Still tired and sleepy, but not like Wednesday when I fell asleep at my desk. Hands and feet still sweating, and my body temperature feels warmer, which is weird for me as a permanently cold person. Weird dreams have started, but that doesn’t bother me. Nothing intolerable so far; this could be a lot worse. And I had enough energy last night to go to swimming class for the first time in a few weeks. So far, so good.
Tired. So very very sleepy. And my hands and feet are very sweaty. But mainly I’m tired.
I think the Sertraline has kicked in. My colleagues spent much time laughing at me this morning because I’m “bug-eyed,” “sort of manic looking” and “smiling too much.”
Went back to my GP yesterday. All the bloods came back normal, so we’re happy there’s no physiological reason for why I’m feeling like this. We had a discussion about antidepressants and my priorities in terms of avoiding side-effects – there are some things I would find much harder to tolerate than others. And he’s started me on 100mg sertraline once a day, with a follow-up appointment in three weeks and the understanding that it might take a month for them to work.
Took the first one yesterday morning. Now, I was very very tired yesterday after the awful day at work on Thursday, and yesterday was nearly as stressful, but I think taking the first dose yesterday was foolish. I’d have been better waiting until today (Saturday) to give me a chance to adjust to the side-effects rather than being hit with them at work. Yesterday I was very woolly-headed, but that might have been the pre-existing tiredness, and I spent the afternoon suffering waves of nausea. That had settled by tea time, but by then the tiredness was overpowering me, and when I went to bed, I lay awake the whole night, knackered but unable to sleep. Fingers crossed the insomnia passes quickly.
I refer you to my previous post on this subject.
For the last few years I have been working with a man who has a degenerative neurological condition. He now requires, and has received, a large care package including 2 workers 3x daily for hoisting and personal care, and one worker once a day for meal preparation. This has been provided to him for several years by one private agency. We’ve tweaked the package over the years but it’s stayed relatively stable. The man’s wife died a few weeks ago, after a long illness, and I had arranged to meet the agency at the house next week to see if we needed to make any further changes.
Yesterday morning the agency phoned me to say they had some concerns about their ability to provide the service and that they were planning on withdrawing from it, but said they would maintain the service until we found a replacement agency. We agreed they would visit the client the same day to tell him. at 1630 yesterday, they rang me to say they had decided to give us 12 hours notice that they were terminating their involvement, and that the man’s last visit would be this morning. When I pointed out that contractually they can’t do that, they said they only have to give 12 hours notice if their workers are at risk in the house. I asked what the risks were and the care manager couldn’t answer me – her response was “I’m the care manager and it’s my decision.”
Even worse, when I phoned the client to say “we will do our best to find another agency by tomorrow but it might be impossible”, he told me that they had told him (and his sister, who was present) that they were giving 28 days notice and would hand over once we had a replacement care provider. When he realised I was telling him that wasn’t the case, he was in tears. So I rang his son and asked him to go round, and the son said they had phoned him that afternoon and told him 28 days too.
Lying liars who lie.
Bad enough that they’ve left the man in the shit (literally), but to lie about it to him, to his family, and to me?
So today I phoned 21 different care agencies to see if any of them could take the package on, only to completely and utterly fail. The poor man has gone into a care home tonight, three weeks after losing his wife, and with absolutely no idea when we will be able to get a new care package and get him home.
This is the reality of private agencies providing public services.
Yesterday I was in a bar in a British university city. Craft beers, food not served on plates, wonkily-typeset menus with obsessive levels of detail about the coffee beans they use, you know the sort of place. (That bar is no doubt currently telling a friend “Beard, waistcoat, Mary McCarthy novel in the pocket of a thrift-store tweed jacket, you know the sort of customer…”) It was early evening and quiet, which meant I could hear the conversations going on at the bar, instead of the background hum I’d been hoping for. A young woman came in and was greeted with enthusiasm by the barman.
“Hey! You’re wearing the same jacket you had on this morning!” She looked slightly surprised and he continued “You walked past the window this morning like you always do, and I was going to run after you down the street and say how good that…
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I know that this isn’t exactly shocking news, since he has been very public about living with Alzheimer’s and was a passionate advocate for assisted suicide (although his publishers have said that his death was “natural and unassisted”). People nerdier and smarter than me will write better tributes to Pratchett, and I will read them all greedily, although they’ll be a poor substitute for any further books he might have written. But I do want to take a moment to talk about one of Pratchett’s characters and how fucking rad I think she is. She’s been a feminist hero of mine since I was nineteen, back in the bad old days when I rejected the label feminist and instead preferred to call myself an “anti-capitalist” (spoiler alert: you can be both). The character’s name is Anathema Device, and she’s from Good Omens (1990), a book Pratchett…
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I am so tired, all the time. And making stupid mistakes – threw out a finished pair of trainers last week then a few days later realised they’d had my orthotics in them. Last night I completely forgot to bring my laptop home from work, although I knew I needed it today, and I had to go and get it at 10 o’clock last night.
I just want them to confirm what’s wrong with me and start fixing it.
As already stated, I’m no fan of Jeremy Clarkson or Top Gear and I couldn’t give a shit if Top Gear is off the air.
I don’t know what disciplinary offence he committed, and neither do any of the public who are clamouring for his instant dismissal or his immediate reinstatement and recommendation for sainthood. What I do know is that in an organisation like the BBC, there will be clear policies and procedures for managing disciplinary matters. Suspension is usually used as a last resort, to remove someone from a workplace so that a full investigation can be carried out without people feeling scared to say what they saw and heard or pressured to say something did or didn’t happen. A suspension isn’t a punishment or a conviction. While the person is suspended, the management team will investigate the alleged incident, get statements from witnesses, and decide whether or not there is enough evidence to warrant a formal disciplinary hearing. After the disciplinary hearing, if the allegations are upheld, disciplinary action would be taken against the person and that might be dismissal, demotion, oral or written warnings or other.
At this stage, Clarkson has been suspended. If the rumours are true and the allegations are that he punched someone, then suspension is entirely appropriate during the investigation. The BBC have a responsibility to keep their staff safe and allowing someone suspected of violence to remain at work would be unacceptable. Equally, Clarkson is entitled to a safe workplace too, and it might not be appropriate for him to remain at work in an atmosphere of tension, until the investigation is complete.
Everyone involved in this incident is entitled to have their views heard in a safe process, and to feel that their concerns have been taken seriously. And all those people clamouring for Clarkson to be reinstated need to remember that it’s not ok for celebrities to be immune from normal disciplinary processes just because they’re famous and bring the money in. Remember how well that worked out with Jimmy Savile?