Friday, 2 December 2011

Small Steps - A #Special Saturday Post

Over the past few weeks Chrissy's affairs have taken precedence over everything else - but it's been worthwhile.

I had a positive meeting with her new psychiatrist & was very impressed that he'd taken the time to read this blog! He referred to incidents I'd written about & it was clear he'd researched her chromosome disorder. He was open-minded and interested in exploring causes of the more intense clusters of self-injurious behaviours for which no environmental trigger has been identified. As Chrissy had settled down after a difficult month, he decided to withdraw the last 15mg of her Topiramate while introducing Pregabalin. I don't know if that's why we had such a challenging time with her. Her last spell of horrendous behaviour coincided with Topiramate withdrawal & it was similarly intense here yesterday. Her diva-ish behaviour has been off the scale - she's been moaning, obsessive, demanding & irritable. We did have a lovely cuddle with her on the settee while we watched Come Dine With Me but had to hold both her hands the whole time, effectively handcuffing us to her. A great way of getting our individed attention! She then kicked off again later & wouldn't go to bed until after midnight.

I'm worried about how Chrissy will cope at Xmas, particularly as last year was so awful. She will obviously be here with us on Xmas Day, as she's always been, but when more of the family visit on the 28th it could be apocalyptic. Her stripping is particularly difficult to manage when there are young men & children around, as you can imagine!

Anyway, on a different note, another positive outcome came from the 1st stage of our appeal process re the long-standing funding dispute between the local authority & NHS trust. The dispute has caused a number of problems that I can't elaborate on publicly at the moment but our biggest recent concern was that no one was taking care management responsibility. We need to plan for Chrissy's discharge from hospital & the type of 'bespoke service' she needs may, according to estimates from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, take about 12-18 months to organise. So, although she needs to stay in hospital until meds changes are completed, we need to start planning now.

At our appeal meeting the NHS trust admitted to 'horrendous' errors in the healthcare assessment process, & offered to start from scratch with a retrospective assessment. This means combing through Chrissy's records from the past three years. I was advised that to see those records, I'd have to apply to the Court of Protection for Deputyship, which puts my responsibilities for Chrissy on a more legal footing. I filled in all the forms, so I could make decisions re property as well as health & welfare, as she may end up with a home of her own. The forms are tedious & repetitive, & took me nearly a day to complete but they're done now. I'm sure it will be worth it in the long run!

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  1. Sounds like you've been very busy. And to be honest it all sounds very complicated too! Hope it all works out.

  2. And great fo find a consultant that listens too :)

  3. Hugely time-consuming & tedious to fill out all the paperwork &, yes, complicated. One of many steep learning curves we've been on with Chrissy! I think it will be worth the hassle in the end though. Hope that now they've admitted their mistakes Chrissy's best interests will be at the heart of any future plans :-)