After surviving a major cardiac event and subsequent heart bypass surgery in 2016, I slowly developed a whole new outlook . Note here that I was going to say “after suffering” a major cardiac event etc, but the fact is, I was drugged up to the hilt . It was my family who suffered. For months, I could barely walk, let alone “do” anything. Then there was the loss of income and ability to be active in any meaningful sense.
By mid 2018, I began to realize I was probably as recovered as I was ever going to be. I did have some ongoing issues which caused even more trauma and more expense, including bleeding from every possible place imaginable. I believed this was being caused by an anti-clotting medication I had been prescribed, but my doctor insisted I see a specialist to rule out cancer.
Specialists in rural areas charge like wounded bulls. This is due, I imagine to a lack of competition and the charge above the Medicare rebate can hit you worse than blunt force trauma.
So there I was, forking out a small fortune to have a camera inserted where no camera should ever be, to appease my doctor and my family, and to prove it was the medication all along.
At this point, I should add that another issue with rural health is the waiting time to see specialists. The one person who could have supported my assertion that it was the medication, was my cardiologist – and I could not get into see her until after my adventures in dadaist photography had transpired.
As I expected, the urologist gave me the all clear. No cancer. But she did want to continue seeing me – an offer politely refused.
I then finally saw my cardiologist. It was actually my first meeting with her. I had been flown to Sydney for the operation and referred to her at the first anniversary, but she was on leave and I actually saw one of the cardiologists who had looked after me in Sydney and who had come out west to fill in for her.
A further review was set for 2018. This was the one. I was put through a heart stress test, which I apparently passed as she told me I did not need further reviews. Then on the way out, I asked her… “could my anti-clotting medication be causing me to bleed, including from the bladder? ”
“Yes”. was the reply. In fact, she went on to say she did not understand why they had put me on it in Sydney and advised me to stop taking it.
I did one better. I stopped all medication. My heart was fine before-hand and there was only minimal damage done by the heart attack. All it comes down to is that I need to get enough exercise and to watch my cholesterol levels.
By I digress. With all of that out of the way, I needed to do something. I had shelved my attempt to write the third volume of my book. Even though most of the research was done, it still seemed too daunting because it was getting toward the pointy end where I would need to face my own fallibility and perfectionism; the need to get it the most important part right.
I also had other ambitions and other bucket-list items to turn to.
One of those was entering politics.
Although we have compulsory voting in Australia, I had never voted; had never joined the electoral role. It was my personal protest. I turned 18 just after the Whitlam coup and in those days, when you turned 18, you got a visit by an electoral officer to sign you on. I may well have done so, reluctantly, but the final straw was that part of the sign up process was a declaration pledging loyalty to the Queen. I could not – and would not do it.
But in 2018, technology caught up with me and I was automatically enrolled through cross-matching of government records. Thankfully, the loyalty oath has long been disposed of.
Enrollment also came with eligibility to run for a seat in government.
Believing I still had something to contribute, and feeling that my health had improved sufficiently, I started the search for a party I could have confidence in and one that met most, if not all of my policy positions.
It was then that I found the Science Party. After reading the bulk of the information and policies on the website, it was not a hard decision to join.
It is a party that bases all of it’s policies on the best available evidence, letting those chips fall where they will. It is a party that refuses to take the easy road to success by accepting corporate donations. It is a party of and for the future, led by a young, vibrant, smart, compassionate and grounded leadership team.
I will end here by simply urging anyone with an interest in politics and who is fed-up with the LNP and the Us-Too Party, and do not like or trust any of the populist and nationalist alternative parties out there, to please consider joining, or supporting us.