Saturday, 22 October 2011

Rush hour on Skye..........

...................Is 2 cars, a white van and a truck! So no wonder the bus to Armadale was late!!!

Yes - another visit to Portree and my crazy friend Linda!!!!

And we were not disappointed

We got the bus tuesday morning and arrived about 5pm. It was fairly busy - october holiday for schools and the Mod is at one of the other islands, so travel is busy. There was snow atop some of the hills. Man - it's only october. It's not meant to be like that!!! And it was COLD. Methinks we may have another long winter ahead.
At one point, the bus was driving into the rain and wind, and said wet and windy stuff was trying hard to push us back!!!

Arriving in Portree, we met Linda and Harry - our lovely taxi driver - were there to meet us. Another bit of gossip for the town was created when i gave Harry a birthday hug!!!
Off to the bed and breakfast to unpack and then up to Linda's for dinner. We had fish and chips from a local place - honestly, the fish tasted so fresh, i almost expected it to wink at me!!!

Peter and Lachie were happily choosing their DVD to watch, SO linda and i sat and chatted.

Of course i took Kimble's chocs - i had been warned that i wouldn't get within a mile of the island if i had forgotten!!!!!
All too soon (after a drink or 2!!) it was time to go back to the B+B. I promised that i would get Lachie's papers and bring them up with me in the morning.

Our breakfasts were lovely - i'm sure Chrissie wanted to feed us up. And she wasn't bothered that all Peter asked for was sausages and toast!!!

We sat and chatted for a while and Linda's girls were in and out. Our plans for the afternoon were to go for lunch at Marmalade - a lovely place - and then off down into the town centre.
Lunch was indeed good and we didn't really want to move, but felt we had to. A look about a few of the shops and then back to Linda's. 
Dinner then the chat and s drink!!! Oh - and planning for the next day!!!

We decided to go to Armadale to the Clan Douglas Centre. Unfortunalty, it was raining, so we didn't spend much time outdoors, but you could tell what it would be like on a sunny day. Heck, it was so wet and cold that the Peacock would not display his feathers and if he would have spoken, would probably asked one of the humans to open the doors and LET HIM IN!!!! It was funny to watch him wander to a bit and try to get shelter.

The museum was good - interesting, but Peter gets bored quickly, so you have to keep him going and try to look at things on the hoof.

Then we went off for lunch - Soup and sandwiches - and to be warmed up.

Linda and i were really annoyed at one woman we  - or rather Peter - encountered. On our walk back down to get lunch, Peter was walking ahead of us. Not too far - close enough to call to him if needed. A woman and a couple of men came along. The woman was in her 60's (at least) and said to Peter "which way is the castle". He just kinda looked at her as if What???? and she got a bit annoyed - she tutted a bit in a huffy way and said to us (who at that point realised she had asked Peter a thing he couldn't answer) "where IS the castle!!!!".

We felt like directing her to the water and telling her to jump in and she may find it, but we were not in the mood for a crabbit auld wummin who had met up with Peter and thought he was stupid. We knew that we had the better person to have lunch with!!!

All too quickly it was time to think of going home. Our last evening we sat and made plans for the next visit - hopefully March. We can't wait.

Friday morning, the rain was pouring down and the wind was blowing a hoolie. I seriously thought we would be going home by ark instead of a bus!!! And it rained almost all of the 7 hour journey!

I knew i was back in Glasgow when we hit friday evening rush hour - considerably more traffic that 2 cars, a van and a truck!! It was busy, noisy and loud.

I must be turning into an island person!!! 

Monday, 17 October 2011

All life starts......................

...................At A + E at Glasgow Royal Infirmary!!

The reason i know this, is because Louise and I spent last sunday afternoon/evening there. Lou had been suffering from a sore head solidly for almost 4 days - she also had some neck stiffness and mild photo-phobia............. no prizes for guessing where this might have been going.

The pharmacist suggested going to the out of hours clinic, given that Lou works at Sick Kids and could have come across any manner of buggies and beasties that do the rounds at this time of year.

So off we went to out of hours. Triaged by the nurse, then a wait for a doc.
And wait. It seemed to be change of shift and a new doc came in - Lou didn't like the look of him and to be honest, neither did i. Guess who she saw?? You got it - him. His english wasn't brill and he couldn't understand WHY Lou had come along, even tho we explained about her job and the pharmacist advising it would be good to get checked.
So he made a phone call to A + E. We were to go up.

Took Peter home (had to take him with us since Matthew and Paul were out). Then headed to the hospital.

Actually - for a sunday afternoon at one of the main A+E departments in the city, it was fairly quiet!! We only saw the police frogmarch  one person in!!!! 
No footie matches on, so no fighting.

We booked in and were triaged again. THe doc at out of hours was a bit blazé. but the nurse was good when we explained where Lou worked.

So we had to go and wait - again. 

So our people watching started.
An insight to parts of life we never usually see!!

One man came to reception to ask about his wife. He thought she'd been brought in earlier - he had decided to go shopping then come find out how she was!!! (mmmm - normally the other way about - woman shop, man ill!!!)
Then the people who think the can walk thru the department to get to the other parts of the hospital - and they get miffed when they get told they have to walk back outta the door and go to the right place. Yes, the staff can access the hospital from the department, just not the general public!!

Then came a wee man in off the street - woolie bunnet on his heid and back pack over his shoulder. Eventually he was booked in and came to sit in front of us. He looked round to see who he could strike up a conversation with. 

At this point, Louise and i found a speck of dirt in a far corner very interesting!!!!

He managed to engage with the woman beside him. He complained of a sore chest, admitted he smoked and had inhalers. The woman commented that maybe he should chuck the ciggies and that might help.

Oh, ah canny be daeing with that, was the reply.
(so why are you here then, if you do nothing to help yourself???)

Then he complained of hunger - he was offered a toffee by this woman and she got the reply of "i've nae teeth to chew!".
She suggested crisps from the vending machine.
He needed something more substantial than crisps!

What, we wondered, did he expect in and A + E Department?? 5** fine dining and wines?!?!?!?!?!?

I always tell my kids that if they are well enough to be picky about food, they do not need to be near that kinda place. I was tempted to offer this choice nugget, but Lou's name was called.

Saved by the call of the assessment unit!!

So we went thru - bloods and ECG done, we were told to wait and a doc would eventually get to us.

So all that was left to do was people watch - again.

But what is it with people and them thinking that paper thin curtains are actually soundproofed??? They seem to think that the people around them are deaf and do not understand a work anyone else says.

Across and to the right, we had a patient, who was an American tourist. I'm sure visiting a hospital as a patient was not on his top ten "to do while in Scotland" list!! It was decided to take him up to the ward to see how he and his chest pain did overnight.

Across and to the left came in a woman on a trolley and her daughter. The woman get berating the daughter for making such a fuss. But, truly, the woman did need some kinda help. I heard the daughter mention things like anti depressants and how the mother had tried to commit suicide recently.

See what i mean - you could hear almost everything.

Louise and i chatted for a while and we could hear comments that other folk - like the woman who was asked if her sister had come in the ambulance with her. She said she thought so!!! (turned out the sis was still at home!!)

More and more we could hear the woman across from us giving an earful to the daughter. She said her neighbours would be shocked at an ambulance being at the house at 6am. The daughter pointed out it was the afternoon and they were not long in the building .

I really felt sorry for the girl - who it turned out had been caring for her mother 24/7 for some time. When the mother said that she was a "STUPID GIRL" i really wanted to go in and  shake her till she saw that her daughter was very loving, obviously concerned due to the fact that her mother wasn't well and that she should be glad that someone cared about her.

By that time, i was thinking that if this had been a relative of mine, i would have driven along the motorway and jettisoned her as we passed the hospital and then put my foot to the floor so i could escape FAST.

It was sad.

Eventually, we did get seen and the doc decided to keep Lou in. Not because she thought there was a danger of infection - more because she never suffers from headaches or migraines and they just wanted to make sure she was ok.

Monday morning i got a call - Consultant had done the ward round, said she'd done the right thing and said she could go home - it WAS just a bad sore head.

It was kinda scary and we waited sooo long to get to the ward. But at least we know she's ok.
Now we just have to deal with the sore back she has..........................

She's on her own there - and has an appointment with the GP this week.

Peter and i are on our way to Skye in the morning, and i can't wait!!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Sharing, Caring and how time flies

It's now a year since we started our support with Enable.
It took us a few months to do the paperwork, get the budget and then decide who we would get support from.
Hey - scary stuff. I've never done this kinda thing before. 
But i had to try.
It was getting to stupid, being told when we could have support and who with by the council. And where Peter could go for respite.
Like, duh - do these people who organise such things really know Peter better than we and our friends do?!?!?!?

The photo above kind of sums things up. Over the past few years I have cried plenty on tears.
 Frustration mostly.

Frustrated by the slow wheels of officialdom and what "Professionals" have to say about my son. Social Workers who say that he is "no different from other kids his age" and  that "we didn't turn up to meet respite families" when due to them not knowing their bums from their elbows kind of forgot (on purpose?!?!) to tell us where and when the meeting actually was!!!
I've even been told that the crisis no longer existed when it was obvious to people around us that we needed HELP!!!!

But the past year has been good.
We got the help and the support that we needed - at last.
An we got to choose who we got it from, when we got it and hey - we even got to ask for extra hours when we needed them.

Had i moved into some kind of fantasy world?!?!?!?!

At times it felt like it!

Yes - we've had niggles - sometimes things didn't quite work out with the workers. But that was ok - we could look at having back up workers. We didn't need to "take it or leave it". (mostly i used to want to just leave it!!).

I did find it a bit hard at the start - i may have locked control freak worry wart in the cupboard under the stairs, but i had to remember that we were in charge and had to set the pace. I would sheepishly ask for extra hours to be told "you don't need to ask - the hours are there - USE them". 

I'm getting better tho - slowly!
Nearly relapsed the other day - it hadn't quite been pointed out that Peter does college on a monday and we'd need the back up worker to get him there - Nikki, our usual monday support was away on a well deserved holiday.

I got the phone call asking me what time i wanted someone in and said "well, i expected them ages ago".
THe reply was "oooppps -sorry - forgot college today". So we set about trying to sort a time for some support later. I started saying "oh, if it's too much hassle.................."

Got my ear chewed for that!! It's still sore!!

Enable have been great for Peter and for us as a family.
We've needed the support and got it.
Why couldn't it have been this easy years ago when i was in tears and really needed help?????

Loads of times friends would be helpless at the end of a phone call or text message, unable to really do anything to help and slowly watching the car crash that was my life. Getting hassle from people who should have been supporting us, but instead were questioning every move we made and when we did get the odd crumb of support from "officialdom" they would question again and claim there was nothing wrong with Peter that being told to "grow up and act your age" wouldn't cure!!

Yes - those people lived in my life and they were a lot closer that most people know.

Mmmmm - how did i survive without pleading with the men in white coats to cart me off to the nearest loony bin??????

(Possibly the fact that Matthew's sister is one of them people in a white coat did it!!!)

And how some friends still talk to me is beyond belief - it can't have been nice having me around at times.

But i'm looking back on the past year at all the things Peter has done.
Art class on a monday evening (and if anyone knows anyone with loads of money to spare, can they send them in the direction of Projectability so said monday night class can start up again, many people would be grateful!!!)
Days out to the zoo (no luck at trying to get Peter kept in!!) cinema, going off to Perth with Ashleigh to tell others of his support.
And the respite - Skye, Kielder, Dalry (with the guy who mops the floor and the log fire..................!!! I WANNA GO THERE!!!)
And to make sure the budget got spent, another trip to Skye and a trip on the Caledonian Sleeper to London.

Maybe Peter comes home to have a rest!!!

Mmmmm - i don't think i was ever away that much or did as much when i was 21!! College is almost like an afterthought at times!!

I can't believe we've packed all that into a year.
And it has helped us get a break and do things with Louise and Paul.

Below is a link to a film that Enable have made. I know exactly where the mum is coming from - even tho Peter and her daughter have totally different support  needs. All we are asking for is a small amount of good support to help us out. We're not asking for lots of money, or material things. 

Just someone to lean on