People are talking about fighting battles with the health system to get appropriate treatment and care. Or they are talking about ‘taking on’ the health system. — When that system is supposed to be there to help them. Which experiences got them to the point where they felt that this ‘system’ was not their alley but their foe? When the world turned upside down on them?

I’ve still not fully understood what it means for Pádraig that he has such a good eyesight. Some of his great friends who came for a visit last night were thinking of a few cool computer games. I was thinking of reading:)

He is also getting better at the spelling and finds great pleasure especially in longer words. He enjoys the challenge.

We have had a great reaction to the pledge and have signatures from more than a dozen members of parliament in Ireland and the EU. We’ll follow up on the responses and will send out a reminder to those who haven’t replied yet. Please get in touch with your TD’s and ask them to sign the pledge.

We will prepare some question ‘cards’ you can use when the election candidates will be knocking on your door.


Another visit by HSE therapists today, as well as our GP, everybody getting ready to support Pádraig’s stay at home home. We are learning more about the HSE works and the several funding sources that exist for the one person within the same organisation. In a situation like this, quite a bit of time is spent establishing which funding source is going to pay for which service or equipment. Each funding source requires a justification for the funding, reports and quotations — material that doesn’t always seem to be passed on between all these offices and funding sources.

It’s also interesting to see that the experts in the NRH (part of the HSE) recommend equipment which will then not be supplied by the another HSE division because of budget restrictions. The request is then referred to a third division who will need a meeting, request reports, and have an assessment on whether they will be able to entertain the request. Today, I was seriously thinking about organising a fundraiser for the HSE. In the country with one of the highest growth rates in the world. No funding for basic, recommended, and badly needed equipment. – Kaum zu glauben!

In Ireland: The roofer
Someone in the family, many many years ago, wanted to get their roof fixed. I had just arrived in Ireland and was pretty clear about how you do this: you get quotes in, you compare them, and you take the best available. Then I learned that this is (was?) really tricky in Ireland. Because you had the roofer you’re always dealing with. And because you couldn’t possibly be asking him for a price. Because if you did, you’d just imply that you didn’t trust him — otherwise you wouldn’t ask him about the price. So me, being German and new in the country, ignorant of all of these issues, was sent out to ask for the price….

German Music Tip
Nina Hagen & Udo Lindenberg, VOPO live concert from Berlin’s Tempodrom in 1989. VOPO stands for Volkspolizist, the people’s police of the former GDR. And this performance is pretty unusual.