Biographical Non-Fiction posted September 10, 2017 Chapters:  ...50 51 -52- 53... 

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Part 5 - Our New Lives Continue

A chapter in the book The Little Dog That Wouldn't Let Go

A Major Curve In Our Lives' Roads-5

by Sankey

We had been putting up with most of the awful schedules, having just about got our favourite Carers sorted out.

Ch 17g Word
On the 24th of July, Louise returned home after almost 3 months in either Nepean Hospital in Penrith or Springwood Hospital further west in our Blue Mountains. Changes have continued including the refining of the Carer personnel, their functions and duties to assist my wife and also myself in my care of Louise.  We are now pretty well settled with our favourite Carers on a more regular basis.

As Louise awoke on 25th July, in her own bed at last she, just for a split second, thought she was still in Springwood Hospital. She could not be blamed for thinking that way. Afterall she had been gone from her "comfort zone" here at our home of more than 30 years, suddenly being thrust amongst strangers and strange places.

Her former independence had taken a real hit due to the right rotator cuff injury she sustained back in early May, that led to the almost 3 months away from home and in both the hospitals.

Part of all these changes was the fact she could no longer drive our car. As a matter of fact, she could not even get into and out of our car, anymore. We had the long process of finding a Wheelchair Taxi driver with whom we could be confident to get us to appointments and church and other events and home again safely.

In Australia, you are hard-pressed to find an "Aussie-you-beaut" taxi driver. Especially in the wheelchair taxi realm.  Initially, we had all kinds of people from many different nations pushing for our business on a regular basis. Some were quite arrogant and argumentative.

One Sunday we met an East Timorese chap to whom we took a liking. I think I was keen on the idea of taking him on as Australia did a lot to help East Timor gain their Independence from Indonesia. 
I said to him:
"If you agree to confirm bookings by SMS (Texting) to my Mobile then we would like to use your service on a regular basis."

We made a booking for the following Sunday, with no response. We then called the Wheelchair Taxi Booking service resulting in our first contact with the man we now use on a regular basis, or one of his group of SIX other drivers.

I learned recently the term "multiculturalism" does not always mean a new immigrant will want to "assimilate" into his new country of choice. In the 40's and 50's here in Australia we had a large percentage of Greeks and Italians make their new home in our country. We also benefitted from the different cuisines and food choices.

This new taxi driver I will call Brad, turned out to be one of the most "assimilated" former Pakistani immigrants I have ever met. He really has embraced his new land. Added to this he has adopted a great attitude we encourage in this country of involving himself in the practice of building up "referred" business.

"How does one do this?" You might ask.

Referred business happens when a businessman or woman conducts themselves in such a way to make their customers and clients want to "spread the good news" about their great service or profession. Sadly, also in Australia, there are many who want to burden themselves with the high cost of more advertising as they continue to as we say here "rip off" their customers, resulting in no further recommendations free of charge. 

We have now had almost 8 months of "Brad" and his comrades' service getting us to where we want to go. I guess the old station wagon in the garage is feeling a bit lonely. However, I do use it sometimes when I need to go somewhere and Louise stays home.

It is pleasing to know Louise's right side has improved and she is actually resuming using that side more in her day to day activities. We are waiting for Government approval for conversion of a new or "pre-loved" vehicle that fulfills the requirements to allow Louise to drive up into it, in her power wheelchair so she can drive the vehicle from the chair. God has graciously provided the funding for that vehicle through a dear lady we know, as long as we can get the approval for the change to the vehicle that is needed and far too costly for ourselves to finance. Your prayers for the approval are appreciated.

As we come to the end of this "sidetrack" in my story, it is now approaching a year since this "change" in our lives occurred. Another change has come with the Carer situation to give me a break a couple of nights a week as the second carer. This change has cause Louise some deep sadness as it has brought back the awful memories of the original accident and some of the earliest great changes to our lives and her in particular.

On two out of three of her showering nights during the week a second carer will now assist Louise, allowing me some respite and to use up some funding that is still available, as we come to the end of her current NDIS* Plan.

I still remember from my various times of Government employment the need for particular funding of different sections of administration in the Public Service. maybe it is the same in all Governments around the world. It is a case of "use it, or lose it!" If funding is made available and for some reason is not used in the fiscal year, there is every chance the powers that be will decide... "you did not use up what we allocated in this last period, so we will cut back for the next period."

We are advised the situation is much the same with NDIS funding. If the money was made available for Louise for particular purposes in this current term, but not used then not only will it not be available in the new "plan" but it could very probably be reduced in it!

There is much dissatisfaction with the NDIS programme and many feel like it is very unfair as to who gets what.  I made up a couple of definitions of the acronym as follows.

Negligible Difference In Support. Or a newer one...Nightmares Depression Insecurity and Sleeplessness. We had a lot more success with the former State funded ENABLE Programme that usually let you know how long before you would get the needed supply of equipment or service. NDIS is a Federally funded programme for all of Australia.  


Picture is the Wheelchair Taxi service vehicle we are hiring on a regular basis. *NDIS stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme funded by the Australian Government. Originally made law by the former ALP Government (read DEMONCRAP kind) now being hopelessly administered by the current "Conservative" Government.
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