Tuesday, 17 April 2012

17th April 2012

as you know, for several weeks we've been concerned about Steven's depression, and level of pain. Steven was getting very concerned about what's happened to him, and all the questions we continually ask ourselves as to "Why". He's also concerned about the future, especially as we're not getting any younger, who's going to care for him. He's also concerned about how vulnerable he is, in public or even in his own home because he has no defence at all, considering that he is an ex-kick boxer with little or no fear. Then two weeks ago we took him to Alicante for an assessment by the Social Services, in the hope of him getting some sort of pension. This assessment was in our mind a joke, and this also affected him badly. Basically they told him that because he could speak in two languages, and could move his fingers, he could get a job with computers, and that I would have to take him to work and look after him. Steven was so overwhelmed that he failed to tell us all this (the interview was in Spanish and normally Steven has coped), waiting until we were home. He was incredibly upset and angry. This added to his depression, which manifested itself into not shaving, showering, eating, not being able to sleep, and generally not bothering with looking after himself, because as he kept saying what's the point. As much as we told him that he was lucky to be alive, and beginning to function better, he would reply that the Steven he is now isn't the one he wants. Then a few days ago Paul came down to see us for a couple of weeks. Paul approached the problem slightly differently and encouraged Steven to at least eat, which he did. We've always had a lot of humour in the house, and Paul added to it. We then began to realise that Steven was not feeling as depressed as he was. He was eating more, even very soon after breakfast. Then Steven admitted that he hadn't been taking his pills for about 3 or 4 days. So now we began to think, why was Steven looking, acting and feeling different. We looked at the pills and found that two of them for pain relief, the side effects were lack of appetite, caused a nervous state, muscle cramps (he had complaining of a lot of pain), and alteration to sleep patterns. Steven has been taking so many pills that we hadn't looked at the side effects, and it was only when he and we noticed the small change in his demeanour that things fell into place. We have obviously stopped the pills and will continue to monitor Steven but things are looking good. Especially when today we received the news that Steven has officially been classified as disabled and may be entitled to a pension. Surprisingly this pleased Steven because at last it's been acknowledged officially that he needs help, something we knew, but this is better to see in writing. So, more bureaucratic paperwork but we'll get by. As you read this, Steven's cousin Ian Wykes is in Kathmandu preparing to climb to Mount Everest Base Camp, a trip that Ian has dedicated to Steven. This is a wonderful gesture, and we hope that Ian enjoys his adventure.