Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Life goes on, sort of

Pre-Dorian Avondale Sky Winery
Another windy rainy day but not a hurricane. There are still parts of the province, even parts of this town, that do not yet have power restored. My neighbour with the generator that I mentioned in my last post is still having to use that generator. The kayaking expedition that I was supposed to go on yesterday is probably cancelled, since the location is closed due to wind damage and some of the participants still do not have power so would have been unable to prepare food in advance and keep it cool. I haven't talked to any of them, I bowed out several weeks ago due to concerns about Hapi and her dogsitter.

On the good news front, the MLA's assistant finally called my friend B back and made a suggestion that might give her more income. Her son is following through on that. But her breathing is far worse. I thought it was because of the heat wave but we are into cooler weather now and she is, if anything, worse. She cannot finish a single sentence without gasping for breath.

I said, "You need oxygen."

She agreed but said, "You can't get oxygen if you don't have a doctor. A doctor has to refer you."

She's been on the doctor waitlist for a year now. Getting a doctor is along the lines of getting a pony for Christmas, assuming you want a pony. If your Daddy is rich then you have half a chance, but if not then forget it. I gather that the MLA's assistant is still working on that but it didn't sound like he was optimistic.

I went online later to confirm that she did in fact have to have a doctor in order to get oxygen. Close but not quite. The provincial health people say you have to have a "designated physician", and then give a link to a list of "designated physicians" in the province. There is one in a nearby town. So I will call their office and find out if they can do anything for her. If not then I may have to go to the MLA's office, even though they say I am not a nice person. I just think that not being able to breathe can't be good for her, it must be doing damage to other parts of her body if she's not getting enough oxygen.

There is a rent subsidy available to seniors but there is over a year's waitlist for it. And, unbelievably, she doesn't qualify. First of all they calculate how much you should pay in rent as 33% of your total income. In other jurusdictions it's 30%, but no matter. If your heat is included in the rent then they will include it in the subsidy, but if it isn't they don't. So taking her rent alone into account, they tell her that they would actually INCREASE her rent payment rather than subsidize her. If she moved into a place where the heat was included in the rent payment then she might qualify, but first of all she doesn't have any savings to pay for a move. Last time she moved she borrowed from one of those horrible high-interest "payday" loan companies, couldn't meet the exorbidant interest payments and ended up going bankrupt. She's terribly ashamed of that, she's never not paid her debts before.

And second of all she doesn't have the energy to pack up and move due to not being able to breathe. Her son could do a lot of it but it would be really hard to force her to sit still and not lift a finger to help. She likes to give Hapi dog treats, I buy them for her. But she insists on breaking them up into smaller pieces so that she can prolong the treat-giving process and the effort to cut the treats in half wipes her out. Nevertheless she insists on it, and someone would have to sit on her to force her not to help pack up for a move.

B's Seniors Club was on hiatus all summer but they started meeting again yesterday. B couldn't go. She has a walker but she can't get it up or down the stairs to the outside door of her building. She needs a ride and many of the people in the club either can't help her with the walker or they can't take it in their cars. There is one guy who can and will, but of course she doesn't want to call him every week about it. And even if the walker and the ride were taken care of, there's the small matter of not being able to breathe. And the requirement that everyone takes a turn at providing snacks for the whole group. No one else visits her, that Seniors Club and I are it for social life. So now it's just me. I'm not good at caregiving, I find this whole thing stressful and I just don't want the responsibility. But there's no one else to pass it off to.

The latest news is that the government health people think they will have the proper ratio of doctors and patients in a few years time. They are on course and making progress. I don't think they have any clue what "a few years time" means to someone like B.

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