear I’m not doing my part wrong. I’m not using poor communication/negotiation skills. It’s just people not wanting to do their jobs or not wanting to be monitored or held accountable.
So, I get an email with my invoices every month, which I can’t print, so I’ve asked for hard copies. I also now have to argue and debate it’s NOT EASIER on the computer screen. Because with my eyesight I can’t chop and change between two spreadsheets on my laptop to make sure my records of who turned up on what date for how long is the same as what I’ve been billed for. It’s no longer my money, but I still wanting to know the $70,000 is about making my life better, as it’s designed and not lining the pockets of companies and people who want to work smarter not harder.
It’s my opinion, the cost of printing my invoices and posting them out to me should at their expense, because they can absorb the costs.
They are not doing it for everyone, but I can impress upon people (other clients) they can insist on it. So, rehashing this every few months seems I mention it to my Service Co-ordinator, she then calls my Service Providers, who call me to argue and debate out of providing a service and be held accountable.
I’m pushing back.
And then, after a short tram ride home, after my one appointment today, I work my way to the door of the tram an while I stay on my walking stick is between my teeth and holding on the hand rail on the right hand side of the door I go to step down.
My tram line does not as yet have the accessible tram stops, so it’s a big step up or down to the road. I’m encountered by a hand reaching up, just near mine and a leg stepping up. I don’t know where she thought she was going since I couldn’t get down without the hand rail. She didn’t even look up to see me. She said “Sorry” but she obviously didn’t mean it, because you would think (crazy me and my common sense, right) that she would rethink what she was doing and stop and wait. No! She continued to attempt to step up. She was a teenager in her school uniform and twice as wide as me. (Not fat shaming, but suggesting she thought to use her size to intimidate me)
Do I sound like someone to dare try to intimidate? You bet. I put her in her place. Around the walking stick strap between my teeth I said to her.
“Are you seriously going to still try to get on this tram while I’m trying to get down?” and she waited for the split second it took me to get down. I just don’t understand how I need to tell someone they should wait for people to get off a tram, train, bus (This argument works for any form of public transport or transport even). Wait until people get off before you attempt to get on. Why is it so hard?
If only, then is their more room for you to get on. No?
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.
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.
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.
Being one handed, the most important thing I can recommend in order to survive is, learn to adapt.
It’s the day’s I go to the city and I do some hunter/gathering, that I push myself a little more and while it exhausts me, I notice how my physical body adapts.
My standard trips to the city meant a lot more steps and carrying. If I can’t carry it, I can’t buy it. So, I’ve gotten creative.
Yesterday, I bought two novels and a box of envelopes. Not heavy, just cumbersome and sharp corners. These day’s I travel with one of those fold up grandma bags. (Not a slur) but you can carry it around until you need it. It weighs nothing, takes up no space, but once it’s got two novels and inside it, I usually ask someone to help me put the handles on my left arm above where my cuff and collar sits, just on my elbow. The bag swings along my side and doesn’t hit my left thigh.
My next stop I collected comics, they are flat and not very heavy, so they go in my bag that sits on my right glutinous maximus. Slap, slap, slap.
Then I stopped at a chemist and picked up a few things. Definitely the weightiest purchases of the day. I might even have behind packaging to save or bulk. At this point I’ve reached my maximum density.
I’m starting to feel weighed down and I’m walking a little sideways and bumping into people. Or it could just be people on their devices not paying the least bit of attention to where they are.
After a quick pee break where the bag on my left arm stays there to save needing to put it back on. I walk not far to the tram or Bourke Street Mall and I get on the tram.
Waddling like a pregnant lady now, I try to get two seats near a door facing forward. I might start with one seat and the bag sits on my lap, the straps digging into my shoulders. My right leg in the isle making people brush against me. The bag on my left arm is beside me digging into whoever didn’t think to offer me both seats.
• I’ll just point out here I’m not bigger than Texas. I’m just a wide load by this stage.
Thirty-Five minutes later, I’m at my tram stop (Maybe I was able to spread out for the last 15-20 minutes) I stand up on the tram, readjust my bags, the strap on my left shoulder. I carry my walking stick with the wrist strap between my teeth, so it doesn’t bang all over every piece of metal known to man.
Have I mentioned, I can’t do stalker or stealth? I manoeuvre my way to a door, favouring my right side as that’s my better peripheral vision. All the better not to step on or bump into people and while holding on to one handle or another I manage to get to the right-hand door handle. Walking stick still in mouth.
Tram stops, door opens and I swing my left leg out and bending my right knee, step down. I don’t let go until both feet are on the ground. Hoping just hoping people have followed the road rules and cars have actually stopped at the back of the tram. Yeah! That does not always happen.
I then use my walking stick to walk to the curb. Right foot up, lift and swing left leg attempting left toes to clear the curb.
Fast forward to me getting inside my apartment. There have been days I’ve taken off the bags and weighed them and I’m surprised I’ve carried the extra five kilos home from the city.
But the biggest surprise to me is after I’ve unpacked everything and take my extra layers off (jacket, scarf, etc) I’m moving around my home feeling like I’m on a permanent tilt.
So, by gradually adding weight, my body compensates to do what I insist on it and when all of that is gone, my body still acts like it’s needing to adapt to carry the extra weight and that is today’s lesson.
You don’t know what you can do until you try. Do a little more on top of that and a migraine.
Okay, going full dark today and I’m not feeling depressed in any way while I write this. Quite the opposite really, but I will suggest I’m going to lose my male followers, before too long, much to their loss.
5, 4, 3, 2,
Most of my carers these days are older than me and a few of my friends. Which is great! Fine! Great, I’m not complaining because they bring a wealth of womanly advice.
Bet the guys are all gone.
Every month or so, the ladies and I get stuck on the topic of Crazy-Lady hormones.
Any guys still reading? Hit me with a like or a comment if you still are.
So, ladies this post is about sliding into the ‘Pause’ (yes Menopause) Apart from the irregular periods (shark week) and the heavy one month, light the next or the all-out ‘all the Crazy symptoms and a complete no-show of obvious. It came, no babies (said 1 young carer years ago)
One of my older carers and I used to share a conversation and you have all heard these stories.
Back in the day, picture the 60’s and theirs a couple chatting about their mutual friends. Two couples married around the same time, raised their children around the same time, holidayed together, worked together, did casserole night, you know, you get the picture. Then all of sudden, it goes full dark.
“Oh, I don’t know what happened, they were perfectly happy, married fifteen years, little ‘whoopsie’ was good at cricket (or whatever sport of the day) and then all of a sudden, he came home one day after work while she was cooking dinner and she just stabbed him to death. The Coroners report stated he was stabbed forty-seven times.
And now she lives in a mental asylum.
So, my carer and I share a look and a smile and this is the important part, if the guys kept reading.
Here’s what the wife dealt with that day, the kids, the housework, the shopping, cooking, ironing, laundry, the crazy itching, the hot flushes one moment and then the cool the next. The kids. And then the husband comes home and complained about why was it so cold inside?
Read the room. Don’t mess with a woman who has limited control over what is going on with her hormones.
In some ways I am a shame on my Nona (and my Italian heritage), who I only have few memories of, as she died when I was around six years old.
But the memories I have are of great love and fondness. So, in a sense I’m a shame on my Italian heritage, because I barely understand garlic. I use it on very few things because I try to make my Nona proud “But chilli?!” Like, sweet Jesus!
WFT! Who can I blame this abomination for this? I’ve just had some at a café and my lips are numb and I feel dehydrated.
But, in one way I can never find an excuse.
IT IS NEVER OK TO PUT TOMATO SAUCE! NO! NEVER! IT IS NEVER OK TO PUT TOMMY K ON PASTA!
I got some very WHITE cousins and they are lucky I didn’t slap them.
Now, that is an abomination. If you can’t use a tin of tomatoes, throw in a few vegies (carrot, capsicum, broccoli etc) and some spices and make a quick lazy pasta sauce, you have bigger problems.
Many years ago, when discussing soulmates with a female friend, back in our 20’s when one of us (ME) still believed in soul mates.
I remember throwing the idea around with her, where was this soulmate?
We decided and wholeheartedly agreed. He was lost.
I may have mentioned this?
I suggested, did he need a Melway’s?
It’s the thing on paper we used to navigate Melbourne before Google Maps.
Yes, someone pointed out Google Maps said friend replied. My soulmate needed an inter-galactic Melways.
What I have found in recent years is a few old club male friends I never thought to date, I only ever saw them as friends, have reached out and wanted to ‘catch-up’ with me. One of those even had a medical condition all his own he had dealt with. (Now, 10 years in remission).
The difference being, he had a partner to support him. He had children he could still work; he could even continue to study. He told me he understood my disability and to call on him anytime I needed something. Have I heard from him again? No don’t be ridiculous.
Apparently, I’ve met my soulmate, he just has yet to work out that, that soulmate is me.
And that is how Ryan Gosling was ruined for me. Just Ruined.
What? Ryan Gosling (he is too young) and taken. But isn’t he the new Brad Pitt?
Oh, Brad Pitt is the new Brad Pitt since splitting from Angelina Jolie.
No, pass. Imagine co-parenting with that as your ex-partner.
I accept anyone I date now is going to have a past. Wise words from a gay guy friend of a gay friend is that:
This is the time relationships break up after twenty years and the guys come scratching around. I have a weird knee-jerk reaction to this, so if I didn’t want to date them way back then and they were interested in me back then, why didn’t I know about it? And did they just make do with whoever they have been with all this time?
Instead of me? Mmmmmm……….. more thought required.
I do know I don’t want to have regrets in life. I definitely don’t want to get to 65 and regret I didn’t make the effort to find him.