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November 26, 2012 / angelavbolton

All I Want for Christmas…

Angela and Bob, Windsor Castle, c.1987

Robert will have finished his SMART assessment this week (today being Monday the 26th of November 2012). Our understanding is that then the NRH will have an idea of what can be done insofar as longer-term rehabilitation and therapies are concerned.

Every single therapy is important to Robert’s progress and it’s disheartening when he doesn’t get a scheduled session. I’ve been attending or participating as much as I can, apart from speech & language therapy (SLT) so don’t know what it consists of. I hope to see SLT this week. It’s valuable for me to know what can be done to help him, being the constant presence in his life no matter where he might be: SJH, the NRH and the phase after that.

Speaking of which, that discharge date is rushing up to meet us – the 8th of January. I know it’s not written in stone but when one considers how long we waited to get there, it’s hard not to feel against the clock. His time at the NRH – because it’s the only facility of it’s kind in the country – is hugely important to our future and we can’t waste a minute of it.

And then we are back to ‘where do we go from here?’. No matter what else is determined for Robert by the team at the NRH, we know he’s going to need slow-stream rehabilitation if he’s to improve – and obviously we want improvement rather than simply management or maintenance – and there’s nowhere that we can find that will do that for him now that he’s over the age of 65. The statement by one of the attendees at the Bri support group in Tallaght, an electrician: ‘Plus and plus and plus equals plus; minus minus minus equals minus – don’t give up …’ occasionally rings in my ears and hardens my resolve to keep going. Unfortunately, uncertainty dogs us in trying to plan for the future.

I don’t want to be a campaigner and I don’t want to be a pain in the ass on the subject but this is a huge gap in the Irish rehabilitation system, and it’s not just Robert who suffers but everyone who is in-between the NRH and a nursing home. However, Robert’s my only concern and I have to find the right place for him. Again, I’m thinking about outside the Republic of Ireland. So again I have to fundraise unless I can get the HSE to support us – and I don’t fancy my chances there.

As for Christmas, friends and family will understand that it’s a time of year that’s particularly hard when you’re not able to share the joys of the season with the one you love. It is a time of year that Robert and I love, but it’s too difficult to deal with without him being at home with me. Not being a grinch or anything – putting celebrations on hold, let’s say – but do send thanks to everyone for their help over the last year and best wishes for the season.

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  1. Ritamary Bolton / Nov 29 2012 3:31 pm

    Hi Everybody,

    Just a word about our Celebrity Auction. Had hoped to run it this November, but as things have been moving rather slowly, we have decided to move it to February of next year, along with a general fundraiser we hope to have, with the help of some very generous volunteers.
    The good news, is that there is still time for other celebrities who might like to donate something for the auction. If you know of anyone who might contribute, but is too shy to see themselves as a celebrity, please let me know, and I will send them a request. A big vote of thanks to those people who have already contributed, or have pledged.
    I can’t name names as I haven’t asked for permission, but I think our bidders won’t be disappointed.
    Best wishes and thanks to everyone for your support.
    Ritamary

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