Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fostering, SEN, Life, January

Note from one of the fosterlings, how bad did I feel :( It obviously wasn't intentional, but after he had gone to bed I went downstairs. By the time I had gone back upstairs I had simply forgot.
Thing is, children in general don't like you making false promises, but understand if it's out of the norm. But foster children have been let down so many times that they can just see it as one more adult not keeping their word. Gave me a little reminder.

We failed miserably to see our Goddaughter, Orla, before Christmas, but luckily hers and Ellas school went back a day later than the fosterlings. So Jeff and me took them both to one of my favourite places, Hampton Court Palace. I never get bored going and Orla was excited as she had never been before.

Making lots of plans - have reduced the planners from last year. Much as it's fun to colour and make things pretty, there's only so many hours in a day, and I'd rather spend it crafting or reading!

Enjoyed being a backing singer for the Quince Players pantomime this year. And the Producer, Director and Musical Director were all amazing when I was struggling with Ella during the last rehearsals and the actual run. And I think I've been bitten by the bug :)

Just a round-up of January. Obviously we had all the Lake Tahoe weather trauma; Ella going, well, I honestly cannot think of word to describe her behaviour; the fosterlings going through transitions so lots of emotions; and then just the day to day 'stuff' that happens with a large, Heinz 57 variety family :)
Sunday, January 22, 2017

When you're unhappy with your GP

We have had a few tough weeks with Ella, which I touched on briefly a couple of weeks ago. It reached a 'point of no return'

I took her to our practice, to meet her new doctor. Well, chocolate and teapot springs to mind.
She didn't listen.
She didn't read my diary notes
Save for taking her pulse and temperature she did not examine Ella at all.

She watched a 2 min clip of Ella losing the plot and smiled! Her only concern was whether the baby was real, Cos like, most mums in that situation would leave a baby in the middle of the melee,
People with learning difficulties have a higher probability of having mental health issues but she didn't suggested a referral to CAMHS.
When asked for symptoms I advised she says she has pains in the tummy, often in her chest, and head. She didn't check those areas. And, no, she's not eating well at the moment. A quick Google search when I got home suggested hypoglaecemia/diabetic rage
Didn't give any thought to the new tablets Ella had been prescribed.
I got the distinct impression she thought I was a mum who had no idea how to control her child.

She said she would contact her social worker and that was it. Said goodbye and turned back to the computer. I felt like I had just had a bad appraisal and been dismissed. It was like she had decided the issue was me. She had video and written evidence, a mum in tears and a child saying she didn't want to go home and she felt it appropriate to send us home, with not even a follow-up! My Mum commented for all we know she could have a brain tumour (ok, unlikely) - but she didn't look any further than it was just a behavioural problem.

Now. I have since heard from 3 people that the new tablets are well known for causing rages and all 3 had had their childrens medication changed. I had pointed out the medication change to the doctor, but I think by then she had already made her opinion of me.

Once I had calmed down I penned a very strong letter to the Practice Manager. Ella now has a different GP and the surgery are looking into my complaint. Never stand by and allow anyone to make you feel inferior (well she did, but not for long!); and never let anyone question your own beliefs.

Watch this space!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Having Fun Baking

That moment when you begin to wonder what on earth possessed you to start something! ........ They did actually taste very nice)
Thursday, January 12, 2017

South Lake Tahoe

I know it's not pretty - but so jealous! The most we get here is 6". Mind you if we had that much the whole country would grind to a halt!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

South Lake Tahoe

Ben is in New York at the moment.

Ricki and Kim are driving from San Francisco up to Lake Tahoe to see Josh and Ben. They didn't realise Jeff was going to be there so bonus all round.

Jeff is in Lake Tahoe at the moment with Joshua.

There is flooding, mudslides, avalanches and Red Cross Emergency Evacuation centres!! Worst storm in 20 years, so much snow even the skiing has been cancelled! He's not sure Ben, Ricki and Kim will even make it up the mountain!! And here's me worrying about lack of sleep!

Dealing with a child with SEN

Had high plans to keep on top of my blogging - Ha! Like life will let me. All sorts of issues going on in this house at the moment with birth children and the fosterlings. But I want to focus on one other today.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to write an article for SEN Magazine on any topic relating to Ella. I decided to write about birthdays, and have attached a photo of the article. Quite proud if I say so myself, made me smile.

However, that's the first time she has made me smile in a few days. Jeff had to go to USA and it's like she's been given a carte blanche to misbehave. Well,  there's an understatement. Being Hyde of Jekyll and Hyde fame; or the girl with the little girl; or any other character with a split personality seems to be her target

Jeff left Thursday. This week Ella has had to deal with Jeff leaving, going back to school, her favourite TA not being there, the fosterlings very stressed, and her period starting. I guess a perfect storm. So I understand why she's behaving like she is, but when you're in the middle of that perfect storm, it's soul destroying.

Friday after a quiet cuddly afternoon kicks off at bedtime, lasts about 1.5 hours. Not loud, and in our bedroom, so no-one else would even guess there's a problem. Throwing things, pinching and just being generally plain mean. On top of everything else going on it reduced me to tears;
Saturday was like walking on eggshells all day;
Sunday she wet herself when we were out, not something she does often and in the night she was awake till 5.00am Monday morning (I think a direct result of seeing the fosterling's breakdown at bedtime);
Monday we have (her, not me!) a mini meltdown, just scratches and spitting
Tuesday she throws something with such force she has broken the screen of our brand new telly. Note to self, don't bother to buy nice things.

I love this girl to the moon and back, but sometimes it is bloody hard work.So I guess I'm writing this for me because I'm hoping it will be cathartic; and for anyone out there who knows a parent/carer dealing with a child with complex needs don't always assume everything's fine because they're always smiling and laughing about it. Behind closed doors they could be dealing with a nightmare you cannot imagine and might even be sinking under the stress.

P.S. (Can you do a PS on a blog?) If you're  visiting from the SEN Magazine and would like to know more specifically about Ella, pop over to this page :)