Monday, January 25, 2016

Assessment Time

Image description: The word ASSESSMENT behind a magnifying glass.
Early and anxious. That's how I woke up this morning. Joe too is jittery. He's made sure that the place is clean and orderly. I helped with that as much as I could. He's driving the girls up to school this morning and may not be here when they get here.

Who are they?

They are, cue frightening sound effects, the assessors.

They are coming as a result of the breakdown of my power chair. As I've had it for several years and as the problem seems simply to be that the chair is worn out, it's travelled thousands of miles, across several provinces and states, up and down ramps and hills. It's well past the 'due date' for a new chair and they are coming to assess me again.

I went through this the first time. Now, I have to go through it again. It was uncomfortable the first time, it's going to be again. I have learned something. It doesn't get easier and the feeling of intrusiveness doesn't go away.

Understand I'm not complaining about the behaviour of the person last time or expecting unprofessional behaviour this time, not at all. It isn't the person, it's the process that's really the issue. It's something both they and I have to go through. It's the dance.

Here's the thing that I thought about this morning as I was in bed anticipating getting up and officially facing the day. I am very comfortable being the assessor, I am not so comfortable being the assessed. This is probably no surprise, a position of power changes everything.

Absolutely everything.

Last time I went through this, I know I learned things.

This time I intend to be much more mindful of how it feels to be on the other side of the magnifying glass. I intend to be much more sensitive to words, and tones and manner. Not because I want to be critical of a person, but to be aware, really aware of our roles.

I have an opportunity to learn.

And I'm going to take it.

This won't make this easier, but it will make it a more valuable way to spend morning.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry that you are having to go through one of these more than uncomfortable processes again in order to get your basic needs met and entertain the system.... The upside is as you have already observed it makes us better, more aware and caring professionals.
Best of luck and have a soothing cup of tea before and after. M.

clairesmum said...

As I was reading, the thought occurred to me "if the assessors know who Dave is and are familiar with his work, they might be nervous." Hope all goes well. You have chosen an active role/task for yourself during the process, so you are not just being told what to do/examined/assessed.

Sydney said...

Hi Dave, I am a student in the Developmental Service Worker course, and I have been following your blogs for the last 14 days. I must say you are very inspiring. To be someone who was in this field and work with people like yourself, and then because one of the people you work with must of be a tough road. You have given me a lot of hope that anyone no matter what physical or intellectual disability they have, can do what ever they want to in life. Your someone to look up to.

I love your blogs, I think I'm going to keep following you.

Princeton Posse said...

Good luck Dave, I'll be thinking of you. Keep breathing, deeply...

Jenni said...

Got my fingers crossed for you that it wasn't too emotional draining. Its horrid to have to spend time listing out loud to a stranger all the things you need done differently / can't do anymore, even if the end result is a good outcome, isn't it? xx

Anonymous said...

Wishing you all the success possible! You are a fighter, and very inspiring. Here's a song by @TheOddBallz youtu.be/0qPorK8OTg8 I hope you enjoy

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

Hope you don't bend over so far backward trying to see their point of view that you damage your own.

They have their role, you have yours, and certainly things cannot have gotten any better for you physically since they approved the first chair!

I lost my first and second case to SS in the States because I tried so hard to make the application perfect, so it would be complete, that I spent weeks on every little thing - and they thought that meant I could continue to do a job as a research physicist at one of the premiere institutions on the planet! It took me hundreds of hours longer than it would have had I not been ill - and I would never have applied for disability! I loved my job, and, after 27 years, still miss it.

Be kind and patient and everything, but do NOT damage your case. Show them what you have to deal with - your worst, along with better.

Good luck.

wheeliecrone said...

The important thing here, Dave, is that you come out of the process with a new chair that really suits you and the life you lead. If you learn something too, that's nice. But please be mindful that your chair must be suitable and comfortable for YOU, not some assessor.
That's all. I'm taking off my Mum hat, now.