How can we write a person off?

How can any of us just write someone off? I have seen it happen with some elderly people I have visited in nursing homes. I will ask, “Has any of your family or from your church come to see you today?” They fight back the tears, but sometimes thank God they are unsuccessful. The tears come. Rivers of sadness and disappointment are poured out. “Kevin, no one has come to see me for weeks now.” I want to be shocked. Oh, God, if only I could be! But I’m not, and that is a sad commentary on the thoughtlessness that happens in these people’s lives. In my anger I want to have a word or two with uncaring family members and those who try to justify their actions in not visiting the elderly, who need to be loved. Yes, people get busy. The demands of work and family continue. Yet, can we so easily ignore those who only ask 15 minutes to a half hour of our time?

Concerning those who are struggling to survive and trying their hardest to pull out of their circumstances, they too need our prayers and our practical support. Even on Ontario Disability my wife, Karen, and I have had many times of struggle. We live in the town of Englehart in northern Ontario. I had to leave Toronto because the pollution with my asthma was making me so sick, that it came close to costing my life on a number of ocassions. A friend under the direct unction of the Holy Spirit said, “You must leave Toronto right away or you will die.” I know this friend well. He is not an alarmist. He doesn’t say things idly. It served to confirm what the doctors were shouting at me to do. Doctors rarely speak so loudly in warning their patients. I got the message. My health has been much better as a result.

We have no community bus service here, so we need a car to get around. There are times our car Karen calls Black Beauty has needed to have repair work. On the limited funds of Ontario Disability, especially given that we pay hundreds of dollars every month for the antihistamines and vitamins and minerals I need for my health, there was no money left for car repairs. Thank God for the faithful friends we have who understand that there are times we need help. They have paid for our car to be fixed. We have both had to go to food banks at times because of budget shortfalls. We both have high blood pressure. While we are always very thankful for the food we get from food banks, the fact remains that many of the canned goods are high in sodium.

I have also had to be on a food elimination diet to see what foods I have sensitivities to. As food items are added back in we will find out what I react to. Doctors have already told me that because of damage to my digestive system and multiple food allergies that the diet I once knew would kill me. I would eventually succumb from an anaphylactic attack, go into shock, coma and then death. Hmmm. It doesn’t leave me with any options. This means an extra $250 a month for food that our budget can’t absorb. We have a few faithful friends who recognize this fact. They have sent us grocery and gas cards. They have paid for the approximately $375 it costs to go for treatment to go to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine with gas, one night accommodation at the Stouffville in and meals.

In the warmer months we have to travel at night because heat is a trigger for an anaphylactic attack or life-threatening reaction. With my multiple chemical sensitivity I have to avoid vehicle exhause fumes as much as possible. Even with these measures my face still gets red. I have an increase of the rash on my right arm. At times especially if it’s hot and humid, I have breathing trouble. There is a risk until there is more stability with my health that I can land in the ER, and even need to be intubated. Yet, the fact remains without naturopathic treatment my reactions will become far more dangerous.

Staying in Toronto right now is still dangerous for me. Naturopaths in northern Ontario are far more expensive than our budget can manage at this time. Furthermore, the treatment I receive there is the most recent treatment available. I have the benefit of many naturopathic doctors working together researching the most effective treatments for systemic mastocytosis, multiple chemical sensitivity and pernicious anemia. Mastocytosis means there are way too many mast cells (cells that are part of your immune system) in my body. I am on five mast cell stabilizers that have a combined cost of over $600 a month. The Exceptional Access Committee of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care covers nothing of that cost. In denying me this and the cost of over $300 a month for all the other antihistamines I need they say “The drug manufacturer has not submitted a peer review of this medication.” I can tell you that most drug manufacturers will never go through this process, because it can cost several million dollars. These bean counters devoid of compassion go by their pat rules. Meanwhile, people with chronic and rare conditions are left to suffer and even die. Ask the members of the Exceptional Access Committee and government policy makers how they can go to sleep at night?

We are thankful for friends who understand the depth of our need, which is beyond our control. Many Conservatives would say, “Get a job.” I can tell them I have one, but the small salary for working for the seminary from home doesn’t meet the hundreds of dollars each month I need to survive. Not even a respirologist can get my antihistmaine and asthma drug singulair covered. I had it covered, but the government stopped my coverage for it. When I told my allergist this he shook his head in disgust and anger. “Kevin, these are very scary reactions you’re having. Without the singulair expect more of the same and even worse.” The medication costs around $90 a month. I submit that because of the time I didn’t have it I ended up in various hospitals for a combined total of seven weeks, with life-threatening reactions, one of which required intubation. It cost you the Ontario taxpayer  $1,000 a day according to a nurse clinician for each day I was in the hospital. That means the taxpayer paid over $49,000 for me to be in the hospital. In my opinion, none of it was necessary.

The personal cost to me and Karen with pain and suffering is immeasurable. God bless the friends who have been there in our critical times of need. I even got my M.P.P. John Vanthov, involved in these inhustices. He did all he could, but he is going up against policy makers, who would probably have a party if I would just go away and die. But here I am, stll fighting and I will continue to fight not merely for myself, but all people who are treated with injustice and inequity.

I see myself as one who afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted. That is my calling I received in a Korean ambulance as asthmatic bronchitis and a flu almost took my life. I made a covenant with my Lord that I would go back to Canada as more than a mere arm chair critic about injustice. I would fight with my last breath for jusitce for all people to live with the dignity that is their fundamental right. It is my prayer that others will join with me as we struggle to make our communiities and our world a better place.

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About osborne2029

I enjoy spending time with people just having a coffee or talking about life, philosophy, religion, politics or sharing a favorite joke or story. We learn from one another as we interact and share our joys, challenges and even our times of sadness. I enjoy reading, writing, singing and sharing in the blessing of community whether that is one on one or in groups. I'm married and am powned by two kitties named Sir William of Lounge a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot and Princess Catherine of Chaos a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Catherine of Englehart. I m in an M.A.-Ph.D program with St. James the Elder Theological Seminary to train to become a psychotherapist and priest. Let us pray for and reach out to each other with kindness, love and an embracing compassion. We can working together be servants with two open hands to those in need so that hate, indifference and inequality would lose and love will win. The peace and abounding joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I cannot agree more with your comments. I see this every time I volunteer in Toronto at a Men’s Shelter in the Chapel. It is so sad how humanity has come to the point of writing people off for one reason or another. I can also relate to your comments on drugs what is and what is not covered by the government as my wife suffers from 2 forms of arthritic disease along with bowel issues and asthma and these drugs are hugely responsible for my monthly bills that the government does not cover and being a senior too boot. Your comment on the Food Bank is also an issue that I have been trying to work with in my own area and trying to educate the general public that the food banks are in need much higher standards for food in order to bring up the health conditions of those who are living on marginal incomes. I certainly go on and on there is so much to cover and to do. Surely one by one with the LORD’s help He will provide the people to help to make this happen. Pastor Bruce

    • Hi Pastor Bruce

      God bless you for your faithfulness to your Lord.

      Keep fighting the good fight. We need people like you. As you shine for Christ in the midst of serving those at the men’s shelter in Toronto, you are sharing the message of our saviour’s love for the whosoever.

      Food banks evolved as a result of a systemic failure to address the problems that cause poverty. In my opinion, when the McGuinty government focused on the economy and lessened their fight against poverty, it was a cop out. To basically say there will always be poor people so why waste the time on it is illogical. Menawhile, the problem now has become huge. so now because of inaction on the problem larger measures will need to be made.

      When the pain you see in other’s lives becomes too much to see, take comfort knowing you and those who assist you are doing all you can.

      God grant us all wisdom as we pray and work for a more just society.

      God bless you richly!

      Kevin

  2. Hi! I nominated you for the Seed of Light Award. Please get the badge at http://wp.me/s3HJaG-concern and get more info. Have an inspiring day. 🙂

  3. Thanks for your post. I’m sorry you struggle with illness so much. I do too, so I understand.

    I just want to comment on not visiting family members in old people’s homes. Sometimes, the people who are not visited have led abusive and destructive lives. I have a mother who has beaten, neglected, abused, and manipulated me my whole life. How she didn’t kill me in one of her fits of rage I don’t know. For years I have tried to have a relationship with her but she ended up treating my daughter in a similar fashion to how she treated me. I have had no choice but to sever all ties with her. She is now an old woman. An old woman who is alone, crying and cursing the world for not bowing down to her demands. She has made a few friends who think I am the most hideous, cruel daughter imaginable as I don’t visit her and won’t allow her to see my child. It’s very easy for other people to make judgements about seemingly sweet old people and the nasty family members who won’t visit, but it’s not always the reality. My mother may curse me for being unforgiving, but she has not yet admitted her wrongdoing, and she refuses to acknowledge her cruelty. She may sit there alone and blame the world, but the only person she has to blame is herself. I would have given anything to have a loving relationship with my mother, but it’s not to be. Unless you have experienced the same level of abuse and neglect you can’t really understand how a child could walk away from a parent in their old age. The Bible says that you reap what you sow, and that is true. We all do.

    • My heart goes out to you in your suffering. My manic depressant schizophrenic father abused me both physically and emotionally. He would tell me in his manic rages that I was stupid, lazy and clumsy. I would always be a failure. My brother was smarter than I ever would be. This led me on a journey of punishing my body to unhealthy levels, by proving that I could go further than my father said I would.

      As I look back through time to when I was a child, it was my dad’s negative programming that led me to achieve a lot even as a young man. While I’m thankful in retrospect for all the things I’ve done with my life, even after over two years of therapy with my counselor, those urges to achieve all I can still exist within me. God is using my counselor and the blessing of family, friends and colleagues who know me well, to see that life isn’t merely about achieving goals. Having dreams of what we want to do with our life is healthy. However, for me it became a dangerous all-consuming obsession.

      My stepfather, George, was used by God to show me a healthier way of looking at goals as objectives that didn’t require me to ruin my health to achieve them. My sense of self-worth had taken a battering. Even now there are those who totally read me in the wrong way when I talk about my abilities. They come to a false conclusion that I’m boasting when I’m not. I am merely exercising what my wife, Karen, and a nun named Sister Barbara, says is a just appreciation of my giftings are in my Lord, that I always humbly thank Him for.

      Forgiving my father for witnessing as a five year-old boy, my mom making a suicide attempt by hanging herself with a belt and when I was 11, dragging her down the crude wood basement stairs, took a long, long time. The first few years even when he was in the nursing home, I didn’t even visit him. I was filled with too much anger, too much hatred and poison in my spirit.

      At age 11 I had made a vow that I would find a way to get my dad really mad at me. He would come at me, but I would be ready. I had watched enough movies to know how to stab someone and then give the knife a quick upper thrust, to kill him. I would be found not guilty because I had simply defended myself.

      As I look back upon that vow I didn’t renounce until I was in my late thirties, I’m so relieved that God didn’t allow me the opportunity to carry out my vow. I even forgave my father and took back the vow to kill him I had made.

      Forgiving dad was one of the toughest things God had asked of me. For many years into my adulthood, I felt I had a right to my anger and even my unforgiving spirit towards him.

      I will pray for the healing of your inner anger and unforgiveness of your mother’s abuse. I beg of you, to let it go before it destroys you. It nearly ruined me and all of my relationships, because I spent so much of my limited health on hate, on getting even.

      If I had killed my father it may have even come out that to use a legal term it was done with malice aforethought. It was a pre-meditated act. I had a plan of how I would kill him and I had carried it out.

      But if I had satisfied my vengeance who would have won? No one.

      I write this as a caution to me and all of us that hate is a destructive force used by the Enemy to destroy not only ourselves, but those whom we love.

      I pray in some way what I have shared has helped you.

      I also pray that your health will improve.

      God’s peace be with you.

      Kevin

      • Thanks for your response Kevin. I think you misunderstood my post and your response disappoints me. I do not hate my mother, nor do I have anger or unforgiveness towards her. You read that into my response and made an assumption regarding my spiritual state and that was unfair of you. My mother is an unrepentant, unsaved sinner who shows no remorse towards her treatment of me and my daughter. My forgiveness of her is not based on her actions, but God’s command that we forgive one another. I am also not angry with her. I simply choose to no longer allow her to wreak havoc and destruction on my life. That is not unforgiveness or anger; it is wisdom. Where does God command a child of His to go back to an unrepentant sinner and allow them to keep abusing?

        I was simply trying to present to you a reason why there are some people in nursing homes etc who have no visitors. You can’t blindly blame only the family. The Bible says we reap what we sow and maybe that’s some of what we see in nursing homes. Only God knows what has happened in the lives of these people and it is not for you to judge their families. I’m sure there are circumstances you do not know about. I am glad that you were able to forgive your step-father for his abuse of you and your mother. That must have been a hard thing, but please don’t allow it to lull you into a sense of self-righteousness and judgement of other people who have different stories to yours. We are all on a journey with the Lord doing different things at different times. Who knows what He’ll do in my life? Maybe He’ll pierce my mother’s heart and bring her to repentance. I have been praying and fasting for her for 27 years and I will continue. Only He knows and only He can bring about the change she desperately needs.

      • I did not intend any harm. It would have helped me in understanding what you were saying if you had communicated more clearly what point you wanted me to get from all you said. You misunderstood what I was saying about those who don’t visit the elderly in nursing homes. I wasn’t judging all families for not doing this. I was referring to families and individuals where this is the case. I know this firsthand. This happened to elderly people who love their children. Whether you are aware of it anger can appear to be unforgiveness.

        I was only seeking to emapthize with you. Let me be perfectly clear that I am not criticizing you. I was reaching out to you in the expression of your feelings towards your mother.

        I do take offence at calling me self-righteous. If caring for a fellow human-being makes me self-righteous by your definition, then I am guilty. If reaching out to you in your suffering makes me self-righteous, then I am guilty.

        We can agree to disagree in these forums. Yet, never should it devolve into personal attacks. I didn’t do it to you. I respectfully ask that you not do it to me or others you disagree with in this forum.

        Furthermore, I don’t judge other people. I will make no apologies for speaking up against wrong wherever i see it. That was the calling I received in a Korean ambulance over 13 years ago.

        Yet, if you take time to really look at your comments and pray over them, maybe you will see that you are judging me. You are assuming things about me that aren’t true.

        So, I ask who is really judging who?

        Kevin

      • Thanks Kevin. I think we’ll leave it there. Your response says it all!

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