Surviving
in and out
of the
Cow Town



Laura's Family Web Site
Maintenance & Graphic Design

Cowgirl's Rodeo




My Life Story
By Laura Pearce

This is dedicated to the people who helped me to get off the street and away from alcohol and drugs and other addictions. Also to the people who gave me the strength to reach these Clean & Sober Days. Finally to my Higher Power which I call "Mother Nature" or the "Goodness in people" who keeps me serene in the times of trials.

Contents


* Title PageTitle PagePage i
*Dedication and ContentDedication and ContentPage ii
*IntroductionIntroductionPage iii
* Chapter 1:I was an Addict when I was YoungPage 1
*Chapter 2:Time with my DadPage 5
*Chapter 3:School YearPage 6
*Chapter 4:My First MarriagePage 13
*Chapter 5:My Life on my Own with DrugsPage 20
*Chapter 6:My Second MarriagePage 24
*Chapter 7:My Clean lifePage 28
*Chapter 8:My Father's DeathPage 31
*Chapter 9:My CompanyPage 35
*Chapter 10:Kitchener, OntarioPage 36
*Chapter 11:Jasmina's SupportPage 41
*Chapter 12:Moving to CalgaryPage 47
*Chapter 13:My Apartments in CalgaryPage 55
*Chapter 14:My Mom's Death & Reunion with KidsPage 63
*Chapter 15:My Time after DBTPage 67
*Chapter 16:My Trip to Worcester and the 2013 FloodPage 69
*Chapter 17:Three Years until I turn 65Page 73
*Chapter 18:Turning 65 and Moving InPage 74
*Chapter 19:Bed Bugs Return and Other ConcernsPage 77
*Chapter 20:The Outbreak / Bus Accident / Scooter Break DownPage 81
*Chapter 21:Getting My New Electric WheelchairPage 93
*Chapter 22:Moving out and Moving onPage 106
*Chapter 23:A New Chapter In My LifePage 115
*Chapter 24:Troubled TimesPage 121
* ConclusionPage v

Introduction

I would like to start with the backgrounds of both my father and my mother. My mother was born the eldest of a family of seven; the five children were all girls. She was born on a farm in Scotland near the county of Ayrshire. One thing that was important to her family was religion (and therefore, the church). Everyone was expected to attend the local church the only church in town, along with the one room school hall, which was all they had in this small town. Her father was a Brigadier and was wounded with shrapnel from the war. Her father took the family to Canada to help with the health of the family. This was also to escape the hardship of the war and with Robby Burns taking over their estate. The final reason she left (Scotland) was because of her health. My mom's family moved first to Winnipeg, Manitoba and then to Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). Her mom (my grandmother) was very sick at the same time, but wanted to be treated like a queen as she was treated by her husband. This left my mom having to take care of the whole family. Thus my mom was expected to do everything but keep the family up to the standard they had when they were in Scotland. As the war was on, they had to ration their food so things like teas tea, milk & sugar were in short supply. Being brought up in an army family, everything was done with high standards and precise timing - to the point that they were expected to be perfect. My mother had to show everyone how to do properly, but ended do it all in the end. She had to be a perfect example for the rest of the family. This meant keeping the place clean and making sure all the meals were ready on time for everyone. This would be where she would later meet my father. For most of the year, she had a problem with the constantly raining weather that caused her breathing problems.
My dad was born in Dorking in the county of a Surrey near the city of London, England. My father lived on a farm but was poor and the church taught that the husband was the head of the family and the wife was to obey the husband. He took it as that the whole family had to obey him and so he could do things to them in the home away from others. My dad's warped belief of this was that anything inside the family was okay, even sex. His family was escaping the war, so they moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada), where they set up roots. All I know is that, later, my father moved to Vancouver where he met my mom
They didn't go out together openly, because of their religious differences they had to hide being together. My mom being "Orange" (High Protestant) her dad felt this only region to accept in the way of marriage. My dad being Salvation Army, which was considered the poor man religion, was not allowed to get married without join the Salvation Army first. My mom did like her religion and my dad was not strong on his religion so they went out privately. However, my mom got pregnant and she could not hide it. Because of this and her having the child out of wedlock, the family shunned her. She became the 'disgraced', both in the church and in their community. When the child was stillborn, this made it evil in my mom's eyes (and in those of the church). So she thought that God's condemnation would be on the rest of the family. This forced her to get married and leave Vancouver. The first reason was to get away from all of the gossip in the church; of course, she would have to change her church due to the talk! The second reason for leaving was that she found her health to be no better in Vancouver than in Scotland. So they moved to Calgary, Alberta (Canada) where the weather and climate is dry.
Like her mom, my mother wanted to be treated like a queen - from both my dad and the family. Being shunned by her own family, she went through times of loneliness for her family. She wanted to be pampered at all times by my dad and if not pampered she would refuse sex with him. This cost my father time and expenses to keep her pampered. My dad had to take on many jobs to keep up with it. He was constantly tired of working and started to steal from these jobs to get extra money, which ended up getting him fired. When my mom found out about it, she was not pleased. She would demand even more from my dad. She had to keep up those high standards that she had set. She had to look beautiful at all times for church, and to thus look like a perfect Christian.
Her punishment on my father was always to withhold sex. To get back on good grounds with my mom again, he started to steal from letters he was delivering. This was all a mind control game to my mom. She got what she wanted from my dad or else. Even though (to her) she hated sex and all that came with it, we still ended up with a large family of seven. My mom got tired of sex after the sixth child was born; at that point, she refused sex totally. But she still expected the same quality of life from my dad.
My father got used to having sex once in a while, but having no sex was something he could not accept. He first tried by looking outside the family, but this was against his own beliefs, and what he lived by. So he turned to my sister instead and started doing it with her all the time. Then I finally came along after a long time, and my family wondered why with my mom doing no sex. goto the top

Chapter 1
I was an Addict when I was Young

My story starts when I was one and my father getting caught doing incest on my oldest sister. My oldest brother saw this happening so he went and told my mom. She then went and phoned the police and my father was sent to jail. The newspaper heard about him ending up in jail; in those days, a subject like incest would make a great story. So, they published in the Calgary Herald, which caused my mom to feel like the church and the whole community was ridiculing her. She could not stand for this; she thought about it and called my father "The Devil." She would continue naming him that from that point on. Whenever we did anything wrong (or even considered 'wrong' in my mom's eyes), she would treat us as the "son of the devil", and thus we were the sons of our father, "The Devil."
After the story appeared in the paper, everyone knew what my father had done. We then became outcasts of the whole community. We had no kids to play with, and thus we had no friends to depend on or to have as a close friend. This would draw me into myself and so I would not trust or share anything with anyone. All of the bullies in the community treated us differently from any other students, and thus picked on us constantly, which included all of us being beaten up on a regular basis.
We received very little in the way of help with money or food or clothing, so we often went without. To get food for ourselves, and because we didn't get it at home, we would have to approach our peers and then have to beg for that food from them. When we were told to get away and they refused to give it to us, we would have to dig through the garbage to find the food. Seeing this, the kids would start laughing at us because they just threw it away. After they finished laughing at us, they would then begin to ridicule us and call us names like "garbage picker".
Not having enough money affected us at school in terms of what we wore to school. If we got hand-me-downs from our brothers and sisters that were in good shape, then we had decent clothing to wear for school. However, most of the time they were not in good shape, so we ended up wearing rags to school. This caused the kids to humiliate us and call us names like "snot rag". After experiencing two of these events, I ended up losing it, to the point where I went into what I call a "White Rage". At these times, I would lose control of everything (including my awareness of surroundings) and ended up fighting back with unknown strength. After being picked on by the bullies, and the name-calling, this "White Rage" would start up my adrenaline. After each of these cases, I had unknowingly ended up putting both of the bullies into the hospital for a long period of time. All during this time of "White Rage" going on in my mind, I would be looking at a picture of a window with many panes. Each pane had a story in it of the bad or painful times of my life and then I would be smashing out the individual panes in order to get rid of the pain that the story represented. Never did I realize that I was hurting anyone physically in association with the punching of the panes. The parent of the child charged me with assault. But I had never thrown the first punch so the courts said that I did it automatically to protect myself and that my reactions had been done in self-defence.
After these events took place, the other kids were scared of me and their fear caused them to heap even more humiliation and ridicule upon me. Also because of these two events (of being charged, and my reactions while in "White Rage"), my husband's lawyer would later use the information against me so that I would lose custody of my kids. Even though those childhood events of mine had nothing to do with the custody cases, nor anything to do with my kids, my lawyer just sat in his chair and allowed the information that was being used as evidence against me! Anything done while I was a child should never have been used in a court of law, not for custody hearings years later, nor for anything else.
In all cases, I ended up losing even more friends. During these times, I did not care about school or myself and thus my marks went down to the point of me failing. But whenever someone cared about me, my marks would go back up into the high 90's. I aced all subjects with the exception of English.

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Each time my marks went down, my mom would be on my case about them. She would get extremely mad as she expected a high standard from all of us. This was because of the high standard that she expected of herself as a result of what her dad had expected from her. Her expectation was to the point of perfection. She would tell us that we had to be "Perfect as Christ is Perfect, thus saith the Lord". Shortly after pronouncing this phrase, Mom's wrath would come upon us and she would yell a blue streak so that everyone in the family heard her. She would then yell, "We are having a family gathering to consider these low marks you got, and what everyone thinks about it". She would force us to sit down in front of the rest of the family and then it would be a "Kangaroo Court". Whoever squealed on us was "the accuser". If any of my brothers or sisters saw what had happened, they would be my "Defence Lawyer" and also a witness at the same time. If no one saw what had happened, then I became my own "Defence Lawyer". First my mom would ask the accused about the event; to her, the story told by the accuser was true. So, then the accuser, in front of everyone, would tell his or her side of the story. Then mom would ask everyone what he or she had seen or whether he or she had heard of anything about the event. Finally, the accused would tell their side of the story. If it was not clear by this point as to what had taken place, then she would needle both the Accuser and Accused about what had happened, continuing back and forth between the two, until one of us would break down and change their story to agree with the other person. Even if it took all night, mom kept the whole family sitting there and repeatedly mentioned that she would "get to the bottom of this, even if it took all night". Even the other kids would start getting upset, as they could not go any place while this trial was on. We were not allowed to tell a lie, as that would be a sin. We got to the point that we started to question the story ourselves. If she brought out the bible then we all knew we were in trouble and we would be there all night. We would all be punished for not doing the chores and would do twice as much the next day before we could go out. Whoever won in "Kangaroo Court" would end up with all of the other's meals for the rest of the week. They would get special attention from mom or even get a dessert as a prize. The loser would get the wrath of my mom, and all that came with that. In all cases, we were sent up to our rooms for further punishment and could not sit down for supper. We had gone up to our bed and kneel beside it to pray until she came up.
Now, some of the punishment we got after the "Kangaroo Court" was this: as mentioned, mother would ask the person to go up to their bed and pray until she came up. Then, she would come up and lock the door behind her. She would ask if we had asked "Our Father" to get rid of this evil that was in us. Once she felt we prayed enough, she would get out the bible from our top drawer, and start reading the part about what Christ did to get rid of demons in a man. She would say, "By the Power of God, and the Blood of Jesus Christ, might I cleanse you of these demons". All during this time, she would be strapping us until we could not sit down. She would throw us into our bed, and tell us that if we "didn't keep praying all night long, then [we] would lose [our] Salvation for the rest of [our] lives". She would also lock the door as she left to make sure we did not leave our rooms. This made me, in a small way, claustrophobic to (especially) locked rooms. When she came back in the morning, mom would punish us some more. All of this was as if we were in that movie called the "Exorcist", which came out later in my life; nonetheless, it seemed to show well what our family life was like.
As I was the youngest and so got into trouble the most, I felt like I could not run away from these punishments. On a regular basis, I first tried not to get caught. Yet each time, either the other students at school would squeal to my siblings, or the teachers or principal would phone my mom. In the long run, we never got away with it. I finally got fed up with trying and started to get into trouble knowing very well that I was going to be caught. Whenever I got caught at school, the principal would strap us and then send us home. Then my mom would strap us again, even though the principal had already applied the same punishment. It looked like only negative attention would get my mom's attention. She never knew how to give love in the first place, as she never got it from her family when she was young herself.

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The principal or teachers would also upset my mom by letting her know how bad her children were, and she would retaliate with harder punishment. She would always pre-judge us so when the principal or teacher phoned; this would only confirm her judgment of us. Even if we had not caused the problem in the first place, and we denied it in front of her, she would not believe it. We were guilty in my mom's eyes, so denying anything would not matter to her. She would find out even if the principal or teacher did not phone because she would hear about any wrongdoings from one of my siblings, after they had either seen it themselves or from another student who would tell them about it. No matter what the case...we got it in the end.
All of this punishment and humiliation started to take a toll on me. All of us went through times of mental depression, which would affect their family relationships later in life. More than once, my depression went deeper than affecting any relationship. During these times, my emotions would go off the wall. I would learn later that these were the times when I would go into "White Rage" and would not have control of myself. I constantly had tension and it would lead to headaches. Beside the headaches, I would lose control of my bladder and ended up wetting my bed, or - even worse - I wetted myself a few times on the way to school. When I got to school, my teacher (seeing that I had urinated) would further humiliate me with more punishment. The teachers tried to stop me by telling me, "If [I was] going to act like a baby, then we will treat you like a baby in the classroom". Their 'treatment' meant things like being sent to the corner to sit on a chair while wearing a bib and dunce cap for the whole time I was in that class for the rest of the day. Naturally, the kids would laugh at me and then ridicule me after school. No matter which sides the teacher was on, my mom would just get upset with us and then we would always get hurt in the long run.
We were the black sheep of our own family, let alone for everyone in the community, and thus we had no friends. I would end up getting it from all sides, including: church, home, school, community and sometimes throughout the whole city of Calgary. I would be bothered by this all during my adolescent life. We were brainwashed with, "Turn the other cheek" or "Don't air our dirty laundry". In grade one, because of this situation, I failed. I got called "Stupid" or - even worse - "Crazy". Getting it from the kids was one thing, but getting emotionally whipped from mom would make me feel really stupid and not worthwhile.
I felt like no one would listen to me and my life was just a big mistake. This was backed up when my mom would say things like I was "the straw that broke the camel's back". She told me this because I came on the scene, being born well after everyone else in my family who were already in their teens. She felt if I had not come along when I did, then my father would have had no reason to do what he did to my sister. My mother felt the incest was the ultimate evil deed that my father had done to the family and her life. Another time she came out with, "I wished that you would have been born a boy". That statement later affected me in what I wore to school. My problems, both with wetting and clothing worn, started in my first grade and would haunt me for the rest of my life. I got into trouble when I was in grade one. I never was allowed to attend junior kindergarten because of having no money and the attitude of the community towards us. My mom would not allow us to bring any 'friends' over to our house, as there was a chance they would learn about our dirty laundry.
Due to mother's enforced rule about not bringing kids home, we would have to go to any friend's place; also, our going depended on whether the other parents agreed too. When either the parents or our friends did not agree due to peer pressure from other students, then we found other places to meet. Some of these places were the caves below our house or the ones overlooking the Memorial Drive hill. One time, the cave below our house caved in and we were stuck there all night. The other place we spent a lot of time at was our water hole in a valley below our home. I spent a lot of time there and got dirty there to hide my visits to my dad's place. These friendships were few and far in between, especially in my elementary school lifetime. Both the ridicule and the beating from the other students would continue

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throughout my elementary school life. Only with going on to junior high did it change or slow down. The first reason for the change in ridicule was because I had failed grade one and failed twice in grade six, which put me further behind those same kids whom I had started with in grade one. The second reason was in the change of their image of me after the final beating of the bully in grade six, who also ended up being put into hospital for six months. There was also a third reason - the teachers thought I had more sense than my marks showed. Thus, for all of these reasons, I went to Langevin JH (Junior High school) and turned my life around.
During the adolescent part of my life however, I would do things for my mom to please her, with hopes of getting some kind of love back from her. Yet doing things for her would give me mixed feelings of both hate and love at the same time for my mom. One example of a situation was the "tea ceremony" in which I had to make the perfect tea for my mom, with exactly the right amount of milk and sugar. I would first start by bringing the kettle of water to boil and pouring the water out as the kettle whistled. Before pouring anything into the teapot, I would have washed it out with this same hot water from the kettle. Then I would have to wait five minutes to make it steep correctly. After all this, I would bring the tea beside her bed, place it on the end table beside her, and then have to 'comfort' (have sex with) her for the rest of the night. I would know she needed this comforting when she would be crying in her room, due to the loneliness of missing my father, which she could never admit to. Her sadness was also because of the loss of relationships with her own family. But me 'comforting her' made me wonder what sex was all about, or if this was the only way to get love. The rest of the family knew what was going on, however they would not tell anyone in case they would have to be next.
Another time I was watching the food on the stove in the kitchen and told not to watch any TV or go out to play. But as soon as my mom left, I went and watched TV. Only during the commercials would I go into the kitchen to check on the food. The food was in a presser cooker, which whistled when ready, and then you had to turn it off or break the pressure by releasing the valve at the top. If you did not release the pressure, then it would build up until the point where it would explode. The TV was so loud that I did not hear the whistle blow, and when my brother went to the kitchen after hearing it whistle, he came back into the TV room and told me. The pressure cooker exploded just then and all the food spewed all over the walls. The lid of the pressure cooker was found two miles away at the bottom of our hill. The curtains that were around the windows were jammed underneath the phone where we could not even get a paper under before. The bottom of the pot sank right into the stove to the floor. The entire cupboard doors would not match up with their cupboard casing and all the walls were pushed out by one inch. The fire department was called, and the story was put into the newspaper; it was about what happens with an unattended pressure cooker. The picture of our house is still shown in Fire Station One in Calgary. Now, I was afraid for my life from mom's wrath for not watching the food, and also because I'd destroyed the house. So, I ran away from home all night, and in the morning of the next day I came back. The police were all around and when I came home, she told me to "just get upstairs" and she would "deal with [me] later".
From then on in my life, I would handle any problems by either hiding or running from them. In the example above, I did both. I would run away to one of three places: to my friend's place, to my dad's place, or to my uncle's place. Whenever my dad told me I had to go home, I would go to the local water hole and get soaked and dirty to take pressure (from my mother) off me as to my whereabouts. Then I would sneak home, coming into the basement through the basement door at the back of the house. I would remain there until I fell asleep. After waking up from being frozen and hungry, I would come up the stairs into the kitchen. I would see my mom talking to the police, who were there to find me. She would not say anything to me at this time, especially in front of all the people that were in the house. But once they had left, she would come upstairs to my room. I am sure everyone on the block could hear the blue streak she would call me; even the strapping this was heard by all the rest of the family, as it would

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cause them to wake up from the noise. At no time, either in front of the police or in front of us, did my mom show any concern for us or love us. We had to live with whatever she gave us, and I had to accept that myself, because I got only 'love' when I went in to comfort her for the night. Even that love was not real love as should be given to kids - or at least, like love given to 'children that go to church'. I became an addicted even before I was one year old. This would lead to me getting headaches and later to my mom giving me pills to get rid of the headaches. Life would never be the same for me - I would not ever be normal like the rest of the kids.
During the adolescent part of my life however, I would do things for my mom to please her, with hopes of getting some kind of love goto the top

Chapter 2
Time with my Dad


My father used wine to relax me and put me in the mode for sex. I couldn't say no to my dad either in regards to all the candies he would made me take or to the wine he made me drink, nor to all the sex he had with me. All of this helped him to give the only love he could give me, but these situations all contributed to making me an addict. After each of these visits to my dad and the drinking of the vino, I would first have to stick my fingers down my throat until I up-chucked all the vino out of my system, then I would eat garlic to get rid of the smell from it. If, in any way, I thought I still had any smell that my mom could sense, then I would have to do other things to cause her to look at the dirty clothes rather than the smell on my breath. This would mean things like going to that water hole to get dirty and - sure, it would get me into trouble! - But I would be in less trouble than if my mom knew I was at my dad's place. Another thing I would do is to go into the basement to sleep off the effects of the vino in my body. We all thought that if we got caught going to my dad's place, that our mom would kill us...literally. The worst thing was to come back and do the "tea ceremony" with my mom to get her in a better frame of mind. So, it would end up that I could get 'love' (sex) from both of them on the same day. This was always on my mind when I went to my dad's place and all during my visit with him. Eventually, this would grow into shame and a feeling that it was entirely my fault about being forced to have sex with my dad. I would never tell anyone about what I had done, and this included my siblings as they would end up telling mom and then I would be dead for sure. Even after leaving my dad, the feelings would continue. I would also continue to block out anything that I had done with my dad.
After one of these trips to my dad's place during the winter, I went to the water hole and got dirty as usual. However, this time my brother (who is just older than me) found me there. When I saw him, I first tried to hide from him but lost my footing and ended up falling through the ice into the frigid water. If not for my brother, I would not be here today. Both he and my next-eldest sister helped in my first few grades of school, but they left after getting married and had moved away from Calgary. So, both could not help me anymore and I withdrew more into myself. My sister moved to Edmonton, AB and my brother had moved to Medicine Hat, AB. They were the last ones to be in the house with my mom.
When I was in grade two and it was my birthday, my dad came over to drop off a bike for me, with a card. When my brother found it, he first came to me and told me of the bike, then gave me the card. However, he then went to mom to tell her that dad was on the property. The first thing my mom did was to take a shotgun and bring it outside with her. Then she challenged my father to stay on the property, and told him that before he left, he needed to take the bike from the premises, as it was "not wanted on this property". So, I was watching this scene during the whole time it ensued, and lost both my dad and my bike in one swift blow. After this point, I hated my mom and would never trust her again. This caused my mom to fall from being "GOD" in my eyes to just a mom. The bike incident and what my brother after coming back and telling us about my father, I started to wonder about my father and what he was; a dirty old man or "The Devil"? In either case, I just wanted to find out for myself for the first time. I honestly don't know whether I would have gone to my dad's place if the bike event had not happened in the first place.

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The fact that we never were allowed to tell anyone about our family secrets, or trust that they would be able to keep our secrets from anyone else, I would have to depend on myself and thus I retreated into myself. The other kids would also not trust us and treated us differently or gave us labels. The labels were: "That Crazy Family" or "they are touched". We learned to isolate, through selective hearing, both at school and church. Things like the "birds and bees" were especially a no-no, whether at school or church. Our mom never taught us the facts of life, so we would have to learn about them from the streets. This is why most of the family would join the gangs. If my mom did not teach a subject then it was considered 'evil' and thus we were not allowed to even listen about it, either in school or church. If we did listen or talk about it, we became possessed with demons (in mother's thinking), and had become like our father, who was "The Devil" (to her) and thus we were the "Son of the Devil".
My mom's attitude about my dad was not just about sex, but also about his whole culture. We were never allowed to speak any Italian in our home, as that represented dad. Even my name had to be changed and spoken in an English way. My first name only had to be spoken differently, but my second name of Francesca, was changed to Frances. We were also adopted by her male friend and had to accept his last name, which was Pearce. All my school records showed this change. It was not until I left my mom that I was able to change my surname back, with a slight change of the O to an A on the end. But in school we were not allowed to take any Italian classes. I hated my mom because of her not allowing us to speak it or to learn about our culture. Later on, in my life when I was staying with my grandmother, I would try to learn this language. Although very hard to learn at first, by living there at grandmother's place, I was finally able to learn Italian. Once I left my grand-mamma's place though, it slipped from me again. I still am trying to learn it now, but having no one near who speaks Italian, I find it hard.
As stated earlier, my dad solved my emotions with vino, but my mom solved them with pills at a very early age. These pills were adult aspirins, and by the time I was in school, I had graduated to 222's. Between the use of drugs and drinking, I grew to have a total dependence on both of them; they would have a major role in my life. The dependence on drinking helped my father's use of it to soften me up whenever I came over to his place. These substances would give me a fake strength over my feelings and then remove my physical pains. They also allowed me to miss school, where I was picked on. When I failed grade one, the other students would call me "stupid" and I ended up having to take a special class at school for English to catch up. I was not stupid, as a later teacher in high school helped me to get better grades; I even got Honours marks.
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Chapter 3
School Years


The two sides of my mom showed up as hypocrisy in her life...like, at church we all had to wear our best clothing to go, but as soon as we got home, we went to our room and took them all off, folded them all up, and put them away until next Sunday. Then we had to put on our rags. Our attitude at church was to act correctly and be a perfect Christian. My mother would look and act likes the perfect Christian too. She would volunteer for all the church committees and do anything for anyone. This did not include us, as she would ignore us. She especially liked being in the children's programs, like the C.G.I. T. (Canadian Girls In Training) or any other clubs. She was always complimented during all the time she had spent to help the church. But once she came through our door, she became a different person. She would rip into each of us for doing something wrong at church, even for not going to the front of church to ask for forgiveness of our sins. Then we had to kneel down in front of the rest of the family when we got home.
One thing we did when we were young was to take the eggs from the chicken coop next door and

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store them in the basement. A week later we took the rotten eggs to the caves that overlooking Memorial Drive. The cave and the cliff were above the road. This separated us from the road. There was no way for anyone to reach us except through the fields and we could see them coming, miles ahead of their arrival. While anybody was coming, we would slip down one or the other side of the cliff and get away. We played a game in which we would throw the eggs down at the cars as they drove by. We got one point for hitting a car, two points for getting the egg in an open window, three points if we hit a person, and five points if that person was a policeman. The record was when my brother threw a perfect egg and it cracked on an egghead who was driving in a convertible. We gave my brother twenty-five points for that throw.
I learned at a very early age that if I got sick, I would get my mom's attention, without having to go through the "Exorcist". I decided to quit eating, to the point where I would get very sick. If this did not get my mom's attention, then I would stick my fingers down my throat and make myself sicker. In either case I got the same results. I also ended up not attending school. Overall, I was happy about both situations. However, all of this started me down the road of anorexia or bulimia; I still struggle with these eating disorders to this day. At that time though, we only had food on special occasions, so it was very easy to slip into this mode of being anorexic. The only problem was when I was very hungry and I would have to sneak the food from the garbage or, even worse, beg for it from other students at school. In each case I would go into a depression and I ended up with an ulcer while I was young. I became self-sensitive and pulled into myself again, not trusting anyone. The only advantage of this was that others would not accept my solitary behavior; this included members of the gangs. The major disadvantage of the gangs is their exposure to the drugs and alcohol; by now, I already had problems with both.
There were four times each year when we received plenty of food to eat. We would, on those days, pig out until we ended up sick by the end of the night. One example was at Christmas during the supper meal when we were given a forty-pound turkey. I would ask for the whole side and leg to eat myself. I would then take two heaping scoops of potatoes and drown them in gravy. On top of that came mixed vegetables, cranberries, and even two or three sweet yams; then, I had both the Christmas pudding and mincemeat pie. To finish off the supper, I drowned myself in a bottle, 750oz, of some kind of pop. We started the day, and would continue throughout it, with loads of jellybeans, candy, chocolates, and cookies. So, the supper was like the crowning glory for the day but we continued afterward, until we got sick. The next day we started on all of the leftovers of food and candy, until none was left. We did not even care about saving any for later even though we would have nothing. This would repeat on each holiday, as the church would take pity on us for these days. We hated the pity, and our mom felt it turned the church against her. Because of rags and having a brother older than me, I ended up wearing his clothes most of the time. The church members thought I was a tomboy and 'poor mom' for dressing me like that at church. To the rest of the community, the church would say that they were saving this poor family from starvation.
There was one other day that I had plenty of food I liked, and that was on my birthday. We were allowed to order any food we wanted and the kind of birthday cake we liked. My favourite cake was from the Woolworth store - strawberry shortcake. There were two layers of sponge cake separated by strawberry jam in between; then it was spread with icing all around both layers and smothered with full-sized strawberries on top. It was finished off with a circle of icing around the top edge of the cake. As my birthday was during the summer, we would have a picnic on St. George's Island. This island also overlooked the same Memorial Drive where we went all the time as kids. I would always want to carry the cake from the Woolworth's on 6th Ave in Bridgeland to the zoo, which was on the island. We would have to take the bus from there to the loop and then continue walking the few blocks to the island, where the zoo was. While I was carrying it, I would lose track of which way the cake faced up and therefore it always became an upside-down cake. My mom would get mad at me and argue that I could not ever

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carry the cake. Each time at the store though, I would yell out loud "It's my birthday!"and would then, with all the others looking on, start crying until she gave in. Anywhere else or at any other time, I would have been taken home and punished for embarrassing her in front of all these people. One time after picking up the cake and heading to the bus loop, I stepped off the bus and stepped right into a mud pit, which was right beside the stop. While trying to get loose, I lost one of my shoes and could not find it. My mom yelled, "Since [I] don't have shoes, then go without until I get you some." More than two months passed before she got them and it was only because of going back to school. I had to wear large runners for the rest of the summer, with two or three socks stuffed inside to fit into them.
My birthday would start in the morning by going downtown to have a flapjacks breakfast made by people with the chuck wagons. Since my birthday was during the Calgary Stampede, I would spend most the day at the rodeo. After the picnic, we would walk over to the stampede; my entrance was free because it was my birthday. They gave food out in the barns, which would keep us fed for the day. We would beg for a day pass, which got us on all the rides, all day. At night, we would go over to Scotsmen Hill that overlooks the rodeo and watch the fireworks. One year I won a twisting contest and received a Wilf Carter record, which was signed by him. The night that we could not end up on Scotsmen Hill, I would go out my front window onto the roof and watch the fireworks from there. The pyrotechnic display always ended at about eleven o'clock and by the time we got home, it was past midnight. Since it was after midnight and it was not my birthday anymore, we would get into trouble with mom and would be punished for being late.
A few individuals in my life would help me through these rough times. One of these individuals was Arnold, who especially helped me during the elementary school years. As mentioned earlier, my mom would not allow friends over in case they found out about our family secrets. So, I ended up going to Arnold's place. He became a really close friend, who was also an Italian. Whenever I came over, the family welcomed me and fed me. He became like a blood brother to me. At school, he helped me with the kids, so they would not be picking on me. I had found someone whom I could trust. His home became my home. We went everywhere together. I shared everything with him, all my hurts and cares. He never mocked me. In grade six, his family moved away and it felt like the whole world was caving in on me. I lost a close friend, and he was the one with whom I had trusted and shared all of my concerns.
The only person who helped me was my step-uncle, related to me through my sister's marriage. He owned a TV and radio repair shop and taught me all my electronics knowledge. I spent many days there, especially to escape my mom's wrath. I learned everything about electronics and the TV business. I loved him for his caring and his love and his helping me with the electronics. As usual in my life, he too moved away. All of his education helped me to look toward making a career in Electronics while I was still in school. This gift of electronics would replace the things I hated about school, so I then majored in Electronics at technical school.
The only thing that I enjoyed at church was the campouts that they held every summer, which were in the Rocky Mountain House area. We would spend one week in the wilderness. We had to live off the land and sometimes horse-backed into the mountains. When I got older, we would spend two days roughing it on our own in the forest. From the age of eight, I never missed a year at this camp. In my older teens, I even became a counsellor and spent the whole summer there. During these campouts, we would both see and hear all animals in nature. We saw things like a beaver dam and also heard sounds like that of a loon, which would normally be hidden because of the city sounds. But here, in the forest, we could meditate and leave all the sounds of the city behind. This was nature in its full glory and beauty. I could have spent my whole life out in the forest. There was just a peace that I can still not share in words with you. Other days, I would climb the mountains and find my Higher Power (HP) from the top of these mountains. I could see Mother Nature in all her glory. At times, we went to Banff and spent hours in hot springs were, even during cold -60-degree Fahrenheit weather outside, it would be a lovely

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75 degrees Fahrenheit in the water. I dreaded having to come back to the city. One year, I almost lost my life as I had an appendicitis attack in the forest; by the time we had driven to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, which was about sixty miles away, my appendix had ruptured.
The horseback riding weekend, where we would ride up and through the mountains and the passes, included living off the land with wood campfire to cook over and to keep us warm. Putting soap on pan bottoms would stop them from burning. The washing of the pan would then rinse clean. We slept under a tree with its boughs to protect us. The night sky became beautifully ablaze as the sun was so much more dramatic in those mountains. We had to act as a whole team for protection as well as fun. At the end of each night, we had to comb and rub down our horse, to keep the horse in shape. We took the saddle off, fed the horse, and only then could we bunk down. When we did not do this, the horse would get bruises and saddle sores. Then we would not be able to ride the horse for a day.
My problems with my father started again when my brother came home after seeing him. My mom had slowed down her hurting us because of our father; the long period of passed time had helped. But now with my brother telling us about our dad again, that all changed. My brother told both mom and us that he had seen our father, and that he felt our father was not "The Devil", but just a dirty man. My brother's viewpoint was that father was still our father and we should be allowed to see him. Telling mom that she was wrong was more than my mom could handle and her anger exploded. She told my brother that he would be disowned from the family for this. We kept encouraging him to "Tell mom, tell mom". He finally got so upset at mom hitting him that he hurt mom very badly. We were cheering him on the whole time. Mom called the police and got him sent to Juvenile Hall. A month later, we were in front of the judge who asked us why my brother had hit my mom. My brother explained the situation and we all were agreeing to his story. But the pastor, believing her to be a perfect Christian as this was all he had seen at church, said that the incident was all "just [my] dad causing [my] brother to act this way, and as far as he [the pastor] was concerned, my mom was a perfect Christian!" Because of this, my brother was sent to the foster home and we were forced to stay with our mother; I was then about age six. I felt unsafe at home with my mother and I was now ready to look up my real father for myself. I now wanted to see...was my dad "The Devil"?
The pastor had never seen the whole story, only the part where my mother was in the church. We were forced to act like perfect children and Christians in the church. A year later, after the pastor dropped in to our home, he found the whole truth. He caught my mom completely off guard at home, with the place a mess, and her yelling at us, as usual. The pastor finally agreed that he was wrong and agreed that she was a different person at home. I wished he had seen this before he told the judge what a perfect person she was. Then we would have ended up in a foster home, like our brother, and could have been safe from my mom's wrath.
I also questioned my mom's word about my father really being "The Devil", or was she just lying to us? From then on, I went over to his place in secret on weekends or after school. The only day I would never go over to my father's place was on Sunday, as we still had to spend it going to church with my mom. At first, my father seemed to be sweet to me. But he would then fill me up with Vino to soften me before he would screw me. My father always told me that he was my father and, as such, could do anything inside the family that he wanted to. I would 'entertain him' for the rest of the night. As mentioned earlier, before going home, I would put my finger down my mouth to bring up the vino and use garlic to cut the wine's smell and taste. This is where next, I headed off to the nearest water hole to get wet and dirty in order to hide the fact that I had seen my dad because if my mom had found out, I was sure she would have killed me...like I said, in her eyes, being with my father was evil. After getting home, I would generally go into the basement and hide out there until I was found. The 'Exorcism' would be done on me again, but that was worth it...better that than getting killed. However, sometimes before getting home, the police would be called to find where I was and this would make our mom madder.

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One time my dad took me fishing to a place on the Bow River, near Banff. While my dad was fishing, I went wandering around in the forest. I came upon a clearing in the woods, which had, in its middle part, a large boulder that had come down from the Ice Age. A stream ran through the clearing, feeding into the Bow River. Along the stream were stones that made a kind of beach on the side. The clearing was filled with wild roses. The ground was covered with wild grass that grew to my height. I lay on the grass and it felt like a bed. The clearing was enclosed with the forest all around. In the forest were the sounds of the deer, loons, crickets, a beaver slapping the water before he went into its den, and all the other bountiful sounds of nature. When I was laying down, the boulder shaded me from the sun, while the heat of the rock kept me warm. This became my safe place. Now, whenever I get down on myself, I recall the image of this place and have learned to relax. I never went back to this place, except in my mind, but it will always mean a lot to me.
My grades went up and down through the years of schooling. As I said, I failed grade one and failed twice in grade six. The school only forced me into grade seven as they saw I was ready for it. In grade seven at Langevin Junior High (JH), I was accepted completely. After I had taken on the school bully in grade six, I gained a new respect from the other students. Langevin JH was an international school, with many languages being spoken; in effect, more here than in all the rest of Alberta put together. The school bonded through the playing of games and won more games than the rest of the city schools put together. We were the top school and won more 1st place medals then any other school in Calgary. An English teacher, who helped me get back on track with my English, was my grade seven teacher. She would stay after school and spend many hours tutoring me. I know I never would have finished junior high school if it weren't for her and her concern. My other marks then went up into the "A's" range. I will always appreciate her efforts and wish I could tell her how much she helped me.
This school was also the base for the Calgary School Patrol Band, and during the three years I attended Langevin, I took part in this band. I would end up doing different positions in this band, from holding the Banner Flag of the band to playing a recorder, and finished off (after training in the music classes at school) as a second Trumpeter. The band, besides going into the Calgary Stampede Parade, traveled to different cities for their parades. We went as far as Edmonton in the north and Lethbridge in the south, to Lloydminster at the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta in the east, and to Canmore on the west. I really enjoyed this part of life as I could get away from home and not get punished for it. I also joined the Salvation Army Band, as I would not have to attend my mom's church and could still enjoy my trumpet playing. The Salvation Army Band even went on and helped me to purchase my own trumpet, which I still have to this day. I kept playing for both bands until I later moved up to Airdrie with my mom. Like other times, someone moved away from me, but this time it was I who did the moving. I would not play the trumpet for many years to come, even though I had my own trumpet at home. I wish I had kept it up.
Until she moved to Airdrie, I lived with my mom and the rest of the family at the Child Avenue address (in Calgary) after my dad ended up in jail. My dad built the house, which was two-toned with a red roof and blue siding, in a three-story building. The house overlooked the valley, which went straight up to the airport. When any planes came in from the east, they would see our place and then turn down the valley to the airport. So, our home was the landmark before radar came for the airplanes. It was also known by the Fire Department because of the pressure cooker blowing up in our kitchen and the subsequent damage that had happened. But what most people remember about our place was that my dad had lived there, and what he had done to my sister. My mom could not handle the house because she thought it had a ghost, the place being haunted by my dad. She never remembered any good things the house had given or how my dad had supported us the whole time. Even though he was forbidden to see us or come onto the property, she remembered everything that the community had caused for her during the years she lived there. So, when I was sixteen, my mom sold this house and land, and moved to

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Airdrie, being twenty miles north and outside of the city of Calgary. This sale and move took place while I was in my tenth grade. I was to start at Crescent Heights High School, but with both the move and needing to go to a technical school, I ended up switching to James Fowler High School. I would be able to continue my education in Electronics there. This also meant leaving all students of my past at the other school. I was accepted as an equal at James Fowler HS; I ended up with honours and a scholarship in Electronics when I finished at this school. The rest of my marks were in the 90's for Algebra, Trigonometry, and Physics. Of course, the only problem I still had was with English, which still haunts me today. The only problem here was how to get to school every day.
During the time I lived with my mom in Airdrie, each morning I would have to ride with a maniac to school, which traveled at excess speeds of 120 mph (miles per hour) to get to Calgary. This gentleman, from our complex, would turn that ten-mile drive into one mile in a minute. So, when I got to school, I was always a wreck, and ended up having to have a shower once I got there. This affected my schooling and me, so, after several months I ended up with an ulcer. As a result, the local Welfare found me a foster place to stay in so that I could finish my schooling for grades ten and eleven. This became my adopted home while I attended school. I stayed there until I moved back with my mom into Calgary after she came back from Airdrie.
My mom didn't last very long in Airdrie and, after moving back to Calgary, demanded that I come live with her again at once. I did not want to restart that relationship over again. My relationship with my dad had also stopped when I moved to Airdrie. So, I said "no" at first. In grade twelve, we needed to buy our own books and pay for our own way at school, which meant having to take out a loan as welfare would not pay. I didn't want to start a school loan before I went to technical school, so I accepted my mom's offer to live with her for my last year at school. I would attend Ernest Manning High School instead, which was down the street from where my mom lived. I figured that one-year would not be hard to handle. Bottom line was...free rent and no loan.
The first few months went okay. My mom never asked me to go to bed with her. I would have to accept going to church with her though. But once there was a problem at her work, she started to get down on herself and then on me. She also expected perfect marks again from me at school. During the rest of the year, I felt secure. I started going out with the youth group and also joined Junior Achievement. I ended up getting second place as the Top Achiever for the treasurer position during that year. We would make companies with the leader's help, then sell items as a regular company. The books and records of sale, along with balancing at the end of year, was why I got the award for Junior Achievement. Between doing the books and going out with my youth group, that was what made me feel more secure. It was an enjoyable time of my life and having many friends was very rewarding. One of these friends whom I met there became a good friend and was also my housemate, until I got married. In fact, we went everywhere together during that year.
I felt I could find out about my dad again because everything was going okay at home, and also because of my youth group support. This time I would tell mom up front before I went. I would say that this was the first time I had seen my dad. She brought out the bible, which always told us we were in trouble. She read two scriptures, the first being on how the elders of the church treated widows. This was saying that my dad was dead; I guess in her eyes, he was. The second one was, "If any person hurts even least of these my children, I will put a heavy yoke on this person." But she never read: "Parents do not bring your children to wrath or you will not see the Kingdom of God" after the previous scripture. She then went to her bed and cried all night long. Again, she was applying pressure on me to come and comfort her once more. Beside her constant crying all night and my concerns of seeing my dad and what he would want me to do again, I had no sleep that night. I got up very late but my mom had already gone; I was a wreck. I started to wonder if I should go to my dad's or just stay and take the consequences, but I had already destroyed the bridges with my mom, so I thought that I might as well go

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anyway. After fighting my thoughts for most of the day, I went over to my dad's place. I finally would see if my dad had changed or if he was just the same old man from the past.
When I did see my dad, I found him naked in his room and waiting for me to get in bed with him again. He asked me if I wanted vino to start off as usual. I told him "No" and walked out on him and his life. When I got home, my mom was already waiting for me and was reading her bible at the same time. She said, "Now that you have seen your dad, the Devil, you have become the son of the Devil yourself. You have lost your salvation and will never see God again." She then left for her room. She started to cry in hopes that I would come and comfort her again, like all other times. It felt like I was six again. But I refused to do the tea ceremony with her or go to her bed to comfort her. She kept it up all night, which played on my mind and sent me into a depression. I kept questioning myself, Should I break down and go in and have sex to quiet her down? I never got any sleep that night. The next day she ignored me completely. She never made breakfast for herself or me. She kept ranting and raving, "God has left this family and [we were] all going to hell." That evening she finally left, but I was so far-gone by this time, that it would not matter whether she was there or not. I felt I could not live under her roof anymore and would get out, one way or another. So, I lay around all day, either on the coach or in bed, and wondered whether or not I should kill myself. (I finally did after getting so sick to even live.) I took all the pills from my mom's night table in her room and swallowed every one. This made me very sleepy.
To back up a little, the day that I had gone to see my dad was a Friday. Since it was our usual night for youth group on the previous night (Thursday), I went and asked the pastor and the youth group about my plan to see my father; they all encouraged me to go and I was to phone the pastor to let him know how the visit had gone. Since my pastor had not heard from me all day, which was now a Saturday, and he had constantly phoned my number without getting an answer, he decided to just come over and see how I was. He brought another deacon with him about ten o'clock that night and they found me, all doped up and very drowsy. They spent the rest of the night, taking turns, walking me around and pouring coffee into me. During the whole time, they were talking about plans to help me out of the situation. This went on all night long. As he had to give an eleven-a.m. sermon, at ten o'clock the next morning, the pastor suggested I should go with him to the church to make me feel better. Then, after church, we would both come back and talk to my mom together.
The plan was for me to be going to bible school for missionary training. I would take my Broadcasting training to help them with overseas radio. This would make my mom happy. I kept encouraging her with this story for the next two weeks. After the two weeks, I walked out and found my first one-room apartment.
For the next few months, I never lasted more than one month at any one place. I had never lived on my own and now to live in a single room, especially a one-room place with only a bed for a couch? Right from the start, it brought back my past claustrophobia. I left the youth group, partly because I blamed the pastor and that youth group for how I had ended up after being at my father's. I now spent all my time visiting the bar scene. When I got home after the bars closing, I would fall into the hole that I called home; it made me feel like I was in a giant hole in the ground, or that it was hell on earth. One night while walking downtown, I ran into my old friend and he suggested that I move back in with him again. He was still living in the basement at his mother's place. He also encouraged me to go back to church. Going back to the church and the youth group, I left the bar scene behind. At the youth group we ran into another new friend, who later would become my husband. This was the longest two years in my life!

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Chapter 4
My First Marriage


After going to my friends, I was ready to take on school again. The first year of technical school, the three of us spent all our time together. I spent the whole year living with my roommate. I felt out of place at school partly because of my situation and also due to being the only girl in the class. I strived to keep up but found it hard, and my English was also bogging me down. The first year was not bad as I coasted on what I had learned from my uncle. This particular year was paid for by my scholarship from high school. The second year, with having to take out a school loan and the course being a lot harder, I needed help to keep me going. I decided to get married just to have that help. My first husband had said, "Through [him] and GOD, we [can] work out any situation." I needed my husband to help me with my finances. He also had knowledge of Broadcasting and would help me with school. However, after a short time, I started going back to the bars. The fact that we did not get along in our marriage after the first year, and me spending all my time at nights in the bar, led to me bombing out on my last year of schooling. Only in taking a make-up exam did I finish the course and get my Diploma in Broadcasting Engineering.
The first year of the marriage, I didn't go to any bars. But the love of marriage didn't last very long. I only got married to run away from life, and had listened to the promise that my husband would solve all my problems. He, being from Damascus in the USA, was here on a Missionary Visa. So, for him to stay in Canada, which was the reason we got married. He had no transportation and even did not have a license to drive. My roommate and myself took him out everywhere with my car. We were 'the threesome', especially the first year of school. But after a few months, my roommate excused himself from our relationship. My husband's boss warned us that if we didn't act proper around him and at church, he would send my husband home. That boss also started to make more and more rules for us to follow.
The situation of us getting married started with a joke, in which we took the school ring (that had a diamond in it) and claimed it was an engagement ring. I would drop it in front of him. We sent a letter to my husband's parents saying that we were engaged. We quit trying to be proper at church and went up into the balcony there to make love to each other. Of course, all this got back to my husband's parents. Since he was under age, and under the direction of the missionary, he was told to either get married or return to the USA. He decided that he would stay here and with me. I felt trapped by him and the church, which were demanding us to get married. The parents wanted the wedding at their church in the USA, so we got married in the Damascus Friends Church. This ended up having nothing to do with love but just so I could allow him to stay in Canada. Mostly I wanted him for his finances. I agreed to marry because I wanted some friendship and even some love, and mostly to get away from my mom forever. He wanted to stay and felt some love for me, so he thought that this would make it all work out in the end. It never did, but he thought it would.
Most of the time, I would spend my time at school concentrating on my studies. I gave no time for our marriage. He accepted this for the first year of our marriage, which was the second year of schooling. When I entered into my third year of school and the second year of our marriage, he wanted more. He wanted me to spend more time studying at home, especially at night. This demand turned my thoughts into hatred for him, because I could not study with him at home. The lust for having love was really never there for me, and for him it had run out. The situation developed into a "Cold War" between us. The relationship went on a roller coaster, all through to the last year of school. We had no love in our relationship, just monogamous friendship, so it was not going anywhere. Throughout it all, he would repeatedly say to me that if I would let him, "With my [his] help and with God, I will be able to stop you from going to bars and receive a Christian life." To please him and to stop him from mentally persecuting me, I stopped going to the bars and even quit drinking, and went back to church with him.

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At the church, I would go down the aisle to confess my sins, and then a month later I would be right back at it. My husband also sent me to see a doctor with the hopes that it would help. During the last year of school, I started to go to bars that were different than the normal ones; these were gay bars. I got an interest for a person of the same sex. If my husband found out, I would be killed ... just like what I thought would happen from my mom.
My first job was as a VCR operator at a TV station, CFAC, in Calgary. This meant putting on the right tape for the shows that were shown on TV. I would also get empty tapes and record new shows onto them; they were to be sent to other TV stations. This was below my training in Broadcast Engineering, but it was a job, so I did not always mind it. My concentration was not always there and in a mix-up with the numbers of one tape, I ended up taping over a pre-recorded tape, instead of onto a new one. Thus, I was fired from the job. It was a major syndicated show, which went out all across the whole Canadian Network. The tape was to have a red tape over it to show it was recorded tape, but there had been no red tape on it. The director of the show had quickly told me the number over the phone, so whether he gave me the wrong number - or I heard the wrong number - it was the same: a thousand-dollar show got scraped for a hundred-dollar one. This of course did not go over well. They admitted there was a mistake but since I was at the bottom of the pecking order, I would have to go. The fact that I had done a great job up to this point did not matter; they could not fire the director. It was my first mistake; however, my attitude/heart had never been in the job in the first place.
I left Calgary to look for jobs elsewhere. Since students from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) covered most of the jobs, thus my chances of getting a job were slim. I then went around to all the locations in the province and finally ended up in Lloydminster. I accepted a job and found an apartment to live in. During this time, my husband was still working and would not be able to join me right away. This would be okay for me as I could go to the bar scenes and do my work, without complications of having a husband around. My husband would join me a few months later, finding his own work once he got there. During the time he was not there however, I checked out the entire bar scenes in town. I had a pipe dream that I would find the perfect person, do my work, and have my own apartment...all in this small town. But this was only a pipe dream, not reality. The bar scene was not the same as Calgary, and the friend I had in Calgary was not here. I ended up needing my husband for the fellowship.
So my second job was at CKSA-CITL TV & RADIO Ltd. of Lloydminster, Alberta-Saskatchewan. I took the job since they were willing to train me on Satellite Transmitters. I worked for them for the next two years. I never went up the ladder and most of the time I was treated as second-class citizen. All I did was sweep the floors of all buildings on all the remote sites, or cut the grass outside of these sites. I was treated as a glorified janitor rather than a Broadcast Engineer. The only time I was asked to do something for them was during a thunderstorm when I was asked to climb the tower above the TV Station to move the satellite in order to get a better reception for one of our sites. The problem was that the tower got hit by lightning and I was holding both the receiver and tower at the same time. I would have been okay if I had been just touching the tower or just touching the satellite disk. But, because I was holding both, a jolt went through me. It froze me first, and then knocked me down off the tower onto the roof of the building. I was knocked out for a while. Due to this, I became afraid of heights and of lightning storms. When I was young, I was not afraid of anything; I would run around my rooftop, never thinking about it. I even fell off the roof once and broke my elbow, but it still never stopped me. However, a few months after the satellite situation, I had to climb a fire tower. I became very dizzy at the top and had to get down.
When I heard of a job in Regina, Saskatchewan, I ran to take a chance at this job. The person, my boss, was willing to personally train me and take me to all the sites. This was for CKCK TV Ltd. The first little while he taught me a lot, but it was only at the main location. When it came to our remote

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goto the top sites, we would have to travel in the company car, spending all day going and getting back from most of these locations. Two sites were: McTaggart, south of Regina, and another one was west of Regina - Marquis. This site was also a repeater site for our Swift Current site and to work on/for this location, we would have to stay overnight.
On the first trip to Swift Current, we drove to a motel and left our bags in the lobby. We spent a rewarding and learning experience at the site. This person sure knew his job and it looked like I was finally being able to learn what I had been taught in school. We came back to the motel to find that both of our bags were already put into my room. I went to the front desk, asking which room I should put his (my boss') bags into? As my boss knew the owner, he was already in the owner's room behind her. He said to me, "Don't worry about it...why don't you just join us for a drink?" I was not in the mood for this, so I told him I just wanted to go for a swim and head for bed. "Ok, I will be in later; I will stay here until then." I went swimming and then to bed. While trying to get to sleep, I watched movies on the TV until I fell asleep. Then about 3 a.m. in the morning, someone coming into the room awakened me. It was my boss coming in after drinking all night. I got up, asking him what he was doing in my room. He said that it was our room; with that, I went to the lobby and told the night clerk that I was not going back to my room until my boss got a room of his own, or vice versa. "I will stay out here until that happens...I get my own room," I said to the clerk. This made my boss angry and he didn't say a word to me all the way back home. The next time I saw him was a few days later; he said he would not be able to go with me on any more site visits and that I needed to stay there at work at the station. "I will not be able to train you anymore either," he said. This was all because of that time spent in Swift Current.
Without this training, the maintenance on the sites started to fall off. With no maintenance on the sites, it finally came to a point where we had a major blackout for that area around one of our sites. It seemed that, as soon as this happened, the other sites went down one after another. This was costing the station millions of dollars for each site that was down. When I asked for help from my boss, he just sent out another engineer who knew as much as I did. The constant time spent on trying to get the site up was turning into days. If the boss would have come out right away and helped, we could have had all sites back up within a couple of hours. I had been working constantly on this situation all week and seeing no relief in sight, I was questioned if I would ever get these sites up. I started to get mad at my boss for his lack of concern. I finally sent him an ultimatum that if he did not come out and help to put the sites back in order, I would quit. He still did not come and so after getting all sites back with the help of that other engineer, I quit a week later.
My husband was questioning me as to why I was spending so much time at work and not at home. Even when I was not at work, then I was in the bars. He had heard about what had happened at Swift Current or, should I say, he heard his version of what had happened in Swift Current, and told me he did not appreciate what had happened there. He figured that my boss and I had made out together. This was far from the truth, but he didn't want to hear the real truth. My husband wanted to get back at me and to stop me from going to the bars. The bottom line was that he wanted me back home. When I did not fall for this, he came up with his own solution to the problem. Since I just left the TV station and had time on my hands, his ultimate solution was to have a child. It would force me to stay home to take care of things for sure if there was a baby. But I went every night into the bar. What he did was to have sex with me as soon as I got home. So, he got his wish and we had a child shortly afterward. He thought this would bring us closer together.
Our first child was a son whom we called Geoffrey Lee; he was born in the Pasqua Hospital in Regina, Saskatchewan. The delivery came in the heat of the summer and, to top it off, it was on July 4th - Independence Day for the USA, which also pleased my husband, as he was an American. Since the hospital had no air conditioning, we had to keep the windows open. The hospital was located next to the Regina Stampede, which was going on at the same time. The hospital was very open about their rules

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and who could come in, or even stay all night. I really didn't want to have my husband there, so I would give any excuse to make him go home. He was the one who wanted to have child in our family messy situation. I just wanted to work and have my own freedom to go out whenever I wanted.
I was forced to quit my job and, at the same time, I had separated from my husband. I took my son with me, and ended up having no time for myself. I had to stay home as I breast-fed him. Normally this would have built a bond between the two of us. Yet the desire to be free, and the fact that I was forced to have him, destroyed anything we had. It led to hatred for my son, as all I knew was that I would only have time to take care of him, and never be able to get out to the bars like I used to. I was not really there with him even though I did take care of him, from the morning to evening. Every night I was at home and breast-fed him instead of bottle-feeding. But I felt I would not have been in this predicament had it not been for my husband's demands of having a family. The dislike for my son grew to hating him for even being born. I never told him this, but I'm sure that he felt it. One night...well, I was in a pity-pot for myself over being caught in this situation I had made, and I realized that I was doing to my child what my mom had done to me. I was also refusing sex to my husband in the same way mom had refused sex to my dad. I had promised myself I would never be like her or do, to my kids or my husband, what mom had done to me. I was not thinking of the welfare of either my husband or my son, but just of me. I should have been giving them love, but instead I was giving them neglect. I felt trapped with no way out, all because I didn't have the freedom that I was accustomed to. I wanted the child and the bar scene at the same time.
Now that I was not working and living off the Unemployment Insurance Commission (U.I.C. or 'unemployment') payments, I had lots of time for the care of my son and was free to stay home the whole time, but I still did not feel comfortable with my life. The U.I.C. expected that I would check out one job a day in order to keep their payments coming to me. During that time, I left Geoffrey at a daycare place. I tried being an X-ray technician, which did not work out as my mind was always on Geoffrey at home. But instead of staying home when I got home, I went to the bar. In my mind, I had tried hard at the job; it not working out was all because I thought I never was trained for this in the first place. I really had to find something that I both enjoyed and was trained for. I gave up on trying finding a job in Regina, and started thinking of finding one elsewhere, like in Toronto, Ontario, where there were many jobs in my field.
I went to Toronto to see if there were any jobs there. This also gave me time on my own and I found the bar scenes to be really great here. I found a job at CHIN Radio and they were willing to move my family and me to Toronto. I agreed and the move was made. This also meant I would have to ask my husband to come back into my life again. He would have to give up his job and follow me to Toronto or he would not see his son again. So, on short notice, he came with me and also found himself a job in Toronto. He insisted that I would have to go back to his church to keep the marriage going. The church he chose was similar to the one I grew up with, with my mom and the rest of the family. I started to feel like I did when I was young, in that I had to be forced to go to a church I did not believe in. Many of my old problems and feelings of the past were brought back into my life. This church later got me a job through one of its members.
The job with CHIN started with me having to drive a mobile unit around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to set up a portable studio for disk jockeys to broadcast from/on the site. I would have to sit on my fanny all day waiting for something to break down. Most days, there was none of that happening. So, I would spend all day in the back, watching movies on the TV. I would be up very early in the morning to set up the site, wait to troubleshoot some problems, and then close up late at night before I could go home. Once or twice a month, I would head up to the top of the CN Tower to check out the equipment up there. That was a hairy experience, in which we would be looking out the elevator window the whole time while riding up to the observation level, and then we walked up the rest of the way to the

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communication sites on the top of the tower. As I was afraid of heights by this time, each elevator ride up was a ride out of hell for me. Coming down did not seem to be as bad, or was it because I did not have my eyes open? The radio transmitters were almost the same as the TV transmitters, so the maintenance on them was almost the same, and thus I had no problems with any of them. The audio equipment in the studio was not, in any way, the same as the TV studio. In school, we were trained more on TV than on radio, and all my experience up to this date had been regarding TV. I felt lost when I first started and did not know the audio made things worse. I was hired as senior engineer and because of the lack of training in the past; I started to have problems with this radio station. It would not be too long before I would be making the same mistakes that I had made at CKCK TV. I started getting into the same rut at night. I also had to keep up a good appearance, both at home and at work.
During this time I again started to have problems with my husband, as I spent most evenings in the bars. My appearance went down and I looked a mess. I did not care about my family; the only concern was where I was going in the evening and into which bar. My boss, first seeing the way I looked and later finding out that my family life was not working out, asked what I was doing at night to keep me so dirty. He'd also heard about the bar scenes. As he said, "I hired you for your experience and for having a family life", and he could see that I had not been taking care of either of them to his satisfaction. Well, with my lack of experience and not having a good family life, he finally fired me. The third reason, which he did not mention but did have a play in him firing me, was that I was not only going to straight bars. I was also going to gay bars. He could not allow this image in a family radio station, as it was an Italian radio station. Being an Italian station reads as 'where the family was all-important and whatever happened to family, the family would fix'. Firing me was this boss's way of fixing the problem.
I was now fed up with the whole broadcasting scene and wanted out of it completely. So I looked to other jobs, where I could still use my electronics experience to the best of my ability. One of the jobs I looked at was through Bell Canada, at Northern Telecom in North York. We were living on Jane Street (Toronto) at the time; to get nearer to work and church, we had moved into a townhouse in the Jane and Wilson area. My husband had asked one of the deacons of the church, who also worked at Bell, if he could locate a job for me. The deacon agreed and thus I ended up with the job, but it would come to haunt me later on. Along with this, my husband thought if we had another child, he would be able to keep me or get me back home again, like he did the last time. Because of the personal problems with my husband and what I was doing in the bars, he came up with this solution...and just like the last time, whenever I got home, he would have sex with me. Thus, we had our second child.
We named her Rebekah Lynn and she was born at the York-Finch Hospital. This hospital turned out to be completely opposite to the one in Regina. It was completely clean and we could only have our husband come in at specific times, with no other visitors in the room. The rest of the family had to go to the waiting area, and visit with me there. After coming back from the hospital, my husband wanted me to ask him for permission to do everything, and to wait until he got home before I could go anywhere. I felt trapped, like in a jail, and with a leave of absence from work, I was not seeing many people at home. On Sundays, we all had to sit in the front pews of the church, to look great in front of the rest of the church members. I had to be a perfect Christian to him and the church. The situation at work got easier, because of being accepted at church again.
However, as before, this did not last very long, and I went back to bar scenes; this time to the gay scene. For my husband to give me up for another woman was so evil to him. He started seeing me in the same way my mom looked at me. I also started smoking pot at work on the night shift, and even drank during my breaks. I would get static at work, especially from the deacon. I ended up walking out on my husband and trying it out on my own. Then I came back and confessed, in front of the whole church, how I had sinned and would learn from my mistakes. They took me back, therefore making it easier at work again. This flip-flopping style continued over the four years that I worked at Northern Telecom.

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My experience and excellent quality of work was what was keeping me there. The job was perfect as I could work all night while staying away from my husband, but I was also able to use grass during the night. Most nights there were only a few people working and, in my section, there was only myself. Since no one was around, I would get my work done in the first half of the night. Then during the rest of the night, I would be playing games and smoking dope. The only problem was that now the other supervisors were looking over my back because of what this church person had to say about me. I finally got caught smoking on the job, and my excellent work would not help me this time. Since the deacon was already against me, in effect he got them to check on me. Because of the reports heard from this deacon who was on my case (with my husband's help), after getting caught, I was fired from this great job. Then the next week, my boss invited me into his office and offered me a deal: either I quit doing dope on my own or nothing would be said of what happened that night, or be fired and have everyone else know about what had been happening. The deacon offered another solution; that I would resign and it would not be marked on my record. The deacon had no difficulty in telling the church and my husband about the problems I was having at work. So, we both agreed to not hurt my family. What I did was to leave the job on my own.
During the good times of the job, I was able to catch up on my education and get future training in school that the company paid for. This job also allowed me to go to school for re-training, and the time at night to study. I went to DeVry Technical School to take two courses in Computer Analysis, which further helped with my upgrading in electronics. This was totally different then the Broadcast Engineering or the electronics I had taken in high school, and the training later proved to help bridge the gap when moving into another company. I would also take more training after leaving the work at George Brown College, but I would first have to spend four years in the Queen Street Mental Health Centre (Q.S.M.H.C.), and then four years of driving buses before I would get back to my electronics.
There was now no way to resolve the differences between my husband and myself. I spent all my time out, either in the bars or in the donut shops. I did not care about myself, nor my kids, at this time. Whenever we talked, I went into my selective mode, like I did as a child. When my husband suggested that I should talk, I would agree to anything. Yet in the end, I would do whatever I wanted. The only problem was that in order to get back at my husband, I would end up hurting my kids by leaving them with everyone - just to get out. My husband had to drop off the kids at a daycare around 7:00 a.m. before he went to work. I was to pick them up around 6:00 p.m. before the daycare closed, but that would sometimes turn into being after 8:00 p.m. The daycare finally said that if I didn't pick them up on time by 6:00 p.m., the daycare place would not allow me to take my kids there. He [husband] finally had to take them to his friends' place; they were from the church. Whenever I showed up to pick them up at the friends' place, most of the time they would not want to give the children to me because of the shape I was in. Then I would end up crying, "Are you trying to wreck our marriage? Look, I'm just trying to keep our marriage together!" I really did not want the kids, but would rather have gone to the bars. All of this would be told to my husband, either later or at church. He would then sit me down and spend more time talking to me so we could work out our problems. My husband would kick me out of the house and then a few days later, I would be back again. This kept up until the big fight, which separated us forever.
I was never taught how to be loved by my mom, so when I became a parent, I could not give love to my kids. It looked like I was doing the same things with my kids that mom did to us. Near the end of the marriage, a few times I brought a friend over - my lover. She would stay with me all day until my husband came home, and then escape before he came in. During this time, I would get the kids to play outside all day so they would not bother us, but the neighbours' kids would ask my oldest son, "Which one is your real mom?" The neighbours would then pass this information on to my husband. The rumours found their way back to the church. I would get into trouble with my husband and the church.

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So, when I dropped the kids off at church, the rumours would be flying about the two of us women, and that I had become a lesbian.
Because of going to gay bars and meeting my lover, I was not accepted at church anymore. This outraged my husband, as his church life was very important to him. All his time was spent at church when he was not working. He was in denial about all the stories; to him they were just a big lie or a big farce. It seemed I left one religious mom to now end up with a religious husband. Would I ever learn? This fighting continued over the four years of work. I would leave him, then come back, and each time I would tell him that I had found Christ (or something like that) just to get back into the home. He could not believe that anyone who would call themselves a Christian would do any of this, especially not while in the church. He also did not mind giving me up to another man, as that is normal; bad, but normal to lose me to another woman? He could not believe this, or the fact that I was a lesbian - this made me evil to him. The entire scenario kept up for a period of time, until he got fed up with it. The New Year's event happened at the same time. He then went in front of the whole church, with its entire congregation of 750 members, to get me ostracized from it/them.
During this time in my life, I was in and out with my family, my husband, and his church. I left the church because I did not believe in it, nor in them knocking me down for my bar scene (which was uncalled for). The worst though was calling me a lesbian, and making me out to be this "ultimate Evil Thing" in their eyes. They were claiming that anyone having a relationship with the same sex is an abomination of God. When I dropped off the kids at church, they would quote from the Bible (Romans 1:18-end). These verses talked about a man who slept with a man; he became an abomination of God, as this is an unnatural event. I had nothing to lose now with them condemning me for going to the gay bars. I might as well sink my ship with my husband too. Between me spending my time at the gay bar and having my lover over during the day, I felt I had nothing to lose. I was accepted at the bar but I didn't like what came with it: the drugs and open sex. That was why the two of us spent so much time at my place, rather than in the bar with all the fights and drugs.
The last time I went back home was before Christmas to celebrate with the kids. I spent all that week at home and treated my kids royally. Then New Year's came and I needed to get out some way, but I had to take care of the kids that night. I had to find a way to go to the party and still have the kids safe. In my thinking, I came up with Well, if they're asleep, nothing could happen to them; they're safe at home! I would get home before my husband would get there. So, I left, feeling they were okay to sleep for the short hours I would be gone. The only problem was that once I got there, and drinking and using [slang for 'using' drugs], all time went out the door. I forgot about my kids completely. I showed up the next day at about three in the afternoon. This led to the biggest fight we had ever had, and words were flying from both my husband and me. The kids were watching on and both of them crying "Don't kill my mom!" or "Don't kill my dad!" My husband came out with the words, "[I] was a devil like my mother was a devil and [I] would never be a parent to these kids." That was all it took for me to flip out and my "White Rage" came back in full force. I started hitting him and would have killed him. If it weren't for the crying of the kids, I would have ended him, right there and then. When I stopped, and had dropped out of the white rage, I saw what I had done and went running out of the house. All I wanted was not to hurt my kids anymore and to stop them from crying. I went straight to the bar and got loaded. After a few hours, I was out on the street at 1:30 in the morning and started to realize what I had done. I felt like I had lost everything so I went to a 24-hour pharmacy and downed two bottles of Tylenol #1. With the earlier drinking, the Tylenol #1 knocked me out, right on the street. Some policeman came along, picked me up, and took me to Wellesley Hospital. After a week to recover from an overdose, for which I was locked up in a mental ward, I was sent to the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. I would be seeing this hospital a lot over the next few years.

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Chapter 5
My Life on my Own with Drugs

I lived the next four years in the Q.S.M.H.C. and group homes. I felt like I was worth nothing. They tried to put different labels on me and kept doping me down with medication, which never worked. I would not wish this scene on anyone, but if you are at the state, I was there is not much you can do. If you thought my case was bad, then you should have seen some of the long-term patients on my floor. They were a total waste, with no chance of them ever leaving there. I would have ended up like them if I had stayed there any longer. I started blaming everyone for putting me in there. I would find fault with the other patients, nurses, and doctors. If I did not get my way, I would demand my rights and would then write them up with a written complaint. It meant charging one or more of the nurses with failing to do their job properly. Like in the past, it was another way of getting attention again. They first tried me in a day program, which once more made me feel like a child; this was at Archway Clinic, which is a satellite of the Q.S.M.H.C. hospital. I really never listened to anyone and would not accept anything they had to say.
I went on the board of both Archway and Queen St. itself. I thought this would help in some way to get management to change. There were two clients on the board; both were treated as figureheads only. Our suggestions would be accepted and, three months later, they would be brought back; we'd be told that new suggestions had come forth. I felt like I was worth nothing and that anything I said would be taken as a grain of salt. They were only "token clients" who did nothing and agreed with everything the management said. I am not like that and never will be someone else's 'yes' person. I was not asked on their board again because I never took any suggestions they made, in addition to making sure that all the other clients knew about what was going on too. Most of the time, because they just took their pills that had been shoved down them, it never affected the residents in any way - or, the people just accepted the management's position on everything.
The first couple of years in there I didn't do much of anything, partly because I was doped up all the time. In the last years, I would either get pot in "The Mall" on the hospital property, or go down town or to the bars to get it. I would continue the bar scenes after leaving hospital, as I could not stand staying at the hospital or in the group home. I never had a life there and felt more at home on the streets than at the group homes or in hospital. The group homes just took your money and made sure you took your medication. They were out just to get the money; they didn't care one bit about us. I found a room from the housing registry where I stayed for a long period of time. The family I lived with treated me as one of their family and I felt like I could fit in. I lived above this family, in a single room in the attic. The only problem was that the room was too hot during the summer and I finally had to leave them. My stay there was the only time I felt okay during the years after leaving the hospital or during that year after being away from my own family.
To run away from all the responsibility and so I wouldn't have to take my meds, I ended up on the street. So, for the next two years, I lived out on the streets at Allen Garden, either under or on top of a park bench. My bench was on the Jarvis side next to the greenhouse beside the back entrance to it. I now gave up on life completely and Q.S.M.H.C. finally gave up on me. They gave me only one suggestion when I left them, to go to Progress Place (P.P.) as a last resort. During this time of my life, I had no responsibility and nothing to worry about; it was an easy life. I thought that during the winter that "Bitters" - a 3oz bottle of something like whisky or an equivalent to having "three shots" - would keep me warm on those freezing nights.
During the years I was in Queen Street, I repeatedly went to family court for my kids. I was hoping to either see them on a regular basis or get some joint custody so as to be with them sometimes. Each time my husband's lawyer asked lots of questions, all of them very similar. He started by bringing up my relationship with my mom and all the religious abuse that had happened. He continued on, asking about

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the two times I beat up kids when I was in elementary school. He would always end with the fact that I had beaten up my husband. He used this as proof that I would hurt the kids, both emotionally and religiously, like my mom. I always admitted to hitting my husband, but would never hit my kids. The fact that I was also in Queen Street was another proof of my instability. During this whole time, my lawyer just sat there and said nothing. To tell all of this was hearsay and not relevant to the case. I would finally get upset and, after a period of time, would just walk out. Also, throughout the court time, I would be crying and would not be able to speak. When I left the courtroom, it resulted in losing any chances of getting some custody for my kids or even being able to visit them. This strain caused me to end up being a mess and back in Queen Street again.
Shortly after, my husband left Canada to go back to his parents' place near Damascus, Ohio (in the USA). I would try to see the children later but would get into trouble each time, and would be arrested for causing problems at his home. I was asked not to come into his country anymore at about the same time I was leaving Queen Street for the last time. This request would haunt me for the rest of my life and would affect my entrance into the USA for other visits there.
Some person from Houselink Community Homes came to the park to get the street people off the street and into housing. They had set up a home where everyone would share together the food and clothing, and each have a bed to sleep in. I never lasted very long at this location as the others would do things like pee in the middle of the hallway, or either leave the dishes stacked high in the sink or even just laying around. They were used to living at the park and had never learned how to live again. So I transferred to one of Houselink's other locations, which had shared housing for six people, and we each had our own room. We shared the living room and kitchen, along with the bathroom. I felt comfortable there for a period of time, and the support workers who came over helped me find a program where I could start getting back on my feet, while dealing with some of my emotions.
This course was at George Brown College and was called R.T.E. (Redirection through Education). Because I could not handle the full load of Electronics School, I went to this program to get help for my stress. One of the classes in this course was art therapy, in which we would re-enact the scene from our past. Then after we were finished, we discussed the re-enactments and found different ways to work through them. It would have been a perfect place to work out my problems with my parents, but at this point in my life I had blocked out all the knowledge of all the incest in my life. The course helped me in communication skills and assertive training. It would also help my English. I started to deal with my incest in this course, but was not ready to deal with it all.
After finishing this course, I then went back to school to upgrade on my Electronics again. I took it to also get back on my feet and have some fun at the same time. The course was Electronic Office Equipment Service Technician; it taught me all the ins and outs of a CPU...in other words, a computer. I was also taught about office equipment. With this and my DeVry training, in addition to my Broadcast Engineer background, it would put me back onto the road of Electronics. This field was the way of the future now and would help me to work with computers. At first it was very hard to get back into the study mode. I had been away from it a long time, and any responsibility in life.
After finishing this course, I tried to find a job in the field. However, I found that younger people were getting the jobs instead. I tried for a few months and finally just gave up. I was willing to try anything, so the first job was as a waitress at a donut shop; later, I was with a school bus company. I got my "B" License and passed my medical, which surprised me because of Queen Street. I would take kids from home to school or on charters to places like "Wonderland" (amusement park, north of Toronto). The company was Charterways Bus Company and I loved working for them for two years. My route was the hardest of them all, down and up one-way streets. The problem was that on days when parked cars had to change sides, they would end up on both sides of the one-ways. I learned to manage my bus through three-point turns. I did this route during both the winter and spring. In the summer, I would

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work on trips to Wonderland or Niagara Falls (Ontario). The school I had pick-ups for was a Ukrainian Roman Catholic School. After working the whole year without an accident, I had one during the first week of summer - just as I was planning to move on. I was carrying Bingo people to the International Centre in Mississauga and was on the airport strip. The road was slightly slippery and I slid into the back of a car, just touching it. I dented the hatchback only, yet for this I was charged with reckless driving.
I left that bus work to try out again in an electronics job, hoping to get back into the computer field. I found myself on an assembly line doing the same thing all day long. This assembly worker job was very repetitive with no chance of advancing anywhere in the company. I could not handle the monotonous repetitiveness of the job. I quit and went back to school bus driving, this time with a company called Travelways, which is now known as Laidlaw. I worked with this company for a year. During this time, I drove for the Metro Division in Etobicoke and picked up children from yet another Ukrainian Catholic School. My superiors transferred me to the Mississauga Division, where again I worked for a different Ukrainian Catholic school, this time a high school. It was also during the Papal visit to Toronto. I took a load of Catholic School children to the Downsview site in the morning and returned them after the visit. I actually did not see the Pope in person, but did see him on TV back at the company office. I left Travelways to work with my last school bus company (called Allways) during this time. The Allways Company took care of the wheel chair service for the entire city of Toronto. It was taken over by the Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC) shortly after I began there. With the Wheeltrans unit, I would pick up handicapped people and drive them to a place that they had pre-arranged through booking at the office.
I transferred to the Lansdowne Division after TTC took over Allways. This division had trolley buses in which if you didn't watch what you were doing, you could lose a pole. To put the pole back on the line, you had to pull the guiding wire back out of the pulley and ease the pole back onto the line. But if you let go or lost your grip, the wire could take your hand into the pulley wheel, or take off your hand completely. If you took a corner too sharply or too widely, you could also pull down the overhead wire. At the corner of Dupont and Lansdowne, this kind of situation happened almost every day. The type of required driving for trolley buses was very different than driving for the handicapped or school kids. I worked for them for nine months, my career ending with me having a motorbike accident. I did not have all the necessary hospital benefits coverage, as you needed to be with the TTC for one year before receiving the benefits for any long-term disability.
Yet I had ended up in hospital for several months and my company insurance ran out while I was still in there. I ended up being put on the Canada Pension Program (CPP) disability. When I left hospital, I felt totally depressed and spent the majority of my money on ordering in alcohol. I was laid up at home and the bottle was my only company. A nurse would show up once a day to check on me and she was the only other company I had. I felt that if this was the only life I was going to have, and then I might as well commit suicide. It seemed the only solution, as I could not get out to bars anymore. Time dragged on and after what seemed to be many years spent at home (but really a few months), I was finally able to go out. The first place I hit was the bar...I got myself totally loaded. I ended up going to every bar in the city for the next few weeks. Even the drink did not seem the same in my mouth, after being without it for so long. I bought new clothes to make me feel better. Again, this did not work either, so I started to drink in the corner of the bar, alone. The fake assurance was not they're anymore either. I needed something to get me out of the slump; finally, I looked to traveling as my answer.
I decided to travel in Europe. I started in London, England, and then went Ayrshire in Scotland where my mom's old farm was. Afterward, I jumped on a ferry and crossed the channel to Calais, France. From France, I went through Belgium and through Luxembourg and touching on Germany, then back into France and through Switzerland to Italy. Once in Italy, I went to the bottom to Calabria where my dad's place was located. I took a straighter route back to Calais where I needed to check the ferries

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back to England; then, the plane home. One major stop was in Paris, France, and I spent a few days there. I worked my way back to Brussels, where a major problem happened that would affect me for the rest of my life. I did the whole trip using a Euro pass and staying in hostels, with nights in the hostels. During the day, I was sometimes on a train to the next location; then the rest of the day was spent touring through the city that I happened to be in. It almost took the whole summer to do the trip around Europe.
As mentioned, I was on my way home when I ended up in Brussels, Belgium with a major medical problem. I started to bleed and was not able to stop it. The bleeding kept up all night long until the next morning. The people at the hostel rushed me to a hospital. It turned out to be malignant fibroses, which lead to having a major operation with an unavoidable life change occurring at the same time, as this brought on the menopause much sooner than I should have had (for my age of 25 at that time). During the operation, and unbeknownst to me, the surgeon(s) had nicked my urethra, which would scar down and, after I got back home, would later give me problems. The only question asked of me before the operation was if I had already had a family in my life. This procedure made me feel that I was not a real woman anymore. It affected my having proper sex with my next partner, and I would use this excuse to explain why I could not have sex that night. So, in the same way, I seemed to end up doing to my husband what my mom had done to my dad. Even though I hated her for doing that and promised I would never do it, here I was...acting the same. Was I, in any way, better then my mom? I would think not.
After my trip overseas, I went to work at another bus company called Shomer Transportation, which involved working for a Jewish children's summer camp. The kids who attended the camp were from very rich families and lived in wealthy homes. The summer day, on which I had the problem, was especially hot. I started to overheat for no reason. It did not matter how much water I drank I could not cool down. I drank more than my normal amount for a day to cool down, but it did not work. My temperature climbed and by the time I was finished for the day, I was really burning up. I finally went into the hospital to find out what was wrong. That was when I was told about the problem that had occurred during my last operation in Brussels; that it had caused a scarring on my urethra. I had retained some 1400cc of urine and after getting to the hospital; it even exploded into my vagina. The caregivers couldn't even insert a 2 mm catheter. So they had to freeze me for four hours before they could do any operation on me. I then came back and worked for Shomer Transportation for the rest of the summer and into the winter. On their High Holy Days, the employees were not allowed to work, and the boss sold the company to me for a dollar. All profits for that day would be mine. The next day, or after the High Holy Day, I would sell the company back...for one dollar.
While I had been at the hospital for urethra/bladder repair, my support worker from Houselink homes came and offered me an apartment at Sherbourne and Carlton St. This was a bachelor apartment in the basement of the building. People moved into this place before it was fully open. We overloaded the power quite often, and the superintendent would have to come over and trip the main switch at the construction site; the main switch was also attached to a construction pole. We had the Fire Department over a few times due to the overload and burning out of the main circuit panel. We only had one phone in the building, in the common room. Again, this was the construction company's phone but we all used it ourselves at night. We used this phone only during the day for medical problems. We became very close in our building and it was here that I learned from someone in the building about "Our Place". I started to attend almost every day. On Friday night they had a dance. They also supplied meals for a very low price, which helped me with both my eating disorder and my finances too. One other thing that came with this place was that they had a cabin in the Muskokas area of Georgian Bay. It was great, both in the summer and in the winter. At this 'Our Place', I met my future (second) husband. He lived in the building owned by Our Place, which was run by his father (who also ran "Our Place").

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During my first year of living in my Sherbourne apartment and attending "Our Place", I was encouraged to go to the USA and attend a treatment centre for drinking. This was in Kansas City at the North Kansas City Hospital. I was only to stay for 28 days, but it would turn into three+ months. I went there just before their US Thanksgiving Holiday (in November) and left the first week of the following March. I was there for drinking only and ended up working on more: my smoking, drinking, pills, and eating disorder. I had to first detoxify, along with everything that that meant. It included watching what I ate and what I did after I ate; this was so I would not up-chuck after eating. The treatment centre's personnel also started me on the patch for smoking. Doing all of this at the same time would have been impossible if I had tried to do it on my own. But in hospital, with constant blood checking and control, it was hard yet acceptable. For the drinking, we went to the local 'club', which was run by members of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). There was a meeting every night and on Saturday, two meetings. One day a week at the hospital, another group would meet (not many people) and this was for Pills Anonymous (P.A.). After this, I left with a hopeful attitude, with the idea that I would make it work.
I came back and continued with Our Place. I started back at the day hospital, Archway, to get my feet on the ground. Our Place had a program there called Emotional Anonymous (E.A.). I tried using this to solve all my problems. It would work for a short time, but as usual I ran into problems around the Christmas season. I gave up on the bars during this time. I was feeling alone again and started to think was I really nuts...to be going to Archway like this? The gang at Our Place suggested overcoming those thoughts by going up north with them for the Christmas season. I went and enjoyed myself, with all the winter fun.
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Chapter 6
My Second Marriage

I met up with a person who was also attending Q.S.M.H.C. He seemed really interested in me and enjoyed computers too. He was studying Computer Programming at George Brown and, with his interest in computers; he seemed easy to talk to...on my level. We continued being with each other and within two months we were talking of marriage. We would have to work out things before we looked at this aspect of our relationship. I was still living in the basement apartment on Carlton. He was still living in the shared home run by his father. My bachelor apartment would not be fit for a couple and the SHC (Supportive Housing Coalition) would not allow it either. Since I was really not in touch with any church, I would not know where we could hold a wedding. What was I looking for, too...real love? I know I was looking for friendship. Would he accept no sex, as I would not be able to do that? What would he think about my old relationship with the other woman from the past? I finally found a "Gay Church", Toronto's Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), to attend for myself, and I got him going to this church too. Once, we found an apartment on our own but it was not supported. This place was big enough and we could afford the cost of living there. I was wondering if I was doing this to know where I stood with my sex-orientation. Whatever the reason for it was, I went ahead with the marriage. I thought I knew why I married him, but I would question it very shortly after we got married.
On the day of the marriage, my nieces showed up for my wedding. After the ceremony, they told me something that would affect me for the rest of my life. Up to this moment, I had always thought my mom was evil and sick. But my nieces had now confirmed something that has always been in the back of my mind. What they told me was what their mom or sister had told them; it was about what had happened between my mom and me. They also told me that the whole family had known about it and had heard the whole thing. They also said they blamed the fact of this relationship with my mom as the reason I was having problems with my sex-orientation. This made me wonder what I was, and how this would affect my new relationships with my family and my new husband.
Would I tell my husband how I felt? I had told him some of the things from my past, but this was

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my foundation. This would rock the foundation of our marriage. I decided not to tell him. I didn't know what to do, so just sat on it and tried to talk to someone at Queen Street about the situation. I even talked to the staff at Our Place where we were still attending. I made one mistake in telling my group at E.A. Even though their greatest tradition is anonymity, they broke it and made rumours about my problem...I could not give him sex, but that he wanted more then friendship. This took a toll on my mind and with that, my depression came back; also, the suicidal feelings. I couldn't sleep with him in case he wanted sex. I was running away from my feelings and getting further and further into myself. I tried to sleep outside on the balcony. My relationship with him became extremely touchy, to the point that I was afraid of him and would not even touch him.
I started drinking again and each day I was getting sicker and sicker. I was not caring about anything and could not stand to even be in the same room as my husband. I would not even go to Our Place, afraid of seeing him there. So I went back to the streets, as this would be someplace, I would not see him. Would this be my only life now, the streets? I went to Queen Street to see if they could help me. They were at a loss as to how to help and gave me only two suggestions: to either come into the hospital full time, or take their earlier suggestion of going to Progress Place. Was my whole life falling apart and heading for another breakdown? I was going that way, needed some help, and didn't want to end up in hospital again.
Initially, Progress Place (PP) looked like the day programs at the hospital and I needed a place to stay away from the streets. I learned that I was allowed to do whatever I wanted. At this point, I could barely hold a camera let alone take shots with it. Remember, this was my major in school - I had been trained in professional cameras. I started taking part in taping the talent shows and, during this time, I had someone who was willing to help with this. At PP, we were all equal and, as a clubhouse, we all owned a part of it. The idea was to keep the clubhouse going by all the members doing the jobs around the club. It was what I needed at the time. All the jobs were made easy or to the point where one member would help another member to learn the job. Everyone was equal and if the members didn't do the tasks, only then did they fall back onto the staff to do them. Instead, the idea was built around the cooperation of all the members to do the various jobs and not have to get outside people to do anything. If one member did not know how to do something, then staff would bring someone in to train one of us. Then that trainee would teach the rest so that all would learn.
The only problem was that I got into moods where I felt superior to everyone there. During these times I would find other places, which included going out at night to the bar scenes. The drinking started to come during the day and this would not be allowed in PP. I started to lose memory as to why I was going to Progress Place in the first place and how they would be able to help me after all. My contact worker, which each member gets when they join, was the only reason that I had any sanity. This addiction was taking over my life and the disease of addiction was constantly resurfacing. I needed to try something and was not sure what to do. Should I try the same treatment centre that was in the USA? The staff at PP promised me that if I did and was able to stop drinking, then they could get me into a new apartment that they were opening on Broadview Ave. The new place would be under the same company, SHC, just like the one in which I had lived on Carlton.
I went back to the treatment centre in Kansas City. This particular treatment would only last the 28 days and seemed to go so fast that it felt like I was coming back before I realized I had finished it. They treated me mainly for drinking this time, so didn't watch my eating. The problem I developed after coming back was that I started to take more than the prescribed medication and combined it with drinking. The pattern leads to overdosing and ending up in hospital, but I would only ask for help after I both drank and popped the pills. I was back to attending AA and told them I was not drinking, but at home I would smoke dope and pop extra pills. I would always drink first, and then ask for help later...that became my usual ritual. Since the apartment was not ready, I stayed in all the shelters.

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One of the ways I got the help for my disease was from the shelters like Street Haven, Evangeline, Rendu, Robertson House, and Nellie's. All these shelters helped me to have a place to put my head down on a bed for the night. We had to rotate among the shelters, as there was a time limit on staying at one. Another problem was that even if you were sick you were forced to leave for the day. I would also have to be in by a certain time or you could lose your bed. On those days, I would end up sleeping on a bench in Allen Gardens. The rules were very strict and, in some of them, you had to share the chores. A funny thing was that I later ended up in a treatment centre staffed by one of the shelters. During the day, I had places like the 416 Drop Inn Centre, Sistering, and Woodgreen Friendship Club. Sistering and 416 Drop Inn Centre were not great for their atmosphere; they were hard to stay in as foul language was flying all the time. The use of drugs and having them being offered to you was very common. They also talked about things like who was the best at stealing or who stole the most. I had gotten street sense and was hardened to this kind of talk. The food and the meals were not the greatest either and I sometimes found mould on what was given. At the shelters first mentioned (Street Haven, etc), there were wonderful meals and generally they had lots of fruit to eat. This part of my life was when drugs were common for me or when I would end up in hospital for overdosing rather then mental problems (which is why I went to Queen Street).
At this time, the apartment on Broadview became available and I was the first one to get in. It was a large one-bedroom apartment with a large L-shaped dining and living room, a small kitchen, and the laundry on the main floor; and, it was free. With moving into housing provided by Progress Place, there was an emergency line to phone for any emotional problems; for the building, there was a 24-hour phone line to call. If I had phoned the crisis line, then PP would demand that I go into hospital, which I never wanted to do again. During the day, there was one staff on site. I became one who helped with security and got a small payment for watching the building. The apartment was completely supplied by Progress Place. A home worker from PP would show up once a week to see how everyone was doing. I could have people over now, as it was my own place.
When it came to me being in a crisis, I only had two choices: Gerstein Centre or the Hospital. At the Gerstein Centre, I could stay for three days and they would help me through my problems without medications. It was a place to just relax and get away. The hospital would always force drugs down me even if I didn't think I needed them, so I would always want the first place. Some of the problems with Gerstein Centre were due to it being full most of the time. You also had to phone the crisis team to come to your place before they would take you there. You could never just come down and expect to get in. The phone lines were always busy so I could wait a few hours before getting hold of someone. If you are in real crisis, then most of the time you cannot wait. If the beds were full, you could get 'home calls' where a team would come in and talk with you until you felt better. If you lived outside of the city, then you were not in the provided-for area. Overall, when I was there, I could relax and most of the time I would feel so much better, even after a few days stay. I wish there were more of these places. As far as I know, this is the only one in Ontario - if not in the whole of Canada. The government, if they want to reduce the time we spend in hospital, should make more of these places. The cost would be small in comparison to the cost of one-day's stay in hospital. One day at Gerstein would cost $100/day while a cost of stay in hospital would be $1000/day. The freedom and comfort at Gerstein are totally different. In hospital, you would be locked up at night whereas, at Gerstein, you can go out as you want, day or evening; also here was the choice about the pills we were to take while, at the hospital, meds are forced down your throat. It was like night and day between the hospital and Gerstein centre.
About a year after moving into the place on Broadview, I took a joy ride into hell. This major event was one that would affect me for the rest of my life and was when I used a 'soft' drug. The use of this soft drug would cause an accident that would cause me to have back problems, difficulties with walking ability, and create having to use a scooter to get around. I was not very responsible with what I

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was doing; using drugs and drinking was the norm for me. One weekend when I was not driving the bus, my friend invited me for a ride on a Honda 750 motorcycle. The two of us had just toked up on grass and thus we got smashed. We then went on a joy ride throughout traffic, playing chicken out on the road. We wove in and out of the traffic. When we tried weaving around a Plymouth, which had a wide fender, we got the fork caught on it. It caused the bike's front wheel to secede and with the rear wheel continuing to turn, forced me under the car. This was all because we had misjudged the distance that we were from the fender of the car. Thus, the fork nut of the motorcycle got caught on the car fender. It sheared my leg in half and crushed my kneecap. Then I was wrapped around the boot of the car and when the car stopped, I was whipped back over the wheel of the motorbike, which was still turning. This action caused my helmet to crack and my head to be pushed in by 1/2 inch. Along with this action, three vertebrae were crushed. The only reason I was not dead was because of all the dope I had used; my body was very flexible. But we would not have had the accident if we had not used dope in the first place. Like the one I had earlier on in life with a bicycle, where I had flown over my handlebars onto the front of an approaching car, this motorbike accident was also related to drugs. In the long run, the results were the same.
After the accident, I got up and walked towards the car to check for any damage to it. I then turned around and walked toward the bike to see how damaged it was; a complete write-off. Then I looked down at my leg, saw it bleeding badly and I passed out in a forward direction, falling back onto the road again. The dope saved my life from death, but the point is that if we had not been stoned in the first place, there would not have been an accident. This shows how reckless I was during this time in my life. This accident has affected me to this day with having to use canes and my leg in a brace in order to be able to walk. When it came to stairs, only by getting on my rump and going up backwards would I make it up them. I was not able to sit down very long. My back would be aching and I'd get headaches constantly, all because of those crushed vertebrae, which bothered me in my back. My neck would also get tight and pressure would build because of the head injury, which would affect the one vertebra in the neck and give me migraines. If I did not use the leg brace, I would fall on my face from my knee giving out. All of this for a short joy ride and a few puffs of dope that my disease told me were okay for me to have...that I would have fun in the long run!
I would spend six months in the hospital and several months in bed at home, laid up in traction on my back, due to the motorcycle accident. This loss of movement and not being able to get out would cause me major emotional and spiritual depression. Every day that I stayed home became a week, then a month, and finally it felt like a year. Being forced to stay home would end up in me isolating and, along with that, every time there would be the depression. With these feelings, I would start feeling useless to the point that I would have suicidal thoughts and just not even wanting to live.
When I got low, someone would notice and approach me to ask if there was something they could do. I joined the Board of Directors for Houselink and would spend the next thirteen years being a very active member of that board. I would spend a lot of time lobbying the governments over the unfair living situations for the Mentally Disabled. I was Vice President for a few years and felt like someone, as half of the Board was made up of consumer survivors; what we said, they listened to. The only requirement that was asked of me when I joined the co-op was that I would have to stop using (drugs) and drinking. I thought that with the help I would get from the co-op, I would be able to handle my drug problems. But I never considered my pills to be a problem, so I was using them as a crutch. However, when the first major problem came along, I needed more than pills to keep me going. I ended up drinking and, of course, losing this apartment. I was back out on the street, using again.
While I was still in the co-op, I had tried my second treatment centre. Since I was handling my drinking then, I went to deal with my eating problem. This time they sent me to Chicago. I ended up staying for three months as I was also dealing with my bad leg by now. I thought I got it! Again. I was

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willing to take on the world. My co-op would help me through any problems that I would go through, even one of my 'major events' (i.e. - Christmas, kid's birthdays, etc.) I would have to wait for a period of time after each 'event' for the depression to lift, but my co-op helped me. The last big 'event' had been at Christmas and this time the treatment lasted a long time, so I thought that the depression had gone. I made it through both my daughter's birthday and Mother's Day, but when it came to my son's birthday in July, I lost it. I ended up going back to both drinking and eating. This is why I had ended up losing the apartment, as I just said.
Throughout all of this, I continued to attend Progress Place. I got some help with a self-help group that was started there. The group was not a 12-step group but we would listen to each other about what had happened during the previous week. We had a few speakers come in to talk to us. We went out to the different groups to see how they worked and if they would be right for us. I started to attend an A.A. meeting and, after that, I would attend for the next 3-1/4 yrs. I really got involved in A.A. and it helped me to stay sober and away from the heavy drugs. But I never saw the pills as a problem, as they were medication to me, to be used whenever I had problems with pain. The only problem was that when I was told to use only one tablet every four hours, since that generally was not strong enough for me, I would take, say, four pills every hour. I would not say that taking medication properly would not work for others but I found that it was not working for me. Then, every time one of my major events came along again, I would get depressed and I'd end up over-doing the pills again. As I said, I considered my pills as medication instead of drugs, even when I took too much.
At P.P., a place was becoming available for me...a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in a new building they were constructing. It would be offered to me when it came ready. But I would have to go through one more major event before getting into that place. It came up to my daughter's birthday, which sent me into a deep depression. I had not seen my kids now for more than ten years. This depression before getting into the apartment would last the whole month; I would continue to want to commit suicide. I could not shake these feelings. With Mother's Day coming up, I finally couldn't handle it anymore. I committed suicide for real. I took more than three hundred pills and drank at the same time. This ended up with me going back into Wellesley Hospital. I had basically died. After 3 1/2 days in a coma, I woke up. This took me to my bottom. I was now ready to really give up on drugs and drinking and these also included pills as I finally saw that pills were the major problem in my life, not the drinking.
Deep hurts followed me around throughout my life. Every time one of their birthdays came up or whenever I tried to get visiting rights for my children, I would end up in Q.S.M.H.C. I would go into a deep depression and always overdose on pills. Once I went down to the U.S.A. to see if I could see them, near their grandma's place. Yet, this ended by me getting into trouble with the law and being asked to leave the country. The cost of both courts was beyond the money I was getting from F.B.A. (Family Benefits Allowance). Legal Aid would help me with the Canadian court, but no one would give me money for the U.S. court. The struggle to be sober was okay as long as I didn't think about my kids and not having access to them.
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Chapter 7
My Clean Life


I moved into my present place and feel like a queen here! I have lived in my present place now for about five years. The place is very beautiful and I want to keep it at all cost. The only reason I was able to keep it was through the help of my supports. Just after my first month here, I was questioning is this the right place for me? The building was still under construction and thus the security of the building was not the best. A person came into the building and was waiting in the front area when I came in. I asked him if he was waiting to see someone and he said that he was staying with 'Al'. He then said he

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was looking for a phone, as his was not working properly. I fell for it and invited him into my place; I had a major problem afterwards. I yelled but the noise of construction made it hard for anyone else to hear me. I went outside to get someone's attention, but he ran out the front door. This led me to staying at the Gerstein centre for a few days. It took me a long time to get over this, but I kept reminding myself of the beautiful place I was living in.
The support from my treatment centre, this the third one which I went to after ending up in the hospital, started the healing. This help would build me up to the point that I could handle most of what would happen over the next few years. One thing my treatment centre taught me was to ask for help before I used [drugs]. Three other things they taught me were: 1) the feelings I had are real and nothing's wrong with them. The only thing is what you do with your feelings after you've had them. To make sure you didn't get into trouble with your feelings, you took your feelings to your sponsor or group. Then you would pray to your Higher Power (H.P.) to have an understanding of these feelings. If you felt good after this, then generally it was ok; 2) We were taught to go to as many meetings as possible to get our feelings out; and, 3) To get a sponsor and to use them in order that you feel comfortable with them, both in the good times and the bad, so that when a major problem came, you phone them and they know how to share with you.
I'm not saying it was all perfect or great at the treatment centre all the time. As in my first week, while I was still feeling suicidal, Pat, one of the counsellors, found out about me having an X-acto knife which I had taken to my bedroom. My roommate found me with it, took it to her, and on Wednesday it was brought up in front of the group. What a stir I made in the group. They asked me if I really wanted to stay here and waste their time. I had to argue that I did, and learned to ask for help from then on. I wish I would have been ready to deal with all my problems at that time, but I would yet have to learn how to help myself for present day.
The first few weeks we went as a group to Cocaine Anonymous (C.A.), Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.), and Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) each of us found that one group seemed to help them better than another. Some found A.A. was good and others liked C.A., but I found N.A. to be right for me. I had already tried A.A. and even though I had given up on alcohol and heavy drugs, I never gave up the overuse of pills in my life. I had 3 1/2 years in A.A. however because of my dependence on pills for all the pain I was going through, I could never stay clean. When it came to times like my kids' birthdays, I would fall to pieces. I had to learn that pills, when used without the guidance of my sponsor and Higher Power (H.P.), would result in me ending up being on some drugs. This philosophy was similar to what was taught at the treatment centre. N.A. agrees that if you take it first to your sponsor, then pray about it with your H.P., and talk with others about it in your group, then the medication stays as medication and not a drug. So, I found that N.A. works for me; it may not work for you in this manner. My life is not always 'up', but again I want to say that I was able to live a good life in this society because of all my supports. Still, if I don't remember to use them, they will not work.
During the time I was in Queen Street until now, I had/have positions on Boards of Directors, either as a director or board member. This started with Parkdale Legal Service; I was on this board for about eight years. Then I went on to Archway, which is a part of Queen Street (Q.S.M.H.C.), and I was also on the advisory board of Queen Street itself. During the time I was with the two boards of Queen Street, I was put on them as a token board member to show to others that they had patients on their board. But they never listened to me and would never act on any of the suggestions I made. From there, I went to Houselink Community Homes. I spent the next six years on this board, until I was forced to resign. I was there even during the hardship that this corporation had with the government. Here I was treated as an equal, and all my suggestions were accepted and used to help the corporation to grow. There, 50% of the board is consumers. I really regret leaving them. I am presently at S.H.C. I have spent the last two years on this board trying to help the other tenants with their housing situations. These times

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have been both good and bad. I sometimes overdo my board time, but the pat on the back always seems to make it worthwhile. I will still want to help people by doing this in the future. Shortly after leaving Houselink and before I went to Progress Place and Supportive Housing, I went through a period of time where my location was the bench on the Jarvis side of Allen Garden. I slept on this bench and made it home even during the winter. I figured that just drinking bitters would keep me warm and safe during the winter. During the day, I would end up in some of the Shelters or at 417 Dundas, which was a women's drop-in centre. I had no responsibilities during this time and did not care about anything; my life was very easy.
One other thing, which helped me during the last five years, is my Bulletin Board System (BBS). It started in the SHC Co-op and I developed it more when I moved to my present place. Through this BBS, I learned to talk to and help people with computer programs and started to have friendships. I gained from this experience to the point that I wanted to learn more about how the computer works and how the programs work together. I hoped to make this into a real job. I went to George Brown College through Goodwill and got certified as a PC Support Specialist. From there, I went on to Dixon Hall to help take care of all the equipment for the Community Centre and its school there. I helped to teach the teachers how to use the Internet and Windows 95. The students needed computers and software so I developed my company to help resell these things for them. I had a problem there due to the fact that I was not always able to keep up my appearance all the time. This led me to not getting along with the head teacher after a period of time. But they enjoyed my work and since I was doing it for a token amount, they did not want to offend me. The problem came to a head one day when all the computers got changed over without the students' permission. A lot of their work and time was lost; some of this work would have to be replaced. At first, I felt like they were saying it was my entire fault, but it was the contractor's fault. My old way of thinking would return anytime there was a problem, it was my fault. This situation caused me to end up in hospital from a small stroke. I left the job and started working the Internet Web field. The only problem for me with this is that it could lead to isolation at home.
All the overdoses and improper eating have taken their toll on my body and on my life. I had to leave the Dixon Hall job for physical reasons. I enjoyed that job and felt it was the only time I had been really happy in my life. It was the job that I looked forward going to each day. I had lots of friends, both in the community side, and with the teachers and the students. But I had to take it easy for the next year and during that period; many of the students phoned me to help them with the computers that they had purchased from me. Now though, I had to change from being a computer consultant to a Webmaster. As a result, I learned how to manage a Web Page and I now do Web pages on the Internet. It was the only work I could do at this time, so this was right for me as my physical difficulties were keeping me home.
A new church that opened up next to us offered free food, suppers and lunches. This was again one of the funny things that kept coming into my life, as the church was a Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic church. It seems I can't get away from Ukrainian Catholic churches. All my school bus routes were for children from these same-faith churches. One day when I was down again, I was also feeling like using. I was afraid that staff from the club was looking for me at home, so I was running away from home and was walking down the street by the new church. One of my neighbours, who was living in the same building and was also from the club, saw me. He asked me if I wanted to come in and eat with him. I agreed and spent the rest of the night at the church. One of ladies of the church spent her whole time talking to me and finally talked me into going to the hospital, rather then using the bag of pills I was carrying with me. It is strange how our H.P. works. I then became a faithful member of that church and have been there for the past few years. I have even gone to retreats up in the Collingwood (Ontario) area with them. This has also been a good place to have a meal, as sometimes I would go without eating at home.

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Chapter 8
My Father's Death

On Christmas day, my dad died from the misuse of drinking and eating improperly. (This is a concern of mine today that if I misuse the drinking and eat improperly, I could die early.) I felt I was in some ways free from him. I needed to see him for the last time to close the relationship between us. As this was Christmas, the cost of going to Calgary was about seven hundred dollars. With being on FBA, a form of Ontario Welfare, I knew there was no way of me coming up with that amount of money. I asked a few of my friends if they could loan me some. They were going to give it to me but, just before going, I phoned up my brother to see what arrangements had been set up. He told me that because of the way the family felt about me, and that they could not forget what I had done in the past; they were so upset that they didn't want me to come to the funeral. I told him I needed closure with my dad. I never told my family of the things my dad had done to me in the past and they wouldn't believe me anyway. I was being let down by my family, as in the past. To top it all off, they somehow did not put my name into the obituary, which again caused me to feel total rejection. All the past came home to me again in a real way, and I went into a deep depression, which lasted a few months.
My mother would yell at everyone that "[She] had won" the fight against my dad. This was supposed to prove that he was not a decent person and, therefore, I would end up going that way too. It was one reason I would think of in favour for not going to Calgary...not with her there. Her whole life was to beat my dad and to prove to the rest of the family how evil he was. It was strange how everyone was going to his funeral, yet I know when my mom dies, I will not go to her funeral. It seems to me that she was the lonely one, having the most problems with life, and that everything she fought for was slipping away. I feel sorry for her in a small way because she carried this grudge for her whole life, which ate at her and kept her mean and sad. I honestly feel she was an addict, maybe not using booze, but pills. If she could learn the 12 steps in her life, it would help her and the rest of the family. I know I changed after taking on the 12 steps and making them a part of my life.
After telling the church (I was going to then) about the reason the family had turned against me was largely due to the fact I was lesbian during that time, I saw a change in their attitude towards me. The fact was, I was not sure what I was at the time, but others around treated me as a lesbian at the bars. The most I could say is that I am bisexual. The church was very strong and would not have anything to do with that part of my life. They would try to change my mind in this area or I would be getting the cold shoulder from them. They see it as a sickness and quote sections of the Bible like Romans 1:24, which talks of "lust of the flesh" and "uncleanness of two sleeping together". A few other things happened at the same time, which stops me from going to church every Sunday. One thing was that they would give birthday surprises to some people, but they would not give to those who weren't 'at the top' of the church. Another reason for my non-attendance was because of the 'confession'. Due to the past and how I had to go down the aisle to be "saved" in order to make my mom happy, I was not sure about this act of confession. My father was never strong on religion, so I never was much up on this either. I was feeling like I was doing mom's way all over again, trying to cleanse my body of all the evil. I sure did not want to starting thinking of that God coming down and having to destroy me just to become clean. The church father wanted me to do this to be in the 'right', and to have the sacraments of the church on Sunday. My beliefs in God are not the greatest, and the most I can accept is Mother Nature, as when I have been up at the top of the mountains and saw the beauty of nature all around me. Mother Nature will fix anything if given enough time to do it. The example I love giving is that when a ship gets a hole in its bowels, it sinks to the bottom of the sea. A year later, come across the same ship and you will see that the hole is filled in with coral plant webbing while the rest of the ship is filled by millions of fish, of every kind. Now, it holds more than what the ship was made for. Thus, Mother Nature will take the ugly thing and make it more beautiful than what any man could do.

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A month after my dad's funeral, I got a letter from my brother's solicitor asking for me to waive my rights to 1/6 of the estate. The reason I was asked to do this was because of the fact that the Alberta law says that if someone in the family has a mental problem, they would get the money even though the estate could be stating something else. I was not as bad for my situation at the time as what the estate was saying. My signing anything would also give the family a reason to label, or the impression of labelling, me. They wanted any reason to keep me away from the rest of the family because they felt that I would, in a small way, affect them if I came and saw them or someone in their family. I was already in their bad books and I was sure this would make it worse. No matter what I said or did, they thought I could never change.
My first thought was that I would not agree to this, especially when they didn't want me to go to the funeral and my name had not been included in the death announcement as one of the living family of my father. But now that they needed me, they wanted me to give them a favour? My first reaction was that if I had the money, it would be for spending on a great weekend, and this would put me back to the old addict state where I was before being clean and sober these four years. The second thoughts were about the fact that I was told that I would not be qualified to be on Family Benefits Allowance (FBA) anymore; thus, I would end up isolating and going into a deep depression. This could end up by me giving up on life, as usual. Also, if I were taken off FBA, the chances for me to get back on that program would be slim to nil. The amount of the money from the estate was about thirty thousand dollars, which is a fair amount for a short period of time, but certainly not enough to live on for the rest of my life. The last choice I had, while thinking about settling the matter, was to help out my children with their education or to give them a chance for living a good life. I had never been given that and when I was home with them, I was not the greatest mom. I decided to help my kids and to give them a little love instead of thinking about myself all the time. This was something I could not do for myself when I was using. But I would have to make sure they did not know the money was coming from me as it could mean to them that I was either forcing my love on them or buying them out. Being without the kids in my life these past fifteen years had cost me dearly. I was not going to give up my last chance at being with them. This act would show them real love for once. I would have to ask my brother, telling him that I would agree to the signing on one condition: only as long as it was written that the money went to my children, or that it was always in the will for them, or at least they would think it was in my father's will. It did not matter whether it went for schooling or as a good-sized amount that they could put into a nice nest egg for their future estate. My brother agreed to this, but I found out later that the lawyer sent my information (along with the money) to the children.
From receiving this information, my daughter showed up two months later at my door. Without notice, she rang my intercom from the front door and all she said was that "it was an old friend who would like to speak to [me]." When she came to the door, before saying anything more and while she was coming in, she said, "This is your daughter you abandoned fifteen years ago." She was here to thank me for the thirty thousand dollars. She then came and sat down beside me on the couch and put the letter between us there. After showing me the information in the letter, she first thanked me for it, and then started asking me about why I "had taken all the money out of the accounts when [I] had left." At first, I didn't even remember what she was talking about. All to remember was that I was so much of a mess that I had ended up in Queen Street Mental Health Centre at the time. She was very angry and upset and asked many more questions for which I didn't always have the answers. She blamed me for her feeling the way she was and that she felt my past influence was the reason she now had problems with, and about, sex-orientation. The only explanation I could give to her was because of the influence of both my parents and how they had affected me with any sex relationships throughout my life. She told me she had also been having problems with drugs, which had resulted, with her going to Juvenile Hall. She blamed me for just about everything in her life, from when had I left her up until now. She even blamed

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me for stealing all the money from our joint-bank account before I left. This could have been true but even if it was, I was sick at the time and would not have thought of it in that way. Both my husband and I had accounts and I would have taken from mine, not the joint account. I told her that, yes, I had problems with both drugs and alcohol. Blame for that were partly due to my mom giving me the pills when I was two, and my dad starting me on vino when I was six. But I told her that my parents did not keep me going on them for these last fifteen years; that I had done by myself. Also, it had cost a lot, but I was clean and sober now and was about to celebrate my 4th year medallion. This put a small smile on her face, which was the only time I saw it the whole time she was there.
We spent the next hour in small chitchat, in which we spent most of the time with her asking many questions and me answering them. I tried to answer her questions as best I could, but she mostly rejected the answers or then would turn around and just ask another question along the same line of, or slightly different, thought. The hour went by fast, and then she said that she had to go and would not give me any commitment to calling or coming back. I gave her my card and told her that she could phone or pop in on me at any time. She repeated that she wouldn't agree or promise to see or phone me again.
She also told me that her brother, my son, did not want to speak to me, and that that was the reason he did not come with her here today; that he was so mad at me, he will more than likely never see or call me for the rest of my life. I knew she still had some concerns to be answered, but she would not stay around and ask them of me. Also, I could see that she was very mixed-up, along with her own teenager problems. All I could hope for was that she would come back and then I could answer her questions, as I would then be more ready to answer them the next time. This was the only way I could give her love without overwhelming her with/by showing her my deep love and caring that I had for her now. I do not know if she got this message but I passed it on to her anyway. Would I see either of them again? That was the big question. I reminded her, as she was leaving the building, that I was here and she could phone or write me. She said nothing as she got up and left.
During the whole time she was there, she never gave her phone number or her address. But she had lain down on the couch and between us were the papers that the lawyer had given her for the money that I had sent to her and her brother. On the front of the envelope, I could very clearly see the address. Was this a subconscious thought on her part or just a major plunder for her? I knew that I would never know, and was this giving me the permission to call or write them now? I looked the address up in the phone book and came up with a phone number. Now what was I to do with this information? If I phoned or wrote to them, and this was not her choice, then I could lose her for sure, but the way I saw it was that I had nothing to lose myself. I tried a few weekends, when I had some time, to go around to their apartment. The apartment number was the thing that was not on the letter, so I would have to ask around the neighbourhood to see if anyone knew of a brother and sister, about twenty years old. During all the time there, I never saw them and they never answered the phone; they also had their phone changed so that I would not be able to call them.
In case I ran across them, I had answers to some of the questions that I could not answer at the time my daughter showed up. To this day, I have not been able to see or have heard from them. From all that had happened, I was sure I would never see them in the near future. My fear was that I would give up my medication, and on NA, or AA. If this ever happened, I would more than likely either end up in a hospital, or dead. I hope my daughter will come back so I can answer these questions in the future, but it looks like her last request to never speak to me is coming true. I went into a small depression over the next few months and wondered...what was life all about?
About a year after my dad's death, and during my depression as stated above, I was feeling very vulnerable and something happened at my place that forced me to try to deal with my life again. The contractors who were working on fixing the heating and ventilation in the building were given permission by the management to go into the apartments to do their work. They had given all the

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residents a general time for all the apartments to be entered, but we never knew exactly when they would be coming in. They were not great at giving 24-hour notice. Sometimes, they would give only a few hours when the law says that they should give 24-hour written notice. One Monday morning, they came into my apartment with no notice. Since they had the master key, they could come in without asking for permission to do so. They knocked at the door but since it was 8 am in the morning, I was not totally awake yet. I got up, hearing them already in my apartment. I asked them as to what right did they have, coming in without giving me 24-hour notice? Since I slept with very little on and did not have my cane available right when I got up, this made it very awkward to get up and put something on. They told me they were working on the heating and would only be five minutes. I reminded them that they were in here without a notice and I would phone SHC (my landlord) to find out why this had happened. Well, while I was on the phone to the superintendent, I checked my clock; by this time, it was ten minutes later. I told them to leave and again they said they would be only a few minutes. After hanging up with the superintendent, he then phoned the office, which only opened at 8:30am. This would take a few more minutes as there was a shift change taking place every Monday morning for the person on call at the office. Then one of the men came into my room. I was not able to get dressed and now felt trapped in bed. This was enough for me to lose it. I was taken back again to the age of six, seeing my mom. After they left, I got dressed and went to get drugs to use. I had just had an accident a month earlier where I had broken my ankle and had been given a prescription for Tylenol #3, but because of the fact that I am an addict, I would not use it and so I just put it into the drawer. With this stuff on my mind, I thought of having that prescription filled and wanted to use them to get rid of the pain I was now going through. The only reason I didn't get the Tylenol #3 was because the pharmacy would not fill the prescription. This made me realize that I had to look into what I could do about my past. I decided to look into another treatment centre, which was in Whitby (near Oshawa, Ontario), and I would have to leave my apartment, including the cats, for the week. I would, however, be able to come home on the weekends, yet I would need the help of my neighbours to be able to go do this. They agreed and I did try out the treatment centre. It was a six-month commitment. Anything was worth trying to get rid of these old feelings that kept popping up.
I tried the treatment centre out for two months but because of the conflicts, both at home with the treatment of the cats and how I was being treated at the treatment facility, I never finished the full term. Also, the transportation on the weekends between Oshawa and Toronto made going to the centre more difficult for me. The one thing everyone told me there were that I was trying, but that I would keep going back to the victim role in which everyone was more important than me. It also meant that I would think everyone was picking on me, just like what other kids did in my elementary school years. My past was always haunting me and I seemed to never be able to give it up. I worked hard on solving this, but the other people seemed to keep whispering behind my back. I finally found myself reverting back to my old self and forgetting all that I had learned at N.A. and A.A. During these periods, my esteem was gone and I did not have any kind of a Higher Power. So, everything I was learning there at the treatment centre was not working. Maybe I would have to find something else or come back later...when I am ready for this program.
So I just came back from the treatment centre, which was to look at the past and with which to come to terms. The prime counsellor helped a lot in this area but due to all the conflicts with my peers, in which I either ran or went into a depression, I never addressed the issues with them. It was not because I was not trying, as that was what everyone told me I did. I just think that either it was the group who were there at this time or that I was not ready; for whichever reason, it didn't work. One of the suggestions that they gave to me in going away was to write this story in which I would be able to bring up these feelings in a non-conflicting way. The other suggestions were to: learn how to handle conflicts; be more assertive; and, learn how to be more communicative.

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Chapter 9
My Company


I wish I would have done this much earlier, but drugs and other addiction was always in my way. I set-up my Company to help out myself and through this it would give me a purpose in life. I would set-up Web Pages those companies would like. It would keep me going for the next fifteen years. This meant me registering with both the city and the province. The company name was called "Cowgirl's Rodeo". For the company I had to set-up both a Bank Account and a Credit Card for that company. Because I never got more then $500/mth I wrote off the cost of set-up against what I got in. I would set-up the pages on my own site to have it ready and show to them before I work out the last details. Anyway, I would go to their place (wherever I was setting up a web page) or show them more designs that we would work on to get new ideas for them, but after that original visit, the rest of the work was done at my home. I then would phone them and tell them to look on the Internet and I'd make their changes from my computer. I would keep showing up until it was all right. I finished it up by showing them, from their place, how to make any changes they wanted to on their Home Page. I made the Home Page for the clubhouse I lived at, which was Progress Place and then started to get involved with N.A. to make a Home Page like the one for Ottawa. This was also because I was doing their Clean Times Magazine at the same time, and because of how well they liked how I did the pictures on the Clean Times. This was leading me to help with the N.A. Page. I also made the Home Page for Coyote Willie TEX-MEX Diner. I keep it up and also make any changes they want to the computer in exchange for meals from them whenever I do some work for them. The chairperson who replaced me at Clean Times was a disk jockey, and I helped him get up on the 'net' (Internet). I then got him his Home Page. This I did as a favour to another addict. I will not give up my other supports but will supplement with the work I am doing at home. I know how to show people to get free home pages from the Geocities site. I also show how to use Netscape Composer to make the images and how to use other html codes without having to learn it all; the codes do it automatically - you just have to have the scheme that you're working by. I think my greatest accomplishment so far is for my church at MCC in Toronto. It has both animation and sound and is known all around the world; people get to see everyday what is going on in the church. So it will have real speech but people will have to get something like Real Player to play it back. This is included with IE 4.0. The other site I did in Toronto was: Ralph Thornton Community Centre. I really liked this part of my life as it had a purpose in life for me working with a career I enjoyed and made me feel free. I would be able to create things that would help them and me. I will never forget this part of my life. The places I worked during this it time was at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as both as a Volunteer Coordinator and a Gift Shop Manager. Later I worked at Dixon Hall Community Centre as a Network & computer maintenance technician. I later worked at K-W Accessibility and lastly was Baterworks but this was at Kitchener-Waterloo. All the rest of the time I would be a volunteer.
But if I just stayed at home, I would isolate; even though I have my job, it will not keep me from thinking of my past and those feelings, which would make me sad. I really can say that I am more serene today, but I must watch out for past feelings as they still resurface. I have to try really hard to remain in the present with all that I have accomplished. The only way of doing this is to keep what I have learned from my treatment centre and listen to my sponsor. Doing those, in addition to praying about it with my H.P., I am sure I will be able to keep in stride and in today. The biggest thing is that I can feel my feelings and not have to cover them up with drugs and drinking. One thing I would like to finish with here is that there is always hope, but we have to sometimes wait for it, as it doesn't come right away.
I had my fifth-year medallion and would like to thank the following people for their strength and courage. Without it, I would not have been able to get this far, so I am thanking: my Sponsors, my psychiatrist, my other Sys-Ops (system operations) friends on the BBS, Gerstein Centre, Grant House,

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Street Haven, Progress Place, both the churches MCC Toronto and St. John Compassionate, both housing projects for which I was on the board of at Houselink Community Homes and Supportive Housing Coalition, and most of all - the members of N.A. The other volunteering positions were: Achievement in Motion, Baterworks, Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee, Potential Place, Calgary Drop-In, Centre of Hope, Spinz Around, Calgary Low Income Coalition, and finally today I am at the Calgary Dream Centre.
I am sorry I was not able to share this with the rest of my family and especially my children. My hope was that some day I would be able to see them, but I knew if I didn't stay clean this would never happen. In a small way, through the making of N.A. and A.A. Medallion birthday cards, I was giving back to them. The money from my father's will helped their schooling. With the receiving of my fifth-year medallion, a chapter in my life ended. I would leave the past behind me and began to develop a new life in a new city. The same evening after the meeting, I went with my sponsor to the new place where I would be staying...I hope for the next few years. This would also strengthen my work this was my ultimate hope. goto the top

Chapter 10
Kitchener Ontario


I came to this city, Cambridge, with many hopes and a smile on my face. The future looked good and I would be able to develop my company to the fullest. The roads seemed to rush by as we traveled along Highway 7 that night. As we were coming into Acton, the motor on the truck started to sputter and then finally died out. We had to be towed all the way from there to Cambridge. As we were driving into the parking lot of where we were going to stay, I got to see the place I was to sleep in for the next few years. It was a three-story townhouse; my scooter was being taken off the truck and there was no room for it in the garage. This was at about midnight or 1am in the morning, and all I could do was break down and cry. With my two canes and the banister to help, I worked my way up the stairs. As I was going up, two Doberman pincer dogs came galloping down the stairs. I loved dogs, but at this time in the morning and being tired from all that had happened (both at the meeting and during our ride here), I did not know if I could take any more. They leaped all over my sponsor and me, and it took all my strength from falling down the stairs with them. With a stop to rest between each floor, I went up the remaining two floors. Finally, I got to where my bedroom was to be and found that boxes had been piled up, three or four high. The hallway also had boxes and bureaus all over it. This was the final straw!
I yelled at the top of my voice and was ready to kill the rest in the home, who are two addicts or alcoholics. I ended up collapsing into a sleep on the couch, totally exhausted. I was awakened the next morning with two dogs, jumping on and licking me. I just wanted to get up and try to reach the washroom, but they were all over me. Over the next few days, I basically crawled up the stairs on my backside in order to get up and down safely. My anger was still there and even though they cleaned up my room, I was still having problems with the fact that it seemed like they lied to me. If they would have only told me before I came, instead of expecting me to accept their decision without even thinking of my handicap, and me I might have been able to rectify the problem. As it stood, I would not last long in this situation and would have to talk to someone, before I lost it completely. I also tried to talk at the meeting to see if any of them could understand the situation.
During this time of turmoil, I tried to keep myself busy with different things in the community. One thing I did to keep my sanity - and also find a place to live - was to go to the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) in Cambridge and meet Susan Hahn. She made a world of difference in my life at this time. She looked up shelters in the area. It turned out that all the women's shelters were not accessible and so we had to look for other places to stay. One place she mentioned was "Mary's Place", but this would mean moving to Kitchener. She also helped me with the soup kitchens where I could

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have a good lunch, with getting my name on the "Waterloo Region Housing Authority" list, and with getting on to the "Cambridge Parallel Transit". This latter service would help me to reach those meetings beyond my scooter range. At nights, I would find a meeting, either A.A. or N.A, whichever was nearest to where I lived. All of this was done to spend as little time as possible at home.
This particular week felt like it was going to last forever. The CMHA took care of the day, and the night was mainly spent with meetings. Now when Saturday came, and there was no CMHA or meetings, I had nothing to do but stare at the dogs that were mostly sitting beside me or on top of me. It was raining like cats and dogs outside, so I thought I would try to work on my computer, which the other townhouse tenants had set up, for themselves. I had to crawl upstairs as usual with the dogs around me, and into the hall, but it was completely full of dressers and mirrors. I worked my way to my room where I tried to get on my computer. It was not there; they had put it into their extra room and had been using it as theirs. They had set-up for the Internet again and had used my access to get onto it. They had taken everything from me and I had nothing left. All furniture was in storage; my scooter was in the packed garage. The clothing was packed up in boxes. Well, trying to get to the room, I tripped over the mirror and almost fell on top of my second sponsor's husband who is partially blind. He blew up at me for not cleaning my room or unpacking my clothes, and said that I should be more careful next time. I could not take it anymore. I would have to leave, and leave now, or I would kill him for no reason at all. With basically my shirt on my back and my rain tarp to help with the rain, I left and just went to the local park, which was a familiar place in the past. I was there all day in a daze and no one approached me as to why I was sitting there. It went into the evening and the only thing I could think of was going to a meeting. It was in Hespeler, which was at the farthest north part of the city of Cambridge. But I was not doing anything else, so I drove there by scooter in the rain. I arrived early and the coffee and donuts were a refreshing pleasure after not eating or drinking all day. They asked me why I was so wet and cold and tired. I started to tell them and ended up crying because of dealing with all the problems I was having. I felt like nothing was going right; it seemed like I was not going anywhere anymore. People said they were glad I was there, and that I was in the right spot for that moment. They would talk more about this after the meeting. I could not even concentrate on the meeting what with worrying about where I was going to sleep that night. After the meeting, someone suggested leaving the scooter there and she would take me to his or her family place. This was the Saturday night. On the Monday of the next week, they would see where they could find a shelter for me to live.
In the meantime, I had a wonderful supper and started to warm up after the difficult day I had just finished. I then slept on a beautiful bed in their guest room. The next day we went to church, then afterwards went to the Scout house for a meeting. The two people, whom I had just left at the townhouse, came to the meeting and everything seemed to change. They seemed to stare right through me, even though I had done nothing wrong. It felt like days had passed before the meeting finished, and I was able to get out of there. Again, nothing was said through the meeting, but I'm sure it was on everyone's mind. My hosts and I talked about it during the lunch meal, and I knew I would have to deal with it, but I could not deal with it at this time. They were going to another meeting that night on Queen St. in Hespeler this time, but I felt I could not go through another meeting like that morning meeting, so I said that I would prefer to stay at their place. They said they might not even be there that night. I just could not handle another showdown with the other two, and if there were even the smallest chance that they would be there, I would not go. My hosts accepted this and went off to the meeting. They had their supper after the meeting, and I went to bed feeling more secure than I had since leaving Toronto.
The next morning, I woke up at six o'clock, and wanted to make phone calls right away to get everything started. The lady who kept me at her home for the night joined me and made a breakfast for her and me. We just talked for the next three hours, or I should say I talked for the next few hours, and she just listened to what I said. As soon as nine o'clock came, I was on the phone to the CHMA, but

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Susan Hahn was not there; in fact, it seemed that no one came in before about ten o'clock a.m. I was sitting on pins and needles the whole time. In the meantime, my friend and I phoned the United Church, which the scooter was stored at, and arranged to pick it up later. She put on some more coffee and I sat there, using the phone practically every five minutes. I was almost rude to Susan when she finally came into the office, yet she had done nothing wrong. She had simply come back from a meeting in Kitchener. This had always been one of my defects of character that I needed to work on. After she corrected me over this, Susan asked what had happened and how she could help me that day. I explained to her all the problems I'd had over the weekend and properly updated her as to what I was planning to do. She recommended that I come down to the office, saying she would get me into one of the shelters by nightfall. I thanked my friend for the great time that I had been given at her place. Wanting to keep in touch with her wherever I was going, she said I would see her at least once during the week at a meeting.
She took me in her van, first to the church, and then to Susan's office. I again thanked her for all her help; now knowing I would see her again. Susan invited me into her room and we started to look at all the places we had already looked at up to this point in time. There were very few places in Cambridge, mainly because of my scooter. The same was true in Kitchener-Waterloo. The only one I was sure to be able to fit into, for my scooter and me, was Mary's Place in Kitchener. They were usually full and it could be a wait before a room would be open for me. When we phoned, there was no room, just as Susan had figured. However, because of my situation, they offered me something that Mary's Place had as an over-flow storage area, an in-house activity room on the main floor of the residents. They would just have to throw a mattress on the floor with some blankets for me to sleep. I took it, even though it would be hard. Each day (until they got a room), I would have to clean the area up for the day's activities that went on in this room. After a week or so, I was put on the third floor and had my own room. This was usually a two-person room but, because of my scooter, I was given it. I lived at Mary's Place for about 2 1/2 months. I went out every day to keep my sanity. As this was right downtown, I was able to get around very nicely. The mainline bus ran just by the entrance and that would take me to most of my meetings. The number of substances used in the place, though, would make it hard for anyone to stay clean and sober. Most of the people there didn't even hide the stuff and would even offer it to you to see if they could get you to use.
I went to "The Working Centre" to see if they had any jobs, but none were available at this time; I would have to check back later. They did mention the "Kitchener-Waterloo Access-ability" (K-WAA), located at the Waterloo Square basement. I first went over to "Achievement Inn Motion, (AIM)" which would be like "Progress Place" in Toronto. I joined and found that I was not able to use my talents in a volunteering way to help the other members, so I left and went over to K-WAA. Upon arriving there, I was greeted very gratefully by Chris, the director, and after looking at my resume, he told me that I could have a job and that I could even start the next day. They were so impressed with my resume and suggested to me that if I could learn Linux, which operated their server, it would help even more. This was an old operating system with a kernel of 1.13.1. This meant that they could link all the members through a modem, but it would only be in non-graphical mode. It also meant that they could only connect at 9600 baud rates (bits per second), yet this kind of system would work well on old IBM computers, like the 286 or 386. This network would act as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) for all its members and would connect with the Internet via the UW (University of Waterloo). The advantage of using these old machines was that everyone was throwing them out and replacing them with newer 586 models. My job was to take all these old machines and combine them, to get as many systems working as possible. When I had extra time, I would also teach Internet to the members. In my own time, I had to learn the Linux system. It was like the other two Operating Systems (OS) I had worked on, DOS & OS/2 OS. The windows system of OS was just coming into use, in the form of Win95 and Win98.

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These were graphical systems and would not work with 286 or 386 machines. Everything we had talked about thus far had been based on the DOS systems up to the Win3.1 version, but this totally changed after Microsoft took over the Win3.11 version with Win95. LINUX, DOS and other text-based systems would only take 16 colours of graphics, which both machines would take. The amount of memory for a non-graphical system was very small and the hard drivers need also not to be large as these programs were something like 56k compared to 400k in a Win95 program.
Chris (the director at K-WAA) also invited me to join the social club that was oriented to Accessible people with wheelchairs. I was able to be meeting a whole new set of people who were not connected with the "AA-NA" scene. This was done during the day and I still had time at night to make it out to my meetings. I enjoyed this time with the other members. We went all over the place but we always met at the K-WAA centre. The summer was when the students came along and helped out with the social events. I did not use the Project Lift for my transportation; instead, the regular bus transit was available, at least the ones that had ramps on them. The problem was that they did not secure me down, so I could tip over. Thus, I had to hold onto the side rail or to the handheld straps attached to the overhead railing. This took a toll on my arm to the point that I could not use it for a long period of time and it made it hard to work. As a result, I could not work at the centre. I ended up having to leave and headed back to "AIM" for further support.
I spent most of my time working in the clerical office there. I enjoyed this with most of my work involving the making up of signs for the store, or for AIM itself. Later on, I was able to teach the members how to work a computer and also about how the Microsoft programs worked. After one of the staff left, who had been doing the maintenance on all the computers at AIM, I took over the position. So in some ways I was staff, but I was still a member. This kept up until the end of AIM. I kept them up-to-date with the software and was able to get some gifts of software from Microsoft. We worked together to teach each other how to use this software. It was a very enjoyable time in my life, doing what I always wanted to do and helping the members to feel more confident with them. The year before the close of AIM, I joined the board and became the treasurer. About this time, I moved out of Mary's Place and moved into an accessible townhouse near Westmount and Ottawa streets in Kitchener.
I started with repairing these old machines that the members had to use to get onto the Internet. Some of them could not even handle WordPerfect 5.1 as this needs memory to make it work. Well, WordPerfect 5.0 only uses 5 1/4 floppy discs. I was also able to help them with setting up modems; this could be very hard if you have an IRQ conflict, which could happen very easily. (An IRQ is a channel on the motherboard, which passes data.) After getting to know a lot of the members, partly because of the social events I was attending or fixing their computers and talking them through their problems on the phone, I was able to finally teach some of them on the "486" machines that we had in the office.
I taught "Xoom" to two people, one of who was 90% blind and, in the other one, their sight was going. This software allowed anyone to read things like newspapers, textbooks, e-mails. it would then be translated into speech. The picture on the screen was exaggerated and the slight movement of the mouse would send the screen flying. It's a magnifier view of the page. This extreme movement was too much for my second student. She had to give up on it, as it would cause her extreme sickness. The stigmatism in her eye would cause dizziness and sharp pain in the eye. The other person enjoyed it and he is still using it today. In each case, I would go to their home and teach it on their computer. Other jobs I did were to go to members' places and update their computer or install new devices into it. One of the devices I installed, in all the members' places, was a modem that allowed them access/connection to our Network at K-W Access-Ability. One problem was that this was very slow, having a maximum of 9600 Mhz. The other problem was that they could not see any graphics on the net and would only be able to go to non-graphical sites. This was due to the age of the computers we installed, the speed of the network and, finally, because the network was using an old version of Red Hat (Linux).

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One of these member's places I went to belonged to a blind person who had a guide dog. I worked well with the person and got to be friends with him. I especially got friendly with the dog and since I was in the room with him and he had no harness on, the dog got very friendly with me. This is okay in the room, but a problem developed. Every time he saw me, the dog would be too friendly and he quit guiding the person. As you know, this is the worst action that a guide dog can do. So, the dog needed to be retrained all over again and I was asked not to come over. This hurt me very much. The shame of it made me not want to help at K-W Access-Ability anymore.
During this time, I went out to non-profit organizations and helped them to put up a web presence on the net. I would give them a written presentation and then load that onto my server for them to check out. The organizational personnel would e-mail the changes and continue doing so until the page was right for them. This may take a few tries, but I made it end up the way they wanted it. I put everything into making their pages and would get very hurt when they felt it was not up to their standards. I would not tell them this, but I would try to suggest to them that this was the only way to do it at this time, or I would suggest that their presentation was not as good as the one I had presented. At a lot of these non-profit organizations, I would end up being their Webmaster and on their Board of Directors. Another problem was that, after a period of time, they would want me to teach one of them how to replace the web page and thereafter, if I did not continue on as a volunteer, then they would let me go. This would make my moods change very drastically. I would, in the worst-case scenario, start knocking them down (or badmouthing them) with other non-profits. This always backfired and made it hard for me to find any work. I would usually give in and head over to the person's place where I worked with this person to help them to understand web paging with their computer. I would also sometimes have to load some of the software that I had, to allow the person to learn the way to improve the web page. This part of it I really liked and enjoyed my visit to the home every week. They would usually give me supper or other treats during the time I was over at their place. The only problem I had was when their place was not accessible and I had to either slide on my derriere to get up and down, or get two men to help me up/down the stairs.
Two of the places that I stayed on with were AIM & Barterworks. In both cases, I ended up being their treasurer. I worked hard to keep the books organized (balancing down to the last ten cents) and we broke even after each year. I would only charge them a token amount, allowing me to continue my business and ODSP support (Ontario Disability Support Program). I would take all the money from the business and put it back into the business, in more software or hardware. These two places also got me members who needed either teaching help, or fixing of their computers. This was done on the side so I did not charge very much for my services. The Web Pages started to reduce and the customers always wanted me to come back and solve their entire problem for nothing. This was becoming bothersome and, eventually, I had to change my phone number on both my cell and at home.
At Barterworks, I enjoyed being on the board for five years as the treasurer. A problem came when they did not keep me in the loop in regards to what the director's expenses were. Thus, I resigned from Barterworks. I sometimes wonder if I should have done this as now, I have no work with them, but I do have principles about these things. I felt that it needed to be pointed out to them in order to keep the books correct. I also did not feel they were going the same way as when I joined the group. When I joined the group, the members ran everything and we had no outside help. Now the Working Centre runs it and members have very little say in the way of controlling what is going on. There was not anything wrong with the Working Centre, but our board has just become a puppet of the Working Centre. I not have been to one of their trade fairs in the last four months. The extra money, which I got for doing the books, was in Barter dollars, which allowed me to get extra things at the trade fairs. Most of the times, I would spend the Barter Dollars on food that I got for myself, or on the food basket, which came out once a month.

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Chapter 11
Jasmina's Support


The fact that I was both a member of AIM and on the board, and also being paid for my service of teaching the other members, made it very hard to keep my roles straight. When I was a board member, I would end up being very intellectual and always on my toes. When I was working with my employment, I had to be very business like, and felt like I would never be able to be wrong. With my member role, I could be myself and have fun, but the other members treat you differently when you have a staff or board role. I could never really be my own self. These differences kept coming up all the time. The only way to keep it different was to speak with my worker on a regular basis. I would also give her my feelings and this always helped. Her name was Jasmina; she would be a lifesaver all the rest of my time here. She would keep me sane during the times when I could not handle the pressure myself. The relationship became more than a worker, as a very close friend. She even replaced my psychiatrist; I have not had one since coming to the K-W area. Jasmina's help would keep me going during the next few years.
Because of the support from Jasmina, I decided to reach out to the community with being the Public Information Chair of NA for the Golden Triangle Area Service Committee (ASC). With the help of my committee, I was able to open up five new meetings in the Golden Triangle area. Of the five meetings I started, three are still going today. One is my home group, called the Hope Group of Narcotics Anonymous, held on Friday night in St. Andrew's Church at 54 Queen St. at Weber St. I opened this meeting on Friday July 16, 1999 and, except for a few holidays where the church was closed; I have kept this door open. The meeting attendance varies from 1-27 members at one of the Medallion Birthdays. I was able to keep the meeting going with the small amount of 7th Tradition that was given. (Tradition Seven, as based on A.A. says: "Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.") A problem developed when I quit being the treasurer and gave it to someone else; the group did not keep good records and did not deposit all funds collected into the bank, so we did not have enough money in the bank to pay for the rent for a period of time. Along with this, on my 10th Medallion Birthday, only two people showed up for the meeting and so I said screw the whole thing and to heck with N.A.! Only because of some help from some friends, and also that the area gave five months rent to our group, I did not shut it down. But I told everyone that the meeting was closing and that was it. One thing that happened the week after was that my sponsor came over from Toronto and celebrated my birthday; the meeting was full that night. She then wrote a letter to the district, suggesting that they give help to this group in order to keep the door open. Also on that night, a first-time person came. If the meeting door had not been open, that person would still be out there, alone and likely using. But he had been able to stay and be in the program for the next year, until he moved away. I know that service is one of the major reasons I am still clean and sober, so it would have been a pity should the door have been closed permanently.
In my A.A. group, I became the GSR (Group Service Representative) for a group at the A.A. District, but I could not attend because of the fact that it was not accessible. I worked hard to get this changed and by the time they finally did move on it, I only attended it once and was then voted out. This, and the reason they let me go, would be a common theme in my life. I worked hard on some committee to fix it for myself and someone else, and then end up not getting anything in the long run. These hit-and-miss type occurrences would send me both to an extreme high or an extreme low, and depression with suicidal tendencies. I would be constantly going to Jasmina and end up taking on more and more until I imploded - or, isolated - to the point that I could not do anything for myself. Both of these extremes were too much for me and I would have to take a long break from everything.
When I was having problems with N.A. and A.A., I would go into depression, as these groups were my major supports. Having no sponsor in town and not too many members coming over or even

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phoning me, I would go up and down like a yo-yo. So I tried to start a new group that I called the Double Trouble Group, which meant dealing with both mental and substance abuse issues. When we applied to the World A.A. for a status, they rejected it because, in their view, it was dealing with two things rather than one: alcoholism. They said I was breaking the Fourth Tradition. ("Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.") I changed the name to Recovery First, and World A.A. said as long as the Area and District agreed, then they had no problem with it. The district still felt that it was breaking the Fourth Tradition, even though the A.A. Guidelines states: "Respect for the dignity of others has to be the foundation for all our efforts to carry the message to alcoholics with special needs, with emphasis on identification rather than on how we are different." And also states: "The goal is to include all alcoholics in the wonderful experience of belonging to a group and partaking of a full range of benefits of membership." The Area agreed with me, but said it was still up to District to give the final okay. They basically said 'get your help outside of A.A. as it is an outside issue'.
We had to move the group over to the CMHA under the MDA (Mood Disorder Association) umbrella to allow it to continue. We could talk about our medications or our doctor without breaking any of the Traditions when, with A.A., we were limited to speaking of alcohol only. Here we could talk about anything we felt we have a problem with, without concern that a person would have resentment towards us, or A.A. saying "It's an outside issue." We don't just deal with a substance abuse, but with both mental and substance abuse. The bottom line was that with mention of anything else than alcohol, we would be breaking the 5th Tradition, which says, "Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers." Here, in this group, we also have the freedom to cross talk, to help each other on the spot. We took (as examples) from the Dual Diagnosis groups, which are around, especially in the USA. We expanded on this by calling it Concurrent Disorder, which deals more with the mental area, than with the true A.A. We further expanded it with using the S.T.E.M.S. approach (Support Together for Emotional Mental Serenity and Sobriety), which combines the two into one and has slightly different steps and traditions. These steps and traditions would not be allowed in A.A., at least, not at this time in the district.
After working for AIM for a few years, the place closed down due to financial reasons. This left three hundred members out on the street with no place to go. Then the government ordered the CMHA to accommodate the members of AIM. This was only a one-year contract with them and we were told, on a constant basis, that if we did not join up with the CMHA then they could not accommodate us. Thus, we would end up on the street again. Most of members did not trust the CMHA as it was based on the medical side, rather than on the clubhouse or social base that most of the AIM members were used to. Very few of the members came over to the CMHA; maybe about thirty members, compared to the thirty-members/day attendance at AIM before it closed. It seemed that most of the members who came to AIM on a regular basis were forced to come over to CMHA...or they would not be able to survive.
Even the few that did decide to come over had to be completely accepting of the CMHA and their philosophy. They believe that, through the community, they can direct the members to find a solution to their problems. This was okay for members who are independent of their social and mental needs, but most of the core members depended on AIM to show them where to go and how to do it. As this is totally different from the clubhouse or social system they were used to, it was hard for many of these people to accept this new way of thinking. The first year, they all met in the basement of CMHA and Jasmina, who was our worker at AIM, was there to help them to bridge the gap between AIM and CMHA. It was basically a social club known as the 'ex-AIMers members' and was only for old AIM members. Only the people who had been a part of AIM before could join this select group.
So, in a large way, we were separate than the rest at CMHA. We went to our own events and

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mostly stayed to ourselves. Most of the thirty members, who could not really get a job, ended up just vegging out and their lives became stale. The other ones I could help were members who were teachable on the computer, and were able to use it in a positive way. These ones I could take to the Working Centre. There, I taught them how to use the Mavis Beacon Typing Tutor, and other Microsoft programs such as: Word; Access; Excel; and, even Front Page, which makes web pages on the net. This kind of training would lead to helping themselves to get jobs in the community.
The CMHA's philosophy is to find help for the members from the community resources, and only coordinate all these outside resources in order to overcome members' problems. This meant that they would not need me to help bridge the gap between the outside resources and the CMHA. One of the places that the CMHA asked members to get involved with was the Working Centre, which would not totally understand the mental problems that many of the members had had. I was laid off from teaching these members, as they would have to get their help from the community rather than from another member. If they did not want this help from the outside resources or could not handle the pressure this gave, they were forced to join Waterloo Region Self-Help (WRSH), which was a part of the Self-Alliance.
This solution was WRSH or MDA and to make Self-Help groups. A person from either the MDA or WRSH would facilitate the Self-Help groups. They would have to follow the guidelines, and all of the philosophy, which were set down by the Self-help Alliance. An Executive Director (ED), who had a strong say on what was going on in these groups, controlled the groups. So, the true 'self-help' was not their true goal, but a control on the self-help through the leaders of the group. The leader had to check with the ED to make sure it was in the philosophy, as she wanted it. If you did not follow the same as the leader, then there would be conflicts and things would be made hard for the rest of the members in the group to work on. This was/is very hard for one (me) who believes in the original self-help style, based on A.A., where everyone is equal and not above each other, and that we work with each other to help with the joint problems we face(d). The first tradition shows this the best, "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on [the group's] unity."
Because of the difference between my opinion and the philosophy of Self-Help, I had major conflicts with the Board of Directors, the ED, and the facilitators of the groups. This made it really hard to work under, or to work with, them. It made me feel like I was not wanted by either of the groups, which were there to help members like me. I went back to A.A. and tried to get a group started; it was the Double Trouble Recovery group (DTR), which as was pointed out earlier, did not work out between A.A. and me. I now had to put my whole hope into the Concurrent group, which was then at CMHA. The Concurrent Disorder group was the help I needed to bring both my substance abuse and mental disorder together. I helped to begin, and gave most of my time towards, getting the group going. After telling all the groups of the upcoming meeting, the MDA got four members to help start it. I was one of these four, and we met with Allen Strong, the Coordinator of all the Self-Help groups. The four of us met, along with Allen, and discussed what we were going to do with the meeting and what agenda we would follow. Up to this point, I had assumed it would be something like an A.A. self-help agenda, but modified to better represent the members here and their mood disorder. I spent that whole week asking members and others, who were going to start the meeting, what I could change to bring it in line with the Mood Disorder groups. They all suggested bringing in more on Mood Disorders with only a slight emphasis on the A.A. aspects. I did all that they said and thought it would be okay; that it would be what everyone would agree upon.
When I came to that meeting, I was planning on showing my suggestions for a meeting and that, with perhaps slight changes, it would be accepted. That was far from what happened at the meeting. They threw out all of what I had done for the last month, and especially the changes I had done with the other members that week. They did not want any emphasis, in any way, put upon A.A. and would only take

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what this one member was learning in a class he was taking, which was based on some S.T.E.M.S. method. They also said it was his 'Divine purpose' to lead this group and that they wanted nothing of my plans, or of me. The other three members and the two from MDA, who were leading this discussion, agreed to all of that; that's what the first meeting would be like when we started it. I went out of the meeting, crying and losing all hope for CMHA, MDA, WRSH, AA, NA, or the Concurrent Disorder group, to help me in any way towards the future, or even the present. I really had nowhere to go and no hope for the future, to the point that I was questioning whether I should even live.
My whole attitude changed and I became very aggressive to everyone and anyone. I had no point to live and went to all the meetings with a chip on my shoulder, especially when it was any meeting connected with CMHA, MDA, or WRSH. I went to the AGM (Annual General Meeting) of these associations, and caused major problems with everything that was said and done. I was out to wreck them and was considering even taking it to the press to get back at them. I hated myself and whoever was associated with me. I was becoming very suicidal and went into a deep depression.
What was worth living for? I had lost my company since I had very little in the way of work, lost all my support groups because they could not understand me, and the only support was a worker who worked for WRSH, but as recovery manager of the W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) program (which gave a new way to look at crisis management). They thought that, because of a long-time relationship before she came to work here at the CMHA, it was the only reason I could still put some faith in her. She also encouraged me to look elsewhere like Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Barterworks, and at a new Accessibility Committee to be started by the region to serve all the cities and counties in the Region of Waterloo. This committee was to be called Grand River Accessible Advisory Committee. I applied to the City of Kitchener to join this committee and was accepted, but first it had to be (and was) approved by the city council. The committee had the full power of the cities, counties, region, and finally, the provincial Ontario Disability Act (ODA).
The reason I wanted to join this accessibility committee was because when I first moved to my townhouse on Howe, the transportation was very bad and nearly impossible on the weekend. I would, at night, have to take the "Queen South" bus at McGarry and Elmsview, and come down a very steep hill on Fisher-Hallman, across Highways 7 and 8 to Ottawa, and then to my place. This was only one kilometre, but the condition was not always worth it; if I go up that same hill, it would take eleven hours out of my battery and this would be critical during the wintertime. I upset my scooter a few times going down the hill, especially during the icy winter conditions. The other distance would be from my place to the corner of Alpine and Ottawa Sts.; this was about a two-kilometre distance. So, I wrote a petition to get the "Route 12"' to continue on its route all the way to Farview Mall, or to extend the "Route 3, Ottawa South" to run late and on the weekend. I asked that these routes become accessible routes. I got over one thousand signatures, and presented them to Don Snow, Director of Transportation, who then sent the petition on to two Mayors (and later to Chair of the Region). Their answer was that they would not get any more non-accessible buses and, from then on, would be buying some twenty buses to increase the fleet. However, it depended on what the K-W Region was willing to do to keep within their budget and also on the timeline of start-up. This issue was put into the newspapers and onto CKCO-TV.
Another time that I was in the limelight was on a Thanksgiving weekend when I was coming home on the VIA railways train after seeing my doctor in Toronto, which I been doing once a month. During the trip, they had overbooked the train and the spots for the disabled. They had four people with chairs and my scooter to fit into one spot on the train, where normally I would only be by myself. The one lady ended being transferred four times before she could sit down and the last passenger, who came late, had no brakes on his chair; thus, it was left unattended and not tied down. With the entire passengers crammed into the two cars, they were crawling over each other to get a seat. The long and

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short of it all was that I got hurt and thereafter, it made them make changes to both their bookings as well as to how they tied down the chairs.
The one major committee I am on is the Grand River Accessible Advisory Committee (GRAAC) in which I am the watchdog for GRT (Grand River Transit) and other transportation. I have been to the Region's Council a few times to make a submission to correct some of the safety issues with the transportation, specifically to do with a bad practice of some taxi drivers in the new United Van rear-loading taxis. A rider would have to drive the scooter to the back of the front two seats. The second row of seats would fold up against the front seats and, again, left less room to park the scooter or chair. Once to the front and parked, there was no way for the person to dismount the scooter or chair to sit in a seat. With the longer scooters like mine, the scooter would end up right under where the hatchback would close. The roof at this point would be slanted down to a foot below the original ceiling. There was only one strap, which came from the bottom of the back of the van on the floor to go diagonally across you to the top of the van's roof on the opposite side. This was especially a problem with tall riders who would be forced to bend over for the whole ride once the hatch closed. There was no headroom for the rider and even though the shocks might be good, over major bumps in the road they would not prevent you from hitting the top of the hatchback and then come back down. It would be like sitting on top of a jackhammer and having no clearance to overcome the shocks. I first brought this to my committee and then to the Region Council when they were talking about the Taxi Regulations. I suggested that they should look into this, and teach the drivers how to properly dismount the passenger before driving anyone into the back of the van. The Region then made a By-Law for these taxis; that if a driver did not dismount the passenger from the scooter before driving off, then the taxi driver would be fined $500. I also felt that all of management of the GRT should go through sensitive training to help them better understand what we, the passengers, have to face with both the buses and taxis-vans. I also encouraged the bus company towards getting more accessible or lowering floor buses in their fleet to cover more of the routes in the K-W Area. It was also to help with the expanding of routes in the rest of the region.
The problem with the committee was that they were more concerned with building structure (of Regional, City or County buildings) then what they were for transportation in the Region. I have had to represent myself in each of these cases, instead of having the power of the ODA or the GRAAC behind me. The Committee is only to give recommendations to their Councils, but I feel the reason this is a joint project is that it should cover what would affect all the areas in the Region. The other problem, lately, is what is considered to be 'out-of-town' for the purpose of medical appointments, or other things, which would normally be paid for if the medical services (etc.) were found in town. The ODA stated that all barriers, which would keep an Ontarian from participating in a function, should be stopped or else the person should be compensated for the problem. The year after the original Act (ODA), it was changed to say that if there was something of similar function within the area where the person lived, then the service (etc.) did not have to be compensated for. That definition of the "area " seems to change from one government clerk to another. Is the "area" to be read as inclusive of our entire "region", or read as "the city only"?, which is the ODSP's interpretation of the Act. I know that this particular definition and/or its interpretation have cost me a few hundred dollars.
Since I had left a few months before handing my documents into ODSP, and this was at the beginning of the year, the amount of money was substantial to the point that I could not pay for my heat and hydro. This caused me to have no food for three months. I felt like the world would not take care of me, and there was now nothing left to care for in my life. This depression had lasted a long time. Only with the help of one of the Concurrent group leaders, who was taking special concern for me and helping in small ways, would I get out of this deep trap of life.
My hatred for the Self-Help Alliance, was because of the head of CMHA who took over AIM, thus

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I was given an appointment with him and another person (John Jones, along with Sandra), to discuss these problems. Sandra was there to help with the relations between John and myself. He was one of the ones with whom I could talk, meet, and discuss what could be done to solve some of the concerns with the Alliance. They felt I had very much inner anger and was expressing it in the wrong way and against the wrong people. They suggested that I should get a support worker from CMHA and help me to go through some of these problems. Sandra also looked into what could be done with ODSP, to see if we could get some of the money back that they had taken from me, or a least make sure they would not take any more from me in the future. She also phoned my doctor to ask for help in getting more documents to support my claims with ODSP. It was also suggested (to my doctor) to get more money because of my diabetes; hopefully, this should replace some of the loss from the work shortage.
During this time, one of the Concurrent group leaders, who also went to the noon meeting, was helping in a way that all the others could not do. His name was George and, basically, he was there to be a sounding board for my problems. As it says, "The therapeutic value of one addict helping another addict is without parallel." He never suggested anything, just listened. The other guideline that would help was, "We are not to like each other, but to show respect and dignity for each other, and to look at the similarities rather than the differences." He really lived by this policy and helped me to realize that I am not alone. This quiet way of keeping me in touch with reality was better than all the other methods I had been brought up on. Now, I bring anything to him and not worry about would be said about it.
I also continued to go to Overeaters Anonymous (OA), as this was a problem since I started anorexia when I was young. One person who has helped me, my OA sponsor, Ruth-Anne, has made me feel more normal and a part of life. Beside her help in OA, she has also come to my High Noon group meeting and so, if George was not there to be a sounding board, then I had her to take his place in the same position. This gave me someone to ask for help, rather than holding it all in, and ending up by internally imploding. I would not be here today and still clean and sober if it were not for these two people. I really appreciate their help and concern, and can say that I could dedicate this story to them.
One other thing I was working on at this time was undertaking a "discovery" in which I got five or six people together. They looked at my life, and then gave me suggestions that could be used to give me goals and a purpose, which would be positive in my life rather than negative (as I would normally think of myself). We all worked and discussed my life together, talking about what had happened in the past, to what is happening right now, and how I can use this information to improve my future. This "discovery" may take several sessions; each session may take a few hours and last over a few days. But in the long run, it would be worth it as the process will give me goals that I can reach right now. This will not happen just because I have finished the "discovery" sessions with these people. After some time, I will start doing it by myself, and find a new way to have a loving and caring HP. The more I put into this "discovery", the more I will get out of it.
After finishing the "discovery" of CMHA, I can say for the first time, in a long while, that I have hopes about life and where I am going now. Now that I am going back to Calgary, which has always been my hope since leaving Alberta. I will continue the Mental Support groups that have supported me with both my Mental & Substance Abuse problem. The training from Community Employment Services (CES), a branch of the CMHA, has helped to keep my work going and worthwhile. Overall is the hope to get closer to my "Mother Nature", which for me is my Higher Power (HP). I may be able to find out what happened to my kids and if they are there or somewhere else. I could get a hold of my original family to ask them where my kids are or where I can start looking for them.

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Chapter 12
Moving to Calgary


In the months before coming to Calgary I would need to get things ready for the move. I would have to register for their access transportation. With the help of GRT staff I got a copy of the Calgary Access form got it all filled in and they sent it to Calgary. I needed a place to live once I got there. I started by registering for Calgary Housing. With the help of my workers, we filled it all in and gave all my physical & mental problems so they would know what I would need in a way of a place. I did not want to lose everything by ending back in depression and addiction.
The next thing I did was contact Potential Place, and they gave me names of places and peoples I would need to contact once I got there. I would still need to be connected with CMHA and know if they a support system for me once I got there. I also contacted the Calgary Self-Help Association to see if they would be able to help in any way. I checked on the net about the meetings in Calgary for both AA and NA. I would not go there blind, as I know I would be bringing all my problems with me too.
Through these contacts, I found out there were 5 shelters in which there may be a place to stay. The first was the Women's Shelter; they would not take me, as I was not going through any battering situation at this time. The second one was Centre of Hope, which was in the process of getting rid of their women floor to turn the floor into paid rooms for the men's treatment Centre. The Calgary Drop Inn Centre and the Mustard Seed only had mats to sleep on and nowhere to put my scooter. The last two places I checked into were Kirby Centre and the YWCA. I phoned both of these places and told them my situation. They both said as a last resort if I found nothing else, they could take me for a short while.
I thought because of all the excitement I was not sleeping or because it was hotter than normal, but whatever the problem was, I thought I would check it out. I checked into a Sleep Clinic and had to stay overnight to check it out. They came up with the reason I was not sleeping - I had Sleep Apia and an extreme case of it. This would mean I would have to sleep with a machine and a mask over my face. As I had a broken nose, I would have to wear it over my whole face. I would wear it all night while I was sleeping to help me breath. It seems I would stop breathing some 175 times in one hour. This machine would keep my throat open and allow me to breath. Otherwise, I would stop breathing and my throat would shut down until my brain would react in a coaching manner to get me back to breathing. I would need a plug in somewhere near to my bed to plug the machine in. This would be another requirement I would need when I get into one of the shelters. The cost of the machine would be $1,500 but ODSP would pay this for me.
The second medical problem was with my teeth; I ended up getting a major toothache on the top right of my mouth. It got worse to the point where I could not eat on that side and got a funny taste in my month. I went to my Dentist and found out that I had an infection through to my nose, which also affected my breathing. I would need to have an operation on my right side and have 6 teeth removed. This would mean going into hospital and have them be pulled out. The hospitals were very busy and I would need to wait for this operation. I finally got into Holy Cross Hospital and had the operation. I would not be able to eat solid food for quite a while. This also meant not drinking either too hot or cold drinks.
I figured I would wait until my Medallion birthday, May 1, before I would plan to go or shortly there after, this would give me a chance to work everything out to get to Calgary. With all the cost and scheduling with West Jet it would be June before I would go. I had planned to have Potential Place as my permanent address and have my CPPD sent there. I figured I would be able to get on Welfare until I would get on the same program as ODSP here in Ontario. I would find out much later that I would need a rent receipt before they would give me Welfare and because of the amount I got from CPPD that it would not be much.

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As June got here the weather was getting hotter and drier. This gave me sleeping problems again, even though I had my new breathing machine. May 31 was the hottest on record for that day and thus I ended up in Holy Cross Hospital with a heat stroke. This gave me no chance to do my final set-up before leaving on the plane. I would forget some legal papers that would be needed later. The heat had caused three Tornadoes in Toronto and knocked out 1/4of City power including the Airport. I would have to go through Hamilton Airport instead of Toronto to go to Calgary. They were not as well set-up for wheelchairs as Toronto. The week before I went, I needed to get rid of my two cats, which I loved, Willy & Bandita, to a friend who also attended the Dry Docks meeting. It was hard to get of rid of them as I had had them for 12yrs and Willy since he was 8 weeks old.
I came home the morning of the flight feeling very weak and not able to concentrate on anything. This morning I needed more concentration than ever to remember everything. I was trying to arrange all my taxi rides first to bring all my stuff down to Dry Docks where I would be leaving from to go to the Hamilton airport. I would have to finish all my packing in a few hours instead of all night. Trying to remember everything was a struggle, what would I need to take on the plane and how much? I also thought I would be able to take more than two carry-on bags onto the plane and the rest in the baggage area in the bottom of the plane. I was not thinking well and could not pack very easy. I put mostly all the things I needed, but was not sure, as I was sweating from the heat, and thus still could not concentrate. Finally, the taxis came and started to move my stuff to Dry Docks, this would take a few trips to finish it off and I had no more time to finish the packing properly.
I told my apartment manager to get rid of anything I left in the apartment when I left. I told the same to the people at Dry Docks about anything I could not take on the plane. I arrived at the Airport and had to wait to get my ticket to go to Calgary. They told me I could only take two carryon pieces on the plane and only two in the baggage hole. I brought some 6 boxes and they were not all sealed right and I did not have time to seal them properly. I made an agreement with the taxis driver to send all the rest by Greyhound Bus to me later. They would have to take my scooter completely apart, including removing my batteries into sealed boxes. This would give me a problem once I got to Calgary, as no one knew how to put it back together. I had no time to phone Calgary Access to see about the booking from Calgary Airport to one of the shelters in the downtown area.
The trip on the plane was not the greatest as there was not enough room in front of me and the under part of the seat in front of me. I could not bend my knees enough to fit it properly under. I had to stick my one leg into the aisle where the stewardess would bring the juice cart. I would have to then bring my leg back in under the seat when ever the cart went past or it would be hit as there was not enough room in the aisle, but this would cause it be hurt again. This happened a few times during the 4-to-5-hour trip to Calgary. My knee was about ready to give out by the time I got to Calgary. They took me off the plane the same way they put me on the plane, with a foldable wheelchair. They took me to where the luggage was coming off the conveyer rack and my scooter, which was in parts, came on a trailer luggage bin. I had to wait some one-hour before anyone came to help me put together the scooter. It did not run the same as maybe one of the connections to the battery was not right or something else was not right. But all I know it was not running the same as when I left home. I had to find a phone, as my cell was not local number. I phoned Calgary Access to find out about my booking. It turned out that the booking had not been done, as I had not set the exact place I was going to or which shelter and what address I would be staying at.
I left Hamilton Airport about 3pm and with the 5-hr flight; I arrived in Calgary about 6pm Mountain Time. It took 2 hrs about from the time I left the plane until I arrived at the bus stop. Bus & Train travel took about another hour. It took another hour once I got to the stop to get any info on the two shelters I was planning to stay at. Thus, before I got to the door of YWCA it was about 10pm. The actual trip went something like this: I went to the local bus stop at the terminal and waited for the bus to

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come along to take me to downtown. The bus driver told me I would have to get off at the "Whitehorn C-train Station" to travel by C-train to downtown. Once I got there, I kept pushing the down button to go to the platform level and nothing was happening. When one of the drivers came by, he told me to push the red button to get help on the elevator. That same driver pushed another red button on the train to help get on it. Before the train took off, I press the emergency button to ask how to get off the train. I figured they would answer over the intercom but shortly there after a driver asked what the emergency was and why I had pushed the button. I told him this was my first trip on this kind of train and was just trying to get info. The driver told me what to do and told me never to do that again or I could be fined $150 for doing it when not having an emergency.
Once downtown I got off at the "Olympic Station" and wandered around from one station to another trying to get info on the two shelters. No one knew about "Kirby Centre", but I finally found out about the YWCA from a Vagabond. He told me he was going by the place on his way to stay at the Calgary Drop In Centre. He also told me that the YWCA would not take anyone this late but I could always go with him to the Drop In. Then I could phone them in the morning to see if there was anyplace for me to stay. Once I got someone on the Intercom, as they would not come down stairs, they would not take anyone at this time of night. She also told me how to get to the "Kirby Centre". I took the first train to the end of the line, which was the "10 Street Station" from there I drove the last block to the Centre. I rang the bell and they answered again over the intercom that they had no room for me and the only place at this time of night was to go to the Calgary Drop Inn Centre. The Centre was short few blocks from where I had just come in the first place. I finally arrived there about midnight not even knowing if they would take me at this time of night.
I had to bang on the door to let me in and then someone took me up to the 3rd floor where they had a bed for me as I was disabled. I was totally exhausted by now. Remember this was really 2am my time. I did not have any time or place to plug in my scooter or the breathing machine. The next morning after being woken up which was about 6am I was told to take all my stuff and to vacate the room for the day. The breakfast was on the 2nd floor at 7:30 am. There seemed like there was no place to make a phone call and everyone was too busy to talk to about making the phone call about other places to try. It was too early anyway to phone or go to the YWCA so I stayed there on the second floor until well after 9 am. I then headed over to YWCA. They told that because I had not phoned before coming over that they could not deal with me at this time. I tried to tell them that I had no phone to call them and also, since I was new to in town, and just arrived, I did not have any resources to find out anything else. I also told them I had phoned long distance to them before coming to Calgary and asked if I could talk to that person. She went away for a short while then said she could not find anyone who had talked to me and go away and come back when I had phoned them.
I then got on the train and went over to the Kirby Centre, but this train did not take me to 10 Street Station but went across the river to Sunnyside Station. I had to get off, go on the other side to the Southbound Station and go back one stop. This was the 8 Street Station and thus had to ride two blocks on my scooter to the Kirby Centre. While I was going by the 10 Street Station, I went by the Calgary Association Self-Help. This was one of the places I had phoned before coming here, so I planned to stop in there after the Kirby Centre.
I arrived at the Kirby Centre and went into the housing office to talk to them about staying there. They first said they had not heard of me before, and even if they had they would never have given me permission to stay there, as they have a strict rule that they do not accept anyone under the age of 65. They had no room in either case. They told me to phone Calgary Housing to see what my status was with them as they were the ones who told me to come to Calgary now because they could get me a place with in a month or two. I left there and returned to Calgary Association Self-Help; knowing they could be a resource for me to find a place.

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Once there I checked on the first floor if there was anyone who could help me with my problem. She took me upstairs to the reception where they got someone to talk to me. He told me that he could not do much for me as I was not a member there and he could set up an appointment for me. After that appointment someone could help me, but in the mean time I could use the place to stay and the phone to contact people. I phoned the Calgary Housing to see what my status was but again they could not help me until I came up to their place and showed my identification to them. They told me they where at the corner of 16 Ave & Centre Street. The other place I phoned was Potential Place to see where they were and if they could help me out. They told me I was not far from where they were and could come right over and they would try to help me out.
I drove over the few blocks to Potential Place just in time for lunch and joined them for lunch. After lunch I joined also into their Unit Meeting and introduced myself as a Progress Place member, and also a member that had taught some of the staff when they first started up and had come to Progress Place for training. I felt at home right away and also told of the weather conditions in Toronto before coming to Calgary. They showed me around the clubhouse and then helped me sign up. I then talked to one of the staff to find about their housing project, but he told me that it would not be passable as it was not accessible to my scooter and me. They told me they could get me an appointment with S.O.S., which was the housing part of the CMHA. She came in during the beginning part of the week but would be able to set it up for me then. They phoned the YWCA to see if they could help me, as where I was staying was not the best place for me. They said they had no place right now but might have something in a few days, if not it would not be until next month. It was always after the beginning the month that they have free apartments. I stayed around there until they closed at 4:30, I Phoned to my old staff that I had met in Toronto. I headed back to Calgary Drop Inn Centre for supper and a place to stay for the night.
Since I was early for assigning beds, I had a chance to talk to them about where I could put my scooter and also where I could plug in my breathing machine. They came up with one spot, which could do that, but I would have to be one of the first in line at 8pm to get this spot, as there was only one spot that could work for me. I watched the TV and waited for supper and watched more TV until it time to go upstairs to the room. Once upstairs, I found the place, which would be my place for the week, as long as I made it in time for Bed check. After a week I would not have to remove all my stuff each day and put it into a locker to hold for me during the day.
The next morning after a time I first went back to YWCA to see if any room had been open since yesterday, but again they said you need to phone and it could at the earliest be next week. I then headed over to Potential Place as this seems to be the only friendly place that would help me and talk to me. I had to wait at the door as no one came that early in the morning but I had no other place to go so I accepted it. During the morning I checked into all the NA meetings and where they were. They had only had a few downtown locations and I would have to check them out in the next few days. That afternoon I headed up to Calgary Housing to register with them and see what my status was. One other thing I would check out was the low fare with Calgary Transit at their main office on 7 Ave.
I went to the office and asked about this 1/2 price fares they had and they told me I would have to put my application in at Calgary Housing on 16 Ave. This now gave me two reasons to go there and so I got a map of the city from them and hopped on a bus which took me up there. After getting there I showed them my identification and they looked up my records and said they had updated me now that I had moved to Calgary. I gave them Potential Place's address, but they would need my Income Tax receipt for both their records and to get the 1/2 price fares. I headed downtown again and went to the Income Tax office to fill out the form with my new address here in Calgary. They said they would send it to that address and then I could take it back up to Calgary Housing to finish the forms. I would also need to show this form to Alberta Health to get their Health Card and replace my OHIP from Ontario.

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I went back to the Drop In as it was only a few blocks away and stayed until supper. The only NA meeting on a Friday night was up at Peter Lougheed Hospital. This would be at 8pm and thus I would miss bed check. I was not about to lose my only place to put my head down on a bed, so it was another night of watching TV until we went upstairs. The next morning Potential Place would be open, but much later and would only be open till 3pm. While I was waiting for Potential Place to open, I needed to have my Phone # changed over from my Ontario # to a Calgary #. I found a place near the Bay Store Downtown and headed over there to get my new #. One of the things I had left back in Ontario was my phone charger, so the phone I was going to change was dead and thus they got me to buy a new phone along with the new #. I would have to take out a new 3yr contact and insurance for the new phone. It turns out to be about $200. This was another major cost that I did not figure into the cost of coming here. One other thing they did not send on the plane was the charger for the scooter and I would have to find a place to replace or rent one until I got mine from Ontario. Some time that week as I would have to check the Greyhound Bus for my other packages, and they did come in. There were only two packages instead of the 4, which I had expected. I had rented a battery charger and now I could replace it with mine. I would have to phone to find out what happened to the rest of the packages and why they were not shipped.
I spent the day at Potential Place playing games and getting on the Internet to try to chat with the other people in Ontario and keep them up to date on what was happening to me. I tried to get in touch with the Taxis driver that shipped my stuff up and why they only sent the two boxes. I got a hold of an old friend to phone him and get back to me. I went to the Self-Help after Potential Place closed down, and for supper I went back to the Drop In. I again stayed there until bed to make sure I had that same bed to sleep on. The next day was Sunday and there was no place to go to so I spent the whole day at the shelter. On Monday, I went first to YWCA as usual and then to Potential Place, then to Self-Help with only going back to the Drop In for supper and back to Self-Help. I had to be at the shelter for the 8pm bed check. On Tuesday I had an appointment with S.O.S. to talk about their housing arrangements. They said I was too high functioning to stay with them. They gave info about CMHA and some events going on but I would not be able to attend any of this because always worrying about missing the bed check.
The routine seemed to end up being going to Potential Place during the day, shifting to Self-Help and always ending up at the Drop In to get my bed. Then on Saturday when I got into a fight over where I was sitting with one of the other clients, I got upset to the point that I got sick and they sent me to the Hospital by Ambulance. This was early in the morning and it took them all day to get me in before they checked me over. After they checked me out, they sent me back. I went to the train station at Rundle Station, which was next to the hospital; the ramp up to the elevator was so steep that I had to go backwards to get up. I phoned the floor at the Drop In to tell them I was going to be late but I still wanted the bed, as this was the only place I could plug into in Calgary. This was just after 6pm so I thought I would have lots of time to get there for the 8pm check in. I knew I would only have a few minutes to make it to the shelter.
On Saturday the trains only come every 15 minutes, and not every train was a new car with an accessible door on the train. Most of the old trains actually did not have this door and so there were times when the train was completely without any doors which where accessible. Well, this day I waited 4 complete trains to get one to make it down to my shelter. It looked like all the trains on this line did not have any doors that were accessible. These trains, which were not accessible, were 6 inches from the door to the platform. The clearance on my scooter was only 3 inches and thus I would bottom out if I tried to get on the train. But this would mean I would miss my bed check and my spot at the shelter. I figured if I got the help and my front wheel on the train I would get on. I did this and as I thought it would, it bottomed out and because people were trying to pull me on the train my right hand crashed against the floor thus cracking a bone of my thumb. The doors kept trying to close and this caused by

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left arm to be scraped up. Thus, I got on but was now all hurt and needed to go back to the hospital, which I just left. I would not be able to make it now to bed check tonight. By the time I checked in at the hospital it would be after 10pm and this would be well over the time to check in. That night I stayed overnight at the hospital so I did not have to worry about where I was going to stay that night. When I came back to the shelter the next day, I asked to have my bed back but they said they had given my spot away, and since I missed one bed check I would have to start all over again with them.
The reason for the fight two days ago at the Drop Inn Centre was due to the fact I have not been to an AA or NA meeting since I had arrived at Calgary. My stinking thinking was taking over again and I needed to get to meetings again. The only problem was the meeting were only after 7pm and finished after 8pm, which would be after their bed check-in time. I was also feeling my depression was coming back What was I going to do now with not having a bed to sleep on tonight and no place else to live. What was I going to do? I decided I needed my meeting and since it was at 7pm at the Peter Lougheed Hospital, I should make it shortly after bed check time. It was 9pm when I got to the shelter and they said there were no spots available so I would have to stay on the street that night. I could check the other shelters but from what they had heard they were all full. I even tried the Women Shelter but they said they only took battered women and since I was not in that case at this time, they would not take me. I found a garage where I could park for the night and covered myself with the tarp, but it was very cold- that was the reason why all the shelters were full this night. I was shivering all night and thus did not get any sleep along with the fact I could not plug my breathing machine in to get a proper sleep. The night was also a rainy night and I got wet from it, which caused me to get pneumonia. The second night I found a sheltered place on 7ave Ctrain at 7 Street it had plugs but the chill of the night and the pneumonia did help me to sleep that night either. This made me depressed, and very sick. I would not be able to handle very many of these days with out it killing me or me killing myself. The same thing happened again the next night so about 12am I went over to the Centre of Hope willing to sleep on the floor inside out of the rain. They had compassion for me and took me to the 7th floor, the women's floor.
One of the problems that turned up with that trip to the hospital was the cost of the ambulance ride; it was not covered by my Ontario OHIP plan. The only thing that would have covered it was welfare, which I was told to go and get before I ran into more problems. I went to the Welfare office and they told me since I was getting CPPD, and was not paying rent, they were not allowed to give me welfare. I had to live on my Disability Check only. With staying over night in the rain and the accident of the train, which wrecked my scooter so that it also had to be fixed, I would have to take it out of the Disability check. This would leave me with nothing for the next few weeks. $500 for the repair of the scooter and the cost of the breathing machine would be about $1500. The trip in the ambulance was $365 and next month I would have Medication to pay for which I figured would be about $300. Where was I going to get all this money to live on if I can't get welfare? I'd have even more medical problems! I had to put most of it on my Credit Card; it would pay for it up front since I would not have enough money to pay my bills from my check. The cost of my cards and other bills would take most of my check anyway, so I would need to spread this over a few checks to pay for all of this. If I would have been on Welfare, I would have also been able to cover the cost of scooter repairs on it. If I had to pay for rent and food I would been in debt and major troubles more that I am now.
To recover some of the cost to the scooter and the breathing machine, I sent a letter explaining my situation and what had happened to me on the C-train on that day. I addressed the letter to three people: first to Alderman Madeline King, who was the Alderman for the ward of my Legal Address, which was at Potential Place. The second one was to the Major of the City, as he was overall in charge of the Ctrain. The Third one was to a director in charge of the Ctrain, and fourth one to person who wrote the letter in Drop In. I got a letter back from Fred Wong, Manager, LRT, Calgary Transit, through the Major office; stating he was apologetic for the difficulties encountered that day, but in their fleet of 116

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(LRV's) 32 are new and another 22 were rebuilt to be accessible. They would be replacing 5 older cars a year. He also stated that on any day there could be maintenance on vehicles, which may take more accessible cars out of action. On weekends service levels are lower but they try to keep one accessible LRV train set on each line. They did not take any fault for the accident or any help towards me. I found later that Alderman Madeline King had stated earlier that year that they should put a fence around the "Seed" or other buildings to keep the riff-raff from the normal people of the city. The Major during the time I was in the Drop In replied to a Newspaper Article which stated the city could not help out even a Paraplegic person staying the Centre, that they should get rid of all the Vagabonds of the City Centre area and ship them out of town. After receiving that letter, I decided to take it a further level and sue the City for what had happened. This would mean going to Legal Aide, to get funding to do this. They sent me to a Lawyer and interviewed me and he explained my rights to me. He said since the city still has on these old trains the International Symbol of Accessibility on the train, they were fully responsible for their actions. The Legal Aide came back with a letter stating that since I was suing the City and it was not much chance of winning or of getting much from them, they would not fund me for a lawyer. This took the only chance of me getting anything from City Hall. If I would have been any other person in Alderman Madeline King ward, than in the Shelters systems, I am sure I would have received something more than just an apology from the Manager of Ctrain. I was under so much strain, maybe I could have taken these bills to Welfare and I would have been put on Welfare sooner and maybe more then the $1/mth I would get.
The advantage of living at the Centre of Hope was that I didn't need to be in for my bed check until 11pm. This for the first time would give me a chance to go to meeting and not worry about missing my bed check. I looked up the meetings for both fellowships and found that the Centre had three meetings right here so I join them on those days. The Tuesday noon and Saturday night would take care of part of the week. On Monday night there was 12- steps meeting so that took me through another day without having to leave the shelter. During my time at the Calgary Drop Inn I had to rent a box at a storage company to keep the extra supplies I could not keep at the shelter. I did not have to get rid of all my shopping bags I carried with me at the beginning of the day and bring it back in the evening. I still had to continue renting that box at the rental office to keep the extra boxes. This was also another $50/mth charge I had to live with. The cost of cell phone was also $50/mth and all of this would have to come out of the Disability Check, which was only $700/mth.
Before getting on Welfare at the end of the month came, I would have to come up with the money for my prescriptions, which was about $300. I went back to the Welfare office to see if they could help me with this. They said they could do it on one-time basis each month, but for now they will pick up the cost of this month's pills. I also applied to the AISH program, which is the same as the ODSP in Toronto. I thought since I was accepted by ODSP I should have automatically been accepted by AISH but they did not think that way. The form to fill in was some 10 pages long and most of it I could not fill in myself and needed the help the worker from Potential Place to help me fill it out. I got a doctor from CUPS to fill out the medical part of the forms.
With coming to the Centre of Hope, I was not checking the YWCA as much, as they were not sure they could take me because of the scooter would have to stay out in the hallway which would not be allowed by the fire department. I used the Centre of Hope's Resources Centre everyday to check on housing in Calgary. The Potential Place was not always open on Saturday and never on Sunday. I needed a place to go on weekends, as I could not stay at the shelter. I was feeling a bit better now and looking to see what else I could do in the fellowships. I made maps of every meeting and presented to both fellowships. The one said used it and asked me to take over the Webservant position with them. The other committee only met twice a year and that would not be until September. I headed up to Red Deer Assembly and present it to them at that time they said no. I started to go only to NA meetings and

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checked out all meetings in the city, this did two things, find out where they were for the maps and see if they were accessible for me. I continued to go to the Monday night AA meeting at the Centre of Hope, as it was right there.< >br> I spent one day on Saturday looking through all my stuff in the boxes I had in storage. I noticed that most of my legal documents were still in Ontario and by now they would have been thrown out. I also got a phone call from my brother who also lived in Toronto, saying that an aunt had died and there would be a lump sum of money sent to all the family but I would need to find my Divorce papers to prove my relationship to her. All of these documents were all down East. I told him he would have to get it from the court in Toronto where my Divorce was. I was hoping to get this money soon as this would help with some of the expenses I had right now. One question my brother asked me was where my kids were as it was needed for the will to be probated. He would have to investigate this to finish the will. This might be the only way I will ever find out about my kids.
I went to the Old Folks Home where my mom was and she was celebrating her birthday. I figured this was a way to find out about my kids or where they were. When I got to where my mother lived, I found my sister from Edmonton was there. I asked both of them and all they could say was they had moved to New Brunswick. My Mom, after I had been there for a while told me that I was a sinner for my past sins I had committed some years ago and would have to live with for the rest of my live. I decided right then and there that I would not go back to my mom's place I would try to stay in touch with my sister as I hope she could lead me to my kids through someone else in the family she was in touch with or her own daughters.
The next month came and I again went to Welfare, to check on whether they could pick up my pills again and if they would put me on Welfare as it seems it would be some time before I would make it on AISH. When are you able to find your own accommodation as we have a mandate of only keeping women for a max of three months and you have been here 4-1/2 months.
I went back to Calgary Housing to see if they had any spots for me at this time. They said they had a large list so it could be some time before I would get a spot, quite a difference from what they had told me on the phone before coming here. If I had this info before I got here, I would not have come until it was all set up. I was also told to try all the senior's buildings around us and to ask the ALEX Senior Clinic to help me with this avenue. I checked all the senior's buildings and all told me that they could not take anyone who was below the age of 60, as that was their mandate. This was another door closed, the ALEX checked with Calgary Housing they found out that I had been taken off the top of the list because I had turned 55 and they expected people to go onto senior housing. Now another door was closed. I was running out of places to go and the rent was so high I would not be able to afford anything anyway.
The ALEX came up with one more but the mandate of this place was that you must be "Hard to House" and have some physical problem, but part of the mandate was they would have to be 60 like all the other senior's building. They worked hard on getting me in but it seems they would not budge on this point. The final door seems to be closed and my chances of finding a place were getting slimmer each day.
The next few months went by with no change to my chances or to finding any place. The Centre understood my problems that I was too old for Calgary Housing and too young for Senior Housing, but they could not keep me here forever. This month I went street to street looking for rent and nearly all of them demanded $1200/mth and this was well over what I could afford. The only chance was this senior building, which took hard cases, but they were remaining firm on what they would take in the way of people. In October the Welfare told me they could take me on just $1/mth, but would include all medication and other medical like glasses and dentist. I was able to replace my glasses, which I had destroyed the first month of being here. My scooter which I never fixed I was able to now. I still had not

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heard from anyone at AISH as to when I was going to be accepted there. The third month also changed my OHIP to Alberta Health, so now I was here for good. During this time there was plenty of times I just felt like getting on the bus and heading back to Ontario with all the things that were going wrong here.
With November 11 coming real soon they told me that either I had to find a place or I would have to end up back on the street yet again. The social worker finally came to me and said she found a place that might work for me but it was at a Group Home. With my experiences from before I was not feeling great about this idea. I checked out the place. It had a place, for my scooter but I would have to go downstairs to get to my room. The only thing that was good about it was I would be all by myself and would have cable TV to enjoy at the same time. I figured that I had nothing else to lose and would try it out for a few months while still looking for a place. One other problem was the cost of this place was $800/mth if I took their food, which would be too much for my CPPD & $1 from Welfare so I chose no food and $700/mth. This left me only about $80 to live on and buy food for suppers.
This was also the time when I started to go to the Spinzs Around for extra food to keep me going. There was time when I would go with out just to pay my rent. My bills were also going down hill and I was starting to have problems in paying my bills even though I would steal from one Credit Card to pay another Credit Card. The pain of getting up and down the stairs was also taking its toll on me. I had to also depend more on Access Calgary to get to my meetings and even to get downtown. The waiting times for the buses on cold nights was not great but waiting sometime for ACCESS was not always better but it was door to door service. I spent one night more then 1hr out in the cold outside the church which had closed earlier waiting for ACCESS bus to come. It was one of the worst nights I can remember. Whether I took ACCESS or regular bus I used a pass which would have been $70/mth but I got the low-income bus pass to help with the cost. It feels like it was worth it when I had to wait on them nights. But I did have to count every penny to get food for suppers during them times. goto the top

Chapter 13
My Apartments in Calgary


The first of the month went along ok except for the pain of getting up and down the stairs. There were no locks to the entrance to my apartment and this would be a problem later for the 5 guys who all lived upstairs. One night in the middle of the night one of the guys came downstairs and opened the door and came in. As I did a lot of nights, I fell asleep out on the coach watching TV and ending up sleeping there. I guess he figured that I was watching TV and came in. I was totally shocked by this and screamed out loud, this brought everyone down to my place wondering what had happened. The landlord told the men never to come downstairs again, but I felt not able to live there for this reason alone. The reason he had come in was to ask me if I had any sugar as they had none upstairs and was wonder if I had any. The supplies for the building were right out of my apartment and they would break into the supplies to get things like the sugar. They made a mess of the place and with this brought another problem of mice. By the time the month was over mice were overrunning the basement and in the fake ceiling of my apartment. I told the landlords about this and that they should be doing something about it. They blamed it on me. I needed to be cleaner and keep my food all covered and secure. I started to take pictures of the place and was going to show it around if they did not do something shortly. Because of the pictures I took and the story I was told by a group I joined called the Calgary Low Income Coalition (CLIC) they told me to do more about it. One of the persons who went to Spinzs Around heard about my place and told me a story similar about the place she was in and was hoping to have the city to do something about it. They could a least get me the name of a place I could take the pictures to help in solving the problem. It would take a few months before I could get to these meetings. I waited until all of the Christmas and New Year's events were over before I could talk to anyone about the mice problem.

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I went back to the ALEX Senior Centre and they phoned around to all the buildings again to see if they would change their minds on the age of the people coming in. I still went to my meetings at the Centre of Hope and one of the staff was leaving there to go to work at the Peter Coyle Place, she was going to see what she could do to get me in there. She did something in the way of getting the age of the place changed down to 55 from their 60 years in their old mandate. The only problem was I would have to wait a few months for a full room as the dorms were for the men only. I had some hope for the first time since I got here some 7 months earlier. The problem with the mice was getting worse to the point that even with my breathing machine I could not breathe at night. Could I wait the short few months until this place came open was the big question? I could not go to any legal people to find out if they would fix the problem, as I was afraid once the upstairs people found out about it they would kick me out and I would be back on the street again. The next month and half would be very hard on me both physically and mentally.
I started to stay away from home and only take one of the last buses to come home. I would leave early and found not eating there was all too common. I knew I could get a breakfast if I went to Potential Place on weekdays and lunches too and on some Saturday when they were open. I would then head over to either "The Centre of Hope", "The Calgary Drop In Centre", or the "CUPS" as they all had food around to eat during the day and in the evenings. On weekends I would head over to the Self-Help and stay there until they closed at 8:30pm at night. I was beginning to be a bag lady and known as that by many places. I was not able to shower properly as the roof above the shower was gone and once one the mice dropped into the shower but it was dead. I know that when mice get plentiful and have no food, they start eating themselves to keep going. I was wondering if this was what had happened to this mouse.
One of the good things that happened in January was I was accepted on AISH and with this I would increasing my living by about $200, which would come in handy. For the last few months, I had not paid any of the bills and some like the Credit Card were starting to bother me about the payments. The problem with this was they decreased all my limits to just above the amount that I owed and so if I did not keep up the payments, I would be taken off that credit. This would be a major problem as I was using one to pay the other. I would have to be careful with my planning and budgeting over the next few weeks.
One month before getting this place at Peter Coyle Place, I was ready to begin action on the landlord to do something about this place as I had paid this month rent and since I was not going to pay next month it would not matter if they tried to kick me out. The time they needed to kick me out would take longer than a month. I could also use this in the newspapers to show how bad the situation was there and maybe getting their licence revoked on being a Group Home provider. This would help the men upstairs too. I went to City Hall to see where I could take these pictures and have an inspection of the place. After going to a few places, I finally got to the right place but they told me they could not see the pictures until they had done an inspection first and then only if I was at the place when the inspection was done. They would not tell me when the inspection would take place. I would be there at all cost to show the pictures. The problem was as I was spending all my time away due to the problem of the smell at the place, the day they finally came I was not there. Since I was not there, they also did not give me a report on what was going to happen to the place. All I know was one day I found mouse traps around and the food supply area all cleaned up.
The last few weeks before leaving this place seemed to go by fast and they were going to get rid of me so they started to show the place to other people that would stay there. The day finally came and I moved into my new place here at Peter Coyle Place. This was March 13, and was great day to celebrate. I had my own room and they supplied the meals and the laundry. I was able to get cable TV for just $20/mth. The total cost which included everything was $695/mth. There was enough room for my

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scooter in the room and the bathroom was accessible shower so I was able to have showers again. I had an elevator to get to the third floor where my room was. I brought all my stuff in one trip and set it all up including all my computers. I set up my TV and stereo and felt at home for the first time since I had got to Calgary.
The next few months were a relief with very little worries. I could do things which I could not do before as I had a stable place to live now. I quit going to the meetings at the Centre of Hope and started at a meeting a few blocks away from my new place. This group on Saturdays had a Ladies meeting I could attend. I remained with the Tuesday meetings at the Centre of Hope. I would not have to go to either Potential Place or Self-Help on the weekends as I could stay at home now. The cost of living was the same as before but now I had solid food to live on. I went many days without eating before I came here. I tried to teach at my building with my computer since they had no computers downstairs. They would not go with this idea. I allowed the residents to use my CD/VHS Movies Library. I started with about 50 mainly VHS Movies. Each week I would buy either one or two movies from the Variety Village. Only once did someone take off with one of my movies from me and he moved out with it. I had to keep asking and after she left, she gave a replacement, which I would have never had bought myself. I now have over 100 Movies and they were CD/DVD Movies.
The one thing, that due to loss of so much money, I was not able to keep my company going. The company was what I had since becoming Clean and Sober. The only part of the company was the making of my Recovery Cards for the group Birthdays. I have also had to give up the Internet connection I had in my room and the wireless hub that I had along with it. The Digital Phone, which gave me free long-distance calls, was costing me too much so I just went a simple phone line. I kept up my commitment with being the webservant for the fellowship. The meeting at Centre of Hope was getting smaller every week but I felt it was service to allow the 5th floor treatment Centre to have the door open if anyone of the clients wanted to attend the meeting. The biggest upset was on my Medallion Birthday where no members showed up for the meeting so I was the only one there, but 5 clients from the 5th showed up for their first meeting in the fellowship. This started me down another depression period, which would last a long time. Some of the other things I gave up partly due to the depression is the teaching at the Drop In, and then Centre of Hope. I also quit going to both Potential Place and Self-Help. How was I going to get over this major slump?
This was the time when I met a person who attended both fellowships and also attended Spinzs Around. The two of us starting to go out with each other all the time, he tried to bring my spirits up using the 12 Steps to keep me going. He went to Saskatchewan to check on a place and ended up very sick and when he got back here, almost lost his life at Peter Lougheed Hospital. From that point on there has been very little time when he was not in one or another hospital. I would continue to visit him in the hospital. This relationship did not go very far due to not knowing when he will ever be released from the hospital. One day while we were reading one of the devotion's books it said I believe in the 12 Steps but I must have a GOD who is first in my life always. It reminded me of why I had left the meetings in the first place and went out the last time. This was due to a religious situation in one of the meetings I attended for a Medallion Birthday party. The speaker believed that bringing out that The Big Book was ok but having a "GOD" is a must. This put a major strain on our relationship about religion and when he would be getting out. I hoped both situations could be solved by time and then the answer would come.
One of the areas where I have had a major problem was with my scooter. During the last part of the year I spent $480 on getting the scooter fixed. It would have been a major problem if I had one more in that year because AISH only allows $600/yr for repairs. This year I spent all the $600 in the first 5 months and thus any repairs would have to go out of my own pocket. Since I was already living on nothing, the expense would be a major problem if I needed to have anymore repaired to the scooter.

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One day when I went to the hospital to visit my friend, the scooter got caught on the elevator door. When I got it unstuck, it broke the axle right in half. In fact, half of the scooter came on top of my bad leg, wrecked my ankle, and hurt my hand. This made it difficult to push my hand wheelchair. I could not use my hand wheelchair much due to my injury. I stopped going out completely as a result of my condition, thus sending me into a depression again very quickly. The normal three or more times I would go out turned into maybe once a week. That same week my laptop got fried and quit working and this was the same week I had the problem with my male friend. I seem to have no friends left in life. Someone had sympathy on me and gave enough for me to get a used scooter to keep me going at least to the end of the year. This would end up being almost a whole year before I would get a new one from "Easter Seals". I would have to put in my next years taxes before I could finally give all the regiments to satisfy them.
As the time went by and to help me overcome the depression, the Spinzs Around staff also helped me with looking nicer and feeling better with getting me new clothing to wear that actually fit me. They continued to find a new apartment for me. They also allowed me to make a Data Base for attendance that came out each week to get food from the "Spinzs Around Program". They gave $300 for making up this data base.
During the summer the U of C Students made a movie of my story, which is called "Disability in the Friendly Cow Town". Then CLIC helped me to show my movie around the city and put it on YouTube. This film can be seen on www.youtube.com. I also started to finish this story to be published in the early part of next year. I was doing all of this to get out of the slump and depression I was in. They encouraged me to join the "Downtown College Initiative (DCI) which helps in planning the students' curriculums for that year. I also got $20 honorarium each time I showed up for a meeting. I would also give help to the students in anyway with my expertise of computers and people in the community. This meeting was always after my N.A. Meeting so it worked out quite well.
My Centre of Hope meeting has dropped to nothing for a few months. I needed more support than this meeting could give me. I changed to the same group my sponsor attended. It was a large group with many addicts who had a long time of clean time. I would still chair the Centre of Hope meeting to keep the door open for the 5th Floor Men's Treatment Centre. If the door was closed and someone from the 5th Floor showed up, then I would feel I not helped out as it says: "When anyone is reaching out for help, I want the hand of the fellowship to be there and for that I am responsible." I would not take on any position in my new group. I gave up my position, as webservant and quite attending any of the service positions I was connected with. I even stop attending most of the other meetings I was going to at the time, thus I would only be going to three meetings a week now.
I even felt the teaching I was doing for the Dream Centre seemed not to be worthwhile. My bills had gotten to the point where I could not handle it anymore. This was because I only had one source to live on. The rest was not enough to pay these bills at this time. I was hoping the next year would see a change in my life, with getting some return on my taxes. As it stands right now, I would not give a plug nickel for what I got. I would have to give up on recovering from my problems but instead would have to face my money problems by going into Bankruptcy to get out of this problem.
The next few months seem to just slip by into oblivion. I seemed to just exist, or you could say I was just acting like a robot. I am just putting the action in and getting no results out. My sponsor has said it is due to not writing a gratitude list of the things I have, rather than focusing on the things I do not have. I guess I don't know the answer at this time. I am hoping that time can heal all wounds.
One depressed situation occurred when I woke up and a Social Student asked to speak to me about sending some forms to the Doctor to get my new scooter. She met me in my room, and while I was talking about the hardships without the use of the scooter, she took some of what I said and was going to call the emergency service. It took an hour and a promise that I was going to the Dentist and would talk

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to her. After that, she let me go to the Dentist. After she got back from a discussion with another Social Worker, she allowed me to leave the room to go to the Dentist. After I did get back, she was busy and had no time for me. I did nothing that night as I was seeing my doctor the next day to see if she could help me out.
The next morning, I went to the doctor's office and told the secretary that I was still feeling suicidal and needed to see the doctor right away. She first talked to the doctor then the doctor came out and patted me on the shoulder. The secretary said that the doctor had no time for me and I would have to handle it myself. I left the clinic ready to go ahead with it. Another doctor was outside and said she had missed me at my place and wondered where I was. I told her if she understood how I felt she would not have asked this of me. This was my first hint and reminder by my Higher Power to get my mind back on track. I left the clinic and went to the C-Train where I met the cook of our place and he wondered what I was doing around there at this time? I told him that I was just helping out at the clinic and everything was OK. This was my second hint from my Higher Power. The train came in and it was not accessible, so I would have to go catch the bus. This was my third hint from my Higher Power. He asked me again if I was, OK? Sure, I was ok, and I would have to run to catch the bus. This was the fourth time my Higher Power had to talk to me. When I got to the bus someone of the Dream Centre residences there and was going on the same bus where I would be going at this time, was on the bus. When I got to the stop, they asked why I was not getting off with and insisted that I got off. This was my final warning from my Higher Power forcing me to change my mind.
After this situation I went to help at Dream Centre more than once a week to get me completely out of this depression. This lasted for a few months besides teaching them the computer I would take their picture and e-mail it to the director. Feeling better and being now busy at the two places and going to three meetings I had no time to attend Potential Place. The only time I know showed up there was when it was my belly button birthday or my medallion birthday. This left me with no support for my physic and mental for my life. This seems to allow that old negative thinking to come back slowly.
The second example of depression was when it was my medallion birthday. I got to the meeting none of the regular members where there that day but there were five newcomers and I was complaining that no one had showed up. I went to the meeting in the evening I started complaining no one showed at my birthday meeting then started crying. I never mentioned that there were five newcomers at the meeting. The pre-amble states "that the newcomer is the most important person in the meeting", not even someone who is celebrating their multi year birthday is not as important. I should have been celebrating that the newcomers had come and see how the program had worked. Properly because of my attitude of the five that came that day only one would continue to come to the meeting. Yet when I celebrated it at the Dream Centre and everyone was saying great things about me and I ended the day by giving my stories to the men in the meeting that tonight they were all in agreement about it and I felt low because I not done enough and should have done more. That was that same feeling not being perfect as when I was young with my mother.
It seems every time I take control of the situation all I do is wreck the situation and make light of what I have done. To top it off I would look only at the bad things of my life. If I had done nine things good and one thing bad all I would have looked at was the bad situation then all the good things I had done. It like change the first word of the first step "We" and change the first letter upside down to make it "Me". Only when I leave the "We" in charge, which is my real Higher Power or the Goodness of each person or the Mother Nature does everything work out. Even though I have some time in this program I have problems remembering that my thoughts are my worst enemies and so if I look outside of myself, I will have a chance to make it in life. I must not make a mountain out of mould hill. I must not take off before the miracle happens. I have to realize that the Higher Power always works slowly in my life.

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After a time of working more than three times a week at the Dream Centre I returned to just the Thursday afternoon and would leave after the supper there. I hope in a small way help the people at the Dream Centre by taking were the clients through 10 lessons which included in that was Resumes & Personal Accounting. I would latter make Power Point Presentation in a CD format that could use at their own time and ask for help whenever I was there to help them out. The making of the CD would take me three months to make and another few months for the IT person to set-up on the computer's downstairs. I would make copies and sell them for $5/CD to help others who where not at the Dream Centre. I would have to make two types on for the Dream Centre and one for other places. This should encourage them to find a new job. It is only the basic of computer but it is all around a good understand that most job want these days. It is still up to them to take what I teach and use it to get that job. The one thing I learn in Twelve Step Program is I want to help myself I need to give to others to receive any Love back. I wish that everyone would do this in form of "Sister Love".
The getting of my new scooter was also delayed by the lost of one staff and then another at the Alex Senior Health Clinic. The Doctor had also sent the application to the wrong department at Government. This would also delay the application until it was sent to the right agency at "Easter Seals" I would have to send in my Tax Assessment before I would receive any info on if I would get a new scooter from them. Once they did it a very short time before I got it.
On December 4, 2008 coming home from my volunteer position at the Dream Centre, I was proceeding along Macleod Tr. when I reached 50th Ave. I proceeded halfway across the intersection when a South bound vehicle turning left onto 50th Ave. struck me on my scooter. The driver was trying to beat the north bound traffic and never look at intersection before turning left to go down 50th Ave. The car hit my basket that was sitting between me on the seat and the fork and handle at the front. This took most of the blow of the front left bumper, then the car and the scooter grinded me around the corner as it scratched the left side of the car with my shoulder. While this was happening my right leg and foot was being twisted right around causing it to break and some of the toes. This also ripped up my shoes which would have to be replaced. This then tipped over my scooter upsetting my basket upfront onto the road losing things out of it. The force spilled me onto the road. The speed of the car forced us both to the next intersection at 1a St SW. They picked me up then someone called 911 for the accident. During this time the driver was constantly saying that he had never saw her, as I was trying to beat the North bound traffic. While this was happening, all could think about was I would need help and should phone my sponsor for that help. This was completely different from the last time I got hurt on the scooter, where I could only think about is where would be the best water hole to knock me out. I was in shock and when the Fire department and the Ambulance came, I kept saying I was ok when I was really was not. The police took the report and charged the driver with proceeding into a left turn without causation.< >br> When I got home, they just put ice on it and sent me to bed. The next morning, I went to the clinic and they x-rayed my foot only. My shoulder was still numb so I could not feel it yet. I went home again and asked for help from the place where I was living and they said that since I was not on their system but a independent person could not get any help from them. So having my leg bandage changed would have to up to me. The help to get into my wheelchair would also be up to me. I phoned my sponsor and she came over and spent the rest of the day with me. Help me to get down stairs to eat. She brought some pillows to help to but left late at night and could not come back for a few days. I was left with fending for myself. I would then get mad at myself and then the place I was living at. This got me think I had to leave at all cost from here. The hospital would not help as they thought I was in an assisted place so I would not need outside help. This affected my psychic at this place over the next few months.
This got me closer to my sponsor and we started working on the steps again in the workbook. This was the only thing that was keeping me sane. We went to movies together and went out to other events in the community. I would use my tickets I got for all my volunteer work and she would pick the

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popcorn and pop for us to have while at the movie. Then her term as a forest ranger we separate us for 6 months. This started me down that road again.
After living at Peter Coyle Place for a while the Street Mentality started to take over my Psychic and things like keeping my place in shape or arguing with the others was becoming a norm for me. The management was starting to get on my case and more and more the arguments with the other residences were getting me to a fighting level. I need to deal with this or I will be kicked out for the first time in my life. I will have to go more often to meetings to get my Serenity back! I will need to also talk more to my Sponsor and do more on my Steps. I think my volunteering was being affected at the Dream Centre. I had not talked to my psychiatrist since getting to Calgary. Overcoming all my Depression that came with me coming here and not find a place and being on the Street was hard to overcome. I had quite helped with Centre of Hope meetings as someone else took over chairing the meeting. Outside of the meetings I had no Psychic help.
After my sponsor got back, we again started on doing the steps and trying to get me back on track. We went back to the movie place to watch another movie. But seemed to be a little difference in my life and showed up in not keeping my place as clean as it should be. I was also not wearing the best clothes or wearing it more than once. I was not clean myself as well. I got into trouble with the place where I was living. This made looking more important into getting a place somewhere else. Around December I found a place that I could move into and thought I would be able to move in before the end of the month. This turned in me not move into there until first part of January. One other thing that happened before I left this place was my brother and Wife came to visit me here. He wanted to know what happened to me with Dad as he had heard stories but know wanted to hear from me. I told him the truth and how I kept it from the family and especially mom. This would increase our relationship and shortly in the future we would be going to the Stampeders games again to keep our relationship going.
The new place was in southern part of Inglewood next to the Bird Sanctuary. The cost would be the same as the rent at my old place without the expense of meals and cleaning of my room. The money over the rent that was leftover would take care of the food. I would also be able to supplement it with food from Spinz-Around. The only problem with the location was it location to the nearest bus was 7 blocks away. The apartment is 5x the size of the room I have at Peter Coyle Place. This gives more room for my scooter and getting more movies. The making of meals would also be a problem along with cleaning up the dishes along with the apartment itself. My use of Access would go from 2 or 4 trips a week to 16 to 20 trips a week. Depending on how much scooter I could use to get to my appointments.
I moved in on a weekend and ran into trouble right from the start. The key to get into the electrical room was in a key lockbox at the front door. The only problem was it was not there. I then called the manager to get the key for the room. He was not there and told me that Shaw should find their keys so they can open the door themselves. He also said that getting a phone on his off time was not an emergency. The Shaw agent told me that each repairman is different each time they are sent out and he would not know who has taken the keys. He wanted me to get a hold of him when the manager came back. When the manager came in, I approached him and asked again if he could give the repairman the keys when I phoned him. I also explain that this was an emergency to me with my medical situation. He again said to tell the Shaw to find theirs' own keys and not to bother him on the weekend. Shaw person phoned the manager to ask him for the key. After he got the call, he came up and got upset with me any call or asking for a key he will make sure I get evicted from here before I even got in. Well, the serviceman called again that night and next day and came Monday morning to get the keys and to install the phone. This put me eye to eye with the manager and over the next 6 months put us at logger head.
The first time I tried to take my scooter out onto the road it kept slipping and burnt out my motor. I then had to take it into the shop to get fixed. I phoned the city to find out this was no-man zone so the

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apartment would have to clean the sidewalks. This would be the manager again and put me one more problem in his eyes between us.< >br> I setup a petition for more hours on the shuttle bus that comes into our area. I got 150 signatures by having the building and going around the community and getting signatures. I then took the signatures to the Alderman and with a copy for the mayor. These signatures and the Alderman help get the bus to be extended from 10am to 4pm to 6am to 6:30pm. We will have to fight to keep even that or to get it extended even more.
Now that I have more room and lots of people to borrow my video, I decided to get more movies to the point that I had now over 800 movies of which 90% were DVD. From my apartment and all of the townhouses I am having people coming over to my place to borrow my movies. I announced at all the housing meetings and had a list posted on the bulletin board. Most of the time it ended up being the children from the townhouses that would come to borrow the movies. Also, most of the time they would bring it back within a week. One family did not and after a few months I saw them coming into their place and knocked on their door. The person then told me they were calling the police if I did not go away. I had to get this straighten out so I stayed there until the police showed up. I explained the situation to them and the proof of the videos. This episode then got back to the manager as he had to let the police in to see me thus another complaint was lodged against me for bothering kids.
Why is it that all of this seems to happen when my sponsor is up north working and I don't have support that I would normally have if she was here. Also, she did not give me her phone number this time so I could not phone her up there. I wanted to do this especially on her clean date.
I noticed the building had animals in people places so when a friend told me she had a extra cat I took it from her and all the pet supplies. When I had my door open because of heat in the room the cat was standing at the door when the manager walked by why I had a cat without him know so he sent an eviction notice to me the next day. When talked about this he said I needed papers filled in along with $200 fee and home Insurance. If just told me this up front instead of giving me the eviction notice I would have dealt with it first but he said it all written in the lease so there is no excess. I got this all fixed up and seems I was doing ok for awhile.
I having problems with the battery in the scooter it would not hold it charge every time I took it out. I would sometimes have back pushed the scooter for blocks and into my apartment building. One of these times while pushing it into the building there were tenets and to get my scooter in, I would have to come close to them. One of the other tenets complained and this was another mark against.
I started to leave my door open as the apartment was so hot it needed to cool off from the hallway. When he came around at night one day, he saw the cat and the door open and gave me another eviction for keeping the door open even though others in the building were doing it. With keeping the door closed the cat got sick and quite eating. I got a friend in the building to help force feed the cat but it was so sick we had to take it to the Animal Shelter and they put it to sleep. The Vet said that it could have been the fact that it had been through three people in a short period of time may have caused the cat to get upset and quite eating. This was another black mark on me for killing the cat. I replaced the cat within a week of losing the other one.
I went into a deep depression and meant that I was not clean myself or my place as well as I should. This was another mark against me with management. This was also when my doctor and Kerby Centre got involved. They wondered how it had come to this level with out them knowing anything about it. They approached the management to see what can be done to keep her there. It took one of the funding partners said if she ends out on the street, they would have to pull their funding.
I was given one more chance and with that I had to get more support outside of my home. I first called the Access Mental Health to get more psychic help. One suggestion they told me was to go back to Potential Place where I was comfortable before. This also gave me three good lunches each week.

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This I did after my swimming so I went there three times a week until 4pm. The other two days I continued with helping Spinz Around and going to my meeting on Tuesday. The days I volunteered I got food to help with my groceries. This left getting extra food on Saturday morning before my Women meeting. The worker helped organize my time to clean up my place and do laundry and make meals. This was all necessary to keep my place here.< >br> I was having trouble with the manager and having to live up to his standards. I will have to find another place to live with less pressure than I have here. My health is falling apart and I am not sleeping at night. I am very edgy and very explosive which I have not been like since my last time I have used. I have been losing both my short term and long-term memory. The caused me to loss a wallet with about $100 in it plus some of my checks. I been getting upset with all the people I work with. It is hard to do even a simple chore. Even the work I do is not satisfying to me. Also, all my traveling on the bus as I am stiff causes me harm. goto the top

Chapter 14
My Mom's Death & Reunion with Kids


I getting close to 60yrs old I hoped my Higher Power could find a way to meet my kids. This is my last and major goal in life. It would be a miracle for me to connect with them. My short-term goal is to go for short term trips into the mountains where I can see Mother Nature and my Higher Power. These short trips into the mountain would have to be with my scooter using an accessible vehicle. Most of the times you are ask you to have an attendant to move you around. I would not want to just sit at home which would lead me to veggie out. I am not a person who can just sit at home and not worry. I would start thinking about where my next meal is coming from or how and when will I make it. I then start thinking about keeping my place up to some perfect standard. If not up to that standard, then I would punish myself, if I was not perfect. I would think about my past and why I was being punished for not keep up to Mom standards or maybe only in my mind. My greatest punishment for these 29yrs has been no contact with my kids.
Maybe as I close this part of my life, I can find a second chance in life and start down a new road, which is different for the one I am on now. This may give me a second chance to be willing to work my program and to live a more enjoyable life. This is not my end, but maybe it's an end to my beginning...and the way to help others find a friend who will listen to them, who will show them the respect and dignity that all of us should have in order to keep us sane.
I have to realize that I can't live up to this pace. I would still do volunteering as I love helping people see what a computer can do for them. Once they have overcome the fear they could learn. I would able to relax at home and just listen to music and have to get up at 7am to get to work, but be able to sleep to 9am some days.
The second goal in my life was to be able to find my kids. I want to show to them first that I am both clean and sober. Second, I will make my amends with them to the best of my ability. Third I would keep in touch without expect to show up at their door everyday. Fourth I would also send them birthday cards to show my respect for them. I would tell them I don't have all the answers. I would explain why we were separated. I hoped they could see I have changed for them. I would not expect their trust right away but would hope they could come to a time when I could get it from them. My final hope would be that Geoffrey or Rebekah after reading this story would contact me here in Calgary. My sisters or brothers or their kids could get a hold of me for you.
After this happens, I could say I would be able to say I am happy in my life. I would not have done everything but I could accept what I have done. I would be able to accept life on life terms without the using of drugs to get me out of problems that life. I would also say I am worth it without the use of these drugs. This is all that the 12 Step Programs promises to us.

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I got a phone call from my landlord saying that my brother wanted to speak to me about an emergency family mater. The first question was how did my brother get my landlord's number and not look up my number in the phone book. The second thought was even if it is important, I am estranged with my family. I called to see who it was and yes it was my brother and he told me my mom had died in her sleep last night at the age of 95yrs old. After that point I don't remember anything of what my brother said to me, short of the funeral was on Monday. My mind that night was if you think I am estranged with my siblings well this can go to resentment and contempt with my mom. So why should I go to the funeral? She was always great with the grandchildren but not with the siblings. I was sure that it would heat up like it did when we were a family together. This would be the first time for me to get back with the family in 55yrs.
I phoned my brother again the next day to get more details about the funeral. They were going to have the gravel site first then followed by the funeral service at her church after. I wanted to go, but how would I get to both the site and then to the church by Handibus in time. I came up with more excess to not go to the funeral. But my sponsor said it is your mom and the program tells you to forgive and accept whatever comes into your life. So, I phoned my brother again and asked if anyone in the family could pick me up in my manual wheelchair. He told me he would ask around and see if anyone could and would phone me back. In the mean time I scheduled my Sunday meeting pick and drop off by Handibus to different times. I had the keys to the church and a Birthday card for one celebrating that day. So, I had to make it to the church then I would leave shortly after it started so I could go to the viewing of my mother. I would then hand over the keys and they could close the church for this week. The Handi-Bus would drop me at the funeral home.
I got to the funeral home and my two sister where there and some of their kids. They were all shocked to see me and thought I was only coming tomorrow. My niece told me to phone my ride and cancel it. We were all going to where most of the family was staying to have a get-to-gather after the viewing. This would give more time to talk see how our families are doing in a quiet atmosphere. Two of my brothers showed up and said they had talked to my oldest brother but he was very hard to get a hold of. Maybe when my niece would swing by his place, we maybe could get him to come. My oldest sister broke down after seeing mom which did not look like her but a plastic doll. I took a few pictures of one side of the family and was hoping to get more at the gathering afterwards.
When we got to the other place, we all started to pass e-mails and facebook info among ourselves. I asked if anyone knows where my kids are and how I could get in touch with them. One said I have their facebook page info and gave it to me. They also said they had not been in touch for more than a year. So, I tried the facebook page and sent a message asking if they would send a new picture of them for the family her at their gramma's funeral. Within an hour I got a message back from her and a picture and my two kids. This was a miracle I have contact with my daughter. She oked me for her page and allowed me to have her home address which is also the address for my son. The reason I had not been on facebook was everyone was asking me to join this club or game and no one what just to talk seriously about anything. So, after getting to the party, I had to rejoin facebook again. Now it has a purpose for me to keep in touch with my kids.
One other thing we did was to make a Family Tree of Mom Family. One of the nieces was doing this so she could give it during her talk at the funeral ceremony. She only did Mom side not my dads. I took it from her list and added my aunts & my dad's side. My one brother took all his picture of what he made one of his daughters doing the Olympic Flame and another about all aspects of the province he did Travel Canada. The problem was he kept doing it over and over again and everyone was getting on every one's nerve. But most just ignored him and let him get over his grieving of mom. We all enjoyed many pizzas and pop where we all shared in the cost. It was my one brother's birthday so we celebrated that with him. It went to about 10pm so we were all tired and had to get ready for tomorrow. My niece

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took me home but my brother got my address to pick me up for the grave site the next morning.
The next morning my brother picked me and the other brother then went to the grave site. In the car one brother was a back seat driver and bothering both of us. Once we got their even though my one brother and niece arranged everything the other brother wanted to be in-charge. He was telling the pastor who was whom and where they where to stand so he could take all the "Professional" pictures. I finally got upset and told him to leave it to my other brother to do it. The pastor took us through the ceremony and afterward that some of us left and went to see my dad's plot. The two of them where fighting throughout their lives and they end up just three rows over from each other in a 15 rows per section and S sections in the whole park. We never found the exact plot as there was no plaque on it. I sure my mother is shacking in her bones over it.
We then went to the church for the funeral service. All the siblings sat in the front row and all the Grand, Great Grand & Great Great Grand child in the middle rows behind. The two songs that the two nieces sang were very beautiful. The one eulogy from my niece was very special to us. The other eulogy was address more for the church then for the family. But the Pastors sermon was if mom was speaking from the grave demand us to all repent or we will live in our sin forever. If we did not repent and get saved, she would not forgive us. Her whole life was a fake on one hand she was a perfect Christian on the other hand she treated us as demons' worth nothing to liver for.
After the ceremony we had snacks but since the family was so big and the same amount of people showed up from the church we did not have enough. Then my brother took pictures of each family group and one of all the families as a whole. He put his big month into it again and we had to get an ex-family member to take all the pictures for him. We were going to have one more get together put with all the arguments from yesterday and some having to travel a far way only a few went to a restaurant afterwards. Then my niece took me home and that was the end of my Family reunion and Mom's Funeral.< >br> I would still be in touch with my kids over the internet or should I say my daughter. I would stay in touch the family with building the family tree as much as I can. Now I will have to save my money to take a trip to New Brunswick to see them. There I would get a hotel so I won't bother them. I have not talked to Geoffrey and unless I go through Rebekah. I still don't have the greatest relation with her but I hope it will build. I keep in touch with the rest of the family also through the Facebook. One of the tools in Facebook is Familylink which quickly builds a family links. It would give you suggestions to who might be in family based on what other have in their Familylink. I started adding my aunts and all of their families which properly have as many in their family as ours. This will be very time consuming but I don't have much to do now. I still do volunteering Monday to Friday during the day, and meetings on the weekend.
After my brother got back to Toronto, he made a DVD of the ceremony and a table of our personal family tree which I added to my list to update the family tree. As our family tree was the black sheep of the family, we had no contact with them except one of our aunts died and our family got part of the will. My brother being the executor of the will had to find every person on all parts of the families connected with my aunt. We should be getting something from list latter in the next year.
The CD I did not like much as it was more religious then on my mom's funeral. I don't know if I going to send it onto my kids as I have feeling they don't want to really want to talk to our side of the family. Our family is a mess and Mom bothering the whole family from the grave. I hope that I will not treat the rest of the family as my mom did to us both now and when we were young. Least I can fight back or leave the situation which I could not do as a youngster. I really feel that everyone should go into the 12 Step program to find spirituality and forgiveness that we seem to lack in our family and in the world.

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I phoned my kids on Christmas but they really did not want to talk to me and only because my daughter picks up the phone did, I speak to her but she wanted to get of the line as quick as possible. This sent me into a depression for the next month, but my Sponsor reminded me it had only been three months and it was 30yrs that I had not seen them. Since then, Christmas has come and gone, with the help of my Sponsor, meetings, Alex Volunteering, Potential Place Volunteering I was able to weather the storm of that season.
I am now fighting to get a new scooter as the present scooter is broken down due to eight reasons. "Easter Seals" is the only one that seems to provide scooters. AADL quit giving towards them more than 5yrs ago and AISH only does the maintenance on the scooter up to $600/yr and $500/yr for batteries. A church is willing to give me $500 towards it that is far from the expected $5,000. I made a business plan on why I need it and was presenting it to several people including Government officials.
My health has been going down over the last few months maybe because of how the family is acting or because I getting old. On one hand I feel I could stand on my own but every time I try something happens to me and I come back to the fellowship. But it is hard to keep it up with the serenity I had when I first came into the program. I still believe in the program and see it working in others around me, but to keep a happy face in front others in getting harder.
With all the problems I been going through in the last fours years my hold on my Recovery seems to be slipping. I feel it was a chore to go to many of my meetings especially the one where I chair the meeting. Sometime I am the only one there at the meeting. My inner serenity has gone and I becoming mad at the world and myself. My ability to remember things has dropped off and it costing me money to replace the things I have lost. This makes me feel not worthwhile. If this continues, I could end up going back out or on the street again. This would not be good for my health or my metal health. I also not phoning my sponsor as much and I am not working on the Steps either. I am too much of a perfectionist and see the past haunting me again. I think I need to get back to the basic and work on the Steps again with my Sponsor.
I had another problem with two other programs and my problem with relationships was causing me a major conflict between the two of us. I was ready to give up on any mental support. My doctor suggest I go into a program Dielectric Behaviour Therapy (DBT) I knew I would have to wait a year for this DBT program. Well, they phoned me last week and said to come in for two appointments and if I passed both of them, I would be in the program. I went to both appointments and they have accepted me into the program. I will be starting as soon as the one worker who is assigned to me comes back from her holidays. I now can call back to the other two programs and say that I will not need their service anymore. This will mean a one-year commitment along with once a week being in a group setting and once a week seeing a therapist.
What they are going to be working on is how to not react to anger situations but to work through the situation where it would work out for both people involved. They also want me to get me off the physic meds. This will level my moods rather they reacting either high or low which I am doing now. This will be for the first time that I will be dealing with my youth problems which have haunted me all my life. I maybe am able to deal with relationship and my Higher Power (GOD) which also has haunted me I would also be able to go to my 12 Step programs and feel for once accepting of a Higher Power instead of just voicing it. This may allow me to be more stable at my home and with the landlord. If it works even the smallest way the commitment will be worth it.
One of the other members at Potential Place came in Monday and told me he had picked up a scooter and he had me in mind. It needed some work on it but for the price of $200 it works is a three wheeled scooter which can go on buses. Some of the parts I can use from the old scooter and transfer them over to this scooter. This one does not have turning lights so it going out a night will be a problem but I do not go out to meeting at night anymore. If I do go out at night, I will still be able to go on

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Access. I will also be able to get things without booking Access to get me there. This has been a long 9 months for me without a scooter and will really enjoy it as it is mine not Easter Seals. I will take care of it more carefully but this version of scooter is a better scooter in the first place.
The Potential Place where I go for support is cut it hour due to problems in the building from 1pm to 4pm. This has cut back on my ability to help teach here or work on the computers. I really miss this and will be glad when it will be back to full time. This will also mean the other part of the Clubhouse will be available to us. We will be staying open to 9pm on Friday may even increase it on other days. I will also be able to bring my scooter and get around better with my wheelchair.
It seems that the more I accept my Higher Power's will the better things seem to happen. I will hope to get less aggressive and happier in my relationships and with myself. If I not happy I go into depression more and overall do not accept things. Is the past acceptable or do I have to rehash it over and over.
I am not even feeling lonely as much at home with the manager not bothering me anymore. The Bus that services us has also changed to weekends and nights so that I will be able to go to meeting at night or on the weekend when ACCESS makes mistakes like this weekend end gone by. The only problem was that it was not accessible as it was should have been. I have lot to thank our new Alderman who was also our last president of the Inglewood Community Centre. This was one of the agreements that that did when accepting our building into the community that it would have bus service. goto the top

Chapter 15
My Time after DBT


The first few months after graduating from DBT, I continued to keep in mind all the philosophy that I had learned. I also kept up my log of my feelings which helped in keeping me on track. Potential Place and other places I worked at including Salvation Army and Centre of Hope, asked me to facilitate a four-week course where men they could find a job on the internet from the "Canada Job Bank" and then sent it with shorten E-Mail resume to the companies they found. I got paid little for this but it was a little extra for the pocket without getting into trouble at my apartment for working at a business at home.
After few months of working, I reduced my time at Potential Place and did not find time to fill in my log for DBT. I felt the work would keep me going and the love of doing the job. I even started going in on the weekends or holidays so men could still work on the computer without the regular staff being there. I also continued my attendance at two of my 12 Step programs more than three times a week. This again lasted for a few more months with no problems at work or Potential Place. As usual my love of the job is overcome by the perfection of the job or men not always getting it in the first four weeks of training them. I also was not all pleased with the religious aspect, of the Centre of Hope which was the Salvation Army.
Then there were many changes of staff that occurred at Potential Place. Some long time Staff where let go without the members knowing why they where let go. This would lead to many of the old members not wanting to come into Potential Place. Some of the old staff and some of the old members went even further and started causing problems by knocking the place both on Facebook and on Television. Also, at this time the Alberta Government gave to AISH recipients a $400/month raise which for most of the members meant they would not have to go out and work any more. This leads my having to use my 25 years experience as a long-time member of three Clubhouses in those years and knowing how to use the ICCD Standards in running a Clubhouse using the standards. I had gone trough a three-week ICCD training course in Toronto and with that course I helped start the clubhouse some 11 years ago at Progress Place in Toronto. The constant changes over the next year did not help in the healing of the members, and had to retrain all the new staff on the standards. The next year it settled down and they were sending the new staff and a member to the three-week ICCD training. This helps

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them to understand the standards and help with the certification that we needed to help with the financial support from the government and other sources. This took too long so we ended up being uncertified. They told us to get all the staff and Executive Director and Program Manager on and once stable to try again.
This would take some time to get this all done about a year to get back. We hoped that this also help with the healing process with the members and bring some of our old members back.
This pressure and the fact I was not logging how I was feeling and not being able to talk to a therapist started to show at Potential Place as I was being bossy to the other members even though I was trying to improve the place with living by the ICCD Standards, but most of the members where slack on the standards and would work on the computer playing games or look at Facebook all during the "Work-Order-Day". I would feel that the staff would follow through with what I mentioned to the members, as they did not understand the standards as much as I did and they were so busy that they did not see the problem or were not able to do anything about it. This frustrated me even more. I would take it to the Executive Director but he told me to address it with my unit staff member.
After a few months as I was getting the AISH money and work money I could afford a new scooter for myself. The speed was double and it had all the bells and whistles for $3,000 from Mobility Specialities. My feelings about the problems at Potential Place transferred over to my driving of the scooter which made me drive even more aggressively with it. This action caused a problem at the Centre of Hope as I ended up mashing my scooter into the door and wrecking my right hand at the same time. I ended up having to go to the hospital to get a cast on it. I could not get into the Staff lounge with my scooter and my hand at the same time, so I asked one of the men who I was helping during the weekend in the lab to go to staff room to get a coffee for me. When the person went into the staff room there where staff there and they found this to be a break of confidence on my part and asked the security personnel to ask me to leave the lab and the building. I ended up leaving and with that I lost of this job which I loved and enjoyed coming to. The feeling of total failure and the failure of not all working out at Potential Place was leading me to depression again. This caused me to be not as careful at home with my scooter and they felt I was being too aggressive with my scooter in the hallways and my landlord issued gave me another eviction notice. I worked with three people to get overturned, but a legal person said what they where doing was not all legal if pushed to the end. This started the manager to stare at me every time I left or returned home.
The fear of being evicted and the problems at Potential Place made me lose all that I learned at DBT and I was getting back to having depression and having destructive thoughts again. It did not help that twice I ended up in a bus accident once on my scooter where I ended up get very hurt thus having to take my manual wheelchair and ACCESS to work. The second accident occurred two weeks later on Handi-Bus in my manual wheelchair. This limited me to how often I would get out and sometime leaving me home alone in the depression. It affected my 12 Step program on Saturday as I would only be going to one meeting only and missed out on getting my groceries, I needed to make meals that I would get on my scooter before the meeting. I would then not eat regularly and my sugar level started to climb again. My doctor warns me if it stayed this high, she would put have to me on Insulin. My doctor set me up with Home Care to get personal care 4 times a week and a two-hour batch cooking to regulate my eating each day for supper and two hours for cleaning. This meant that I would have a worker coming in at 7am or 8am to do the personal care, and 8am to 10am for the batch cooking, and 8am to 10am for cleaning of my apartment, but there would not be any service on the weekend. My doctor also contacted a person who helps out people overcome depression and we had a case meeting with one person from each area I had support from. We came up with a few suggestions: I would go Catholic Family Service therapist once a week and a group section there once a week. I was set up with a visit to the "Walk in Closet" now called "Making Changes". I was also set up with one day on Friday an Adult

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Day Program at Clifton Manor. I was also given a personal care person who came in once a month.
The next few months went along well and the manager finally quit watching me all the time. I was feeling well and now looking great from the clothes I got from the "Walk in Closet" since I only work here at Potential Place. I reduced my days to only three days a week as Tuesday was group and my other 12 Step program and Friday was the Adult Day Support Program (ADSP). The Clubhouse was filling all the positions staff at Potential Place. The staffs were going for training either going on a one week or three-week training course. To get our certificate back we had to have the Program Manager go for training too, whom Potential Place hired early in 2013. goto the top

Chapter 16
My Trip to Worcester and the 2013 Flood


I was asked by the Clubhouse to accompany Andrea our Program Manager on a three-week training course at Genesis Club in Worcester, MA. They would have to find a place to stay that was accessible thought the Clubhouse itself already was, with an elevator. The travelling there was not all great as I had to push my self around the airport from one gate to another. The seats on the planes were not the best especially the one to Boston as every set taken so we were packed in like sardines. After arriving at Boston, the ride to Worcester was all messed up and it took another 1 hr 1/2 to work it out. This made the total trip and getting up early and arriving after midnight a very long day. Even getting in the Motel was not accessible as the door was not wide enough for my manual wheelchair to get in or the washroom. The washroom had a bath not a shower so that also was a problem for this night I just wanted to rest and get to sleep. The next morning two men from Clubhouse came over, took me to a grocery store to pick up some food for the weekends that I would stay there. Most of the meals I would have at the Guest House which Andrea would be staying at or at the Clubhouse.
On Monday morning a lady picked me up and drove me the 10 miles south to the Clubhouse for the day. Since we missed the house meeting in the morning, we went straight upstairs to our first of many sessions on the 36 Standards. We were told what unit we would join and we also met the persons from Scotland and their Clubhouse was just a few miles from my mom's place in Ayreshire. We went to our unit which for me was Membership. I met all the people there and was introduced to the way they do their unit board. I thing I liked was the way they put everyone name down and when they were going to be leaving. The only thing I helped out with was greeting people as they came in the door. I brought my western hat with all my pins and greeted them with a "Howdy". The other thing I helped out with to meet everyone was giving out lunch tickets. I would leave my canes in my unit and would grab them when I left for the day.
We all left for the day and had to go up a hill which not accessible for my manual wheelchair, not to mention the loose gravel on the sidewalk. The only way to get up the hill was to push it backwards up the hill. Once we got to the Guest House I would come in the back door and use my two canes to climb up the back stairs. Once in I would go to the lounge area and rested on the coach. We all worked on making a meal for all of us and afterwards would look at our homework to see what we wanted to do for the next day. After this we would phone a staff to take me back to the Motel for the rest of the night. We continued this for the rest of the week then on Saturday we all would go for a tour in Boston. They picked me up first then meet at the Clubhouse and traveled to Boston. Once there we first just drove around city and was shown different parts of the city. Then we were left off at their center park where we walk around the park until Cheers Restaurant and then got back on the Van to go to downtown market. The problem the sidewalks were just as uneven as Worcester was and I again had to back up the whole distance. The market was even worse as the walkway was small pebbles. Since I left my wallet in Evan's car that brought me to the Clubhouse in the morning I could not shop or even get a drink or nick knacks. After everyone else had done their shopping, we went around the corner to the Black Rose

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Restaurant. For me to get into the restaurant I had to go in the back up an elevator and come in back of the restaurant. I found the rest of the people and then told them of my lost wallet and that I could not pay for the lunch. Now I was so upset that I started to cry over the situation. Andrea said it would be put on our Company card and we would take care of the wallet afterwards. We finished our trip at the Warf but I was so tried that I just sat there with one other man. Once they got back, they were going to go on another long walk and I just told tan I'd stay here until they come back. They told me to go to the end of street and wait there so Andrea and I would stay there. While waiting Andrea went for drink across the street. We went back to the Guest Home; made supper and I was taken back to the Motel and that finished that week.
On Sunday I just stayed at the Motel for lunch. I ate the frozen dinner that I got a week earlier and for supper I went to the restaurant next door. I found out that debit card in the US is linked to a VISA card and since Canadian debit card are connected to a bank, they would not accept them. I had to got a cash advance and then pay cash. The second week went by like the first and now I had no clothes that were clean and since the washer at the Guest House was free, I would go by the local bus to the Guest House and then finish the day by going to a 12 Step meeting down the road from the Guest House. The Scottish people at headed to New York for the day and Andrea had gone to get her hair done. That Sunday most of the Clubhouse was involved in the "Lost Fireman Race" in town and the rest of us help or watch the race. The men of Scotland went or should I say walk on part of the race and came almost last but they went on it. This was fund raising for the Clubhouse so was a large presence of the member in the race. The first lady over the line was one of the staff of the Clubhouse. Ron from our Clubhouse also came in that night to finish all the last week and help with our Goals we had set up for coming down for this training session. We had already done most of prep for this and Ron was seeing if there was any else, he could add especially as he lived in our housing. One of our goals was to improve the relationships with the housing and the Clubhouse. This would be all explain on our last day here of Thursday but first they were going to have a seminar of all the Massachusetts' Clubhouses. This was nice break we met also people from Fountain House the original Clubhouse. We finished our week by saying goodbye to everyone and thanking them for their help with our goals. They would follow up with a phone call in middle of August.
On Friday morning a town car picks me up at the Motel and headed to the Guest House to pick up the rest of our team for the airport. The problem was the town car could not hold my manual wheelchair and the entire luggage so he calls for a van to replace the town car on the way to the Guest House. We packed it all in and headed for the airport in Boston. The trip here went to a transfer place to separate us into two vans, but this trip was direct so we ended up at the airport some three hours before the plane was to take off. Now we had planned for going through security but it only took a 1/2 hour so it left us with sitting around the lounge for 2 1/2 hours. The problem there was no restaurant in this section as Boston is a small airport and so they only had small item that you would get from a coin operated machine. Part of the time was interrupted with a fire in the building below us so we had to evacuate the building and go out of the airport external doors. We were there for fifteen minutes then we allowed back in but had to go through the security again.
Once we got in we were watching the CNN TV and saw on the TV what was happening in Calgary. They showed a house mashing into a bridge and breaking all up in the flood going down the Elbow and the Bow Rivers. Andrea e-mailed our Clubhouse to see what was happening and what area were being flooded and what areas were being evacuated. They told us that my area had been affected as it is the area just past where the Bow and the Elbow join together. It made me concerned for where I would end up sleeping tonight and what had happened to my cat. The friend I asked to watch my suite and cat I could not get a hold of and would try again in Toronto during the layover. The fire had affected some of the technical problem with our plane so it cost us some 1/2 hour delay with the 1-hour delay of

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the plane arriving. This flight like the one coming here was full and packed like sardines. We arrived in Toronto late and no time for a layover as we had planned in fact the time for me to wheel around the airport, going through all the airport security almost made me miss boarding. I was the last one on the plane so when they had me sit, I would have to sit between two people and I could not do that.
So, they asked the person to move to accommodate me. Once airborne I asked the Stewardess what was happening in Calgary and she did not know. Once we arrived in Calgary the wheelchair was so bent that the seat would not go all the way down. I had to be careful if moved too much I could slip through.
I had to wait for my luggage to get off the plane to get my cell phone to phone my friend to see what was happening. I also had to go to the baggage handling to see what was going to happen about my manual wheelchair. Afterwards I called my friend and she told me she had not been evacuated but had been up 23hrs worrying about when she would. She told us the only way to get to our apartment was to go all the way down the Deerfoot then take the Glenmore to Blackfoot and take Alyth Road to home. The normal way I would have done this trip was with ACCESS but they were not answering their phone. So, I asked if the taxi would take me home.
While going down the Deerfoot pass the Pearce Estate it was completely flooded along with Inglewood Golf Course except a car roof was showing and 1/2 ways up the trees. I got to Glenmore and the road was almost covered but we got through. We went down the Blackfoot when we got to Alyth road a policeman stops us and said everyone had been evacuated so he could not let me in. I told him our place was the only place still open but he said he would still not let me in. He got another policeman to drive me to Acadia Recreation Centre to stay for the night. This was late by the time I got there and the place was very noisy. The next morning the kids and all the noise woke me up about 5am. After breakfast I got someone to take me to my place. I wasn't sure if we had power and we were not but there was no way of getting out getting food or anything else. I also had not access to transportation to get to work either.
For a few days we laid low until the Community Centre opened up and they setup meals for all Inglewood people including ourselves. They also went and got groceries for me. During the flood the mayor told all of us not to shower or use too much water to keep the drinking water safe. I spent my time drawing my Mountains or going on the Internet. The lighting storms at night was showing as if it was still going to be raining for long time and keep the flood going. I was invited to get out our Community Centre took some of us in the Country to help out some other people in worse flooded zone. I helped out with giving out garbage bags, gloves, masks and water on a table they setup for me. The transportation did not get back until the Cushing Bridge was checked and allowed for travel of vehicles before I was able to get to work and also get groceries for myself. This would allow the #1 bus line from Forestlawn to Bowness which came by the Truck stop a few blocks north of me. My 12 Step programs were also affected that first weekend as I could not get ACCESS to pick me up to go to my two meetings. The second week we experienced a train accident on the Boney Brook Bridge were the bridge collapsed into the river with flame oil car hanging over the river. The CN train that goes across a bridge north of the broken bridge was and still bring in a train which length was from the bridge and ended up at 9 Avenue SE next to the Bird Sanctuary. The pathway next the Bow River and the embankment next to this same track was eroded to delete part of the pathway. They had to evacuate the area but since we were north of the bridge and the river flows south from that point, they only do it south of there. This closed the Deerfoot and Ogden roads and put all the traffic on Blackfoot next to us. ACCESS would not pick us up again for the day. This was Thursday so it did not affect me as Friday is when I go to ADSP program.
The rest of community was still affected by the flood and were bringing the flood-affected furniture to the community centre to be picked up by the city dump trucks. Some of the homes where the river turns south along 8 Ave SE, eroded right up to in front of their home. The pathway that went under

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the bridge that collapsed was also eroded away and thus closed to running and bike transportation. By the weekend I finally was able to go back to my 12 Step programs, and on Monday I went back to Potential Place. One other thing was affected during the week was the care-givers, as I had stopped seeing my care-givers for the three weeks while I was gone. With the flood and miscommunication, they took a week for it to get started again. The next three weeks was not up to par both at Potential Place and the Centre of Hope. The Centre of Hope where I chaired the 12 Step meeting the basement had been destroyed by the flood and all the pre-work that was done in the basement now needed to be done upstairs on the main floor. This was the same room we used for the 12 Step programs. It could be a long time before getting back into the room. The blocks around Potential Place were evacuated and so ACCESS would not take anyone to Potential Place. The CTrain line had also been affected by the flood over the 7th Ave, especially at City Hall and south to 25th Ave sections. All of this would also take time and thus not all the staff or members could get to work. I could scooter to work even though the water down the 4 Street underpass was flooded.
It took the next few weeks to get to some form of normality with the C-train getting back on track and our attendance to go back up at Potential Place. The only thing was Centre of Hope meetings were still closed due to the flood. The City Hall was also affected by the flood and was shut down. The Bus Passes had been held over until middle of July due all the centres that sold the monthly pass were also shut down. My friend who lives in Murdock Manor was still out of his place and staying with friends. I must be feeling lucky as I never was evacuated or lost my power as he did.
On my birthday when I was going to go to the Stampede Grounds the care-giver was to be at my place at 7am in the morning but phoned and told be there closer to 4pm. I went to work at Potential Place and celebrated my birthday there. When I got home, I got a phone call on my answer machine I should say they would not be able to make it there till 7:30pm. This would be after the show started and would ruin my day but since it was after 4pm they where closed and this being a new company that just changed over today, I did not have chance to work out anything with them and thus missed out the greatest day of my life. When 7:30pm came and went I phoned in again and they said they should have been there and she would find out why she was not there and would phone me back. About 15 minutes later she phoned and told me she would still have someone coming in. An hour went by and I phoned again and they told me no one was come now and they would work it out tomorrow. Well Thanks a Million for all your help I just lost the greatest day and my Birthday. I lost some $70 dollars on tickets to the Stampede and with having to give my scooter for repairs on Monday I would not be able to get to the Stampede again this year. The relationship with the company did not go well over the next two weeks. Some of the ladies who transferred from the old company were knocking this company and when they had to come in the morning so it ended up missing out on hours and personal care. They would not answer their phone or return my calls. I was also still upset over my birthday and losing all my money on that. On my next time with Peter and my doctor they also invited my Home Care Nurse who was to work out the problems but she explains that I was over my hours that I should be getting and they are going to cut even more from what I getting now. I would get three days with every second week an extra two hours for cleaning and laundry. I asked if they could get the company to send me my money I lost and she said she would try but said it would not be likely.
Two weeks after everything was back to normal around Inglewood the tracks over 15 Street SE washed out. The first reason was the one-foot gap on both sides of the track and second all the rain from the flood washed out under the tracks. Eight gas cars turned over and hit the natural gas line thus evacuating the area again. It took a week to get it back on its tracks and the tracks replaced again. Luckily it didn't spill or I would have been evacuated again.

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Chapter 17
Three Years Until I Turn 65


The next three years went along as usual with Ernie and me going to Stamps Football games. The next train wreck on the 15 St crossing all the eight cars that that turned over were empty.
I started a new Adult Day Program which takes me out of the house twice a week. This gave me games, exercises, crafts, painting, lunch, and fellowship with people my age.
In 2015, I worked two elections both the Provincial and the Federal, in the Provincial I was the Supervisor Poll Officer which took care of all polls around Fort Calgary or East Village. In the Federal election I applied for the same position but due to some concerns I ended up being the Deputy Returning Officer. This meant I was sitting down all day with little time for food or standing. It took a toll on me and my back, twice I felt weak and my legs gave out on me. I now wonder if I'm getting too old to do this job anymore. I may not try out for the city elections in 2017.
I left Potential Place as I now had support with my doctor and my therapist, along with AA and NA, along with Adult Day Program. Six months before my 65 birthday I started to look into places I might want to live like a lodge that would take care of my home situation. I went to an Expo at Kirby Centre where they had lots of lodges and senior places to look at. The one that looked the best was Silvera for Seniors. I went on a tour of one of the locations and put in an application. They told me that nothing could happen until I was 65 but they would hold my application until then. I went for another interview with them and it did not work out at this location. I was offered two locations below where I lived when I was born in Bridgeland. It may take a few more months after I turn 65, but I will know the area well and close to the C-train.
I have been using a scooter for some years but concerns about scooters in the lodges; I looked into a power chair from "Easter Seals" and was accepted. I received it and started using it both in the local bus and at the "Adult Day Program". After a few months on a trip to the "Adult Day Program" another passenger hit the tilt switch thus damaging it. The next four months it remained at the repair shop until it was fixed. I went back to the scooter. The scooter wore out and I needed to replace it as now the only chair I had was a manual chair to get around. I purchased a used scooter for $2,000 which I'm using now. Once I got the power chair back, I used it at the "Adult Day Program" and quit using it on local buses because of the slope on buses to get on to it. The power chair is acting up again. I hope it will not take as long as last time to get it back from the shop.
When all the complaints about our manager in our building were finally accepted in head office the manager was warned to respect us more. Then two tenants came in from CUPS they were using drug and letting other problem people who did not live here in. The manager could not handle them so he was finally let go. He was replaced with two male managers to take over from him. The two new tenants also brought in bed bugs. So, they tried to get rid of bed bugs by spraying in their apartments only, but it spread to others in the rest of the building. So, over the next two months all the apartments in the building had to be sprayed. The spraying was every second week for a total of three sprays. This caused major problem of breathing for me. I could not unpack during the time of spraying or the bugs could come into my apartment which was clean. The chemicals were still on the plastic bags which were sitting in the middle of my two rooms. We then had to wash all the clothing afterwards which took four hours the first week and then two hours on the second week. After this I threw out clothing and other electronic equipment in downsizing for my move to the lodge. The size of the lodge will only be one large room at least half of want I got now.
Twice during this time, I lost my wallet which was in my basket in front of the scooter on the Ctrain. The second time was from a bag which was on the back of my scooter, which had my wallet with money in it along with my tablet, along with medications and other personal things. Cost of replacing my identifications along with getting another tablet would be about $2,000 dollars. I would have to pay

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for two tablets on each plan during the next two years. I don't know if it my mind is getting forgetful or all these events have caused it. I went into a deep depression but with my meetings and the ADP program helped me keep going.
I have applied for all my senior pensions. My "Canadian Pension Plan Disability" (CPPD) will end one month after I turn 65 then it turns into regular CPP. At the same time, I will be supplemented with "Old Age Security" (OAS) and "Guaranteed Income Supplement" (GIS). These three should bring the total to about the same amount as when I was getting CPPD. To replace "Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped" (AISH) which will stop one month after I turn 65, it will be replaced with an "Alberta Senior Benefit." I hope this all adds up to what I get now.
I was informed that once I turned 65, I could move into Aspen Lodge which allows me to use my scooter in the outside only and must bring it straight to my room and park it there the rest of the time. Inside the building I would need to use my manual wheelchair. The cost of the Lodge for an accessible unit will be 73% of my revue from my last year income tax. This would give me an accessible room with a shower that I can bring my manual wheelchair into, the cleaning of my room and making of my bed once a week, three meals and three snacks a day.
Twice a month, we have an outing outside of Calgary and once a month we would have a shopping trip to a mall. We have three activities a day. We would rotate between cards and Bingo and Saturday night is entertainment night, and Sunday night is movie night. Homecare is right on the property which gives I more care than I get now. They will give me a shower twice a week and apply medications twice a day when ever I need it.
Once I get all my old age security pensions, they will change my rent from last year's income tax to my new pension amount. This should happen late in August if not they will reduce my September rent but I will have to pay the rest back in October. goto the top

Chapter 18
Turning 65 and Moving In


On July 5 my brother who lived in Toronto was killed by an accident while riding a bike through Toronto on his way home. He was cut off by a car turning left, right in front of him and slamming him into a parked car. I was planning on going with my other brother on my birthday to the Calgary Stampede Heritage Day but he was going to Toronto with the rest of the family to my brother funeral. So, I would have to go with my sponsee to the Calgary Stampede. This being my 65, I was wanted to make it a special day for me this year, but it will not be the same without my brother to go with me. The day rained all day which made it cold and since the day started at 8am and we go home 12:30am the next day it was a long day for me. The supper we went to gave me pancakes as my birthday special which last year was discount on the meal. Other things happened during the day which upset my sponsee when we went home.
I moved in on the last week in July and celebrated the July birthdays on Wednesday of that week. On August 2, I went to the Service Canada to hand in my GIS application so I hope it makes it before the end of the month. I got help also filling in the Alberta Senior Benefit so that I could get any extra that comes with that application. Both pensions told me to phone in two weeks to make sure all the application came in. I phoned Service Canada and told me I been accept and the amount would send but only after first week in September would come in. The amount of the GIS, CPP, and OAS would add up to just short of my total I got from AISH. The three days before the end of the month when I checked my bank account it showed that all three pensions had arrived and so I told Aspen that I could pay the whole rent including a small $42 for cable for my room. But some how it did not get in on time they took 400 less and then a week latter took it back less $8 which the short fall from my new pensions.

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On August 15, I was sitting in the Atrium along with two other residences and we heard the fire alarm go off. They told us just stay there and they would fix the problem which was a broken water pipe on the east fourth floor. When they turn off the line for that pipe, it backed up into the dinning room area. The last three lines of sprinklers in the dinning room area went off. This sprayed the three of us still sitting in the area. I wheeled away to the front door area and it flooded to the front door with in about one minute. I noticed that the other lady was still sitting and Neil had to rescue her as she got soaked from the sprinklers. She then went outside and later went through the pool of water on her way to her room to change. I asked Neil to get my colouring pencil set and he came back with a cup full of the water, a pen in it, along with colouring pencils was my phone soaked. He told me to take it apart and keep it apart and make sure I don't plug it in for three days to dry it out. I was without a phone for the next few days and had to use Aspen phone to do my phoning. This happened about 2pm and if it had happened at 3pm our coffee time, the place would have been full. The fire department spent the next three hour mopping up along with the staff of Aspen. The coffee hour and the meals were shifted to the recreation room for all on the west side residences of the building who had their dinning room there. The next four day we stayed there while they dried all the walls and the floors for that dinning room area and the rooms west of the dinning room. I made a Thank You Card for the staff and got all the west side residence to sign it and was present to them at staff dining they had the next week. Then next day from getting wet and all the stress of the day I ended up with a migraine and missed for the first time my ADP program and could not phone them until later in the day from the Aspen phone. They phoned me but since the phone was off, I could not receive any phone calls. Luckily, I only had ADP to go to this week on Tuesday and Friday and no other appointments in the week. So, I did not have to worry about anything until Friday and by that time my phone was working and was all fixed.
After not having the TV for the month of August I was going squirrely and I was getting enough to afford the cable and TV, so I started looking for a used TV that would fit into a 46-inch diagonal size of a TV shelf. One person offered a TV for $200 and he said the screen was 42 inches so I went to see it but it was not in an accessible area to view it. He brought it on the weekend during lunch and he put on my desk as it did not fit into the area, I was planning to put it in. He gave me a controller but it had no batteries so I could not test it. The next day after getting batteries and trying it did not work. I turned it around to find the sensor was tapped over and would never work. I then had to look all over again to see if I get another one and make sure it fits into the area, I wanted it to fit into. Then next few days I went to different places and finally got one from a Pawn Shop. I got my staff from the ADP to pick the TV up and I would give to them the other one for all of us to watch there for free. The next day I noticed it had only one HDMI connection and that one was partly broke. So, I had gone back to the Pawn Shop by ACCESS. I carried it in my lap to get a replaced one and did the same to bring it back to my room. This is a SMART TV with a control that works for $300 and this I submitted to Alberta Seniors for the cost and they deposit into my account two weeks later.
I got from SHAW a HD box that gives all the channels I have in HD, but it does not record. I would need a PVR HD box to do recording. I went through looking for PVR and found one in my area that I could scooter to for $40. I went and scooter over and paid for the unit and brought it back to my place. It seems to be working the only problem it was one hour late so all the recording would be wrong. I phoned SHAW to get it fixed and they told me to hold on as they said it was showing it was working on their system right now. They would need to phone the old owner registered to the unit and they told me that the person said they had no idea what had happened and I would have to bring it the SHAW and they would return it to the rightful owner. The next phoned then again said the same as I had a name for the person, I bought it from and they said it was not that person. Well ready to take it back to SHAW I phoned the Police to report it. They took the e-mail info and phoned the person I got it from to find out it was hers. So, she took the PVR from me that night along with throwing the $40 back at it say I don't

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like being called at the hospital as I am a nurse. She took it to SHAW to get it clear of the person who was on it. Then it got registered to me properly.
I have been on three outings from Aspen to places outside of Calgary. The first one was to Ghost Lake on a Handiboat around the lake. This is just west of Cochrane, Alberta. We got there and they were not ready so we had to wait half an hour, then they dock the ramp was a steppe angle to row us down. Then they give all the ones with walkers went down first and the wheelchair had force there way to back of the boat tight to the wheelhouse. This moving all them around and Captain have to squeeze by me to get to the wheel to start the boat. While waiting for the boat and getting away from the dock there were plenty of hornets buzzing around. Our driver and the other person in the wheelchair were alleged to the hornets. We traveled around the lake for hour and half then went into an alcove where we stopped and had the BBQ, but as soon as we started cooking the hornets came back onto the boat. We then came back to the dock with all needing to go to the washroom. The only washroom was two outhouses which where neither accessible and smell really bad. For an accessible boat the place should have an accessible toilet.
The second trip was to William Watson Lodge, Kananaskis, AB in the Peter Lougheed Park area. Trip was planned by our old Activity Coordinator and they order the bus before knowing that I was going on the trip. When the bus got at Aspen and saw me, they had arranged for an accessible bus to come but it would take over hour and we been already waiting for half an hour. Once we got on the bus three of my other residences swore at me for cause them to be an hour and a half late. This made me feel like I didn't want to go in the first place. The trip took two hours and one of ladies got bus sick from the long trip. We all had coffee and went to washroom but we had regular washrooms but not accessible washroom so we just go in partly and sit that way. Then we had our BBQ and some started to walk around then some asked the driver to drive them to gift shop one mile down the road at the lake. I would like to go but asking to reload me into bus would only upset the rest again, so stayed on balcony look at mountain in the background with light mist of rain. After an hour went back but again everyone went to washroom and came back to Aspen feeling a bit better.
The third trip was to a Saskatoon berry farm near De Winton, AB. I assumed that it was to pick berries and that we would have a bag lunch. The day was raining so I assumed since we would be outside or at least in a partial protection it would be cancelled. We still went and I found out on the way there were no bag lunches and there was a restaurant there we were going to eat from. I had not brought any money and I needed to eat so I would need to borough from the staff to eat there. This made me shame of myself and wish I knew before hand this what the place was. It was craft, Saskatoon berry products, and restaurant all indoors. They had other buildings but it being raining and cold look around would not be pleasant. We saw everything in the building and so everyone wants to go earlier so left before 1:15pm when we were scheduled to go. I felt sick after getting back so I sat with my friend and two students who gave my story since I came here to read then went up and rested until supper. My hope is that the new activities coordinator will do a better job of explain the outings and if there are cost beside the bus cost that it explains right up front so we can plan for it.
One other thing that has happened in the last three months is my meeting I go on Sunday for NA meeting. The meeting started at Devion Gardens but due to renovations that could last afar as December of 2017, we had to find a place to move it. The staff at the park suggested Food Court in Bankers Hall since it closed and be quit for a meeting. We got the meeting list change to reflect this and we started to meet there. After about a month the other person who helped me run this meeting told me that the meeting place was closed down due to problems they had with other people in the area. I approached the security to tell them that we were meeting there and showed it to them from the meeting list. They told me if I had approached the manger before this that they would have been able to allow us to stay but they would take it back to manager and see what he would say. I guess I pushed it too hard with them try

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to prove that the other place had recommend this place to us so took what I said badly. The next week when my other member approached them, they said since I was rude them, they would never allow us to come back. I went look for places elsewhere and the other member mentions other places. I found that a Starbucks below the Palliser was an ideal place to meet. We tried it out one week and then ask others to come the next week. It seems to work and buying coffee makes us customers and pays for rent our 7th Tradition. The other member got upset as he was the one got the abuse from the security people and then he took it out on me. When we meet for the first time after he had to work out our difference or we would not be able to keep this meeting going or our friendship. We will have to have a limit on the length of the meeting as this not public place and we not renting a room for a private event.
One other thing that is keeping me sane is the use of the internet from my next-door neighbour who agreed to share her internet with me, through her wireless connection. This allow me to check all my E-Mails, update my website, update this story on the website, check my facebook which is the only way I can speak with my daughter.
The only problem with my room is there no room to place a chair or sofa on one side of the bed. This means I have to watch TV in bed and causes neck problems that way. The rest of the room seems to work out and I am getting use to the building and schedule around here, I don't know if the events around here are enough to just depend on them to keep me occupied. I am very lonely and I don't have friends here. I had two recovery friends and one friend who had children who would come over and pet my cat and watch the fireworks with me. Not being able to talk about some of these problems causes me bury it in my soul and mind. These concerns made my present doctor asked me to start again with the therapist to work out some of these problems. One other suggestion she want me to do was to go back for a three months refresher course at DBT. I do have my Sponsee coming over for tea ever Saturday afternoon, and my Saturday AA meeting in the morning, and the NA Meeting Sunday Morning, but this sometimes is not enough. I have one other thing I can do here that I could not do at the old place is play my trumpet in the auditorium. I also need to get some swimming in both for my physical health and my mental health. The only problem is the time to be able to do this and also will power to do it on regular bases. goto the top

Chapter 19
Bed Bugs Return and Other Concerns


One day after cleaning my room the Manager and Housing Coordinator came to me and told me they had found a bed bug and would need to completely clean and bag my whole room to remove all bed bugs in my room. This would be bag up all my clothes, medications, bedding, lotions, pillows, and anything else lay out in the room. I had to even strip to remove all my clothes I was wearing and then leave the room and stay in another room until it was sprayed two times. My box spring and bed had to be wrapped up and thrown out so the bed bug could not spread. This also meant I would have to sleep in a small bed during the time I was in the new room. The only problem was that I could not afford a new queen size bed when I got back into my room as I used my $300 that Seniors give once a year on a TV for my room. Thus, I would have to find a new way to get a new bed or live with the small bed until I qualify for the $300 from seniors next year.
The rooms next to me and the ones above me and below me were checked to see if they had bed bugs. After checking the rooms, the room to the east of me they found bed bugs. The room to the west of me had just a month before had just been cleaned thoroughly and bed bugs love going into clean rooms so they transferred over to her room too. Now three more rooms would have to be checked the one below her and one above her and the one next to her. They were all found to be clean. Now they would have to be eight rooms to be sprayed to make sure none of the bed bugs would be spread any further in the building. The lady next door was also was given another room and had to go through all the

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procedures I did. Since I had a breathing problem and could not handle the spray, I could not go back into my room after 12hrs like the other six people could. The other lady stayed with her family until it was all over.
Some of my medications and washing supplies was brought into my new room, along with them, a set of cleaned clothes to wear for a week as everything leaving that room has to be cleaned. I could not bring my scooter into the new room and also my TV. They setup a TV in the corner sitting room for me to use until I get back into my room which they said would be two weeks, but it turned into three weeks. The first night in the new room the homecare came in wearing a mask and gown to be protected from the bugs, but this was only if it was in the bug room not in the clean room. I told her to get out as I am not unclean and to come back when they treat me as a person. The next day a different homecare worker went into the bad room without protection and she was also pregnant so when she found me in the new room, I told her to go home and clean herself and her clothes.
The day after I found out about the bugs I went to the ADP as usual but once there after telling the one in charge about the problems at home, she then told me to stay in my wheelchair and to get out of the chair I was sitting in and they would take it away and spray it. I was told not to come back until everything was clean at my place, so I had to stop going to the ADP for a few weeks. They had to spray the chair I was sitting in and all the rooms I was in during the time I was there. This did not help me feel welcomed and what would I say to all the people which were attending the ADP.
The fact that so many people were getting sprayed and I was not in my own room, also watching TV in the other room, rumours started to flow around the building. The management then called a meeting to explain the problem but made it sound like it was my entire fault and I could have been able to stop the problem in the first place. This made everyone start talking about me again and made feel very low and brought on my depression again.
I approached both my doctor office and Potential Place to see if they could solve the bed problem. I was told the Sleep Country give out new bed to people who need it but someone would have to pick it and bring it to me on the day that one comes available. I was very worried this would not happen during the three weeks I was in the other room. Potential Place told me to come in after the three weeks and they would put in an application through CUPS to get the bed for me and at the same time help me with my depression. My social worker at my doctor office told me she would have to check with a lady who helps out in this way but she was not around at this time and she would be back to me when she is. I hoping through either place I would be able to get one but it seemed assured that it would not be in the three weeks before going back into my room.
I moved back into my room and the next few days I spent it in washing all the clothes in the room that was bagged to protect it from the spray. The management paid for the cleaning but I supplied the soap and the softener. It took a total of twelve loads of washing and eight loads of drying. The scooter had to be washed down and I cleaned off the computer and TV. This took a lot of work, but it was good to be backing my room. I was still using the small bed that had been transferred over from the other room. I few days later I got a phone call from my social worker at my doctor's office saying they had gotten a hold of the lady and had purchased a new queen size bed and would be delivered in a week from their warehouse in Ontario. This will finally make everything back the way it was before the bed bugs problem started. The new bed would also assure there would be no chance of the bed bugs showing up again. I made a card thanking the social worker to show a small appreciation for what she had done for me and my mental health.
About a month later when I was coming back from my Sunday NA meeting I stopped for a coffee and then went to my room, then came down for lunch and when I went back to my room, I noticed I did not have my glasses. At supper time I went back to my table and asked if any had noticed if I had been wearing my glasses at lunch time and one person said she said I did not wear them at lunch time. I went

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looking for my glasses around were I had coffee and even went back to the meeting location to see if I had left them there. They said I did not see them but would tell me the next time I was there. I told the receptionist to look for them and tell me if they were found. I had to find my old glasses but they were scratched so badly that I had to order new glasses to replace them. It would take about three weeks to get the new pair. Just before I got the new pair the receptionist told me the plant lady had found my old glasses in the plants near where I was sitting for coffee. I guess while I was taking off my coat, I must have pushed the glasses off the table into the dirt behind the table. They were slightly scratched but not as bad as my old pair. Now with the new one I will have two pairs to fall back on.
The weeks before the end of the year the temperature started to drop into the -20C and with the wind chill it would be -35C. I was making banners and cards for where I lived and the ADP, Home Care, and my doctor, but my printer was acting up in making a mess on the side. I had to get a new black tonner but the place I got it refused to replace it, so I had to bring my printer to prove to them it was the tonner not the printer. They said I would have to come back later when the owner would come in and he would look at it. I came back and he refused to replace it but forced me to buy a new tonner. This fixed the problem but I was out the money for new one. I got chilled by going out both times in the same day. The next day I went to the Community Centre for a Senior Christmas Lunch it was only a few blocks away but by the time I got back I was frozen all through me. I ended up with getting ammonia and a migraine and shortness of breath to the point I pushed the call button for the staff to come. This was about 11pm and still no one came. I ended up getting sick and went into the bathroom and there I pushed the call button in there with no results. I went back into my bed and pulled out the cord and also phoned them this was after midnight to see why they had not come.
They came up and called the ambulance to check me out. When they came, they just thought it was the flue and not sure if going to the hospital would help. I was breathing better by this time but my coughing was still very bad. I needed to stay in bed and recover for a few days. They suggested that I don't pass it on in case it was the flue. I spent the next three days in bed getting my food brought up to me in the room. When my coughing reduced to a point that I would not cough in front of people, then I came back to the dinning room. But I did not go back to ADP for a few weeks. I was going to go to the ZOO Lights but with the cough and cold weather I decided I would not go or I could get myself sicker.
On Christmas Day I had breakfast at home but went out to Potential Place for Christmas Lunch. I helped out in making it and filled myself up with all the food they had. At supper I was so full I had very little for supper. On my way home from Potential Place, I stopped at a meeting but this place has stairs and I would have to leave my scooter outside. I went in for an hour and when I got on my scooter it had dropped three lights, but I thought it was enough to get me home since it was not far to the CTRAIN and from the CTRAIN to home. But a block after leaving the meeting the frozen battery gave out and I pushed to help it get to the station. Once there I sat under the heat lamp, they had to warm us up. It went from two lights to five. I continued on the train to the Bridgeland station and started to go home but a block away it gave out again. I had to back it up the rest of way into my place. I was thinking of going to the same meeting on New Years but with this problem me not going to try that again. I just going to go to my Saturday AA meeting and leave it at that.
In the middle of all this I was having a slight teeth problem so I phoned my dentist and asked to come in. I gave them my number I had and they looked it up and said it did not work so I would have to come up with a new one. Since I am now on the senior's dental plan it would be different from the old one. I phoned government plan to find out what they were talking about and they told me to get the dentist to call them and they would work it out for me. I finally got an appointment and came in first for a cleaning and a check up. They told me it would be a small fix just come in next week and they would work on it. They told me the worst would cost about $3000 as they would have to replace a crown and

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more work just to fix one tooth. That was not what I was told so the original dentist came in and explained what the options were and the different prices. I decided that I would go with removing the tooth and them building a bridge over top of the rest of the bottom teeth. I already had a bridge and they could fix it to make it work. This would not be as expensive as replacing the crown and it was not assured the tooth would last. I went in a week later and it took two hours to remove the tooth. The gums around where the tooth was pulled were very sore for more than two weeks. I did not take any strong medication as that would cause me problems. I was told to come back over the New Years to see how it has mended and what is going to happen then. This would be on the ninth of the month, not the eighteen the original date. The original option of $3,000 and with cleaning every six months which would cost $250 would put me over the $5,000 at four years. The $500 for the cleaning in the 5t year and any other problems I would have to pay for. The original cleaning was $250, the cost of the pulling the tooth was $350, and the cost for repairing the bridge would be $250, leaving me with $4,150. One more cleaning at six months later be another $250, making the total left for the next four years of $3,900. The cleaning of $500/yr for the next four years leaves me $1,900 for any problems. The realigning of my top teeth next year will cost about $1,000 so I decided not to get a cleaning at six months and wait a year latter for the cleaning. This will leave me with $3,150 for the next three years.
On Christmas Day I phoned my brother to wish him and his wife a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. He told me he no power and using old fashion candlelight for Christmas. It was surprising the home phone worked with no power. I guess if he not answered I would call his cell phone. I also phoned my daughter which is three hour later us being in the Atlantic Region. I waited till 6:30 my time which is 9:30 her time to make sure she was home. I wished her and my son Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I talked about I wasn't doing Ancestry anymore. She said she would keep it up. She asked if I had considered the Ancestry DNA test. My son told her it was a waste of money and I partly agree him. I did already have the ancestry research and knew my ancestry. She still wanted me to look into it. The next day I checked into it and ordered it for my daughter costing $149 for one test. I sure I could not afford another test for anyone. I sent her an email and phoned her to tell her test it was on its way and she would get it in two weeks. She got the result which showed exactly what I already knew. Except it showed more from Ireland then Scotland but we figure it due both the ex-partner and myself backgrounds. It showed Scandinavian roots along with Italian roots.
I have been having some problem with ACCESS the way I get around in town when I can't scooter there easily. ACCESS considers AA and NA as personal trips. These trips are set as stand by. On snowy days or weekends, I could be delayed an hour to get home. So there has been time when they changed times the night before picking me up early before my breakfast and getting me back late for lunch. At these times I would end up cancelling the trip. If I could not scooter there I would miss out on the meeting. I hope the Alderman will deal with this. I got a call from the supervisor at ACCESS stating that he was going to be bringing it to the senior advisory council the personal trips to change them too medical as it should be. The alderman then phoned me and said if ACCESS does not change it, he will bring it before the City's council to make sure it is medical. They changed my one trip on Saturday to medical and if I need to change any others to phone the supervisor and he will change it for me.
A debt which should have been paid for by AISH for my power chair that got broken by another client in ACCESS van the company that fixed it says it was considered private and thus I would have to pay the amount still owing to them for the repairs. If it is not paid, they will send it to collections agency. I trying to tell them this was to be paid by AISH in the first place. I told them this more then nine months ago. They said they would resubmit it butt I am not on AISH anymore and I sure they will not pay for it. After they resubmitted to AISH I have not heard from them since. But know I will not have anything to do with them again from what has happened to me over this. Well talking to others, I am not the only one who has had a similar problem.

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Chapter 20
The Outbreak / Bus Accident / Scooter Break Down


The next few months went along not the greatest but liveable. Then I had a problem with one of the ladies going to the ADP program. This got me so upset that I could not sit at the same table with her. I told the manager about it and told her I could not handle it anymore. I said that I felt so extremely low like it was the same as when I first came to the program some few years back. She told me try to go to another table and try it for a few more weeks before doing anything. I did this the next week but still felt extremely low. I was so low that I needed to tell my doctor about it. The doctor told me to take a break from it and come in and see her with shared care with a mental therapist.
The next week we went into outbreak at the lodge and could not attend for the next month. So, I had basically stayed around the lodge. We had fourteen people with the illness and until all were clear we could not get out of the outbreak. The only place I went to was the senior's group at the Community Centre, my AA meeting, my psychosocial rehab place, and my doctor. While we were in the outbreak, we were severed on special trolleys with trolley have different food groups. They were handed the food to us individually and had to wash our hands before going for each meal and after we left. There were no programs (activities) going on during the outbreak and all rooms not in use were sealed. This meant that I could not play my trumpet which gave me relief along with not being able to colour with others from the supplies in the common room. Anyone sick had to stay in their room for a week until they got well. We were able to have snacks but we they used Styrofoam cups unless we had our own cup to eat and drink from. We were not to have visitors during this time unless necessary for your health reasons. As I said the outbreak lasted for a month. My mood was very low from the isolation and needed to get out by the end of it.
The Tuesday after the outbreak was over, I had a specialist appointment at Foothills Hospital and because of how I was feeling the doctor wanted another appointment with the mental therapist. The next Tuesday I needed to go for a blood test and the next Friday was the Victoria's weekend so I had that Friday off. On Saturday I went to my AA meeting but because I did not book it as causal, I needed to scooter to my AA meeting which meant taking a bus from my place to the meeting. As the downtown C-trains were shut down for repairs everyone had to take a bus around the downtown. Getting there and back the bus was so full that people were hanging all over top of me. I decided rather than taking the same route with the buses through downtown I would take my local bus which the route takes me a block from the psychosocial program, which was the only thing open during the holiday. The only problem is it is a shuttle bus and balancing my scooter on the bus is hard and they don't tie me down so if they stop fast, I will go flying. I have tipped over a few times when they had turned a corner in the past. Due to the construction downtown on tracks the bus needed to speed up to keep up with his schedule. The traffic on the rest of the roads that were open downtown was very crowded more than normal. One of these cars cut the bus off when he pulled into a parkade and since the bus was so close to the car, he had to come to a complete stop to avoid an accident thus causing me to go flying in the bus into a plastic wall behind the driver's seat. Since I already have neck problems so my neck was sore and I could barely move my neck. The driver called dispatch who called for an ambulance and a supervisor to come and check me out. All the other passengers left the bus so I could be looked at. Since I was on my scooter the ambulance paramedic told me they could not do anything for me right then because they didn't know what they could do with my scooter. But if I was still feeling bad when I got home, I need to call them again. I was in a daze and was not thinking right and the only thing thinking about is how I was going to get the scooter home. The distance through East Village Bridge was very close to my home. I was also thinking about my battery as it was old and not holding the charge anymore. I scootered home and while driving I checked my battery as I went along. I then noticed my tire was getting flat and now would I be able to get home. I got home via the bike paths route over the

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Bridgeland station overpass to bike path along Memorial Road to my home. When I came through the front door to my place one of the staff looked at me, she was scared as I looked all white and told me to just go to bed and they would send a tray for me for the rest of the day in my room. Thus, I went to bed forgetting to phone the ambulance as they had suggested earlier. I was completely out of it till the next morning.
The next morning, being Tuesday, I cancelled my trip going to the ADP program. I was feeling so sore that I did not want to go anywhere. My doctor asked me to come into the office to have her check me out which I normally would go on my scooter by Ctrain to her office. I got on my scooter and started to move it and found the tire on my scooter was now totally flat. So, I tried to book a trip to get it fixed that day by ACCESS but since it considered it a personal trip and the same day it was put on standby trip. The appointment they ended up not to take me it in that day. I had to leave it until the next day as long as I can phone before noon of the day before they can work it out. In the meantime, the psychosocial rehab members and staff came over to my place to check on me and helped to push the scooter out my room to the front of the building. The tire was more than flat and while pushing it to the front of the building it went off the rim of the wheel. This made it almost impossible to push it anymore. The way I got it to move was to ride it to the bus. This made the wheel to finally seize. The problem was now getting it off the ACCESS bus and into the shop. With help of driver some from the shop we got into the shop. Once at the repair shop they replaced the wheel which took over one and a half hours which would have been normally fifteen minutes. They also told me with me driving it that it had caused the clutch to go out and the motor to seize. They told me they could check it over for $40 and that it would take two hours to check it out to give me a quote to cost of the repairs but they told me more likely in the end not worth. It would cost more than getting a new scooter. They quoted me for the size and weight of me I would need stronger scooter which would be about $4,000. I decided to just leave it there and get a ride home and I borrowed one of their manual wheelchairs to get home. The next time they where in my building which was often, they would pick up the wheelchair. This meant that I would now have to go to all my appointments by manual wheelchair. This would be hard on me as most time I scootered to places rather than taking AACESS.
I booked another appointment with my doctor on Friday and told all of this to her. This made me moody and made me to be very low as now I could not even get out on my scooter anymore to get around. I would not be able to go to my dentist on my own or get my medications from the Wal-Mart pharmacy were the prices were lower but they do not deliver. She recommends me now to go to the psychosocial place on regular bases at least once a week. I found out that Wednesday was the quietest day so I planned that day to go there. When I phone to book these appointments, I could not get my "Low-Income-Bus-Pass" as it had run out for the year. Every year now that I am a senior, I needed to go to City Hall to renew the pass by giving them my Income tax assessment for last year to prove to them I was still able to get the "Low Income Pass". When I got home, I booked a trip to City Hall and after coming home I got on the internet with my "Low Income Pass I could now book trips instead of buying tickets to use until I got my pass. If I still wanted to continue going to the senior's group I would first go to the psychosocial place on Thursday in morning and then to the senior place at community centre near my place. Next, I would have to book a trip the short distance to home on ACCESS even though it was only a few blocks away. It would have been imposable to push myself with my manual wheelchair the few blocks as my arms would not be strong enough and I end pushing backwards save legs and arms.
One person who is my sponsee is helping me to keep solid but with summer coming she will not be able to come over as much as she did during the winter. She will be volunteering at events around Calgary. Even though she only comes over for two hours where we drink green tea but when she not here it feels lost in my own place. This would bring on isolation as I cannot stand being by myself in peace without the help of the support of others. One other support even though we don't get along well

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from our childhood is my brother who comes and picks me drives me to the football game and a supper. It is a hard to socialize with my brother but it gets me and makes the day worthwhile. But with the accident on the bus, I will not be able to push my scooter anymore like at the game where there is a very steep hill. I would have to push my scooter up backwards to get to the seats where section is. Most of the time I would ask a passer by to push me up the hill as my brother is not able to do it due his health. He had problems sometimes even putting the wheelchair into the car.
My doctor got a hold of the Homecare nurse to talk to me about either getting a scooter or an electric wheelchair. She was also concerned about my mood. The OT would then come take my measurements and documents that I would need for her to help me out. The OT came and talked to me but since it was the Canada's Day holiday that week, she would not be able to get back to me right away. I sure hope this can be worked out soon as staying home is getting to me. I don't want to get down on myself as this is dangerous for me as shown in the past.
From April, when the Flames were playing in the hockey playoff, we were all asked to put on a red shirt and then we would get a ticket for a chance on the days of the games at the end one person would get a Flames t-shirt. The winner of the contest was postponed until the outbreak was over. The week after they announced the winner they came up and gave me the T-shirt. I was told me to wear it as they needed it for a picture taking. I went and tried it on and found it very tight to the point I could not wear it. After the first wash the t-shirt would shrink and not fit me. I was told by the coordinator to give it to her and she would replace it with one that would fit me. I kept checking with her when she would get back to with a new one. I kept checking every week to the point it turned into months. This was a small thing at first but now it is become a major concern. Makes me wonder if anybody cares about what is written on the board. I approached few of the staff about it. They finally brought it but I was tired of waiting so gave it way to Potential Place where someone who cares about the flames would enjoy it.
I phoned my daughter to tell my son happy birthday as my son refuses to talk to me. His birthday is July 4 as of yet my son has not talked to me these 38 years. My birthday is a week later and I do not get a phone call from my kids or anyone else except my brother. It makes it hard to accept all the things that have happened between me and my kids over these 38 years. I wish I could have done it all over again that night but I was in my disease and was not well enough to keep or handle children. I believed that at that time the best and safest place for them was with my ex-partner. I don't want to tell my ex-partner that but looking back at it know it was the best situation for the kids. Ex-partner did show up to be home some four hours later to take care of the kids. I don't know if I will ever be forgiven for this by my son especially and sometimes even by myself. This weighs heavy on my heart but I realize that the disease of addiction accepts all of this unless someone has gone though it themselves. I try my best to keep in touch with them to show in the smallest way I do care. I told them that for my part I am sorry for what I had put them through. I spoke for a short time with my daughter partly just to keep me in touch with my kids as much as possible. I don't want to cause them hurt by calling them too often or interfere with the ex-partner and then turn the kids away for ever. Then they would never speak to me again.
One other problem I am trying to fix is my infection in the bottom area. It had spread to my whole-body last week. I not sure which of my new ointment was affecting me. It also could be from the moisture when I peed and the lack of the control of my bladder. On Monday it was so bad my whole body was covered with a rash. The washcloth may have spread the ointment all over me. I will have to check with the doctor to find out what is causing this. I have decided not to use any of my ointment until the doctor can figure it out. This only started when the weather got hot outside causing me to sweat in those areas. I would sleep on top of the covers and use a washcloth to cool me down. The infections were on the bottom where I sit, in the crevice beneath my belly and along the in the groin area beside both legs. The groin area would cause chafing of my legs. This would affect my trips on ACCESS as every bump on the road or especially on speed bumps. My doctor tried three different ointments to solve

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it. Each time she would have change the order for the homecare nurse and homecare workers in my room. Each time she tried to fix the problem it seems to make it worse. She said try to keep it as dry as possible and a small enough ointment to stop it rubbing. Make sure the pull-ups are not too tight and cutting of your side and maybe each time it gets wet replace the pull-ups.
The second outbreak in my building was about middle of November which lasted about a month. I personally came down with it at that same time. About a month later on December 18 I came down with the flu again. This was also my appointment with my doctor and the therapist. This was very important to when I missed my appointment for this month. I was not able to talk about what was coming up during of Christmas season which is the hardest time in the year I would not be able to talk about the loss of my kids, of being lost, and feeling isolated from everyone in my family.
The infection on my body and the outbreak has caused my immune system to be very low. This made it especially hard on me with during this Christmas season. I would miss appointments so I don't go on ACCESS but that again send me into depression. Making it hard for me to want to go out but for my health I need to get out. It took encouragement from my AA sponsor, Potential Place, my doctor and therapist to keep me going during this period.
I decided since the scooter was tipped over in the bus very easily and fell in the bus three or four times, along with what happened the last time I was in a bus with the scooter it was not safe for me to be in a scooter anymore. I am hoping to get an electric wheelchair which would more stable on a bus along with better support so when I use ACCESS buses is not as hard on me. I hoping to get it from AADL, Alberta Aids to Daily Living, then they will pay for maintenance expense up to $660/yr. But anything after that amount I would have to pay for myself. But if I go through Easter Seals, I will have to pay for all the repairs without getting the $660/yr. The original time I tried to get it with AADL for them to make a decision was six months and that time I was also turned down. The OT told me this time it would be more like nine months and again she could not guarantee that I will get it. I was finally informed by the OT just before Christmas season that the answer was, they had turn me down my offer but she said I would get a letter to that fact latter. She would come back after Christmas start an application with Easter Seals.
I met my alderman at a senior's Christmas party for my ward who knew me well and said he would look into it for me. He would talk the MLA for me. At the Potential Place's Christmas party, I saw my old MP who I had worked on his campaign. He had helped me in the past when he was an MLA but he a MP he could also talk to the MLA as this is a provincial concern. Is this just a pipe dream of mine or is the only answer is to accept that I should use Easter Seals to get my electric wheelchair. This would mean waiting another year for an answer.
I am starting a course on eating properly as the food at my place is 80% is not suitable for me. The course is at the Alex Food Centre where I will take FoodFit program. This will be on Thursday from 10am to 1pm every week for thirteen weeks. I hope this will help with my eating here at the lodge. We eat there and any leftovers we can bring home and then put it in my fridge. This was one of the suggestions from my doctor along with some swimming to help with my exercising.
I went to a COP nurse at my doctor's office and started me on another inhaler to try along with charting my air flow with an Airlife - Asthma Check. I made a chart that I marked my levels on for a month. She found it very useful and told me she completely agreed with the doctor of me having asthma. It showed when I had a cold the air intake was extremely low but it also shows how it started a week before I got the cold. I cold showed my resistance was getting low and I became more acceptable to the cold. The second month i charted my chocking spell. I wrote down what had caused the chocking then I charted if I needed to use the Ventolin to help with the chocking. The new Advair was to open up my lungs so I can breathe better as the charted showed her also. I will have to go for another test to see what

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is causing the chocking along with the chart I show how the chocking happened and when. This will be done at the South Health Campus in the deep south of Calgary at that hospital.
This Christmas season problems of health, being charged with abandonment of the kids at New Year's Eve some 38 years back, lack of a scooter to get out, and filling out the form for my daughter of the Ancestry DNA which looks at my dad death on Christmas day and mom religious beliefs along with losing the kids has made this year extremely hard to handle. Missing my shared appointment on December 18 with my doctor and therapist where I would have dealt with all these problems made it even greater hardship. My computer got a virus and thus wiping out the hard drive. I had to reformat the hard drive and replace all my software again which took me a week to get it partly back to where it was before the virus. I felt totally lost without my computer. All made me very depressed this season.
The head of AADL phoned me on the second Friday of January to info me that that after she had got a call from the MLA she looked into the situation and agreed with the committee with what they had decided. She gives me some suggest to try out put since she mentioned it on the phone and I had no way to write it down so I did not get the info. She also told me she would get the committee to tell me why they had turn me down and they would give it along with the suggestions in writing. I told her they did even reply to why they turned me down some months ago. I told her why do they give us hope and then tear us down without give reason. They could tell us up front what is they want or what condition we have to be in to get their service. This way we would not have to go through all the process and wait the year to find out we are rejected in the long run. She had no answer to any of my question. Just I would have to wait till I got the letter from the committee.
That same night my sponsee told me she would not be able to come on Saturday as she is having problem with her mom's health. The that night there was a storm in Calgary to the point that it took the driver to push me some 100 feet backwards about 30 minutes. After the meeting I was trying with the driver's help to get to the bus and we got stuck. I fell apart and told him I can't stand this anymore and rather not be living anymore then be stuck in the snow like this. Where is my life going? He phoned the dispatch on the way home and they phone my lodge to meet me when I got in. They talked to me for a hour and to check again when I came for supper. I told her I had dropped from 10 to a 7 or 8. She would not let me go until I agreed to phone the emergency line in front of her. She allowed me to go back to my room but she wanted me to promise to her I would be safe in my room. She did not believe me and sent the police to my room to talk to me. They told me they would not leave until I talked to the helpline or they would take me to the hospital. After talking to the emergency line, they suggested if I got back to feeling bad then phone them back. If I felt low during the night for any reason then call them.
On Monday I phoned my doctor's secretary that I was very low and needed to be seen by shared care but she said there was no time to see my doctor and therapist until March 19. This upset me again as I felt I could not last until that point. The social worker came to my room that day and wanted to talk to me about how I felt. She made me phone the helpline to setup an appointment with their counselling service. They said it would take a few days before they could set up an appointment with them so she agreed to leave me with trying to set up the appointment. On Tuesday I tried to go to Potential Place so I would be around other people. But ACCESS made it a standby mode would fill it if a bus was worked out. They turned me down so I never got there. The next day on Wednesday I went to work. So, on Tuesday I phoned my doctor's nurse to see if she could work out something and she said the same as the secretary of March 19 as the earliest. Later on, Tuesday the helpline phoned and told me they had setup an appointment on Tuesday of the next week in the afternoon.
My doctor phoned me when I was at work which was Potential Place on Wednesday. She told me that she had changed all her appointments around for me and could take me next week on Thursday with the therapist. I told her I was going to FoodFit on Thursday so I would need to talk to them tomorrow to see what they suggest. She promised that she would phone me later on Thursday to see what I was going

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to do. I went to the FoodFit felt shaky. Talking to the one in charge she recommended that I come on Tuesday afternoon and that way I would be able to still make it to FoodFit & my doctor's appointment. The only problem with this was I needed to cancel the appointment with the helpline on Tuesday. I left a cancelling message on his phone line and he called back that he could keep it open for two weeks but I would need to get back to him if I wanted a new appointment. I will be seeing my doctor on Monday but I would be in her office on Friday for a massage so if I was feeling bad or worse that I would leave a message with the office when I came in. I got back from the appointment with the massage that when I found out that we were in another outbreak for the third time this season.
Since the outbreak happened on Friday and they generally don't take it off during the weekend so that it will be a minimum of 9 days. On Friday afternoon of the outbreak, I approached the head chef concerning tomorrow and that since coffee doesn't even get started until 7:15am and main mean until 7:30am and my bus is scheduled to come shortly after 7:30am, I would need help in getting my food all before 7:30am. He told me he would email the one in charge tomorrow to get me severed first. I came down for breakfast and as usual they severing coffee only at 7:15am and did not bring the juices until 7:30am. I asked to be severed the juice first and where was the eggs. Since the toaster was still there, I used it to toast my toast so now all I needed was the eggs. People and staff were all getting mad at me for pushing them to hard to get my breakfast. After coming back that Saturday and what had happened at breakfast with the meal not be ready and meal taking more 7:30am to be severed. I got into a verbal fight both with the other residences and the staff to get my meal delivered before 7:30 that morning. This caused me anxiety and a talking to by the staff again. I very upset to the point that night I phoned the emergency line to talk to someone. They talked for about one hour then said if I not really going to do harm then call back when I get to that state. I felt like they were not caring and is it worth it calling them in the first place.
I have work on Monday morning; see my doctor in the afternoon. On Tuesday afternoon I went to the FoodFit program. Wednesday is my normal all day at work. Thursday morning, I will have the shared care with my doctor and the psychotherapist. I will close off the week with going to work all day on Friday. This brings me back to my Saturday morning problem.
I not allowed visitors to come in during the outbreak that means even my sponsee. This will cause me to isolate. This is not good for me with my mode be extremely low at this time. With the kitchen on the third floor being closed I will not be able to practise or eat any of the food plans from the FoodFit. Only things that I can bring with me and put into my own fridge can I bring home from FoodFit. All activities in the building are cancelled until the outbreak is over but most of them, I never attended. Sure, we can't have anyone over to visit but we can go out at least to work and other programs as long it not to any senior program, ADP, or hospital program. They say it would cause volubility to them.
After talking with my doctor, she felt I need more care at this time. She suggested I get counselling once a week. She also suggested that I should move out of the place. But that would take a long time and she will have to talk to the social worker to find another place. Once I got home, I was talking to the lodge about what I was talking about with my doctor. They took it the wrong way. So, when I went to my room after supper the police were called again. They talked to me again and ask do you know why they called us this time? As the lodge is thinking I was in full suicide mode. I explained that I was under extreme stress but I was not at that level. If I was at that level, I would phone the emergency line and speak to them. I explained to them again the big difference from 25yrs in the past where I would take the pills first and overdose on the medication then phone then phone the hospital and they would give me charcoal and stared at me to make sure I did not do it again. But now when I am at that level, I will ask for help first before doing anything. They agreed that I was not at that level and the lodge maybe over reacting to the situation. They were going to talk to the lodge about this. I felt that I was been punished

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because the police for coming in the past when they came, I sent to the hospital on a Form 1 where they keep you for 72 hours for suicidal watch but that was what happened in the past.
The next morning the social worker of the lodge came to my room asking questions about what had happened the day before. She asked why I had not gone to the appointment she had setup for me. They had phoned her and asked the same question. I told her there was a conflict with another appointment at the same time. I also told her that this appointment was originally on Thursday but because my doctor wanted to see me in the morning with the therapist, I had to change my permanent appointment of Thursday in the morning to that Tuesday afternoon. She got an email from the staff last night asking her to see me this morning. I told I was talking about what had happened on Saturday morning with my bus and getting my breakfast. This had stressed me out and I did not want to go through that again I rather eat nothing which is hard on my diabetes. I almost had to order her out the room. Because it was coffee time I needed to go downstairs. She agreed to let me alone but if something else happened at the lodge she would then she would need to talk to me again. The OT came over to get the forms for Easter Seals. She said she had never put in appeal and won so even if she would it would not been accepted anyways. I phoned my doctor office and told the nurse what the OT had told me and what the doctor had said. She said she would talk to the doctor about this.
I went to the FoodFit that afternoon as planed which was the conflict with the other appointment. I had a great time but was a bit shaky during the whole time feeling overwhelmed from what had happened earlier. I came back with some leftover and will use them tomorrow when I do to the psychosocial rehab place and then later to the dentist. Then on Thursday I will be going to the doctor and the therapist. I have not had a chance to call for any counselling. I should be able to do that tomorrow. The next day I got a hold of YW counselling to see what they could offer. The cost of each time I would come in for counselling was too much since I get it from Alex Family Health Centre for free. This would include help with my housing and DBT concepts I have already taken in the past.
At Potential Place one of the staff approached me about my situation with the electric wheelchair this was January 22. She suggested try working with the two OT students working there. This is their field they could help me by giving me suggestions. This would help them to teach them how to handle people in their course and their upcoming career. I gave them a part of my story on January 22 to show how I handled talking to homecare, the OT and the AADL in applying for the electric wheelchair in the past. On January 24, they showed me the application again looked at what I may have wrote then pointed out the problems with what I said or wrote. They explained for me that they had come up with and why I was turned down by AADL was two main points. They show me the points that they feel was why maybe why the committee had turned me down. I never got the written explanation to it was turned down and any suggestions the lady mentioned. I told them in both cases they never officially sent a reason of being turned down. The biggest point they found was me telling them that I could push my manual wheelchair to get to meals and activates in the building without pain safely. They showed major points which could be used for an appeal but first I must take it to my doctor and talk about points the OT students pointed out. Then take it back to the OT who is Kim and homecare who is Mandy for another appeal with AADL on them grounds. They were going to take this to their teacher and see she had more suggestions. There are seeing the teacher on Monday afternoon of January 29 and would see me again on Wednesday on January 31 and then I see my doctor on Thursday February 1.
On Friday I emailed my sponsor to get a breakfast at A&W because I did not want to go through what I had did the on the last Saturday. All I needed this Saturday Feb 3 was coffee and juice to wash my medication down. The first problem started with waking up with two charley horses (muscle spasms) in both my calves. This would bother me for the rest of the day and caused me pain by pushing my wheelchair downstairs myself. The second problem was when I went down for breakfast and they only severed coffee at 7:15am but juice did not come until after 7:30am. I asked that they server our side first

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as I am leaving at 7:30am for my bus. Normally they serve the east side and then start on our side and on odd days would start on north end tables and working their way to my table later much too late for me.
Since they usually don't start until 7:30 I would have no time for breakfast either miss my bus or breakfast. I rushed up to get my coat from my room. By the time I got downstairs the bus was waiting for me to take me to the meeting. The third problem was the temperature outside was minus 19 Celsius thus causing my arthritis to react with my bones (kneecap). The fourth problem at my meeting the snow was so high and the sidewalk not cleaned it took 20 minutes pushing me to the meeting. After the meeting some of the snow was gone but well pushing me, he tripped on one of the bumps causing my wheelchair to fall over and putting in the snow on my knees affecting my knee again. This bothered my knee so much it flared up my chondromalacia (grinding of the bones and the patella (kneecap)). Rubbing my knee during lunch did not help. I told the staff it was hurting so much that once I got upstairs, I would not come down for supper. They asked if I had any food in my room or my fridge to hold me as will not bring a tray for supper for me. The lodge manager told me just makes sure you sign out. The next morning Sunday the temperature was still minus 18 Celsius and so I went down for breakfast and then again to get a snack where I would get a cup of tea, apple, orange, and two muffins to keep me going for the rest of the day. I know my kneecap was so sore that I told the staff I would stay for lunch but would not come down for supper. She asked why not take some medication for the pain but I cannot take medications for I am an addict. My mode is dangerously low so I am afraid of what I would do with them. I found it hard to sleep all three nights due to the knees bothering me. On Monday morning it was minus 15 Celsius and I was still sore. I went down to eat and then straight to the front door after eating to go to my program. Tuesday morning, I woke up in the middle of the night with another charley horse the weather is not as cold but very windy gusting at 45k/hr and snowing outside and the humidity is 75%. I went down for breakfast and after getting downstairs for the snack my knee was gone. I stayed for lunch but would not come down for supper they just sign me out again.
It is now been four days and I can't keep missing meals or my system could get so weak that I could go into diabetic coma. If I can't handle pushing myself with a wheelchair then how will I be able to get out to my programs or go downstairs for meals? I know this will affect me both emotionally and physically. I wish Home Care and AADL could see what state I am in as now I sure I would be able to qualify for the electric wheelchair. I also needed to tell Home Care I need to be pushed down to eat. But said they will not do it until I have talked to my doctor and get a doctor's order. The other problem with pushing is running out of breath from my asthma. I get weak after pushing for a period of time. I really wish I had my scooter again but they would want it kept outside and not in my room so I end up in the same boat. My lodge considers me to be independent thus I can't get myself downstairs I don't belong in this building. The front door and where I eat is about 110 steps (one block) in distance. Returning to my room would another 110 steps (one block). Thus, each trip downstairs is two blocks. Thus, none work day would be: two blocks for breakfast, two blocks for snack, two blocks for lunch and two blocks for supper. I could wait out the between snack and lunch and cut two blocks. Work days I go to breakfast stay the time I get home to supper then go back to room making it only two blocks total.
I am hoping to get a re-evaluation of my electrical wheelchair application physical status because it changed so much that there would be no reason to turn me down now. I told them I was able to push myself in my manual wheelchair over certain distances. However, I had a lot of difficulty doing so due to pain in, my arms, my back and my knees, compounded with my asthma attacks which I did not tell them before. My problems have left me with so much difficulty that I am not unable get myself to basic necessities of life such as going down in my facility to have my meals. Having an electrical wheelchair would great improve my quality of life and my ability to engage in basic everyday activities. This I would like to accomplish both in the lodge and getting out in the community to stop isolation which is a major problem with my personality disorder. I hope I can bring this to my doctor on Thursday to see if I

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can get help with my manual wheelchair to eat. She then could take it to the homecare to look into it but in the long run I need answer to this problem soon. I met with the OT students discussed what they came up with and what the teacher told them. The teacher believes they don't want to give you the reason you failed because you just put down what they wanted to say and not want you really needed to say. I would not have thought of real reason if it was not for the OT students. Now a least I can approach my doctor with the real reasons AADL turn me down and at the same time get the application for Easter Seals to get an electric wheelchair. All I know is I can't wait another year to get an electric wheelchair. AADL did not accept appeal another application would be another nine months to get an answer.
So, I went into my doctor on Thursday after the FoodFit in the morning. While at the clinic they tested my urine and found it to be positive for bladder infection. This causes me to pee more often. I have a sorer bottom from the peeing which causes chafing of the legs. This makes it hard to sit on my manual wheelchair. The bladder problems were from a urethra problem from my operation in 1986.
The doctor recommended to me to eat more often at Alex Community Food Centre which would also better food for me. The two times the Alex Food Centre has community foods is on Wednesday at noon and Friday for breakfast. The only problem is both of them days are on the days I go to Potential Place. She wanted me to try out depression control which is at the main Alex's "Complex Care Clinic" to work on my depression. I gave her short part of my story and what the OT students had explained and what the teacher explains too. She took notes and talked to me after looking over the papers. On my way home on the handibus the ACCESS trainer was on the bus with the driver. I asked to be put on the bus backwards and the trainer asked the driver why I was being put on the bus backwards when they training tell the driver to put me on frontwards. I explained about my knee problem and said it was ok then to put me on that way. On Friday I went to work and after work the outbreak was over but the meals were still in outbreak mode. That would mean I would have to get my sponsor to get a breakfast at the meeting the next morning. On Friday during the night, it started to snow but I was still able to make it to the meeting in the morning. But after the meeting it became a snow storm that closed down most of the roads. The Deerfoot trail was closed for five hours during the afternoon. I was planning on going back to the evening meeting for my sponsor's birthday but with of all the snow I decided to not go to meeting. The only relieving point was my sponsee came over on Saturday afternoon and I was able to tell her everything I been going through in the last few months. It snowed on Sunday so I stayed in for the day. On Monday morning I had the appointment with the helpline at 9:30am to 10:30am. The bus came late about 9:05am but as I was about to get on, I first asked to be put on the bus backwards so I would not have to bend my knee if I went in frontwards. The bus driver refused and told if I did not go on frontwards then he would not take me. I told him to call the dispatch so they could explain that I could go on backwards but he refused and just took me back to the lodge and left without me. I phoned dispatch and told them about this and what the training officer had told me on Thursday when he was on the bus with me. I them it very important to get to this medical appointment it was dealing with depression so it what emergency had setup for me. They told me they would get a bus to me by 9:45am and get me there by 10:00am. The bus came later than that and I did not get to the appointment until 10:25am after the appointment time. They agreed to hold it for fifteen minutes since I had worked so hard to get to there. Well shortly after starting to talk the auto-call phoned to say my bus was coming. Well, we looked outside not seeing the bus and since we figured they phone me before they left, we carried on. I phoned to find out abut the bus but the driver no showed me meaning they had come and left with out me again. I now had to wait another hour and half for the next bus and got home late for lunch. Finished lunch and just went to bed feeling worse then if I gone in the first place. I hoping that tomorrow appointment works out better and I can deal with some of these problems.
In the mean time the helpline recommended that I phone the distress line or ask for the mobile unit help as they come to your place. He also suggested that when I am in crisis, I go into tunnel vision and

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see only the bad of the past and what my parents had did to me. He also suggested they could help me better if I phone when I start to get down. My sponsee told me to phone whenever I am down, so I phoned her and she said I am watching TV can't talk. So much for calling for her help from my sponsee any time because when I really needed, she was not there. I went to Alex's Complex Care Clinic where I shared for an hour basically sharing my whole life and especially what has happened in the last months. They felt it would be a good fit for me but I need to come in for a second interview after that they would put me on the team. During the hour I received the automatic bus phone call telling me that my bus was coming in about five minutes. At about ten minutes we went to the front to see if the bus was there. There was a bus standing there. I asked the receptionist if that was my bus, she told me no one had come in, just then I saw the bus going away. I phoned into dispatch and they told me he had no-showed and left. This was my third no-show in two days. They said they would put me on stand-by but it maybe after the clinic is closed. So, the Clinic said we will send you home in a cab ourselves. I got home late for the first supper so I waited for the second supper then just ate and went to bed. I felt bad about what had happened over the past two days. I now had one cancel at the door from the driver refusing to put me on bus backwards. Once the other bus got to my place and got me to the appointment, I was now one hour late for the appointment on time and all the no-shows. What am I doing to cause these problems flashed in my mind. I wonder if I should phone the helpline tonight but I waited until the next day at work where I talked about it. I used this example in my presentation on DBT in the afternoon.
I woke up with a charley horse again then pushed myself down to breakfast. One of the people in the lodge gave me a knee support to help with my knee. Upstairs I put the support on then went to the front door to wait for my bus. This driver put me on backwards and frontwards when I went out on the bus. A student and myself check my presentation on DBT she felt it was Okay and if I need help, she would be there. I got a phone call from FoodFit cancelling the class tomorrow with a big snow storm for tomorrow. I waited on hold for ACCESS complaint line for 20 minutes. I explained again what had happened over the last two days so they removed the no-show and cancel at the door off my records. They told they talk to the drivers about putting people in the bus forwards if they asked. I phoned about my chocking clinic on Tuesday at the South Health Campus because the two email they sent me I never received. I phoned my doctor office to see if they had any info. They fax the info they received that morning to my work. Then I phoned the chocking clinic and they faxed all the info to my work. The fax was eight pages long explaining what would happen to me that day and how to get to their location.
The presentation went well and they listen from the beginning to the end with asking a few questions and comments. One of the staff got me a good lunch and another staff got me some meals I could keep at home for the next few days. This will help so if I don't want to go downstairs for meals, I can stay upstairs with the food from Potential Place to eat. Because I was not able to go to FoodFit tomorrow I decided to go to Potential Place both Thursday and Friday morning where I would be able to eat and be at work. A supervisor for ACCESS came to my work to ask what the driver had said and also to see how this driver loaded me. I also mentioned to him when they pick me up to change it to the last door in the parking. That night I left a message with helpline person that since I will be going to Alex for the depression, I would not need their service anymore at this time. Friday afternoon February 9 I went to the Alex's Complex Care Clinic this was my second interview with them to deal with my depression. We talked about my housing situation and not being able to get food because of the sore knee. Sebastian said he look into it and see what he could do about it.
I worked on my manual wheelchair as it was not rolling very well. I looked at the wheels and found twine and hair stuck in the wheels stopping it from rolling properly. I removed the twine and the hair with tweezers and a knife to cut away the twine and the hair from the wheel and moves more smoothly now. It took more than hour to do the job with great difficulty. This would not have helped pushing the wheelchair or my knee. I am going to get a box wrench to take off the nuts on the

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wheelchair so I can remove these easier the next time. One of the residents also took all my wheels apart and cleaned the rest of them and lubricated the wheels so they don't squeal. It did such a good job I going to take it to him the next time without have to pull it out myself.
I just spent the last hour looking at the forms I need to fill in before going to swallowing clinic on February 13 appointment. The students help me to fill it as my doctor's appointment is day after the appointment. The answers are needed during the appointment. They are putting a tube down my nose to see how I swallow. They see how chocking is with liquids and small foods that I swallow. They will see the size of hole I swallow through. This is due to an earlier operation on my throat. My sponsor phoned late that night to see how I was feeling. She told she was having car problems herself. We talked for over hour and felt so much better after her phone call not just texting as she usually does.< >br> Over the next few months, I am going to help other members to do their taxes. Potential Place already has the software program on their computer. I will be doing this with David another member. Both of us have done this in past with other members. We will each put on a memory stick so that the info is kept private and not stored on the members driver for everyone to see. Then one of the staff will hold on to the memory stick and will store away for next year to do again. This way we will not have to refill the info each year from start. That is what I do already for anyone I work at their place on my laptop computer or on my home computer if I do it at my home. This really helps me feel good about helping others around here at my place and at work.
I really getting upset about everyone not listen to me and seeing others who can walk and use scooters get an electric wheelchair. While I can't even push my manual wheelchair to go down to eat this is some 110 step (one block) to where I eat. I can't stand to transfer over to the manual wheelchair balancing only on one leg is hard and as the pain in other causes me not to put any weight on it. Do I need to ask the Alderman or the MLA to look into it again?
I am going for a throat test on Feb 13 to check on chocking. The day before going for the test I ask Potential Place to either email or phone me the next day in the afternoon after the test to see how I was doing. I made sure it was put up on the board and one of the staff asked which would be better a phone call or email. The next day after the long and hard on my throat test I waited for the phone call or email and receiving none I felt totally bad and upset for the rest of the night. Due to the test, I had problem with my voice so I could not speak the next day. I approached everyone at the unit meeting concerning not being emailed the day before. I also took it to Frank my concerns and mention next time to approach him or Andrea. I told the staff person I had talked to two days before and see said she was so busy with her work she forgot to email me. It seems that anything that is written on the board doesn't always get seen to when it should be first and the work of clubhouse should be second. Makes me feel why I am going to the clubhouse or waited around here for help. I feel they are taking me for granted. I do most of data work around here but when I need help if they don't have time for it. This is sure is not helping with my Borderline Personality Disorder. They are more concerned with getting the work done then the real meaning of the clubhouse where we are all colleges working together to get the work done. This was partly why there was a split in Potential Place some years back.
My sponsee caused me a problem at my lodge in which she went to the front desk expressed her opinion about me not getting any meals delivered to me in a force full way. She did not allow the receptionist to explain how things are done around here even I don't agree with them but that is how it is in this lodge. This is partly why my doctor is looking for another place for me. She also did this without my permission. She told me she had talked to someone at my old building this being her building who knew me told her she had done right and now she was so proud about it. It might have not been what she said but how she said it in a rude way. The manager of the lodge came to me asking who this person was

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and why she was so rude to the receptionist and this would be not allowed around her. She wanted to have her come in and talk to her and then she could explain how it works around here. I seem to be getting into trouble with everyone in my life at this time. I don't know how to explain this to her the next time she comes over as she is the only one, I get to come over to visit me at home. I also find it bothers me and hard to accept the medical treatment she is doing which was the caused my original accident and put me in my manual wheelchair in the first place some 26 years ago. Her rough attitude and wanting be in charge of conversation all the times some getting in my sharing with her. So finally asked her to reframe from coming as I am going through so much myself right now, I can't take care of her and myself at the same time. We can phone but that about all I can handle right now.
I talked to Frank about all the events around Potential Place and he told me he could look into help me with getting my electric wheelchair. I would first need to make a list of each event that has happened to me and who I spoke to about getting an electric wheelchair. This would include the events of past to the accident at Victoria's Day accident. He would present it to the board and suggest ideas of raising the $6,000 to own the electric wheelchair myself. They also suggested setting up a go-fund-me page to help with the cost. One of the staff at Potential Place will help in setting that up and he will start with some of the videos I have already made and maybe video tape some more to make a good presentation. The GoFundMe Page was setup but over the next few weeks need major changes until we had changed the whole page.
I went to Alex Main to see what Sebastian (Housing, Alex Main) could do about all my problems but since he had just got back from holidays had found no info. I then went to Tanis (DBT, Alex Main) to deal with my emotional state. She followed up with me a week later but will not be keep all DBT follow up until the course start in April 4 at 11am since I missed the first one, I need to make sure I am there for the next one next week. The only problem is I have a doctor appointment next week at 9:15am so I will not be able to get to both appointments. I also went to my doctor a week later to talk about everything what was going on.
On March 5 OT Kim (AHS Sunridge) came over to test me on an electric wheelchair to apply again left it over night for a trial for my third attempt at getting an electric wheelchair with AADL. On March 22 OT Kim (AHS Sunridge) come over to talk about fixing my manual wheelchair and the status of new application. On April 3 OT Kim (AHS Sunridge) came over with Jim from CO-OP Home Health) to retry another electric wheelchair just tested for an hour. She said she would get back to me both about the legs on the manual wheelchair and the application for the electric wheelchair.
On March 27 my old teacher who helped in making my original video when I was in Centre of Hope around June of 2006 came over for a follow up interview for seniors who have been homeless in the past. I showed her the GoFundMe page and she recommended some changes to it to help with getting it off the grounds. I told her where I am right now and my hopes for the future especially at Potential Places apartment which will be accessible in their new building, they are hoping to build in the next five years with government help. She said my story like my original video was so good she wanted to bring over a cameraman Joe also from (UofC) to camera me to make a documentary of me. How I physically get around with my manual wheelchair this happened on March 28. Because problems with the lodge we had to do it outside even though it was very cold she pushed me for two blocks and then back since it was so cold. She will get back to me in two weeks on this publication. I then approached Potential Place to put up the new page as suggested by my teacher which happened once one of the staff got back. We have had a few cameras shot and interviews which will be made into new video. Which I hope show off the short comings of senior's life which they claim they are taking care of but are not.

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Chapter 21
Getting My New Electric Wheelchair


The next few months were extremely hard to handle; but volunteering at Alex Food Centre on Monday night and at the Alex Family Heath Centre on Tuesday, kept me going. I still kept up going three times a week to Potential Place (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). I come in late on Wednesday morning as I am taking DPT at the Alex Family Health Centre in the morning.
I made a laminated instruction of the display on the second page of their screen to show how to handle me on the bus. I highlighted the sections in how I want to be handled when being put on the bus and how to secure me and finally how to take me off the bus. This is first with putting me in backwards onto the bus, second securing me with a lap belt only, and finally taking me out of the bus forwards. I have had to show this plenty of times to the drivers. All they see is the first page which says ***SEATBELT EXEMPTION***, then SHOULDER BELT EXEPT, and finally LAP BELT ONLY. But the drivers see nothing about taking me in or out of the bus on the ramp.
May 10, I saw my doctor, showed her the email from AADL, Head of the Department, which said if a person hasn't enough vertebrates' problems to the point, they cannot use other accessible apparatus to maneuver around we will not accept them. My doctor explains to AHS Mandy Homecare, that my vertebrates C3-T1, T8, and L5 along with my knee problems causes me to not be able to maneuver without someone helping to push my wheelchair all around the place. OT (Sundridge) sent this onto AADL for further information. On June 18 my doctor played phone tag with the AADL, Head of the Department where she said she was rejecting the application again because I could walk inside my room. My doctor tried on Friday to get a hold of her but just missed and was told she was going on holiday and would talk to her next week. This is now Canada's week and there will not be any communication until after this week. My doctor continued the next week and again no reply from her. All I hear from the doctor is she is playing phone tag with her and nothing is come of it. I feeling very upset to have nothing has happen. Some how it has not taken completely low as I usually is.
Both Potential Place and the Alex have been looking a place for me. I have asked for them where I can do some cooking myself. The price has to below $1,000 and either barrier free or accessible. I can get food from both the Alex and Potential Place. Potential Place can also give me a food hamper. I then can cook up small things or microwave leftovers, eat breakfasts at my own place. They found many places with the price were below $1,000. But most were not accessible for a shower or where I can put my electric wheelchair. They continued to look for a few months but Alex finally said they could not find any apartments for me. One or the other criteria was not met. The Potential Place was so busy dealing with clubhouse they have no time to help to look or phone. I felt rejected by both my supports.
June 23 my TV fell on top of me breaking the screen to a point I could not watch it. This isolated me even more as I have nothing to watch in my room. My shoulders got hurt with it landing on me. My body was soar for a week. I order one online from The Source. I had it shipped to the store at Marlborough Mall and saved $80 for delivery costs. Monday, I asked Potential Place to help me take to my place and set it up. It came in on Thursday so I asked them to take me on Friday during lunch break. We could set it up then go back to work. The driver waited until 1:30pm and by the time we got it to my place and back to work my bus was waiting for me. They had at lest taken it out of the box and put in on my dresser top. I setup it up when I got home. It was good to have a TV again. The total cost with the saves of $200 for scratched and no shipping was $330. I found a company to pickup the old TV and recycle it so I did not have to take it the dump myself. This would not have been possible for me.

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Due to my knee problems and Ernie's shoulder problems going to the Stampede Games is going to be a problem this year. We tried it out at the first game on June 1. But his shoulder problem bothered him so bad he found it hard to put the manual wheelchair putting it twice into back of the car and taking it twice out. The pushing it to my room was not a problem as it was all flat. The second game June 16 he was still having problems with his shoulder so we cancelled that game too and he went on his own. It worked out well as it rained very heavily for the game. The third game on June 28 was the same and he didn't even call to ask if I am going to the game. It looks like this year I will not make it to any more games.
June 25 the social worker at the lodge talked to me about all my problems and suggested that I could transfer to one of their other buildings. This gave me a small amount of hope. The buildings would be only 40% of the cost of living instead of 80% that I pay now at my present location. It would be barrier free apartments. She gave me all the paperwork to fill in and she told me she was going on holidays but Samuel will take over after she leaves. I only had to wait for the paperwork from my doctor then send it in. My doctors faxed it in on Thursday to the lodge. The paperwork they got from the doctor said I only would work out living in an assisted place like a lodge. The manager came to me said this will not work as they will turn me down as it has to be totally independent living. So, I phoned my doctor to send in a new one she faxed it the next day. The manger came back your doctor sure doesn't know you she just changes a few words. I told her if she wanted something different then tell me as I am seeing my doctor on Thursday. She never saw me about it or talk to me before going to my doctor.
Tuesday June 26 my work with the Alex Family Health Centre has finished making me stay home on Tuesdays. Making it four days I am at home in my room isolating, I had a problem with the coordinator and she did not want me to continue to volunteer. This upset me as I always try to do my best of my ability to help people and love volunteering. I voice my opinion on two things and was told not give my opinion in her kitchen.
Both Canada's Day and Boxing Day, I was not at Potential Place because. Since I had no scooter to get me around this year and they went out both days I could not get ACCESS to take to place and if it rained pick me up. The chance of rain both days was 50%. Both July 1 & 2 were holidays usually one of the days we would stay at the clubhouse so I would be allowed to come Last Canada day it was shining so they pushed me to Princess Island.
The week before July 1 weekend and for two weeks the normal homecare who does my showers and brings me down for breakfast was on summer break. The Home Care scheduling got completely changed. The Home Care doing my washing even the ones who take me down which was the same person all changed. Now I have a different person to wash each time and thus had explain myself each time. I would have to explain my problem with my neck and back as it is not written down in their book of instruction. The pushing me downstairs for my meals did not show up on time and would have to constantly phone to find out where they are. The ones who were to come in at 6:30am to apply my creams to the private area after time didn't know which cream and always showed up late. If they where late getting the cream on me then the person who was to take me down was also late taking me to breakfast. I never had much time in the morning as I generally left at 8am.
The only chance for me to move out depends on me getting the electric wheelchair. Many people have tried hard to support me in getting it from Potential Place where I work, my doctor and the rest of ALEX. But we all run into road blocks due to lack of communicating with head of AADL. They are the ones who would give me the electric wheelchair and maintenance for the chair up to a max of $660/yr. Each time we went through the process of giving info to the Nurse Coordinator (AHS Sundridge) who

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then gave it to the OT (AHS Sundridge) which is then sent onto AADL for consideration. I was turned down for something which was not ever explained properly to me the first time. First, we thought it was the form was not filed in right and it said I could go downstairs on my own thus not qualifying for the electric wheelchair. Second (E-Mail) was I did not have enough problems with my spine to qualify for the electric wheelchair. The third (Phone) was I could walk in my room thus not qualifying for the electric wheelchair. The doctor has each time came back with an explanation of why I can't weight bear and that I do have spinal problems which causes me to only be able to use a manual wheelchair and that's even in my room. She explained Home Care was taking me down to eat from my room three times a day. Since June 18 the doctor has tried to return the phone to confirm this. There has been no reply. Now she sent an E-Mail to her CC: MP, MLA, and Alderman. The E-Mail came back with that she was on holidays again. My doctor went up the chair and still no results or they were all on holidays too.
With getting no results from the doctor the manager at my lodge came to me on July 4 saying there is no way that they will look at me now to transfer me to one of their buildings unless I have the electric wheelchair in my hand. So, she is throwing out the application and I will have to start from scratch. I also got a letter on my door for my annual cleaning where I have to take everything out of the room and put it in boxes and put on a trolley that can be taken out of the room. The problem is how am I to take my clothes and fill the boxes when I can't even stand with my walker. I will have to stretch to put it on. This hurt my back did not help my mode about no help from either housekeeping or Homecare to help.< >br> Later that morning being my son's birthday I phoned my daughter to tell my son happy birthday. She told me that my son still felt the same that I am this evil person who abandoned them some 30 1/2 yrs ago so he will never want to talk to me. I took this very hard so when I went to work in the morning, I told them I was very depressed. They did nothing about it until an hour before I was leaving. The only problem was my bus came before I had a chance to talk to help line. I told them I was going the ALEX so they said talk to someone there. Here I greet people as they come in for supper. I broke down three times before someone talk to me and again my bus came. By the time I got home I was a mess and my emotions where out of reach to talk to someone by them. I stayed up all night thinking and wondering what I should do to myself. Should I harm myself or do myself in or phone the help line. I felt I had lost all what I wanted to achieve in life. I could never fulfill my goals of moving out of here or getting the electric wheelchair. I ended up losing all of my hope of life. Getting more upset as the time went all I finally phoned the help line only because I had promised my doctor I would do it before hurting myself. After talk for a period of time with person on the line I could tell he was not listening so I decided just give up and hang up on him. The police were called and the lodge called the EMS and I was sent to the hospital with an emotion breakdown. I have not been at this level in 25 yrs losing all hope and ended up in hospital. I didn't feel I would live through it. In the last year I have got low but not to the point I felt these last few days. Tomorrow is my birthday. Was it that I was isolating in my room as I can't get out? I can't leave my room with my manual wheelchair without help from homecare to take me downstairs. Could be that I am retired and don't feel like I've accomplished nothing in life? All the other times I got this low I had my scooter to take me around and go to all my activities which would always change my mode. I did not have that this time and seems little chance to get one right now. It could also be that I have to use an electric wheelchair instead of the scooter as I can't bare weight. There were many things on my mind that night and trying to reach out and feeling no one was listen was the final draw.
Five days after ending up in hospital for an emotion breakdown I had a fall in my room and landed on my knees doing major damage to them. This was Saturday evening at 4:10pm when I normally go to supper. That was why the Homecare was there to escort me down to supper. The Homecare was not

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holding the wheelchair properly. Also due to ACCESS drivers securing up my wheelchair before the brakes were take off the bakes did not hold. The whole chair and me went flying and I ended up on the floor on my knees. The homecare helped me back onto my bed where she then called lodge staff to call EMS. EMS upon arriving at my room I heard them listen to lodge staff of what had happened even though they where not in the room when the accident happened. I heard the staff explain it wrong. Once the EMS came in the room, they said we see we just pick you up for physic. What is your problem you can't weight bare? I told them why the first time I had the full accident on the motorbike which wiped out my disc and body and my knees. They put that on their laptop. They never asked me about the accident that brought them to me today. They saw I was lying down on the bed. They told me just get some freezer packs and put them on your knees. They also told next time make sure you have you brakes on when you try to transfer. I told they were on. That all you need we don't need to take you in the hospital. They basically left the room telling the staff I had refused treatment. I never refused and did not sign off. If they had not examined me in anyway, they would have seen it was already swollen and hurting. This left me emotionally unstable again. After they left, I worried about how my knees were and how the lodge felt about me refusing to go when I really wanted to go. When I went to my doctor on Monday it was still swollen so she told be to go to the hospital to have it x-rayed. They found part of the cartridge damaged under the petal with flowing bones from the damage. She told me to phone this EMS Ombudsman and was given the info to do so. I phoned the Ombudsman for EMS (Emergency Medical Service-Patient Concerns and Commendations) I told her my story she said she would put in complaint as what happen should not have happened. A week later the manager of EMS phoned me back to hear my part of the story. I told him and I said I did not sign off and how I felt after them leaving me. He said he would get back to me which I not hear yet. I really feel they need metal health training to handle these situations better. He asks what I wanted to do about the situation and I told him I not sure because I was still shaken by the event.
I took off a few weeks due to my knees problem. I felt I could not last a whole day. I found it hard and emotional when I did go back. Both volunteering position on Monday made it long day more than 12hrs. I was not sure how people would treat me from being away for the few weeks. I was wonder if that had a concern as I mentioned to the one staff, I was emotionally low that day.
I glad that my lady who does my washes is back she can take me down for breakfast on her days. The other days still don't have one person thus still have the problems of the creams and taking down for breakfast, coffee time, and supper. The rest of time I either locked in my room isolating or at work just to get out away from all my feelings.
Here is another perfect reason I hate homecare and even recreation coordinator. Recreational Coordinator announced that today they were having a birthday party for all the July birthday which I was one. I asked the recreational coordinator to get one of the volunteers to bring me down to the party because this will be for the three since I been here, I will be able to celebrate my birthday. All the other parties I had been at work. I also mentioned that since homecare is not in the building from 1pm to 4pm I could not get down any other way. She wrote my room number down and told me she would get Ken to help with this. But here I am lying on my bed at 2:30pm no one had come. I told my next-door resident to remind her. So, wonder I feel isolated in my room when I can't even get to an event in the building. If I don't get this electric wheelchair, I be feeling useless and wish I was back on the street or even worse with the feeling right now. I really am feeling like no one care about me especially the people in the lodge. I phoned my Nurse fulfilling my commitment to the doctor. She said she would call me tomorrow. I wish I still had the pills I would have used them. I really don't know what to do now?

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I heard from my doctor that I am approved for the electric wheelchair. I then phoned OT (AHS Sundridge) to tell her the same. She told me she will check into put normally we both receive a letter from AADL stating that we are approved and to go to the provider that we have been tested for. That would have been CO-OP so I called them and they have not received a fax from AADL but the lady who is in charge of the electric wheelchair is on holiday this week. I have to wait till next week when either CO-OP phones me or I get the letter from AADL. This has given me a little hope put I will believe it only once I get the letter from them. I told the Lodge it looks like I have the electric wheelchair but again said I deal with it once I get the letter. Since I not received any paperwork to fact that I had been approved, I E-Mailed Minister of Health major concern in lack conformation from AADL after three weeks. I CC: this to my doctor, Frank at work, Jacki manager of AADL. Then next day I got a E-Mail from Director of AADL stating that yes I had been approved since July 2018 and should be hearing from the vendor with in one to two weeks. After that they have to decided if I getting a new one from the manufacture which could take two months or a refurbished one that would come from Edmonton and take one to two weeks to fix it up to my standards. In either case I could have a new one with in two months. I will be able to get out of my room and quit using homecare to get downstairs.
I will be looking into the application to transfer to that other building and can go out get my own food or get it from the places I volunteer at. I will be on my own but will be able to get out every day so I will not be lonely or isolated in my room anymore. I might consider going back to Wal-Mart for my medication as they are cheaper. In case I get sick and need medication sent to my apartment then I can stay with Luke in the Bridgeland area. I will ask Potential Place to move me like they did the last time. The bottom line is I am free! I still will be order thing like cleaning and showers from CBI through my doctor and Mandy homecare. They could clean my room and make my bed once a week. I could do my own laundry carrying the basket myself. I could also start using the C-Train again which will take me around the city and not have to depend on ACCESS all the time. I will be able to go to senior coffee at community centre on Thursday. The point is that there many more things I can do which I was locked in my room isolating. Where ever I go I will have to get apartment insurance to cover the room and the electric wheelchair but for a senior it will not be much of a cost. I found the original insurance people who found me insurance at very reasonable rate and hope they find it now with a rider for the eclectic wheelchair. This only requirement they asked of us to get apartment insurance and the rider.
The lodge gave a belated birthday gift and invited me to come to last Wednesday of the month to celebrate my birthday here. I told them I look into seeing if I get off work early that day to come to the party here. They also said sorry for what happened to me and would look into it not happening again. Since I have been down with two infections and this Wednesday is birthday day the U of C student who is coming over that day may ask to see if back for it. She is bringing over clothes to try on and this will be for the first time in five years I had any kind of new clothes. So, if we have no time for the party, it is ok for this year, I have my electric wheelchair next year to take anywhere I want.
I renewed my web page so I will have my story on the net and included my coloured and gray picture of my original here on top of hill of Bridgeland. I thinking of using that E-Mail instead of gmail E-Mail as more personalized version of me. I also started up doing my ancestry again since the old one will not let me in, I used a new E-Mail from my website to start up all the new searches and took the info I have and put it in manually thus do not have to research it with their plan. I thinking of giving to my daughter for my son a DNA test which I will pay for and she will have sent me the results. The cost of the test is $89 and a cost of $19 to ship it to her. She will be able to deicide who the kit will be used for as my son is refusing to take the test. She thinks is that she doesn't have enough money to buy it.

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I finally got from AADL the official letter stating that I been approved and to talk to OT (AHS Sundridge) to work out the vendor information and to choose either a new one or refurbished electric wheelchair. The date on the approve letter was July 11, 2018 and I know that it doesn't take two months to send a letter. I sure it took me talking to the Minister of Health to get this whole thing going. But whatever the reason I now have the letter and we can continue with the process of seeing the vendor and the OT bringing it to my place. I can't wait to get the electric wheelchair as the problems with the homecare are getting worse. Half the time they don't even take me down until I have to call the office to force the issue. This will make it that I can leave my room anytime I want. When I talked to OT (Sunridge) on Wednesday she told it totally up to the vendor right now whether it is a new one or a refurbished one. If it is a refurbished the part needed to bring it up brand new will take more time then a new one would take. She will talk to mike tomorrow to see what they have been told. They will get a fax from AADL which will state which version I will get. Since I am approved for my electric wheelchair, I will not need the Go-Fund-Me page anymore. The fund did not receive anymore money at the football team bus accident. My page was too small comparison to that tragedy. A week later the OT(Sunridge) informed me that the vender has told her that I am getting a refurbished chair but the part to bring it up to new should only take two to three weeks to come shorter than we had expected.
I don't know if it is all the worry about what been going on as I not changed any of eating habits but my stomach is causing so much problem that I been giving out gas that they came can be smelled down the hallway from my room. Twice I got insulted by homecare can't come into the room because of the gas in the room she will need a mask to stay in here. I told her if she feels that way just get out and don't bother cleaning me tonight. The last time the LPN nurse was there and said nothing about the gas. I going to see the doctor on Thursday and see what she thinks. After talking to the doctor, she said that the virginal area is ok but the urethra area is shrinking and I am having to return to the Foothills Pelvic floor clinic to see what they have to due to fix it.
The electric wheelchair will allow me to get out to more volunteering at the main office of ALEX and Potential Place. But the doctor told me to just accept whatever is given to me about homecare until I get the electric wheelchair. I least have my friend in the next room who is lending her internet for me and I am giving her $30 for the help. But she will be moving away to another room. Then I will not be able to use her internet anymore. My hope is to move myself to the apartment with the 40% of my rent north of us I could afford the internet myself along with the cable TV. I would not get land line phone as the cell phone works quite well.
Once I get the electric wheelchair I am going to go back to eating with my brother and going to the game. But in each case, I will use ACCESS to get to each location and make sure there is enough time between each event. I then go straight home from the game allowing Ernie to go home when he is ready to go himself. This way he will not have to lift my manual wheelchair anymore. With his shoulder make it hard to do it anymore. This will also allow me to go up into the stand myself. We will be able to sit beside each other as we use to. This will give him no hardship on his physical body. He will have me beside him instead no one like right now. If he wants someone else to come, I can easily go to the eating and then go home from there and watch the game on TV.
With the help of my second cousin, I was able to work more on my ancestors. Her grandma went to the marriage of my great grandma. This gave me the hints of where my ancestors in Ireland where from. They where from a town in Northern Ireland called Dromore in the county of Down. With this help and name of great great grandpa Family search came more of the family around there. This does not help my great grandpa side her husband outside of their marriage and his death place and date

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A few months have gone alone and it not been totally the best but I still in the same situation with no showing of when my electric wheelchair will come. My mood is still not the best and with my wash lady who I like going away for personal reason, I have ended up with a different homecare each time. I try to tell them about my neck and my back but most were hard on me. Also, the homecare who take me down for breakfast is also different each day and they are not always on time. The same is the case on Tuesday and Thursday when I am not going to work. They half the time they forget that I am going down for coffee. I few times I have to leave shortly after 10:00am and if they not got to my room in time, I am worried that I will miss my bus. On holidays I go into work late around 10:30am they forget to take me up to my room and then again take me downstairs for coffee so I can catch my bus after coffee.
Even though my doctor has asked repeatedly to ask the main office if I can volunteer there, they have said there is nothing for me to do there at this time. She suggested I look at maybe helping for Seniors Alex on the 7th Floor of doctor's office. She has set an appointment with the social worker in the office to work this out or maybe somewhere else I could volunteer. The video for Beyond Homelessness has been shot but I feel it not like I did in my last video where it was 3 minutes short and to the point. The want to make it an hour video and they have put out a shorter video on Youtube of Beyond Homelessness which is only 10 minutes long. This has been showing on TV and at the U of C to facility. So, when the hour video comes, most people will not want to watch the whole hour when they have already seen the 10-minute video on the same subject.
Both U of C student and my sponsor have given me new clothes to help with my mood it has helped. I will need to get more hangers to hang up all the new clothes instead of folding them up and putting them into a drawer. I am going to invite my sponsor to my place so she can see how I am living. I will also be getting U of C student coming to my place for Potential Place, my doctor's office, and the MRU student who the professor works at my doctor's office and Spruce Lodge next to my lodge.
The Friday before the Thanksgiving weekend a new Home Care Coordinator phoned me to tell I can't leave my room door open anymore. She also told me to move my wastebasket from across the room and put it beside the bed as anything on the floor the homecare workers will not pick them up anymore. She also had said she had gone to my room everyday and could never find me in my room. I told here I was there all day both Tuesday and Thursday so I don't understand why she could not have seen me. The next morning being Saturday the homecare came for me to take me downstairs for breakfast and I asked her to get my usual of my cereal, two half eggs, orange juice and large milk. I also asked her to get my brown toast and toasted it right away as I will be leaving before, they begin severing at 7:30am. I then wait at the front to go to my AA meeting. Well getting the toast the other homecare told her that she can't do that anymore because their management has set up all these new rules of no one get it from the salad bar. At first, I thought it was only the bread I found out after coming back from the AA meeting they can't sever anything from the salad bar. I ended asking them to take me back to my room if I can't eat from the salad bar. I again told them when they came for me for supper I would not go down as they can't serve me. The only problem was all I had to eat was muffins I got for coffee some apples and oranges. I fasted for the whole weekend made my blood level keep dropping until on Tuesday when I finally got to work my blood level was only 3.3. This is dangerously very low and I was dizzy and could not do my work as I normally would. I phoned my doctor's office nurse how low I was and sent her my blood level for the whole month up to that date. She told me she would look into and inform the doctor of the situation. In the meant time the work give food and told me to come each day so I eat there and I could bring home some each night. My doctor phone homecare coordinator to what was

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going on and she told her that since October that they where not going to server people at their seat by the homecare providers. The work it out once I got my electric wheelchair that they will put a table on top of the chair so I can hold the thing from the salad bar for myself and take to my table myself. The ones that are still being severed were grandfathered in. The plan meeting with homecare coordinator, Lodge manager, Lodge social worker, and a staff from potential Place was put on hold because the staff from Potential Place had family problems. We will have to work something next week once everyone is back.
I phoned the shop of where I am getting the electric wheelchair why it was it was taking so long to get my chair? They told me there was a paper work problem for two weeks and they should be ordering the parts and they will be arriving on Wednesday. I phoned them today Wednesday and sure enough they said the parts are in and they will be working on it today and maybe tomorrow. But I should have it delivered to me no later then Friday. So, the problems of eating will be a mute point after Friday. We will still meet to discus what can be done about my diabetic eating problems and having to get other food when I pay half of the rent for food I can't eat. They might suggest for me to move to another location. Since the lodge doesn't supply that kind of food here. Since they will not be delivering it until Wednesday, I asked homecare to make sure I can get food severed to me or I will end up like I did the long weekend when I ended up with a blood level of 3.3. This getting very upset about all of this and don't know what to do to calm down. I hearing one thing and then they change everything to suit them. But forget how it is affecting me both in physical ways and emotional ways.
I feel I am causing problems with my fellow members how I feel. Do my work I usually do does not fulfill my needs worrying about this electric wheelchair. I am a bit rough with the members and maybe a bit loud with them. I wish I could just relax but really hard to do it. It is also affecting my gut in the way of gas and upset stomach. I also feel I can't wait and I am inpatient about getting down right away. My hope was really built up and then seems it dashed all way.
The total of eating has cause major problem to my body. My immune is down and when I ate something that was not 100% fresh it causes me to have watery diarrhea. This called Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff) first it hospitalized me for only one day as it came out in spurts. But during the night it started again I ended up in hospital again this time it was continuous for more than 16 hours. It was so heavy that it overflowed the Depends I was wearing onto me thus they had to constantly have to clean me and put on a new Depends. They had to give me fluids for two full days and medication to replace all needed fluids. It also causes lots of bloating and gas and problems in the stomach area pain and tenderness. They also said since I just been giving antibiotics just recently for two infections in my bowel and virginal area. Even I did not a great fever it doesn't always happen with every person. I have come home and am on isolation for a day and half. They will have to wear gowns and use only one basket for one set of clothes. One garbage for all throws away garbage. I will have to have light meals also for a day and half to allow my system to get back to normal. I came down for the first meal down after getting my electric wheelchair. Since I had been eating all day in my room, I had not changed my clothes for a few days. They said I didn't look proper for the supper area and should go back to my room and they will server me another meal until tomorrow when I get my regular servers.
I had filled part of the form to transfer to other building north of here, when she said they had refused me and would not accept my application. It seems the meeting on October 25 she will talk about this and what Potential Place staff had said I could not handle that kind of living. It seems everyone is deciding for me with out asking how I feel about the situation. I going to talk the staff tomorrow and ask

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if she become my doctor what power she has to tell them that without asking first. I really want to get out of at all cost for mainly two reasons: one Diabetic food second is the cost of the rent here.
When they came on Tuesday at noon the chair worked out ok, but I asked where is the table I need to get my food from the salad bar? They said it needed to be specially made and I would have to come in for a fitting before they could order or make a table for me. What is to use for a table in the mean time. They told me to use one of the plastics trays the lodge supplies. It would be too small and not even fit on my knee also steer the power chair at the same time. I looked around my room and found a lid to one of my tote baskets which is twice the size of plastic tray and using it. It is still a problem and I have spilled milk on it already. But it is better then nothing and it will hold me until they say I get the proper table in six weeks. One of lady at the lodge told of portal table top that is on top of the fridge on the third floor. I went up and tried that one and it works so much better and flat and more stable. I will use it instead of the other one until my own table is built for me. I still use my manual wheelchair in my room to go to the washroom. I use the manual wheelchair to close the door or go across the way to see my lady friend. If I go to my locker, I will also use my manual wheelchair as the electric wheelchair will not fit in there. Basically, I love using the electric wheelchair anywhere and any time without having to wait for homecare to show up to take me to my room.
I went to work and because the system had not adjusted to the power chair yet they would not let me go without two lap belts. I phoned into ACCESS main office and finally got it to be fully except from any seatbelt. I traveled on the C-Train to Wal-Mart at Westbrook Mall to get things I needed and pick up a laptop I purchased on behave of a friend. I brought it back to the clubhouse and we will work on it tomorrow when he comes in. Both days I was totally exhausted after the trips. I wish I would have called in before 1pm to change my day tomorrow to half a day. If I can't do it in the morning, I will just cancel the ride home and goes on my own on the C-Train.
I need a gripper for sure as at work I can't open the elevator as the hallway is too narrow. I could then push the button in then pull the door open then go into the elevator. Going up is no problem as I can kick the door open with my feet. I have the same problem at home with closing and opening the door. My next-door lady gave me one of hers. I been using it and it sure helps in getting into my room and at work. But if this is her only one, I want my own anyways I asked my sponsor to check a few places before going to the meeting. She told me she had two and will bring them to the meeting if she doesn't find anyways. Now that I take one from my sponsor, I will give back to my next-door lady her back.
I am going to go to a NA meeting at the Peter Lougheed Hospital and plan to celebrate and get my 25yrs medallion. Once I find out when they can order it in, I will get my Sponsor, Victoria to go to the meeting at the same time. It will great outing for the three of us. Victoria will be celebrating her 5yrs very shortly so she could celebrate at the same time. I might ask Amrit to come along too being the one help me once out of the hospital and a friend of Victoria too. She was one doing my video on Beyond Homelessness along with Victoria.
My bowels have become firm for the last few days I am afraid of using any softeners incase the runs come back again. All I would need to end up in hospital just after getting out again. I been watching my diet very carefully and been taking pictures to back up what I am eating this included in the new ACCU Connect meter. I will take it to my doctor's office on Tuesday. I will see her on Thursday to see what she thinks of this month ready are. On Tuesday morning the Homecare Coordinator will see me and check out all my medications and creams. She will also check out my schedule the homecare come in the morning and evening. I think this also to see what I can handle in case I do move to an

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independent living situation. I still do not know when this meeting with all the people is going to happen. She never showed up in time before I went to my doctor's office at noon maybe Thursday.
I just finished making eight cards for the two months birthdays at the group. That the most I have done at once since I started making cards for them. I have not been able to get a hold of everyone on the list for November but the main ones that I have got a hold I have done. There a few only come out for their birthday but they have quite a few years in and would not want to have a card ready but if they don't phone back, I can't do much about it yet. One of the cards is for Victoria and I told her I would celebrate with her even if it at the women's meeting or at night at the first meeting in December.
The day after getting the new laptop for the friend I look into the operating software which turns out to be a new one that is not friend to me or anyone who doesn't have a gmail account. I going to ask him to take it back and we will look into a new one even if it Windows 10 version but I know I can work with that, but have no clue how to operate the chromebook operating system. I will have to take it back as it is on my credit card. I ordered for him a Windows 7 that I can load completely for him. I loading Office 2003 other programs that he can use. It is also able to use network cable to get on the internet or can use WIFI to connect. I sure he will enjoy this laptop over the other one.
I have setup going back to NA at Peter Lougheed Hospital in the evening every Sunday night. I will celebrate my 25yrs and Vitoria can celebrate her 5yrs on the same night. I am looking forward to do that with her. I make this my regular meeting for NA. Now I can go from the front of the hospital to the basement to the room where the meeting is held.
I am now not locked into only going to my doctor only on Tuesday and Thursday as I can take the C-Train from Potential Place and go to my doctor office from the City Hall station. I am also going back to the senior's coffee meeting at the Bridgeland Riverside Community Hall. Anywhere near the C-Train I can go without warring about getting ACCESS to go and three hours round trip. I also thinking of going back to Wal-Mart for my medication as the cost there is 30% less the local pharmacies, I still leave it local pharmacy if I get sick and can't make it to Wal-Mart. I am going to be in meeting of all connected with me to discuss where I am going in the future. My doctor agrees that I need to get out of here at all cost. There is still one north of here I hope to be considered for as the resources I can get from the Alex and Potential Place should be able to sustain me. It is independent but with the other resources I would be okay. It includes cable, internet, and meals if I chose to take them there all for $1,000/mth. It would be bearer free so no problems bring my electric wheelchair to this place. The showers would be walk in. This is still near the Bridgeland/Memorial Station and Bridgeland Riverside Community Centre. It would take a few trips to move me from here to that building. I sure the van of Potential Place could do it in one afternoon. It would take a few members to help in moving me and I would give them small amount to help with the move.
My mood is better with my electric wheelchair but I still am not up to my normal self due to my lodging problems. I would be able to get homecare in any place I go. So that would not be a problem there. I just set it up with Homecare Coordinator to work it out. The biggest thing is the freedom of being able to get in the door and go right to my room without having to wait for someone to take me to my room. I go out at night using ACCESS or even in an emergency I could take the C-Train to a place, but I would not like to do that in the dark as there are no lights on the electric wheelchair. I will also have to make sure if I did it that way, I have more then three notches on the battery or I could run out before getting home.
I got the results back from the Ancestry DNA test of Geoffrey's test it is almost the same as mine Scottish & Irish was 45% compared to my 50%. Southern England and Western Europe was 45%

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compared to 50% and 5% from France. Rebekah had 58% Southern England and Western Europe. She has 37% Scottish and Irish. She has 5% Sweden & Norway. This must be my Ex-partner's background.
The total on my body was not up to part and I ended up with slight head cough which caused some wax build up in the ears. It caused me to feel light headed and on Monday so I decided not to go the ALEX for evening volunteering. I just went home feel sick. My left ear being worse of the two made it to the point that I could not hear from it. On Tuesday I went to hospital to see about my ear and the sign when I came in said I would only wait maximum of 45 minutes and later changed to one hour. I stayed there for more then two and half hours and was not seen by anybody. I just left and went home to have my supper and would try after getting to work the next day. I went in again and same thing happened but I was at least seen but since I did not have an infection or a fever, they told me just go home and wait until my doctor could see me to clean out the wax. They turned out to be Friday I just hopped on the C-train and went to her office at lunch time. She spent half hour rising out the wax and told me she got most of it but would not do anymore. She said at the next appointment she would finish that ear and work on the right ear too. I can hear now put I feel it is still not up to 100% hearing. I glad when she finishes the rest of the cleaning of the ears.
I have been away from Alex volunteering between sickness and holidays for a month. I glad to get back to it after this Remembrance Day holiday Monday. I will also be speaking to the MRU student at my home on Thursday for an hour and teacher each semester and it good for the nurse to hear what not to do and what they help people with mental issues and physical problems. I also saw some students at Peter Loughneed and they asked to have me speak at their college Bow Valley College. I will also be speaking at the U of C student latter in month or no latter then December. I am going to talk to Nancy about other volunteering place if it is in Alex, it ok but she might find other places to go.
I will be going to the final game for the Stampeders. I will be going to the restaurant by ACCESS before going to the game. I will ride over to the game and then after the game I will be picked up by ACCESS to take me straight to my NA meeting at Peter Loughneed. The game was November 18 at 2:30pm then 3 three hours for the game and ACCESS will pick me up at 5:30pm. It will be nice to get out with my brother for the first time this season. He had no way for him to put the manual wheelchair into the back of his car anymore. Thus, no games we went to.
I started going back to seniors at Bridgeland and Riverside Community Centre. I am teaching MRU students at my lodge on one Thursday. I have a doctor appointment on another Thursday. I ended up missing another due to sickness. I am hoping to make it to their Christmas dinner. As long as the snow, doesn't stop my power chair from going to the centre. Most of the time I would have to go on the road as the sidewalks will not work for my power wheelchair. I would hate to take ACCESS just to go the few blocks to the centre to make it but I will do it if it is the Christmas dinner.
I help another member first pick up a laptop for him. The first laptop did not work it would not allow him to take his work home from work. It had only a flash drive to store on. It was only a game computer for the internet. The second computer comes with the Windows 7 but I could not find the activation code. A week later they told it was under the battery. It had been within the 30 days needed to registration it. I loaded Office programs on the computer and updated it so that the older version Microsoft Office will accept the newer version of the office programs. He has a computer that works for him. He can bring work home that he does on the new version office here at work. He uses his own e-mails which what he wanted in the first place. I will teach him how store it on a USB drive at work then convert it to old version he has on his computer now. Otherwise, he feels good about the computer.

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I helped two neighbors in my lodge first to setup a new laptop she could use the data on the phone to run her laptop. The other I helped setup two phones. I also helped her with her old computer to make it bigger in size so she can see the screen. I feel worth well doing this. Hope the reception can continue to give work like this.
I have had small accidents with the power chair so I going to have to learn how to drive my power chair at work. I realize the space is narrow so going through to fast will cause damage. I ended up taking out the corner of the wall and the plaster of the corner and a sign on this wall. I ended wrecking my shoulder in doing so. The next day it was soar and swollen. Another time I was going to use the intercom on the front desk but the controller went under the desk and kept pushing me into the desk even though it was a heavy desk it almost went right over. I will now have to keep it at one.
I am starting a new course at the ALEX in learning to have food on a budget. It means now I am out Thursday's morning to take the course but I will be able to bring home food to store away or freeze.
Last Thursday I met with the total teems who take care of me. They all agreed that this was not the right place for me. I have chosen a new staff link that has already put in on application to housing. I am going to put in an application to my last housing company. It has lots of barrier free apartments but they are in the Deep South. It would mean traveling on ACCESS for a long of time to get to my normal places. As long it is lower then $1,000 thus leaving me $600 for all my needs it should be okay. I still look at the Silvera apartment but it will cost $1,100 but I could sell my food vultures. I will be glad to get my own place where there is a full fridge and stove and I could get a microwave to cook the foods I get from my volunteer places. It might take a few months but leaves me hopeful. I don't want to be as so low as my birthday where I ended up in hospital.
This last time I ended up in hospital my eating so bad it was really malnutrition that put me in hospital. They called something like c-diff. They really did not know what was causing my illness. I had another bout of it which lasted a week. I was isolated for the whole time in the middle of it I woke up with a migraine, upchucking, and diarrhea. I was sweating so they called the Paramedics to check me over. They called my doctor and she told just to sip on water all day. She told me to take Zofran tab and after give me a shot of gravel in a needle form. I also took Advil for my migraine which took two days to go away. The shot helped settle my systems. By Saturday I was okay to go to my normal AA meeting.

Remembering George Jacobs by Laura F.

I met George in June twelve years ago at Peter Coyle Place where we had both left the streets, Peter Coyle accepted street people who were aged 55yrs and over. George had no computer and would spend lots of money on calling cards to phone his mother in Pakistan. I offered him the opportunity to use my computer and to setup Skype between his mother and my computer to speak free each day. We set a specific time to do this. We also went to Potential Place and often went together to attend. He was a long-time member (19yrs) of Potential Place.
He was in and out of places because his addiction would continue to cause him harm. Whenever he was stable, he would be great to be around and be fun to work with. I helped set up a computer in his second place so he could Skype his mom himself. The last time I worked with him was on a video project called "Beyond Homelessness" - the full version is going to be aired in this month. A shorter version highlighted his story which is called "Beyond Housing", and was seen on TV and at U of C where the video was made by a social work student and one professor. This video had great success and now with the long video, we are planning on dedicating it to George Jacobs and the homeless community. I will really miss him. I am glad we got to do the video together. I will miss catching up with his family and him here at Potential Place. George Jacobs Rest in Peace!

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I will be glad when this year is over as this been the lost and hardest one in over 25yrs. I am hoping that with getting a new apartment and my power chair I be able to live comfortably. I will for the first time since coming to Calgary be able to take more time for myself. I will be able to work on my Border Line Personality which has affected some of members of Potential Place.
I had a meeting with the staff and they suggested a read a book on Border Line Personality Toolbox and they work with me with it. My doctor told I just have practice everyday to work on it. I told her I not been able to do that for the 67 years of my life. She said it would be hard but everyone can change their lives if you believe in it.
I am planning on going to Potential Place for the whole Christmas season. The Alex Food Centre is open on Thursday so I will be attending the class for the day. The senior gathering is shut down for the season. This is all so I don't get depressed during this season. I don't want to think of what happened in the past. I will phone my daughter on Christmas morning if I feel down, I talk to someone at Potential Place when I go in there later that morning. I don't want to it to happen when I got so low and depressed at my son's birthday and mine. I ended in hospital after being out for more than 25 yrs. I will be going to both Saturday and Sunday meetings for AA and NA so I am not low on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. I hope this next year will be the best year having both my power chair and a new apartment. The volunteering positions will also help at both Potential Place and the Alex.
I still need to figure out how to clean up all the redness on my bottom and the front around urethra area. It has caused it to spread to over the lower part of my belly. I may nee to take more showers to help keep it clean. The creams are not working right.
The Fanning Centre upgraded my power wheelchair with new air-filled cushion to help keep less pressure on my bottom along with being able to take bumps on the ACCESS vehicles. They also put in a lumbar form high back backrest support to keep my back in place also while riding smother. They made a custom table which will hold one plate, cup and utensils to eat from right on the table. The cup holder can be removed and the table can lower to fit under the table. Once I am not using it, it can be removed with a clamp and stored away. This finishes all the upgrade to the chair and I will have to be happy with it for the next five years. They did all fixing in one morning at the clinic. The only thing I would have liked to told them before I left was to fix the dup holder. This cup holder only holds solid round cups, so it will not fit a regular cup with handles on the side. I will ask them in the future some time to put a small slit in the cup holder to fix it for other cups.
I got a lot of niece gifts this year and the only on thing I might want to return is a slack I got. The receipts to return them were in the bag and can return to any Wal-Mart but must before 30days I got some stylus for giving out to people who have helped me there at the lodge and Potential Place. The cost was below a dollar. Most of the have appreciated my gift to them.
At Potential Place for the January edition of the Challenger I am writing the story of how the clubhouse started. I was given information form two of the original people who were involved in getting it started. I also talked another staff that was part of the original training at Progress Place and became a staff for 14 yrs. I want to tell of my part was when I was at Progress Place on the team. I will also tell of my personal story of how I came to Progress Place first and later to Potential Place. I will thank the ED and the Board for their part in getting my Power chair. I could not find out what year the accreditation of the clubhouse was done. I will hope to get that info in the New Years form the Clubhouse International from New York. I will when I came to the clubhouse. I will finish with what happened after moving to our present location when it got started

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Chapter 22
Moving out and Moving on


I applied to 30 places but it turned out they were in all old building and would not fit my power chair. I found out the place where I was before has a problem with me. I don't know what it is all about and both my doctor and Potential Place are working on this to try to fix it. This would rule out thirty accessible apartments but these apartments would be mainly in the deep south. I finally got approached by the place that is north of where I live to come for my first interview. I hope to do well with it. I have AHS, Aspen Lodge, doctor, and Potential Place all supporting me on this move to here.
If I do get, I cut back on some of my volunteering at Potential Place. I would be able to go to the Alex from Monday to Friday. Monday dinner, Wednesday Lunch, and Friday morning breakfast at the Alex Food Centre. Tuesday and Thursday lunch at Alex Main Centre Majority of the time I will be able bring home food. I would get a food hamper from Potential Place once a week and can come in on Saturday for more meals. This would cover most of meals. I would buy cereal for breakfast and buy fresh bread at the Alex on Monday night. I would need to get milk and juice for breakfast.
My income is about $1,890. My rent would $1,052 which includes: cable, internet but laundry is still dollar. I would have to pay for hydro which should be about $50. My cell phone $75, medical expenses would be about $50 Groceries about $200, Bus Pass is $53, cable box is $10.50, Meal ticket is $43 and $20 miscellaneous like computer or clothes of $20. This leaves about $350 left over. I get $181 for GST and 184 for Senior Benefits. I will have to do the down payment of $895 right away.
In my first interview I showed my whole budget and my food plan. I told him about how covering my mental situation. The bottom I had everything planed out. I also told them I have apartment insurance for the apartment and the power chair. I told I told two main reasons I move was rent and diabetic food at the lodge. He submitted it to the manager and felt I had a solid plan as usually anyone coming from a supported building to non-supported, they turn down right away. I also included that I go to AA and NA and have 25 years of being clean and sober. I only been in hospital for metal once and once for falling and finally I was sick with something like C-Diff these after 25 years of not being in hospital. If they do agree to offer the room, I will not have to give a month notice as I transferring from one Silvera building to another. I would have to give a large deposit. I would not have to pay for two buildings rent.
I heard from the manager and he said he see no problems in coming to Willow Park on Bow. I will see him on Tuesday we filled in all the forms and then he would call the next day if it I got it. I would then sign all the contracts with the head office and the place it mine. They phoned and said yes and gave me suggestions on where I can pick up furniture. I would ask Potential Place to move. IF the places get if from cost, I will ask Potential Place to move it too. If though I only have a few things it would likely take a few trips to move what I have here to my new place.
The bottom line is I have my power chair and a safe affordable apartment and can go to places like the Alex even five times a week if I want and Potential Place for all the other food I would need. I have already started to phone place to tell of my move and my new address. My sponsor has some kitchen supplies and I order new vacuum and microwave and Senior's Benefits will pay for it. I will pay for the middle of the month for the new one and hope to be reimbursed from my old apartment for half a month. I might use the six meals if they look ok for me to eat or sell them for some money.

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I moved in during the coldest week of the year. I had planned to go to my old place to eat, but the streets were so bad that I got stuck five times. The bus driver had to stop and help me twice to get going. So, I tried to use ACCESS to go to other building and will have to plan them earlier if I want to use them to get there. I will go from Potential Place to my old place grab a supper and wait there for an hour then go back to my new place. I have to figure out something for Tuesday for the same thing.
The TV is working okay at my new place so I can watch TV but the internet will not be set up until Sunday morning. I have been using my cell phone to WIFI through a router to my computer. It will work until the technician comes on Sunday. The first day they moved me over completely except they forgot my locker. I will have to take trip to the old place to do that. I was totally exhausted put the boxes away the first day that just slept through lunch. Ruby my friend has furniture for me but I will have to wait until her son brings them over. My sponsor helped me move in on Friday also brought some kitchen unties. The biggest thing I miss is a toaster for bread and a coffee maker for making coffee. This is two things I use in the morning. My microwave came on the eleventh of the month instead after the eighteen when I am in my new place. I carried the microwave from the old place to the new on the table on the power wheelchair.
I found some frozen dinners in small fridge which I warmed up for my supper I missed and only had a muffin for breakfast. I will have to get to Walmart to get some food to stock the fridge. I don't start lunches at the Alex until Tuesday. They will give me a bag lunch or leftovers. For Family Day I will be going to Potential Place for the day. Then I will go back to old place for supper. I will finish any moving and take ACCESS to my new place if the weather is not better by then. I hand over the old keys on Tuesday at 3:00pm. I hope to have everything set up by that time.
I had my first party in the building and met everyone. I introduced myself and what I can do for anyone in the building including TV, Computers, and Income Tax. I watch out what is also going on and maybe able to go to some of the events going on around here. I of the man want to buy my three supper tickets which help with the cost of living here. Most of the trip's trip to the old building was so hard to get there that in morning I had only muffins to eat and missed some of the meals. I see a new pathway to get to the old building without having to go on the road so I already tried it a few times. I have already planned my last day going to the old place for Monday. If I can not get all the rest belonging in storage locker by Monday then I going to ask my Sponsor to come and move the last few things in my place. I hope to turn in my keys in on Tuesday and just go there for visits only.
I have set up all Monday to Friday visits to both Alex locations for food. Monday night, Wednesday noon, and Friday breakfast are at Alex Food Centre. Tuesday and Thursday noon are at the Alex Family Centre and each case I should be able to bring home leftovers for supper. Every second Saturday Potential Place is open so I can go from my AA meeting to Potential Place for a meal and hope to find something for the rest of weekend. I will need to get to Walmart for my breakfast foods and any other food like Sunday to eat. I will sell my six meals to someone in the building. I will have to make all my doctors' appointments later in afternoon around 2:00pm. I will be able to go to Potential Place for all holidays to eat as they are open that day.
The first seven days I have had problems with Homecare and CBI. I had to go to my specialist who explained what I needed to do with all my creams. I hope that both Homecare and CBI are on track now to give me everything which the doctor and I wanted. All I wanted them to do like the old place.

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But at the new place the homecare took all the old notes out of the books and changed it. The left very little notes that the CBI could not understand what I wanted. Each day I would have to explain what I wanted and they would have to change it all over again. The night person would not do anything unless it was written down in the book she worked out of. The morning person took my suggestions and did what I wanted. I hope they do a good job now for me. They finally brought over the right papers for both the morning and night homecare aide to the proper job.
I picked up the last of the mail at the old place and then said happy birthday to Ruby. I came home and played my first games in the basement and enjoyed it on Friday. On Wednesday night I watch movies downstairs. I still have to get more food and arrange the pick up of the furniture for the place. I burnt the pot that I was using to boil water. I will have to get to a second-hand store to pick up a used one. I still have the small steel grill that fits over the stove element to toast bread until I get a toaster. I decided since no one is helping in getting my stuff, I went to Walmart and picked up a new coffee maker and toaster. I can use the coffee maker for making hot water. When I go to the two Alex, I get both coffee and hot water there too or a pot to warm up the water.
I am getting short on my cream and some of my medications. I e-mailed nurse at my doctor's office and told I need the medication before the medication and puffer runs out. I phoned her that I going to Walmart to pick up the medication and to fax the order to them. I got there and there was no order. I phoned the nurse to ask why they had not received the order. They said they though I had one more day to get my order as my doctor is not in Today and will be in Tomorrow. I told her I can't wait and I am already here. So, they asked the pharmacist to place the order and the doctor confirm it tomorrow. When I got home, I noticed that the cream I needed the most was not in the order and will have to call tomorrow to order that cream too. I got that one from the pharmacy that delivers but the cost will be more. I going to have to go to pick up my medication once a month so I make sure I have all my med.
I was upgrading my ubuntu on my laptop computer and instead of upgrading took over the whole computer. I tried to reinstall windows but it would not let me. I had to take it in and have it complete restored and get a new license for windows. I will have to restore all my programs I have at home. This was expense mistake of $125 and time to restore the programs. I have decided to not to put ubuntu on the laptop anymore. I am hoping to do income tax at my old place and new one. I might be able to teach computers to people here too.
The next few weeks is tax time so I going to doing taxes for my old friends at Alice Bissette. I will be doing at my old building taxes for the ones I did last year. I will also be doing taxes at Potential Place for any members who want their taxes done. I have already sent mine in and will get assessment by March 4, 2019. If people want to give me an honorary that would okay but I also will do for free. I will be using my laptop which I just got fixed to do all the taxes in the buildings. But at Potential Place they have setup a computer for me and a memory stick to store the info for last years and next years taxes.
I had my first friends over and we worked on the taxes together. They had asked me the week before for this appointment, but I was at Potential Place working and getting my meal for that Saturday. I rush home and while they waited which was only half hour, they looked over my new place. They loved it. It was not as large as when I was in the apartment with them but bigger than the last place I was. The other they liked was the barrier free of the place so I go under the stove and sink.

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I have been here now a month and still have no furniture. It seems that it either too cold for someone to bring the furniture or I can't make it to the place where I will pick up the furniture. I have been enjoying the activities that are going around the building. The homecare has basically been doing what is asked of them but they are still not always getting to me in time before my buses come. I have a person who will pick up the furniture so I get the referrals to pick it up.
My friend from the old place gave a small table which I put beside my bed and then took plastic footlocker and moved it into the front room and put my TV on top to make the TV safer. I moved the bath chair from the TV and put beside my desk and put on the laptop to network with my computer. I took in my planet that I got when I was in hospital to celebrate my 25yrs to ALEX and fix it up for me. I put on my window sill all my pictures so anyone coming in can see them.
My new friend in the building that I did his taxes for went to Inter-Faith and got a TV stand, bedroom night stand, and a coffee table. When I went to my meeting one of members said she has a kitchen table and two chairs. She will email a picture of the table and the two chairs before she brings them over to me. The picture was a niece round table and two matching chairs which she will bring over on the weekend. That will leave the small coach that will sit in front of the coffee table across from the TV stand to finish of the front room. One final thing I will need for the bedroom is a dresser to put all my clothes away. I am hoping to get another night stand like the other to fit on the other side of the bed. I put the socks and panties in top draw of the night stand and pads and long johns in the bottom drawer. I moved the one plastic footlocker in the bedroom which was replaced by the night stand and put it into the bedroom closet. I put the other plastic footlocker which holding the TV and put it into closet in the hallway. I will need to sell my compact fridge to some which is only one month old to free up some room in the front room. I might also move bath stool from in front of the window as it looks out of place for where it is sitting. I went WINS and put in an application to get furniture from them. They said I had already done it two times before and this will have to be the last time. They said I had four weeks to choose what I want and then 24hrs to pick it up. I already see two things I like in the way of a small coach and a night table similar to the other one. But the six-drawer dresser they have I don't like and will have to wait for another one. I also trying to get a hold of the person who was going to help me move but her cell phone is not on and thus she is not receiving any phone calls. I keep trying until she answers the phone or I see her at the ALEX.
I am helping out Potential Place at Cowboy's Casino which is from 11:00pm to 3:30pm both nights. Saturday night I going straight from home but I am using my manual wheelchair so a taxi can take me home. On Sunday I am going to my meeting and from there I going to the Cowboy's Casino for the same hours. I will also be using my manual wheelchair so it will be hard from the front of the hospital to the room downstairs and then back up to the front after the meeting. I will be tired on Monday morning after working all weekend long. They also making me supervisor on Sunday night. This took a toll on me as I was sick with diarrhea and a migraine all day Monday. It is Thursday and I still trying to get over the weekend. I don't know if I will ever do that again unless I can work during the day when I can bring my power wheelchair and get home with ACCESS before midnight. I felt good in helping out Potential Place and this will go long towards getting a good amount of money something like 15% of the two-night income. This was a very large amount can't say the exact amount.

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I tried the mobile market at Columbus Manor but had a problem getting in and also, they had no bread which was the main reason along with eggs to get as I was short on them. I try to get some at Potential Place on Friday. They had one loaf and I brought it home.
I will be doing the Supervisor Deputy Returning Officer for the Crescent High School. This was my school for grade 10 before my mom took me to Airdrie to live. I will have to arrange someone to use their car to bring the supplies to the gym on the day of the Election and return them after the Election is over. I have already gone and done primarily look at the building. Most of the building has stairs since it is an old building. The only place for a wheelchair ramp is in private parking lot which will lead to the back of the gym. Someone will have to watch for people to send them into the pole place. They will have to make sure they don't go to the rest of the school. The other entrance to the gym is on the south side of the building which has stairs. The main entrance is on the east side of the building so I will have to show signs from that point and point them to the south side of the building. I just found out I am doing the Rehab Society place which down a block and right across the road from where I live. It is also the advance poll's location so I will be able to use all their signs they have already setup. I will arrange with the other Supervisor on Saturday night to leave them there or I can take over to my place to store them for Tuesday. I will not have to get my own supplies on Friday night with a car as I will have them after advance poll finish. I will ask if I can just leave them there for the Tuesday election date. I have to go on two Fridays in the evening to get all the training for my positions. As I will have to fill in for anyone who doesn't show up at 8:00am and before the RO send a replacement. Since I will go for my vote there, I will check it out then. I find out who is representative for the Rehab. I have to find out where we go incase of a fire or where the first aid kit if some get hurt. I will be using my power chair for the days since it right across the street. I will take it home before taking my supplies in. The only thing now is getting the supplies back to the Returning Office after the election is over with a car.
I am going back to the specialist to see if two creams and Vaseline has been working. I know I can't afford using the creams twice a day along with the wipes. Since the appointment was on Tuesday and that is my usual day for shower, I asked them to move it to Monday at 9:00am. The problem was the lady did not show up until 9:47pm and my bus comes at 10:00am. They will give me the shower in evening instead. With the Election is on a Tuesday I arranged that they show up again on Monday at 9:00am. I giving them two weeks' notice to make sure it happens this time. I will miss out on two Friday night homecare due to the training on those nights.
On a ride going to my doctor today they brought a van that I can't fit in into. I should have not been in that vehicle in the first place. The Supervisor for the company had come out and measured my power wheelchair and the lift in both the van and the normal size bus. They found the lift was to small for my power wheelchair. Thus, I got hurt when it came to a sudden stop it lurched my seat forward. I was holding onto a handle partly behind me and when the van stopped it twisted my arm and wrecking it. I phoned into ACCESS to tell both that I was not in the right vehicle and that I had hurt again on my way to the doctor's office. I could not wait for my proper vehicle as they would have put me on stand-by which means I would have waited an hour for the next bus to come. As my appointment was in less than half hour so my appointment would be over when I got to my doctor's office. When I got to my doctor's office it was swollen and she said it could be torn or ripped ligaments in the arm. I would need to use an ice pack for the weekend. If when I see on Wednesday it is still swollen or hurting, she will send me for an x-ray. ACCESS phoned me to see how I was feeling and if they needed to do anything to help me out. I told them my doctor will send a report to them.

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On my way home ACCESS #4 called to see how I was feeling. I told them I was hurting and again said I should not have been in the van in the first place. She found the report from the Supervisor of Southland stating all that I had reported in the first place. She said it some change in my records that allowed the van to come. They also said it will not have happened again. I told her that it should not happen in the first place. She also reports if I need any physio to call them and they will get Southland Insurance adjusters to set that up with me. On Tuesday the Homecare coordinator nurse looked at my arm and said it was not broken or did it have rip tendons. But she said I should get my doctor to look at again and get physio on the arm. I showed up Wednesday at doctor's office and saw my nurse and she told me that she reports it to ACCESS #4 to get the physio I needed. It took till Monday night before I heard from ACCESS #4 about what they will do. They told me they phone Southland and get it started right away. A Southland supervisor phoned half hour and told me that their adjustor will phone the next day to work out what will happen next.
I waited two days then called my nurse. She phones ACCESS #4 to say it had to be looked at ASAP. I latter phoned ACCESS #4 to why they not calling the adjustor. The adjustor finally called and said they will only deal with the accident and not the physio. I told him that I lost part of my job at Elections Alberta due to my arm. He said he will deal with that as long as I have all the documents. I have copy of all them from my email and one the RO signed saying I had the job and how much for training and for day of the election. He told me another adjustor will have to deal with the physio hopefully will call tomorrow. Late on Thursday afternoon just before the Easter Weekend they called and I did not receive it in time for that day to call them back. My nurse said we can't wait and I have setup an appointment for you for physio at Pacific Place for this Monday. It will be at 4:15 pm so I setup for 4:00 pm till 5:30pm. I will ask the other adjustor to pay for it afterwards as they took so long to setup in the first place. In the mean time I was keeping up on putting on an icepack on the arm. Sometime I would put on a warm pack too. I was also some times putting on a hot rub cream that my doctor gave me to help with the healing of the arm. The other adjustor phoned a half hour before my appointment and told me they will be billed direct for all the physio appointments. The physio therapist told me she figures that it will take 10 appointments to fix my arm. This is all the insurance will pay for. The DS Cook adjustor came to my place and took my info about the accident and loss of my job at Elections Alberta. He said it should enough to get paid for the day which I lost due to the accident.
I am having problems where I park in the bus as I can only use my right arm to hold onto the strap on the bus. Also, I have to ask the handi-bus driver to driver me on backwards on the lift and using my left arm is very hard when backing up. I am hoping to get my arm back in shape so I can use my right arm again to control my controller on the power chair. It is also hard driving it in tight spaces at Potential Place and also on the elevator to get to the cafeteria.
I had to report one of my homecare workers because the person was not putting the right lid on the right tube thus contaminating both tubes. It would not fit on properly so it could also dry out the tubes. Finally, she put it on backwards the pointing side which has no tread and the top came off and some of the cream too on the sink. They are also forgetting the blue glues that are needed to keep their hand safe from the one cream. They are a least remembering to bring the white gloves so they are using two to protect themselves. I had to ask at my old place if they had any blue gloves and they did. So, I brought some home but I ask them to still pick some up for themselves.

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Victoria gave us a new video which has cut the hour-long version to thirty minutes. This is a better presentation of each of wanted to day. This gives three minutes to each the good and bad of our homes. This gives a true understanding of what we are trying to present our views. We hope to present this again at some Film Festival. She has already setup two viewing in the city maybe we can join her and give any answer to the film. They said they will be able to film my new place. I setup on my website the six pictures of my place. Amrit and Joe will come over this week to see what they can do to make the video better and maybe shorter.
I loving my new place and with all the furniture in place I can relax on the coach and watch TV. The homecare is basically working out and I went to my specialist today and as long as they keep up with the creams, he feels it will take a while but will improve even more than it has. Even the bus drivers say I am calmer. My sugar levels have dropped since coming here from my old place. I am involved in games around the building more here than my old place. The age level is more in my range again than the old place. I feel I am able to say I am planning on stay here a long time. I have not been able to say since I left Toronto some 17yrs ago I have been happy in my place. I had Victoria and her dog over to my place when she was walking the dog in the neighborhood. This was late at night I would not been able to do that at the old place. Once the next month is over and my final three down payment is over then I will be able to start saving again. I was constantly losing money due to rent being at 80% of gross income for rent. This made some of the months put me in the red. I lost some $460 over the last two months again because I was paying for rent at two places at once. All the down payments are finished and I left with the last one being lower than the one months rent at my old place. I feel like I did before move here from Toronto when I had my own apartment there and it was also accessible and low rent. This is slightly more expensive rent than it was in Toronto but it worth it in the long run. I feel at home for the first time in long time if the first 40 yrs and 16yrs here in Bridgeland where I was born, I never felt at home.
I have joined in more three parties that have been going on in the building and felt apart of the building crowd. This age is 80% from 50 to 75 years which puts me in the middle of the group. The music was part of error of which I was listening too. I can remissness on my life in the community and living on top of the hill just two blocks from where I live today. That was the original city limits and can show them from my old picture of when I was five years old my lot and view looking east towards the Firestone Tower which was only thing in background at the time. I house was a three-story blue siding with a red roof which the airplanes used as the turning point before radar. It was seen for miles coming in from the East and could be seen for miles there on top of the Don Campbell hill or St George's Heist. They would then turn and go down the valley to the airport just north of us. The city fitted into a three-mile radius. Making it 6 miles distance from the top of the city to the bottom at Chinook Mall. The population at the time was about 250, 000 people and now it about 1.3 million people. The Southern boundary of the city limits is 226 Ave in the South. The Northern boundary of city limits is 176 Ave on the North. This is almost Balzac on the northern corner on the top. In my times we had to take a Greyhound to get to Midapore. It would take you there in the morning and bring you back at night. It is now a part of city and can be taken by transit at any hour of the day now. The city has become too large for that old country feeling it was when I was growing up. Where people would help you push your standard vehicles to get it started down a hill which I lived on.

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I am teaching at my home how people can use their HDPVR which the building installed in each unit. Some can work it out themselves or have family to help them out. But others in the building they don't have a clue how to use the equipment. I might have to go to some of the persons place to teach them personally to use it. Others I might be able to go to basement and use the TV in the basement to teach them. In either case I hope to teach them to use themselves after my lessons.
I broke my glass on the phone so I asked about the insurance replacement and found it would cost as much as getting a new one for that unit. I checked different places in the mall and quoted about the same to replace it. I went to Chinese mart and found it for half of the cost of the mall. I looked into getting an upgrade for the unit and it would mean changing my plan that I have for the last 5yrs which bonus data on it. The new plan would be 25% more but can thing this phone can not do. They would be giving me a bonus international data and text. I would be locked into to the plan for the next two years. My brother said he could get someone to buy the old phone for the cost of the repair and a small amount for me. I decided to go ahead with it and at the next game he will pay for the phone. I had to get use to the new phone and well they transferred all my info over to the new phone I would need to register the entire old app on the new phone. I spent a few days on the phone to update it. The accounting did not work on the new phone and had do update it from new which also took another three days to do that.
Potential Place is moving the July long weekend to it new location across from the Stampede Grounds. It will be hard to get into that place during rush hour or any events like the stampede on the grounds. The place will be able to get around more for me as it to more open in the work area. It will be on the second floor so if we have any problems with the elevator then I will not be able to go. The last week at the old place there are so many boxes around the place that I can't get around so I have decided not to go for that week. I went to them on the Wednesday July 3 partly to see what the building was like for me and to get my ticket to get on the grounds for Kinsman event on July 7. I found that I could not even get in the front door as there was a lip that stopped my power chair to get over. Someone helped get in then once in some of the doors were so small it hard to get around. The washroom had no button to get in and small and the stall itself was too small to put my power chair in. I went out crying and told them I will never be able to go back there anymore.
This made me very depressed as it was son's birthday tomorrow for 40yrs of which I have not seen him for 38yrs. I ended up being so sick the next day I ended up in hospital both for depression and for being physically being sick. Well in hospital they worried I go harm to myself because how depressed I was. I could not also phone my daughter to tell her to tell my son happy birthday for the first time in a long time. This being this special birthday I would feel he would be mad for this. I had to wait till the next day after getting out hospital and promising them that I would not hurt myself was I able to phone my daughter.
Sunday July 7 of the Stampede I will be working the Kinsman booth at the Stampede. Since I did not get any training for it where the training was as the place was not accessible. They told me I will have to go in one hour earlier at 8:00am to get the training. I will go by c-train to get there for the day of the event. I would have to go very early properly about 6:00am if I went by ACCESS. I will be working from 9am to 1:30pm they will give me a lunch. I hope that being in a power chair will not stop me from selling the tickets. I hope I will feel okay after my shift to have a chance to look around the Stampede.

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I got there at 8:00am and went to the Big Four Building where the Kinsman office was and found it was not able to get to it because of the stairs to the office. I got the guard to go to the office to see if one the managers would come down and talk to me. They came gave me a coffee and then took me over to the BMO building where I was to be trained and work for my shift. They did not give me any training until 10:00am. Some people came around earlier and I was not able to sell them any tickets and I did not how to register the tablets they gave me. I stationed in a booth where there was no room to move around in it. Once I got trained, I worked solid until lunch. But they forgot I could not go to office for the lunch. I started to get I would faint because I had no food since early that morning. I finally asked someone to get me food or they have to take me to the hospital for low blood sugar. I finished my shift at 1:30pm and was so tired that I felt like not go around anywhere after my shift. I just picked up this year's pin from the Stampede store and went home.
Just before my birthday I am notice from Facebook that some had hacked my account but a few days later they emailed that the issue was closed. I felt that was nothing until a friend phoned me to say because of the fake account he had sent an amount of money to that fake account. So, I told him it was not me and sent a message to everyone that some had hacked my account and that I was closing my Facebook account. With all that is going on in the news about Facebook I never thought it would affect me so I don't need to use it anymore.
I went into Potential Place because they wanted to try me out in the bathroom for size of the door. I got someone to meet me at the front door and put down a small wood on floor to lower the step to get in. I then went to the washroom and showed how the power chair fit in. I had to back in but the bag and my arms hit the door when coming back. They measured everything and sent of to someone who was fixing the washroom for me. They said it would take a while before this was fixed before I will be able to come back. I rushed into the other room hitting the door as came in with only one door if not exactly right on I will hit the door. I got a food hamper and left for them to call me. Before going the suggested I call an agency that would help with going out with a few times a month. When I got home, I filled in the application and they said they would get a hold of me. I not heard from since.
I am getting to be very lonely since I don't have much in the way of contacts anymore. When I went to my doctor, she suggested the senior program they have in the building as another program to try out. I could help them out and go there at the same time. Since a lot of time, they go out to place and I could go by C-train or ACCESS to get there it could work out okay. The rest of the time it would be in the building and on good day I get there myself by the power chair. With the weather get bad out I will not be able to just use my power chair to get to the program.
The Alex is becoming so poplar that there are no leftovers after the meal to take home for supper. I am starting a new program Community Kitchen at a local church where one week we do the planning for the meal and the next week we make the meal. It makes about six meals to take home once a month to freeze and eat later. This will supplement the meals from the Alex. If the weather is too bad I will have to take ACCESS to the church for the program. Also, Potential Place has fixed the front of the building so I can get into the building now. I will have to use the manual wheelchair they have to go to the washroom as my power chair is too wide to fit into the stall itself. Potential Place will be a third place to get a food hamper from to also supplement my food.

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Chapter 23
A New Chapter In My Life


I am starting a new program at Carewest Glenmore Park ADP. This program is on Tuesday and Friday from 9:30am to 2:30pm. ACCESS trip adds another hour each way from and to home. The program will deal with building my muscles back so I will be able to stand with a walker device to help me out. The other part is help with my relationship with people partly looking at the past program I took with DBT at Sheldon Chumir Centre. We also are learning how to relax and not to handle a fall at home. We even learn how sleep at night so you are rested for the day. I believe the program is sixteen weeks long and will give other suggested of other programs after that. I started last week in October and that should take me till beginning of February with a week off for Christmas. The only problem is it takes two days away from me at The ALEX which gives me meals and meals to take home. The program you have to pay for your lunch which is about $5.25/day at the program. They have said I have improved my mood since coming to the program. It seems to be working for me.
Christine & Alison approached me about a new project that is to do with seniors that also have handicap of disability. This looked into how I would get around in the community. They were showing how the paths to the C-Train would be all covered in snow and make it hard to get to the C-Train on a power-chair. How cities do not plan for cleaning sidewalks or ramps that lead to the road. Some stops are down a steep ramp and 1/2 mile to a local hospital. Another example is a BRT up a steep road to the hospital. The using of Public Transportation makes it impossible to get on a bus as the ramp of the bus is hindered by the snow at the stop. If they use Accessible bus for the person the time needed to get to the appointment and back with hour at the location 300% increases the time of the event. Thus, some end up not going to the event rather going through all the hassles. All of this effect on the person with the disability causes isolation and depression. As they can't get out social events or even doctors' appointments. She is going with me to Beyond Housing which is to be presented on January 23 at 6pm.
I am finding it very lonely during the Christmas season this year. With both my volunteering and the ADP program at Carewest Glenmore Park being shut down for the season. I will fill chairing for two days on Christmas and New Year's Day at my NA meeting at Peter Lougheed Hospital. This is always the longest week of the year when I lost my kids to drugs and to my ex-husband. It has been now thirty-eight years. With no sponsor to back me up first time since I have been Clean and Sober these twenty-six years. Potential Place is having Christmas diner Friday 13. They will be open for Christmas day with turkey diner and all the rest. On New Year's Day they are having an in-house fun for the day and a lunch. I hope I can find things around the building to keep me going all the other days which I have not scheduled this year. The final thing I can do is to watch TV see all Christmas movies that will be showing on TV during the Christmas season. I might even book a trip to go the local mall to get out and at the same time get groceries and medications. I will need to book this and all other trip this season by ACCESS. This will include the Sunday trips to my meeting. I hope all of this keeps me well.
The Community Kitchen where I get the six meals to take home was the last two weeks in November then we had a break for one week and had our final one for this year on the second week. The same church told me they were having a diner on Wednesdays of the third and forth week of December. It depends on how the weather is if I will be able to attend them. The senior's club Christmas lunch is third week in December 19. The point of all this is plan even if I can't make it there.

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I really miss Aspen for one reason they had a secret Santa every year where they gave gifts like puzzle book for search for the word I liked. They also gave two shirts with the receipt attached to it to replace if it did not fit. They also gave lots bathroom supplies like body wash, shampoos, Conditioner, plus deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste. I tried to find a substitute but most said I was too late for this years Santa submission. I hope also to go over to Aspen and see my three friends for coffee with them. I usually go over on Saturday and Sunday with these three friends. During this season so far, I have not been able to get over due to the weather. My power-chair does not handle the snow with the big wheel spinning and the small wheels turning I get stuck in the snow very easily One of these friends who lived next to me is asking to buy my fridge which has been laying around at my place for almost a year now. But due to the weather and her son being out of town he can't come down to pick it up from me. I told her I would not receive the money for it until she had it in her room.
I had an accident on Thursday where I fell out of bed on my head and had to use my night table to get back on the bed. I had a stiff head and back for a week. On the Monday my homemaker accidently pushed my wheelchair into the bench in my shower of my bathroom. She was trying to get over a one-inch lip and could not stop before she crushed my left hand. I had to wear an ice pack on it for a week then I had to have brace until the swelling and bruises went down. Thursday, I forgot my neck brace but the bus had phoned so I rushed in to get it and leaned over to get off the coach and tripped over the metal footrest and fall on floor on my right hand wrecking my left knee and left ankle. Then a week later at the Alex the two of us trying to get the same plate and he reinjured my left hand again so the brace had to go back on and ice again.
My bed on my side of the bed is sagging in the bed where I am sleeping so the spring is causing my back hurt even more. I asked my homemaker to move the box spring around to so that the solid of the bed is not sagging anymore or hurting my back. With the CPAC not working with the holes throughout I have had to tape up all the holes but they still leak somewhat. I can't have the hose replaced until I have had sleep over at the sleep clinic at Foothills Hospital. My doctor has put in a request for an appointment but it will take a year for the test. Both these problems are not allowing me to have a decent sleep. I saw at Potential Place I can get a new bed but they would have to pick it up and take away the old one. Then I would not have to worry about the springs in the old bed. I hope when both are fixed then I will get a more restful sleep and with the tips I got from the ADP it would help over all.
I have sold two more copies of my book. When I tried to make more books, I found that the punching machine is not working right. It will work well for single sheets but for plastic sheets it tore them. I would have to press very hard to punch them. Then punch them a few times to get it all the way through. I hope this will work or I might have to go to Potential Place and punch them all there. I will still print them at home and bring all the printed paper from home to Potential Place. I stopped having the whole story on the net but wrote they can buy if they E-Mail me then E-Transfer me.
This being almost a year at my new place I have started a new chapter of hope for the future. The only concern is the city may double the "low-income pass" or cut if off completely. All they did was to increase it $1.5 instead and said they will look at next year. My total overall yearly income is also getting near the max for "low-income pass". If either these two scenarios get too high, I would not be

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able to get out on a normal basis. This would force me into a deep depression and isolation or even worse during the winter moths especially.
I can't use Facebook ever since someone hacked my account and thus my phone will not work on Facebook. They use it as a reference in my Facebook. I tried everything to get back in but it denies me each time. This was the only form of me keeping in touch with the rest of the family. I had to change my phone number. That was done on December 24 after lunch and by the time I got a hold of CBI to change my number they were on Holiday mode. This also affected my ACCESS account as during the Christmas they can't change over to the new number and thus can't call me when the bus is coming. I now have a new account with Facebook and it will be in my maiden's name. But I will have to get a hold of everyone in my family to friend me again. The rest of the family I will depend on my brother to send hi to everyone for me. The only other way for me to talk to anyone is through their cell phone messages. But I don't have every one's phone number and not everyone has a cell phone. We I changed phone number I phoned my daughter and my brother to tell my new number and my new Facebook.
Since December 24 with spending all day to get my phone changed, I lost the chance to get my phone changed with ACCESS for all the trips over the Christmas week. I will have to wait until Friday December 27 before they reinstate in my files. In the mean time I have to make sure I wait just at the door or miss the bus which I did on Tuesday the 24 which was taking me to the meeting. I also lost the chance to have my intercom on my building changed so it was not able to phone me when a homemaker was showing up. I had to keep calling the CBI office to tell the homemaker my new number and have them call some else in the building to get in the building for my appointment. Hopefully all of this will be fixed on Friday. I changed my phone at Potential Place when I went the two days at Christmas with them. On December 24 I made sure my doctor got my number. I have to make sure that places like Homecare, Enmax, Shaw, and lot of my friends in the building who depend on me to fix their TV or Internet.
The two weeks that I am off from the two programs I worked out a plan where I would go to Potential Place during the day and go to a meeting Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday. The only day in the evening that missed the meeting was December 24 due to not getting a phone call from ACCESS due to my phone being out of action with the change over that day. I missed Potential Place on Friday going to Doctor Eye appointment at the Bay but I went to a meeting across the street at the same time. I also did bank and looked into getting my name change and all that would mean to get it changed to my maiden's name. Since I went to a meeting during the day, I did not go to meeting that night.
My homemaker threw out my 9-inch plastic bottom with cover which was oven proof dishware. I had to look up new oven proof dishware to replace it at a cost of about $50. I wish she would have asked. I have to give up going to Potential Place in the morning on Wednesday as she does the cleaning then and medication. I do my laundry every second week which even take more time on Wednesday. I should be able to go in late. If the weather is okay, I will be able to go by bus or C-train. Otherwise, I will have to book a trip with ACCESS no later than 1 pm the day before. That would mean I would leave about 11:15am to take me to Potential Place. Tuesday and Friday I am at the ADP program and now with Wednesday for cleaning this takes three days I can't go to ALEX for lunch and bring home food for supper. I depend on the Alex for this food.

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New Years Eve I first went to Potential Place for lunch and watched a movie all afternoon. Then came home and went out to a meeting in the evening at Peter Lougheed Hospital. I finished the night off in the building with a party downstairs with the rest of the building residences. I had a great day all over and did not worry about the past. I got to know a lot of the residences during the party. I sat with the ones I knew the best. I warmly welcomed by all at the table.
I am starting off the New Year with being in hospital with a UI infection. I get them very easily because of using pads and constantly peeing into the pad. I wear the pad all day next to my skin thus causing rashes and infections. They gave me some antibiotics last year and they did not work so the infection has gotten worse and they will have to give me stronger antibiotics and another to stop the pain that comes with having to force the pee out. I will have to go back to my specialist Dr Drossi at the Rockyview Hospital. I will take the day off after being in hospital all night. Because I could not get the medication until the middle of the day, I have decided to take two days off. I missed the Alex and the lunch which would have given me food for the next day. I will also miss the Carewest ADP program on Friday. But I can't go every fifteen minutes to the washroom at the two programs. The other thing is the pain and shaking I having in peeing I would wonder if I am okay. On Monday I will be saw my doctor and she suggested to go back to the specialist, Dr. Grossi. The Hospital gave me fourteen days supply of antibiotics and nineteen days medication to sooth my stomach. After a week on it the UI got a yeast effect which caused the inflection around the urethra area. This caused the opening to shut down and I could not pee none. I ended up in hospital for three days and them trying seven times first the nurse, LP, night doctor, two cystoscopy tests to put a catheter in me. With the last time them grinding with water to make an opening into the bladder. I saw Dr. Grossi on January 20 and he told me he both infections have cleaned up proving that it was from sitting in the pee all day with the pad. He recommends staying with the catheter until he gets a hold of the doctor from the hospital to see when we should remove it. A week and half later he called me to come on first Monday in February to have it removed. The only concern is if it will collapse again or I will end up in same boat as before in having pee in a pad all day thus prone to getting UI and Yeast infections again.
I had to change my entire schedule with homecare to add a new cream and clean out either the night bag to put on the day bag and at night clean out the day bag and put on the night bag. The night bag I told them to come at 7pm to allow them to put it on and I be ready for bed. The only night I wanted to stay late as I wanted to go to my meeting was Sunday night when I asked to come at 9:30pm when I got home. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday they could come in fifteen minutes to change over to the day bag. But on Tuesday the bus comes at 8:15am so they could come at 7:45am but on Friday the bus came at 7:50am so they needed to be there before 7:30am. The person that had been doing the Tuesday and Friday would only show up at 8pm and never knew how to change or clean the bag. She forgot three times to close the value and I ended up getting all soaked from yearn. I finally asked for a new lady who could come earlier and knew how to change the bag. Once they remove my catheter then I will have to change my entire schedule again to what I had before all the infections and changing of the pee page at night and day. I will have another four weeks of the program at Carewest and the Tuesday and Friday morning will drop out. Tuesday, I go to Alex Health Centre for lunch but I am going to drop the Friday morning going to Alex for breakfast.

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I spent all night trying to get onto ESTORE which is now on Calgary Transit. I should say I get on it but all the passes and tickets are there except the adult low-income pass. The next morning, I phoned both 311 and Calgary Transit and told them that it was not on the online site. Once I waited another two hours, they put it up on the web. I went in to purchase the pass and there is now a convenience charge of $2.50 which says it GST except. But once you put in the order the GST is added making $2.63. This charge will be added to the increase of $1.50 that City increased this year. This makes about $60/month now. Well, the city said they not increasing the passes except the $1.5 they did not tell us that Calgary Transit to get back some of the money they lost in the cutbacks they were charging this convenience fees. The bottom line is that it still comes out of our pocket in the long run. I hope that everyone will complain to their alderman and the newspapers. This is still hurting the low-income people in the long run. I would rather go out in this cold -30c weather and get it from the Calgary Transit offices then pay that cost online. Like everything that Calgary Transit does it will not listen to the people as they don't have anyone to be reasonable in the end. The alderman only deals with the budget and not the day-to-day operations of the Calgary Transit. The Calgary Transit only treats us as a number and not as a person to be considerable or respectful. The bottom line is money! I wish we were in the olden days where it was operated by Handibus itself. It only took a week with newspaper getting involved and Estore reversed their decision and told anyone that paid the fee would be reimbursed the next month. This shows the power of the people.
The final version and showing of "Beyond Housing" is going to be on Monday January 27 in the Central Library that evening done by DR Victoria Burns. But since Dr Victoria Burns is on sabbatical Dr Christine Walsh will do the presentation. This was an offshoot of the 3-minute video at the Centre of Hope called "Disability in the Friendly Cow Town" that I made with Dr Christine Walsh some thirteen years ago. The seven of us in the presentation "Beyond Housing" will hopefully be there except George Jacobs who died shortly after the making of the film. The ending of it is dedicated to him. I hope to make it to the presentation. There will be a panel discussion afterwards to speak about our experiences that came from the film. The same day as the presentation on Global TV News myself and three of the presenters was given a two-minute introduction in what the film would be about and the time and the location at the Central Library. We had about 50 people show up but most where students from UCalgary. The next few days' people who saw me said they saw me on TV. We all had to give a BIO about us in mine it was that I born in Calgary and deal with low income and homeliness from a early age but working Facility of Social Workers at the UCalgary through my digital video, two academic papers including "Beyond Housing" and "Weather the Storm".< >br> The project "Weathering the Storm" which I am involved in is an offshoot of the "Beyond Housing" video. This is dealing with my problems that I have with my electric power in the winter time. The problem of getting on the sidewalk with the ramps all covered with snow. To getting on the C-Train when it to slippery to get into the cars. Having some of the pathways covered and only a walking pathway is open which I can not manage with my electric wheelchair. To roadways that are not cleaned so the ACCESS bus can get to my building. Having too much snow at stops so the ramps of the city bus can't be employed it ramp down. That presentation was done by DR Christine Walsh and Alison Grittner of the UCalgary. This presentation is not until July. But she has submitted to the University as a paper towards her course.

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I will not have to depend on the Alex as much as I have setup both lunches and suppers with the "Meals on Wheels". The cost of the meals will be $9/day and I will not get Monday meals. I set a tax assessment to them confirm the amount I getting per year on January 30. Whatever is leftover from one day I use either on Monday and Holidays when the Alex would be shutdown. They will start the meals on Tuesday to Sunday both lunch and suppers on February 4. They deliver the meals at lunch time and on Friday they deliver the meals for the whole weekend. This will make sure that whatever happened I will have food now. I don't want to happen what happened at New Years. When I was either in hospital or the weather was too bad and I was not feeling well enough to go out. This meant I went a couple of weeks with out getting any food supplies either at the Alex, Wal-Mart or Potential Place. I am going to cut back on my volunteering at the Alex. I will supplement it with going to other programs during the day like Potential Place. Once I finish my program at Carewest ADP this will also free up Tuesdays and Fridays. I will still go to the Alex on Monday to volunteer. On Thursday I can go back to senior coffee at the Bridgeland Riverside Community Centre at 1pm. I will make sure I go to Potential Place on Wednesday afternoon. Sunday night is going to my meeting at the Peter Lougheed Hospital. Saturday, I go for coffee at Aspen lodge with my friends if the weather is okay for me to go there. This will leave Tuesday and Friday to due other things.
I got my Name Change Certificate on Wednesday 5 and took it to Potential Place to change their records and send one to Walmart Mastercard and Fax to ACCESS to get my info changed there. That afternoon I went to an ATB branch gave in my Mastercard and they changed my records on the spot. On Thursday I phoned Enmax and Shaw to change my info. I also called Federal government to change my sin number and CPP, OAS also at the same time. They will send out new T4p and T4oas with my new name. I filled in form on myhealth to change my info. I e-mail Calgary Fair entry, and Freedom Mobile to change their info. Also, on Thursday I went to the registry to change my Alberta Identification card and the AHS health card. This was downtown and took the bus to downtown from the Alex. I went to Marlborough Mall to get my medication and changed the info there. On my way back went to my dentist at the c-train station and changed the info there. On Friday I got the ADP program to change my info and they fax Alberta Seniors Benefit for me to change that info. I changed my sign in for MSCA and CRA to my new name. So, I will be getting in the mail next week my new Albert identification card, Alberta Health Card, and my new Birth Certificate. I can't get my new sin number verification letter until I get my birth certificate. I got Alberta Government old birth Certificate and had to go to registry to send it back to get my new one. The Alberta Health Card was also wrong it had not shorted my middle name so the registry changed that at the same time. I waited two weeks and not got my ATB Mastercard so I phoned them and will send another out quickly. The Walmart Mastercard refused until I sent a picture ID which I had on Wednesday but they say it takes seven to ten days to get a fax and another ten to fourteen days to send it to me. The CBI also would not change their records even though the paperwork in my room was changed it also took two weeks before they changed their records. I have to do my will, GCD, PD, and POA all over again. On the February 19 I am going into my doctor's office so I can get some of these done again. I will also change all my info at her office. All the rest I hope to be finished at the end of the month. I will have to go to Kerby Centre to do the POA I do that when I have more time after I finish the program at the end of February. I will be glad when everything is finished and all behind me.

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Chapter 24
Troubled Times


I have been here a year now and the Homecare informed me that they are cutting back services to me. They told me that it would be every two weeks instead of every week as it now. I told that was okay but the hours would stay the same at two hours per session. Once my worker went on holidays the contractors that did my homecare that they would only be giving me one hour every two weeks. I phoned homecare to find out what was happening and the substitute person told me since I had been given more hour than I should have and also that they had more cutbacks from the provincial government so they could not continue at the same rate as before. The social worker with the office suggested I take a look into "Senior Services Home Maintenance" with Calgary "Fair Entry". I phone 311 to check on that program and since I am already on "Fair Entry" what would it take to be added to that program. They said they would put in an application for me for that program and "Fair Entry" would get back to me. They got back to me with an E-Mail that I would have to wait till their next year before they could refer me to the program. I phone 311 to ask about this and they said since other which is in the same boat as me that I would have to wait in the queue or until someone left the program. I phoned back to social worker and told me to try Kerby Centre or the Alex. Both said that they could not suggest any other ideas but would look into for me.
I have going to start to be the treasurer at my group starting in March. I spent the last two weeks getting all the records on the sheets for last year and this year. I looked into the Business meeting notes and all treasurers amount are not there or not clear what is what. I ask Dave what Bill had done with all accounting records he said he would get the three of us to meet to work all records together. I setup budget and each day's 7th and books to show how much spent week and month. I also got all preamble of the four meeting straighten out to include all the new things we wanted written into the preamble. I also do the Speaker meeting one for last Sunday of the month. I also suggested that I told them I could take care of the birthday's announcements being sent to Area Newsletter. I will send them in on Sunday before the 15th of month
My brother came up to work out legal issues if I got sick to point that I would not be able to manage my life. There is PD Personal Directive which takes care of the medical part, then there is POA Power of Antony which takes care of finical end and will if I die, where he is the exactor of the will. But to register online the PD it accepted my code to register but not his and even though we phoned the number they don't phone back. We phoned and told I left it three weeks before and not get back to me. So, they e-mailed to give our phone numbers to get back to us.
With this entire virus going around in the world and having four cases in Calgary the ALEX has decided to not have a sit-down meal until this ended but will give meals to go in bags which they can take home. This means I do not need to come in to volunteer for them. They want as little ways to transfer virus as possible. I wonder if other programs I go to like Potential Place which I go to now three times a week. I know that the senior coffee hour is not concerned about it so we are still going to meet each week on Thursday. I thinking of going to AA meeting on Tuesday noon time downtown and thus I can get back to an AA meeting. I will be going to my NA meeting on Sunday and Tuesday nights. I don't know what I will do with myself if everything shuts down. I know my BPD will kick in with staying

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at home. This is the way I reach out to people. It bad enough that I can't get out very much right now because of all the weather but to compound it with this will make me very depressed.
The RHS where I went today is trying to get a new hose or machine but I need a new test with there hose and mask. I will test it out for a moth come back and see the difference from today reading on the SD card of my CAP machine. He said then they will send the report to Foothills Hospital sleep clinic to setup appointment with them for an overnight sleep test. This will give me the requirements needed for get from Alberta Seniors assistance for financial of the hose and face mask now and into the future. They told it should take only four months to get into to the sleep clinic at this time so the sooner we get this test over the sooner the better. I still looking for a bed to allow me to sleep better as the one I have now is so warren out that is sagging in the part of the bed where I sleep. Most of the places I have to be their client or they quit providing bed. The other part is to get someone to pick it up and take my old bed away for me. I talked to some at my meeting and they say that a few of them could get together and help me out. They want to wait until I have everything setup first.
Which this virus getting more cases both here in Calgary and across Canada the government is asking people to stay home unless it is necessary. This is shutting down a lot of the programs that I am attending. The only one I been able to attend id Potential Place and it is like a ghost town at the Clubhouse. They are cleaning twice a day all keyboards' surfaces and no one going into kitchen without gloves will not be accepted. We all members if they feel sick to self isolate for fourteen days otherwise, they can come into the clubhouse. I will have to find things to do at home so I can keep my mind occupied. The one meeting that is open we are cleaning all our readings not going into a circle or holding hands or hugging. But it is open and two days that I have to go out I wish it was during the day instead at night. My doctor appointment today she phoned me at 8:00am to see if I am feeling well and if it was necessary to come in. If not, she would have done a phone call appointment. The one good thing is I use to have to depend on ALEX to get food to live on but I now have Meals on Wheels which comes six days of week. They bring both lunch and supper. On Friday they bring the whole weekend supplies of meals.
My friend at Aspen is in quarantine she needs help with her phone and taxes I can't come over to her place to fix these problems. She is buying my fridge from me so her son can't come over to get it. She doesn't have her scooter anymore which would allow her to come over even in this weather.
I just renewed my "Entry-Fair" program which gives me low income passes for transit, recreation to any city programs and now senior management which allow me to get more cleaning in my apartment. If I do not hear from Senior Management program in the next thirty days I to phone 311 and find out what the status of this program. I gave my 2019 tax ass assessment which now renews it until March 16, 2021. I sure hope they call soon as my place is getting messy. My homecare worker is doing my laundry which takes care of my clothes and a clean bed every two weeks.
The homecare is making me feel like a child with wanting to ask questions before entering the apartment then now they will come in with a mask on. I know they have to be careful but if I have and have taken caution up to now, they not needed to do all of this. I had to phone the agency to tell I okay and if given them in call that I am okay they not need to do all of this for me. Homecare worker said she going to talk to office to do her way and have all the office on the same position. I hope they not demand me to talk through a door as I don't appreciate that.

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Well, all the places I was going to are all closed down the last one was Potential Place with AHS forcing them to close. I been home and have find things to do so I joining video conferencing of the NA meeting in the Calgary Area. Our own group first had a business conferencing meeting. We agreed to start our own video conferencing on Wednesday with Dave hosting it. I had been going to meeting both lunch time meeting and night meeting. The only one I missed was I needed to pick something for my computer so I could watch educational coarse on TV. But my computer doesn't have a HDMI output so I had purchased a new graphic card with that output. I then watch things like Filemaker Pro to lean how to service Filemake Pro at Potential Place.
I had to change my times when I get my homemaker to come in like I need it done before 11am so I have time to make lunch and then go on the video conferencing. At night I need them to finish by 6pm so I get to a video conferencing either 6:30pm or 7:00pm. I will eat my supper before 6pm. Since all of my appointments are being cancelled, they will phone or cancel all together. I agreed to give my results of my sleep test from my SD card in my OCAP machine to RHS on Thursday through an email to the person who gave it to me. Then once the virus problem is over, he can setup an overnight test at Foothills Hospital to qualify for the senior's financial backing. In the mean time they have given me a new mask and hose to due the test and consider it mine in the hope that seniors will pay for it after my final test.
My neighbor has been the one getting my supplies and medications for me. It is so nice of her to do this so I am planning on repaying her by getting the epaper Calgary Herald for her. This will repay her in this small way. She was planning on stopping the written paper because of the cost of it had gone up again. Now she will have to only pay $10 instead of $38 a month. I made an agreement with my neighbor to get epaper online for half of the cost epaper cost which is $10. I would get the Calgary Sun which I want mainly for the puzzles and I read the rest of the news quickly for any other news I would want. My neighbor wants the Calgary Herald for the reading portions and there is one puzzle I usually she gives to me. Any part of the paper which she uses to cut out to give to other people she gives me the page and the article and I will print it up from my computer with my copy of the epaper. The cost of the two epapers is still cheaper than the written paper delivered to her home in the front lobby. I thing that has been happening around the building is the people have been taking papers from the front lobby to read for themselves because there is nothing else to do around the building.
Since they have nothing to do, I see the people in the building still grouping in the lobby and talking to each other even though they are to be six feet apart. The meals in the building are only take-out meals. They also have come in time intervals so that not everyone comes at the same time. The coffee hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are still going on in the cafeteria even though the cafeteria is closed for meals.
I have had all my bills on line for months and the only thing I had to go into the bank to get was new checks with my maiden's name on it and my present address. The ones I had were from my address three locations ago along with name change. I trying to find a Freedom store to find a way to change my information that is stored in my phone which old info from when I bought the phone. I tried to phone online they said it can only be done at a store in person. I wanted to find a Shaw store open to return a controller but all the major stores were all closed. Only restaurants in the food area were open. Some of the small one person bouquets in the middle of mall were still hope.

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My registration of my Personal Directive was done okay online but for some reason for weeks I could not get my brother to confirm that he is my agent on my Personal Directive. He had come up from Bassano to give me my Parking Placket which I had updated a few days earlier over my name changes so I was able to put on my new stickers to update for another five years. We then tried to register him on the computer but it gave us problems so we phone the local Legal Guardian Office to want we needed to do they told us to phone the Edmonton office. We phoned them and they told us we had to phone the long-distance phone number which only has an answering machine and no one really answers it. They said they will email them to see if they could get it work out for us that was some two weeks ago. In the mean time I got three letters from their office telling me to register all over again with that long distance number. He phoned me today and told me that they finally phoned and confirmed that he is my agent. I glad that is finally all over.
My Alberta Digital ID where I registered with them the Medial Health part of the program still has my old name so when I am doing any journal with it showing up as my old name. They told me even if I quit the program and started new the problem would still be there. They been telling me for months they would fix it and said they got problem they think fixed and hope to get the fix in then next two weeks. But now with the virus problem and most place cutting staff it could be another few months before it is fixed. Due to many trying to get on to My Alberta Digital ID the system has been shut down for two weeks. I have not been able to update my sleep and mood which I been doing each day until the shut down. I hoping that once it back then my name will be fixed. With so many people not being able to go to work then this could be other reason it down.
I been going on each day video conference and found a person with eight years that said she would introduce me to a Monday meeting with a lot of clean time. I should be able to virtual a sponsor from there and hopefully some who can understand where I am coming from and my past. It would be good if they have more time then me and maybe around my age too. I went on chat for Pacific region and there were more three hundred people on the meeting. I felt it was so crowed that there was no time for anyone to share or any length of time. The mind set of the Americans were of different speaking even though it was about being clean. There was a lot of talk of virus and the isolation which it has caused them. I thinking of picking up a license for zoom and have meeting on Saturday and Sunday as these times have no running meetings. The cost would be a $20/month.
While I was installing the new video card, I accidently fell out of my chair hitting my breast and causing it damage. This was two days ago. I ask the nurse who is my homecare worker about at the time she said to put on ice as much as possible. Since it was still hurting, she told me to try heat either the cream or a heating pad. I was told to tell my doctor on my Monday just incase it more serious then pulled muscles. It been bothering me in my sleep when I role over or getting up from the coach. She said if I was having problem with breathing, she said it might have been more serious. It may take a few weeks to calm down.
I will have to get to the mall in next week as some of my medications are running out. I hope that the order for blood strips also comes in the next few days as I have only ten strips left of my old stock. I should order sometime next week in the afternoon to go to Mall as I want to be at the meeting which are at 2:00pm to 1pm Monday to Friday. Actually, Monday would best since I don't get any meals delivered on that day. Also, I not buy next monthly pass for April as I will use it enough to buy one.

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My friend in the building got my medication from the mall so I didn't have to go myself. If I could not get her to do it as she can pay with my credit card I would have to pay with cash and I can't get to a bank to get money out at this time. So once the money in the wallet is gone, I will not be able to replace it. Two orders of blood strips one from Amazon which I tried to send back but Newfoundland is not receiving mail and the cost of sending the package would have been $21 so I told them I would keep the package. The ones from EBAY came in too which now makes 550 strips I have to do blood tests. I still need garbage bags but they are coming in hopefully on Tuesday but I only got three bags left and I go through one every few days. The new HD video camera and two cables one 10ft length to reach from my computer to the TV is coming next week. The other cable will turn a VGA output into a HDMI input converter since I have already got a video card with both the VGA and HDMI this one will not be necessary until I get a new monitor which has HDMI input.
I have to buy some more grinders that will fit into my MicroPedi foot care system. I decided to order a new MicroPedi foot care system but instead of it been battery charged it electric charged. It includes more rollers and grinders. I still will be able to use the other rollers for my fingers which I have in this new machine. The biggest thing was getting the new rollers as both that came with the machine are so worn down that they not working well on getting rid of calluses on my feet.
It looks like this virus is getting so bad that they are asking everyone to stay in their homes and only go out to get food for yourself and only one person in the family. As I can't go out because of it still snowing out and weather is still cold that my power chair would not be able to handle getting around on the roads and the C-Train. I sent back my April Pass for a refund and the city has extended the March Pass until the end of May. So, if I do go out for any reason, I still take ACCESS bus to my appointments. Life I have an appointment on April 9 for blood test which I will have to go into the office to get done. My appointment with the doctor will be done via video conferencing so I will not have to go out for that appointment. Potential Place is bringing me a hamper of food mainly bread and things for breakfast and since I get the Meals on Wheels each day except Monday my meals are taken care of and I am stocked up with medication for three months I would not need to go to my Walmart for anymore medications. All my other needs I can order online either through EBAY or Amazon. Amazon Prime Video has put out more video due to the outbreak and since my internet is unlimited, I can stream these videos from them and use my video card with the HDMI which plugs into the TV and so I can watch the video with Dolby sound bar from my computer. I have enough paper to do the printing I need and since I not getting out, I will not have printed another book just articles in the newspaper of the puzzles and any article my friend wants to print up for her.
I got a phone call from the Alex Food Centre asking how I am doing. I told them with my meals taken care of by Meals on Wheels that part is taken care of. But other then Sherry who volunteers there I hear nothing from them. I recommended to them to setup a zoom meeting with the one our chat room so we see how we are all doing. We reach out in the same way Potential Place is doing each day but for them maybe only once a week. The only other thing I mentioned to her was the state of my bed mattress was so bad it hurting my back each night so soars all day. I really need a new mattress soon before I will not be able to sit up properly during the day. It even found it hard doing my exercises during the day because of it. I found that putting the lid of 40-gal tote plastic box under my bed helps with keeping my bed more firm and able to sleep better.

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I phoned Rebekah to see how she is doing? She told me that she has been without work for two months so she short on funds to get the internet as it would cost $120/month which far beyond what she could pay right now. She told me that someone in her building died and they did not find him for a week. I told her since I get homecare twice a day if I don't answer the phone when they want to come in or if they are in the building and try to get in my apartment since I always leave it open just before they come for my appointment, they first try my friend who has my key if not then they would call 911 to report a problem with me. I told her she phones me anytime just to talk if she wants, I am thinking of both them all the time. I know Geoffrey doesn't want to speak to me that okay as I send my wishes through Rebekah to him. We talked for about fifty minutes and encouraged her to keep up her faith.
A month ago, the RHS gave me a hose and a mask to try and then I was to come back in a month. The problem is that with this virus these can appointments are cancelled fear passing on the virus. I needed this step so I can do the overnight sleep study at Foothills Hospital for a test one. With the test one I can present this to Senior's Benefits and get funding for my hose and mask from that point forward. Since I could not go in, I sent to them in six emails as the files they wanted for a month was too big but I took the SD card from OCAP machine and split it into six parts and sent it to them. He said he then could put it together and has a report ready so when we do get out of this virus environment, I go for next appointment at Foothills Hospital. Otherwise, I would have wait until then to come to an appointment at RHS first and then to Foothills Hospital.
I talked to my daughter today on her birthday for one hour we great time and beside not getting out she is bored so video from Youtube but I fixed it for her I gave my Netflix for her since I not use as I am mainly doing Amazon Prime Videos. As two people don't use it then it would not mater if she uses my account, I will not use it. With virus they are putting more movies and other videos to keep people on their streaming channels. Also, since I am ordering everything in on Amazon and get same day or at least two days. Along with other things I can use like video, audio, books and so on. To think she is thirty-nine years old and I have not seen the two of them for thirty-eight years. She can't even go over to her brother's place due to virus problem there too. I told still keep in touch and sorry for any hurt she had live through because of my addiction and loss of contact with me many years.
I ordered my groceries from Walmart. The first thing that you have to do is to buy fifty dollars worth of groceries before they will allow you to pickup the food. Then you have to pick a pickup time but the times are almost a week after making the order. The only time I could find was on Sunday at noon. I will have to take ACCESS bus to Walmart and then after getting the food wait an hour before they will pick me up again. The rest of the mall is closed due to the virus so will be nothing to do but wait. They do have WIFI so I can read my ebook from Knidle from Amazon. This is free service for prime members which I am or I could watch one of the videos they have too. They told on the radio that seniors are to have a slot in the morning so they come in and not get affected by many people at the store. But I could not see away of slotting that in for seniors. They only allow one person per hour which should give plenty of time between people that I can't see that they could do it say every fifteen minutes and it would still given enough time for people to pick it up and go before the next person comes for their order. I glad I will only have to do this say a max once a month for these perishable food like milk, eggs, butter, small amount fruit and vegetables. I also ordered onions, yogurt, mushrooms, cheese, meat and a treat of blueberry muffins and that all added up approximately $51.

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I got from the federal government extra GST of $392 which I knew right away what I would use it for. My bed has been bothering me for more than a few months is my bed which is sagging so much that the springs are hurting me while I sleep. Well, I should say try to sleep. The bed has been giving me back problems all day long. I went on the Television Shopping Network and found a memory bed that normally cost over $1,200 for the bed but they had it on more than have price. The cost was $529 plus $30 GST but there is no delivery cost and they will deliver it to my home. The only problem will be setting up the new bed and taking the old bed out. I know that the building maintenance person will not do that for me. I will ask Potential Place to see if there is possibility for them to do this for me. The extra cost will be worth the getting a new bed which I trying to get from other places and they all said they will not do anything until after the virus problem is over. This way I am using it for good not addiction which I might have done in my using days. I wonder what other people will use this money and I hope not footlessly as I would have done in the past. They told me they would deliver it in sixteen days. This is not too long to bear with the bed as I said earlier, I have two 72 litter tub tops right now under my bed to try to keep it from sagging but it still causing problems even with them under the bed. They might be flatting down from my weight as they are only plastic lids. The maintenance person said that he would get the carpenter to come over on Tuesday and see if he cut some plywood to fit under the bed put that will cost a small amount to do this for the boards. Now with the new bed coming I don't know if I want to do this anymore. I will wait and see what he thinks.
My friend from NA called me to see if he could pick up any supplies for me and I told him I had already ordered from Walmart at Marlborough Mall. I will give him my credit card, my parking pass as he picking things up for me and password which I don't think he will need and finally my business card with all my info on it. He will first have to pick it up and I have large shopping bag to hold all the groceries and then go to the Walmart and come back with my groceries in the bag. This will mean I will not have to go to the mall in ACCESS as it always bothers my back riding in the bus even tough, they usually only have one of us in the bus at one time.
The present Fresh Start treasurer wants to pay for the zoom account for three months and since I have a USB drive that cost $5, I will add it to the invoice I made for Fresh Start. The treasurer is in isolation so he can't come out to the bank to get the transfer of our name and cards so I will be fully the treasurer of the group. I already have setup. The flash drive will be used to keep all our notes and agendas along with all the reading we would use at the meeting. The price is reasonable for five dollars. We could put video as long as they not long on the drive it only 32gbits which can hold lots of simple files but not videos.
I have quit using the bulky and baggy depends as it heats up when I use them also it rubs on my skin. This were supplied by AADL and I will still remain to get them but I will send to others in my building or I will bring them to my doctor's office the next time I am at her office which could be some time. So it looks that the one person or maybe another in my building will get most of it at this time. The point is that it will not cause skin problems and flat and small which I put on my panties. The cost of these is very small and I get it from Amazon and can schedule it every few months or as often as I need to replace them. But I still have to order from the drugstore every few weeks to keep the supply coming or they will cut the service completely. As it cost so much and some who is senior will not have to pay the cost of them for themselves.

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My bed got to the point in last few days I can't sleep a bit at nights as the springs is going right into my back and irritating my back. After two days my mood was so low that I not thinking straight. My doctor office phone to say I had an appointment tomorrow and she will be video me at 1:30. I sent to Ann the nurse my blood sugars since I last saw the doctor and they told me hold on and they would transfer me over to her. Well, it rang several times and go the answering machine. Since what had happened in the past, I phoned back to the reception to tell I was not going to leave a message on the machine. So put me hold and then got the Ann, I told her how low I was and how much pain I was in to the point that I was not feel safe with myself. We talked on how we could fix the bed to get last until I got my new bed in twelve days. She suggested turn the other way in the head so sag part would not be in my back.
I mentioned this to my friend in building about how my mood was and how much pain I was in so she recommended that phone Home Hardware see cut a piece and ship it to me. I did and they said they only had set sizes and could not ship it to me. I told it to my friend and she phoned RONA and see what they could do they said they cut any size for about $22. She agreed told me to measure my bed and I knew it was 60x80 she then went over to RONA and paid for and asked them to cut it two pieces so she could carrier it home. Once she got it home, she got maintenance worker and manger to carry it to my room and put it under the bed. I thank both of them and her too. She said it was worth it so I would not be hurting all night until my new bed came. We could also use the boards under the new bed to make it firmer.
Since I am home all the time, I been spending a lot on things which may not be necessary for me. I know lots I can use but I don't what to get an addiction on spending. My thousand-dollar limit on my credit card is down below two hundred but the cost of the bed is five hundred fifty-six dollars. Once I pay that amount off the level of my credit limit will go back up in fact the bank which I have the credit card with wants to increase my credit by one thousand and five hundred dollars. I feel with my addiction and past problems with my credit limit I feel I should leave it at my present level.
Potential Place asked me to setup a presentation on understanding computer. I took my original program that ten lessons and broke it down into five parts. I now only have four lessons in the basic. The program one has six lessons and the resume one has only two lessons. The new Digital Devices which deal with things like new cell phone to old way of reading has two lessons. The last program web browsers and messengers had two lessons. I might still work on the cell phone one has only shows the different types and no instructions with the phone ones. This has been keeping my mind off what been going around in the world.
For the first time since March 16 when we were shutdown at Potential Place I not been out of my room. I went out for some fresh air as the weather was sunny and boatful. I have food brought into me and even the medication and groceries at the Walmart at Marlborough Mall both times my neighbor upstairs got my medication and my friend from the twelve-step program that I attend went to Mall all I had to do order it and pay for it upfront then he just picked up and brought to my place. The day today is miserable so feel like going out. Besides the pain in the back from bed is still bother me a lot. I have to take extra medication for this until and ointment on my back and front to control the pain. My mood is not the greatest and I not enjoying the video conferencing as much as before. I use to go one three a day but now if I get one that about all I do. Even our groups meeting had three of us.

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It my twenty-seven years of Clean and Sobriety and I was able to speak at a women's meeting. I was able to give to them my who story in thirty minutes. With some crying I gave the hardships of my life and hope of what the 12-step program can do for you. I told about my sponsors has done for me to keep me alive and clean. I also told of how as a sponsor I was able to help three in the program stay clean but one went her own way and I hope she is still alive. I made a video recording of this and willing to send this onto World NA or maybe I could speak at a conference outside of Calgary. This gives a hard message but a message that whatever can happen to a person they can become clean and stay clean.
Since we are still in the virus problems and can't meet in face-to-face meeting, I will not be able to get a cake for myself or for my home group. I will have to be satisfied with present my card and medallion in Zoom format. I made a lady who was celebrating her first year with her card with her group on the back when she celebrated at her group on zoom. Last night I got my black key tag from another group to celebrate my actual birthday. But Wednesday I hope more show up for my home group zoom meeting as for the last few weeks we had two or three attend the meeting. Dave and myself are wondering what we need to do to get more attending the Zoom meeting. I got a hold of World NA and updated our group info so that our Virtual Zoom account can be posted on the World Website.
I can't believe how much my friend in the building has been helping me out. After reading my book she told me I was strong women and for anyone to go through what you have done and survived through it when most would be dead. I cried reading and couldn't put it down so your worth be pampered yourself. She got me new towel for my bed and wash. She put boards under my old bed to make it firmer. Then she gave me more blankets to go on top to put more protection from the springs. Once the bed which they left outside but the building people brought into the garage, she took with a dolly up to my room then took the old off then put the new one on and made my bed for me. The old one she left against the wall we hoped that Potential Place would take it away for me. I had to get a mover to take it out and she helped him take it to the truck. I will get some money from Potential Place next to help with the move. She gave a better rug to put on the floor under my Power chair. For my twenty-seven-medallion coin birthday she buys a dress for me from Pennington's clothing store. She also going to give on Sunday a special chicken lunch where get it from them. I can't believe again how much I have depended on her at this time. She also got my medication with my credit card at Walmart and money out my bank and put some money into the bank from loss change in my purse. She also took my book over Aspen lodge where I lived where her dad is living and will bring old book back and the added page for the book. I know she can't handle lots of food due to the weight of the food, but I got my friend Dave from my 12-step program to pick it up from Walmart for me.
I really screwed up my Walmart account I changed my email on the count before all the items on the old email had come in. Well, I then could only sign in with my phone number on the account and when I tried to find out about that shipment it would not let me in. I phone Walmart to ask why and if they send a new password to see if that would solve the problem. Well, it made it worse I could not even get in through my phone number a more. I just ordered some groceries from online Walmart but could not pay for it as I could not sign in to pay for it. I had to make a new account with Walmart and not mention the phone number as that is registered to the old account.

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I made a new order for groceries and paid for it. Then I got notice say I had not paid for my order and to pay for it. It turned out that it was the old order on the old account and since I never paid for it recognized my credit card and phone and then add it to the existing order. So, I to phone Walmart to get one of the ordered cancelled and paid back for it and since I had set up two appointments to go into the store, I cancelled the later one and came the 10am one. I look at that order made changes to it so the price was closer to the fifty dollars mark and what I really needed. I then told Dave what time and he will phone before hand at the store and then bring it to my home.
I went out for the first time where I first went to my pharmacy at Marlborough Walmart, I went in the exit entrance as the line to get into the normal entrance was very long and they where not keep their distancing. The guard asked why I was coming in that way told him I was going to the pharmacy only. I got my order and was back to home shortly. Then went up on trail up to Tom Campbell Park where I use to throw eggs down at Memorial Drive. Then check out my old place. The fresh air was great in this warm weather.
The Distance Sponsoring, I first ask them if they had a sponsor for myself and they said most of the sponsor only 5 yrs or 7 yrs then today they said someone with the same amount of time was wanting a sponsor so we could co-sponsor each other. I agreed to this and see what will happen with. I asked in many women's group that I been involved in found not one wanted to most want to deal with the new comer. I continue to help out with these ladies meeting and will chair or anything else that will get the message of addiction is a disease but meeting the fellowship is the answer along with the steps and meetings, sponsors and phone calls.
My computer completely bombed I trying to update my Linux part of my computer and it froze on me. I reboot my computer hoping it would come back but it did not. I took out my Linux Ubuntu version 19.10 which was already on the computer. Instead, it booted two Linux Ubuntu versions 19.10 on the computer. I tried to delete one of the versions but it now wanted to wipe out the whole computer as it did see the Windows 7 portion anymore. Once I reboot for the second time the system will not boot as it found to many sectors in the computer corrupted so for the last week it seems it going through every sector in the total 500gbit hard drive. These will take awhile. In the mean time I told my brother that had my Windows 7 disc that I needed it too reboot the Windows 7 on my system. Now I do have the serial number for my Windows & disc but I wondering with Microsoft not recognizing Windows 7 anymore will I be able to register the Windows 7 on the computer. Once I have Windows 7 back on the computer, I then can add the Linux Ubuntu version 19.10 back on the computer again. Is computer wonderful the slightest mistake and the computer will not work and you have to reformat the computer all over again?
Since my brother was in the area as he lives in Bassano, AB which is half way to Medicine Hat on the Trans Canada Highway One. He brought up the disc and a mask which is far better than any of the mask I had laying around. His wife has been making these masks and selling them along with other products she and Ernie sets for their company. It was nice to see him but he could not stay long as his wife was in the car and with distancing only one should in room with but I explained since we are family that would not be applicable to us. But with all and my ailments he felt it best to keep it this way. I thank him for bring it up so soon and hope they both keep well and my brother seven years older than me and his wife is either slightly older or the same age as me.

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I getting more involved in Zoom as I chairing almost everyday on New Zealand 24/7 Zoom Meeting. I start at 8 AM my time which a day before in New Zealand time. So 8 AM Monday for me would be Tuesday 2 AM for them. I go to lots of Women's Meeting which are at 10 AM PST time and I have setup my own for the women on Tuesday 10 PST which I call Power of Peace. I attend my home group meeting which was 8 PM but very few people showed up so we are changing it to Monday @ 8pm. I have taken on completely both the treasurer and do the minutes for the meeting. I help out with ALT GSR position. I attended other Calgary Meeting through Zoom. It is so much easier to use Zoom meeting then go to the physical location. As I don't have to take ACCESS with the back the way I am it harder to ride those buses. If I was not doing Zoom meeting my BPD would have kicked in my now and may have been in hospital for depression or worse.
I have a new sponsee since my twenty-seven years of clean time. She heard my story and found me real and since I was sharing on US 24/7 Zoom meeting and I gave my phone number. She phoned me right after I shared to ask since she lives near in town near Calgary if I could be her sponsor. I told about all my hardship and losing my kids because I went out when they were nine months and a year and half because of my disease. But I keep in the program make I would make amends to when I had a chance in my life. My daughter accepted my amends at my mother's death but my son who was still living with my ex-partner refused to talk except through my daughter. I phone him on his birthday July 4 and told I sorry about how I left when he was a year and half old but I was in my disease. He told all you did was abandoned me and you blood is not worth being mine and more I will not mention. This upset me to the point that I was about to use again but I had phoned my sponsor the day before to tell her I was phoning. Since she had not heard from me by 10 PM and I hope my HP told to come over as I had all those pills in my hand to use. She took me to the hospital and I was treated for my BPD and my addiction this time. The next day since they only kept overnight, I went with my sponsor to a meeting and picked up a white key tag even though I had not used. I will to show even people with clean can get low and have recommit to the program.
My sponsee has taken my suggestions and downloaded material to read from World Service. We are going to many of the same Zoom meetings together. She phoned me each day and stayed clean since I clean birthday. She came over on Sunday and we spent three hours working the workbook together and great time. I know if she continues that she will stay clean. Because of this and with my support as her sponsor her as been a second chance to get her child back. Which I had done when I was in the middle of my addiction with my kids, I may have been able to have them in my life today.
I tried to go to ALEX for a food market but it was raining and the bus forced me to stay there for more than two hours. They suggested next time I could phone in and they would deliver the food to me the next I could arrange with the market to pay over the internet in advance. I am well stocked up so I will not to order for awhile. I might have to order breakfast things but my girlfriend wants to go in with me to get food herself so the $50 requirement would be shared between the two of us.
The ALEX put a request to reimburse for the cost of my bed which cost $529 plus $30 tax got $511 covers the cost and Potential Place gave $30 half of cost to get rid of the old mattress. So, for about $100 dollars I got $1350 memory foam mattress. The pain from the springs which going into my back has been still bothering me and my homecare has to apply this pain ointment.

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This leaves me having to pay $78 for a $1,350 memory foam 15-year warranty bed. I feel it was worth the cost also I picked up two MY-PILLOW which will allow me to sleep without my neck brace at night. This was an extra $60 dollars and again the warranty makes it worth the cost.
I put in the Bridgeland-Riverside newsletter about my original home on top of the hill show both the original black and white version and the coloured version to add to the story of my life when I was young living and going to school both at elementary at Bridgeland elementary school. Then I attended Langevin Junior High school right till the year of the fire. I then went to Crescent High school which was three-mile trip each way from my home. Then my mom took to Airdrie which I already told you about in my story. Now I am only two blocks away and below where I was born in an apartment which I now call home for the first time in long time.
I am finally able to get rid of the fridge from the living room as my girlfriend will take a dolly from the garage and put the fridge on it with my help and then she will take it over to my old place to my ex-friend in that place where her father is living too. She will get the maintenance person to take it to my friend's place then bring back down and my friend will bring the dolly back to our place. In the mean time we found lying around in our building a cupboard which will fit into that space and will be able to get rid of all the clutter that is on top of the table to the point I can't put anything more on it. I will also put on top of the cupboard the HEPA filter machine which has been sitting on top of the fridge all winter and now with the table clear I will be able to put there until the cupboard is moved to where the fridge was. I turn on the machine as it will help with my asthma with all the dust in the room, I have not turned on all winter heat and pollen in summer it makes sure I have working now.
I totally stocked up with food from the ALEX Mobile Market where I went to the ALEX but it was raining and I had to wait two hours before the ACCESS bus came back. The pain with riding the bus was more than it seems but I suggested a less bumpy route but they wanted to the direct bumpy road. The ALEX recommended that next time I just call ahead and they get the order and I can pay for it online and they will delivery it the next day. I would not have to take ACCESS and with having to wear a mask the whole time make hard to breath. The other breakfast food my girlfriend and myself can put an order to Walmart that would add up to their $50 minimum so if see what get more and me less one time it will workout for the both of us.
My doctor is feeling good for me since 1985 when I had all my female parts taken out and they nicked the urethra which caused a retention of 1700cc which then exploded in the virginal and urethra track with both collapsing to 2cm hole for both entrances. I have had to wear a diaper to as I could not always be near a bathroom when I had the urge to go. Once I had the urge I run to bathroom or it would leak. After the operation on the urethra cannel which they had to do seven times which was very painful and I had to wear a bag again for two months. But now all I have to wear are panty-liners which are put on in the morning and last all day. Most of the times dry except when I have a bowel movement. Most of the cost of the panty-liner is so cheap and order them online. So, between the no pain from the bed and bladder problems solved I happier without going into so much pain it causes me to have not sleep then causes me to go into depression.
Also, with the weather being warmer I can get out myself on my power-chair and use the C-Train to get around. I will not have to buy next month pass as I only go out a few trips this month so I will only use tickets for the few trips I go on. Less bumpy and better and less time spent on ACCESS.

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I wrote two stories one for Potential Place telling of being a thirty-five-year member between the two clubhouses of Progress Place and here at Potential Place. Of which I was twenty-one years at Progress Place and here at Potential Place as of June 1 have fourteen years here. I presented this at the AGM at Potential Place on June 25, 2020.
have been a member of the Clubhouse International which I started in Toronto Progress Place some 35 yrs or more ago. They literally took me off the street from addiction and gave an apartment with psychological, social and physical support during time I attended Progress Place. I went for training for the Clubhouse in Independence Center St Louis, Missouri. When I heard that my home town was coming for training, I asked to help with this training of Potential Place Society so named at the time.
When I cam back to Calgary 14yrs ago on June 1, 2006. I was not able to live in our housing here at Potential Place due to physical problems. I ended on the street for the next year and half mostly in shelters. But you have helped with the problems with one landlord at one of my buildings from being kicked out back onto the street. You help me with moving me four times from the Group Home on 3 ST. to one in Inglewood, to two here in Bridgeland.
During the year and half, I came into the clubhouse on a daily basis. Being an IT person when I got back got involved in I the webpage, FILEPRO v5, and reception greeting people. After a period of time, I was sent for an update course at Genesis Club Worcester, MA.
Now as a senior and the virus I have not been able to attend the clubhouse since March 16. I continue my support through Slack and Zoom making Minute of Day, receipts, stories, memories for the Challenger. I get support with hampers bi-weekly, lunches when they sound delicious which are delivered to me. Finally, you support me emotionally, physically with helping with bed and phone calls and texting from my staff link. I hope is to be able to get back to the clubhouse on regular bases in the future.
The second I wrote my story of living on "Top of Hill" and it was shown on June 1,2020 in the Bridgeland-Riverside Community newsletter "The Bridges Weekly Buzz". I showed of my original home on Child Ave one in original black and white shot and the doctored version of my home in it original colour version.
The Bridgeland Buzzes

My life in Bridgeland - Laura Pearce

My life has taken many twists and turns and here I am living in this community again. I was born during the Calgary Stampede in a house on Child Ave on top of the hill. At that time, it was part of Bridgeland and was called St George's Heights. See the picture our house at the time. The area at the south end of the hill is now called Tom Campbell Hill Natural Area Park. For many years in the past there used to be a Tom Campbell Hats sign that at the top that hill. The hill overlooked Memorial Drive. All three sides of the hill were very steep and the nearest road was a block away. As kids, if we saw someone coming, we could easily run away down one of the sides. At the top of the hill there were tall grass and chokecherry trees with berries to eat in the summer.

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Our house was one of the few on top of the hill at that time and we could see the mountains to the west. The view to the east wasn't much at that time except we could see the Firestone Factory with its tall tower. You can still see it there. In the Nose Creek valley, we could see the CPR line. It had the Day Liner, which ran from Calgary to Edmonton twice a day. The rest of the valley had the meandering Nose Creek and farms and barns with horses. There was also the Red Top business - that's what we called it because of the red roof - it was a plant for making dog food - they used horse meat. This is the same location as the present-day TELUS Spark Science Centre. Near the creek there was also a car wrecking yard. My house was three store's tall with blue siding and a red roof which made it a landmark for the planes coming in from the east. The airplanes rattled our house as they were turning many times a day to go down the valley to the airport just north of us at the time. I was born in that house and lived there until I was sixteen. Then my mom sold the house and we moved to Airdrie. I went to Bridgeland Elementary on 11A St (now Delta West Academy) and Langevin Junior High School and was there in the year that a fire burned the school down. For one month before we moved, I also attended Crescent Highest High School. It was a three mile walk each day to school. I attended the original Bridgeland-Riverside Community Centre which was next to Memorial Drive at the time, in a place now called the Calgary Rehabilitation Centre. The centre had just opened when I was six years old. I swam at the outdoor Bridgeland Pool in the park next to the ball diamonds. It was just a flat, grassy area, except for the General Hospital on top of the nearby hill. My mom was the chef at the CNIB when it was a residence. We kids helped out many of the blind people by playing games. Once I helped a blind person to play golf, which I knew nothing about. Now many years later I am back in Bridgeland, only two blocks from where I was born. I am living in my own apartment next to the same park area. Only now there is no more pool. Many changes have happened to the community. I hope to get involved more as I did as a child.
Colour of our Orginal Home  Orginal Picture of our Home
I am coming up to first my son's birthday where I don't want to do what I did last year on his forty-year birthday. I phoned him to tell I was clean and making an amends to him for leaving him thirty-seven years on New Years' but I had twenty-six years clean and it is part step nine in my program. He pushed all my buttons and refused to tell me again telling I had abandoned him at that time and a lot more hurtful thing. I ended up almost using again and if had been for my sponsor coming over, I know I would have used.
The week after my son's birthday is mine. I will be turning sixty-nine and still wonder what my real birthday is? As I have celebrated both July 11 and July 12 since I have been young. My birth certificate states that I was born at 24:00 on the July 11. But the question it was that when my head came out? Or when my whole body came out? Or when I was when I took my first breath? So which date is my real birthday? That is why I celebrate both days. The mid-wife does not say what she meant.

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This is an article I wrote to Potential Place on how I was feeling since Covid-19 started on March> 16 and how I feel now hope as it slowing starting to open up to us being able to get out again.

Zoom vs in Person (in a location) by Laura P

Before March 16 I was going to Potential Place most days working at front doing reception and putting the old data files of "FILEPRO" files on the hard drive. I was split myself also with ALEX (CFC) (MAIN) volunteering two times at lunch time at (MAIN) and Monday Evening at (CFC). Since then, I have very little in away of support and have not attended at the ALEX as they have no ZOOM to use to reach out to their people. The only thing I get from them is a Food Basket for $25 but worth $80.
Well on the other hand Potential Place has started up ZOOM right away and I thus have been still involved through the ZOOM itself, "Slack", "Facebook", also taxes both zoom and by phone. I have not missed very much and have kept my Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in check. They have also supplied lunches whenever it looks delicious. I also got on a Bi-weekly basis a hamper from them.
The third thing I be doing at night and also during the day is through ZOOM is go on different ZOOM meetings which has taken all around the world. I have talked to people in New Zealand, UK, and other parts of Europe to all parts of USA. I have spoken in lots of meeting here in Canada. A couple of time I even talked a person in Mexico and few from Brazil. I even chaired a few of these meetings in front of 80 people awe inspiring.
Overall, my BPD has not raised it head except once on my son birthday and again I used Potential Place and my meetings to help me even through it was a rough time. I hope to get back to in person first with Potential Place. But I know I will still be using zoom as it gets me out of my BPD without leaving my room.
I another thing that has happened around our building is this turkey called "Turk" it been spending a lot of time at our building to the point we call it our mascot. It been here so long that one of the TV Station came and video us about the turkey and it was put on the night television news cast. I was one of the people they interviewed. Telling about my isolation in my room and how the turkey kind of made my day. Since then, I taken pictures of him kind of making love to statue of a chicken we have in our courtyard. I also made a video of him taking water from the lawn after a major rainfall. He has his own "Facebook Page" and I put both of these on that page and I have gotten lots of hit and comments of him being at our building. Some want him to come back to where he was first found after he was lost off a truck some year ago. These hits have been all over the world. He is a wild animal and as such should not be so close to humans otherwise, he will lose his wildness. Some in the building are also feeding which is worst thing that can be done as the will sure rather stay then try on his own.
The government gave some $500 due to the ongoing virus problem to us seniors. I taken that money and finally got some clothes for myself along with my neighbour who helped me get two outfits and helped pay for them her self. It made feel great which also helps with my BPD and mood. I really don't know what I would do with her not in my life right now. The only thing she talks about with me is her problems with her dad but outside of that is always thinking of others then her self.
With no Calgary Stampede this year I was not able to celebrate my birthday in the normal way of going down to the Stampede ground getting my pin for that year and coffee and a snack. The one thing I did on my birthday was to go to a mall in south part of Calgary by C-Train. Once I found the place at the mall where they were hold the event of pancakes and sausages. I found out it was a drive through and they would not allow me to drive through with my power wheelchair. Instead, one of ladies went got me the pancakes and sausages for me. While I was waiting some noticed my hat with all the pins from all the other years on it and mention they liked my hat. I told them the only thing I missed this year was the fact the Calgary Stampede is not put out a pin for this year. Well, the one in charge of the event said Well since it is your birthday, I will give you my Calgary Stampede Promotion Committee.

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He then gave me his pin and started to cry now having a pin for this year and being honoured for him to give it to me. I went home feeling that the long trip to that mall was worth it in the end. The only thing I wish it had was the year on the pin but that doesn't mater as I will know what year it was myself. One other thing I got for my birthday was my gold ruby stud earrings which will not fall out and I put it in the bottom of my two holes I have for earrings. The cost was more than I wanted to pay but it is something I will be wearing for the rest of my life. So, the one-time extra cost for all years will be worth it I feel. They are very small for the cost and if I have ear buds, they will hide the earrings. My hair can sometime even cover up my earrings. But I will know they are there.
I went down to the AA office to get my AA 27-year pin since the office just opened. I had got my NA 27-year pin at the first face to face meeting at my home group now a month ago. So, my picture frames with both my medallions for AA and NA show all 27 medallions in each picture frame. When I have chaired on a NA Zoom Meeting and we have done a count down of years of clean time I been able to show all my medallions to the people on the zoom platform. I few times if a person has said they had certain amount of clean I was also able to show them their medallion as lot of people can't get to a face-to-face meeting to pick up their medallion.
I feel with this book get so large and the cost of printing becoming more then the cost of what I asking for it I feel I need to increase the cost for the book. I feel I can still keep give updates for free but the original cost of when they get it the whole book must help pay for this extra cost of printing. Some people feel I should publish the book instead of binding the book as I am doing now. But the problem with that is no way to update the book and give it to people after that point. I feel it helps me telling my story and updating at the same time.
I bought also a new watch that check my exercising. This one has an app to keep records which can also be sent to myhealth record on AHS online. I also have another app for my weight which I record that info and I have a third app for my blood sugars in there I combine all the three apps which I can export to an e-mail for my doctor once a month. This keeps be up-to-date with my health as most of the time I am only doing a phone call with her every month. I also have BDH who help with my BPD once a month so both I can give this information to them. Overall, my weight has gone down and blood sugar as gone down. So, my physical health is so much better. My mood as I said before it generally better too. The only thing I feel I am doing to much be spending on things I want not necessary want I need. This can be an addiction too so I have to treat this in the same way I use my 12 steps on other addictions. As they say all addiction if make want more and more will out be satisfied with what you have is an addiction.
My home group is having problems in the fact that there are really only two people who are doing all the work of the group in the zoom meeting. The face-to-face meeting, we have on Friday there are a few more who are helping in keeping that meeting going. We feel that if beside no support from our home members we don't have much in attendance at with other people showing up. We at the point we might have to finish doing the zoom meeting and only do the face-to-face meeting. The amount for the face to face is still not much without the two treatment centres no showing up. They usually give us some seventy percent of the attendance at a meeting. This is summer and the attendance is usually less during the summer but we figured since there not been any meeting since March 15 some would want to come back. Maybe they are afraid of the virus or just getting out from they place.
I have been replacing all the books I given to my sponsee a book a week now that I can buy them from my home group. Sometime I uses the book while I am chairing on a NA Zoom meeting and having the book right in front of me, I tell them where in the book I am reading from along with online version I have that I sharing with them which doesn't have the number of pages on it. I have had to pay for both the online version and the physical book but the online is much cheaper. But you can mark it up the same way as you would in the physical book.

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May things have happened with my sponsee not talking to me and even leaving me he owing a debt of $500 and having my laptop. The money is not wanted I am concerned with but loss of trust and no way of going to her place to get the laptop. I would have offered her a new computer to replace it or a used laptop. I could not get a hold of her so she could hear this. I hope she has not gone out but what else am I to think.
One of my friends in Aspen as been in hospital and when she came back to Aspen, they forced her to move out to care home. I miss coming over to her place but with all the Covid problems around I would not be able to go over to the lodge. They have had a few outbreaks there too.
All person-to-person meeting in Calgary have shutdown. This been replaced with virtual meeting for most the meeting in Calgary. I have also been doing a meeting two days a week on NA NA marathon meeting which goes 24/7. At Noon each day Monday to Friday a meeting virtual which I have been attending. Potential Place has also setup Virtual meeting at 9:30am and 1pm for unit meetings. All of these meetings are to keep me going when I can't get out my place during shutdown of Calgary. Otherwise, my BPD would more than likely get me so depressed I would go out and use or harm myself. In June I went on all the transportations to show the safety of going to the clubhouse. I went to Marlborough Mall to get my groceries by ACCESS. I took the local transit to my local drugstore and back. I then took the C-Train to City Hall and back each show dissenting of people on each form of transportation. I made a video of it and gave it to Potential Place to put in the Challenger. At the June AGM for Potential Place, I told my story of coming back to Calgary from Toronto. I did this virtually.
This has been continuing for a few months and I hope to get out my place so much that there are also no birthday parties in the building or any actives. They have asked not to go out as it will increase the chance of getting the disease. I am really trying hard to not get into a depressed but with no therapist in my doctor's office to help me with my depression I have to depend on NA virtual meetings and Potential Place virtual meetings. This is also causing my sleep to be very bad. We are all hoping this get over but the entire world it getting worst and no chance of getting out this situation.
In July I told of the memories of going to the Calgary Stampede and missing out on going to this year the only thing I was able to due was to go to Southland Mall where they had car drive through to get pancakes and sausages. I figured I could go with my power chair to get but they would not let me do it. Instead, one of people doing the delivery to the cars brings it to me. While I was waiting, I told the person in charge this will be the first year I will not be getting a pin for my hat I was wearing. He took his pin for the committee and gave to since it was also my birthday.
In August I wrote an article on the difference between going to the clubhouse in person and doing as I am mainly doing which is virtually now. This has been keeping my depression at bay. I till finding hard to stay at home but it better with all my conditions to be at home and run the chance of getting the virus. There was a kitchen staff that got the virus so the whole building had to be locked down for fourteen days even though I not been in the cafeteria area since I came to the building. The homecare workers had to be tested and I felt I should not have them until they were tested otherwise, I could come down with it from the other people they go into in the building who did go to the cafeteria. In September I went to the BBQ with Potential Place at Glenmore Park. I took pictures of the day and gave it for Challenger got there and came home on the bus. Because of covid instead of buying a bus pass I went and picked up tickets and used them to get around on ACCESS but I got a Senior's bus pass for all the local transportations this was only $15 for the year will the tickets where $35 for ten tickets. But since I only went to my meeting on Sundays that meant only 8 tickets or less if the weather was nice enough that I could go on the C-Train to the meeting. I fell out bed onto my head.
In October the weather was get worse and the tires on my power chair were so bald that I could not get out and to take ACCESS to everywhere I would go. I tried to get them fixed but it needed to ordered in and that would take some time. So, I ended up staying home most of the time.

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In November well cleaning my coffee machine with hot water and vinegar well pulling out the pot from the machine the whole machine and the hot pot pour over top of my right hand and gave me second burns to my hand. This was especially around my thumb which was holding the pot. That day I kept using an icepack to cool down the hand along with rinsing the hand with cold water. I had to go into the doctor office to have it checked out. She told me it going to take a long time for it to repair. It might even take a few months to repair.
In December I had a UI infection and they tried to clean up with medication. Even though the infection went away I felt like I was having problems with pee and sourness down there. This lasted all during December and into the next year. I still only am doing virtual with Potential Place and NA with NA NA marathon meetings. I am still doing my meeting on Sunday at Fresh Start.
In January the pee problems continued until on January 7 for three days my pee stopped completely and ended up in Peter Lougheed Hospital. They took a time to get small catheter into me again. But because of the forcing the opening of the channel last year it was easier than last time to put it in. I had stay in hospital overnight and check also my covid test to see if I was infected with that but it came out negative for this the second time.
They sent me home with catheter bag and since it was a small catheter, they would have to rinse it out each day at home with an LPN nurse and 30 cc. The homecare would clean out the bag both in the morning and the evening. I was now not able to leave my home until the catheter was removed. Even with the flushing everyday it plugged four times and ended up back in hospital a few more times. They felt this would continue until it was cleaned out and enlarged again with another operation in hospital.
February 1, I went into Rockview Hospital in the morning and they put me out and stay till later that afternoon. I went home with an enlarge channel for peeing and large catheter which will not need flushing as the chance of it plugging would be small. It did clog up once but with water vinegar the homecare where able to clean it out. They took it might take four weeks to hold the channel open. The doctor and I decided after eleven days to remove the catheter. During the whole time I had the catheter in I had to have depends to stop the leaking during the night and day. This caused problems with my skin along with catheter scraping the skin. This left the skin red and sore with an ulcer on the lips. I am having problems peeing again because of this ulcer. I can't sit with it not hurting me to sit. I going to see the specialist on March 24 and I can't wait and had to sit down.
For all of March I have been doing both at my place and Potential Place taxes for the members and my friends. We will be getting $490 for Carbon Tax this year. I have been going into Potential Place on Tuesday and Friday to do the taxes. I spent this whole week try to fix the data base at Potential Place as some one had been using the master instead of the month data base for the day the members have been signing in.
April 1, I took my tax assessment to City Hall to Fair Entry office to update my low-income status for the next year. At the same time, I went to City Hall cashier and bought a Senior's pass also for the next year. Access does not use the Senior's pass so if I go more then two days a week, I will get a low-income month pass.
On April 2, I am going for my first shot for covid vaccination. They will keep me the second shot some four months later. They figure the first shot should last that long and they can give more shot to more people. Then when more shots come in, they will give me the second shot. I lost my Senior's pass had to go to Fare-entry to get it replaced it. They told me to Calgary Transit at the Centre St station to get it replaced. The $25 that I had paid for the old one will increase to $35 to replace it. That is still less a full adult pass of $109. Since I figure the weather will be nice enough that I can travel by local transportation for ninety percent of the time. I would then use tickets for the rest of the time. This will save me lots of money as the senior pass is only $15 for the year and then $35 for 10 trips when I need them. Potential Place will also give me ticket two at a time.

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I went to my appointment with the specialist and found the place not accessible to get into the building and once in the room where the doctor was going to see me found the bed too high for me to get on. The bed would not lower so I just stayed in my power chair and talked to the doctor. He told me I would have to go to the other location in the southwest where he also attended but this could take another few weeks to get me in. The advantage of this location it also had other specialists that could laser the ulcer from the skin and the bed where lower and building was accessible. I told this to my doctor and she said would be a better location and more specialists for the future.
I went for my second physiotherapy on my hand and he added that along with the rice and rinsing of my hand with hand towel to now do my hand between holding my hand in a hot water as long as I can then transfer it to cold water and keep this up for a period of time. This would also desensitise my hand some more. I was to do this over the next two weeks before coming back for a third treatment.
I went to my meeting on Sunday night as usual with ACCESS and had my pick up for 8:50pm with my meeting finishing at 8:30pm would give me plenty of time for me to get my bus trip home. But I forgot my neck brace in the room and since the room was now locked, I had to wait for the guards to open it again and by the time I got upstairs to catch my bus the bus was just pulling away. I tried to way it down but it did not work. I ended up having to come home on the ctrain but I was not wearing the best clothing for this trip. A blizzard had just started even though the distance to the ctrain was not far with no hat or gloves and thin coat I froze by the time I got to the station. I just missed the train and had to wait sixteen minutes for the next train and again the distance from the station to home was not far but in the blizzard, I was frizzing but the time I got home. It took some time for me to warm up before going to bed for the night. The next morning, I ended up with a very bad cold and runny nose and my head felling full. I told the homecare this as this was when I usually get my shower, I was not going to have one this morning. Just give me normal no day medication and I would stay in bed for the rest of the day. She would have to report this to the office of my condition. I also reported my symptoms to my doctor and she told me that I would have to go for a covid test the next day. She got arranged how I was going to get to the appointment as ACCESS would not stay around for five minutes as they leave you there for an hour and then pick up again after the appointment. Since this is a dive through test mobile lab, I would be out in the open the whole hour. In the condition I am this make my situation even worse. So, doctor arranged a taxi to take me there and back I would stay in the taxi and get my swab from the back of the taxi. The cost will be $15 for both trips there and back but the waiting time made $45.
I phoned the CBI homecare coordinator to see homecare had reported my situation in the morning. She then phoned AHS homecare who phoned me to see how I was felling and what she was going to do with my homecare for the next few days. I told I already arranged the test the next day with my doctor and she told me if I would have asked her first as it should have been she would have arranged for someone to come to my place to have it done. But since I had already got it set up, I should go with that plan but next time to ask for her first. The CBI phoned back and ask many questions about all long the homecare aide was in room that morning and I told her that it was not more then ten minutes in time. That night the homecare aide came with completely crabbed in clothing to do my ten minutes medication and this how they will be doing over the next few days.
I will be using my manual wheelchair for the taxi ride to the appointment as this is only way of getting into the taxi. They will be picking me up at 3pm and 15-minute trip and 10 minutes max at the appointment will be back by 4pm. The 10 minutes turned into 30 minutes and extra $20 for the wait time. I will have to wait 24hrs before I get my results which I will get by looking at MyHealth which I can sign into in two days and see it otherwise everyone treats with having the covid until then. I had to cancel my covid shot and my breast exam which were coming up this week I will reschedule the appointments next week some time after I feeling better. I just wanting get the first shot in before April but this cold has changed every thing. I at least got my eye exam last week before all this happened.

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The results came negative as I figured it would be but the homecare is still putting on the full grab as they don't want to pass the cold to anyone else in the building. I still feel wiped out and don't like doing anything. I been just resting and drinking lots of water. I hope this goes away soon.
I will miss a birthday at my meeting on Sunday and I told my sponsee I sorry I will not be attending. Once I feeling better, I do my birthday. I ask Potential Place I will not come because I not feeling well. Vic from Potential Place sent me phone numbers for me to do taxes but I told them to put it on hold to next week after I feeling better. That shows how much they listen to me
I phoned my daughter and found much has not changed over the last year. She still has her cashier job and they are in yellow alert. We are a bet better than her but she doesn't get out much so this does not affect her much. I asked her to video chat but she doesn't know enough to turn the camera on and even she learned she would forget and would have relearn it all over again. I told her she could use YouTube to learn but she doesn't want to. Phone only on special occasions is not enough so I should phone more often.
I phoned Dr. Grossi office to do a follow up to see when the other clinic will bring me in. She told me that they will be phoning me an appointment from their office. She said most of the time they get back to her but they have not yet. But she will phone them again to see what the status of the appointment is. I can't sit or sleep and fleeing badly all over because of the ulcers on the vagina so any movement will cause the lips to hit each other and make it soar. They phoned me back today and made an appointment for April 19 at 11am. This is at the new locations 3110 17 Ave SW near the Westbrook c-train station. The next day they gave me another appointment on May 4 at 2:50pm with a different doctor Dr. Danya Traboulsi who is a dermatologist who look at all the skin and may laser off some problems or find other ways to fix my problems down there.
I am rebooking my breast exam which I cancelled because of the cold it will be on April 9 Friday. I also trying to rebooking Covid shot but because they have opened to everyone above sixteen with an extreme condition all the spots in Calgary are covered for the next few days. I also looking into a local pharmacy which a few blocks away but they have no supplies at this time and should be getting some by next week. So, I choose which ever come first. This will only be the first shot and second one could be a few months down the road. Well talking to my doctor for a two week talk she told me she would setup an appointment with the Corner Drugstore next to her which is just over the river. I set it up for Saturday April 10 at 11am so looks that all my health conditions are being taken care of right now. I will be finally after a couple months talking to Laurie Mental Health Nurse in my doctor's office tomorrow on Friday at 11am. We talk a bit did not help much as I feel more over whelmed by my physical problems then my mental problems at his time. I told her I tired of going to NA as I don't feel a part of at this time even though my twenty-eight year is on May 1. She told me should send me some other resources that I might try where they deal with both the mental and addiction at the same time.
I went to my specialist and he brought in dermatologists who looked at the ulcer and told hem to take a biopsy of skin as she felt it was more thane just an ulcer since it has not healed in over a year. She also noticed the black bumps and said they were cysts which if not bothering me to just leave them.
We will get a report in two to four weeks. They wanted to try another compound of cream to help in the mean time but that was not covered so we trying to find another cream that will be covered. But we have to get a hold of doctor first to see what we can replace it with. They gave me the cream but between the cataracts in my eye and bit of blood in back of my eye so I need to go for another test for this in May but no operation unless I have problem seeing especially at night or my eyes get foggy then call him. He will setup to remove the cataracts from my eye. I was sent for a test upstairs where they blow air on my eyes to see how they react to the poof of air. After this test, they found it was not as bad as necessary for me to have to do any operation on it.

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They suggested that I wait until next year or if I can't see especially at night then then go ahead with more step to fix the eye problems. So, I will come back next year and they will do this all over again. Until it is necessary to do the operation. Outside the cataracts my glasses did not change from last year so I will not have to buy any glass since my term to get glasses is not for another year and half in December of that year.
After two years of trying to get extra support for cleaning in my apartment, I got a phone call that they will be coming over to check my place and fill in the forms. Then they will be coming every two weeks to clean the place in the next few weeks. I hope to be on Thursday. This will help with my own support from the homecare I have now. They agreed and will come at 3:15pm every second Wednesday.
With so many people getting their first shot I will be able to get my second shot. I will do it at the Alex Main Clinic which will be easier for me to get too. Then I will have to wait for two extra weeks before the shot takes affect. They are talking about once a year a booster shot. I got my shot-on June 17th and still after a few days it soar on my shoulder like if I had got bit by a hornet. I hope it goes away in a few days.
I coming up to my 70th birthday and to think I was born in my home on the hill above where I live now. I wonder if I will still be living in this building in five years. My addiction and my health well I was growing up have decrease my health over all. It has affected in many ways in my life. I did not even think that I would have lived this long. I just have to live in the day and not worry about tomorrow.
On July 22 I will be going to Mayfair Place to have my hand x-rayed to see why my hand is still so soar and my pinkie finger has a problem when I bend the finger under and suddenly hurt at the end. From that my doctor will see what I should do to help fix the problem.
On July 25 I will be going for my overnight sleep check of my breathing problems which causes me to not sleep properly so I have to use a CAPA machine to keep my breathing at night. I need tit to be large number as the Senior Support will only fund me the whole amount if it is high. Otherwise, they will only fund half of the cost of the equipment. I been waiting three years to get the test and the Senior support has changed in that time. Originally, I only needed to get the test to qualify for full funding and they would not accept my test that I took in Ontario when I first found out about this problem. It was more then ten years and so they needed up-to-date test.
Alberta Government just announced that since we have reached 70% of everyone in Alberta that have received their first shot, we will be opening on July 1. But since we have 20% of full vacations, we need to get this higher to overcome the Delta virus string from causing us to not fall back again later. The city has suggested we keep our masks on until end of July.
So, I will be able to go to Stampede this year to get another of my pins for my hat. Many people are afraid of going to the Stampede with risk of getting affected again. Since I will only be going to get the pin on sensor's day when it free for seniors to go to Stampede in the morning. They usually have juice muffin along with a sensor's pin. I might also get the Stampede pin also. I have done this every year on my birthday of which I have two days to choose from July 11 or July 12. Since July 13 is the Tuesday which considered being western day or sensor's day, I will be going that day.
I hoping to be at work at the Stampede like a did a few years ago. This would be with the Kinsman representing Potential Place. They said they don't know as yet if they will be doing it this year and will not know until shortly before the Stampede starts. I will also make sure I get my lunch this year. I enjoy doing this each year. I missed it last year do to the COVID. I will be able to go by myself to the Stampede grounds from my place in Bridgeland. I will not do anything anymore this year then helping out the Kinsman. I will go home right after the event and relax and feel good that I did something for the Clubhouse. As they get finical support for each person that helps them for the day.

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I got my results from the biopsy which was negative but it was a pressure ulcer. I will need to keep it clean and they gave me a new cream with Vaseline on top to protect it from the pee when I go to the washroom. On top of that they will put cloth gauze which will be taped to secure it. I will not be going back unless something else goes wrong down there. I keep it up until it heals.
With the weather getting better I will be able to get out more both to Potential Place and my 12-Step meetings which are in person. I just celebrated my 28 years clean and sober on May 1 even though there were only four people there they were the ones who go to my meeting regularly. One of the members of the group asks me to be her sponsor which I agreed to. We will meet before the meeting and go through the workbook together. She will be able to phone me anytime she needs help. This helps both her and me in staying clean and in recovery.
I also went during the week after my Medallion, I went to the AA Office to pick up my AA medallion. I went to the 39 Ave station where I went road to 42 Ave and then by sidewalk to the road off of 42 Ave to the AA Office. The ramp up to the office was sharp and I bottomed out while getting onto the sidewalk. I didn't even go in the office just asked Mathew to get my medallion and I paid him for it. I had the same problem getting off the sidewalk and almost tipped over. I went back the same way I came there, but it started to rain so I was glad to get on the C-Train before it got slippery for me to get on the C-Train. The City Hall station has a shelter for me to help transfer train to my Bridgeland station. I got home and glued both the NA and AA medallion to the picture frame that I have for each 12-Step program. Because of the COVID my AA meeting is on Macleod Tr at 50 Ave. I would go on Saturday Night to celebrate with the Recovery group there. There is very little room for me and the 2-foot separation between people would not be able to be maintained. So, I did not go this year we will see what happens next year if I decide where I will go. The second thing about going to that birthday meeting there is it is at night and with my power chair having no nights I don't like going out at night. The only solution to this would be taking ACCESS to the meeting. Since the meeting starts at 7:30pm I would have to be ready for ACCESS as much as two hours before the meeting. The local bus at night go to a shuttle bus which for me is hard to get on as the ramp is so steep and I could bottom out very easily.
We are still waiting to find out if we will be working with Kinsmen at the Stampede. It is less than two weeks to the Stampede and our staff have heard nothing. This year they are not having Senior's Day so I not sure how I will be able to attend this year. Unless they give us other freebies to come in, I might not be able to make it to the Stampede this year. Maybe I will be able to get my pin online if I can't get it while I am working at the Stampede. Even the parade this year is not on the streets like normal. They are having it on the Stampede grounds and showing it on television to everyone. They did not want the closeness of people side by side as this could cause a COVID outbreak. The number of bands and very few floats too. Normally after the parade we would get in free to the Stampede.
I glad I have my power chair so when I find out if we are going, I bring my lunch with me along with my water. Overall, I feeling better this year and so looking to go in one form or another this year. I will be calling my daughter on my son birthday as usual which is July 4. Se passes it onto him even though he doesn't like hearing from me. I do as much to keep in touch with my daughter as I miss them over these many years.
Every year I go through a small depression due to the loss of my children. I realize that it was partly my fault I am in this situation, but it also is my disease of my addiction that I had at that time. I was in full blow addiction at the time. I did not think much of my kids and only where I could get my drugs to overcome my pain from due my BPD of my problems I had with my parents, siblings, and other children where I was born. The only thing that helps is accepting it. I would also be talking to other addicts and my daughter. I feel she gone through a little of what I have with drugs and understand in a small way. I really don't think I will see them again be so far away from in another Province.

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On July 6 the Stampede offered free tickets to the first six thousand people who went online. I registered and got a free ticket. This ticket is for Friday only and I was hoping to do it on one of my birthday days. Two days later the Kinsman were asking for volunteers for all of Stampede. This means I will be doing my volunteering with them on Sunday form 11 am to 5:30 pm. They gave me a free ticket to go in so I will not need the Friday ticket. I will give it to someone at Potential Place's member who can use it. I made sure the Kinsman are ready for me this year and meet me at the door the Big Four Building with a lunch and last year I never got one as their office is upstairs in the Big Four Building. I will be leaving at 5 pm so get home have homemaker do my care and then head of to my 12-step meeting.
I picked up a laptop from a member of the clubhouse for a small amount. I used it only when it was plugged in but needed it at coach to due virtual without hurting my back sitting in my wheelchair which doesn't have a backing on it. It lasted for ten minutes and quit as the power on went out. Once I plugged it back in it was reading no power on the battery and need to rebuild up the power again. I had to replace the battery with a new one which cost me $40. I then took it to my 12-step meeting for a business meeting to zoom other members who could not come in person to our business meeting. I could not connect to the WIFI in the room as it was either too old or to slow to open up. So, I took it to the computer store and gave it to them and they gave me solid state computer for under $500 which is a great deal. This one works at my meeting so at the next business meeting I can bring my new laptop.
This last two weeks of June and now in July the temperature has been in the high 30s. I noticed that my arms have been hot and have been getting blogs on now both arms. This is also which has affected me in chafing inside of my right leg and I will be seeing my doctor about all of this on next Wednesday July 21. This will be in person as seeing it in virtual or by pictures does not show the depth of the soars. I hope both are not serious and I have to go to specialties to do future follow up. I thinking of getting something that can cool down my rooms to I can sleep better at night.
My brother phoned and said my oldest brother is having major problems and was sent to hospital for it. But they could not do anything with him and sent home back to the nursing home where he lives. He is still having problems so the nursing home doesn't know what to do with him as he is complaining all the time. My brother-in-law had his back operated and in at home trying to recover with his wife. My brother Ernie is not feeling well himself and with the heat trying to stay in the basement of their home to stay cool and comfortable.
It our building on July 8 they had a pancake breakfast with eggs and sausages. They also had juice and coffee. The next day at Potential Place we had pancake lunch this time with sausages and fruit. I am going to get fat with all this carps from all these meals. I sugar level has gone up in the last three months and all the weight I lost I starting to gain all back. I found a pool in the south west which will put me into the pool and so I can start going swimming again. I just have figure out the times I can go but I should make my priority. This is the only exercise I can do and not affect my back or the rest of my body.
I spent three days helping the Kinsman sell tickets at the Stampede grounds. The first day it was raining so hard that I was wondering if I would be able to make it that day. But it stopped raining about eleven in the morning so I headed down to the Stampede grounds at that time. The first thing I did when I got to the grounds was to go to the Stampede store and get this year's pin from them. They where not opened yet but I told them I was working with the Kinsman and needed to get to work. I also told them it was my birthday and had picked up a pin every year except last years. So, they let me in I paid the five dollars for the pin and went to work for the Kinsman. I had to phone them ahead of time to tell them to meet me at the Big Four building front door with my badge and lunch. They brought to me and we went the BMO building where I spent the day waving my Harry the Horse at all the children as they went by. I had a great time and they announced my birthday and that I was representing Potential Place for them.

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My article in Potential Place Challenger: "Volunteering with the Kinsmen Club of Calgary"

I spent three days helping the Kinsman Club of Calgary sell tickets at the Stampede grounds. The first day it was raining so hard, that I was wondering if I would even be able to make it that morning. It stopped raining around eleven, so I headed down to the grounds. The first thing I did was get this year's pin from the Stampede store. I was disappointed to see they were not open but they opened for me because I told them I had to get to work for the Kinsman and it was my birthday. At the door of "The Big Four Building" I phoned the Kinsman to meet me and take me to the BMO centre to work all day. The rest of the day as children went by my booth, I yelled "hee-haw!" and waved my 'Harry the Horse' birthday horse at them as they passed.
The Kinsman announced during the day I was celebrating my birthday of seventy years by representing Potential Place, an agency that they help out. "The Kinsmen Million team and Stampede Lotteries have wonderful volunteers as demonstrated through two great individuals spending their valuable time with us. Both Bryan "Pop" McMullen & Laura Pearce are celebrating their birthday today. Happy Birthday you two!" said Russell Kane, PR at the Kinsmen Club.
Volunteering with the Kinsmen was a great experience, and I look forward to it again next year!
Rodeo Cowgirl
Stampede Outfit with Harry the Horse
Calgary Stampede Pin 2021
Stampede Pin 2021
My appointment was July 26 with the Sleep Clinic I got there at 8:30pm early so I just listen to the radio until they came in at 9:30pm. They hooked me up to all wires on my head and my body and my legs. They helped me to get into bed. They spent the next fifteen or twenty minutes check the machine and the settings. They brought in a night light which was too bright so they left me in the dark but there was low light in back of room from the machines. The next few hours they watched as I tried to sleep. But I was so restless that I could not sleep. Then my knee got cold and my acted up with my bones in the Patel grinding and thus more lack of sleep for the next few hours. They finally gave up on trying without my sleep apnea mask and machine on. I fell asleep right away for the next few hours on till they came in at 6:15am when the test was over. She told me since I was restless all night, she never got real test for sleep apnea. She doesn't know what to say and she give this to see what they want to do with the test. As of today, I have not heard any results or have my doctor. My doctor and I hope that if they will not accept the result that I need the machine then they will allow me to retest again.
My homemaking with CBI has for some reason changed from the lodge girls I usually have to someone who has to come in. This person will only work on the house keeping and will charge fifteen minutes for driving to my place leaving only forty-five minutes to do the house keeping. This not is bad on the day when they are only doing cleaning and bathroom.

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But on laundry day it takes one hour for drying, twenty-five for washing, and fifteen minutes for folding and putting it away. I asked to give me back my normal lady or change it to two hours once a month so it can all be done in time. The homecare coordinator will look into this and see what need to be done.

My trip to Banff: On Friday 13 for the first time in forty year I will be going to Banff.

I will be getting up at 7am to get ready and my homecare will come at 7:45am to do my creams and dress me for the trip. I got to Potential Place at 8:30am and waited until Maria the staff that was driving me in an accessible van. She got there at 9:00am and tried to get into the van with my power chair. The problem was there were two chairs behind the driver seat one on one side and other on the other side. This left me no room to move my chair in-between the two chairs. So, my knee was up and whenever the person seating in the right chair moved their elbow it would hit my bad knee. This is how we drove for the hour and half going to Banff. I also gave me my handicap parking pass for the vehicle as they forgot to bring the one from the Potential Place's van.
Once we got to Banff, we parked in handicap parking for the day which was also where the bus with all the other members of Potential Place came on. We all had a sandwich, juice, and an apple for lunch. This was not much for me I will need more food later. One of gentleman who came with us in the van could not walk fast and needed his walker to walk. So, when we went down Main Street, we had to keep stopping to wait for him. We stopped at a mall where some of people in our group went to the washroom. Then went back toward where we came and stopped at Chinese restaurant. The prices where too much for me as forgot to put more loose money in my money purse. So, while they waited there, I went back to the mall where my bank was withdrawing $20 and give $10 to Maria who had gone half with me with the meal.
I suggested we go to the Japanese's Garden at the end of the street. We were working our way there when one of the members fell on the road hitting his head and another member falling beside him. We spent the next good half hour wait for them to be taken to the hospital. In the mean time I found a plug and was charging my phone as it was getting low. We continued onto the Japanese's Garden and I person helped me get through the gate. Just inside the gate the cobble stones where all loose and it was hard to driver over them. I take the sidewalk all around the building to the back where we were going to meet the other member in the group. I found to paths to where the members were for me to get to them. I had to go to the end then take a steep gravel road up to a grass area above where they were staying.
One of the members came and sat on a bench near where I was and asked me to join her. I tried to come to her but did not notice there was a step between her and myself. So, I ended up going over the step with my power chair jamming my right leg in as the chair hit the next level. It took two strong men helping me back up to get my chair back on good ground. The rest of the group caught up with me and found out what had happened and we took it back on the gravel road and around the building back to the gate and the street.
I had to go to the washroom which was beside the building with the plug. The rest of the group went to a restaurant. I would meet there later. After meeting them there we went back to the bus and the van and had more sandwiches, juice and apple. I save one sandwich for the person was not able to go fast and would not be back to the van for another half hour. He decided to on another trip to the river with Maria this also why we had to wait the extra time for the two of them to get back. Maria told me that we would pick up the staff that went with the two members. One the members that had also fallen was going to be released and be coming back with us in the van. On our way back we ran into a forest fire on the south side of the road and we could see was close road so we knew someone throwing a butt out that had caused the fire. We just got by when they were going to close the road. We took pictures of the fire as we went by. We got to the clubhouse at 6:30pm. I ended up at home 6:45pm a very long day.

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As of September, the delivery of lunches by Potential Place has stopped. I will either have to find another place to get the food or come in more and order more for the days I am not at Potential Place. Since my homemaking by CBI has changed to Thursday this will allow me to go into Potential Place on my normal day of Tuesday and Friday but now, I can come in on Wednesday. This will mean I will miss out on Mondays. The CBI phoned me and told me they would allow my normal lady who did before to do my laundry why she did her other people in the building thus she would put the clothes into the wash in the morning then do people for the next half hour then put the clothes in the drier for an hour again work with other people then come back with clothes to my place after that and put them away.
On Wednesday while working on getting the new attendance sheet up and running and printing them ended me staying all day right to four o'clock. The problem was I must have been away from my phone or did not hear the reminder of my appointment for my shot in my hand. I missed the appointment which was at 2:10pm in the far North West. It would have taken me a good half to three quarters of an hour to get there from work. They phoned me the next day and said I missed and would normally charge $25 for missing an appointment but would wavier it for this time but not the next. We then setup a new appointment on September 22 at 10am. I will go straight from my place so that I will not forget it again. Because I know if it was at the same time, I would end up doing the same thing getting so involved in work that a loose track of time.
On Friday I did again having to work late I had to rush out of the clubhouse to catch the train to go home for my cleaners coming at 2:30pm. When I got to the CTain I noticed I did not have my ear plugs and would have to go back to work to get them. I phoned the reception to ask them to bring it down to the lobby but phone was not answered and went to voicemail. I tried one of staff but she also did not pick up her phone. When I got to the clubhouse, I noticed that the reception was at the desk but was talking to some rather then answering the phone. My eyes where a bit fogged over and so when going through the door, I did not notice I was closer to another door and damaged it as I went in. Now they want me to pay for it. They will allow me to pay for the door over some months in partial payments.
It looks like it will be lots of money so I not sure how many months it will take me to pay it back. When I came in on Tuesday, I did not feel liking being there because of the door. I only stayed for half of the day. On Wednesday I also stayed for half day for the same reason and partly to see if I could work at the election.
I went up to the Election Office for our riding to make sure I would be able to be working this election on either the advance pole or pole day. I told some how I ended up not working last election and was making sure I would be able to do it this time. They phoned me back a few days later and told me if I still wanted to work the election and if so, which day would I be able to do. I told them I work the advance poll for the four days. She told me to come on September 5 Sunday at 1:30pm for three-hour training. I will work at Renfrew Community Centre, 811 Radford Road NE, a few miles from my place near me. The four days of the advance poll are September 10 to 13 from 9am until 9pm each day and the day of the election I would have to come into the Election Office September 20 and count the votes there at 6:30pm. I was told also I would have to be doing both the poll clerk position and the DRO position at the same time. I will have to take my box back to my place each evening. I ask ACCES to pick me up at 9:30pm each evening. I will have to inform CBI for this Sunday and for the four nights that I am working that I will not need them to come into my place as I will be working. I will be getting home most nights at 10 o'clock. Also, I will not need CBI Friday morning as I have to be there at 7am. They will come at 7:30am Saturday, Sunday, and Monday so I can be at work for 8am. Because of doing both jobs this time they are paying by hourly wages instead of set amount which they paid in the last election. I will be picking up the box for the election from Election Office on September 9. That is also the day there is mobile pole in our building so I will be able to vote right here in my building.

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I got ready for going to the election by going to Walmart and picking up six sub sandwiches along with six large pizza buns. I will have to get two containers of water for each of the four days. I will make coffee for Friday which I will put into a thermal cup coffee container which I will bring each morning of the four days. I picked up apples to bring along too. I can't use the hand sanitizer or disinfectant that they use as it affects my asthma so I bring a cleaner of my own to clean the desk for the four days. I folded 75 ballets to have ready to hand out to the people next day.
I woke up at 6am got my stuff together, coffee, water, three sub sandwiches, two large pizza buns. I carried my box on one handle but it started to drag on the road so I had to hold will driving, the other handle had my shield to protect me from the people at my station. The ballets and the food were in the extra bag, and the clean spray and my personal things was in the other bag. By the time I got to the centre my hand was soar and I could hardly hold the box up from the road. They took it from me and I setup for my station. I started to receive people and noticed right off the bat that the ballets were not perforated and I would need to tear each ballet twice, once to give the tin folly from the booklet to give to them to vote and the second to rip the tin folly the ballet itself. I then had to ruler out their name, put sequence number in another sheet, and then write their name on yet another sheet. All of this took time and I ended up falling behind as my line was the longest one. At lunch time they gave me a break and I went down to washroom in the basement where the CPS turned all lights on for me. After I went to washroom the CPS told me since I was having so much troubles in keeping up that they would have to replace me and send me home with five hours of pay. I was very upset and sad when I got home losing out on all the pay, I was looking forward to getting.
Well talking with my doctor, she told me she got a note from RHS who is supplying my equipment for my CAPA machine. They told her they had received some report from the sleep clinic and she was not sure what they had done. She told me to call and find out what happens next. I phoned the RHS and he told me they received the report from the sleep clinic and had sent it onto senior's assistance for approve of the equipment but it would take some time before I would get a letter from senior's assistance about the funding. At that time, I could ask for a new mask as I have had this mask for more than one year.
My brother wants me to go to the Labour game at Calgary Stampeders which is at 2:30pm. I will meet him at the stadium at 1:30pm and we will eat at the game. I will bring along two popcorns and some juice for the game. One of popcorn I will give to my brother to have. This will be the first time in almost two years that the two of us have gone to the game. I will be taking the CTrain to the stadium and meet in the parking lot. I will bring cash as they don't accept credit or debit cards in the stadium. When I went to pay for food, they told me them they don't take cash anymore because of covid instead they only use dept or credit cards to pay for the food. My brother gave me a Stampders mask to wear during the game. He gave me present to take home which was a box containing strawberries, cherries, and two large tomatoes. I left early as I have to get back to my building for my homemaker by 6pm. But I listen to the game on my way home. We did not win for the first time in eight years to Edmonton.
Both the Province of Alberta and City of Calgary have brought back mandatory use of the mask for all places in-door. They will be a $500 fine if you don't use it. The Province of Alberta said they will pay $100 for anyone who has not got their first shot but anyone who has will not get this extra money. It punishing the good people and rewarding the oneness who doesn't want to get the shot in the first place. Most of them won't take the shot even though they would be getting the $100 for the same reason they didn't want the shot in the first place. They will also stop drinking at 10 o'clock but that will not affect me. What they should bring out is a vaccination passport which would force those people to get shots or they will not be go out to events in the community. As it is the Football games and Hockey games are asking for proof of vaccination before going to the games.

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I finally got my shot in my right hand. After getting it, I could not use that hand for a few days. I could not type properly and had to hand picked my way through typing. It took longer than normal to do all the work at Potential Place I usually did. But after a few days it finally came back. They said I would need to go for another shot in three months or more again. My pinkie finger still locks up but the rest of the hand feels better.
I found out from Potential Place the cost of door was estimated at $1800 but they are willing to take half of the cost making it about $80 over the next year starting in November. The actual cost was less then $80 but I am rounding it up to $80 to make it easier on my books and also giving good jester for giving it for half of the cost. I know I can handle that much and will just have to set aside the amount each month like I would for a phone cost or transportation cost.
I am taking part of the World Seminar for International Clubhouse which I do from my home doing it virtual from the other entire clubhouse in the world. The cost of the seminar is $100 but Potential Place paid the cost for all the members of our clubhouse. The first day was just introduction in the morning and nothing in the afternoon. I had a problem with watching it as it went to black since I was on a laptop using KHOVA application. I had to switch over to zoom and was able to see the presentation again. But missed a good part why they tried to figure it out what to do as I was not the only one with this problem. The second day it happened again this time I switched quickly over to zoom. Most of the morning presentations start at 6am our time since it from the eastern time zone it would be 8am there time. I find myself tired, after one early morning secession in the morning that I have to go back to bed before the next session at 11am. They are usually one in afternoon all them are one hour with fifteen-minute break between them. Some of the topics I enjoyed but some seems to be more professional then for member perspective. On the first morning at the clubhouse there where so short of staff that no one knew how to setup virtual for the unit meetings and had to come in and show them in the afternoon how to setup. After the seminar I will have to teach each staff who does not know how to do it. On Friday I will not be able to watch the seminar as I will work both Friday and Saturday at the Casino for the clubhouse. It starts at 11am and goes till 6pm with getting breaks and a lunch from the Casino. I will go into the clubhouse that morning since the Casino is just across the street. So, I will be able to get in the unit meeting first. Since I am not at the clubhouse for the whole week, I had to make up the Daily Newsletter from home and send it by Slack where they can download it for each day. I have not been feeling well with my stomach being upset every day for more than three weeks. My doctor thought it was stress but it lasting longer and is concerned about it now. I feel I need to go in to her office to see about this. So, setup the next appointment at her office in person. I have not been eating as well this week as I will not be able to get into the clubhouse to grab extra lunches. Since I have been doing the seminar at home, I have had to stretch my meals for the whole week. Besides I am not feeling like eating anyways. I will be getting from Kerby Centre some meals every two weeks which will supplement my meals. I would go back to ALEX but they sever only food on Wednesday at lunch time and Friday for breakfast. Both them days I either at Potential Place or at home for my cleaning lady for Wednesday afternoon so make home in time from the Alex to home.
I spent my first day as a chip runner only going out a few times during the day. The day went by so slowly that it could have been done by one person instead of the two of us. I found a bit boring and the person I was working with took everything I said and twisted to make me look bad. She tried to tell my story when one of the board members came into the room and I told her that it was my story not her interoperation of my story. I will be glad she will not be on tomorrow. I also hope it be more busy tomorrow. They making a mistake and so I was the only one for Chip running. But it would not have made a difference as the day was slower than yesterday. But if I not been there, we would have not had any chip runner. By the end of day, I could feel my sugar level was very high and my knee was bothering me. So as soon as the night chip runner showed up, I went home.

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I just got $1,600 from the Alberta government today and first I was wondering if I won some lottery. But then I looked up Alberta Senior Assistance that for my CPAP machine and supplies they give every five years a maximum $1,643. This makes sense the amount I am getting. I know I will have to repay RHS who have supplied my equipment for the last two years. I will have to check with them on that amount. I feel I will also repay the door cost in one lump sum instead of over the whole year as they setup for me. My machine I have right now is working okay so I don't need to replace it at this time. The cost of a machine can cost from $800 to $1,500 which would take the entire amount and have to put it towards the machine and nothing leftover for other supplies likes masks or hoses. I will check with RHS before I do anything so I know how much I need to pay first.
I did two sessions with the UCalgary students for Potential Place. Since the first one was on Wednesday in the afternoon and I have my homemaker in the afternoon I setup for a virtual session by zoom. The first one was with all the students where I gave a virtual tour of our clubhouse using YouTube. This was at one o'clock. My second session that day was at three o'clock where I talked about my video how drugs caused me to lose my kids and ending up in QSMHC where I got shock treatment for four years then kick me out onto the street for two years. This was where Progress Place gave me an apartment and I became a member of the clubhouse. Then they sent me for training for three weeks on the standards which the clubhouse works by. Then Potential Place came to Progress Place to train how to start a clubhouse in Calgary. I helped in the training of my clubhouse. I mentioned that when I came back to Calgary and joined Potential Place there was no housing as the housing was not accessible. I ended up on the street for year and half. I learned about BPD and was sent to Sheldon Chumir Health Centre where I took DBT to deal with this. I also connected with the 12 steps programs in Calgary. I also connected with my doctor on a monthly basis too. Finally, I continued with Potential Place going in more than three times a week. This all worked out until the Covid happened and Potential Place had to shut down for a couple months and only way to communicate with Potential Place was through virtual internet by the away of ZOOM. My doctor only did call once a month and the 12-step program also used ZOOM to keep the meeting going. For doing interviews I received from them two $75 cards I can use at President Choice stores.
I will be doing another virtual presentation on October 27 at 7:30pm for the UCalgary students. Christine Walsh asked to present on "Aging in Place" focused on how older adults can age in their homes and communities. I will be doing it along with three other members who helped do our last presentation. This will be my four presentations I have done with Christine Walsh from when I was in the Drop Centre of the Centre of Hope some seventeen years ago. I love doing these presentations to help students understand how problem of our past can be overcome with help from the community and health professionals.
My USB drive that had all my info on including this story gave up the ghost so I had to take the one on my webpage and change it back into word format. It seems some how I missed one page and will have to fix it on the web and I going to see I can get this USB drive fixed somewhere. It had also all my taxes for all the people I did from my place so I not sure how to replace that. I might have to just start from scratch with all them I do next year.
I thinking do the treasures for our AREA for NA it will mean a lot more work to keep all the records and go to the banks for them. I will also have to do a report each month for ASC and attend each month on fourth Monday of each month. I will still be doing my groups treasures position at the same time. But since I retired and have only Potential Place to go to, I should have enough time to do both of my commitments I am the GSR ALT for our group but I don't think I would have time to go to be the GSR position and treasurer at the same time. I love doing all this but I don't want to get burnt out in doing more then my emotional status could handle.

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I been trying to handle the stress at work since one of the workers quit some months ago. Some days I can handle it with help of two staff and a few members encouraging me on. But it is still very hard. I doing some work at home and sending it through Slack for the one member who is helping taking it and downloading it to the server and then updating from what I have to make ready for Power Point Presentations for the morning meeting. I also have lately been making a Morning Script which I upload to Facebook for member to see on their Facebook. The old way of doing it all from work was causing me more than the stress of work but physical problems which I had to deal with my doctor.
The work has now changed how they deal with the Covid problem with not only using the temperature when you come in which they have been doing for many months I not even know when they started it but it is long time. To now they do the temperature and ask sixteen questions which I feel are not necessary as we all given them our Covid Pass Port to them which should enough to prove we do not have the virus. I understand if we came in sick then asking to take a rapid test to prove we are negative. But if we are sick, we should stay home for everyone sake. Doing every day is too much and for that reason and the stress of work lately I feel I can't come in and will have to do all the work from home now. I will do all the meetings on Zoom at 9:30am and 1:00pm for the unit meetings, I do other meetings like the Cafe meeting on Monday at 1:30pm or the Community Meeting at 1:00pm on Tuesday and Health & Wellness meeting at 1:30pm on Wednesday. So, I really don't have get stress out and can relax not worry about the weather or getting up early to rush to work setup virtual from work in the morning. With the snow coming down on the street and the power-chair slipping all over the place It has been hard getting on the C-Train and I have few times ended up smashing into the seats or wall of the train trying to get on. I also have put on more than one layer of clothing to stay warm in getting to work but this cause my bottom to heat up and give me rashes which I have been treating with creams but has left me uncomfortable in sitting to the point I been a few times when transferring to the washroom been dizzy. I love helping out but is worth it for my health's sake.
One thing I will miss if I don't come in anymore it I get lunches from them to eat there and two to take home for the next few days. I also get a food hamper twice a month even though there is not much in there it still helps out with my meals at home. I do now get from Kerby Centre every second Wednesday a small amount of food from them but that it only good for a few days only and could not live on it alone. This will mean I will have to order and have delivered to me from a store food to replace what I will not be getting from Potential Place. I might go in for the Christmas lunch on the December 24 but other that I not sure when I will be going back at this time to work.
I been helping out the new staff at Potential Place with doing the Daily Newsletter on Zoom from home as it will be apart of her job. I first showed her the PowerPoint Presentation of Training to due the Daily Newsletter. Afterwards I took her through it step by step using the Word and PowerPoint programs on the computer with the Zoom. She shared her Screen with me so I could help her with it. The next day I guided her through it again. First, I went through all Daily Newsletter then how to take picture of it and put it into the PowerPoint Presentation for that day. I also taught her how to make the Morning Minute Script from the Daily Newsletter. She will have to get on Slack so if she can't do it herself, I can do it from home and send it to her on Slack. I hoping to teach her more of her job being a IT (Information Technician) and have been do that job since the last staff left. I tried to teach other with some getting it and others find it too technical for them to learn.
I was to find out from the Progress Place Clubhouse on how to do a PODCAST this was to be with Richard from Progress Place and maybe Robyn too and from our Clubhouse would be Mariah, Jessica, and myself. The first time we tried they forgot the time difference between Calgary and Toronto. Then second time I forgot the time and so we planed it for Tuesday but Richard got so busy he forgot the time. So, I hope the fourth time we all can get together to finally get out PODCAST this Friday at 2pm and I going to phone them 12pm our time to remind them this time.

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With the weather getting colder and snowier I will be needing to take ACCESS to get to my places or events as my power wheel chair slip on ice and snow. So, getting on the C-Train I have on rainy days slipped into walls well trying to get on. So, the Senior Pass I have that works on local buses and C-Train does not work on ACCESS I have to either give them a single ticket or get a Low-Income Pass that going up in the New Year to $55 per month. The other problem with ACCESS I can't just leave whenever I want but have to schedule it a day in advance allow one hour for coming to the event or place and one hour for leaving. I have lots of tickets that Potential Place gave earlier but they will run out so if they don't replace them again I will to pay to get there myself. I could taxi to get there and there would not be the same time restricts but it could cost $10 per ride or more.
I had to go to the Central Clinic of Alex which is off the Franklin station to get my booster shot but it was the coldest day. It was snowing and very windy with a cold breeze. I t was also getting on the C-Train both at my Bridgeland Station which is one and half blocks from my place go up a slippery ramp to the station waiting for fifteen minutes for the next train. My doctor phoned at that time and said my sugar level went up .2 and she wanted me to increase the once-a-week needle injection by 2.5 to 7.5. The train came so I got on it and went to other station but it was slippery and windy getting the long one block north of the station to the Alex Clinic. I tried off my wheels by turning around in circles while I waited to get my shot. Even though my time was 12:30pm they put three people ahead of me so I didn't get my shot till one o'clock. I then had to wait around for 10 minutes to see if I was feeling well after the shot. At the going in the snowy and freezing weather back to the station. I missed the train had to wait fifteen minutes again. I spent time on Zoom with Potential Place afternoon unit meeting. But they could not hear anything I said as the station was full of people chatting. I was trying to tell them I had already made the Daily Newsletter and the script for tomorrow. I had to wait until I got home to tell this but they had gone ahead and made the Daily Newsletter themselves. I was upset about this and we agreed that I would have the two done the day before and she did find them she would phone me to send them to her in Slack. So, I made the Monday Daily Newsletter and script. I will check with them by 10:00am if they have not done the script and uploaded it to Facebook. I will do with my zoom recording on my laptop and upload myself to Facebook for the Clubhouse. I also made a Holiday poster for the Clubhouse which I put into Slack also. I have to keep in touch with Potential Place through Zoom from all their meetings or through Slack.
Since I froze twice in two days going first to Potential Place and the elevator at the train station was being worked on, I had to travel in freezing weather and cold breeze to work. This was along the bank of the river which was about four blocks. Then over the bridge and going another seven blocks to work. I had frozen hands and took an hour to warm up. And then the trip to get my shot was the same. I know I will not go out again in this freezing weather again it not worth it for my health. I will not have to get staples like milk other things delivered to me. This is a cost of $12 for delivery on the same day and $9 for the next day. I know I can do my doctor through phone calls. But I have the weekend going to 12 Step program which I take ACCESS. I also have appointment with the seat link on December 24 which I also have to ACCESS. This is good as I have to use the old tickets I have and the tickets are going up by ten cents in the New Year. I will have to some time in the next two months go to ATB bank at sixteen Ave and Centre St to get my signing authority transferred over to me as the new treasurer of AREA. I have been doing some thing now through E-transfers but checks like to the region need to be done by check and given to a TD branch to transfer to their account.
With it being so cold I not been able to sleep very well and every time I go to the bathroom during the night it takes me rubbing my body to warm it up which take some time. I have a heated blanket but it can do one part of my body at one time and then I have to keep turning over to warm up another part of my body or us my hand to rub it until it gets warm. Since I go the bathroom a few times a night this has been keeping up all night.

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Just after teaching the new staff how to do the Daily Newsletter and she agreeing that I could do it from home and load it on Slack for her to finish it off for the next day, this was on Thursday. I got an email stating that I am not to do anymore of the Daily Newsletter again as she will do it all. She would put up to Facebook this was on Friday morning. Along with the email from her she got her manager to send the same email coming from her to confirming. That day we were doing one of our standards at the Clubhouse, which stated "The work-ordered day engages members and staff together, side-by-side, in the running of the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse focuses on strengths, talents and abilities; therefore, the work-ordered day must not include medication clinics, day treatment or therapy programs within the Clubhouse." While feel the email had not engage or encourage my help in using my talents, I have been doing the Daily Newsletter for the last two months after the other staff left so suddenly. After trying to live by the standards, which was taught to me at my first Clubhouse in Toronto and going through a break up of our clubhouse some years ago. I really feel it hurt. I did not want continue at this time.
This was especially when I went to the Clubhouse on Tuesday to teach her in person even though it was the coldest day and had to travel the whole distance along the bank of the river to work as the elevator at the station which I would have used to get to work was not working. I guess I could have turned around and go home but I wanted especially wanted to work with her in person. I froze by the time I got there and it took an hour for me to warm up before I could do any work for the day. I even stayed longer than I usually did as I did want to end up doing this again. The next day being just as cold so I could get my booster shot and also froze on that day I decided not to go anywhere again why it was so cold for my health's sake. So, I did some training from home using Zoom and Slack with the staff for the rest of the week. This why it hurt so much when I got the two emails from work as I worked so hard to help her get started that first week of being at the Clubhouse.
I went for Annual repair of my Power Wheelchair and at the same time I will be at the seat clinic and see what they can do for my back and soars on my bottom. They are going to change my chair to have a tilt on it to help my back and seat. It took all morning to size me out and try different back supports and cushions to help with pressure on my seating I am going to have to come back on Thursday they will have to spend two half hours too hopefully to finish it. They supplied me with another chair will they worked on it. I got there about 1:30pm and was on the chair until 4:30pm. I had to wait around until 5:45pm before the ACCESS bus showed up. I was snowing and blowing snow with the snow building up outside the store. They got all the measurements but were not able to put on the new tires as they are special size. I will have to come in again after New Years for yet another few hours to have them put on. I got stuck six times trying to get on the ramp of the bus because of all the snow at the front of the store. I did not get home until almost 7pm I was tired and yet had to wait for my homecare to show up to get me ready for bed.
The next day I took ACCESS to work for noon lunch. Once I got there, they said great we get all the data fixed that no one knows how to fix. From the eight of the months when one of the staff had entered the new member's name backwards into the excel form which is used to do the attendance for each day. So, I ended up spending all day fixing that when the reason I was coming was to relax and enjoy the Christmas lunch. It made me feel miserable the whole time because I was fixing the data base. The staff who is to be training other members just said to the members' just wait until Laura comes in and she can fix it for you. This is not what the Clubhouse is all about to depend only on one member to do all the work of the clubhouse. This is partly why I don't want to come into the Clubhouse anymore. I told this to one staff I felt comfortable to talk about this and showed her the two emails that was sent to me. I been away from the Clubhouse now for two weeks and I have not been able to sleep worrying about if I should have done something better to resolve the situation at the Clubhouse. Two members mentioned I should go to the CEO or the board about how I feel. W was also wondering if I should go to International Standards Committee to see what they think I should do.

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I also wonder if I should phone Progress Place and talk to Robyn my old staff, I worked with who does training on new clubhouses on the Standards. I got an e-mail from the staff asking if I was coming in to get my hamper. I did not know they had put my name down. I might get ACCESS to take me in for lunch and stay for one hour and half just to pick up the hamper.
I went back to the Clubhouse Friday just a few hours to pick up my hamper. I came in the door and the new staff who I have never meet was the one who meet me at the door to do the seventeen questions of Covid. Well before I could have her ask the questions; I answered all the questions with NO before she asked. She got upset with me for answering them before she asked. So, after lunch the manager came told she wanted to talk to me about this. I ended up crying during the whole conversation. Well, I told why I was upset and it was accepted. I also told the manger why I was upset with the other staff. She told me she would talk to her about that. To keep in touch through the virtual zoom. The say that the weather should get better next week so I might consider going back if the weather will allow the power chair to make it there. Just as the bus was coming, I heard that staff trying to change the way we do all the program before. She was not listening to the members who was making suggestions. I wish she would learn the Standards how the members are to work with the staff. The members are to be encouraged by the staff and work side by side in doing that with them. All I know I will not work as hard as I did before as others have been doing during the time, I have not been there these three weeks.
I upgraded my laptop so I can take more than one USB ports and also, I got a portal DVD drive so I can upload some software that can't be done without a DVD drive and watching DVD movie that I still have around the home. I also got a newer version of Office 2019 which will accept all the new word and other programs that are on the Office platform. I plan to finally give using of Window 7 and get a new tower with Windows 11 on it. I will have to get a copy of Office 2019 for this computer too. I will have it WIFI built in so I can do my work from my bedroom. I plan on putting a small table and chair in there so it will not beside the TV. This will allow me to do Zoom as my Windows 7 will not upgrade to accept that software anymore. I am also getting a new monitor which allows HDMI for better quality of screen resolution.
The weather has been so cold I have only been going to my 12-Step program and staying in the rest of the time. But it been hard on me doing nothing or going out to see others at this time. I not even been Zooming with the Clubhouse or the 12 Steps programs. I should get back to doing this especially with the 12 Step program as I am the new Area Treasurer for them. I look at the bus stop across the street and there is a snow bank to stop the bus putting down their ramp so I can get on the bus safely. Even taking ACCESS to work there is no place to put down the ramp unless they go around the corner onto Macleod Trail but that is a major road. It would be safer than if I got off in front of work as there is no ramp as cars are blocking where the bus would park to let me off.
A friend from Potential Place came over and we talked about her situation and about mine with the new staff at Potential Place. She has already talked to her on my behave but the staff it is only between me and her. I am saying it between all the members and her. She to encourage and help out members to the work but she to have the final say on what happens after it is submitted to her. She repeatedly told us that this is what she wants and will not suggestions from us members. She promised to come over again as this only way I have input into what is going on in Potential Place. Plus, it is niece to have someone over as I don't get many people visiting me here at home. I am doing more virtual Zoom with the Clubhouse and have done a few of the Morning minutes in Zoom to Facebook.
The weather was nice enough for me to go to Potential Place for the day. I found out that the Zoom attendance had not been done for all of December 2021. I also had to setup Zoom attendance for the whole of 2022. I will need them to redo the Zoom pages for the January to March based on December 2021 attendance. I also noticed that attendance sheets for 2022 had the wrong weekends and holidays for each month. I master calendar was not done from March during the time I was away.

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I also did the cross check as some not been done right. I renter the members who attended in that calendar. It took too much time for me to do this I didn't have time to finish the rest of calendar for February or the rest of the months. I printed the year calendar for 2021 and gave it to Frank. I got from them the birthdays and menu for Monday for the Daily Newsletter and will do it at home. I will send it by slack for them to use on Monday. I wish there was a way to do a lot of this from home as I can't make it in if my power wheelchair is not fit to be used outside at this time.
I did not go in for another month and had to continue to work the yearly calendar for 2022 putting in weekends and holidays for the rest of year. Once I did that, I got attendance for January and filled it for in person. I had to go back to working on the zoom attendance first for December 2021 filling in attendance both for data and total sheet. I had to look up anyone new to Zoom and insert them into the list members visiting by Zoom. I will copy all names forward to the January 2022 to do the attendance from the Zoom attendance. I then copied all the names to each month for the rest of year 2022. I will make up instructions on how to do the Daily attendance, Cross Check of the Daily attendance and finally how to do Double Cross Check which is done at the beginning of each month from all the cross checks days. I will also have to explain how to do the Zoom Data attendance and Zoom Total attendance. All these sheets I will lament to keep at front for everyone to use. I will check with one of the staff if what I written is proper for each attendance work. I hope this help them be able to do the work without me being beside them to teach them each time.
I am giving to someone at Potential Place my computer. I told them that the computer had Windows 7 version. But they asked me to upgraded to Windows 10. I could not upgrade so I had to start from scratch and format the computer and then put on Windows 10. I would use my registration on for the Windows 10 version. I also will also give them an upgraded in way of a monitor which has HDMI port. I put it into the computer in a slot in an internal HDMI port. The only thing is it will not have new Windows Office on it. But I could get the Microsoft Office full 2019 version for $19. Potential Place paid for the Windows Office upgrade. I have a WIFI if they would like to receive WIFI router instead of hardwiring it with a network cable. I will charge them $5/mth for the WIFI. I will also offer to them a flat bed scanner which they scan paper for their schooling. I had already put the software for the scanner. They will need them to come over so I can set up the computer with all their info before I can go on anymore with the installing all of other software needed for Window 10. I hopping that they will also take all old VGA monitors that I have laying around and take it to a recycling centre. I hope who ever get this computer will enjoy it and if they want, I can install anything for them once they come over.
The new monitor I got I put into the bedroom and got a gateway portal so I can watch TV in the bedroom. It took two days that the serviceman had to come over to setup the portal in my bedroom. He had problem setting up as there very few portals anymore. He said if it acted up again that is what he recommends to go to that time of HD Digit Box. They have gone wireless and storage is in the cloud. I moved the computer I had on the coffee table to where the old computer was so I don't have lean over to do typing on the keyboard. This was hurting my back. It took me two days with help from friend to do the transfer. I moved the old one to the coffee table to setup for Windows 10 and once they pick it up my coffee table will be empty again. My friend also gave me a 32" Flat screen to replace the one I was using for my new computer. Thus, being able to give the other monitor to the person who is getting the computer.
When my regular homecare worder for my shower showed up at 10am, I asked her were my other homecare worker to do my washing was as she usually showed up at 9am. She said she would phone her to see where she was. She found out from her that she had been taken off me permanently by the supervisor. I phoned the office and they said no one was scheduled for me maybe tomorrow so one could come to do the laundry. I told I could not wake as I was naked and need it done today.

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This is the third time that the supervisor for CBI took my regular girl away. She was able to do the Laundry in one hour while she worked on other clints in the building. She would come at 9am and put two loads of clothing into the machine, then go put it in the dryer, and finally come put away for me. Each time working in the building the rest of time. I was left naked all day this last time. I phone my doctor nurse to look into this and she phone the Home Care coordinator who is Seven to look into this for me. They told the CBI to find someone to come and do it that day. It ended up be my night homecare who did the same thing as what the other lady did during the morning. I did not want to do that every again so I called Steven and I asked Steven my homecare worker to make it every four weeks. They would be given fifteen minutes to travel to my place giving them one hour and forty minutes to do both the laundry and house cleaning during that time.
The first time we tried this it was scheduled for Wednesday at 11am. The time came and waited until 12pm and phoned CBI to ask where the lady was. They said no one was scheduled for me that day. I phoned Steven again to tell it had happened again and to look into it again. They then ended up sending a person right a way with in the next hour. I told Steven I hope this does not keep happening each month again. To tell CBI to make sure they schedule the person the day before so I will be assured that I get someone to be there at the right day and time.
With moving the end table from the Livingroom to the bedroom gave me more room in the Livingroom. Once the computer which ended up not going to the original person as after set it up for her. Her parents gave he a laptop to do her school work. She recommended a person who did not have a computer to set it up for him. I phoned him and I reset up the computer for him and the next week he came over and picked up the computer. I forgot to show how to put the computer back together when he got home so it took me a few days to help him to set it up remotely. Once I get the computer fixed for him, he did know how to set up the WIFI in his place. So, I got someone from Potential Place to help him to set this up for him. The room on my coffee table where the computer was sitting is now empty and I can use it as a normal coffee table. I bought a small Livingroom table which has power so I can plug a lamp or other things in it. It also has a two USB charging stations with it. I also took my bathroom plastic four level very small table and put it beside the new table. All of this is to keep all my papers and other stuff more organized.
I also bought a new printer that will do both side printing at the same time. I plan on giving the old printer away for free to someone. It is old and big and heavy so some people may not want the old printer. I may have to give to charity if I can't get someone either in my building or at Potential Place to take it. I hope the first is what happens. The only thing is the black toner is out of ink so they will have to replace that and HP brad toner would cost $100 but you could compatible version for about half that price. I could help them to look for the second version. Since it is tax season and I do taxes for people in the building or in other places I have lived. I asked for some money and maybe use it to replace the toner for them so they don't have to worry about that too.
The CO-OP Health shop came over and replaced my tires which were bald. This caused me to slip every time it was wet say getting on the C-Train or even on the ACCESS ramps. I would end up getting hurt as shove me into the wall of the train or the bus. They also replace leg stirrup which I have my feet sitting on. They where so bent they would not bend up or down. This caused a problem when getting on some buses which the ramp was too steep. The stirrup would hit the ramp and I would not be able to get into the bus unless the bus mover further from the sidewalk and thus the ramp would be lower and flatter. They are also getting for my chair a tilt that will tilt up and down so when I sitting somewhere I will be able to tilt it down so it will not hurt my back as much as it does now with it have a solid flat back with no tilt. I will have to take the tilt back to normal to use it move forward and backwards as it will not work in the tilt mode. When I tried it at the CO-OP it made me feel really good and will welcome it once I get it from the CO-OP. I will have be there all day to install it for me.

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I don't know if I going to get any more food from Walmart as the last time, I ordered first the reason I ordered was they had in stock the International French Vanilla Cream with no sugar which I like. But once the order was placed and I had no chance to change anything the removed the Cream from my order. Also, when they delivered it to me, I told them at the door to bring in the room as I'm disabled. But instead, they left it outside of the door which I could not get as I could not reach down to get the bag on the floor. Plus, it was blocking the door to open it. I told them but they kept telling me that they could not do anything as for two days could not get into the accounts to check the order. I basically had to get on my knees to put on manual wheel chair then push it inside the door.
The new printer I got works nicely I can do the meeting lists for my group instead having to turn it over time. I found a person who will take the printer at Potential Place. It is the one who got my old computer. The only problem is him coming over and getting it from me. It is very heavy so one of the staff at Potential Place is offering to pick it up for him. I pickup a cheap replacement black toner for total of $35 instead of an original HP toner which would cost over $100. I got some work around the building fixing a person computer and their taxes which made up for half of the cost. The other cost is from doing the printing of meeting lists for my group. Now he will not have to replace the toner for awhile. I sure he will not do as much printing as I do. My book is now 156 pages plus 6 colour pages for from and back of the book which is put on card stock paper. This took 15% of the toner each time I replaced a book which someone wanted to buy from me. The other problem I having is the size of combs I use to bind the book are 1/2" size and once I reach about 160 pages, they will not fit into that size anymore. I will have to go up in size to the 3/4" size. But I get $25 for each new book so that cost is covered in the cost of a new book. I also have 12 people who have my book and each time I do two sides of a page they all get the updates given to them. I thinking of giving to them my up-to-date version on the web which they can read until I get the physical copy to them. This is especially important to my doctor who I only see rarely as she keeps me up to date using the phone calls.
The weather has gotten worst again so I will not be able to get into the Clubhouse over the rest of week. It maybe okay on Friday but if the roads are bad even though the weather is good, I would not want to get out with my power wheelchair. I have been doing all the taxes by Potential Place scanning the information to my email. I also need their phone and birthdate to fill in the digital parts of the form. I also doing virtual Zoom with them both in morning and in the afternoon. I feel more comfortable at home doing whatever I can do from home as every time I go in, they work me so hard I totally exhausted that I have to rest after getting home. Since I work from when I walk in the door until I leave and generally it lasts all day. Once spring comes, I will not be needing to take the ACCESS to my meeting on the weekend and also, I will be able to just travel to work by riding to work straight from my home over the bridge and then in the backway to work. This will save me the time of having to wait for either my local bus to take me there or the C-Train.
I bought a Prepac 65.75 in W x 43 in H x 11 in D Salt Spring Queen Headboard from Walmart. The only problem was it came in pieces and some are long and heavy. I need help from in the building to help put it together as I would not be able to do by myself. The one who I did her taxes for her last year will come and help me. When she gets her taxes, I will do her taxes again. Well, it up looks okay the only problem I see is I use to be able to use my wheelchair between the end of the bed and my dresser to get to the window on the far side of the room it too tight now to do that now. I will have to slide over the bed to get to the window on the other side of the room instead. This headboard has shelves so I can put my CPAC machine in the shelf. I put my clock radio on top headboard. I also put my hairdryer in the shelf. If I have breakfast in bed I also keep in the shelf while I am eating. I took some of my cash I get for my credit card and used it partly to pay for the headboard. This was cheapest of all the places I looked at too. Because I bought it from Walmart, I get more money back again on the credit card because I bought it from Walmart.

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I ordered the 5/8 binding size and got the two books from my building and replaced them. I had one on hand and also replaced that one. I then took the one book and my binding machine to work. There was one there missing one page which I took a picture of the one I brought and then bind that one. That left two that if someone brings in their copy, I replace it with one of the two and rebind that one for the next person. I going to leave the binding machine at work and just update the copies at work. I know I can do 20 copies and I only have 12 copies at this time. I will have to take two back home for the two copies here at home. And I will have to make one for the doctor which I will take on my way to work. I will always have to wait until I am at work to do any updates to the book.
With spring being here and the weather getting better I will commit to two days at work of which will be Tuesday and Friday. I had to setup with my homecare for them to come early on those days so I can get to work by 9:00am. This means that they are coming at 7:30am to do my homecare work. I then get my rest of things done like lunch and coffee and leave about 8:30am. There are more C-Trains at this time and will not have to wait long or driver to work. The weather is enough also I might be able to go to my 12 Step program by C-Train too. I will have to decide what to do with all the extra tickets I have if I don't go by ACCESS. My Senior Pass which I get once a year only works on local buses or C-Trains. These are last years tickets and maybe I can return them to Calgary Transit. I get only one ticket each month now from Potential Place but they are the new tickets for this year. I have not had to pay the extra 10 cents that the tickets have gone up on ACCESS.
With the weather also being better I will be able to pick up small number of groceries at the local Supper Store which is near me on the other side of the river from me. The cost of getting it from CO-OP is very expensive and I limited to getting only 10 items at a time. This way I can also get noname products which are the cheapest at the Super Store. I had problems get food at Walmart and cost of ordering is also expensive. I also order things and once I got the order in, they have drop a few of my orders which I need the most. If the Super Store doesn't have it one day, I can go another day or ask when it will be in and go that day. The other advantage of this store is it has a TD in the same building with the Super Store so I can do the AREA banking for the Region deposit which I have to do once a month. They only take checks and we can't use E-Transfers like most of the other account I use for the AREA account.
It is nice having the other TV in the bedroom as I can either watch the TV or listen to the radio. Especially after one of my bad bouts in the bathroom which wipes me out and I have to relax for a period of time before I can feel well enough to do other work around the house. This has been going on for months and my doctor feels confident that it should stop shortly. I do not have the same opinion as the doctor as it works some days but other days it is bad. I honestly would like another opinion on this problem to see if there is another solution to the problem.
The new Fitbit watch is great and covers all the things that my two watches use to do. I will give away the old Fitbit watch and other smart watch to my helpers. This will be a small reward for all their help with me. There is one function that the new Fitbit doesn't cover is Google support. That was covered by the other smart watch. I also bought a Blood Pressure machine which covers the only thing it doesn't cover. I scale to do my weight and this can be added manually into the Fitbit records. All of this can be loaded with what I eat each day and water I drink and how I feeling emotionally. I uploaded to My Alberta Health records online. I have not done it for awhile so I should get back to doing it again.
I but my back out some how I might have twisted get out of my power chair or reaching for chair from the sofa. First it was only around the L5 vibrate but now it has gone down my right leg to the point that I can't even put any weight on my right leg with out have major pain in the whole leg. The pills my doctor gave me to help has done nothing to help the situation. I might have to go into to her office or may go into the hospital to find out what is happening to my leg. I hope it only muscles problems and not anything else like the vibrate moving which make it much worse.

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The CO-OP has brought me in to make the power chair to be able to tilt. This will make it so I can rest my back by taking the pressure off my back. It will not go forward while the chair is in the reclining mode. I have also noticed that the control for the speed is very touchy now so if I touch it drop to zero and I have to readjusted again to get my speed up. It also doesn't go as fast as before I use to be able to go 7.5km now the max is 6.9km. The leg rest is a one solid one in stead split legs rests. I will be able to get on the ACCESS bus without having to go backwards on some of the buses. A week after getting it back on of leg supports fell to the ground while I was at my meeting. It took a few of us to push it back into place so I move the chair to get home. Once home I waited until the next day and told CO-OP about it and they came that afternoon and fixed leg so it would not do it again by putting washers on all the nuts thus it will not slip out again.
This last week it has been bad for sudden snow storms. The two days I went in which was Tuesday and Friday it was only snowing very slightly in the morning going to work. But the time I decided to go home it was snowing so hard that I choose to drive all the way home. When it is that wet it becomes so slippery to get on the C-Train that I end mashing my power chair into the walls while getting on. But going down some of the ramps from some of the sidewalks to the ride had a bid dip in the road that my power chair got stuck. I would have to wait until someone would help get un stuck. On Friday five cars went by while I was stuck and then finally three cars and three large men help bet across the street. I then took the road the rest of the way home. Both times I had so much snow on me I was both soared and cold and went to bed with my heating blanket to warm up. I hope there are not too many of those kinds of days before this month is over.
If the weather can stay nice for the next few months, I will be able to take the C-Train to my 12-Step meetings. I still have a few of last years tickets and I don't know how long they will allow me to use the tickets. I have ordered my Senior Pass for next year which allow me to us local transit but not the ACCESS as they want a ticket for both rides there and back. The advantage of using the local transit is I don't have book the trip and plan three hours getting there and back. That is especially important as most of the time these days, my trip to my 12-Step meeting which finishes at 8:30pm ends up being from 9:00pm to 9:20pm before they pick me up. This means I don't get home until about 10:00pm.
I will be celebrating my twenty-nine years being clean and sober. I never though I would be living this long or be able to stay clean this long. This year with not having any sponsor to celebrate it with I will have to ask one of my sponsees to give my medallion and card to me this Sunday. I had a CO-OP gift card which I will use to purchase the cake for my birthday. I getting one the ladies at my meeting to pick up both the coffee and the cake for me. Since I am allergic to chocolate, I have decided to get carrot cake for my birthday. I hope she get a large enough cake so everyone can have a piece and maybe even to take home. I don't want to take too much as for my diabetes. In either case I would end up the hospital where the meeting is being held.
I just found out that Silvera housing that I am living with is going to take the area both south of me and east of me and plan on building more buildings there. This will mean there is going to be a lot of noise around the building. I thought the noise I had will they were remodeling the apartments above me and beside me was noisy well this will be five time worse being on the south side window facing this building going on. The apartment was only one month for each apartment while this could last more than a year in digging up the foundations for the buildings and actual building of the buildings. The parking for the people in my building will not be able to park which will mean more parking on the street during the building. Since I get my bus to come to the back it may means I will have to go to the front to pick up the bus. Also, delivery of food I get I always ask them to go to the back as the back door leads straight to the elevator and to my door on the second floor. I will not be able to see to Memorial Dr. anymore. It has changed lots since I was born on top of the hill and down here there was only Bridgeland-Riverside Community centre and pool and rest was all flat except the hospital on centre Ave.

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I just finished celebrating my 29yrs at my group, where my BPD kicked in again. The weather was nice enough that I could take the C-Train to the meeting. Once there I opened up as usual along with bring my supper with me to eat there. I then waited until the rest of group showed up. Almost near the time to start only two people had come and fell no one was coming to my birthday. Finally, after time when the meeting was should have started the rest of group came in. I celebrated the evening and we finished off with a carrot cake and coffee. I was given a card and my medallion by my sponsee. I asked everyone to pray over my medallion to pass the message on. I took the card and the medallion to Potential Place and showed it around to members and staff that were at the clubhouse that day. I was then asked to write a short story for our newsletter.
29yrs Clean and Sober

I explained how it started a year before becoming clean by getting into a bike accident due only to marijuana. I ended in hospital and since been in this power chair. Blaming everyone except myself when I finally got back to the 12-Step program. I was upset about my life. Took it out on the program that night and leave upset and using alcohol the rest of night. If the 12-Step program would not work for nothing will. I was ready to kill myself. I did so by taking 300 pills. I got them on my way home from the pharmacy. Just before falling a sleep from them, I called the hotline and said "Good Bye Progress Place". I woke up three half days later in the hospital with Robyn from Progress Place sitting by my side. The day I went in was April 30, 1993. Thus, my 29yrs started May 1, 1993. I was sent for support to a hospital for next four months then started a new fellowship in another 12-Step program. With the help both Progress Place and now Potential Place, along with the new 12-Step program, I have had the support to continue in my life. I been in hospital for my BPD six times but never for using again. Since then, I also get support from my present doctor and a therapist has also help keep me stable. From my journal of memoirs from before I was born to present day, this book of my life is about 160 pages long. I have offered to sell this anyone that would like a copy of it, but I also made a copy for my web page.
AA Medallions NA Card NA Medallions
The new printer that I just purchased come with all the colours not as full and if you bought it new. So, my black ran out and I order reconditioned printer online. Once I got it home, I found that just putting it into the printer did not work. I read that this printer toners comes with a chip and if you get a reconditioned version, it does not come with this chip. You then have to take the old chip out of the old toner and put it into the new toner. That is not as easy as it seems. I needed to rip it out of the old toner and try to ram it into the new. It did not fit properly and again when putting into the printer it still did not work. I will neve buy a reconditioned version again and buy one for sure with a chip or a real HP toner even though it will cost twice the cost of reconditioned. But I will not have to go through all the hazel of trading the chip from one toner to the other toner. Thus, I ended up costing me three times overall.

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I checked with the AA office to see if they were open this Saturday. It seems they don't open on Saturday anymore. I phoned an old friend from my old AA group when the birthday meeting was for the group. She told me it was tonight and 7:30pm. I got my homecare worker to come early so I can stop for lunch at the A&W on the way to the meeting. I would take the C-Train from Bridgeland to City Hall station and transferred to the red line to the 39 Ave station. From there I would go on Macleod Trail. From there I stop at the A&W and stayed there until time for the meeting to open. I tried one of their burgers and felt like they had not even cooked it. It upset my stomach and had to drink a lot water to wash down the taste of the meat. I then crossed the road went down the rest of the blocks to 50 St where the meeting was. The front door was open but the lights and door to the meeting was closed. I wait a short time until someone showed up. Since I have not been there for a few years they did not even have my name on the list for birthdays or the meeting list. They added and made a card for me. The lady I phoned did not show up but another lady I seen from before gave me my card. I join in eating a white cake and coffee. I left and was home at 9pm before the rain which had been forecasted all day was only spitting. I will have to go on Monday to the AA office to pick up this year's medallion.
I went to my normal 12-Step meeting on Sunday and we had a short business meeting after. We discussed how people had showed up for Friday's meeting and no one that knew how to open up from our group was there. Thus, there was no meeting. Dave had announced that he was not going to the meeting and asked someone to fill in for the night. Since no one answered his announcement, we should know no one was going to be there. We told our member to reply to the announcement so that we know in advance to get some one, like myself for that meeting. It not our fault since Dave and myself have done 70% to 80% of meeting generally. We also talked about filling the three wards upstairs which is part of how we pay rent at the hospital. After picking up literature for them upstairs it would put around our prudent reserve. We also decided that we make we had coffee and cookies to make up for the mistake on Friday. One of members felt that prudent reserve was too high and we listen to him that make lower and give more Area. He got so upset he walked out of meeting. Before he left, I gave him my card with instructions on opening the door at the elevator, and to our cabinet. Dave said he will talk to him. The two ladies of our group beside myself were not there that night. We are going to email them about what happened and what we want to do so this does not happen again.
Its time to send out my tax assessments to everyone that needs it. I already sent out the one electronically and have already got my April 2022-2023 Senior's pass. If during the winter I go more than two times or four tickets a week I can get a low-income pass for $56 per month. I been getting tickets from Potential Place. Last year we got two tickets a week and this year we only getting one ticket a month. I will save them for the winter and will be using up the old ones from last year when ever it rains and I need to take ACCESS to work or my 12-Step program. A perfect example of this was this weekend I booked Sunday because it said was going to both rain and snow in the evening. I got to the meeting and it had not yet rained. After getting out of the meeting it started to rain and by the time, I got home it was both raining hard and snowing at the same time. I going to take down stairs to management the tax assessment for my rent. They will latter base it on how much new rent it will be increasing. I have to also send a tax assessment to "Annual Client Fee Determination" for Alberta Health Services. I go into work tomorrow and first phone them and then send it in by fax like I did last year. I have to give one to Kerby to show the low amount I get. They use this confirm that I allegeable for small food delivery they give every two weeks. I can always reprint more if someone else needs them.
I maybe be needing my passport to go to the Clubhouse International Conference in Baltimore Marland. They do this conference every second year. Each clubhouse is given a Standards that are being considered to be changed and they sent to this conference and discussed and what has been given in my all the Clubhouses. They then make changes if enough consider to be changed. Other things are discussed at this conference but that is most important part of it.

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Candidate for Baltimore, Maryland
Since I started in Toronto in Progress Place some 37yrs I was trained to do the tours and explain to new members how Progress Place was started and how standards work in the Clubhouse. I was sent to Independence Centre with Brenda and another member. When our Clubhouse came to Toronto for training for the first time, I worked with Robyn in training and touring of the Clubhouse. Once coming back to Calgary, I continue to do Tours and Orientations for the new members. Explaining the Standards and what they mean to me and how they keep this clubhouse being certified every three years. I also went with Andrea and another member to Genesis Clubhouse for further training after a break up in our Clubhouse here in Calgary. I and another member have been hosting the Standards Review here on Second and fourth Thursday. One final thing is Standard four "All members have equal access to every Clubhouse opportunity with no differentiation based on diagnosis or level of functioning." Thus, I feel I lots to give about the standards at this International Clubhouse Convention. Since my Passport is in my married name, if I do go to Baltimore, I will have to do the plane tickets and accommodations in my married name. I also found my old SIN card in my married name along with the Alberta Health card. I will use this instead of my present info for this trip only. If they ask any question like about COVID shots being in my maiden name I use the legal documents to show the difference. I finally got a hold the Passport office which took two days to get them, they told me I would have to talk to my Alberta Registration office to have my COVID vacations records changed. Again, after anther two days, and two hours on wait they said I would have to take my Passport into an Alberta Registration office and have my legal changed to my Passport name. Then they could change the name on the COVID vacations records. I then after coming back from the event I would take the name change I already did to get my name changed from my married name back again to my median name.
A member from Progress Place Clubhouse who wants to join our Clubhouse from Edmonton. There is no accredited clubhouse in Edmonton so Frank suggested to do virtual with our Clubhouse member from Edmonton. I will give him the virtual tour over Zoom and the power point on orientation also by Zoom. Then one of the staff will have to do the intake by Zoom. But we have already allowed him to join our unit meeting by Zoom. Both Frank and myself introduced him to the Clubhouse on Wednesday. He may have been at Progress Place before me so he knows Brenda was the CEO, Chris was the Manager, and Robyn in charge of the First Floor. Now Brenda is gone and Chris is CEO, and Robyn is Manager. all these staff I knew when I was there in 1984.
I have signed up for another year of Kinsmen at the Stampede grounds. I registered for my Birthday which is Monday this year. This normally my shower day and I will have to change that to Tuesday for that week only. I bring my "Harry the Horse" which is the mascot for the Stampede each year. I use it to way it at the children as they go by my booth. I might do another day like maybe the Saturday shift too. It each case I will be doing the morning shift from 11am to 5pm. I will make sure I get my Stampede pin as I leave at 5pm and then head home for my homemaker by 6pm. Last year they gave me a lunch before I went on my shift so they would not forget me later. They also give me one ticket to get in and one ticket for the bus.
I been working on getting the membership in Clubhouse Society for the AGM on June 22, Wednesday at 6pm it only costs $5 for the year. We have snacks after the meeting. The $5 membership allows you to vote on the slate of the board, the budget which affects the whole clubhouse, and the auditors for next years budget. They have been around the clubhouse this week working on the books with Navi our accountant. They will present their finds at the AGM. David will be the scrutineer for the votes. Will also keep account of all that have attended the AGM.
We got a new staff to work on the Marketing at the Clubhouse. She only works two and half days and they hope to find another staff to fill in the other part of the position which is generalist position. They will also only work two and half days. This will be opposite to the staff that is working now. This making it easier for me as they can do the Daily Minute themselves each day. I will be still sending in the word document and picture of the Daily Newsletter as usual. I was given today next months birthday and will be working on next week Daily Newsletters. I like being at least half a week ahead. She then takes it and put it into a power point for the morning unit on front screen. This then shown both in person and virtual by ZOOM. Now the days I have been there I not been feeling under as much pressure like before they had no staff or staff that doesn't allow members to do most of the work.

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I been working on getting the membership in Clubhouse Society for the AGM on June 22, Wednesday at 6pm it only costs $5 for the year. We have snacks after the meeting. The $5 membership allows you to vote on the slate of the board, the budget which affects the whole clubhouse, and the auditors for next years budget. They have been around the clubhouse this week working on the books with Navi our accountant. They will present their finds at the AGM. David will be the scrutineer for the votes. Will also keep account of all that have attended the AGM. I tried to phone members of Society from last year but there not many phone numbers to be able to do that. I finding that Potential Place members don't care to vote on the board, but just was to be at the meeting for the food. I finding it the same how they feel about getting involved volunteering doing chores. It seems the same few members are doing all the work around the clubhouse.
I also noticing they come in especially when the meal is great just before the meal and then leave right after the meal. Thus, they are not here for the unit meeting at 1PM. Them are the days they don't have enough food left over for me to take home extra meals. Since they don't have anymore hampers to substitute for the meals it causing me to not eat properly for meals at home.
I went in to get my upper teeth plate replaced. The last time I did it I was on AISH. The cost of the teeth was completely covered. Now that I am senior plan the cost is not covered. This what the denture clinic quoted me. Standard Complete Maxillary Denture (upper) $1,471.00 senior plan will pay $1,129.48 = $341.52. But they suggested to also get the lower partial plate done too. Cast Partial Mandibular Denture with Acrylic Base free end w/ clasps (lower) $1,594 senior plan will pay $1200 = $393.10. I total of the two is $734.62. This is well beyond my range for paying for it. I could to phone around to see I get a better quote then this cost. In the mean time I just going to stay with what I have. The government say they want to help out the seniors but what I see is that they promise the world for us but only give a small amount in the end run.
On my way to the Clubhouse, I travel from home over bridge of Bridgeland station to the bow valley pathway along the bow river. To the bridge which leads to East Village. I some times run into baby Canadian geese. I have to stop and then let them pass as they go from the river up the bank and then over the pathway and then over the bike pathway to the grass on other side beside the Memorial Road. It nice to see all them even though the mothers get upset with me getting to close to the baby Canadian geese. Maybe you go for a walk too along the same path and enjoy the baby Canadian Geese.
Baby Canadian Geese
Baby Canadian Geese
Bow River Walkway

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Conclusion

My hope is that, in writing this story, it might in a small way open someone's heart and give him or her spirit to live for. This will also hopefully give you, and anyone else who reads this, some closure of the events of the past. I also hope you will be able to find a loving and better understanding of your "Higher Power" (HP) that will give you serenity. Remember, "Don't take that first drug or drink!"If you don't take that first drug or drink, then you can remain clean and sober for one more day. Also remember that every one of you is precious and your life is worth it. As the guidelines say: "We don't need to like each other but we must give each other the respect and dignity that we all deserve" and "to look at the similarities rather than the differences." If this will bring you any help, then also remember to live one day at a time, or one moment at a time. I know in writing this story, it will help me for one more day. Remember that yesterdays are broken promises and hardship, and tomorrows are dreams unseen, so live "Just For Today", or live it, "One Day At A Time." Also, remember to stay around and not leave before the miracle happens. We may not have started you down this long road, but we can help along the way, if you just ask for it. Remember you are not an island and everything you do will make ripple effects on all those you touch. So make it worth it, for both our sakes. I would like to thank all the people in my life that have helped me in the writing of this story and in the building of a new life worth living for. I will not mention all your names as I might forget one and hurt that person, and this I will never do. Also there are many whom I have not mentioned as they did not affect me directly. But with every seed you plant, it takes one to water, one to weed, one to cut the bad leaves. And...Mostly with time...the power of your HP will bring the growth and strength, which comes with the fruits of the Spirit. So remember that everyone you speak to or have contact with is important to your life. Everyone is unique, and many folds will pay giving each person the respect and dignity that s/he deserves back. So do help yourself in your own life, and use your special talent(s) to give to all these persons who have touched your life and who have helped in the growth of your Soul. From a loving, caring, and recovering Addict and Alcoholic may your "Higher Power" give you a very special blessing and a sober and clean 'for today'...that is my hope for you all that read this.
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- 2022 -
Surviving in and out of the Cow Town



Cowgirl's Rodeo

My Life Story
By Laura Pearce