Hi here I am and what a couple of weeks it has been since I last posted. I had a few replies to my emails in regard to issues of accessibility for rural and remote rural people who need to see a psychiatrist. The huge costs now involved for anyone even Pension card holders and unemployed will now have to pay several hundred dollars for an initial psychologist or psychiatrist appointment and receive a rebate that means a large out of pocket expense on a service that was bulk billed up until late 2021. My cost to see a psychiatrist was I thought going to be $200, and I would be rebated about $60 back arrgh was bad enough. I was actually devastated when informed I needed to see a new psychiatrist and this would now cost me $600! I blanked out the rebate but it was only a small proportion of the cost. Let me put that into focus. My monthly pension from NDIS is $1890 roughly.
I own my home out right, I have no debts. I will struggle to find this amount. How anyone else on a pension or unemployment a student will be able to afford it makes me incredibly distressed and anxious for their well being.
Not sure if things will change but here in Australia we are in a Federal Election year and expect the Prime Minister to announce soon when the Federal election will be. Our process is EXTREMELY different to USA for which I am very grateful. Here the Party and we have three major ones, Liberal who are in power now more right side leaning, Labor the opposition more left side and the Greens who are more left than Labor I guess. It will be a very interesting and frustrating time in the next period of time.
I would like to have gone further with the issues and kept emailing people who may really be able to see that this will increase mental health trauma and make many sicker, and potentially self harm. For my own well being I have to minimise my frustration and angst, as it creates issues in my own mental health and how I am managing.
All I can do is hope that things will get better in regard to this disgraceful situation for the people who really need support and access to mental health professionals and now can not afford it.
I had a physical issue occur three weeks a go. I had been sitting on my lounge with my knee bent under me, and I realised I had hurt something inside my knee. I was caring for my knee and myself (having been a RN) I knew what was good. It was healing and going fairly well. I could weight bare on it, I could bend it and straighten it with a little pain. I was not needing any support to walk on it I was just cautious.
I let the dogs out one night and when they returned inside I turned after closing the door, only to suddenly find myself on the floor. My knee had given out on me. I knew that was a concern. Though right at that precise moment I had other concerns.
There are very few positives when you are a hoarder. I however was unharmed from the fall as I landed on a pile of clothes. (no they had not contributed nor had I tripped over anything) The access from the door to living area is a clear path with crap on the sides. I had fallen at an angle, thankfully the clothes stopped me potentially hurting myself even more. I was now laughing, as I could see both my dogs just looking at me, like what you doing down there Mamma? I was bewildered as to what had happened and how I was going to get up. I managed it not exactly sure, needs certainly must.
I realised my knee had given out, and now it hurt. I put my injured knee to the floor and I could walk on it but gingerly. Depending on how it was positioned it hurt more. I realised it was not brilliant, but it was not so bad that I was too worried about it that night. I took some anti inflammatory medication and paracetamol, slept well but even in sleep felt pain when I moved into certain positions. On waking the next morning I made the decision my knee was not badly injured, I could manage going up stairs one at a time good leg first and holding tightly to the rails. Coming down was not as painful or difficult. As I have steps to come in and out of the house, this situation raised concern, along with the fear of my knee giving out again at any time depending on how I moved my leg. I was not in a lot of pain, just at times if I moved my leg in a way and my knee responded in a very negative ooops Nope.
I live out of town, no public transport, taxis, and not sure about Uber (but I could not afford Uber to Hobart anyway or a taxi). I then began to worry about my dogs. I really knew my only choice was to head to the public hospital in Hobart. As the nearest radiography business was 50km away and I would have to go to my GP get an appointment get to Kingston, then return. Meaning a lot of in and out of a vehicle. If anything was needed I may still end up at the public hospital Royal Hobart anyway. The decision was not difficult for me, I tried to see if any friend or neighbour may be able to take me. Nope. OK. I really began to be concerned about the dogs. It was too hot for them to be in a car in a car park(which would be super noisy and smelly) for who knew how long, better they were at home. Though sometimes you can be waiting 15+ hours to be seen at the Royal emergency depending on what was happening and this was not really an emergency. I tried to see if the dogs could go to a friends they were not home. I was in pain at the end of my abilities having tried to find a solution for the dogs, as I knew I could drive myself (which is why I did not take any medication) my car is an automatic and it was the leg I did not need to drive my car, how fortunate was that.
I must have cried as I finished the call to my friend. I had just sat overwhelmed worried for my dogs being locked up inside the house all day and potentially into the night and maybe longer.
As I began to work out logistics, I had decided the worst case scenario would be I would have terrible mess to clean up on my return. I decided to make a huge effort and take the dogs for a run (me driving the car ) before I left so hopefully they would use their bowels. Success one less worry.
Now what to use as a crutch or support for me to be able to get from the car park to the hospital? I was sitting on the lounge and next thing the dogs are barking someone is on my deck and opening the door. I am freaking out so mortified that someone is coming into my home (hoarders house no one allowed in). I loose it. and flee. well end up turning my back on her and just sobbing please get out get out please!
I am now hysterical and the dogs are perplexed and distressed at my sobs.
All I can now think about is she knows how bad my house is NOOOOOooo.
I sit for what feels like an eternity, reassure the dogs and find a broom to use as a crutch.
Broom tucked under my arm the plastic knob on the handle end is pointed and at that point in time I don’t notice. I sneak a look out the window hoping that my neighbour has gone. She has. I hobble to the car, leaving my dogs inside.
I drive to Hobart, find a parking spot as close to the elevators closest to the hospital side of the car park. I go down into a part of a busy mall the broom under my arm, the head of the soft indoor broom down on the floor firmly supporting me. I swept as I hobbled out through the mall, up to the traffic lights, crossed the road, and down a very steep entrance drive for ambulances and pedestarians to the Emergency entrance.
Mask on the whole way, I was incredibly fortunate, that it seemed there was only one person waiting but of course you have no idea how many people or how serious they are already in the department. What I did know having worked at emergency and hoped it had not changed much was that lunch breaks start about 11:30 and I was there at 10:30, people wanting a sick certificate for work would have been or were being seen. That very few work accidents happen so early in the morning at work. No major vehicle accidents had happened. It was too early for school accidents too. Sometimes it pays to have some knowledge. I waited in the waiting area maybe 10 mins 15max. Then me and my broom went in and the Nurse practitioner was efficient and too my surprise no BP TEmp OBs were taken. Wow somethings had changed for the better. I mean ambulant patient not complaining of feeling ill does not need those. I waited maybe an hour for an X ray, which was taken and showed there may be a small tear of my meniscus of my knee. Or it may have been the way my trousers were impacting the X ray? I would be contacted if I needed a review.
Nurse Practitioner did some movements of my knee cap and nothing hurt bad enough to make me squeal. This surprised him, and when I had told him about the activity where it hurt most as in up from sitting standing position, and climbing up stairs, and my now phobia about falling due to knee giving way. This was the main reason I had presented. It was decided that crutches for a week and when I was weary form moving without them. Some resting off it when it was aching or painful, but using it was the best remedy.
I was offered some medication to have now, but as I had to drive home and strangely Ibuprofen and paracetamol make me tired. I ask if I could have something a bit stronger, and was only able to have provided 8 Panadine forte on script. I just wanted to be able to sleep completely pain free that night.
I was fitted with crutches, and released. All up three and half hours. WOW! As I was leaving I noted that the emergency room waiting area was full now as was the area behind where I was now discharged from. I made my way back to the car park, paid the $6 and as I lowered myself into the car pulling the crutches across me and angled safely in the passenger seat. I buckled up, very relieved, exhausted and hungry (I had eaten nothing and had one glass of water ). As I had to get the script for Panadine forte filled I went to a local cafe, a coffee and food as I waited. Two friends were there and we had a lovely visit under the shade of the trees with the heat surrounding us. I left not too long later picked up my medication and home.
If only someone could sell that feeling: Driving into your driveway, getting out of the car, opening the front door and being greeted exuberantly by two warm beings who love you so much. My heart was so overwhelmed and my soul exhausted I began to cry as I let the dogs sniff my new helpers. Tears running down my face as I hobbled up the steps went inside, I fed my dearest beings in my life. Knowing that it was very doubtful I would be getting up very soon once I threw myself down on my mattress on the floor(yes it is still down stairs on the floor after Busby’s operation). Making life with a banged up knee much easier. I had opened the door out on the deck so the dogs could go in and out if needed.
I now had taken medication for pain and inflammation. I woke up seven hours later. Two dogs pressing hard into each side I was pinned down on the bed under the sheet. The fan going and the sun setting no cool breeze. SIGH… in describable contentment and happiness at that moment.
My knee is getting back to pre injury, not sure my thoughts of trusting it are. I believe that is pretty normal. I am so thankful I was not worse off. I am so thankful I am content, I am so thankful my dogs were fine, I am so thankful to have friends and people I could call. I am especially thankful that I did not allow myself to feel that I had no friends, no-one to help me, and go down that path I have often feeling so worthless. I am thankful I am strong, independent able to think logically and rationally when plans change. Not letting my anxiety take over.
blessings to You, Tazzie
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