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I'm new to any kind of 'online' discussion groups ...  
Started by Sammy Sunshine
01 Apr 2016, 2:45 PM


I just finished reading the most comprehensive definition of 'vulnerability' on your web site.  

I've been considered 'disabled' since my early 40's.  I am now 68 yrs. old, and have been diagnosed with serious illnesses.  

In the last 2 years, I've lost my appetite and have lost considerable weight (85 lbs.) with a lot of muscle loss.  It doesn't help that I have had to live in poverty for all of these years; and that 'life style' has come home to roost.  Furthermore, accessing the services I need seems to be a 'minefield' of 'bureaucracy'.

Along with my various physical illnesses and conditions, I've suffered with severe 'clinical depression' for more than 30 years; but, because I am still reasonably 'verbal', I don't seem to qualify for psychiatric help.  I've just been 'medicated' for the last 30 years!  This depression has impacted my energy levels to the point that I've been unable to access the services for which I DO qualify!  Getting out of my home to get to these services (via 'Para-Transpo') is absolutely overwhelming.  I've had to cancel so many appointments this last winter because I just couldn't function!  

I'm divorced (35 years ago), raised my 3 son alone (with no financial help from my 'ex'); worked for several years, took care of my dying mother, while still raising my kids & working 'part-time' ,.. and now, I live alone.  While I often advocate for others; I can't seem to do that for myself ... but, I'm trying to do so now.

I am absolutely terrified over the "assisted suicide" law being voted in here, in Canada!  I've always felt 'vulnerable' due to financial poverty; but, seeing my physical and mental/emotional deterioration of the last few years, I no longer know which way to turn.  I'm hoping that someone on this site can give me some sound advice.

'Sammy Sunshine' 
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Reply by KathCull_admin
03 Apr 2016, 3:03 AM

Hi Sammy Sunshine,
Welcome to our community. This is a safe place to voice concerns and ask questions. While there may not always be answers to the questions that are asked, the members will understand and listen. 

Was the article you read the one by Dr. Frazee, 'The Vulnerable - Who are they?' I just finished reading it last week. Very thought provoking. Do you fear that 'someone' will be able make assisted suicide the 'choice' for you Sammy Sunshine? 

Do you have healthcare providers who advocate for you? 


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Reply by oldbat
03 Apr 2016, 3:22 PM

Hi Sammy Sunshine and welcome to your new world of caring friends.  

We're so glad you found us.  And every one of us has been, at some point, new to on-line discussion groups.  So you picked a great place to start.

Your story has many parallels to my own, and that's a form of punishment I wouldn't wish on anyone.  I too have been on psych meds all my live for clinical depression.  Thinking of trying the magnetic brain therapy now.  I understand and share your sense of isolation; no family of my own, husband brain damaged and semi-paralyzed, living in long-term care.  His family are nothing but toxic.  I divorced them two years ago!  I'm handicapped, too, so understand your frustrations about being able to get out and about.  Even a movie is an exercise in campaign-planning!

So, how about your sons, are they there for you?  And, being able to talk does not disqualify you from accessing the medical and social help you so badly need.  Do you have a local community centre?  If so, call them and request an assessment interview.  You can get home help and all kinds of other good stuff that way.  Also get in touch with your local hospital and ask to speak to someone in the psych department.  Do you have a computer?  CAMH our local mental health centre has a distance program, which I actually role-played for as an in-patient.  Also get on line and google canada + mental health support.  

Lastly, but probably key, reach out to friends.  Find a support group through a hospital or community centre, if friends don't want to know.  And, now, you've got our very own on-line support group.  Please keep in touch.  There have been times when CVH has pretty much saved my life.

Come, share your story.  We listen.  We support.  We care.

You are NOT alone,

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Reply by linda*
03 Apr 2016, 4:40 PM

hello sunshine.

I see you & I have a few things in common.
age: I just turned 69.
single parent: I birthed one, adopted one, fostered a few.
finances:  I've never had a taxable income.
I have a serious illness.
I am alone.

Depression is such a demon. 
you're right; it impacts one's energy level. it impacts everything.   
and dealing with officious paper-pushers who deprive one of any sense of power doesn't help, nor does medication that leaves one with brain fog.

I wish I could offer words of advice.  I've stood at the brink of abysmal depression but have managed to step 
back.  I think this forum is a good place for venting and sometimes simply venting helps. 

I sincerely believe you have nothing to fear of the assisted suicide/compassionate death legislation. 

It is intended to extend rights, not to deprive; to offer one last choice, one last chance to have a say.  you'll be alright.  your rights will be protected.

Katherine mentioned healthcare providers.  do you prepare your own meals?


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Reply by KathCull_admin
14 Apr 2016, 6:49 PM

Sammy Sunshine, 
Just wondering how you have been. The assisted death legislation was released today and as the newscaster said - there will be those who are disappointed because it goes too far/does not go far enough. I think though as Linda* said it will protect your rights. 

Do your children live nearby Sammy? Are they able to support you in any way?

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Reply by Sammy Sunshine
14 Apr 2016, 8:20 PM

TO:  'KathCull.admin', 'oldhat' and 'linda *'

Hey!  Thank you so much for responding to my first post!  I really appreciate it.  I just knew that I couldn't possibly be the only one in these circumstances; but, I felt absolutely "invisible" ... and overwhelmed!

Thanks for acknowledging my perceived struggles (I'm not 'nuts'?)  And, to make things even better, the sun is coming back!  However, I find that the 'oh-so-changeable' weather has been affecting my chronic pain levels on a daily basis; so, getting out continues to be an issue for me.  

I am hoping to get out with friends tonight.  I'll see how that goes; as going out in the evening usually depletes me for a few days afterwards.  I end up sleeping a lot during the days after an 'outing'.

Anyway, thanks again for touching base.  I'll answer your questions and specific suggestions tomorrow, if that's OK.  I just have to start getting ready to go out in a few hours ... and it takes me that long just to get dressed!

Sammy Sunshine  
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Reply by KathCull_admin
25 Apr 2016, 5:20 PM

HI Sammy Sunshine
What an uplifting nickname:) Thank you.

Were you able to get out the other night?

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Reply by oldbat
25 Apr 2016, 9:29 PM

Hi Sammy Sunshine,

I share Katherine's concern about your outing.  Did you go?  Did you have fun?  I hope it wasn't too stressful for you.? Please let us know.


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