We are looking at a weekend without Sarah. She left for the Day Centre this morning with her weekend bag, will go to the respite care house for the weekend and come then back as usual on Monday evening after Day Centre. Unfortunately the build up to this happy morning started on Wednesday morning with pathetic mumblings about a 'sore throat'.
We've had a rocky couple of days during which an innocent bystander would have thought there was bloody murder going on. Fortunately for me, it's unlikely that being threatened with a television remote control will actually do a lot of damage. Sarah's first strike with the new weapon of choice came as a surprise, I really cannot remember what had occurred to make her lose it to that extent, and I wasn't aware of the weaponry, I put my hand up to deflect the incoming blow and somehow she caught the back of my hand with the edge of the remote. I should really say the back of my fingers, more specifically, somewhere between the knuckle and the first joint, more or less where your wedding ring should be if you hadn't taken it off because your arthritis was playing up. The swelling has gone down now, I don't think she heard any words she'd never heard before but she did observe a dance which is probably quite new to her which involved some jumping up and down with complex arm movements, jazz hands and a bit of howling.
That was Wednesday. Thursday should have been plain sailing, swimming in the afternoon with the relatively new carer whom Sarah has learned to trust, a nice lady who we all like. I get a phone call to say she won't be available for a couple of weeks, and they will be sending along another new face who will have another new face with her for reasons that are far to complex to go into now. This post is not about the inadequacy of the service provider contracted by social services, I did several of them last year, I thought we had overcome the difficulties. I should have known better. So two new faces turn up at the door 15 minutes early. Sarah is already a tad unhappy at itinerary changes, but fifteen minutes early? She is not going anywhere until we reach the right time, which is 1.00pm. So I spend 15 minutes chatting about what she might or might not want to do, and no I'm not expecting them to have her for the full 4 hours alloted to her and I ask what they know about autism. Well the one that smiled a lot but only managed monosyllables looked a bit blank at that question. The chatty one who seemed to be in charge, has a neighbour with a 6 year old autistic son. Well I suppose that's a start.
After a brief encounter with the remote control and a fair amount of bribery, Bill and I eventually persuade her to go out, with the new faces. So off they went in the snow down to Asda for a sausage roll and a cup of tea, luckily the rest of Day Services seemed to be there as well so the trip was a success although Sarah is understandably still not happy about the change. She spent the rest of yesterday winding herself up over details, generally being disagreeable and non cooperative.
She carried on in that vein this morning until at 8.00am with just 45 minutes before transport arrives she threw the happy switch in her mind and I was allowed to pack the bag. Her breakfast of choice this morning was Crackerbread with too much butter and cheese and a big mug of tea. She had cheered up so much 8.30am that she wanted me to take a photo of her breakfast to put on her computer. I have no idea why but there it is over on the right, and it is on her desk top for when she gets back. After all the stress she puts herself and us through for at least two days before respite breaks, a very smiley Sarah couldn't wait to get going when the bus arrived.
So while I was putting the breakfast picture on her computer I thought it would be a good time to swap the keyboards from my eMac and her iMac. For reasons I am not aware of she has.. no, had, a nice full size almost silent Apple Pro keyboard. She has mastered the mouse, but I don't think she has even attempted to use the keyboard. What a waste! I was using a squashed up little keyboard which must have come with an iMac at some time in the past and with which I have spent more time correcting typos than actually producing readable text. I'm not going to tell her, I'm going to wait and see if she notices, she has obviously never used it, I've got a feeling it is one of those objects that she just doesn't seem to see.
Anyway, Sarah has got a good weekend in front of her, last month someone had managed to get some tickets for the Britains Got Talent auditions at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff, and during her next stay in April they are going back to the Millenium Centre to see Diversity and I know not who else, not my cup of tea at all, but Sarah loves it. I don't think they have anything quite that exciting set up for this weekend but she does enjoy just being there and with the people knows from Day Services.
Happily we have got a relatively stress free weekend all to ourselves, we won't do anything special, just glory in the ability to do whatever we are doing without having to bother about what anybody else is doing, going to do or need to have done. and if Sarah kicks up a fuss about this really quite nice keyboard which I have been bonding with during the creation of this somewhat rambling post, I think I might just assert my authority and confiscate the remote controls....