Baby of Italian Lady with Bipolar Disorder Adopted after a ruling by British Family Courts – Is this Right?

About a month ago, the story of an Italian woman, suffering from bipolar disorder, whose baby was put up for adoption to British strangers, by the family courts on recommendation by social workers, hit the news. Yes, it might be true that this woman was unwell and unable to care adequately for her baby, at that time. Surely it was too soon to make a decision to have the child permanently adopted. Shouldn’t they have waited till after she resumed her medication, regained insight and capacity before making any decision as to what was in the best interest of the child and this mother?

This mother believes that this baby has saved her life – brought her to accept she has bipolar and needed to keep taking her medication. Doesn’t this suggest that this woman has turned a corner and taking her daughter away from her permanently may be taken away the motivation to care for her own health and to life? Does she not deserve the opportunity to explore, with the right support, the reality of mothering to her daughter.

Why is it, or at least until recent cuts in public spending, that a person with physical disabilities is supported to live an independent life to through personalised budgets from their Local Authority, with which they can employ personal assistants (PAs) to enable them to participate in activities they so choose, yet here is a woman with a mental health disability denied even the chance to explore such an individualised personal budget to employ PAs to support her in caring for her daughter. This solution would not only mean that this woman would get opportunity to mother her daughter, a daughter to bond and form a loving relationship with her mother but it is possible that it would give this woman the motivation to stay well and likelihood to need less mental health inpatient and community therapy than the reality of being denied opportunity to parent her daughter with the right support.

I believe if such support were available to other such parents, with mental health disabilities and learning difficulties, rather than having the children in question looked after by the state, would help ensure the long-term welfare of these children, as children in care tend not to have an easy life as adults. I also believe there would be long-term financial savings to ‘The State’. This solution would also create more jobs, in the form of personal support assistants, getting more people into work, and off benefits, and this along with the spending of wages within the community, would aid economic growth.

Therapy Dog or Assistance Dog

We wouldn’t deprive someone without the use of their legs of a wheelchair in public places so why then do we tolerate that many people with mental health conditions are imprisoned in their homes’ because having a dog walk along by their side as an aid to removing the anxiety, fear and panic felt of what is outside the home, by giving the person the confidence that people won’t get too close to tolerate nor will the person be the focus of attention in social encounters, the dog will, and knowing that they have a plausible reason to remove themselves should something prove too unbearable is classified as a Therapy Dog, with the same restrictions in public spaces as pet dogs, not an assistance dog, permitted in public places?

How is the former so different to the medical detection, guide or hearing dogs, so they get official registration as assistance dogs, while the mental health dog that does not perform a visually obvious physical task cannot get official registration as an assistance dog?

I am not saying that all people with mental health conditions should be allowed a mental health assistance dog nor am I condoning people passing off their pet dog as such an assistant dog but rather that some people with mental health conditions could regain independence and become active members of society again by having highly trained dogs that have been through a quality training programme that teaches the dogs good self-control, basic obedience and appropriate public etiquette, in accordance to the high standard laid down by the Assistance Dog EU and the International Association of Assistance dogs, which is non-negotiable.

what do you have to say about this?

feeling like the naughty school kid

Wednesday 30/01/13 – always something

“shit!” I just realised I’d left the broken denture back at the flat when we were not far from the dentist’s. How could I be so stupid when the broken denture was the reason for this latest visit? This is what never-ending nerve pain does to your brain – before the pain I was the one who always remembered birthdays but now I forget the most trivial of things.

I had only had the denture fitted a few hours when I dropped it and it broke in two. I was furious with myself. How was it that I have such ’butter-fingers’? I am so quick to fault myself as though I have some form of inherent flaw when what’s to blame is the nerve pain, making my hands tremble as I feel I am being zapped with a tazor gun from the inside.

I sit for almost an hour in the dentist’s waiting room. The wooden benches attached around the walls, might look rather chic but are so dame uncomfortable even for those not already plagued with pain. No matter which way or how much I shift my position the pain I feel in my lower back and right buttock shooting down along the leg into my foot is screaming out at me. I don’t want to stand up even though that is likely to make the pain a tiny bit more bearable.

I daren’t do so, as standing when seats are available tends to attract attention, people urged to enquire as why I am standing. Many seem perplexed when I suggest standing is less painful. People generally believe sitting is a way of resting our weary bodies when tired, in pain or ill. My standing and yet needing a walking stick seems to make people feel uneasy and I start worrying whether they see me as a fraud or trying to act tough. Standing up in front of an empty chair, brings me back to the classroom, made to stand by the teacher for being naughty, if I can’t lean on the back of the chair or a wall, as is the case in my dentist’s waiting room.

I feel my eyes getting droopy and I have to fight the urge of toppling to the floor, having passed out with the pain. Why couldn’t lying be the default and not sitting, when it comes to taking the weight of our feet?

True enough I am only allowed to have the denture repaired on the NHS. Well at least I won’t need come back in person and can have someone drop the broken denture at the surgery to be sent off to the lab. I just hope where they glue it back together is not left with a rough surface as this will feel like sandpaper rubbing my gum due to the hypersensitivity caused by nerve pain.

I get home and have no choice but to lie down and try to sleep for a bit if I was not to pass out. The pain is so in my face I can’t sleep despite trying my hardess to focus on the heat of the wheat-bag I have against my lower back and buttock. I wish someone would hit a blow to my head with a sledge hammer and knock me out cold, only coming round when the pain is that bit more bearable and I have regained some energy to cope with my parasite!