Pádraig is continuing his intensive training. The yes/no button business is working ok, though it needs a bit more practice. The walk-across-the-room trick is now a daily routine. Lifting his arms to ‘paint’ the ceiling is still amazing anybody passing by for the first time. Eating works out better every day.
He is completely exhausted when we make it back to our rooms in the late afternoon. We have to wake him up for dinner. We’d prefer not having to do this, but on the other hand it’s good that he is being challenged and that he more than managing.
This afternoon, I looked at our bathroom here and had to take a picture. I had to think of what the electrician working on Pádraig’s extension told me about building regulations!
The place here is filling up with Irish people tonight. There are parents of three young Irishmen with acquired brain injuries here. It’s hard to believe that all of them feel they have to go abroad to get the therapies their sons need. It’s really unacceptable that this should be so.
Imagine: the journey – and this is not a car trip down the road or across the country; the language – Germans like to believe their English is really good but here nuances are important for all, including the therapists, the parents, and the patients; the loneliness – this is a thousand miles from home, literally. The cost – everybody is financing this in different ways.
And this is only part of the picture because we are looking at a relatively short period of intensive therapy here in Pforzheim which is great and provides a big boost. But it does not resolve the problem of long-term care and therapy.
Plans for An Saol are progressing. It’s a registered nonprofit, it’s in the process of getting an office in Ireland’s most prominent nonprofit centre (Carmichael Centre in Dublin), and it’s in the process of putting an action plan together for the coming year. One of the central services we’ll be looking at is the provision of affordable and sustainable therapies. – If you know of people who could help getting this going, please let me know!