Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Once more into the Breach!

With the change of guard now official since Feb. 1st, it was now deemed safe for us to return to Enable Ireland, for the first time since last summer. That old fire breathing dragon was no longer stalking the gate. Mind you, I still can't be 100% sure that the Children First child protection guidelines are now back on the menu, but that's an improvement on being 100% sure that they were off, as was the case during the former dragon's tenure! Nobody warns you of these ethical dilemmas when you venture forth into the great grey unknown of Irish disability services. You see, for the last six months, Rory hasn't been able to access Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy or Psychology services. They were on offer alright, but I couldn't guarantee his safety where they were on offer. My Hobson's choice was to a. send my son for treatment to an organisation, where the management were ignoring national child protection guidelines, or b. not send him for therapy at all.

So, operating on the maxim that has stood me in good stead up to now, I chose the latter, as I reasoned that no therapy was better that bad therapy. Luckily for us we were able to work with Rory at home and he continues to make progress. Of course, we'd have made much more substantial progress with the help of qualified therapists but, such is the joy of the Irish system! The outcome for the child is never a priority. Enable Ireland, yes another great mind numbingly, moronic moniker of the HSE variety. Who exactly are they enabling? My contact with them has left me decidedly disabled, mentally and emotionally.

The more encounters I have with the system, the more I feel like poor old Inspector Clouseau, as some other branch of the HSE leaps, Kato like, from a wardrobe in an attempt to flatten me. I wonder if there's some ancient Asian martial art that can protect you against brainless bureaucracies? A kind of queue jumping Judo or a report busting Karate? A Kung Fu for form fillers? I could train as a HSE Mandarin mangling master! I could get a black belt in bureaucrat banjaxing! I think I could be on to something here!

.....Or maybe, it's just that this time, I really have lost it.



steph said...


My daughter had chronic kidney disease until she reached puberty and we spent a lot of time in and out of a children's hospital with episodes of acute pyelonephritis. Whenever we were going through tough times in hospital, I had to remind myself that we were actually the lucky ones. We'd get to go home with a 'well' child whereas so many of the parents around me never had that luxury.

I can only imagine the constant battle it must be for you to keep your spirits up when you are dealing with on-going problems and continually having obstacles put in your way by the HSE, and others!

This morning I took some clothes to a re-cycling bin at my local supermarket, only to discover that it was an Enable Ireland one. I'm afraid I couldn't bring myself to support them after the way you've been treated and while I know they need all the funds they can get, on principle I took my bag home for delivery to an Oxfam shop instead. I'm not one bit surprised you feel the way you do!

AnnB said...

Thanks again Steph for your continued and much valued support. But wow, you have certainly had more than your fair share of interaction with the Health services. You are an inspiration to all of us battling our way through the quagmire. Like you, we too manage to count our blessings here especially on days like today, as I watch boy wonder tear up the house in a pirate suit shouting Shiver me timbers! Glad to hear that Enable Ireland's loss was Oxfam's gain! Maybe actions like yours will force them to look at how they run their operation! Well done!