Set off the town of Yvoire , a French medieval town on the shores of Lake Geneva , we took a steam paddle boat along the coastline for a couple of hours passing a number of villages and towns . The sun was shining brightly the blue water we read and appreciated the views of this expansive lake.
Yvoire was splendid with a high arch entrance to 700 yrs old village , old timber houses but it was a high tourist spot so we got away from the floods of snapping tourists and settled down in a quiet area by the lake . The water crystal clear and with boulders and sand contributing to the contrasting turquoise and blues of the lake.
We arrived back around 6pm, so one of wish list items was to read a book on a boat so that was fulfilled. I just love the breeze of the boat , the soporific sound of the engine , the changing view and the sun warming my back as I delve into another world,
When we were on board a group of mentally and physically disabled folk joined us. I noticed a middle aged woman clearly distressed , she had no speech, little co-ordination and wheelchair bound. In the two hour journey she had no interaction, she was wheeled in the middle of the deck so she couldn’t see anything of the lake and views. The ‘carer’ only once gave a sip of water in a resentful manner using brusque movements with no speech or eye contact.
My thoughts drifted to the social care of people and how often people resort to the caring profession through desperation for money . No qualifications , no compassion, basic rate wages, long hours and no creditability. We hold mechanics who look after our precious cars in more esteem. It reflects the care we give to people who are rendered useless to our society, who take and have nothing to give , as the elderly and also myself potentially in a few months. We are always discovering abuse in care homes but it is society who has rejected the whole issues of care for the frail and vulnerable. If we recognise, value and hold carers in high esteem the system would be better and we cold choose to employ people who really do care rather then just getting the employees who have nothing else to apply for.
Since I became unwell I have felt ashamed of my disabilities, almost that I am to blame for not being healthy and productive. My reaction from healthy people is often impatience and annoyance because I can’t function . The GP surgery receptionist who gets angry when people try to convey my messages as it takes too long. People I walk with who charge ahead as my walking pace is too slow to walk beside me. Inpatient public when I am in a queue and I have to tap out my request , I see their faces as they peer over my shoulder to look at what is going on. Those who walk away when I am typing a message as I am too slow and it’s unbearable to just wait until I finished my sentence.
I feel also ashamed about how my appearance has changed , how my muscles in my face has changed and the dribble from my loose lips. I see the faces of disgust when my salivas slip from my loose lips onto my iPad sas I can’t get my tissue there in time. I hate this too but It is really not my fault. For those who read this and are young and healthy, one day you will get old or might get disabled before your time, try and understand that they were once like you , independent , lively , dancing and articulate, just because my body doesn’t function well I am same person inside.