My New Reality…

“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” – Gaylord Nelson

Not sure what woke me up this morning, the construction, the heavy pounding of the rain (will this winter ever come to an end) or the sharp pulse moving up and down my arms like a 12 string classical guitar with all 12 strings out of tune.  Today is definitely a three pill day, narcotics be damned.  Growing up in a hospital you adopt the philosophy of better living through chemistry early.  On the upside I’m waking up.

Got a lucky break late morning with a few hours of sunshine so used the time wisely and hit the Save-On.  So I am well stocked in anticipation of the next four days of rain.  I have started paying more attention to the weather reports and less attention to the news (with the exception of the BC election) these days.  I know during the rainy time my body behaves like a badly tuned and out of sync garage band.  But again at least I woke up which is more than two good friends did in the last week.  Rest in peace Liz and Lance, your time is done and your suffering has past.  My condolences to their loved ones.

I have been putting a lot of thought into the CBC story I had shared recently.  I put so much thought into it I contacted the author, CBC’s Donna Carreiro.  More on that contact to come…meanwhile her article actually woke me up.  I started thinking of my own situation and did a bit of my own research.  My descent into wheelchair dependence was gradual with the biggest part happening after moving to BC.  A whole new set of medical professionals to get to know and me working from the assumption that the fallout of polio was understood.  For the record, I do not have polio.  Polio is a virus that runs its course, does its damage and then it’s gone.  The damage done is the outcome of polio, the residual is not polio.

No medical professional ever mentioned post-polio to me.  I was aware of it but with limited knowledge.  The closes medical rational I ever received for increasing wheelchair dependence plus symptoms like quicker to fatigue was the “strains of a life time of walking on crutches”.

gainpainThe idea that my medical team (I call it a team but it’s really a pathway of referrals so that health “administration” can call itself a system) wouldn’t understand polio never entered my mind.  When you’ve lived your entire life with polio you think everyone knows, you know the saying “can’t see the forest for the trees”.  This is the problem with assumption rather than critical thinking.

When I think about it I knew few people of my generation in 1967 who were aware of the devastation caused by Spanish Flu.  Fifty years later why should I expect those generations behind me be anymore aware of a disease we basically eradicated in Canada fifty years ago.  Some realizations can be painful but needed to avoid future pain.  I have now come to grips with the idea that post-polio has played a role in my advancing decrepitude.  After over forty years of fighting for inclusion and acceptance the posts have been moved and I have to adjust.  Welcome to the my world of accommodation…unfortunately I have watched while the BC Liberals have slowly eroded a good chunk of the advances made.

One of the other truths I dealt with this week was Mattel discontinuing the Becky doll.  I remember the fanfare that accompanied Mattel’s release of Barbie’s new best friend in a wheelchair.  This was the early days of inclusion in the school systems and the doll, using a timely social issue, Mattel designed a product to help children be more accepting of differences.  Lots of them sold and continue to sell them however Mattel is going to discontinue them.  And the reason…

Christy Clark and the BC Liberals, pay attention to this part.  Mattel is discontinuing the Becky doll because it is easier than making Barbie’s Doll House “accessible”.  Access has changed from inclusion to “cost effective”.  They are going to warehouse the whole concept of inclusion.

Christy, the disabled of BC are not the Becky doll.  Those people you are forcing to subsist on $983 a month (disability benefits in BC) need you to pay attention.  Have you ever tried to find an accessible home with less than $1000 in your whole monthly budget Ms. Clark.  If you really want to “warehouse” this segment of the community then at least provide adequate warehouse space.  Those of us not on provincial benefits are facing huge costs due to the lack of accessible homes/services and related expenses of living with a disability.  It takes more incentive than “the best parking spots” to maintain any dignity when living with a disability.

You just spend three days stumping the Island for votes.  You continually lauded how great the economy is and your government needs to “hold the course”.  Which course, the appetizer or the main course?  While you are collecting $5000 per plate for party fundraising purposes to maintain your “great economy” food-banks are overwhelmed.   I have come to grips with post-polio now you need to come to grips with your lack of empathy.  Have a plate of ethics and start acting on behalf of the lowest common denominators in the community rather than those eating at the finest restaurants.

In closing, you are going to hear regularly about this one, the donate button is there for a reason.  If you like this then leave a tip…

Just one mans opinion…


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