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. Continue reading “My New Reality…”

Mixed Messages

I was working away here at the computer with the TV on in the background.  I have CBC Power and Politics on in the background which is full of incongruent information presented by Conservative politicians that can never seem to answer a question.  It is always the same scripted answers that are based on the premise that if they say it enough times it becomes truth.

My attention was pulled away from what I was doing on the computer when I heard one of the Power Panel speakers explaining how the Harper government is complimenting the electorate by telling them what a great job we’ve done tightening our belts and getting our finances in shape.  Did we have a choice and did we really accomplish that much?

How seriously do I take this compliment when the total Canadian debt increased 47.5% between 1999 to 2005 but still managed to leave the Harper government a $13 billion surplus when the Conservatives came to power?  Since 2006 under the “strong fiscal management” of the Harper government our national debt has increased another 22.2% or $116.6 billion dollars.  This in a period of what we are constantly told is belt tightening.  Now am I the only one who sees a very mixed message here.

And now the government is expressing concern over the ballooning Canadian credit card debt.  Well if we are doing so well with our budgeting why did Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announce, amid warnings about Canadian household debt levels, that the federal government would make it tougher for people to get a mortgage.

Then this past February Industry Minister Tony Clements was calling the high unemployment rate “unacceptable”.  After how many billion in stimulus spending, I would expect a little more then “unacceptable” when talking about the unemployment rate.  With this “unacceptable” level of unemployment why all of the Draconian changes to EI that will supposedly “benefit” everyone!

Recently in the Financial Post they stated “After years of running billion-dollar surpluses, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses estimates the federal government’s EI fund will reach a deficit of $14.7 billion by 2012.”  So to deal with this Ottawa went ahead and increase in EI premiums that could cost another 200,000 jobs.  Every time there is an EI or CPP increase employer expenses also go up.  I know a lot of people who have no understanding of employer costs but the long and short of it are if you are being paid $20/hr it is costing the employer $22/hr.  Those costs add up quickly especially for small businesses.

Now I may not be Spock but there is a certain twist in logic here.  What kind of message is the government trying to send because I am very confused?  Based on the contradictory thought process this government is showing, well it is not exactly a trust builder with me.

Conservatives support in Quebec and the Maritimes is dropping faster than a dying mans blood pressure and yet this government continues to close down service centres in those areas faster than the disappearance of Zeller stores.  So in closing is it only me or is this suspicious?