This is the third attempt to write this post, due to the usual techno learning curve, so I am going to skip all the nostalgic bitter-sweet poetry about what a tender renewal every New Year’s kiss used to be for us. I wrote it twice and that is enough. It is in my head and heart.
SO I will just skip to this year’s New Year Day which will surely be one I remember, I don’t know in what way.
This year I forwent (think that works with forgo?) the loving kiss of renewal we have shared for decades – last year I sneaked over and kissed him as he slept beside me – but this year there was no point even mentioning the solstice season. All that conceptional framework has vanished. And I had no loving pledge to give.
This New Year day is surely another one to remember, but I am leery of what feelings will rise in the future.
In the last week after several conversations I have learned:
• that there are hundreds and hundreds of elders waiting for placement in long term care in this Comox Valley. (Pop 65,000). The social cost, judging from my own life, is hideous, but as one health care worker said, the system is in shambles and it is people like you who just go on until you give out who hide how bad it really is.
• that there is a committee of some sort in Victoria allocating beds on the basis of urgency- criteria unknown but with a rule of thumb of 3 from hospital one from the community. These “beds” are divided up on a regional basis.
• that “solitary caregiver” burnout is 99% inevitable and that I have held out for longer than most folks have to. I think by solitary caregiver they mean, when there is no one else 21 out of 24 hours a day.
• that the crisis people and the case manager understand that respite breaks do not relieve the unrelenting pressure of the demands of care and the assault on one’s sanity.
Because of that, and because the holidays, with the added bonus of press time, have driven me babbling screaming crazy – ( and because those of Don’s children who are involved agree) I have decided to widen the search scope for a placement outside of our local area.
But there are some hard questions to ask in the coming days about why the north island is so poorly served.