Friday, 25 June 2010

Life takes over some times!

I have finaly decided it was time to do another blog post ! The months have just ran away with me this year I've been so busy!

I haven't done any stitching to speak of since last November, but I did do a wedding sampler for my nephew's wedding last month. I left it until the last minute to start it so had to shorten and adjust the original design, but it was well received any way :-)

The only reason I managed to get it done is because Janine and I took a few days away in the fostering association caravan, in Talybont, North Wales. I really needed the break and it was lovely to unwind and relax. The tv in the caravan didn't work, as Wales have already gone digital, so we watched a dvd each night and stitched and went to bed early. After having 2-3 long walks on the beach every day I was ready for bed I can tell you lol. Janine has adopted CAL, a collie cross rescue dog and he came with us and loved the freedom of the beach ... but not the water! lol

I finaly got some extra support from fostering, and last month a carer started coming in for an hour in the evening to help me get Jack sorted and in to bed. He's getting so big now! He had his 13th birthday in April and I had a party for all his family, here in my home. My ex went down to Ludlow to pick up all 17 of them and bring them here, then returned them back again after the party. I hired a bouncy castle for the children and put on a buffet, so every one had a lovely time and realy enjoyed them self. It's the first time since Jack was little, that both sides of the family have been together and it went off very well.
Jack is struggling to eat and drink so much now that we're having to go to Alder Hay Childrens Hospital to have a gastrostomy peg fitted so he can be fed straight in to his stomach. He choughs and splutters so much that he's asperating his food and it's getting quite dangerous for him, so although it will be such a shame to take the food away from him, it's the best thing for his health. We're going to see the consultant in a couple of weeks and will hopefully get the date for the surgery then. We have also had to alter his meds this year as his seizures have been very irratic and not very easily controlled, but we're getting there slowly!

I have taken on another foster child as a long term placement. Daniel is 8 and has autism and learning disabilities. He has had 3 placement breakdowns in the 2 yrs he's been in care, and needs an experienced carer to look after him. He has been struggling with going for poo's but with lots of good food and extra fibre, I've got him going reasonable well, and he is so proud that he isn't soiling his pants any more! Bless him lol He can fixate on things and get very distressed if things change with out him knowing, so I have to be carefull what I promise etc. ie I said he could have crunchy nut cornflakes for breakfast one night, but Janine had the last of them before going to work that next morning, so I gave him frosties instead, but he knew it was wrong and it took a bit of coaxing to stop a full blown paddy insueing lol He has a phonominal memory and remembers the days things happen very clearly and exactly what has been said!!! If you have ever seen the film Rain Man, with Dustin Hoffman , then you will have an idea of what Daniel is like, although he isn't a Savaunt like the charactor in the film.

In May the girls and I had a day out in London for my birthday. We got an early train down to Euston and did the London Eye, the Tower of London and Madme Tussauds. It was a lovely sunny day and we didn't have to rush any where it was just so nice! We did however lose Cindy on the underground lol She got off the tube ahead of us and the doors shut, trapping me and Janine inside the tube and took us off down the track! Cindy had the sense to wait there and we got on the return tube back again, but when I said I'd meet her at the top of the stairs (as we were then on the opposite side of the track to her), she followed every one out, through the barriers, and ended up on the otherside of the dual carriage way to us !!! Thank goodness for mobile phones!! We managed to find each other again, but she was shaken up and needed a cuddle lol She is now DEFINATELY not going to live and work in London rofl

Well, that's my news in brief, just to keep you updated and to let you know that I'm still here, working hard and still smiling :-) :-)

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Catch up at last

I'm afraid I haven't been in the mood for blogging or visiting boards for quite a while and have fallen by the way side in reading blogs etc. Life has been busy and so I've just been visiting Face book and Stashaholics Central and leaving it at that. I'm not sure if it's to do with the long, cold winter we're having but I'm sure we're all begining to suffer the effects of S A D, I certainly feel down and don't want to do much of any thing lately :( I'm longing for some sunshine and warmth! .. and I'm not a hot weather person usualy! lol .I had a lovely email from Julie and a poke from Barb in one of the funny emails she sends, which reminded me that although I haven't met any of my stitching friends from blog land and boards, they still think of me occasionally and wonder what I'm up to. So I thought I'd better do another post :)

As you may remember from my last post, I finally managed to get the Social Services to pay the down payment on the Motorbility car, and I took delivery of it this week. One whole year after starting to ask for their help in getting a car! I have been able to sell my VW transporter back to the dealer who I bought it off originally so I'm pleased about that. It has done me proud over the years, and I've transported alot of things in it, not just Jack. I helped my friends move house, took furniture to the tip, a treadmill up north, and a marble fireplace to name a few ROFL
The new car's reg no is NK59FJJ which translated means ... Nice Kit .... For Jack's Journeys ... very appropriate don't you think lol

I have had two very major meetings with the senior managers about the way I've been treated this last few years, and the lack of support I've had. I managed to get the support of the Fostering Network's Advice and Mediation Officer for this and she has been a real help. She is appalled at the treatment I've had considering the disabilities Jack has, and the impact it has on our life 24hrs a day. The out come ... so far.. is that they are looking in to setting up a protocol for carer's of disabled children and looking in to the cost of looking after these children, the support needed and the training required.
The 3 senior managers did a 'roadshow' around Shropshire last month, to let every one know about the new changes they're bringing in, none of which where about disabilities, so I took Jack along and 2 other sets of carers who look after disabled children, and we 'high jacked' the meeting! We told them about our grievances and problems and made them listen, it was awesome!!
Some thing must have worked because just this week I have been offered Manual Handling and Makaton training ! I have been requesting M H training for years!!! So hopefully some thing will get done and stay done

The nursing help that was put in place has been very hit and miss! The PCT team have staffing problems and don't come out to Jack at all now, and the agency who started before Christmas have been terrible. They didn't turn up on Christmas Eve, so the girls and I had to cancel our meal out! I had to run around and make a christmas dinner at short notice and we ate at home. Luckily I'd bought in a turkey breast, so I could cook it and have cold meat on the buffet, Christmas Day. So I cooked that and did all the trimmings and where I would usualy put every thing in to dishes on the table for Christmas dinner, I just dished up the food on to the plates and served it up. Even though it was a last minute dinner, every thing was lovely and the girls and I enjoyed our meal :) We had a couple of glasses of wine and had hysterics when the desert was dished up because I'd taken it out of the freezer a couple of hours before, for it to defrost, only to find that it was an icecream desert and when I cut in to it, it oozed out over the plate and all over the table in a puddle of icecream rofl It was sooo funny!! lol

Jack is entering puberty, now he's almost 13yrs old and as a result his seizures are increasing in strength and frequency, so I'm struggling with him at the moment. I had to call out the ambulance to him last month as the buccal medazalam wasn't working (he produces too much salivor for it to absorb in to his cheeks) and I needed rectal diazapam to be administered. We have since met with the consultant and she has introduced a new medication. I have to increase it every 2 weeks and each time it causes him to be very sleepy for two days and he has clusters of 5-6 seizures which require rescue medication. So it's been very fraught lately! The consultant also pointed out that Jack is in the group of people who could die in their sleep through epilepsy! It is similar to sudden death syndrome in babies, but is caused by the seizures ! A very scary thought, and it's not a nice thing to live with!
As I mentioned, Jack will be 13 yrs old in April, and I have arranged for him to have his birthday party here, and have arranged transport for all 16 of his family to come up for the afternoon. He usually goes home to his mum for his birthdays, but last time he visited, he didn't get his tea or a nappy change, and I don't feel that it's fair on Jack. Also, mum doesn't have the equipment needed for hoisting him etc and has to manually lift him out of his chair, which is dangerous now he's getting bigger. So to avoid upsetting any one, and to safe guard Jack, I will have his birthday here this year :)

My parents bungalow, which is up for sale, has now got a tenant in. They are a family who were interesting in it last summer but hadn't sold their house. They now are renting the bungalow and will be buying it May time, when their finances are sorted. My sister didn't ask my brother and I if we agreed to this, but there's nothing new there! At least the house is occupied and will be sold soon :)

Both girls are doing well and still working hard. Janine has rescued a collie from the National Rehoming Centre at Roden and so we now have 3 dogs. He is called Cal and is an absolute darling, but he doesn't like sharing his food with the other two and his chases cats!! Oscar is keeping to the front room and the bedrooms and has now decided that the front room window is his new cat flap, as the proper one opens in to the kitchen where the dogs are lol I will post a picture of Cal next time I post :)

I hope your all keeping well, happy and loved xxxxxxx

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Don't worry, I'm still alive ! rofl

I'm so sorry for not posting in almost a month, things have just been so hectic around here!

First the GOOD NEWS !!!

I've finally managed to get the motorbility car ordered ... yeah!!

here it is

I gave in and took the means testing to get it, because fostering were still argueing about paying the 'costomer contribution' and I just got so fed up with it all. In the end, after the testing, they agreed to pay £1350, and I got the demo man around to my house with the manual car for another test drive and to do the paper work. I'm having the silver version - I think the black looks like a taxi/hearse - lol and it will be ready about February time. There is just so much room in the back for Jack, and with the lowered floor, he's not sitting perched up high like in some other car conversions, and there's plenty of room for Adam and Stacy when they come to stay too. I'm so excited and can't wait for it to finally arrive :-)

The nursing help is now in, and after a few weeks of keeping an eye on them to make sure I was happy to leave Jack in their hands, I can now go out on a Thursday evening 7 - 10 :-). Ofcourse being just a couple of weeks before Christmas, most clubs are stopping or having their parties, but atleast Cindy and I can look forward to going to a line dancing club when they start back in January ... yehaw!!!
We are taking advantage of this new free time though. Christmas Eve is on a Thursday this year, so we're going out for a lovely meal, and then on Christmas Day, I'm putting out a buffet and we'll be able to relax and enjoy our selves with out worrying about the cooking and cleaning up ... heaven!

I've had a bust up with my sister. It's been a long time coming and after harsh words have been said we've agreed not to have any thing to do with each other. She's been ignoring my messages, texts, parcels etc since August and when I finaly confronted her about it she went off on one and called me jealous, spiteful, bitter and evil just to mention a few of the names and accused me of not being interested in her grandchildren, when I'd sent two parcels and a card and hadn't had an acknowledgement much less a thank you! ....... She won't be missed.

I still haven't done any stitching :-( I've well and truly lost my mojo! My poor friend Jan is still waiting for her birthday present from Oct! I've got it lying next to the sofa and it keeps calling me but I just can't be bothered with it. I'm going to put it all away until after Christmas, and then perhaps, if it's not shouting at me all the time, I might get the urge to pick it up again! I'm sure that once all the argueing with fostering and my sister has finaly stopped, I'll feel like relaxing with my stitching again.

I'm going off to read all your blogs now, and catch up on what you've all been up to this last month. I'm sure you've put me to shame and have some gorgeous needlework to show off :-)

Have a very Merry Christmas and a loving, prosperous New Year every one xxxxxxxxxx


Monday, 16 November 2009

still no further forward

I haven't blogged in a while .... again... life is just so stressful lately, I feel like shutting the doors, closing the curtains and just hibernating until things get better. Unfortunately, that's not an option and I just have to get up every morning, and get on with it, trying to put a smile on my face!

Fostering ... still no further on than the last post! The nursing agency has been approached, finally, but they still haven't got Jack assessed, so I'm still waiting for the nursing help to arrive. I'm hoping it will be with in the next week or two, but I won't hold my breath!
The deposit for the
motorbility car still hasn't been approved :(. After the meeting I mentioned in the last post, I thought they would get things moving quite quickly, but 3 weeks went by, I sent 2 emails, which he didn't acknowledge, then he went on holiday, with out doing any thing about it! I was so frustrated, I sent an email to the other senior manager. She at least replied, but still nothing happened. In the end I sent another email telling them that I was going to a private fostering agency and that they'd hear from that agency about the protocol meeting, in the near future. THAT got them moving! Chris Dennison sent me an email .... while he was on holiday at home .... and said that he would get things moving as soon as he got back in to the office. In the mean time, the other manager, arranged for a slot at the Budget Management Panel, to ask about the car deposit, and gave Jack's social worker the go ahead on the nursing help. Well, she went to the BMP with the wrong information and they didn't agree to paying the money until other options had been looked at! All of them I've already looked at !!
This was on Thursday last week and I still knew nothing until I rang Jack's SW this morning and she got hold of the manager, who text Chris, who then rang me! He is in London at a conference and he made a big deal of saying he was phoning me while he was having his lunch, as if I care that he took time out between courses! I told him the information was wrong, but I would ring the
Motorbility scheme ... again .... and get the info from them ... again ..and I made it quite clear that I'm not happy!

I spent over an hour on the phone with a lovely young lady at the grants department, and she talked me through it all, again, and I was right! By this time I was near to tears with frustration, so I agreed to being means tested (she did it over the phone bless her), and after going through it all, and giving her all the financial details etc, she said I could have a grant, but that I would have to pay £1400 towards the car. I've sent the managers an email, saying their information WAS wrong, but that they've won, and I've been means tested and that they'll have to pay the money that's outstanding. I'm just so angry at them for not supporting me in this, after all Jack is THEIR child !!!
I won't forgive them or forget this.
I usually get what ever Jack needs out of my own money, but from now on, I'm claiming every penny. I've just bought a rain cover for his wheelchair and it cost £55, (can you believe that?) so I'm putting a claim in for that straight away.

While all this was going on, I had 3 weeks of tooth ache to deal with. I had a tooth ache for a couple of days and it didn't go away ( you hope don't you?
lol) so I went to the dentist. I couldn't see my usual man, and the lady I saw thought it was a gum infection because a tooth in the area of pain, was loose. She gave me some anti-biotics to take for a week, but they didn't work, so back I went. I saw my man this time, and he said he agreed with her and it was the loose tooth, I said I thought it was the back one next to it, but he said no he couldn't see any thing wrong with that one and promptly removed the tooth. Off I went, numb tongue and cheek, feeling like JaJa Binks off Star Wars, happy to think that two weeks of pain was finished with.
It was Janine's birthday at the week end, so that night we all went out for a meal. I'd just ordered my food when the numbness wore off and the pain started back again! Thank goodness for
cupfrofen! I managed through the evening and the next morning, I was back at the dentist. I saw yet another dentist, and even though I said it was the back one, he said he couldn't see any thing wrong with it and he agreed the right one had been taken out, but thought that the back one was hyper sensitive so coated it with some thing to stop the pain. All week end I was in pain still, so on Monday morning, I took myself off to the doctors to get him to check that it wasn't an ear infection, neuralgia or sinus's but no, he said it was dental pain. So off I go again, back to the dentist to see if I could get in the next day. My dentist had just had a whole family cancel their check ups, so he whipped me straight in, and whipped the back tooth straight out .... wham bam thank you mam .... pain free !!! 3 weeks of pain, stress and sleepless night, finally at an end. He still couldn't find any thing wrong with the darn tooth, but at least it's gone lol

As you can imagine I haven't had the least enthusiasm for stitching and haven't touched a needle in weeks, so there's nothing to show I'm afraid. I haven't
visited the forums either so I've no idea what's going on, but I'm hoping that once things calm down and I get settled again, I can catch up on what every ones been up to.

Your all still in my thoughts xx

I'll be putting my mind to Christmas now, so here's hoping for a brighter time ahead :-).

Thursday, 29 October 2009

outcomes !!

well I finally had a meeting with the two senior fostering managers.

They came to my home at 6pm one evening, my manager (a man!!) was 20 mins late and the first thing he said was that he'd be leaving at 7.30 to pick his daughter up from the train station! That set us off to a good start don't you think? The previous night, they'd been to a meeting with a parent until 10pm but I obviously wasn't going to get that amount of time!
I introduced them to Jack, who, bless him, was having a real good thrash around on his bed/playpen. He really showed them how mobile and energetic he was lol . Then we sat down and I geared myself up for a good fight to get what I wanted. What a let down !! He said yes to every thing with out an argument !! lol
He said that there was no way I would be expected to be means tested for the down payment on the motorbility car, as Jack wasn't my child and it was their responsibility to provide every thing I need to make looking after Jack easier ........ so why were the social workers not saying the same thing to me???
He said yes to the nursing care once a week, with the option of it increasing as time goes by .
He said yes to them providing the £500 for a special wheelchair swing for in the garden.
I felt really rather deflated!! I'd geared my self up to having a right good argument and it didn't happen lol

Mind you, it's been a couple of weeks since the meeting and nothing has come of these promises yet, so I don't know why I felt happier? I might still have a fight on my hands.

The lady from the private fostering agency came the night before this meeting so I had a good idea of my worth :) She was very positive about my experience and said she would recommend me for their agency. I just have to wait for their managing team to finalise it and then I can decide finally, which way I'll go.

On the stitching front, I haven't done any thing really, but I did get around to doing the making up on this little ornament, I really love this one. It was going to go to my friend Kathy in Aus, with the santa's, but I've decided to keep it myself lol

Jack has had a trip to the doctors with a 'rattly' chest this week, but it's not any thing to worry about, no infection, so he got his flu jab while he was there.
I've had another gum infection and am on more antibiotics from the dentist. I don't know what's happening with my gums lately. I clean my teeth twice a day use inter dental brushes and use mouth wash too, so I don't know where it's coming from. I've a feeling I'll end up with having a couple of teeth out if it carries on ! It's been an on going problem for the past 15 yrs, with teeth working loose then having to be taken out with no decease or infection, it's so frustrating!

My sister's daughter had her babies on Wednesday. She had Twins, a boy, Thomas (after my dad) weighing in at 7lbs 3oz and a girl, Rose at 5lbs 13oz .... good weights for twins!!! ..... and so the next generation is starting!

I bought myself a couple of miniature roses a couple of weeks ago, they were red and pink. The pink one was a lovely colour, but when the new buds came through, they turned out orange! How strange is that? I had four flowers two pink and two orange on the same bush! rofl


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Owl's, horses and santa's ...

I've finally managed to get some photo's to down load on to blogger, so here are the pictures I was trying to show in my last post.

The lovely card and owl from Karan, along side just some of my owl ornaments.

Dillon, Janine's new horse is next, I didn't manage to take the photo directly side on, so he looks a bit small on the back end, but he isn't IRL , honest lol. In this photo, Janine had been riding him and the girdle got a bit loose, so she stopped to adjust it and Dillon went straight in to 'relax' mode with his back hoof raised and resting. He's such a sweet natured lad :-).
Just to give you an idea of his height, I'm 5'7" and when I'm standing next to him, my face is level with his mouth !! Needless to say, I don't get too close unless he's the other side of the stable door rofl

This final picture is of the Mill Hill Beads Kits, called Santa's Wardrobe. I have just finished doing the boots. These are for my friend Kathy in Sth Australia. She does some fabulous beaded ornaments and doilies, so I thought I'd try these for her as a change from the usual stitching I do They are lovely and bright IRL.

On the fostering front:- I've contacted a national private fostering agency, and they are sending one of their workers out to see me next week, for a good chat and to see if they can offer me a better support package ...... well, lets face it, any thing they offer will be better than what I'm getting now !!! So as the saying goes ....... "watch this space" !


Thursday, 1 October 2009

October already!

I just don't know where the time has gone this last month!

I haven't felt like blogging this last month as it's been quite a stressful month, and my mam always said "If you've nothing good to say, then don't say anything" and I've definitely not had any thing good to say for the last few weeks!

No! ... I tell a lie, I have some thing nice to tell you about lol . I had a tidy up in my craft corner, (well, it's supposed to be a corner, but it had spilled out into half the room, hence the tidy up lol ) anyway, I ended up with some things that I thought were too good/useful to throw away but I didn't want them, mostly card making things, which I'm not doing so much of this last year. I sent them to Karan hoping she could use them. Thankfully, she liked them, and she very kindly sent me a thank you card .... hand made of course .. and a really cute little stitched owl because we both share a love of these gorgeous birds.


The second 'nice' thing is that Janine has got herself another horse. She decided to plunge straight back into it and is now the proud owner of Dillon, a 6.2hh Irish Draft/Draught ... I'm not sure which spelling it is rofl . He is such a sweetie, and gives Janine kisses :-). He is however, quite strong, and this week, he poked his head out of the stables and lifted the frame off it's hinges, when he lifted his head up!!! Janine is going to put some mesh over the open bit, so he can't stick his head through again lol

The third 'nice thing' is that it was Cindy's 22nd birthday on the 22nd of this month, and we managed to get a nurse and carer in to look after Jack for 3 hrs so we could go out for a family meal. We had a lovely time, very relaxed and happy, then the girls went off in to town to meet up with friends and continue with the night, while I went home to relieve the ladies. The ex and I went half's on a reconditioned lap top for Cindy, which is the only thing she wanted, so she was a very happy little bunny :)

The reason I'm 'ticked off' is STILL the same ... lack of support and understanding from the fostering department!!

I've been asking for some nursing/carer help for a couple of years now and nothing is happening. It's all about who has to pay for it!! Also since Feb, I've been wanting to get a different wheel chair accessible car, because the VW Transporter's steep ramp is getting too hard to use now Jack's getting bigger and I'm getting older! Rather than buy a second hand one for £7000 +, I'm prepared to go down the Motorbility route and lose the £40 + per week part of the DLA that Jack receives. but because the car would need to be adapted for a wheelchair, they require a non refundable down payment of £4, 475, which I can't afford to pay obviously. I have already paid out to buy the VW in the first place because I was told they would't pay any thing and I desperately needed it to take Jack to his hosp appointments etc. As Jack is looked after by the local authority I think it is down to them to pay the deposit, after all he is 'their' child, but they're insisting that I apply for a grant and be means tested so they will only have to pay the £200 min contribution! I'm really not happy about that. I'm waiting for the two service managers to come and visit as a result of the letter I wrote last month, (it will be 9 weeks by the time they come.. prompt don't you think?) I tried 3 times phoning my head manager to ask him about this motorbility grant situation and left 2 messages, but he only got his under manager to ring me and as I'd named her in my letter of complaint, she was not accommodating and said if I didn't like her decision to talk to the manager ..... which is who I was trying to talk to in the first place !!!!!!!!!!!!
This is just one part of a long list of 'moans' I have about their treatment of me, and not only does it effect me emotionally, it's having an adverse effect on my whole life, because of the constant phone calls etc. If I didn't love Jack so much, I'd tell them to stuff every thing and they'd have to put him in to residential care which would cost over £4000 a week instead of the measly £177 they pay me for Jack's care !!!

and ... to top it all off, I didn't receive my exchange in the Mail Art exchange that I took part in on the Stitch and Stash Forum :(. Every one else receive a beautifully made envelope, but me, I'm just so disappointed :(. I thought about taking part in the christmas one, hoping that I'd get one back, but I've so much to get through before Christmas, I know I won't have time to stitch one.

As you can imagine, with all this going on, there is no stitching getting done, so I don't have any thing to share with you on the stitching front unfortunately :(