Living Life In A Wheelchair

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November 2022 Newsletter Edition

Throughout much of November my efforts where themed around self care. I feel the time has been well used. Overall I am pleased with how the month progressed.

On September 30th my right knee joint buckled. I fell backwards. I've been dealing with the fall out of this. It is now obvious that my right knee joint is further injured as a result of this. The 4% Lidocaine gel that is available "over the counter" is no longer effective for keeping my knee pain stopped while I sleep at night. I reached out to the specialist doctor responsible for my pain management. I had an appointment with him in mid November. This doctor is very supportive of me. It was a very productive appointment.

This doctor wants to help me as much as possible. He prescribed a gel that is the next natural progression of topical gels for pain control in the hopes that the quality of my sleep will improve. The clinical symptoms of my knee amounts to there being no non invasive option. I have exhausted every possible attempt to avoid knee surgery. His best way of helping me is by building a strong case for my right knee to be replaced. He ordered a high priority MRI that was performed on November 30th. I will have the results in about 5 days. I am expecting to be re-assessed in January 2023 for knee replacement surgery.

The Federal Government of Canada has a very gracious disability retirement savings plan. The Federal Government acts as the employer in matching contributions I make. In November I made my annual contribution to this. In the new year I will need to look at setting up pre-authorized contributions again. In Canada the provinces are responsible for providing supports for individuals with chronic conditions until age 65. Then the Federal Government of Canada assumes responsibility. The Registered Disability Savings Plan is the mechanism that will finance my accessibility needs (such as a power wheelchair). It is important that I designate some money towards this so I do not physically struggle as a senior.

I am continuing to have appointments every two weeks with the social worker. She is helping me work through the grief from my aunt dying. It is absolutely miserable but I am so glad I have this opportunity. With the chronic pain and broken sleep I am experiencing it is too hard for me to work through this through on my own. On the social workers advice I joined a 7 week grief support group. This is on Tuesday evenings for 2 hours. By the third session I realized just how much I need this. I see the thought process of how the material is organized. It is well prepared. It took a bit to build up my courage to ask for help. It has been well worth it.

In late November my friend Brandon spent a day assisting me. Ice had caused the rear eaves trough to fall off my home. It needed to be re-installed. He very graciously did this for me. Brandon brought his oldest son to help him. It was wonderful watching them work together to help me. Overall the idea is to keep rainwater away from the foundation of my home. My property has a high clay content. Bedrock is at 5 feet below grade. Rain water management is an issue that my property requires.

I am continuing to enjoy caring for Rocky the hamster. I really enjoy my little buddy. Before I sleep each night I gave him a treat. My previous hamster loved blueberries. In the same way Rocky absolutely loves mango. I was up to the grocery store to purchase a bag of frozen mango. Hamsters are nocturnal. What I give Rocky to snack on is approximately the size - shape of a pencil lead. I also enjoy my hamster back massages while he climbs and runs on me.