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Weighing up risk

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

Weighing up risk

Fostering Blog – Alice


What a crazy week. We have gone from having a heatwave to returning to the arctic. We started with a panic to find sun cream, sun hats and extra water bottles for school to finding cardigans, waterproof coats and umbrellas. I thought for a brief minute that summer had arrived and we could finally put the winter wardrobe away. I am a little previous in my hopes – if this weeks weather is anything to go by!! For now the jumpers will be staying at the front of the wardrobe!

Alice has very poor circulation due her to various diagnoses. I pretty much have to think all all possible eventualities due to the consequences of the weather. One of the things we have to think about in the warmer weather is keeping her hydrated. She has a shunt fitted in her brain due to her hydrocephalus. Getting fluids in her can prove to be a bit of a game. Not only is she naturally stubborn but she also has reactive attachment disorder. This can often result in her doing the exact opposite of what you need her to do.

We have had a number of near misses over the last few years on particularly hot days with her refusing to eat and drink. In the early days I was concerned about her eating and not gaining weight but I soon realised that getting fluids into her was far more of a concern. We had been exploring getting a feeding tube over the last few years. It was getting increasingly likely as she was failing to gain weight, however, this was put on hold when she had gained at the last appointment.

To be honest I was surprised, they had put the surgery on hold so quickly. I understand the decision too have elective surgery do not come lightly, they have to weigh up risk verses need and of course there is a huge cost to surgery, but this still leaves us at the mercy of Alice and whether she will go on ‘strike’ with taking fluids again once the weather gets warmer. I guess time will tell.

I never really feel that her social worker has grasped how detrimental it is to her health when she refuses to drink. I think she feels that we are overreacting.

I hope we are overreacting – because the alternative is not good.

A Less Ordinary Fostering Family.

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