ELIZABETH IS AWAY

The rest are having Elizabeth stay with them for the first time. I certainly don’t mind Elizabeth staying with the family – it has given me a break this weekend. The rest of the family came to collect Elizabeth on Saturday but no extra drugs had been given to me by the Home Treatment Team despite repeated requests. They knew that Elizabeth was going away and I made more than one phone call requesting this. Elizabeth did not want to go to the hospital to pick up the drugs so I did and was kept waiting for some time only to be told nothing had been made ready. I then questioned them as to why I could not just collect the drugs on a weekly basis and I was told that they needed to check up on Elizabeth. Well what for when she is doing very well and is complying with the drugs so what more do they want and there are no problems here at home at all – they should concentrate their efforts on others now in my opinion. When someone is not on a CTO or a section I think this is an infringement of human rights. It is intrusive. It is restrictive as sometimes I have to let the various friends who come to my house daily know that they must bring her back in time for the Home Treatment Team. I have already reported that the team only last week were told me me they wanted to resume twice daily visits as in the first instance. I complained about this to the consultant psychiatrist who had to contact the community mental health team who seemed to be behind this and it was then agreed that she could have the drugs and the visit once a day. Elizabeth is 27 and she can do things for herself within the home but should not be treated like a child by the team. Thanks to being hospitalised for circa three years she has lost confidence to go out places. She needs help in getting out places and has not ventured out on her own at all since coming home. She suffers from Agoraphobia. She clings to you when you go out walking and feels dizzy as though she is going to fall so she tells me. It is a case of building up her confidence which could take some time and what is needed are some young people to call round to the house and take her out to places as I work during the week. It would be good for her to be in the company of decent young people. I have discussed with her joining a gym and there is one within walking distance of where I live but there is a problem of her getting there and I am having to find friends to take her and hope that this would build up her confidence. Getting back to the Home Treatment Team – it would seem they are just following orders which I think come from a higher source that seem to control the care in the local area. When someone is not on a CTO they should not be subjected to degrading treatment that impacts on personal life to the point they cannot have a decent life. When they come round to the house they question Elizabeth and the questions are becoming personal rather than asking just about the drug and how this is affecting her. I am sure they would not like me asking “have you been out today” – this is a constantly asked question and as I have said there needs to be help. As I am not getting help I am left with the prospect of providing it myself but such help would not cost a lot compared to hospital or care home and could be given by people who are not even medically qualified – there are no qualifications required other than a young person to be responsible, compassionate and decent/honest – someone who shares the same interests as it would be good for her to be integrated into society. No wonder why there is such a thing as stigma when all the services are just “in-house” – Elizabeth has been acting normally and getting on with people with no mental health problems – this is inclusion and n ot being made to feel different from anyone else. This is being treated fairly, not being treated differently with their so called “illness” played upon. Well I do not see it as illness but a “condition” and the symptons I have seen in the past are that of withdrawal when Elizabeth was having severe side effects on a previous drug and tried to stop it. Over two months now since Elizabeth has been home I can only see physical condition evident because of the length of time spent in an acute hospital environment where she did not get out hardly at all. So tomorrow I am going to ring up the Manager of this team and I am going to request that the drugs be made available on a weekly basis for me to collect from the foyer of the hospital so I do not have to hang around waiting for someone to hand them to me. The team can then be free to visit other people who are in need of visits and all this attention must be draining on the financial resources of the hospital when it is not needed in Elizabeth’s case.

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