To plant a tree

Planting 2022 PG Nops Rory

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit (Nelson Henderson).

Taranaki has been blessed with a long, warm, dry summer. As a community we have been lucky to have had such favourable conditions to be active outdoors.  However, our native plant communities have suffered.  Die back is evident in a number of places.  The plants are grateful for the rain which has arrived and the soil is finally suitable for planting.  This afternoon our little community care group planted 150 native plants at PG Nops Reserve.  This will bring many benefits; stabilise the river bank, supress weeds, provide food and shelter for native fauna and increase the quality of the habitat.  There is something very enjoyable about planting.  Colt and his friend Neo planted Carex grasses and I helped Rory plant a toetoe.  He also collected the empty plant pots.  When I compare how difficult it is now for Rory, compared to plantings past, I believe we are doing the right thing agreeing to a furry companion.  Rory’s balance, co-ordination and mobility are declining at an alarming rate. 

Sean and I made the decision to go ahead with a companion dog for Rory.  Rory is super keen but has limited understanding of the cost and work required.  He says he is prepared to take as much responsibility as he can.  Sean and I still feel a little apprehensive.  Our lives are already very full, complex and financially balanced, we hope we can handle the extra required.  We are also anxious as we have no idea what is ahead for Rory.  He could relapse tomorrow, or suffer another significant impairment like kidney failure or a stroke.  In the past, just when we became comfortable, we were blindsided by debilitating and life threatening events.  At the end of the day we can’t let fear or discomfort deter us when there is likely to be considerable benefit for Rory.  The new puppy will join us next weekend.  We have been preparing for his arrival; puppy proofing an area of the house, visiting the op shops for blankets, toys and bowls and getting advice from Sam and Caitlyn as to what did/didn’t work when Ryder was a puppy.

This week Leanne from ACC visited to assess Rory’s functional ability in the house.  She suggested modifications to make it easier for Rory to do things and reduce the risk of an accident.  We are also looking to the future.  If Rory’s mobility continues to decline, and he ends up in a wheelchair, there are areas of the house he would not be able to access easily i.e. doorframes are too narrow, the corners are too tight and the showers have lips.  It was a shock to learn houses specifications do not acommodate people with mobility issues.

Neuropsychologist Dr Janet visited on Friday to discuss the findings of her assessments.  Rory has made slight improvements in processing speed and executive function.  However, there has been a reduction in his memory and his ability to focus/concentrate and not be distracted.  The inability to retain information is a significant issue.  Rory’s recall of verbal information is very poor, his recall from written information is a little better.  The level of neurological function Janet has determined is likely to be stable for Rory’s adulthood.  Janet is recommending an Occupation therapist to work with Rory to teach us tips and tools to improve Rory’s ability to function so he can become more independent.  Rory had an orthotics appointment at the hospital as the old ones had worn out.  Rory must wear orthotics all the time for support and stability. 

It has been a quiet week at WITT as some of the students, teachers and support staff were isolating due to Covid19.  On Wednesday the students made macaroni cheese for lunch.  Rory brought home more wood creations on Thursday which he has finished by branding and oiling.  They will be available for purchase from the shop next to the Rainforest Eatery at Pukeiti Gardens  He is very proud of this.