I spent a few minutes today trying to find out about the HSE’s Rehabilitation Medicine Programme. There was a bit of information on their website, but there was also this:

I guess they either are just busy updating their website or they don’t really care that much about their site – though this is a first for me seeing the contact details page of an organisation left blank, not even one single miserable ‘useful link’ listed, and absolutely no ‘achievements to date’. Is anyone checking this out? Is anyone complaining? Has anyone else, apart from me, seen this? Do they think there is some important information missing? Do they think nobody bothers visiting their website anyways – so why bother keeping it in some basic shape?

Today was also a day of quite a few visits. First, a good friend showed me how to bake bread. It wasn’t the first bread in my life, but it was the first that tasted so good I could hardly stop eating it. Later on, two of Pádraig’s brilliant friends came up for a visit, brought, guess what?, a really lovely bread from my favourite shop! It’s so great for Pádraig to stay in touch with his friends, hearing them talk about their studies, their new jobs, their cool apartments, their plans! What a day!

Then, the Taoiseach’s Office confirmed that the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., had passed on material and questions I sent to his office to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D., and that he asked him to review the matters raised and to respond to me as soon as possible.

It’s a quick turn around from the Taoiseach’s Office and, at least, sounds promising. Hopefully, Minister Harris will be as efficient as the Taoiseach and get back to me soon.

It’s in contrast to a message I received from the office of Fianna Fail’s Spokesperson for Health, Billy Kelleher, who acknowledged my attempt to make contact with him and confirmed they would be in touch with me after the summer recess. After the summer recess?? Not sure whether anyone knows at this stage when that will be, but I’m sure that’ll be around October. Just to meet. In four month’ time. Is there anybody out there who could explain to Billy that we cannot wait that long? Share the sense of urgency that this matter has?

Today, I also came across an article that had been published a bit more than a week ago on IrishHealth.com about the launch of the NAI’s campaign “We need our heads examined”. Well worth a read (just click on the image below).

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The article quotes Dr Mark Delargy as saying that “Rehabilitation services in Ireland are completely underdeveloped”. What that means, in real persons’ lives, was made clear by myself and Alexis Donnelly, a brilliant advocate for people with disabilities.

Pádraig had a few ‘firsts’: we had the idea of asking him to cross his legs when he was sitting in the wheelchair, without the leg rests and with his legs dangling up in the air a bit. And guess what – he did it. And then, when we asked him to un-cross his legs, he did that too! — When we went shopping last time, we bought some Aero mint balls for Pádraig. Today, we put his hand into the bag – and out it came with two little Aero balls. One fell on the way to his mouth, but — the other one made it. So far, we had done this (pick something up with your fingers, move it, and let it fall) just as an exercise. This time there was a clear purpose. And a sweet reward. Which made it all so much easier:)