Irish Week starting this week in TCD

Irish Week starting this week in TCD

Shopping. Exercising. Having a bath. Listening to favourite songs. Really loud. Getting onto the Dreamboat.

A doctor who came for a visit today to see how we were getting on gave us some advice, out of personal experience, saying that, you know, what is very different, very touching, very tragic, one day will become very much less different, less touching, and less tragic. And you will be, more or less, and maybe with some exceptions, be on your own. Think about it, she said, plan it, make sure that you get sufficient professional help so that you yourselves can sustain what you’re doing. — Of course, I understood what she was saying, but I could not feel that in my heart. Tragic doesn’t disappear. Friends and family do not disappear. Maybe that is a difference between Ireland and Germany.

I’m listening to the playlist you put together with Pádraig’s favourite songs. I see him dreaming with you looking at the sky above Trinity, having fun with you at a festival, dancing like no-one dances with you through the night. How can happy music be so sad? So so so sad?

But then – Pádraig went out with Pat and one of his carers today, and arrived back with a cheese cake. Imagine: he went out to a shop!!

But then – the most beautiful Viva 2 MOTOMed arrived today – still a model to try, not his one yet – with not just a leg, but also an arm trainer. How cool is that?

But then – he got a new lifter which, at least in theory, could lift him out and into a bath. This one is tricky, and we’re not sure yet how (or whether) it’ll work, but we’ll keep working on it.


What about you? For my part, I’m getting depressed when looking at the Irish papers – not always, but too often. I know people who’ve given up listening to the news or reading a paper because they’re just uninspiring.

imagesBad news sell. Scandals sell. Desperation sells. That’s what news producers seem to think, and they have some evidence to support it.

Here are the headlines on, Health Section, from this morning:

  • Ireland stumbles on international health service rankings
  • Irish Kidney Association says all-Ireland approach could overcome staff shortages
  • Kidney transplant: Owen Kelleher waited on the call for over 12 years
  • Heart-breaking message from four children to Leo Varadkar
  • Widowers of women who died in Sligo hospital to meet Varadkar
  • Kidney crisis the latest symptom of ailing health service
  • Kidney sent abroad as Beaumont faces staff shortage
  • Ban on gay men donating blood may be relaxed – Varadkar
  • Staff had concerns over problem births at Portiuncula Hospital
  • Portiuncula sitation follows a familiar patterns
  • And a last one on Hospital trolleys: Behind record figures lies much unnecessary suffering. Numbers shouldn’t surprise as figures for last month were 53% up on previous December.

Either the editors of the Irish Times online health section subscribe to the mantra that bad news sell. Or the news about the Irish health system are really that bad. Or maybe it’s both.

Whatever it is, these news are not inspiring, they don’t give you hope, nor the energy and enthusiasm you need to build and maintain a great health system – not just for the sick. But also for the healthy: to reassure them that there loved ones are looked after well, and that should they ever get sick themselves there will be people looking after them. Also for the people working in the health system: to show them their work is appreciated, to let them know they will have access to what they need to deliver good care, to show them that we support their work, to make sure they understand their responsibilities.

With the move to the new apartment and all, I didn’t have much time to think about it, never mind work on it, but I know that An Saol needs to be getting off the ground…