I was safe, secure, and happy in my little ground flat; me and my little lady. Ok, life wasn’t the best or greatest but who can ever say theirs is?
Ok, rewind: the year 2018 had been declared the worst year ever and it was only March.
We won’t go into the bad bits that had already happened. “Why cry over spilt milk?” is very much a motto of mine and whenever I can I smile, laugh and carry on. Don’t get me wrong; I can scream at myself and this figure in the sky, whoever He be, asking, “Why, why me?” But then it’s carry on because screaming at the sky just doesn’t do anything.
To Move or Not to Move?
So in April 2018, I was a victim of anti-social behaviour. I knew then that I could never feel or be safe in my little flat again. I WhatsApp’d a group of ladies from my church who were supposed to look after me. All they said was, “It’s just kids messing around, go back to sleep.” But thankfully I have a group of the most wonderful friends, even though none of us have ever met, who came online and offered me hugs, prayers, and comfort, staying with me wanting to know what was happening and if I was ok. Who are these totally amazing friends who I swear I now couldn’t get by without? It’s you who are reading this: The Unchargeables.
So my mind told me if I moved, I was only moving once more, not twice. But here we hit the big issue that seemed immovable to everyone but me. My age. Never in my life has my age suddenly become such an issue.
Oops, no, rewind. When I was little, we as a family lived in the States. Because of when my birthday was, it meant I couldn’t start school for another whole year. All because I was born 7 days after the deadline. So my dad being my dad, who always believed he could overcome anything and beat the system, doctored a birth certificate so it looked like I’d been born 7 days earlier. Of course he was very proud of himself and told everyone we knew. It did briefly cross my mind that this was wrong, but I didn’t want him gloating again. Plus I think everyone knows my age anyway.
On to step 30…or is it 300?
So what to do? The anti-social behaviour was still ongoing. My next idea was to contact my MP and ask him to help me. With the help of a Sheltered housing officer, who was the kindest and most lovely lady, she determined to get me housed. There were several false starts, which I won’t go through or this really will be long and you’ll be entering me for my English A level exam!
I was eventually told that I had a flat at an extra care facility, or care home, where you have your own flat inside a building with one entrance, but you then have your own lockable front door and don’t need to let anyone in unless you want too. House carers provide care that your care assessment says you need. Plus a lunchtime meal; the lunchtime meal will be very important to me as on my care assessment it states I am at risk of malnutrition.
So there’s the end of the blog, you think! No, no, we haven’t reached step 300 yet! If only it had gone that smoothly it would have been so much better. But as the saying goes, “If it’s going to happen, it’ll happen to Judi!!” It used to only be my friends that said it but now after all the mess ups of actually getting me into my new flat, even my carers are saying it. Hmm…I somehow think I have a reputation following me.
When I arrived on my holiday, Marion said as I entered the reception area, “Oh no, here comes trouble!” But me, I’d much rather be recognized that way than to have people’s hearts sink when they see me or find my name on a list. I like the fact that people feel they can relax and have a laugh with me. I don’t like people even professionals being aloof from me.
The Next Hurdle to Get to the Care Home
So we over came the age issue, but the next hurdle was the funding issue. Most people in the UK who have care are funded by Social Services. However, I’m funded by the NHS because I have at least one primary health condition that causes me several different problems. One of them is severe distress and worsening mental health issues so that I can’t cope with the illness. But anyhow we won’t go down that track. Many of us, if not all of us, have that; I just saw in the newspaper that I would be funded that way and went for it.
But the issue was that they usually only fund in your own home or a care home where you only have a bedroom. I was trying to get the point over that I don’t need to be in a care home yet. Can you imagine me in a care home? I’d have them all up at midnight doing the conga round the care home, those who could walk pushing those who couldn’t. I just love that picture. Maybe I should have gone and given them a bit of life instead of just sat in the day room. But once they got past the “This is not my home and I have to leave it”, they put the funding through.
BUT………I couldn’t leave without one final hiccup. My wallpaper wasn’t at the post office to be picked up so my decorator could put it on my bedroom walls.
BUT………also leaving with one plus a lady has given me an electric bed for free and my removal man has agreed to go and pick it up before Saturday so I can have it.
So you see, in the end life is a case of throwing a dice; sometimes the numbers are good and sometimes they’re not, but in the end it all works out. Well, that’s what I feel.
About the Author:
Judi lives in Cambridge, UK. She was fit and healthy until late 2013. Her main diagnosis is Sjogren’s, but she has several serious illnesses on top of that. Her main philosophy in life is to keep smiling and keep going. Crying in a corner isn’t going to change the outcome.