Pondering life: Or What to do when Grounded

I seem to be racking up blog drafts that drift off for lack of my interest. If that is how I feel about them I am not about to burden the few readers I do have with my drivel. During my morning constitutional my mind tends to rattle off ideas, plans, silent conversations, (with others and myself), edit papers, (not mine) along with random darker thoughts. Lately being grounded from travel has turned to an attempt to ground my psyche before I blow up or delve too deeply into self pity.

If I cannot travel perhaps I can write about how that affects me and learn from others how they handle lack of actively seeking new cultures, history, food, new friends, adventures without going completely mad. Of course, the question is why am I not travelling if that is what I really want to do? Health and finances of course.

When I injured my knee on my last trip I did not expect to still be suffering the consequences. Reiterating a major note to fellow travellers: if you have travel insurance USE IT! I did not. I also had not intended to use up the money I still had to cover everyday expenses at home. However, not working, and nearing 61, created two problems for me. No income and ageism.

Much to the horror of my family I do not want to just grab anything. Unless a job can be done at my pace, will benefit others, our planet, and give me some pleasure, I am not interested. I would love to write and travel, sadly I do not think my musings and travels are what people are looking for. Then there is the fact I would still need money to go anywhere. Meanwhile, I try to fit in mini-adventures. A day trip to a new place close to where I live so as to pace myself. Sadly, many of these still mean I need to be with someone. I read. A lot. I write. I rail against the injustice of it all until I realize that is more self pity.

So how do I manage without money? Or so little? It is not easy and I do not know if I will ever be able to travel beyond the borders of my own country again. Such a sad prospect. However, I am not yet living on the streets, (I expect that has been blogged to death) I do have the Canadian medical system, and one of my daughters is on the cusp of working two jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies until she moves to Toronto in about six months. I am fortunate. Although many would consider it selfish.

After all, some would say, why should our children care for us as we age? The same question is not even considered in many cultures. Rather, supporting an extended family is expected. Even if the parents cannot provide much towards their own care. Yet, in our western culture anyone without a good pension plan, savings, or a long term plan, is considered a second citizen – unworthy. It seems to not matter what brought someone to a position of living on the edge. If we, counting myself as on that edge, have not fallen or jumped we are invisible because we do not appear to be failing. We simply withdraw.

Travelling with pain

I saw my physiatrist again. She thinks cortisone is unnecessary for the chronic pain I have in my left knee, and now my right knee. Seems that not rolling on the floor, crying to be put out of my misery, means I must be fine. In Canada we have an excellent medical system, however, there are ways for clinics to make money. Such as getting a market hold on all the needs of patients in one field – do that and the money comes rolling in from sales of all the extras. Also the fact so many medical personnel are under one roof churning through patients. I am of the opinion that there is too much pushing of expensive, not covered, devices over medication or other means of alleviating pain that are less costly. The other issue is that a number of practices are not covered by our medical system – depending on which province one lives in. 

Kinesiology was suggested by a friend of mine. Specifically the tape I have seen runners and other athletes use. I have less than three weeks to look into if visiting a kindsiologist is covered. I doubt the tape would be. My main interest is that tape is far less bulky than two braces. That being the suggested action I should take. I am weighing the pros and cons without having learned more about taping so thought I would ask around, here and elsewhere, if anyone else has had to deal with chronic pain and how they dealt with it.

How is it possible to travel on a motorcycle for ten days wearing one or two braces? Carry baggage without falling over?  Rush to catch a train/plane/bus because traffic was crazy. Or run away from polar bears? (It is unlikely I will encounter any this time of year but who knows) How to fit the things into an already tightly packed backpack to meet flight carry on specifications. Perhaps just keep taking NSAIDS and using one of many topical ointments. Except the latter would not be allowed in a carry on bag. Just how does anyone travel when in constant pain that only subsides when visiting the doctor!?