Sitting outside since early this morning watching the day unfold. i haven’t slept much after hurting my back yesterday. Crazy doing the same thing in the same way i have been month after month for almost two years, or the start of the pandemic. I go at this time every month buy my months worth of necessities, things like distilled water for my cpap machine, i try to buy enough that i can really limit my need to go into places, limiting my interaction with people, trying to stay safe. But yesterday doing that same thing, my backed popped, i knew instantly that something in my lower back went and hoping its not a disc. I spent the rest of the day icing and heating and doing gentle stretches, the night saw me up and down, stretching, icing, and trying to find a way to get comfort enough to get some sleep.
It’s a beautiful morning listening to the birds enjoying morning coffee. Sunday mornings the world is quieter so you can really hear each of the individual sounds, its relaxing and soothing. The sky is a mix of blue and dark rain clouds and lighter dreamy type clouds. Truly a morning to just be and enjoy.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the effects of covid after recently being asked about how it has effected me and if i thought the effects would have been different before my diagnosis. Well most certainly they would have been different, my life was different, I was different, my dementia opened my eyes to much in the world, that at times i think i was too busy on the wheel of life to give much thought to a lot of things happening in our world, so caught up in the throws of what we believe is all important in life that we miss a lot of what truly is. Getting off the hamster wheel has for sure been a gift that dementia has given me. Life in so many ways and on so many levels is so much harder, yet in many other ways it is so much easier, so much more peaceful, I no longer overload myself with what i have discovered to be unneeded and unnecessary expectations. i know get to live for today, in this moment of time. The expectations of society, those pressures to measure up, to be more, to have more, more more more, all those chains gone, and yes for a long time I didn’t even know they were there until they were gone.
If my diagnosis had not happened I would still be working on a locked dementia unit, I would have been watching the horrors of what transpired and all that is wrong with long term care come to light first hand. The mental and emotional toll on everyone working in Long term care here in Canada will not be realized for a long while. I still have many colleagues working in the field, I have and continue to watch and see the toll it is taking, warehouses are no place for people and I will stand by my view that that is in fact what has been created. It is what propels me to keep fighting so hard, to use my voice to advocate. I advocated when I was working within the system only to be reminded time and time again of the gag order that prevented me from speaking publicly, all the while having my voice squashed from those who we were told to talk to, to bring things to, on the inside, everyone so busy protecting themselves from any accountability, ensuring they got their promotions and big wages and protected their jobs. Hush we cant let people really know about whats going on or more importantly not going on. I was called to the highest level within, my job on the line, when asked why, when on occasion I took a stand, the CEO asking why I would risk my career, my answer was simple, I didn’t need time to think about it I simply stated “it was the right thing to do“. I would not take a stand if it was going to bring harm, but I would use my voice if it was going to help the person in care and the families. The culture deteriorated, I thought to all time low levels until the pandemic hit only to show how incredibly sad and deplorable we treat our most valuable people. I can say that for the most part its not people doing the care, its the culture of being top heavy, everything based on $$$$, the human piece never comes into play, this has made a culture where many delivering care, gave up trying to make things better, just doing the best the can. sad that we’ve deflated and beaten people to make them feel powerless, silencing them, creating an environment where doing just enough to keep people alive became acceptable, no quality of life, the most basic and elementary of activities so you can say you do them, so the funds keep rolling in. Deplorable, so I use my voice to advocate for changes in long term care, for all living with any form of dementia.
So today I’m thinking about how if we use our voice in the right way, in the right places, and we keep using our voices eventually positive change happens. We don’t have to hurt anyone, we don’t have to do it ways that create harm and discourse, but we do need to do it. Because one by one if we are using our voices to help and lift others up together doing the right thing, for the right reasons we can have a positive influence.
So back to has the pandemic impacted me, yes, its isolating, but it has also given me the opportunity to see how screwed up humans are, how much damage they ,we, continue to do, we are on the path to self destruct, all in our bid to somehow feel superior, like we don’t have to learn to fit into out world that the world has to fit our wants. The damage done in the last 40 or so years is deeply disturbing. Dementia has taken much, but it sure has enlightened me in so many ways. Hope you are all enjoying this ever so lovely fall Sunday.