Sunday, December 31, 2017

December Round Up

Actually doing December on time :)

Josh home 9th Dec to 9th Jan
Ben home 9th Dec to 30th Dec
Joshua's girlfriend Kenya visiting 16th Dec to 9th Jan
Joe and Kerrie here for a couple of days
Jeff out playing, and still mostly winning, pool.
Shona put acrylic nails on me. My nails didn't like them and within 2 weeks the whole lot pinged off, trying gel nails next time!
Out with Dawn and me Julie to celebrate Christmas.
Panto rehearsals.
Out with Jeanette and Sandra to celebrate Christmas.
Meet up with the old college girls.
Went to the foster carer's cafe and we were the only foster carers there!
Foster appointments.
Christmas Fair at Ella's school.
Family party.
Lots of trips to the airport!
Jeff out partying.
Dad and Sandra visited.
Taking Orla out for the day.
Saville Gardens.
Hampton Court Palace.
Job offer.
Robert and co all visited.
Ella's birthday.
Joshua's birthday.
Not even mentioning the whole Ella meltdown.
Been a busy month!
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ella - Final Update for now

So in the early hours of the 29th she was admitted to the local hospital, PP, that deals with mental health. She was examined by an on-call pyschiatrist, GP and Social Worker. She was exhausted, hardly surprising. Long story short they decide it's not a mental health illness. By the end of the 29th she was back at the care home and the only difference was the local council had agreed for extra funding for a one to one until this current episode subsides.

By the morning of the 30th she was back to square one.

I need to know:

1. Who thinks it's okay for this to go on for 5 days - and counting - and just pass Ella from pillar to post?

2. Was a pregnancy test done? Yes seriously, she said she had a boyfriend and we all know hormones causes all sorts of problems. And yes, I sound calm, trust me, I wasn't when it was broached.

3. She has Diazapam as needed, prescribed by her own psychiatrist, Dr K who is a specialist for people with learning difficulties. At A&E in WPH they overrode this decision and said to have it 3 times a day. When Dr K heard this he said no, revert. When she went to PP they changed it again!

4. The emergency SW that spoke with me admitted that as they didn't know Ella they were going to take advice from the local council who knows Ella better. Except they don't. These people are all making decisions on Ella that barely know her. She has a rare syndrome so just because she might not meet the normal expectations of someone with a mental health issue doesn't mean that she doesn't have any problems, she just presents differently. Even the manager at the care home, who works full time with adults with learning difficulties and challenging behaviours feels that Ella has extra needs.

5. WPH said they completed all tests for infections and they were all clear. Dr K reviewed the tests and said no urine and specific bloods were done. Also 2 results were slightly high. WPH said not true and refused to admit her as they feel they have done all they can. We then hear PP also feel that the A&E Department didn't do a thorough work up. I still don't know if everything was done and the results.

6. She needed 2 security guards?? The paramedics wrote a minimum of 7 pages. Does this not ring alarm bells? Even if, and I don't agree, she doesn't have any mental health issues, there is something going on and everyone just wiping their hands of her is not actually helping her, the other residents, the staff, the 3 ambulance crews, etc. etc. etc.

7. WPH said that as she had no medical cause for her behaviour and she has learning difficulties they were not able to section her. The paramedic told me that he was able to declare her not safe for herself and everyone else in the home and then involve the police. Why could WPH not do this? Was it because they had 130 people in A&E and Ella was too much work? I know this figure because one of the Consultants spoke to me and said the doctor examining Ella would phone me as he would probably need information the care home staff wouldn't have. Except he didn't phone back and by the time I ran out of patience and rang back she had been discharged. I assume this means that the care home were able to give him a complete medical history? ............. No, I don't think so either.

8. Emails were being sent about Ella without copying me in. Being a year older than Jeff I am her legal next of kin and we are still her parents. How dare we not be included.

9. There have been some stand-out positive moments. The paramedics who refused to leave without some resolution. The care home wanting Ella to go back. Our local council dealing with the request landing on them on the 29th thoroughly. But she has been let down tremendously by our National Health Service.

I am exhausted. Emotionally drained. Angry. Crying for my Ella who will eventually come out of this but as she has no understanding of time will fret for many months as she will think it has just happened.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ella - 8 months on, Part 2

Thank you to everyone who sent me messages after reading yesterday's post. It warms my heart to know so many people care about our Ella.

So, to recap on the 26th some of her behaviour included: throwing cups; attacking a member of staff and laughing about it; then throwing anything she could get hold of; running after staff and threatening to hurt them and the other service users; scratched Jeff; banging and kicking doors; pulling staff hair; trying to bite; grabbing their throats.

This continued all day. The OOH Doctor couldn't assess her due to her violent behaviour. Ambulance managed to administer her medication, eliminated any infection worries and advised a psychiatry review as she was medically fit.

Ella slept well but behaviour escalated almost immediately, grabbing hair, throwing furniture, attacking anyone near her. Ambulance called back out (as per their suggestion the previous evening) and they took her to A&E. She was so aggressive that 2 security men had to stay with her throughout her time there. Lorazapam administered to calm her down. Tests done. Sent home as hospital said it was mental health and as she has a learning disability they cannot section her. So she went back to the home and her behaviour went on till 4 in the morning when she fell asleep. Woke up 3 hours later and started again!

Most of today she has continued. The home managed to get hold of her psychiatrist who disagreed with A&E, wanted the Diazapam stopped, and said they hadn't carried out blood and urine tests. The Manager phoned to let me know this and that they had phoned for an ambulance.

I phoned 4 hours later to find out what was happening. Ended up speaking to an ambulance man who was part of a team that had been at the home 3, yes 3, hours trying to decide on the best course of action. The A&E Dept disagreed and said they had done all the tests necessary and they had all come back clear so wouldn't admit her. Her psychiatrist was unavailable. So he had phoned the local mental health hospital which has a specialist unit for people with MH and LD. That Doctor says to reintroduce the Diazapam! Which he had done but it had made no difference. He was now waiting to speak to control with a view to getting the police out and sectioning her for her safety, the staff and the other residents. Maybe then she will finally get the support she needs. The support we've been asking for for a long time. But if the 'pass the buck' mentality that we've seen the past few days continues I won't raise my hopes.

Ella - 8 months on

In a nutshell, after the past few days, we seem to have made little to no progress.

May - The first few weeks were torture when she was behaving the same way at the home as she had been here but we couldn't see her as it was agreed it would be too confusing.

June, July, August and September - We started by short visits, taking her in her wheelchair to local cafes within walking distance. This then stretched to a lunch, and then out for a few hours. We managed getting her to Ricki's wedding, but she didn't stay too long. Taking her to Windsor to see Sam, Alex and Ruby. Staines shopping and getting her hair cut. These visits lasted between 3 and 4 hours and were successful. She would be happy to see us, but equally as excited to go back to the home.

October - We took her to a wedding. We have no idea what was triggered or how. But she threw her ipad across the table. Punched me. Grabbed my hair. And even tried to pick up a tall standing bin and throw it at me. Talking to herself like Gollum again. Was the day too long? Too much stimulation? Seeing a lot of family that she hadn't seen for 6 months? All of the above? Or none of the above and something else that we have no idea what it was. The following week we went out as we had been, she was a little on edge, but nothing specific. Until the meal came that she had chosen and then the whole lot got thrown across the restaurant. Climbed off the chair onto the floor and refused to move. Jeff eventually got her out of the restaurant and waited in the car for me. The home didn't have any spare staff so we had to get her there somehow, all the while she's hitting Jeff and trying to bite him.

After this we all agreed we had to go back to basics. Jeff visited on his own, but she would lock herself in the toilet refusing to come out. I then visited too and she was fine, as long as we promised we wouldn't stay. Ella wasn't being violent but she didn't want to see us. Although she then says she wants to come back home. She is beyond confused.

Her birthday was early December. We spoke to her on the phone the night before and she was excited. Were we bring presents? Did we remember a cake for school? And a chocolate cake for her to share with her friends at the home? However, when we got there her key-worker let us know she was calm but she didn't want us to stay. So the photo above is all we have of her birthday. But it was what she wanted and she wasn't stressing so we went with it.

We managed to get her in the car on one occasion, she wanted a MacDonalds. We were aware of her mood swings though so thought a drive-though which she could then eat in the car on the way back to the home. She was excited until we got the meal and then threw it across the car. This time we managed to keep her calm before she escalated but she was very upset and she didn't know why.

We agreed to visit Christmas Eve as we all felt Christmas Day would be sensory overload in the home and adding us to the equation could just be too much. Ella was pleased to see us, and helped Jeff pile her presents up. However as soon as she knew we were staying for a cup of tea she said she would go into the lounge and we were to stay in her room. Her marvelous key-worker managed to persuade her to come back and we had a perfect half an hour opening presents and chatting. But we made sure we left as soon as she mentioned it. That was the most successful time with Ella since September.
I have shed a lot of tears the last few months. With Jeff. With her key-worker. But mostly on my own. With all my heart I want her to be happy. Settled. Without her anxieties. But we are at the will of the NHS. The shrink won't assess her until the epilepsy centre are happy. They won't commit until she's had the MRI - which we've been waiting for since 11th September. But she hasn't had a fit since early May so surely someone could agree to do something! Yes, the home is keeping her safe, and cared for, we don't doubt that, but she needs more - she needs healing :(

Christmas Day we had a phone call in the evening, all excited about the day she had had and the presents she got.

Boxing Day morning we get a call from the home. Ella has woken up completely relapsed. Attacking everyone. Wanting to kill the staff (even though she doesn't actually know what 'kill' means). All the same bizarre, aggressive behaviour that we have all witnessed before. Could Jeff go over as they were not having any success with her. So he went, and didn't have any more luck. She locked herself in the toilet and basically refused to come out till he left. This continued all day. At 4pm we agreed a call to the doctor was in order - nobody wanted a repeat of the 29 hours non-stop we had in May. Her GP came out, and was concerned, especially as she was refusing to take her epilepsy medication. He phoned an ambulance. But when they came out they checked her over for infection, and as she had finally taken her epilepsy medication they didn't feel there was cause for a hospital admission. So Jeff and I came off the phone to the home at 11:30 in the evening, having spent all day feeling helpless and worrying, a little reassured.

Today I phone the home at 12:00pm, thinking no news is good news. Not so. I was told she had continued the behaviour. The doctor was called back out. Who called an ambulance back out. Who this time did take her to the local A&E. I did ask them next time to let us know if Ella is going to hospital as, you know, we are still her parents! I spoke to an A&E Consultant an hour ago and now just waiting to hear if another NHS department is going to do nothing, or whether she is finally going to get the help she needs.
Saturday, December 23, 2017

Hampton Court Palace

Another trip to Hampton Court Palace. This time was to take Joshua's American girlfriend, Kenya, as it's her first trip to England. And of course I don't mind the trip, there's something about the place. I don't get it, because I tend to be very in tune with emotions, and it does have a bit of a bloody history so you would think it would make me feel unpleasant. But I can only assume that there has been a lot of good memories there to dampen the horrors.

We didn't attempt it all, but we walked through the main gardens; Henry VIII's kitchens; William III's apartments; and saw the display on Henry VIII's early years, before Anne Boleyn, when he seemed to actually be happy and in love with Catherine of Aragon.

All the times we've been and I'd never walked down to the Thames and Bushy Park. We saw ducks, swans and a herd of deers :)

Every time we go I have to go down to Henry VIII's kitchens because they have a huge open fireplace and I have a thing for the smell of burning, right up there with lemons as fave smells!

William III's apartments were also a first, the guard chamber had an amazing display of weaponry, not just quantity but in the way they were displayed.

And what about the lead trough - what are the chances! It is exactly the same as the one I saw at Saville Gardens, only 1754 not 1752.

Loving the photo of Josh and Kenya where they're checking their hair before a photo - honestly, a complete coincidence that their hands ended up in exactly the same spot :)
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Saville Gardens

We had planned to take Orla to a treasure hunt today, but seeing as I didn't read the whole advert, and therefore didn't book tickets in advance, that fell through! Orla's mum suggested the Gingerbread Trail at Saville Gardens so we went there instead. Turns out in December admission is free (not for the trail, but general admission) and it's obvious to see why. There are no leaves, flowers, buds, not much wildlife, but you know, it was still beautiful and refreshing.

The youngsters, Orla and a fosterling enjoyed the trail - it wasn't difficult but still took about one and a half hours. At the end they got a gingerbread man for completing it.

One of the highlights of the day was seeing a duck being chased back into a stream by a bigger bird, and then said big bird strutting off! So wish I had filmed it, it was comical!

The lead trough caught my eye - I think the sometimes photographer in me loved the way the plain grey lead stood out against the red bricks. And it's dated from 1752!

We then went to Pizza Hut and finally ended up back at ours playing a board game. As always a lovely day with the God-daughter :)

Monday, December 04, 2017

Too much eating out!

December 1st Jeff agreed we could go Christmas shopping. If I'd ask him on November 30th I would have got a very different answer, he lives up to his nickname, Mr Bah Humbug man :) We are not allowed to mention the C word any time of the year except for Christmas. I noticed that's become a common phrase in recent years, but Jeff has been saying it for as long as I remember.

Anyhow, back to the title of the post. After we had finished getting nearly everything we went to lunch. Jeff chose the new buffet available at Tangs in the new Lexicon shopping centre. For me it was okay, but only okay. We've tried several buffet places, Jimmy Spice, Cosmos and now this one. I liked how helpful the staff were, how quickly we were served and the place looked pretty clean. However, there were a few things that put me off. One was that the place was cold, and the plates were cold, which meant by the time you chose all your food, and get back to the table, the food isn't hot! Then there was the selection. I know all the buffet places have a reduced menu at lunch times but there was no Italian at all, despite being on the menu, and it nearly all Chinese and Indian. A few more vegetarian options would have been nice. Desserts were much the same, obviously all the places by them from the same place. But Tangs also had bananas and custard - oh how that took me back to childhood, so they get a big tick for that LOL! All in all, I will give it a second chance as it's still new and finding its feet - but only one more chance!

On 2nd December I had arranged to go out with Dawn and me Julie, this time to The Admiral Cunningham. Julie and me used to go there a lot at lunchtimes when we worked at Racal's. In fact I have a photograph of us celebrating her 18th birthday there! So we had booked their Christmas meal, and we were the only people eating it! That was initially a bit weird, sitting at a decorated table in the middle of a busy pub on a Friday night! Having said that, the meal was lovely and the company even lovlier. Only negative was there was no crackers! How can you have a Christmas meal with no corny jokes to read!

On the 4th during the day I went to Bracknell Leisure Centre and met up with the other girls from when I worked at Bracknell and Wokingham College. Can't really rate that - a sandwich is a sandwich! And a herbal tea is a bag in boiling water! But it was great to catch up with everyone.

And then on the 4th in the evening I went out with Jeanette and Sandra!This time was the Christmas meal at the Golden Retriever. Again, great company and a perfect meal. No rushing us, although it took half an hour for the staff to sort out the bill! Our table was right beside the real open fire, which just finished off the evening perfectly :)

I think that was it!! What a week, not great for the diet, I am so going to have put weight back on by the end of Christmas, but I now know I can lose weight, so will start again in the new year :)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November Round Up

Last catch up! Now just need to keep on top of it ....... again :) Being 5 months behind I did think about just stopping, but then Joseph told me him and Kerrie were looking through it recently and how much they enjoyed it. And it reminded me that that's the number one reason I have a blog - for recording for the family.

Trip to seaside.
Seeing dad and Sandra.
Usual fostering stuff - meetings; HV; optician; Silsip; messy play;  LAC awards - actually, more fostering related appointments than anything else during November.
Ella's annual EHCP review.
Left the contract job earlier than planned.
Ella had an award ceremony.
Cinema with Jeff, Daddy's Home 2 - bloody funny!
Updated my Paediatric First Aid training.
Lots of pantomime rehearsals.
Had a whole day scrapbooking - yay!
Sunday, November 19, 2017

7 Day Black & White Challenge

I was tagged by a friend to take part in the 7 day everyday life black and white photograph challenge. Couldn't refuse, love taking photo's. Wasn't told until half way through that it wasn't supposed to include human beans but whatever, I look on it as artistic licence ...... or isn't the very point of having rules to be able to break them :)

DAY 1 - I've been creating a monthly scrapbook album for baby.

DAY 2 - Trip to Durley Chine

DAY 3 - Love this simple photograph

DAY 4 - Reading train station. Actually impressed with this photo, every now and then I take a photo and think 'Wow, I could be a photographer ........ then I take another and remember why I couldn't!'

DAY 5 - Another everyday moment

DAY 6 - My bedside table! Which did have a tidy up before I took the photograph :)

DAY 7 - My craft room - severely neglected at the moment :(
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Durley Chine, Dorset

I love the seaside.

I mean I don't love it as much as the mountains.

I wouldn't want to live by the sea.

But there is something that draws me. 

I don't like just sitting on the beach in the heat, it's so boring.

In fact, give me a sea front in autumn and winter any day over a hot sunny day.

Clear skies.

Fresh air.

And a lack of crowds is a huge plus.

So even though it was November we decided to go down to Durley Chine in Dorset for the day.

The skies were blue, lots of fresh air and no crowds.

And at the end of the day we surprised dad for dinner.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Round Up

Only two months to go and I will finally have caught up!
Pantomime auditions.
Got a part singing in the chorus in the pantomime Tommy Tucker.

 Baby got her first pair of proper Clarks walking shoes, 2F!

And another wedding - what's that, 4 this year :) Although the wedding was lovely, for Jeff and me it was tinged with sadness as Ella had a complete melt-down and  it was like the past 6 months hard work just disappeared in a blink. Unfortunately it wasn't a one-off set back, the following week she lost it when we were out with her, so we're back to basics, visiting but not going out.


Cosmo's over half term.
Jeff's been out playing pool ...... and winning
Off to Runnymede for the day.
Training Safeguarding.
Training Prevent.
And of course my girls weekend :)
Pretty quiet really, this contract job is taking up so much of my time!