A quick thank you, and a big shoutout to our Canadian Paralympic athletes

ABOVE: Danik Allard competes for Canada in Boccia at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

This week, I’d like to talk about a few primarily favourable things.

Often, when I mention healthcare, and specifically hospitals, it’s negative. I’m happy to say that I had a good experience last Thursday at the Ottawa Hospital.

As some of you may recall, last week, I wrote about my ordeal of trying to get my feeding tube changed, and after waiting for over five hours in the ER only to have the Gastro doctor send me home.

I’m pleased to report that I finally had it changed last Thursday, and all went well. All of the staff at the Endoscopy Clinic were very patient, understanding, and respectful of my needs to feel safe and as comfortable as possible. I was given a room with a ceiling lift, and my PSW was allowed to transfer me to and from bed. I wish that all hospital rooms had a ceiling lift.

For those unaware, a ceiling lift, better known as a ceiling track lift, is used to transfer a person from their bed and into their wheelchair, sometimes a toilet, a shower or tub, etc. I like to describe them because they remind me of the metal claw used in those mechanical claw games where you pick up a stuffed toy.

I arrived at the hospital around 9 am, and my appointment was scheduled for 9:30. Everything went smoothly, and I got home just past noon. I just want to say thank you to all of the nurses, doctors and everyone else at the Endoscopy Clinic at the Ottawa Hospital.

In other news…

Over the past week, I’ve been watching the Paralympic Games, which have been amazing to watch. Canada is currently in 17th place with 11 medals. 4 Bronzes, 6 Silver, and 1 Gold. The Paralympics are on until September 5th.

For more information about the Paralympic Games and to watch them live, please visit the Canadian Paralympic Committee website at https://paralympic.ca/tokyo-2020-team-canada or visit the CBC Sports Paralympics website at https://www.cbc.ca/sports/paralympics .

A few of my favourite Summer Paralympic events are Wheelchair Rugby, Goalball, Wheelchair Basketball, Powerlifting, and all events with racing.

I encourage you all to please support all of Canada’s Paralympic Athletes.

On a personal note, several years ago, I competed in a few Boccia Tournaments, including at the Ontario ParaSports Games just outside Toronto.

Boccia is very similar to lawn bowling. Each player must try to get their Boccia ball as close to the jack as possible.

For those who are physically unable to throw the ball, a special ramp is used. As a player, we tell our Boccia assistant where and how to position the ramp. Our assistant must face the player at all times during the game.

Each game has four ends, and one point is awarded for each ball closest to the jack.

Boccia is played by mixed genders and can be played as a team sport, pair sport, or one-on-one. When I competed, it was usually one on one.

As with most Paralympic Sports, there are different classifications.

Classification is based on the person’s physical disability.

There is a long list of rules and regulations, which can also be found on the Canadian Paralympic Committee website.

When I competed, I was fortunate to travel to Toronto, and London, Ontario a few times. After a few years, I stopped due to a medical issue at the time.

While I wasn’t a top Boccia player, I did enjoy it. I had the opportunity to compete against World Class Athletes and became friends with other Para Athletes.

I should mention that several teams and sports clubs in Ottawa for people with disabilities.

Here are a few links to local teams & clubs:

Ottawa Stingers Wheelchair Rugby — https://sites.google.com/site/ottawastingers/home

Ottawa Odyssey Boccia Club — https://sites.google.com/site/ottawaodysseyboccia/

Ottawa Wheelchair Basketball — https://ocwsa.wordpress.com/

Due to the pandemic, some clubs may not be operating at this time. As with most local sports clubs, they rely on the help of volunteers. Please consider volunteering when it’s safe to do so.

Photo: https://twitter.com/CDNParalympics