Assisted Living and ME 2

I just had to make a big decision as to wether to stay in Assisted Living or move back to Galiano, and my tiny house.

It’s been really hard to know what to do. On the one hand, Ayre Manor in Sooke is a great property with beautiful trees and lovely grounds and nice bright, Sunny, spacious suite, and the staff are all great. It’s close to amenities etc.

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On the other, being here has meant giving up the privacy, independence and peace and tranquility of living on Galiano in my small space. It’s meant leaving my friends, and daily home support, plus family doctor, counselor, and a close-knit community of people for the most part, I admire, respect, and love very much.

When Assisted Living was suggested as an option, it sounded ideal but like everything, there are positives and negatives. Unfortunately for younger folks, Assisted Living residences are mostly set up for people in later stages in life. With that comes certain things not conducive to living with ME

For example everything is really brightly lit, and lights are on all the time. Common areas are particularly loud with TV and media on at high volume day and night. The lovely care staff are used to clients in their 80’s, with hearing and vision loss, not clients in their early 50’s with several contentious, and unpredictable illnesses, including seizures.

I’m finding it’s all too much to handle: the lovely suite is so much bigger than I’m used to, so I get more tired, and can do less. The common areas are bright and noisy so when I spend time there, it causes more symptoms and seizures.

I feel like a fish out of water and it’s nobodies fault; it’s this awful illness that makes something like the smell of someone’s soap cause migraines, or talking for 5 minutes in the common room trigger s seizure, or an allergy to something in the food. Of course some of this is the crash one would anticipate from moving, except it’s getting worse the longer I’m here. Have to be honest, I’m pretty gutted and unsure what to do. I had such high hopes that this lovely building would give me the peaceful environment I need to stabilize a bit

It seems that’s not going to be likely. Anyways I decided to stay another month and see if things improve – hope so! Didn’t have the courage to make a change again so soon or want to be too hasty so here now til the beginning of 2020, unless something changes. Hopefully will adjust to the sensory bombardment and community living better. It’s really much harder than anticipated and it wasn’t as if I thought it would be easy – just thought it would be a slower paced more peaceful environment, but it’s busy and there’s lots going on.

If you’re looking for somewhere to send your folks for more support, this is the place. Really. The staff are amazing. But for me, and M.E. it’s too busy, and not sure I can adjust to the stimulation without another severe crash and burn. So far my seizure activity has been increasing from the over stimulation, and PEM (Post Exertional Malaise) really bad too. Fingers crossed this month will be easier. Thankful the staff here are so kind but hard when no one really has a clue about M.E., or Fibromyalgia, let alone a Pineocytoma! Why would they when most of the doctors don’t either?

I probably should just go back to Galiano. Think the pace of life is sadly about all I can manage, even on my best days, and I really miss the community there. People who have offered kindness and care, and friendship. Those are the things that really matter, and losing them definitely affects the health negatively as well as the mood. I’m grateful for many things. For the opportunity to even have this option, after only 20 years of living and working in Canada. It’s a beautiful facility too. Really friendly staff. Just such a big difference from my beautiful Tiny Home on that very quirky, and deeply, and joyfully insidious island, called Galiano!

Snow

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Not in the seven years I’ve lived on Galiano, have we had this much snow in one go!

Certainly not where I am, which is virtually sea level right in Sturdies Bay. But last night there was 6-8 inches by 7:30pm, so I dug my snow shoes out of storage, and went out.

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We didn’t go far but Willow, who needed her nightly constitutional, was waist deep, although VERY eager and tugging me up the hill; gleefully scooping mouthfuls of white stuff as she went, and grinning from ear to ear (wish I’d gotten a picture of that)!

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So we walked down past Studies Bay Bakery, which looked so warm and inviting, (coulda used a hot cocoa!), to the elegant and beautifully lit Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa, and back again. The gardens outside the Inn provided some lovely photo opportunities and produced some interesting results.

 

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Galindar 2018

A few years ago, I started making a calendar every year with some of my photographs, as gifts for the family at Christmas. That slowly grew and by 2014, I was producing enough to sell at my old store, Flotsam & Jetsam.

After my health got really bad, I had to stop for a couple of years, but I celebrated 5 years on Galiano September 13th, 2017, so decided to do a FIFTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION with photographs from the last five years.

The GALINDAR, as I like to call it, costs $25.00 CAD, measures 11″ x 17″ and is printed in full colour, on high quality cardstock, with a high gloss finish for vibrancy of colour.

The item can be ordered and shipped to anywhere across Canada or further afield. Please contact me for a shipping quote before you order, in that case.

<3

 


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Living Small

Revamped things a little bit lately and changed the tagline to what in essence, I’m really doing:

Living Small!

In a Tiny House, on a Tiny Island, living a lfestyle with an intentionally small footprint, and hoping to enourage others who are differently abled or otherwise marginalized, not to allow those disabilities, to get in the way of pursuing your dreams, and following an intentional lifestyle.

In fact by living small, I found that life grows in so many ways, and by incorporating the principals of Permaculuture, one is able to achieve much more, in less time, with less resources, even with quite severe disabilities.

It’s really quite surprising what one can accomplish even while housebound for weeks at a time. That’s not to say it’s not bloody hard work, or play down the adjustments, nor am I trying to make myself out to be any kind of expert. I’m learning as I go and making lots of mistakes, which is great because it means I’m learning lots!

Anyways, I’m going to try to post more regularly and hopefully, there’s something useful in it.