On The Existence Or Otherwise Of Miracles

Oh ghod I’m so frustrated! Yes, I know, there’s a spare ‘h’ in a word back there. That’s because I don’t want any ghod botherers bothering me about ghod. I don’t actually believe in ghod, thirteen years of catholic education and drudgery in church did not make me believe in ghod so, ghod botherers beware, your ghod bothering ways will not convince me.

Anyway, I didn’t want to talk about the existence or otherwise of ghod, it was just an expression, you know, like ‘holy pistachios Batman’, but less corny and more direct, and, I think, more forceful. I am frustrated because, being a poor person (not destitute but certainly living on the edge of the abyss), I am currently using the public health system to try to address my sciatica and pain issues and my recovery. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good public health system. Citizens of the USA take note, in Australia even poor people can get healthcare, they can see a doctor and their visit is subsidised, they can receive treatments, surgery, medications and their pockets may only be emptied a small amount. They will not have to sell a kidney to afford a treatment regime of chemotherapy. Here we do, actually, have a pretty good system BUT allied healthcare is often left off the list.

What do I mean by allied healthcare, oh you know, physiotherapy, osteopathy, speech pathology, ophthalmology, dentistry and the like. Admittedly there are usually public hospital provided services for these allied professions but they are so few and far between, so stretched, that getting in to see one of them in a timely fashion is almost impossible.

So, what am I moaning about? Well, it seems I was damn lucky to get in to see a physiotherapist last week to help treat my back and sciatica. Now the same physiotherapist has cancelled my appointment this week (no reason given, her life and right) and I cannot get in to see her for another two weeks. So it will be three weeks between visits and I’ve seen only mild improvement in my condition. I can’t afford to go to a physiotherapist outside of the hospital system because NONE OF THE BILL THAT THEY CHARGE YOU IS RECLAIMABLE VIA MEDICARE. NONE! And, being poor, I can’t afford to pay.

So now I am in limbo. I’m about to go and see my doctor again and we will discuss whether I can go back to work. I want to work but not if it means my health suffers. I may not have much sick leave left, on a part-time job your sick leave is pro rata, so I may be quickly diminishing my reserves and we haven’t even hit the flu season yet (I’m not into flu vaccines but it might be useful this year). This means that I’ll either have to start using my time off in lieu (TOIL) or my annual leave, neither of which is a joyous prospect. I much prefer to use holiday leave to have a holiday. I haven’t had a holiday (one where you actually go away) since December 2012 and my mental health is feeling the strain. Using my holiday leave to be sick is not going to improve things. I already did that in Dec/Jan just gone, it sucked then and it will suck now.

If I had broader access to allied treatment services at affordable prices then I might be better now, instead I’m at its mercy, dulling my nerves with a cocktail of pills and hoping that I’ll get better by myself or doing those painful exercises the physio gave me. I need a miracle, I bemoan, but then I remember that I am alive and that my ailment is not a death sentence.

I received news earlier this week that a friend of mine has been moved off active treatment and into a palliative care regime. She’s 42. She has two young children and a loving partner and no amount of love or hope is going to change the fact that she will die one day in the not too distant future from a cancer that the doctors cannot treat nor can they explain. Now, if there is a ghod, that’s where the miracle needs to happen. So, any ghod botherers out there reading this – pray for a miracle for her and leave me alone.

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