Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Wednesday is my day off, but today, it really doesn't feel like one.

What I'm about to say is going to sound really daft...

Today I have 3 hours of social activity with my PA and you know what? I almost wish I didn't.

Anybody from Social Services reading this, I said almost, and I'm only referring to today...

You see, I have nothing to do.

Steve and I seem to have some sort of bug or whatever and we're both feeling more run-down than usual. I had to go home early from work on Monday and went straight to bed and stayed there. With an effort, I managed work and knitting on Tuesday, but now I'm really shattered and all I want to do is just crawl back into bed and stay put. This removes all of the more physical activities I might engage in during my three hours of PA time like swimming or bowling.

The weather is miserable, so that removes the outdoorsy activities I enjoy like going for a wander-about in this or that park, maybe having a bit of a picnic somewhere pretty, very enjoyable things even when energy is low that just aren't fun when it's persisting it down.

I tried museums and art galleries but I guess I'm just not that sort of person. I do my best to find it interesting and make dutiful comments about how fascinating it is to find out about (insert museum speciality here) but seriously, I'm either falling asleep, or I'm getting a headache from trying to stoke up an interest and absorb tons of information about something that simply doesn't interest me. It's a bit different when I'm with Steve, because he can get excited about the engineering involved, or at the very least, find stuff to photograph in beautiful or unusual ways, and I can watch him.

I have enough library books to last several weeks, and there's nothing at all that I need to shop for.

As Steve isn't currently working, there aren't any out-and-about jobs that I should be taking care of, because he's tackling that sort of thing as it crops up. Which is great, and I am a million flavours of NOT complaining, but at least when I know I have to post a letter or buy a birthday card or something, it gives me the start of the roll of sticky tape.

Also as Steve isn't currently working, and as I've just splurged a month's worth of my own wages on this shiny new laptop (which I have been slowly getting used to since last night), it's not a good time to head to a shopping mall and spend money on things that I really don't need just for the sake of filling up some time.

But I have these three hours and although there's some flexibility, over the course of a month, my PA is supposed to do and get paid for a minimum of the regular approved number of hours.

So I'm sitting here, really not wanting to DO anything, yet trying to think of some sort of activity to occupy myself and my PA. I feel like I'm obliged to come up with some form of entertainment despite only wanting to sleep. I feel like it's a job.

All I've come up with so far is trying to find a nice cafe and sitting there drinking tea and eating cake and knitting or reading or something. But then I feel like I'm wasting the hours I've been allotted.


erasmus (aka jiva) said...

really your PA is employed to assist you in your endevours and keeping your head above water as per cleaning, tidying and providing for yourself. Therefore this PA can get the heck on with some chores whilst you rest. You don't have to watch her every move or have her take you out. Even a trip to the shops without you may just fill the time nicely and then you wont have to catch up 3 days later. Damn I would have her cleaning the bathroom, getting those difficult cobwebs and tending the garden. even if you are sitting drooling, watching and with only half an eye open. I don't think its fair but plan a litle ahead and you may have more energy for next visit if she helps you now with some chores.

Mary said...

Not as such... I think I didn't explain properly...

Care gets divided into categories like personal care and social care and household care.

I am not entitled to help with household chores because I live with an able-bodied adult who would be expected to clean his own bathroom, wash his own dishes, buy his own groceries, etc if he was living alone, and my presence is not considered to significantly add to this (eg it takes the same amount of time to clean a bathroom once a week no matter whether one or two people have been using it).

My PA is employed specifically for my social care, ie Going Out and Doing Stuff. And I have to fill out the timesheets and so on to account to Social Services that I am using my hours appropriately. I have a lot of free rein but I have to stay within the category.

She's a nice person and hasn't objected to doing the occasional thing that isn't quite within the job description, such as changing the bedsheets for me when Steve was away... but both she and Social Services would be justified in objecting if I tried to call cleaning work 'social care'.

Supermouse said...

Having thought about this, guided meditation is a 'social' activity if you have to go somewhere to do it, so perhaps she could take you to a meditation class on 'off' weeks? It's the only thing I can think of that will do more good than harm on a bad day and still be roughly classed as 'social'.

If there's a commercial aquarium, then sitting watching fish can be quite soothing, although it's not everyone's cup of tea, I know. It also depends on having a nice quiet aquarium and not a bright glaring one. I'm trying to think of things that don't lead to overload.

Actually, going out for a facial might count, and every effort is usually made there to leave you relaxed and soothed.