Saturday, 23 July 2011

Crazy good times.

Yesterday I had the assessment for my IAPT treatment (immediate access to psychiatric treatment or something like that!) having been referred by my health visitor for post natal depression. It hadn't been my best week but overall I pretty much thought I was doing ok - until I'd arrived at the ever so glamorous portacabin in which IAPT are based. Suddenly I forgot how to form sentences - I couldn't remember where I live or my previous surname. I coul see the receptionist thinking "I know we're here for crazy people, but there's crazy and there's this chick".

I got through the keycoded door and was shown to a gigantic table that was just a little taller than a normal table. It made me feel pretty odd - kind of vulnerable to be honest! I then had to fill in one of those terribly easy to lie on questionnaires about whether I struggled to sleep (yes) or get up (yes) and whether I worry a lot (yes) and have a feeling of impending doom (yes) and whether I go places (yes) and do I hate that (yes).

Then I sat at the very tall table feeling like i was waiting outside the head's office until a very, very tall lady called me and ushered me into a room that I think was meant to be a loo but hd no loo in. I noted that the table in here was too small but the chair, when I clambered into it, was too tall and I had to perch because when I sat back my feet didn't touch the floor. It was all a little bit Alice in Wonderland.

The big friendly therapy giant checked me quiz answers and began the questioning fir clarification of my series of sevens and threes. (pretty much always, some of the days.

Immediately I began crying. Not daintily but very snottily, quite noisily. Big friendly therapist nudged a box of tissues towards me and carried on whilst I pretended I was calm now and put the kids onto the six pens on the table and put them in anstraight line, then took the odd one out away and hid it behind the tissue box because it looked wrong and stopped me concentrating.

"why have you come today, Elizabeth?" (ticking a form)

"because I'm mental and need not to be?" (shred tissue into lap)

"what are you hoping for from today?" (tick)

"erm, to be told I'm not broken? To get some help?" (fold and roll tissue into origami tulip)

"what would you like to get from counselling?" (peer at sheet, nod and tick)


(peer, shred)

"erm...balance, I think".

Someone burst into the room, looked shocked, slammed back out. Big friendly therapist looked annoyed, apologised. Asked me what felt unbalanced. I reverted to snotty wailing about being a bad mother and general failure as a being.

Mid snotty wail strange receptionist burst in without knocking and said, loudly, "there are people in the waiting room now and they can hear you talking in here, just thought you'd want to know" - slam. Big friendly therapist did not look impressed.

Four hundred years, or ten minutes, later my time was up. "we have two lists Elizabeth. The waiting list on one is the age of your baby (5 months) - the other is two weeks. I will be putting you on the short list. Here is a leaflet on PND. You are a special case, so you can have a colour one instead of the black and White photocopy."

I was then ushered out and sent to the main building to see the emergency GP to get a prescription of happy pills because I had been struggling to get an appointment with my GP and run out. Over I went on legs wobbling from perching on a giant chair. Once there inwas told inhad a 45 minute wait - and I needed the loo so I went (as you do) and immediately someone started rattling the door trying to get in - then calling to someone in the corridor what a long time I was taking and that there must be something wrong, should she tell reception. More rattling, more loud pondering about my well ring. Footsteps going in the opposite direction to reception. I was back in the waiting room when she came back - "I tried that door on my way back after going to the far side of the building to find another loo - still locked - I think there's something wrong with her" - her husband "no love, there's someone else in now"

"no it's the same one, she must be very poorly"
"no love, it's someone else"
"I have to tell someone"
"it's a different person love"
"it's not, I know it's not, there's something wrong I can sense it"

I had to speak up, her husband was blushing and trying to avoid eye contact with me...

"it's someone else now, I was in before - there was nothing wrong, I was having a poo".

The problem with therapy is you forget you are only meant to tell everything in that room - you can't just stop!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Colours sticker activity book

This is another Top That! Publishing review - this time we were sent something even more exciting than a book (if that's possible!) - this book, Colours sticker activity book, ticks a lot of toddler's boxes. 

He loves being able to feel clever by naming colours and animals, shapes, everything. He loves colouring in, he loves stickers, he loves games - this book fits so, so many activities into one colourful package. The strong points of the book for me are that the stickers genuinely ARE reusable - a lot of activity books make that claim then the stickers are damaged if you try to move them, but these are good quality and can be moved (so when your child gets stick happy and slaps them all on the wrong page and then gets upset you can salvage the day without a tantrum) and on the pages with colouring activities the printing has been done in such a way that the area to be coloured takes felt tip nicely, but the pictures around it repel the ink, so he can still see and enjoy the book properly even though he isn't at all good at 'staying in the lines' when he colours. I love that feature - I wish all activity books did it! 

The only negative I can see with this book is that the pages at the back with the stickers on came loose very easily so when we moved onto another activity in the book the stickers were seperate. The stickers are also not all grouped together on one page to match the correlating activity page, which with older children wouldn't be as big a problem - but my toddler was a little over enthusiastic and wanted to use every sticker on the page which meant a lot of flicking backwards and forwards through the book. As I pointed out above, though, when he did put them on the wrong page it was easily rectified and we just made that another activity! 

All in all I would say that if your child was a little older than mine this book would be absolutely perfect - at two years 4 months some of the activities are a bit advanced - the dot to dots for example - but as an educational tool to learn colours, shapes, numbers, animals and so much more it's perfect and I think, if we look after it, he can get more out of it in a few months time.