Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Assessment Day

Yesterday I crashed. Joe got us saying that he wanted us to go to church. I looked at him and told him that I just couldn't. I was tired, wanted to stay in bed and read, it's our first whole day at home for awhile. We agreed that'd he'd go and I'd stay back. It isn't typical for me to have complete 'alone' time and I must say, it was nice - for about 20 minutes. True to my word, I snuggled in bed and read for much of that time.

I felt a bit better by noon but an hour later, I was cold and shaking. Exhaustion. We canceled our evening out with friends and we both hunkered down to a nice dinner and a quiet night. Somewhere about 8, I heard Joe get out of bed and start to tinker around in the front room. I came out to see what he was doing. He reminded me that I have the OT assessment in the morning, the assessment that will hopefully begin the process for me getting a scooter and perhaps even an assistance dog. I've got a series of questions for her about mobility issues at home, about various things I wonder if there are adaptive aids for. Trouble is, I've spoken to her on the phone, she sounds like she's 12.

Joe stayed up an hour or two longer, making the place tidy. He's very much like that. We hired someone, back in the mists of time, to clean our apartment once a week. Joe spent the day before the maid came cleaning the apartment. He didn't want him to see it messy. Really.

So she'll be here at 9 to do the assessment. I'm more anxious than I ever thought I'd be. The very word assessment has within it the sense of judgement. I've never noticed that before. Well, what if she doesn't have good judgement? She wasn't picked for me or my needs specifically, she's just the next OT on the list. So some of my future hangs on whoever walks through my door in a couple of hours.

Wow. So that's how it feels waiting for me on assessment days.

But, enough of that, I'm living life on the other side and need to realize that I teach self advocates about speaking up, about being heard, about saying no. I teach self advocates that they have rights. That they have a responsibility to use those rights. But now, as I face a stranger coming into my home - rights are the last things I'md worried about. It's not rights I want, really, it's respect.

I wonder if I'll get either.

8 comments:

wendy said...

I hope that "the next OT on the list" turns out to be respectful, a good listener with helpful answers, extememely knowledgeable and very mature for 12! Good luck today.

Heike said...

I know what you need to do. There is this great guy called Dave Hingssomethingorother, and he does excellent workshops on standing up for yourself. Take a quiet moment before the 12 year old arrives. Have a nice cuppa green tea. Get in touch with your inner self. And then, ready, calmly, outline your needs. And speak up if you need to. I was recently given a new OT, bright spark, straight out of uni. I was a bit worried how she would go finding a suitable power chair for my daugher. And you know what? She did brilliantly. Listened. Tried new technology. Didn't try to tell me (unlike the old, old one) what the best was but discussed it with us and let my daugher try (we ended up with a front wheel drive chair, something my old OT didn't even knew existed). The young new OT has been brilliant, helping me to find research to support my point and even adress a government inquiry into the programme here that supplies (or tries not to supply) equipment. Sometimes these young things are still full of fire, open to new ideas, and willing to listen and go the extra mile. I hope you will get the same. I'm off to bed now, and send you some good vibes. Hopefully when i wake up tomorrow, i find a post about how well everything went... including the doggie! Good luck mate!

Heather said...

Hi Dave
It's almost tomorrow in Australia and soon assessment day will be over for you...
I'm sending you and Joe every good wish...remember the figure of eights you performed so elegantly in the supermarket shopping scooter...stay strong and powerful...and if you don't...hang on to Scarlett's brilliant insight..."tomorrow is another day"
warmest regards
Heather

FridaWrites said...

Wishing you the best of luck--disability does make us vulnerable.

Caroline said...

It is all about respect - it's something I remember every day in my work and also how difficult it is to be cared for by others - thank you for the reminder

gracie1956 said...

I guess I will never understand why the process of qualifying for things or services has to be so hard. Do they really think that someone who doesn't need a power chair would try to get one. Those scooters are really not that much fun are they! Good luck Dave.

gracie1956 said...

I guess I will never understand why the process of qualifying for things or services has to be so hard. Do they really think that someone who doesn't need a power chair would try to get one. Those scooters are really not that much fun are they! Good luck Dave.

awesomeangel said...

Hi Dave,
If you decide that a Service Dog may be something you really want to consider, I can highly recommned Diana Miller from www.helpingpaws.ca

Diana trained my daughter Angel's dog "Jelly Bean" for her and they are a great pair together.

Diana is located in Creston BC. She's well worth the travel.

Cheryl
www.members.shaw.ca/awesomeangel