October 11, 2021
I never know what to expect when I wake up, but this past week has been eventful, to say the least.
Last Sunday, I spoke to my support worker about her living situation. She remarked that she had a few more months left on her lease and was planning her next move. At one point in the conversation, she mentioned Queensland as a possibility, so we discussed what Queensland had to offer. For the last 9 months, I have been quietly contemplating the idea of moving up to Queensland myself. However, for the first time, I got an itch to browse the Summer Housing website to see if there were any vacancies up north. When I clicked on the available housing, I was surprised to see how many options there were. It was like being a kid in a candy store. There were options from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane and down to Gold Coast. All beautiful, newly built apartments boasting incredible views and sophisticated amenities.
I reached out to a close friend from the Gold Coast to show him what was available on the website. Like a good friend, he gave me a thorough list of pros and cons for each area, considering my personality and lifestyle. He also provided comparisons between Melbourne and Queensland, so I had more context for each location. So far, I love the sound of Broadbeach. How picturesque does this look?
Although I’m not entirely sold on the move, I thought I’d apply to see if I would even be accepted. Plus, my past experiences have proven that housing applications take around 3 months to process, so I could use that time to ponder whether this is something I really want. However, an hour after emailing Summer Housing for an application form, they replied, saying they were happy to organise a meeting to discuss the apartments and the logistics of moving interstate to see if I was interested. As I’m an existing client of Summer Housing, the application process is a lot more streamlined. So there go those 3 months of thinking time.
Still, I’m not going to rush into anything. I have a meeting with Summer Housing this afternoon, and there are many questions that I’d like some answers to. I also need some more information and perspectives on the Gold Coast before I consider it. Primarily, I want to know how accessible Queensland is and if any baclofen pump specialists are available (this is a dealbreaker!). Before committing to anything, though, I definitely want to book a holiday first to see if I like the vibe and cope with the humidity. Follow my Facebook page for updates on this journey.
Last Wednesday, I did a presentation for the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA) about sexual assistive technology devices. Leading up to it, I was the most nervous I have ever been to present because of how taboo this subject is. People with disability are often assumed to not have sexual urges or desires, but this could not be further from the truth. For many of us, our disability has no bearing on human beings’ innate wants and needs, but by default, our disability often dehumanises us. What’s trickier is, as a society, we already struggle to discuss sexuality openly and honestly, and that makes it a lot harder to advocate for sexual liberation for the disability community. Even so, as I began speaking, the nerves transformed into confidence. I felt a force behind me. A force to drive change. I talked about my first sexual experiences, different sex toys I’ve experimented with and how I navigate finding support to assist me in this area. The fact that people with disability don’t get to explore their sexuality because they can’t get the support needs to be talked about more, and I’m glad that I got that opportunity.
Finally, on Friday, I had a doctor’s appointment to follow up on an ultrasound I had 3 weeks ago. My doctor wanted me to get a scan done because she was concerned that I may have a fatty liver. Anyway, my tests came back, and she was right. I tested positive for a fatty liver due to being overweight. Despite this not being good news, it’s nice to finally have a doctor who seems to know what they’re doing.
Don’t worry, I’m not dying. You’re all stuck with me. The next steps are more tests to see how developed the condition is. The ultrasound has shown some scars on my liver, but I don’t know the extent of it yet. In a few weeks, I’ll be seeing a liver specialist get more information. For now, the plan is to lose weight. I’ve always struggled with this due to my disability, but because I’m unable to exercise, I’m approaching this through a strict diet and following doctors’ orders.
Anyway, that’s the rollercoaster of this week. Lots of ups and downs, but always eventful.