~a bit of transparency about money

I try to keep the financial side out of this blog for two reasons.

  1. It always feels either preachy or like a plea for something. Either I feel like I am dictating to those who cannot get a foothold, or I am begging for more from the masses. Neither is 100% true, however. Yes, I do want/need help. Don’t we all? Also, it is very hard to get a handle on what exactly is available and what the limits I can push are in those directions.
  2. I HAVE NO IDEA all of the caveats and obligations. Like, if I beg people to gift me something on Patreon, do I have to declare it? Is what I do worthy of donation?Then, I self destruct into a world of “what makes me better than most?” and “what can I offer that no one else can besides this blog?” to which my self-worth gets eroded over time.

Those two point are why I never ask, or beg if you see it that way, for people to donate anything fiscally.

I HAVE (kind of) FOUND WHAT TO DO NOW!

I am on CPPD (Canadian Pension Plan Disability) which gives me just over $800 a month. It sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t break the poverty line. There are no benefits (like insurance) and I have to put the money out for things like my medication, wheelchair, and other necessities. It feels a bit broken, and a bit worthless.

WHY DON’T I JUST GO ONTO ODSP OR ODB?

They require a minimum income available, and look for any reason to not give me a helping hand. Since my wife had a decent job, I lived at home and/or my parents were well off, I was not eligible through the government of Canada for any sort of benefit. I am going to reapply, but the soonest that I can go through wit that is next month and the process takes about a month to complete. In the mean time, I have all three of my meds coming to an end, and I really need new wheels. Which actually segues beautifully into my next point…

DOESN’T THE GOVERNMENT FUND WHEELCHAIRS?

Easy answer is no. Harder answer is “explaining the caveats and bullshit reasons” no.

To get a new chair, the only way to government will put anything towards a replacement is if repairs cost more than a new chair would. If that is the case, the government (through ADP. I don’t know how it works with ODSP since they keep saying ‘no’ when I apply) will pay 75% back AFTER you put the money out for a new chair.If I am not mistaken, wheels are covered on a 5 year cycle (again, AFTER the money has been put out) but I have not looked into that yet.

My purpose for writing this all out is to demonstrate that being in a wheelchair does not create a win-fall financially unlike what I have seen the public assume it does. I cannot have a conventional occupation because of my epilepsy, wheelchair, and various other medical situations. They cannot NOT hire me for any of thees reasons, but maybe I don’t have the education that they like. Maybe my job experience isn’t quite up to their standards. There are many reasons not to hire someone without pointing to their medical and physical limitations.

I have ranted at you long enough. I basically wrote this for a semi-excuse to say PLEASE support me on Patreon. I will never ask for much. There are nine beautiful people on there whom I am forever indebted to.

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I Hope You Are Happy

Okay, you can relax. The updates are done for the year, and you don’t have to look at them again.

Well… unless you want to.

I, myself, have read them over several times already (writing this post on and after April 10) and will several times more to make sure they are right.

Again, the point of them is not to create animosity, to express how meaningless everything is, or to cause pandemonium, but to explore and accept just how amazing the time we have in this life is. I find great peace in knowing these facts do not just apply to me, but every single person on this planet.

One thing I will confess is that the one about how ‘no-one will remember you in two generations no matter what’ is a bit more definitive than I intended. Not to where it’s wrong, however. The internet has done a great job of making sure that everyone and everything will be remembered forever, just maybe not discussed at length anymore. As long as you have a social media account (somewhere), there is a mark that will be available for all time. I still get reminders on FaceBook of a couple of friends who passed away a few years ago whenever their birthdays come around. I am instantly reminded of any times I had with that person. I usually take a moment of silence to reflect on how they changed my life, regardless of how small or large the contribution to my personal narrative was.

On a sick side-note, I immortalized my own rebirth recently, just because I am considering it a very important event in my life. I do not know many people who got the privilege to tell everyone that they didn’t die. I cannot describe just how humbling, yet hilarious, that event was and still is. The importance is probably something I could never put to words. To be honest, the gravity of the situation as a whole was probably lost on me.

Off-topic, but I started a GoFundMe back in April. I have been in the same chair for five years as of July. I have learned a few things about what I want in a new chair and have been informed that I have to pony-up the money myself if I wish for something new/nice.
To be as clear as I can be, the money is for the wheelchair and for this website. Yes, the Patreon helps, but not everyone wants to give monthly. This is a great way to offer money once if you cannot afford monthly.

The goal is huge, but I hope we can achieve it together.

HUGE NEWS!
My wife and I are moving into my parents for a couple of months. I will mot be doing updates for the month of June while I organize parts of my life. Keep posted to the FaceBook page for when I come back. I will post there because I am like that. I’m sorry for the hiccup in my schedule, but I need to focus while life gets back to being sustainable.

Chair Movement!

This is a post that I have wanted to write for a while.

I was recently chastised for having my hands in the wrong position when moving around. I would like to make it clear that it was by accident, but I do appreciate the note.

It seems like a strange thing. Why would it matter where you put your hands? Should it not be okay to have your hands anywhere as long as it is comfortable?

SURPRISE! It matters a lot. Or, it does if you want to keep your arms in use for a long time, anyway. Please, allow me to educate. I would like to add that this is all experience based, though I will be following up with people with a physio background to make sure that I don’t make egregious errors.

Imagine the wheel is the face of a clock. To propel yourself forward, your hands should be at 945-10. Why so far back? If you keep pushing from 11-1, you are not allowing the full motion of your arms to play out. You are forcing them to start part way through a natural motion and, therefore, will wear out your shoulder joint faster than if you start further back.

This is something that was mentioned to me early in my wheelchair experience, and I thought I was doing a fine job of it. However, I met with an occupational therapist the other day and she pointed out that I start my push too far forward.

Now, I was doing that in the apartment. It is hard to say that I do that when out and about, as it is easier to gain speed when pushing from further back. Having your hands closer to twelve makes it easier for small maneuvers and quick turns. This does not excuse where you have your hands. The possibility of muscle and join damage is present, anyway.

Advantages of having your hands at the right spot? As I mentioned before, speed. There is the vane advantage of improving pectoral muscles. This all does not ignore NOT NEEDING SHOULDER SURGERY!

Last happy update for a month! So, I will leave you with a warning. The next four updates are far from happy. I think the posts are important, but I realize the potential impact they can leave on a person. If you are one who has a hard time with dark ideas and depressing facts, I understand if you don’t check back in. Normal updates start back in June. If this warning has not scared you away, I hope you find the following four updates and funny as I do!

Please consider donating to my GoFundMe or Patreon.

Art V. Depression

I got the privilege to see Amanda Palmer last night in Toronto. I was a huge fan of the Dresden Dolls years ago, and I have been intrigued by her solo work. It doesn’t help my fan-boying that her husband is Neil Gaiman, who has created some of my favourite worlds in modern fiction.

It was three hours of her telling anecdotes, smashing the keys on a piano, and strumming a ukulele. She explored her past, which included death, feminism, and abortions. It was so carnal, so brutal, so honest, I was enamoured by every word she spoke.

There was (several, but) one thing she said that has, and will always, stick with me. “You can be too depressed to create art.” Initially, I was offended by this notion. My initial reaction was one that I looked into my own artistic endevours and evaluate whether I was actually depressed, or just angry.

What I found at the end of my introspection was that I agreed with her statement, to a point. Depression is very deep. Not always, but it can result in exhaustion, and disasociation with reality. That explains why I have been having a difficult time writing over the last few years. I am nowhere near as angry as I was when I was a teen. Instead, I have been trying to harness my depression and translate that into anger.

My end point is that there will not be an update to asnP on May first. I have actually pulled out “this book doesn’t matter” and am trying to re-write most, if not all, of it. It was super short, and a few of my points were rushed. I hope to have everything done and better before the end of the year.

Pets v. Chair

It is not a secret that I have many pets. My wife and I currently have a Dachshund named Rudy, a Schnauzer named Theo, a Pug named Tina, and a cat named Groot.

Is it easy to take care of animals while in a wheelchair? No. If they decide to run away from me for whatever reason, they can win easily by putting a box between us. I will admit that it is hilarious when they hide under the couch thinking that they won, only for me to lift the couch. Their eyes bug out and they get very docile.

The one thing that is very nice the cat takes full advantage of is that I am always sitting. The cat loves the moving platform in which he gets to sit.

I single out the cat for that last point, but they all love it. He just takes the most advantage of my position.

Issues I have include walking them, but it’s only a minor thing. If they do their business on grass, there are times that I cannot reach it. Luckily, I am usually with my wife and she collects the “gifts” and disposes of them

A Bit Of Light Housekeeping

I updated a link in the interviews page from a YouTube video to the proper web link. I hope that works better for everyone!

At the risk of being hated…

I am writing this paragraph to reiterate that I am, in no capacity, a medical professional. What I wrote below is in the same vein as opinion, and points are speculation at worst, and loose unsubstantiated conversation bits at best. That goes for any medical opinions I have given on this site. There have been many questions regarding my credentials and sources over the years, and I would just like to remind you that I don’t have either.

I am writing this even though there is a great risk of me being labeled more harshly than is necessary. As much as I am going to make this statement in a blunt fashion, the intent is not to offend, but to squash assumptions and set records straight.

I got the meningitis vaccine. If you did not, and got the sickness (and wear that fact as pride), I have little sympathy for you.

I am not saying that I am pro-vaccine. I am far from an anti-vaccer. For instance, I have every shot, but I refuse to get the flu vaccine. I don’t trust it, I get the importance of what they are trying to do, but I cannot see it as necessary right now. Maybe in a few years I will have my mind changed, but for the time being, that is my stance. 

With the meningitis vaccine, I know my position is precarious and seems backwards. It is steeped in half research and questions that no one asked. I realize that I am far from a professional, but hear me out.

Apparently, the vaccine that is given in high schools across Canada is specifically against bacterial menengitis. The assumption is that I was stricken with a viral strain, and the vaccine will not work. Therefore, my attempts to pre-emptively deal with things were thwarted by unfortunate chance. 

What is my point? I just want, maybe even need, to express the importance of mitigating damages. I tried, and was unsuccessful. When I hear someone complaining even though they never tried in the first place, I get very frustrated.

I should not use this platform as a soap box.

I felt like I had to get this out. If you took that risk and didn’t get that shot, that’s okay. I still love you, and I wish you the best of health. If something does go wrong, reacting with surprise is not the proper way to go about things.

That Guy.

(Okay. Last change of this post. You got this.)

Ironic that a post I have scrapped due to being too open and too distant turned out to be a rant on forgiving yourself, but these appear to be the times we live in.

I have spent the last five years battling with the demons that we hoisted upon me when I died.

I read pages, literal pages, of comments talking about what I meant to people throughout the time we knew each other. I was toted as being amazing by someone who, before I came out of the coma, decided that I was no longer worthy of knowing them at all. I have let my wife down just because I am who I am, and she sticks around because apparently I am worth it.

All of these things keep circling in my mind while I try to decide whether I am or not the person I strive to be, or if I am just an avatar cloaking the body of a monster. I have done some horrible things in my 30 years on the earth. Should I keep dwelling on those, or should I accept that I might not be a halfway bad human?

I am very curious if my attachment to what I have done in the past is actually even normal. My mind is stuck on the idea that I, and I alone, realize that I am capable of the dumb-shittery that I have done in the past. I guess, in a way, you can describe me as haunted by my decisions. One thing I will bow to is my arrogance in trying to do this publication bullshit on my own. All of my endeavours in the arts have all been independent. Not by complete choice, but I wonder if because I half know how to do it alone (kind of) I create a kind of false-bravado and tricks me into thinking “I can do it if I just do one more thing oh God I can do it just let me do it this time…”

Fill me in, internet! Tell me if you also experience this loop of self-doubt and self-loathing. Fill me in if you second-guess everything you do, as well! I am in need of vindication that this is normal. I would also like the heads-up if I need to seek a psychiatrist.

Hi! I’m back!

The last two months were some of the most difficult things for me. I found myself wanting to write all the words and give all the news!

I wanted to write, but I refused to not let myself have a break! You probably did notice at least one (or more) pieces of writing, but that was because I was stewing about it and had to get it out!

Otherwise, there was little to report on. There was one personal matter, but I always feel awkward talking about things that heavily impact my life, but also impacts those around me. So, somehow, I kept quiet about it!

I’m proud of me!

ANYWAY! New tier on Patreon that rewards people donating $8+ monthly! If you decide to do this, you get to dictate the major plot points and overall theme of an original story! The first one goes up on the first of next month from the amazing Martha. Mother of Katie, she has always been someone I look up to and highly respect. I just hope she likes what I wrote…

NowIAmDwellingOnThatAndTheAirIsGettingHeavy

ANYWAY!

Updates back to the usual. Thank you for still being there!

SOMETHING I SHOULD EXPLAIN!
I am removing the obligation to release a new ansP every month from the collective Patreon goals. I find it difficult enough to get a piece to a point that I am comfortable enough to release it as it is. I am not going to give myself such strict deadlines. Hopefully, this will keep the stories GOOD as opposed to plentiful.

My relationship with PodCasts

I was on a PodCast. You should listen to it.

I have this thing where I am on a PodCast, listen to it far too much, and figure out areas I wish I had elaborated. It is NEVER on the shoulders of who is producing the vessel because no one knows what I want to shed light onto and I NEVER push in the directions I want to.

What pulls me into this pattern of self destruction and criticism? Why is it that I cannot just be happy with what I am saying? I answer everything I can with clarity and honesty, so the idea of the me not saying something else in the narrative is unfair. If I really want to talk about these things that I feel people need to know, I need to push the conversation in that direction. I need to acknowledge that only I have the power to say what I want to say.

That brings me to why I have this blog. This is the medium where I can put whatever I want down, and the only arm of censorship that I have to worry about is my own and, MAYBE, the police.

I digress. I really wanted to ask if I avoided something accidentally that you wish I spoke about in the PodCast. Leave a note in the comments and I will respond with incredible haste.

I would like to take an opportunity to talk “Tell the Bartender” for having me on, as well as extend a massive thank you to Katherine Heller for having me on her who. I also have to say thank you to Katie Maz for the push to contact Katherine with my story.

~Rather interesting date.

I have been told repeatedly by my parents that this day five years ago was when I first regained consciousness after my coma. Life support was pulled on the 12th. I just thought I would share that bit of information.

To anyone keeping track, this marks five years and eight days since I last died.

I started to write this post hoping that I would come up with some humours take on the whole thing. I guess I am sorry that you are stuck with me a bit longer?

So, my ending will simply be enjoyment of my fourth cup of coffee, cuddling with one of my six animals, and continued pensive waiting for my wife to come home from work. All the while, I will continue muscle training and walking practice.

***

I did a phone interview for Tell the Bartender PodCast. The release for the PodCast is soon, but I will post a reminder for that when it comes to the date in a week.