Monday, March 05, 2007

Words Fail Me

Like a lot of people I suspect, I have difficulty in coping with stress and negative emotions, so I have been suppressing my feelings in the only ways I know how: eating and watching jolly musicals. Eventually I had to ask myself: “What exactly am I suppressing?” and I had to admit: “Anger”. Anger and frustration.

It’s been five weeks now since I heard the news of the closures of three respite homes in our area, resulting in Mr Man’s respite home only being able to offer two short stays a year. For five weeks I have tried to avoid the issue. I need to write a letter of complaint, but words completely fail me.

When I had to write a letter of complaint about Mr Man’s care in hospital back in 2002, and subsequently met with the Medical Director, the whole experience completely drained me emotionally. I was left exhausted and on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

In the same year I had to fight for Mr Man’s right to claim DLA (Disability Living Allowance) because the incompetent doctor that he was under at the time was insisting that Mr Man wasn't even ill, which meant numerous phone calls, letters, a meeting with the local MP, and finally a tribunal.

Now it seems I have to fight again, but I just don’t know if I can.

Where are carers expected to find this endless supply of emotional strength, to be able to continually fight for the rights of their loved ones? Or maybe that’s the whole point: pick on a vulnerable group of people who are unable to find the strength to fight back?


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid mental health
lacks the lobbying power of other types of illnesses maybe because its still misunderstood, and stigmatized to some degree.

Since my wife has schizophrenia, I really feel for you. Thank God she is only mildly affected when on her medication.

You might only be one voice saying what needs to be said but there are lots of people in the community that share the same problems that may not be able to speak out.

I do appreciate the thoughts you share on your blog, you have it a lot tougher than I do. God Bless

- Justin

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Justin, I really appreciate your comments. You have said just the right thing to motivate me to write that letter of complaint. Thank you.

slurry said...

I agree with Justin, not many people with mental health problems can speaak up for them selfs in these matters. I am having hell with all the services at the moment, spent most of yesterday composing letters and left me mentally knackered, knowing i still wouldnt have got very far. I am rapidly loosing faith in the system, well that tiny bit i had left, thankfully im in a position to fight them but it still takes its toll, and today the thought of trying to follow it up is just to much, but i have no choice if I dont no one else will.

Mr Mans Wife said...

I'm sorry you're having problems with services as well Slurry. I hope you get somewhere with your letters. Thanks for commenting.

How is your leg now?

Slurry said...

My leg is going ok, the cast is driving me mad, but it might be coming off on thurs!! it all looks promiseing,and it doent hurt much anymore so all good!! did you get round to writting the letter?? I am just sitting back and wondering what they are making of my letters!

Mr Mans Wife said...

No, I haven't started the letter yet, but I am starting to put some thoughts together. Mr Mans CPN told us about some other huge financial cutbacks but I can't remember the figure he quoted. I need to speak to Mr Mans CPN again really to see who I should send the letter to, but I will definitely send a copy to our local MP.

Mr Man laughs at me because I have been known to write letters of complaint to companies before and write "I hope you all die"!! (I was a little bit unstable at the time!) But I will try to make this one sound as professional as I can! :)

I bet your leg will feel strange once the cast is off, but hopefully you'll be "footloose" and fancy free soon!

Catherine said...

I just read your comment where you put in a letter "I hope you all die!!" -- too funny.

All joking aside, dealing with "the system" can be such a pain. Hopefully all will be resolved without too much stress on your part.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Yeah, I have my moments. The funniest thing is that I saw nothing wrong with that at the time!

Thanks for your comment Catherine.

Angela said...

I hope you find the energy to write your letter and that you take it easy on yourself; take your time and don't put too much pressure on yourself to get it all done in one go.

I think it's really important to stand up for what you believe and take action to try and change things, if no one does then nothing will change. Especially, as Justin says, for those who are unable to.

"I hope you all die" - I can imagine that went down very well! Did you get a response?

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Angela, I will certainly try to heed your advice.

You know, I can't even remember who I wrote that to. I have an idea it was a company that stopped selling a product that I used to buy or something. I vaguely remember receiving a polite reply but I don't think my complaint actually made any difference. I wonder why...?

Angela said...

You don't think your complaint made any difference? You mean they didn't all just pop their clogs as they read it? :D

Mr Mans Wife said...

They might have done! And the reply I received might have been an automated one! I guess I'll never know...