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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Conquering Subway Mountain

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst."
William Penn

So I meant to write this yesterday and I guess time got away from me. It's been doing that a lot lately. I mean, I haven't been getting up especially late or anything. But before I know it, it's almost 9pm and the day is basically over. Really the days should feel longer now the bright nights are coming in, but they just don't. One minute it's noon, and the next I'm about ready for bed. And that's even on the days I don't have plans and I'm just in the house. 

Anyway, I guess this is just a little update post about how my week has been since my last entry. I didn't mention my dentist appointment, or after it in my last entry because it was dedicated to my sisters. So lets go back to last Thursday! 10/04/90

I had my dentist check up. Who doesn't love a check up at the dentist, am I right? I actually do quite like my dentist. She sometimes says things that feel a little crap, because I'm very sensitive about my teeth. I fell down a set of steps, pretty big concrete steps when I was three and knocked a lot of my little teeth up into my gums. It had an impact on my adult teeth when they finally came through. So yeah, I've always been quite self-conscious about them. Most of the time though, she's just really nice. She sometimes talks to me like I'm a kid, but then she kind of just talks to everyone like that. She reminds me of Miss Honey from Matilda in a way. And she's just a very good dentist too. I guess because she's also a children's dentist, she's used to being gentle. 

I went to the appointment with my dad and since I'm trying to be brave and more independent, I decided to go into the appointment by myself. Just like I did when I visited the doctor the Monday before. I'm getting pretty good at it. The thing that makes me nervous is my exit strategy. There always seems to be sets of double doors between the place my appointment is and the waiting room where whoever has taken me is waiting. My GP hadn't thought of that and luckily my dad seen me coming and opened the doors for me when I was at the doctors. My dentist was a little more thoughtful and walked me back to the waiting room. After that we went shopping. 

Again during shopping I was trying to be as independent as possible. I know I keep saying this, but every little thing I do or at least try to do, I really feel like it's such a positive step in the right direction.  The first milestone I conquered was paying at the till by myself. I went to Boots and picked up some new make up, and my dad was just about to go pay for it and I said I'd do it myself. I always get really nervous because I can't angle my hands certain ways and I end up dropping money. I think about all this stuff as I'm going up, and just get really nervous. Really there's nothing super bad can happen, but I just get so irrational. Still, on Thursday I decided to be brave! And after I wondered why I'd been so afraid all these years. After my dad and I did some food shopping. As I went along the isles in my electric wheelchair, instead of pointing to what I wanted, I tried to get it off the shelf myself if I could reach. I used to be afraid of dropping things and such, but Linda my OT said that when I live by myself I might have to go to the shop by myself for milk or something so I figured I needed to get used to getting things myself too. Or at least find out what I could get myself. There was no major mishaps. I only ended up knocking one thing off the shelf, and my dad was there to pick it up. Also, it wasn't anything breakable which was also a bonus. 

I had decided I was going to get a Subway to take home to share with my sister, who was working at her nursery placement. I figured she'd be hungry. Subway is like the nightmare of tills. I mean, other tills have always freaked me out. But the Subway counter was the worst of all because my mind had the tendency to blank when being asked questions by a stranger. I was always afraid of forgetting what I wanted to order and looking like a complete idiot. Again, it was really silly and irrational. I know these all sound like things a 23 year old should have mastered by now, but people tend to underestimate just how bad my social anxiety can be. It's a thing I need to overcome to gain my independence, maybe even more so than my physical disability. Anyway, by then I felt like I was on a bit of a roll and my dad suggested I go and get my Subway while he paid for the shopping. I was apprehensive at first, but then I thought about how good I felt even just paying for my make up. I'd feel even better about unlocking the Subway achievement! So off I went down to Subway. There was a small hiccup when I dropped some change from my hand, but I figured it was only 20p or so and drove on. 

I reached Subway, and I was feeling all brave. There was just a couple in front of me, so I didn't have to wait for too long and my adrenaline didn't have time to subside. It did give me time to try and remember what Eva usually ordered for us. Luckily I did and when it was finally my turn, my mind didn't blank like I thought it might. I got through it all with no hiccup, well, apart from the fact I forgot to mention I wasn't sitting in. When I got to the end of the line, she asked did I want her to take my tray to a table. And even though I didn't require it, it made me feel slightly better about the future when I might need it. Once again, after it was done... I wondered what I'd bee so afraid of in the first place. This really small and insignificant thing I had done, this little mole hill really felt like a mountain I had overcome. Luckily when I told my family about it, they understood what it meant to me and they didn't think I was silly. Eva even said Subway still made her nervous sometimes! 

So yeah, Thursday was a pretty good day. I really feel like I'm making a lot of small positive steps. I didn't do too much over the weekend. It was my dad's birthday, but he didn't want to do anything. I didn't even get to go to my grand parent's house because dad went straight from work. Sunday was pretty relaxed and my aunt visited. Eva and I watched Knocked Up on Sunday night. It has to be one of my favourite movies ever. It's just got the best cast. 

Again Monday was pretty quiet. It kind of disappeared from me if I'm honest. There's a lot of television on Monday to watch, so it takes up most of the evening. Today (Tuesday) was a little stressful. I can't remember if I mentioned it, but the Housing Executive was supposed to ring today and I guess were going to assess my needs in a phone interview. It's the second step in applying for a house. It was a proper phone appointment and when I made the appointment, they sent me out a confirmation letter and everything. Then this morning I got a call, which my mum took, from a Care Manager who wanted to come out and talk to me about putting together a care package. My mum told him around 4pm was okay, and I was a little worried in case it clashed with my call from the Housing Executive as I had specified a PM time. As they day ticked by my anxiety levels got higher and higher because the Housing Executive hadn't called, and it was getting closer to the time the Care Manager was supposed to arrive. And aside from that, I was just quite nervous about these new experiences anyway. Especially because I was handling both myself, which is quite a new experience in itself. Eventually 4pm came, and there was still no call. However my Care Manager arrived, and we had a little chat. It was pretty short and sweet. He basically said he would apply for funding, and after that see where we stood. He said he would talk to my OT to get a better idea of things, and that I'd probably be assessed to see what my care needs fully entailed. I think one of the biggest difficulties I'm realising is that all this is happening at once and everything is up in the air at the same time. I mean I've only met my OT once, I'm being referred to a Social Worker because I don't already have one, the Care Manager obviously doesn't know me because I've just been referred to him, and then the stuff with the house is all up in the air so I don't know where I am with that either. So there's so many things need to fall into place before other things can. In a way I kind of feel like I'm trying to run before I've even crawled, but then at the same time I think if I didn't then I might never have done it. It's all this uncertainty and the unknown that pushed me to do something. Without that anxiety, maybe I'd have been too comfortable to care about the future. 

The call from the Housing Executive never came. I don't know why, I'm going to ring them tomorrow and find out. I guess it was good in a way, because it didn't clash with the Care Manager like I was afraid it would. However if I'd have known they weren't going to call, it would have saved me the worry all day! Oh well, these things happen. The Care Manager told me to call him in two weeks, I said 'to see how things are going?' and he was like 'Oh no, to remind me!' Which wasn't exactly a vote of confidence, seeing as he was basically saying he might forget about me! But he said he had 60 people on his books, so I guess it's understandable that he might want a little reminder in case any of them fall through the cracks.

So yes, that's my little update. Okay, not so little. Very long winded update. There was actually something else I wanted to write about, but it's 00:40 (Wednesday, despite starting this on Tuesday) and I have a splitting headache! The other stuff can wait until tomorrow (or later today, I guess).

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