A Story of Desire and Adaptation

Image Dark Desire, a dark red rose. Text: People wiht chronic illnesses do adapt to a lot, but sometimes we really need help.

A Story of Desire and Adaptation

Blog Post by Iris Carden

Let me tell you about my Dark Desire. It’s a rose. It’s in the photo above.

My garden is hopelessly overgrown. It’s a tough place for anything to grow, and my roses have had to adapt. I used to think roses were delicate plants you had to coddle to get them to grow. Nope. Even I can grow a rose. They adapt.

Dark desire has thrown out a stem about two metres tall, to get past all the shrubbery and other stuff, so it can get enough light. And even with being in such terrible circumstances, it’s still got the beautiful blooms you can see in the picture. Next to it, Blue Moon has thrown out a stem even higher, but it hasn’t given me a single bloom yet, so I’m not so impressed with that one.

Why is my yard in such a state? I’m glad you asked. Lupus has left me unable to do a lot of the things I love. So while I have beautiful roses, and lovely fruit trees, they’ve become lost in what nature appears to be reclaiming and turning into some kind of low-growing jungle.

If you are a follower of my old blog, you would know I recently applied to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for help. I was looking for help to manage housework, the yard, and to adapt my shower to make it more accessible.

The result of that was that I was not approved for the NDIS.

I was advised to apply for the Queensland Community Support Program (QCSP) for help with the housework and yard, and Home Assist, which is operated by the local city council for help with adapting the shower.

QCSP has approved me for help with housework, but not with yard work. No, they don’t think yard work is easier, but my daughter lives with me, and the powers that be believe that she can manage the whole yard on her own. Normally, she can. But this summer, there’s been so much rain she just can’t keep on top of it, and it grows up around us.

I haven’t yet heard back from the Council about Home Assist. But I did see on the Council’s Facebook page that COVID has left them very understaffed, so I’m not expecting to hear back any time soon.

So far, I’ve adapted to everything lupus has thrown at me, even if it was other chronic illnesses caused by lupus or the medications I take to treat it. But every new challenge leaves me wondering if I can adapt this time, or whether it’s just going to get too much if I can’t get help.

Thankfully, this time, I’m at least getting some of the help I have asked for.


By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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