A Day In The Life Of Scott

If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion

My 2013 in review… Happy 2014…

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Well another new year is upon us. Looking back on 2013 is was a wild ride for me, and my entire life, in a sense, got flipped upside down.

In January I was in the middle of an ongoing battle with the prescription drug plan people to pay for James’ medications as they had promised me in November. The battled ensued for several months before I finally took out the big guns and made use of my local MHA, Tracey Perry. Within a few weeks of making contact the fight was out of my hands, and the government was fighting the government to get my money back. Within six weeks it was a success – I received a call from the MHA’s office and we won the battle, my money would be back within a couple weeks. I am forever grateful to Tracey and her staff, and if I was still in that area of Newfoundland she’d be getting my votes.

After seven and a half years, I lost my comfortable job in Conne River in February. From there I spent some time on the dreaded EI while I got my ducks in a row and tried desperately to find a job in Newfoundland. While things were looking ever-so-dismal, and my date to be moved out of my apartment looming – it was becoming a scary thought by June that not only would I have no job, but it was looking very much like I was going to be homeless too. Great! Just what I needed. In the end it all worked out, between my parents and James’ grandmother we were not left completely homeless, and it was further opportunity to continue applying for more work across the country. I knew full-well that I was going to have to relocate, be it in Newfoundland or anywhere else, and so I did not want to move into some place only to have to break a lease and move out a month or 2 later.

It all paid off in the end. James’ grandmother allowed us to “visit” there for a while and so did my parents in Nova Scotia. I know it was an inconvenience on everyone, even if they say it wasn’t… taking in me and a teenager for weeks at a time, no, that isn’t an inconvenience at all; especially when the teenager is so moody all the time. (Note my sarcasm) I am forever grateful to each of them as well.

In any case, although very late, by September I had a job interview for a job here in Saskatchewan. James and I had to rush back to Newfoundland from my parents’ house to get our stuff together just in case. That was the LONGEST week in history, waiting for the call for that job. I believe it was a Thursday afternoon that I found out about the job, James and I had 3 days to get packed into a U-haul and on the road, because our last minute ferry crossing was Sunday evening.

We did it! A week-long drive across the country with only the GPS to guide me, we found our destination in Cut Knife, Saskatchewan by September 15th. Awesome and scary at the same time because I also had to start a new job the next day with no time to prepare. Of course, now that I am here and into the job, I wouldn’t change it for anything; the school is great, kids are great and I needed a change of pace. I was, honestly, getting too comfortable in Conne River. I was so into my courses that I very often didn’t even to proper lesson plans, just because I knew the courses so well.

The downside to such a huge move was, and still is the money situation. Not to dwell on the details, but paying $10,000 for trips when you don’t even have $10,000 is quite difficult. It makes things a little stressful for the short term. I now have to focus on paying everything and everyone back; which is not easy either, since I already had my monthly car, student loan and other loan payments. There have been a few days I wanted to crawl into a hole and go to sleep, except I can’t afford to not go to work. *chuckle*

Anyway, in March we got a new appointment with James’ neurologist, who did help in some ways to get his meds paid for. He wrote us a letter for the drug plan people indicating that he needed to be on a specific dosage to alleviate side effects. This was probably about the only good he did. In April we got a new medication to try, in hopes that it would stop some of the seizures. After two months, at the end of May, I insisted we go back to the doctor because the new medications were not working. This didn’t go over very well. Nothing changed. Although, James was added to a waiting list to see a seizure specialist; unfortunately he would have to wait 12-14 months to get into St. John’s to see him.

Within months of arriving in Saskatchewan, the seizures still hopelessly ongoing, we managed to not only get a doctor who seems to give a damn about his health (and wants to see James on a regular basis to ensure all is well), but we also were able to get into a new neurologist within two weeks of visiting an emergency room. He was able to pull some strings, and that same afternoon got James into an epilepsy specialist. This new specialist felt that his situation was urgent enough that he needed to see James as soon as possible. Waiting lists be damned, he got in for later this month for MRI scans and a week-long hospital visit. From an ER visit in early November to an epilepsy specialist in January, plus regular monthly family doctor visits; that is pretty awesome. We went from a system that should have, in my mind, been better because there are fewer people to Newfoundland, to a system that is actually better. I told James this from the days before we left Conne River that I would like to be able to bring him to a larger city centre to find better treatment. I guess that one worked out nicely.

To finish the year off I have been dealing with a cantankerous teenager and the fact there was no possible way I could make it home for the holidays this year; both which, for lack of a better word, suck. To make matters worse, my uncle passed away just before Christmas, and it would have been nice to be home for the holidays.

Well, those were the main points of my year in review. It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least.

It will be interesting to see what 2014 has in store. I am hopeful that it is much less of a rollercoaster.

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Author: Scott Oosterom

I live in Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, Canada. I teach high school math/ science at Chief Little Pine School in Little Pine, Sk.

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