Rolling through the holidays can be a bumpy ride at times

Don’t worry, this week, I won’t be going on and on about Covid. I want to mention one quick thing. I reached out to Ottawa Public Health to see if they have plans to offer booster shots at home. Some of you may remember that I received my second shot at home back on July 4th. I don’t mind going to a public clinic, especially since Para Transpo’s free this month. Getting my booster shot at home would lower my risk, though.

Shortly after I tweeted OPH, I received a number to call. The number is 613-691-5505. From there, you choose option 2 to request in-home vaccination. At this point, you leave your name & number, and a nurse will call you back to assess your eligibility and book a date and time for you.

On Sunday, I did just that.

OPH called me back. I was told that receiving the booster shot at home is on hold until the new year due to a staff shortage at Ottawa Public Health.

I fully understand OPH being understaffed, and I’m sure they’re overwhelmed by people who want to get their booster. A special thank you goes out to everyone at Ottawa Public Health for doing their best to keep us safe.

I will post any updates on this and in this column for those on social media.

That’s enough Covid talk for now.

Since it’s the holiday season, I want to talk about mental health.

This time of year is difficult for many, and there are various reasons for this.

For some, it’s lack of money or food, loneliness, grieving the loss of a loved one, feeling left out or ignored. Over the years, I’ve experienced most of the things I listed.

This Christmas will be my first since my brother passed away earlier this year. My brother and I weren’t very close at all, but Christmas was typically the only time of the year that I’d see him.

Thankfully, my mom and grandfather are still alive, and I’ll get to see them at some point. Also, my sister recently stayed with me. Just over a week ago, I had a few friends over.

Now, I will say that this is far from my first time missing loved ones during the holidays. I lived in a children’s hospital for nineteen years. Many of the friends I made passed away far too young.

When it comes to grieving a loss, it helps to occupy yourself and your brain. Recently, I’ve taken up reading again. Of course, there are also movies & TV shows, but that can quickly become boring. I also make a point to check in with friends online to see how they’re doing.

I will admit that I have days where I’m feeling depressed or lack of sleep, and I don’t want to deal with anyone, including my caregivers. While there isn’t much I can do about the caregivers, I do my best to inform them that I’m not feeling so good right now.

During those times, I tend to listen to music and think about the things and people that I’m grateful for in my life. That may sound easier said than done, and you’re right. It took me a very long time to get to this point in my life, and I still have a hard time sometimes.

For those in the same boat or wheelchair, it takes practice. If you hit a roadblock, that’s ok. We’re all human, and roadblocks are a part of life.

Trust me; I’ve hit many roadblocks. The key is to find the path that works for you. That path may again change, but make it work for you.

As per usual, I’ll be sticking close to home during the holidays. If any of you need to chat or just want to shoot the breeze, please feel free to message me on social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can be sure that I’ll reply as soon as possible.

I love meeting new people. Please don’t be shy.

Last but certainly not least, I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Please get a booster shot if you’re able to. Please continue to wear to protect yourself and others.

The sooner we’re all on the same page, the sooner this will all be over.

Photo: iStock