Friday, February 26th 2010

Catching up

Okay, while I’ve got a few hours to myself and before my next carer arrives there is just time enough for a little update on what’s been happening this week. I’ve not had much sleep this past week for various reasons including problems with the conveen, and this morning waking up in the early hours with a lot of pain in my lower spine. Being so paralysed I could do very little to alleviate the pain and lay there helpless counting the minutes and hours until Ann arrived. Because I’ve had so little sleep lately I’m feeling really shattered and just don’t seem to have much energy to do anything, and hence no blog updates. Hopefully once I get a few good nights’ rest behind me I’ll be okay again.

So what’s been happening this week apart from sleep deprivation? Well on Monday I had a visit from a dietician by the name of Rebecca, who apart from bringing another load of high calorie drinks and dessert samples to try, discussed with me the problems I’m having with my reduced appetite and the difficulties I’m experiencing eating certain types of food. We reviewed how I was getting on with the ensure drinks and it was interesting to note that when I weighed myself at the beginning of the week I had actually put on two pounds in weight. I asked her what sort of calorific intake I would need and she tells me that based on my weight I would need to consume about 1600 calories a day. So as each ensure drink contains about 330 calories I would need to drink about five a day if I was going to live on them exclusively. Of course it’s not my intention to give up on solid food but the ensure drinks do take the stress out of trying to eat a large meal. So these days I’m trying to eat a little bit of lots of different things so that I can still enjoy different tastes and textures and not feel demotivated to eat because the diet has become so bland. We talked a little bit about fortifying food as well and already my carers have started adding double cream to things like cereals and drinks. At this rate I’ll be roly-poly man!

Had a problem halfway through the week with my care package when they wanted to send a male carer and complete stranger into my home to do the evening call. I only found out when I checked my e-mail and discovered the message. It’s funny how whenever the care agency has bad news they send it data in an e-mail and contact me by phone when it is good news. I ended up having something of an argument with the management about not sending people into my home who I have never met before when I am trapped helpless upstairs and alone. It has been an agreement all along that anybody new would be introduced properly and would first do some shadowing with one of my regulars. Also I have a strict stipulation of no male carers which the agency agreed to way back in 2008 and yet repeatedly try to put male carers into my care package. And to think the previous day I was saying how well things were going at the care package review with my social care manager. Obviously my new care package is not as robust as I would like it to be. It’s taken just one of my main carers to take a week’s holiday for things to start unravelling. Fortunately Ann, bless her, came to the rescue again and rearranged her evening so that she could do my evening meal. But I still ended up with an almost stranger for the last couple of hours.

Apart from that little bit of excitement not too much else this week. I did have a call yesterday afternoon from Heather, the District Nurse taking over from Anita. We’ve met before but I haven’t seen her for a few months so it was a case of running through everything that’s happened this year and just explaining recent difficulties with mobility, appetite and swallowing.

I must admit I’ll be glad to get this week over with. I feel so tired. I just don’t seem to have achieved much this week.

Mark

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