Life

Having A Disability In A Foreign Country.

I recently had one of my friends who also has a disability ask me what it was like to have a disability in Australia. Well actually the question was “what is it like for disabled people in aussie?” Though my response was simple which I will not share here, it forced me to really ponder on my experience here. I cannot stress enough how amazing it is to live in Melbourne, it has empowered me and opened up my mind in ways I never imagined possible. I however cannot lie and say that it is always rosey or it is always amazing cause truth be told, it is T O U G H bordering on it being a N I G H T M A R E!

Three challenges come to mind limited employment opportunities, high medical costs and isolation.

Before I write about these three challenges, let me get this out of the way. Because I am foreigner and not a resident or citizen of Australia, it means that I am not entitled to any disability benefits or have access to any disability services, simply put I am on my own which is perfectly understandable. I thought I should put it out there before anyone asks if I know of Medicare,

For anyone who has followed the blog for a while knows that I often write about the challenges of finding a job with a disability. You come across the perfect job, you know if you applied you stand a high chance of getting the job till you realise the job is on the other side of town or one of the requirements is to have a drivers license. I won’t lie, this is beyond frustrating. It can be a nightmare to say the very least. That then means I can only apply for the very limited jobs suitable for people with disabilities and because I cannot have access to any of the job employment services, I have no-one to help me with this task. Recently last week actually I experienced this. I had a job interview right on the other side of the city. It took me a good two hours to get there. By the time I got off the bus I was already tired from all the traveling and as if that was not enough, I still had a long distance to walk and to think I had to walk the same distance back to the bus stop and travel another two hours to get home. I was so exhausted by the time I got home and I knew right there and then that from the traveling alone, I could not do this job.

Having a disability means there’s medical costs involved. Well I have never really had to incur any medical costs thus far except to buy rubber tips for my crutches which I may add keep going up.  I remember days when I used to buy one rubber tip for just $1,50 now they are $6,40 each and who knows who much they will be by the end of the year. YIKES!!!! The only time I had medical bills was recently back in March when I was quoted over $200 for x-rays I had to get done of my hips and ankles and because I was a student at the time, the health insurance I had did not cover the x-rays. I am lucky actually scratch that I am BLESSED that I do not have any health problems because of my disability otherwise I really don’t know what I would do with the high medical costs.

Lastly isolation. I have amazing friends, I really do and I love them dearly. They are a great support in anything and everything that I go through, I always have a good laugh with them. I know I can count on them for anything. I have called some of them in moments when I’ve been stuck with no transport and they have come to my rescue. I get along well with my friends and it’s always a great time when I am with them. They understand me in some many areas except for one my disability. You see I know I can talk to any of them about my disability and I know they will listen but I choose not to simply because I know no matter how much they listen, they will never understand how I feel. In the past I used to talk to my friends about my disability and the response I would get the most was “don’t be a victim” and that used to drive me up the wall. What do you mean don’t be a victim when I am telling you how I feel or sharing my experiences? That really used to frustrate me because people would listen to reply not listen to understand what I am saying till I understood that there were responding from their perspective of disability issues and not listening to what I am saying. As a result of this, I tend to be in isolation where my disability is concerned. I have no-one to talk to about it, what I feel in my body, how I feel, my fears, my concerns. It has taken me time to accept this. I know friends always say “talk to us” but I don’t want to be frustrated afterwards because someone didn’t listen to what I was saying so I choose not.

Despite the challenges of living in Aussie with a disability, I still love it here. I can live my independent life in a way that I could never if I was back home. 🙂

Exploring the beautiful city of Melbourne.
Exploring the beautiful city of Melbourne.

 

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6 thoughts on “Having A Disability In A Foreign Country.”

  1. Andre, my son have the same thoughts as you about disabilities. It is he that I see when you write your posts. You are both right…in the words of my son…”I know you are my mom and all, but you have no earthly idea what I went through and am going through…”
    One day, you’ll be coming to visit me, I’ll be in prayer. I wanted to visit Australia (don’t laugh) ever since I saw the first Crocodile Dundee movie. Perhaps I should put that on my bucket list for next year.
    I’m waiting on that email from you.
    I love you, my daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard for us to fully convey how we feel or what we feel cause no-one else can fully comprehend it hence why I tend not to say anything. It certainly becomes easier for me not to say anything. We shall see each other. The Lord will bring us together one day. Oh yes I haven’t forgotten about the email, it is coming this week.

      I love you too Ma.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. people are alwa.. nah usuall.. sometimes hmmm well meaning and good intentioned (i am sure thats a valid word but my PC keeps wanting to correct it *looks at it dubiously* the word not the PC) but I guess when itch comes to scratch no one really knows what it is to be you.

    When I say “Talk to me” to my friends i always tell them i promise to listen but as for words of advice or helpful suggestions…. I am really bad at those I can however find something to make a joke about and we all laugh I have been accused lots of times of not taking stuff seriously but i do its just that I have come to the realisation that why cry when you can laugh what will be will be except if you are a chicken yet to be hatched and someone counted you that is a bit tricky…. i seem to have derailed my train of thought I had a point to make oh yes its all a journey enjoy the ride
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

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