Friday, February 06, 2009

Caught between policy fire..

Yesterday was not a good day. There is a new policy in place for the organization that provides care for me each day. I am able to stand, bare my own weight and transfer with help when I need to move. It has never been a big issue for me or those who work with me, but I was just informed that transferring as I do is against company and health and safety regulations. These new rules mean that my care will take longer as a lift will be needed. Most of my attendants have no trouble transferring me themselves as we are both safe, but now they are left with no choice except to use equipment. I think having choices taken away is not fair. Choices mean flexibility and freedom and who wouldn't want that? On the other hand, I understand that my attendants must follow rules even if they would rather not. Rules are frustrating when they don't mesh with real life.

In the meeting yesterday afternoon when I learned about needing to use equipment instead of being manually transferred each day, I was surprised. Once that subsided, I was frustrated. I told the right people how I thought it was unfair to slap a general policy into my life when things were safe, comfortable, and OK for everyone involved. I said that standing on my own two feet is important to me. It's a physical ability that I will loose if I stop practicing standing. We all need to be able to stand on our own two feet - physically and in spirit. My arguments seemed to be understood, but no one had answers. They kept going back to policy. I think policies are useless if they cannot be applied to real life.

I am not a patient. I do not live each day feeling confined. Choices matter. Everyone deserves them. Safety matters too. I understand. There are going to be changes to my routine. I accept that. I don't like it, but as long as I get what I need, I suppose I shouldn't complain.

I tried to assert myself yesterday. I felt compelled to speak up for myself. Had I stayed quiet, I would have felt pushed around. Hopefully I wasn't rude. People who were around for the meeting could tell that I was upset and understood why. Maybe that's half the battle. Nothing is resolved, but today is a new day. It's Friday and there is a dinner for the Observer's birthday. I am looking forward to seeing friends and having fun. Life is for living, not dwelling on rules I don't have the power to change. Bring on living.


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