So recently I have been trying to get more hours for both my PA service and my home help service. Right now, I get four hours of PA service on Saturday mornings, and an hour a day of home help Monday to Friday. I’ve been trying to increase it because I need the extra support. Dr Barry wrote me a letter when I was applying, saying how much extra hours would benefit my mental health and recovery. So last week the co-ordinator of the PA service rang me and she said that right now they dont have any hours available, but they would put my name on a waiting list and if hours came up they’d let me know. Of course I was disappointed but I couldnt really do anything about it. It annoyed me though as I know some people who get tons of hours and all I wanted was a couple extra. Then I had a brain wave. I decided that I’d ask the organisation that funds our therapy and taxi’s and who put in our CCTV if they could fund hours. I know they work with an agency and provide drivers and other home help stuff to clients. I knew it would be no good if I rang my case manager myself so today I rang Karen, who used to be Dr Barrys full time social worker, but now she is the team co-ordinator. When she stopped being the full time social worker she kept a couple of clients on, I was one of the lucky ones who she decided to keep. Anyway, I rang her and she wasnt in the office. I debated whether I’d leave a voice mail, as she shares her office with a couple of other social workers. In the end I left a brief message asking her to call me and just telling her I had something I wanted to run by her but that it wasnt urgent and to ring me when she could. Well, one of Karens brilliant qualities is that she’s super efficient. At 4 Pm she called me back. I was delighted as I hadnt expected her to call until tomorrow at the earliest. I told her what I wanted and we talked and right there and then she drafted an email to my case worker at the organisation whose funding the services. She also said she’d send a copy of dr Barrys letter that she wrote and put in with my original application for hours that I sent into the Irish wheelchair association. I have to say it was a brilliant letter and email because she read it before she sent it. After we hung up a couple minutes later she called again to tell me she’d gotten an out of office response from my case worker and he is out until August 13th. She called me just to let me know that and not to expect any response until after that date, but I was like wow she called me twice in the space of half an hour. No wonder Karen got promoted to a higher level than just a social worker, she’s so good and efficient and just gets things done! Hopefully her great email will pay off and I will with some luck get the hours. I badly need them. It would be nice to be able to go out socially one nevening a week and to get more hours to do extra housework. As it is my current home help isnt really doing her job properly. Today she left my kitchen in a right mess with grease all over my cooker hob which is glass, and a dirty frying pan in the sink, I knew she’d left the pan but I knew nothing about the grease on the cooker. My sister came over and cleaned it for me, of course she had to have a rant too about it, but she’s right, the home help is being lazy and cutting corners and if it keeps happening I’ll have to say something to her about it. My sister was like how can she walk out of your house knowing she’s left it dirty, knowing that your blind and cant see it? It did annoy me I have to admit. So yeah, extra hours would be good!
So this morning I met Mark our OT. We had a long discussion on a number of different topics. First off, we discussed the upcoming meeting that he is attending about us going back to college. The manager rang him and set up a meeting between him and the college psychologist. Basically they want to know if we have enough supports in place outside of the school supports, if we’re able to manage our mental health, and what they should do if a crisis arises and we need extra support. Mark said that he’s going to reassure them that if we need extra support we will initiate it by contacting either our therapist or psychiatrist. He’s also going to let them know that we’d like to keep our mental health issues separate from our schooling and issures arising from that. They will be meeting on August 11th, and Mark said when he’s finished with the psychologist and on his way home he’ll buzz me to let me know how it went. We decided to meet again on the 13th of August…and when we meet we are doing a session around my anxiety going back to college. He said he’d be using a strategy called anticipation and preparation. basically, you anticipate what issues will arise for you, then you prepare for those issues. Sounds simple but it probably isnt. Still I’m looking forward to that session. Putting things into perspective will set my mind at ease. We also talked about me doing voluntary work and I said for now I’d rather wait a while. I want to start college and see how that goes, what the work load is like, if I’ll be tired in the evenings etc before I commit myself to doing extra voluntary hours on top of that. Mark had looked into me volunteering for friendly call, which is a service where vulnerable people or older people can request a daily check in, and someone from the friendly call service will ring them and chat to them for a while, checking in with them to see how things are going for them. I would love to volunteer my time there. They expect their volunteers to commit for a year, and work I think a four hour shift a week. I think if I still want to do it after xmas then I will. The other thing mark had been looking at for me is singing lessons. We looked into me going back to the stage school I attended as a child. Its pretty expensive though for private tuition. There is an adult choir which I could go to but even doing that you have to pay by the simester. I’m going to think about it. Again I can always wait until after xmas to join. Since I am also thinking of joining spinning classes in september I’ll need to set time aside for that. And two evenings a week I’ll be seeing eileen and Dr Barry. So my evenings are already pretty full on. It was a good appointment though and Mark said if I get anxious during the two weeks I can phone him and we can meet sooner than two weeks. He also said once I go back to college that he would still meet me just maybe not as often. I am lucky to have him because he is not dr barrys OT he works in the locked secure unit as their OT but some years back he was my old psychiatrists OT and that s how I got refered to him was through her. Then he kept me on as a client once I switched over to Dr Barrys team. He’s a really good OT though…very thorough.
So I think I might have mentioned this before a couple of weeks ago but I thought I’d do a post where I would recommend my friend Sams blog. Sam has been a very good friend of mine since 2013. She is 27 years old and totally blind like I am. She also struggles with mental illness, mainly ptsd, depression and self injury. Right now she lives in an intermediate care facility in IL but she’s trying to get out of there at present. Her blog is really good, it deals with the mental illnesses I mentioned, disability, her daily life in the facility she lives in, she also does book reviews, and other types of reviews. I highly recommend it its well worth a read and a follow! She is very supportive of those of us who are did. I know she’s looking to grow her readership so please do pop over to her blog and follow like or comment on her posts. I know she’d really appreciate it!
her blog is
So we have a special group where alters want to post. its an email list. that means we write to an email address, the subscribers see it, and hopefully post back to us. some of the younger alters were hoping to talk to people that way. they arent comfortable writing on here. because of spelling and stuff.
so we were kinda hoping some of our friends from the blog would subscribe to it.
So if you want to subscribe, please go to our contact page and email us and we can invite you.
just to be clear, we’ll still blog, this is just for the younger alters to post things and talk to friends.
Tonight I decided I’d make a new email support group. It is aimed at those who struggle with mental illness. I called it living with mental illness. Its a private list, all members have to be either invited or approved, and only members are able to see the posts made to the list. I invited those of you who I had email addresses for. If anyone else wants to join either comment here and let me know what your email address is, or if you already have my email address you can email me for an invite. Best way to reach me though is comment on here about getting an invite.
With the list I hope that we’ll all be able to support one another through tough times, good times, low times and high times too.
I hope we can give one another advice, suggestions, what works, doesnt work for us, etc.
Looking forward to become a close knit bunch of friends!