Monday, 12 November 2007

Let's hear it for .... Wallace and Gromit !

Wallace and Gromit's creators Aardman Animations have created an awareness campaign for the campaigning charity Leonard Cheshire, to be released in a couple of days. As with many of Aardman's wonderful short films 'Creature Comforts', real people have been interviewed and the characters and action based on real-life experiences. Although I personally would have been a tad dis-comforted to be characterised as a one legged tortoise, or a stick insect (ha !) waving a crutch, I hope the appeal of Aardman's reputation will help educate the dis-abling masses one meets every day in this disablist world.

Click on this 'Creature Discomforts' for a preview.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

A stitch in time ...

Did anyone else spend quiet times in primary school working their way around a square of holed fabric doing cross stitch ? I remember it being soothing; safe from that scary playground, vast and on a slope - I had balance and spatial problems even then I think, that are now known to be Meniere's. I learned recently that cross stitch was introduced into the curriculum at that time following research that showed it helped to order the brain, setting down patterns that aided education. I loved the colours and patterns then; now I cannot hold a needle for long enough to return to embroidery or collage that I used to enjoy. The picture is a small embroidery panel that my Bump did over many weeks when she was too ill from ME to get out of bed for a long time. It answered the dual needs of occupation for her and her Christmas present to me. It is number one on my list of what to rescue in case of fire or flood.

Elizabeth kindly emailed me with good wishes in case there was a negative reason I have not posted (or even visited - sorry) for a while. Thanks for hauling me back here Elizabeth. I have just had stuff to sort in my brain and on my laptop which has taken available energy.

A friend, an ancient wise old lady, died and I didn't know in time for the funeral, and I hadn't seen her because I have been out of circulation for a while and had not visited her for over a year, and my last letter to her was full of my problems why I was unable to visit, and now I feel loss and regret that I didn't. She had a profound place in the lives of many people and was instrumental in my ability to continue and cope. She was a Jungian, founded Jungian study and training in this bit of the world and influenced many people and organisations. Her funeral reflected the deep respect she was held in, and was held in the Quire at Salisbury Cathedral. I shall go there next week and light a candle for my regret and her memory.

Last week I visited my GP, just to touch base; she is another wise lady but young and enthusiastic and not afraid to speak her mind, to me or the NHS Primary Care Trust. Even so, she managed to stun me with her reaction to a letter from the Team Leader at social services that I had forwarded to her. TL had initially written that I could not have a social services money into my Direct Payments budget to employ my PA for assistance at hospital visits, I would have to get the money from each hospital I visited (four, for various reasons) and my GP would have to organise it. Since that first letter and my response of 'don't be silly, that's just bizarre and you haven't considered ... (or words to that effect !), the exchange of correspondence between me and the TL has degenerated. My GP's response was that the TM was getting personal; nasty and bitchy, (more subtly put than that, but you get the idea) and my GP was feeding that back to me in case I needed that support and input from another that social services were getting nasty and personal. Wow!

So I went home and thought about it, and thought about the two letters from others at social services that are waiting for a resply from me. Me hesitant, because the only reply I can give would be to tell them they are wrong, incompetent and not working to the duty of care they have towards me. And it all clicked into place; why I cannot find the brain energy or confidence to do this: I am ill. I am disabled. I do not have the disabled facilities and adaptations in my home requested by me and acknowledged as necessary by social services in April 2003, to enable me to cope with day to day living. I am not coping (now the latest and last systemic steroid is wearing off) . I do not have wheelchair access to disability related equipment for communication assessed by social services as necessary in March 2005, so communicating; writing on the computer, accessing files and records, notes and aids to my cognitive dysfunction, is all difficult, painful and tiring.

After I had thunked a while, it all came tumbling out of that locked-away part in my brain that wasn't being listened to; by me or by social services, that I cannot keep doing this. So I wrote to Mrs Bitch TL at social services and said: I cannot do this anymore. I cannot reply to letters. I cannot have meetings. I do not feel safe in my cognitive and physical disabilities to deal with this anymore.

Then I copied that to the Local Government Ombudsman Investigator, who has been investigating since April, and wrote that I hoped his investigations and the Ombudsman's findings, would aid me in this complex situation, in due course, when Dorset County Council have answered him, when he has answered them, when he has told me, when I have considered, when I have replied, when he has decided and told DCC and me his decision and DCC, I trust, have been found to be responsible for maladministration and injustice to me arising from that maladministration, eventually, finally, in due course. Whenever.

All that, and this; this laptop on my lap causing me pain and fatigue, because there is no space in my room for a desk or a wheelchair, is why, Dear Friends, I haven't been blogging recently. And knowledge that I need to do more out there, in the outside world with real friends, before anymore disappear. That is not to say I will be disappearing from here. Blogging friends and contacts are just as important, and real, as out there friends.

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