Being more ‘dependent’ than you already are

  • 22/11/2018
Maree Ireland
Maree Ireland at home in her kitchen

Some weeks ago, unfortunately, I was in an incident in a taxi where the driver had to quickly slam on his brakes to avoid another car. Fortunately, the driver avoided an accident. Not so fortunate for me was the fact that my upper body was pushed forward and back onto the seat sash and belt a few times. As I was on my way to do some shopping, I thought nothing of it and continued on my merry way. While I was going around the shops, I didn’t feel quite right so I thought I’d be better going home, much to the concern of my support worker.

When I arrived home I went to use the bathroom as I normally do, however I could not even raise my left arm to the rail to pull myself up to stand up. I must say at this stage panic began to set in – “I can’t stand up; I can’t live independently… can’t stay here… group or nursing home…”

My support worker eventually suggested that I needed to get some x-rays taken at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. All this was like an out of body experience for me. After waiting till about 5pm I was taken to x-ray and the outcome was my ribs were badly bruised.

For any other person, bruised ribs may not be too bad. However for me, the bruised ribs were on my left side which meant the use of my left arm (i.e. my good working am) was painful and very limited. For me, this meant I required 24/7 support for daily assistance.

The irony of this was I always believed having this amount of assistance would be awesome. To have a worker with me most of the time, I thought, would enable me to be more spontaneous with my life; to be able to do things on the spur of the moment.

However, given the fact that I was in a bit of pain and didn’t feel like doing much – and this has nothing to do with my workers – I started to find the on-going roll over of workers became a little intrusive in my life; and I really did value the time I often had by myself, and that I could manage by myself when I had no injuries or heath issues.

So I guess the old saying, “be careful what you wish for” has some merit to it. Don’t get me wrong, there is no doubt I did need all those hours of extra support to do tasks I couldn’t do without the use of my left arm.

This experience has certainly given me something to think about when I have to go through the NDIS assessment – is there such a thing as having too much support or assistance? I am really not sure.

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