Some times in life crappy things happen. It’s one of those ‘can’t avoid it, non-negotiable’ certainties about our time on planet Earth and one of the inspirations behind the name of my blog, “This Hot Mess” because life really can be a hot mess at times, can’t it? Well, lately, for me, this has 100 percent been the case. What a sh*t fight my last six weeks have been! I’ve had an infection that landed me in the hospital twice, then again when I passed out and hit my head on the way down, which left me with a crazy bad concussion and been unable to walk for almost two weeks. Then, my dad who is disabled and for whom I care for full-time was hospitalised after taking a sudden and very random downturn. What a hot mess!
The reason I’m telling you this is not for sympathy (although, if you are feeling particularly sympathetic please show this by delivering wine and dark chocolate to my house and doing a load of washing while you’re there). But no, I’m telling you because during all this I had an interesting conversation with one of the nurses while making a cuppa in their tea room. She was commenting on how hard it must be to be the parent to your parent and how difficult pulling such long hours at the hospital must be due to dads high dependency on me. And although to some degree she is right that it is no walk in the park and I’d much rather be on a Greek Island in a bikini whilst a hot guy makes me cocktails and feeds me grapes (mmm), I do in fact often feel a deep and profound sense of gratitude during times like these. Let me explain why…
Yes. It’s true that our hospital system is far from perfect. But my gosh sometimes we forget that it is one of the best in the world. We forget that we are lucky to even have one. If I was in America right now without private health, we would be more stuffed financially than a turkey on Thanksgiving. Thanks to the fact I live in Australia, I had the freedom to choose to care for my dad via having a full-time carers Centrelink benefit provided so I don’t have to work night shifts while dad sleeps to support us. Not only that, but during all this, I have somewhere to live that is safe with clean running water, access to services to help support me as a carer and the freedom to drive to the hospital daily, a luxury many women around the world don’t have.
I guess what I am saying is that yes, sometimes life can be hard and a bit of a hot mess and living in Australia isn’t always perfect, but in times like these let’s never lose sight that a lot of these “troubles” are actually the greater of two evils and in some cases, a great privilege to have. It’s a privilege to be able to whinge about the hospital system as many people don’t have access to one. It’s a privilege to be able to complain about the inconvenience of my dad’s hospital being 50min away from home in peak hour traffic because many women don’t even have a car, let alone the ability to drive one. It’s a privilege to care for my dad as there a many people out there who would give everything they have to have one more day with theirs.
So next time you find yourself in the proverbial “tea room of a private hospital” having a whinge, just remind yourself that although what you’re going through may suck, simply being in there is a privilege denied to many.
Sending my love guys!