“Do you mind if we take a rain check on Friday’s visit and catch up next week instead?” I wrote to a couple of friends who were planning to visit.
As much as I have loved the steady stream of visitors over the last nine weeks in the hospital, I told them I was feeling a little tired and needed a “quiet day.”
By nature, I’m a little introverted and can find lots of face-to-face time a bit exhausting. I love people and have a wide and interesting circle of friends. But I also like being alone, and I have tried to space out the visits by family, friends, and colleagues.
On top of that, there have been regular interactions with the medical staff.
This week, I’ve been granted “day leave” twice to go out with friends, and tomorrow I’m going out again, so I decided it was time to take a break.
The “day leave” for lunch was with some long-term friends. One, I’ve known since we were fifteen. The others, I’ve known since our mid-20s. Coincidentally, they all now live in Newcastle.
Though not as much fun as catching up with friends, the most significant meeting of the week was with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This was to determine the level of funding I might receive to cover things like the prosthesis, a wheelchair, and some support as I return home.
“What do you know about the NDIS?” I was asked in the meeting. “I’m a journalist, so I know a little about a lot of things,” I replied.
The most significant thing I’ve learned in the last few weeks has been about the age limit. After the age of 65, you’re not eligible for the NDIS, as it’s assumed you’ll be eligible for aged care. But if, like me, you qualify before the age of 65, you are potentially eligible for the remainder of your life.
“Amputations are pretty straightforward for the NDIS,” a few people have told me. For me, there’s also the likelihood/possibility I can get back to work reasonably easily, though with some support getting there.
That’s probably why, within only a few hours of the meeting, my funding was approved. That, and having the support of the social worker, physiotherapist, and occupational therapist who were there with me and who put together the case.
The plan will be reviewed regularly over the next 12 months.
I had a further chat with the social worker today and will meet again next week to look at the required next steps.
All in all, it’s been a busy week, which is why it was nice to relax a little this afternoon.