So you have a son?
Social services are coming to assess my care needs on Thursday. It's only taken Adults and Communities 18 months to get around to seeing me. Funny how since I got an advocate on board things seem to be moving more quickly. Doesn't stop me feeling scared though. All sorts of 'what ifs' are going through my mind.
The biggest fear is "What if they take my son away from me?"
This is ridiculous because plenty of health workers have seen me in a far worse state than I am in at the moment. No one tried to take my son away when I needed intensive help from family for months after being in hospital. But that was because family was around, plus I was with a partner. Low priority.
Social services in my experience rely heavily on the supposedly limitless resources of family to cope with long-term illness. My relationship broke down. My Grandma has developed senile dementia so my Mum, who has her own health problems, can't be expected to be my full-time carer, as they would like. I don't know if I need a full-time carer even.
I've surprised myself with how I have adapted to single motherhood. The hard work is worth it just to see my son happier. But things could be so much better. I need to think carefully about what in an ideal world could be put in place to improve my health. Then I will need to ask for it.
They will ask me, no doubt, what my son does to 'look after mum'. I remember feeling sick last time this invidious little question popped up. My son is not a Young Carer. Been there, done that. He hated it. I told him after a few YC outings that he didn't have to go. I could see how he was struggling with having this label put on him. My son is a child... who like any other his age can take his plate out after dinner and be gently persuaded to put his socks in the laundry basket. Yes I could get him to do more. But I won't. I don't want him to have to learn how to cook just yet.
Actually, I know what I do want. I want a PA. I want one because I would like to be in less pain and have more energy to do enjoyable things with my son. The stuff a PA could do is really grinding me down.
So there you go. That's what I want. Now I just have to convince them.
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