We had a visit from our social worker yesterday, to catch up with how things have been going over the last few weeks.
Pretty crummy, is the summary.
For the last eighteen months or so, we have been receiving four hours per week respite care through the Direct Payments scheme, which a) isn't enough now and b) we're currently not getting anyway because the lady who was doing it for us had to give up. She was taking N out for a day every other weekend, so that we could spend some time with L and each other.
We discussed swapping to a different scheme where Social Services provide and employ N's 'Supporter' rather than us being given a budget to manage and finding our own helper. It's proving impossible for us to find someone to take on the role; so we are going to go with that I think.
We also discussed a 'supporter' coming in at night every so often so that we can get an unbroken nights sleep, because it's slaying us. B is mostly getting up to N when she wakes and needs turning; but her crying still wakes me. I feel like I did when they children were tiny and not yet sleeping through - that hazed, dull round the edges, cloudy state where you are continually sub par*. I reckon that B actually feels worse. You can only go on being the stalwart person who is keeping everything together for so long before something has to give.
We have both been and done the Farmers' Market in Minehead today - I haven't been going because I've been so knackered. The theory is that we can both go and get some actual interaction with people who are simultaneously taller than three feet tall and older than six, whilst spending a bit of time with each other. Ten years ago I would never have said that one of my goals was to be able to spend a whole day at work with my husband on a weekly basis. But by increments, our goalposts have moved closer and closer and now, it's the little things like that which are keeping us going.
This Sunday I am doing the Rainbow Run at Exeter Racecourse in aid of the Children's Hospice Southwest. We have guests coming tomorrow night who are also taking part. We are cooking rabbit paella for them; but first we have to catch the rabbit.
* Only without the raw nipples from breastfeeding