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Tomorrow is a new day

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

Tomorrow is a new day

We have been here many times before

Had quite a hilarious walk up to school with my neighbour this morning as we both tried to balance phones under our ears whilst I pushed Alice in her wheelchair and she pushed a double buggy up the hill and carrying a number of book bags and PE kits under our arms. It took me 42 attempts to get through to make an appointment for Annie at the GP. We have the most ridiculous system of only being able to book appointments at 8.30am in the morning. Of course half the town are trying to get through, so it can end up being a bit of a game.

Persuading the receptionist you actually need to see the GP can also be quite ‘fun’- if your idea of fun is never quite getting what you want! They masterly quiz you about what the problem is and skilfully redirect you towards an appointment with a nurse or avoiding it altogether and popping you onto the triage list for a call-back! I have learnt that the trick is to be typically British – be overly polite, ask them about their day, and apologise for troubling them!

Before we even arrive at the GP, I know the diagnosis will be tonsillitis. We have been here many times before.

I know the drill. I’m a hardened veteran of GP surgeries now.

For instance, I know if you go to the doctors too soon you’ll be sent on your way with the message that its probably viral. So the best thing to do is sit it out a few more days. You alternate doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen while they steadily get worse and bad enough to get those all important antibiotics which will actually make them better!

After attending the appointment with the GP, we get home and have to persuade Annie that she really does want to take her medicine. We have a sweet drink and chocolate on stand by ready to give her as she swallows the concoction of an unpronounceable medicine with a fake banana flavour. After a few gags she finally gets it down. Phew! 1 dose down. Only 27 more to go!

After a long day confined to barracks, I finally got half an hour out in the fresh air to do the school run. I knew Alice had not had a good day at school when I could see that her two learning support assistants Mrs P and Mrs A were with her. Mrs A the morning LSA came out with her to tell me things hadn’t gone so well. She did not want to eat the pasta she was given for dinner. In fact, she was so opposed to eating it that she decided screaming was the better option. After some time the support assistant scraped off the sauce and offered it again. It was still not to her liking. Mrs A said she was worried because Alice had not eaten anything, So she went to the kitchen and asked the chef to make her an alternative meal (deep sigh). Food has always been an area of control for Alice – and today she won the game.

It basically came down to a lack of communication between staff members. Two steps back for us. I know we will pay for it later.

Sure enough when teatime came she sat at the table and screamed. She did not want to eat. Not that she had actually tasted what was in front of her. She had made her mind up that she was not going to eat before the plate was brought to the table. I carried her through to the living room and told her she could return when she had calmed down. We have learnt that there is no point trying to negotiate. She just doesn’t respond to reason. She is a six year old girl with the comprehension of a three year old toddler. After 10 minutes, I gave her the option to return. Alice responded by screaming and muttering something about it not being fair. I left her to it. After another 10 minutes, she retuned to the table. She ate a little of her meal. I was glad we persevered, I’m glad she ate the little that she did. But it didn’t feel like much of a win.

Tomorrow is a new day.

A Family Less Ordinary

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