Tuesday, January 5th 2010

Care package review

Rachel, my social care manager, and a representative from the care agency called in late this morning at fairly short notice to discuss recent developments with my health i.e. my weakening legs, falling while trying to stand up from my wheelchair at the weekend, and the implications of all this. As I’ve mentioned before visits to the bathroom and my ability to get there are high on the radar these days and are causing me an ever increasing amount of stress. Various options were discussed such as having a block of time so that someone would be here throughout the day – fine if the problem was only during the day but still wouldn’t get me through the night, having another block of time so that someone would be here throughout the night, or back to where we were with the district nurse recently i.e. conveens and catheters. None of the options are very appealing but I’m fast approaching the time when I have to make a decision. I’m not very keen on having a live in carer as I still prefer time by myself and don’t want to be swamped by care. And neither do I wish to give up my current loyal carers. At certain times of the day I obviously need a high degree of care but outside of these times my needs are minimal and I’m quite happy to be left to my own devices working away in my study. As a short-term measure my social care manager is going to seek out funding for an additional early morning bathroom call. However, the way things are progressing at the moment I’m sure it will change again before too long.

Starting to look like Currys

At last I can watch TV in my study thanks to Francesca who brought my 20 inch Sony BRAVIA flat screen upstairs and into my study. She was able to mount it on top of a wooden plinth just behind my laptop so that both screens are directly in front of me and the TV is at eyelevel more or less. All of this is long overdue as I’d already gone to the trouble over a year ago to have a second aerial installed in the loft that would allow TV upstairs. But then my plans changed and for a long time I was content to work at my laptop downstairs in the dining area looking out on the garden. But now that my mobility is under threat I want to extend my viewing options but at the same time keep them in a centralised location. The Freeview TV now allows me not only to watch TV and keep up with the news but also to listen to the radio stations. Unfortunately due to the limitations of the control unit that the Possum engineer fitted yesterday it is not possible to directly access a TV or radio channel. I can only move up or down the channels one at a time. This of course can be extremely frustrating if say you want to watch BBC1 (Channel 1) and then skip across to Sky News (Channel 82). But that slight niggle aside I’m really pleased at the increased entertainment and education options now at my disposal.

Whilst Francesca was with me she also set up my new digital photo frame that Jason and Chery had bought me as a Christmas present. So now I have a laptop computer, television, telephone, an intercom, and a constantly changing display of family photos on my digital photo frame – all on my desk which is now starting to resemble a display area in an electrical superstore.

Snowing again

Guess what, it’s started snowing here again in Basingstoke! This time the forecast is that we’ll get more snow than we did on the run-up to Christmas and that it will snow all through the night. With that in mind and learning from past mistakes my care agency arranged for Francesca to cook my dinner at lunchtime and to just have a snack in the evening which would be rolled in with the put to bed call. Everything looked all right when I was eating my dinner but Francesca had barely been gone an hour when the snow started to fall. By the evening it was completely white outside the house and traffic was already struggling with the side roads on the housing estates. After watching weather news bulletins on the TV this evening I’ve concluded I’m definitely in the best place.

Thank you Francesca for braving the elements this evening and walking over to my house in the freezing cold snow. Really appreciated!

Francesca on her way over to my house this evening to do my care.

Mark

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