Sunday, 4 July 2021

glad that my son is recovering in Ravenscraig psychiatric Ward

My son Daniel wasn't coping with living in Springfield on his own, after I moved out on 10 May, too many negative memories and associations, so he came to me in the first instance for some respite and care on 21 June, and to register himself homeless with Dundee City Council.  He did a phone interview application with a Housing Options worker on 23 June and then started filling in a Medical Advisory Service for the Housing. 

Reliving his mental health issues for the homeless application was stressful and also my son was anxious that staying with me might comprise my sheltered housing tenancy with Dundee City Council for we had been warned about this.  And so by the Sunday 27 June my son was experiencing a MH crisis, feelings of worthlessness, self harm and suicide.  I was very concerned about Daniel and we phoned Carseview who advised us to contact NHS 24 and they eventually put us back to Carseview and an assessment that afternoon.

We had hoped he might be admitted to Carseview but with his tenancy still in Fife they transferred him to Ravenscraig Ward, Whyteman's Brae, Kirkcaldy, by taxi, accompanied by a Nurse.  I was very concerned with how my son would cope as he had been discharged after a short stay there in April into Tarvit Mill Homeless Hostel, in the countryside, without any support, and I had to rescue him.

However I am glad to say that my son has settled into ward life at Ravenscraig and is being well cared for, is now getting out for walks and has twice met with the psychiatrist, a different Doctor from the last time he was an inpatient there.  Daniel does not want to be discharged into Springfield or Fife, he wants to live in Dundee near me and his two older brothers who live in the city.  We are hoping that his homeless application is successful and that he gets more points via his medical form which I completed and Emailed in on 30 June.  

We had wanted a move to Dundee out of Springfield in 2012 after the negative experiences in Stratheden psychiatric Hospital in the February for which I eventually got a written apology from NHS Fife, after winning an Ombudsman case in September 2014 against the health board for "unreasonable treatment" of my son.  I put our names on the Dundee City Council Housing list in 2012 but we weren't offered anything and I forgot to renew it in 2016 because of coping with my own health issues, a bladder prolapse and physical exhaustion after years of caring and campaigning.

I also tried for an exchange and asked family for help in buying an ex-council house but nothing transpired.  Then in 2018 we tried again for council housing in Dundee, looked at private rented, asked family for help, but again we got nowhere, had less income, on benefits and pension, so couldn't get a mortage to buy.  I did get offered a 2 bed sheltered flat in Dundee February 2020 before the pandemic and lockdown but it was an error, I was told, and they gave it to someone else.  During lockdown later in the year I was offered a 1 bed sheltered but was caring for my son, doing the foodshopping, he mostly staying at home, lung conditions, a very stressful year for both of us.  So I couldn't leave my son on his own in the Springfield house at that point.

After going for my first Covid19 vaccine at Cupar Corn Exchange 15 February this year and attempts made to prevent me getting it, by NHS Fife staff, this was very stressful for both my son and I.  On 12 March my son thought his lung was collapsing again and I took him to Ninewells A&E to get it checked out.  And by the time my son got his vaccine a month after me, same staff on the door, he wasn't mentally well and had to go into Ravenscraig Ward, 20 March.  

My son had been mentally well for 8yrs going into the pandemic lockdown, although he'd experienced another lung collapse in 2017, requiring an operation at the ERI and a painful recuperation on strong painkillers.  And that year we also had an anti-social neighbour moving in next door, barking dogs for up to 8hrs at a time, various other stressors.  It spurred us on again to look for Dundee accommodation, to get out of Springfield.  It was the year of lockdown and the aggression I experienced when trying to get my Covid19 vaccination that made it imperative for me to move out of Fife.  I think it was linked to my whistleblowing activities since 2012.

And my son will now need his own place in Dundee which I hope soon happens and that he can make a fresh start in the city, getting back to full health and wellbeing, with my support, and with a range of facilities available which he can access using his disabled bus pass.  And hopefully he can also improve his physical health by taking up leisure activities to keep fit and engage with others.  Much easier to do in the city which also has further education opportunities, my son having achieved an honours Sociology degree at Abertay in 2014.

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photo from when we lived in Rigside, Lanarkshire, in a council house 1980-90:

Daniel aged 3, 1987 at our back door, Rigside

Daniel aged 3 with his brothers, Douglas Water Primary School photo

Daniel aged 4, pre-school photo taken Douglas Water Primary

Daniel aged 4 with older brother Angus, wearing handknit cardi

1995 Nottingham, Daniel Scottish Schools Chess Champion, 2yrs in a row

Daniel in Kirk Wynd Cupar, 2008