What did Confucius say, anyway?

I’m too young to be here. I’m too young to be here. I’m too young to be here.

That’s what’s been resonating in my head for the last week and a half, just about since I arrived at Tango. I am the youngest of the bunch (though my hairline begs to differ); most of the residents are old enough to be a mother, a father, some even a grandparent to me. But as time passes, I’m struck with the realization that it’s not about my age. It’s about my level of the very real disability that I have to rollover, and wake up to every day. I have said before that I need help, I have griped and groaned about the accessible housing situation in Montreal. On top of it all, I have been trying my very best to retain some amount of autonomy, to NOT be a burden (at least a heavy one) on my family – even if they want me to. Countless times, my sisters and my mother have offered to open their doors, and let me stay with them. That is, simply put, not what I want, and no long-term solution. They have their own lives, and they need to live them, just as I need to live mine. And so, after a six-month search, going from building to building, looking at condos that I couldn’t even come close to affording, etc., I have settled. Sort of. It’s a process, most assuredly. I still remember being in Calgary, meeting a girl, hanging out at Prince’s Island Park, and baring my soul to her, telling her that my biggest fear was that I would one day be diagnosed with this insufferable disease. That was 7 or 8 years ago, and it all became reality. So here I sit, in the most accessible apartment I have yet to live in (though not without its own shortcomings, however inconsequential they may be) – and here, my life will carry on. And on. And on…

NDG/Cote-des-Neges, bordering on Cote St-Luc – I’m kind of in the middle of all three boroughs of the city. It’s a great area of Montreal, especially for any with mobility issues at the level that I live day to day. At Tango, the staff are courteous, friendly, and ever-so helpful. Whether it’s three in the afternoon, or three in the morning, there is someone here to assist me. Gone are the days of hitting that “panic button” and having to wait for my poor brother-in-law to come pick me up off the floor, praying to the powers that be that I don’t mess myself while I wait. Even my nephew came to visit; I think he liked the place. All the doors are automated, and the sneaky little bugger loves pushing buttons! He was so excited, almost as much as I was to have him here. He’s for sure the cutest thing on two legs then I’m related to! My only complaint is that I have no kitchen, only a microwave to heat food. I eat three meals a day with the other residents, in the common room downstairs. Anyone who wants can feel free to join -$5 for a plate. I am even allowed to have guests stay with me, provided that I inform the administration beforehand.

I don’t need all the services that they provide. I can still shave myself, I can still mostly get on to the toilet under my own power (I am a fall risk, however), I can still shower on my own, still dress on my own, still handle my own finances, and still work on beating down the MonSter. It will allow me time to focus on my studies (I want my English Masters… So maybe in 10 years!), time to focus on the support group that I run with Tristan and Jennifer (it really was their brainchild, I just signed a piece of paper and magically became the VP). He really is the most inspirational human being I have ever met. Lance Armstrong’s got nothing on him!

For everything I’ve lost moving here, I have regained elsewhere. I just have to keep that in mind. But it never hurts to be reminded. And reminded I am, every time one of the staff does something for me, whether it’s picking me up, helping me down, serving me breakfast/lunch/dinner – I just need to remain cognizant of the immeasurable service they provide.

If you enjoy the warm weather, you’re in luck. If you’re like me and detest it with rigorous vehemence – the apex of summer has come and gone, let’s all hope for cooler weather from here on out.

-A.D.

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7 thoughts on “What did Confucius say, anyway?

  1. Derek MacDougall says:

    I hope to read these more frequently, my friend. A solid look into your daily world. Keep up the amazing fight! Love, Dmac.

  2. There you are:))!!!
    Glad to hear you are changing things to what you would like for yourself.It is very hot here in the desert of BC!!!
    It is cranking up and I am like u I don’t like heat.
    Back inside to the AC!!
    Take care
    Ruth-Ann and Dan

    • wakingseconds says:

      Problem with mary-jane; I smoke one, and then another. And another…

      I know marijuana doesn’t create a physical addiction, and the side-effects? Hungry, happy, sleepy (http://youtu.be/D-g6XtRr1OU)! But I’m an addict. I can’t just smoke one and stop. Next thing I know, I’ve run through the whole bag… so, since I’m not able to control my substance-abuse problems, I just avoid it all together. But thanks for the links!

    • wakingseconds says:

      You don’t want to know…

      I was ready for surgery #2. They had me on the operating table, shaved my head, and only then did they check my blood work – my platelet count was too low for open-brain surgery. Questions then abounded–why the f**k wasn’t that checked prior to SHAVING my head and having the support frame DRILLED into my SKULL – the answers never came; one theory is that I may have contracted a virus that forced my platelet count to fluctuate. It was one giant fuster-cluck. I met with a hematologist today; she’s fairly certain we’ll never have a ‘for-sure’ answer on why my counts haven’t stabilized yet..and, you know what? I’m in no rush…I met a great girl, we’ve moved in together, and things are looking up..even she gives me shit for not blogging…I need to get back on the horse!

      How are you? Dan? Your Girls?

      Take care, I hope to get that post up soon…

      • Thank-you for asking, we are fine. Dan has two publishers interested in his books..one to be published in 2013 and one in 2014. The daughter that is living in Britain has graduated with a double Master’s in Interpreting/Translation and got a job at a place in London. She is getting married to her fiance Nick in the fall this year so I guess I get to find out how this body that I am in will do on a flight to England? I am not quite so good in walking and not so good in energy and a little nervous after 3 TIA ‘s post procedure for CCSVI……was it good? I think it helped a bit but I think it didn’t do what I had hoped, but I can still think fairly quickly, I just walk flippin’ weird…oh well, maybe it slowed this down, eh? Hope your counts stabilize soon!!! So glad you met someone and that you “clicked” and are sharing your space and dreams.
        Tell her from us, she has a fine man!!!! So happy to hear from you.
        Keep up the good fight!!!!!!! 🙂
        TC
        Ruth-Ann and Dan

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