Sunday, 22 January 2012

2012 22nd January - Busy Weekend

Well after a hectic day I was waiting for the 6pm to arrive, Becky had dropped in on her way from work for a cuppa and chat.  Six o'clock came and went as did 7.  I thought about ringing the number on the Blue Book but Beckie put my micro meal in and did a couple of bits I'd have asked the carer to do.  Didn't see any point in ringing since there was nothing else to do except wait for how long for someone to turn up?  We did wait until 7 giving an hour.

The next morning I mentioned it and Maggie rang the office there and then while I was there to let them know. Karys came in the afternoon since no tutor for the 2 hour lesson she had and stayed to finish it before coming over.  Becky managed to give her a lift the 2 miles from the bus stop so she wasn't wet or cold or anything.  We had a few nibbles, or rather I did and she had some proper lunch. It was time for the lovely Lynette in the evening who was her usual talk to the poor sick puppy in a baby voice as if I'm also thick, just because I'm ill.  If I showed her one of the mahoosive 5gb spreadsheets I'd created to model and predict the sales for the next year of Heat magazine she'd probably just stare at it like it was witchcraft.  After she'd done a slice of marmite on toast (because Karys was cooking our planned meal of salmon and roast veg, she told me to
"TRY and have a nice evening"
"Try? Why would you think I need to try to have a good evening, I always do, I'm quite happy thaks"
"Oh well you've got your visitor here haven't you"
"I'm still happy when there are no visitors, what's to be miserable about?"
"Awww well yes, life's too short"
"Well mine is yes"
(Head to side with pathetic look on greasy haired head and face) "Awww"

My fists were tingling like Spiderman's senses to punch her. I can't say a thing without the "aww" and tilted head.

We managed a nice evening after all. We ate our meal Gosh it was hard work pffft.  My daugher I'd not seen for 2 weeks yeah it was awful.  I didn't tell her who my visitor was, why should I?

Karys and I were both attached to the internet and the TV with chat in between, just like we normally do.  I forced myself to go to bed at a sensible hour so I could be up for 9am.

No carers today yay! Cos Karys was here :o) we ate what we wanted when we wanted and had no interruptions from strangers.  Deb & Phil, my step sister from mum's late 3rd husband came to visit.  I'd been the one to really lose touch I think, but anyway I messaged Phil via Beckie's friend list from the hospice and he replied.  So that's another one off my list who I know won't find out through the grapevine.  I don't want that to happen.  It hadn't been as long as I thought since they last visited, but still.

They (Deb and her 2 brothers and spouses), especially Phil, because he was funny and used to make us feel part of everything, kept an eye on Becky and stuck up for, they all did but you always remember the joker.  It was easier to deal with my mum putting us last, her husband dishing out the discipline.  The ever changing rules, the bi-monthly discussions about how I had the Blue Devil from Aunty Polly (whatever the hell that was) and that had I arrived there when I was younger he could have fixed me.  Instead he ignored me and spoke to my sister to say "tell your sister to peel the potatoes" when I was stood right next to her.  Picking at my confused mind, already depressed and trying to understand why my understanding of right and wrong didn't seem to fit with any adults in my life. But his kids knew he was strict, they'd lived under his rule, of course he was their dad and they loved him.

Even I made my peace with him before he died.  It was for myself as much as anything.  He'd been ill for a while and just seemed like was going to leave soon.  I'd been going after work and weekends to do the garden, which was his pride and joy, weeding and cutting the grass, keeping on top of the veg.  He spent all day out there but started to decline and wasn't up to it.  It was my way of saying, "the past is the past" and he came out when I was there and a look and a smile passed.  It felt like he was thanking me for forgiving him.  I want to interpret it that way so I shall.

Deb & Phil gave Karys a lift to her boyfriend "What time will you be here" "I said, I don't know" "Roughly" "I don't know".  Usual kind of trivial stuff she was getting a bit squeaky about things and we could hear him across the fields we thought rather than the phone waves. She couldn't ring him to tell hem she said cos her battery wad dead....I had to stick my nose in and made some suggestions (below in italics)

While they were here Debsi finally arrived after two diversions bless, she always has traffic issues (kept thinking I lived in Grimsby, then Bolton but thankfully stopped short of driving anywhere but Boston (village 5 miles from).  Lots of tea consumed and obligatory bubbles I see still in my kitchen (guess we forgot that oops) nibbles we did eat. Girly chat, magzines, trashy TV and PJs. Nothing else required.  Karys sent me a text to remind me to TRY to have a good time.

I waited till about 9.20 and realised I should get a move on.  Debsi was up and about so I banged on the floor of my bedroom with a bottle of hairstyling spray (oh the cruelty) and she came upstairs.  Her phone battery was dead

(made me think of the mini lecture I gave Karys about checking her phone was charged, with credit and off silent and with Kyle's home phone number in her phone to avoid her bf getting stroppy because he has no phone and she's never bothered to get the house phone number. When ever I say "why did't you ring/I tried ringing/texting" she has an excuse and it's maddening.) We also pointed out there were four adults in the room, all with at least one mobile (2 had work phones as well) and the house phone so having no battery was NO excuse.  My mother bought her two address books a year for a while (one Christmas, one Birthday, no idea why you'd use 2).

hence the banging on the floor.  She got a bowl and put some bubbles in warmish water (sorry Deb but it wasn't hot mate) I could cope letting her in for the top half but not the bottom half just yet.  If in a changing room that's one thing but because I'm ill and need help it's different. She left the room and started cleaning the bathroom while I finished and got dressed.  After I'd recovered from that I got most of the way downstairs and had a rest a few minutes halfway.  Made it to the sofa for methadone, yoghurt with tablets, compulsory YT. She disappeared up to finish cleaning the bathroom.  I should be able to manage to fill a clean sink with water now. Monday to Friday shouldn't be a problem, I feel like I've got a good relationship building with Maggie.

I rang the out of hours non emergency number at 9.45 to say nobody had turned up but no no point sending anyone, I needed to get washed and downstairs for my tablets and food so my visiting friend had to help me. He said someone would come just to check on me anyway.  It was a new one again who arrived at 10:20 said hello to Deb (still in PJs) and started apologising to her until she pointed to me.  She was very apologetic, not defensive but again she'd nad no communication.  She'd not been given my phone number or told the time of my visit.  She was also doing two lists of clients side by side. She said she'd speak to the office about me wanting a 9am visit.  I made the point and had to reinforce it twice more telling her it's not what I WANT but what I NEED.  The hospice would never have let me out if they'd known my care would be like this. It wasn't her fault but it's clearly not mine and I'm the one who suffers and I'm not happy about i  or prepared to put up with it.

She was back at lunchtime and got me a bowl of cereal, well I had toast at breakfast.  She is nice and we had a bit of a chat so there's no tension there at all, just mutual agreement that neither of us know what's going on just yet.

Phoenix had been here since Saturday night and rose about 2pm just in time for my Gabapentin alarm, so easy to miss that one unless I set an alarm.  We just hang out the same as with Karys but he doesn't cook..he does tea that's the most important thing.  Between them they emptied the dishwasher and carried on stacking it, made tea, usual family stuff, just that I sit on the sofa asking them to do things instead of us all mucking in.  I'm so used to the volunteers and nurses doing things for me it's much less of a jump now to asking everyone else. I realised my thumb ring had come off yet again, the spinning one meant for him so after he find it where it had fallen off in my room when I was getting dressed.  I gave it to him to stop me losing it. My thumb feels naked but I'll get used to that.  I've worn it for 13 years, probably nearly 14.  The 6pm arrived half an hour early which was fine, one I'd seen before, also nice, one of the older ones of course, who wasn't just in it for the money (I can't imagine they're raking it in).  She even offered Phoenix a drink when she was making mine an nuking my chicken curry (a really nice one again that I think Sue picked up rather than my online order. I wish I'd kept the receipt now just to confirm which one they were, or rummage through the recycling.  Hmm wonder if they've just been putting it all in the bin?   Must look next time I venture to the loo.

Phoenix's bike broke down last night on the way here, luckily a biker stopped and helped him check it over, fixed it long enough to get here but got his dad to pick him up.  So now he's not mobile until his dad gets into gear and sorts out the parts, we're hoping this gives him a push to get his new one sorted and he can zip about faster on his 125 than 30mph on his 50. I've got him all wrapped up, decent helmet with all sorts of vents for comfort, thermals, body armour, back protector, leather trousers, leather boots, leather gloves.  That's all I can do, he'd ride someone's bike so I wanted him to spend that time getting his  road skills up on a slow machine over the good weather in the summer and protect him as much as I can from other people.

I'm still on the sofa, having dozed off around midnight so I am considering staying put until Maggie gets here. That'll shock her ;o)


Fiona said...

I doubt any of them are in it for the money, ha ha ha. I've just worked out my petrol expenses for my tax return (my employer doesnt pay the full recommended petrol allowance, neither do they pay us for our time spent driving to and from clients) and last year I subsidised my company nearly £1,000 in petrol, plus the wear and tear on my car, plus probably 500 hours in my car that I dont get paid for. You have to do this for the non-financial rewards!

Again, dont know how Social Services work but if we are 20 minutes late the client calls the office. Nobody leaves it longer than 20 minutes to complain.

Also, we dont get clients personal phone numbers - its a client confidentiality thing. If we need to advise the client we will be late we phone the office/out of hours and they call the client. I would get the sack if I phoned the client direct.

Lets hope you get more Maggies than Lynettes.


Tony Songhurst said...

I was going to comment on the poor service you are getting at times...however I guess you already know that....It sounds like you are constantly busy and apart from the kids etc a constant stream of people...It is clear that you need the help and that is why the care 'contract' was drawn you at any time feel overwhelmed by people and just want some peace and quiet...I seem to be answering my own questions as I am sure it is far better now than the situation you were in before. It is just that for the past couple of days my chemo-constipation-pressure build up-pain makes me feel like I want to be a bit of a hermit...whilst after nearly 3 years of this stuff I am getting a little bored I still like my own space...the door keeps being knocked on which irritates me. Apart from the fact the door knocking is ebay/amazon deliveries... So I guess you like the attention, the visits, the care (sometimes)? Tx

Tony Songhurst said...

Sorry about the last ramble...I think I have overdone it with the oramorph!

Loopy said...

To Fioa: I'm only leaving it 30 minutes now before phoning. My phone numbers are all in the blue book so I guess they have a different attitude. Personally living alone I'd rather people can contact me than not but I would rather have your company I think. Condescending Lynette was here Friday but less offensive since my daughter was here so I had a distraction.

Loopy said...

Tony: All visitors are planned, nobody knocks at the door to turn up. Obviously the medical ones are necessary but no different to nurses coming to give me meds. Visitors are like having the volunteers come in or when the nurses/healthcare support come for a long chat for sometimes an hour.

I have the evenings to myself most of the time or most of the evening. You forget you live with people in your house, I have nobody. If I didn't get visitors I'd have no conversation which is where I was before I came in. I spent 5 days a week with just my own company 24/7 in agony so yes I'm definitely enjoying the novelty of visits. They're bound to die down after the first week and there's no point ordering from amazon or firebox because the drivers are moody.

Tony Songhurst said...

What are we still doing awake, I think I need some horlicks...

I hadn't forgotten I live with people in my house...that is why I was asking as although I was moaning/rambling I have that luxury and realise in comparison to you at times I am so very lucky.

I applaud you (nearly used the inspiration word)for sharing the details of your life in such a straight and no BS way as it WILL help others who are followers of your blog now and may come across it in the future...maybe get it made into a could try - or get someone to do it using a software package called Booksmart which allows you to import straight from google blog!

Random word of the day 'Ringu'


Fiona said...

Yup our clients telephone number is in their Careplan, along with telephone numbers for relatives, doctors etc. My contract stipulates that I dont ever ring a client direct, nor do I ring a member of their family, nor their GP etc. Everything like that is done from us to the Care Manager or oncall superviser, who then makes the personal call. If I'm stuck in a traffic jam, or delayed by a previous job, I phone the office giving them a new ETA and they phone the client. This has to be done within 20 minutes of the slot time.
If we were allowed client's personal telephone numbers 100's of different carers would have the personal phone number of a vulnerable client, which could lead to abuse.

Lets assume you end up with 5, 6, 7 or more different carers coming to your house. They will all be told the keycode to your keysafe, and you have to take it on trust they wont pass it on to anyone else. If they also have your telephone number it leaves them able to phone you direct without contacting their office, changing arrangements/shift times etc without the office's knowledge. That's how rotas go to pot without the office knowing, and makes accurate communication impossible. And then you get a whole group of carers complaining about lack of communication, and clients complaining about changes nobody told them about, and the office having no idea which carers are where because they have been making new arrangement direct with a client.
The more personal and private information about you they have, the more risk there is of them gossiping amongst themselves and it 'leaking' to other people. It's amazing how easy it is to let slip a name, or a location, or sufficient description of someone for that person to be identified. A bit too much to drink in the pub after work, and a bit of a chit chat with mates and hey ho, TMI being passed around outside work.
Where I work, employees have been warned and then sacked for talking about client B, to client A. It's just not allowed, full stop.

When I was at college a couple of years ago doing my NVQ there were women from other private companies such as mine, and women from Social Services. The women from Social Servies were overburdened with their daily timetable of 15-20 minute slots, racing from job to job, often falling behind quickly (like the carer you had who was running 2 lists side by side). They also had to file time logs and reports immediately after leaving Client A before getting to Client B, instead of like we do which is either at the end of the day or the end of the week. They were doing it via some sort of mobile device. None of them were happy with the management of this system, and some switched to come and work for us because of it.

I wouldnt work for Social Services, nor would I work for some of the charity run homecare companies. There are so many private ones now you pretty much need a personal recommendation.
But you have to be able to afford them, and that's the catch.