I’ve always been a cheerful sort of “oak” (to borrow the term From my friend in South Africa), but never as much as after my diagnosis. I was convinced since I was 19 that I had MS. The quiet MonSter in the corner that was coming for me. Or so I thought. But I refused to accept what I knew was happening to me. Ever since the day of my diagnosis, however, I’ve been open to trying everything, as is evidenced by most recent implantation of a neurostimulator and open brain surgery. I won’t lie – from a 1st person perspective, it was an incredible experience.  I wish very much that i could watch that portion of the surgery.

Homeopathy, however, is not something I have ever given any serious thought to. Perhaps there something there, and I surely will find out, but one thing at a time. I have most recently been searching for a new place to live, something that is not so easy when you’re confined to a wheelchair. Bathrooms are too small, entryways are frequently not level to the ground, buildings without more than three stories typically don’t have elevators… And the list goes on. The situation is, for all intents and purposes, deplorable. At 28 years old, I don’t want to turn to a CHSLD (for all you non-Frenchies out there, it stands for ‘Centre d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée’, or simply translated as a Long-Term Care Center), but my options are running thin. Either I find someone to live with, who can see past my illness and through all the nastiness that comes with it, and who can retain gainful employment, or I turn to a group home. Since option number one isn’t really an option, option number two has sort of struck a chord with me. Since my surgery, I am afraid to be by myself. I’ve had Q here with me since the day I was discharged, and he has honestly been nothing but a godsend; he helps me get dressed in the morning if I’m too weak to stand long enough to pull my pants up. He helps me get on the toilet on time not to mess myself. He picks me up off the floor whenever I fall, whether it’s getting out of the shower, getting out of bed, getting into bed… You see where I’m going with this. Without having him here, I’d be dead in the water. Sadly, though, there really isn’t any way that I could subject Q to this for much longer. I need help, I need rehabilitation, I need to strengthen my muscles, and I need to learn how to be autonomous once more.

And so my search led me to a place called The Cheshire Foundation of Quebec. I have been in communication with a very pleasant woman named Danielle, and have it set to discuss further on Tuesday of next week, with the eventual hope that she will come here, determine whether I qualify for services from the foundation, and whether they have space available for me – or how long it would take for me to be placed. The home is not subsidized by the government in any way, shape, or form. It’s the only English-speaking residence on the island of Montreal. And it’s right back in my old stomping grounds, or at least not far (Dollard-des-Ormeaux). Slim pickings, but this is my most promising avenue, not to mention Danielle and I had a great conversation, I think her sense of humor is in tune with mine. I only hope…

So that’s it. I never thought age 28 I’d be looking at moving into a care center, but them’s the breaks. It’s just the way my life turned out. There’s no use crying, moaning, or whining about it. My way forward is one of academics, working on getting through my schooling, and doing my best, just like everyone else, to be my best.

I know I can’t walk, but the hurdles that I jump everyday never seem to end.

I’ll figure this one out. But time is running short – I’m supposed to vacate my current apartment by July-1. And so the hunt is on, in earnest.

Stay tuned, and keep cool; the hot weather is here!


2 thoughts on “Hurdles

  1. Julia Durso says:

    We will get there Andy and find you a great place to live!!!

  2. Ruth-Ann Neil says:

    I hear you and commend you on the forward and brave thinking for yourself:)) You are an amazing man Andrew! One thing..your fiend Q did you ask how he felt or are you just needing to this on your own period? Which ever it is, it is clearly your life:))
    Keep us posted and all the good things in life for you.
    Love from Ruth-Ann and Dan

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