It’s a Miracle! Or is it?

I’ve been waiting to share this story with you for some time now.

So most of you probably know by now that the idea behind N.ableD was born out of my own experience becoming a carer for my father four years ago and having to witness his continued deterioration in health over the years that followed as a result of there being no service available to meet his needs.

If you had seen him in February of this year, you would have been gently preparing me to expect the worst. His deterioration was so bad in fact, that I resigned myself to the idea that I would soon be preparing his funeral. He really was that bad.

So earlier this year I arranged an appointment to see both his GP and Community Psychiatrist and suggested to them that I felt it was worth reducing one of his medications to zero to see if any possible improvement could result from this.  What harm was there afterall?  Look at him!  He’s dying!

Initially, both the GP and Psychiatrist were reluctant to agree to this but eventually they agreed to remove the anti-psychotic medication from his prescription (prior to this the medication was being tapered down very, very slowly but they had never stopped it completely).  They also decided to try something else in order to stimulate his appetite.

Then, less than two months later, he started to improve…significantly.  So much so in fact, that the staff at the nursing home began calling it “a miracle”.

My dad was no longer dribbling from the mouth with his eyes closed, unresponsive, sipping water and eating yoghurt. He was literally coming back to life, opening his eyes, asking questions, making general conversation and telling me to go and buy him takeaway!  Just a few months before this I was close to losing him and yet here he was now asking me to go and buy him kebab and chips!  To put this in context – up until my dad started to improve, all I kept being told by everyone involved in my dad’s care was “it’s the nature of this terrible disease dementia that causing him to deteriorate”.

I,for one, couldn’t believe what I seeing.  Have you ever heard of anyone ‘recovering’ from dementia? I asked the GP if he would do a mental capacity assessment for my father as a way to clinically document this significant improvement in his cognitive ability (and increased appetite!)

And the GP said “Sorry Nadine, but your father lacks the capacity to make decisions so I am unable to do the assessment”.

This made no sense to me whatsoever.  Surely one has to perform an assessment to determine whether or not one has mental capacity.  Well it would seem that the GP thought otherwise.

So with Nadine not taking no for an answer, she decided to get advice from a mental health lawyer who, with no hesitation whatsoever, drove for more than 3 hours to see my father – all within 24 hours of me making the call to him!

Despite this solicitor coming with a hefty price tag of £800, it was 100% worth paying the fee, just to get to the bottom of this extremely important issue.

Would you like to hear the solicitor’s conclusion?  I couldn’t wait but thankfully I didn’t have long to find out.

The assessment took all of 10 minutes.

“Yes Nadine, your father clearly has the capacity to make decisions”.

Thank you Bison Solicitors.

So what does this mean in the wider context.  Well it means that for the last four years, my father has been deteriorating mentally and physically to the point where he was literally going to die and all along I have been told by various different health professionals “this is a result of his dementia progressing”. Well, to me it would seem not, for this massive transformation in my dad’s well-being only began once a simple change in medication had been made.

Prior to this ‘intervention’ or ‘miracle’ (whichever feels more comfortable to you), my father had lost the mental capacity to make decisions.   As a direct result of him lacking the capacity to make decisions, decisions were being made for him by the nursing home staff, by the GP, by the Psychiatrist, by everyone except him.

Well not any more.  Now that my father has been certified by a solicitor as having the capacity to make decisions, I could now become my father’s Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.  So that’s what we did.

So now that my father can make decisions, I asked him whether he wanted N.ableD’s help to enable him to stand up and walk again (my father hasn’t stood up in more than 3 years).

He said he would like that very much.

So here we are.  The very person that lead to N.ableD being born in the first place, can finally benefit from using the service himself four years later.  Not only do I have the chance to help my own father to walk again but my team can go on helping many, many others out there who are looking for an intervention…maybe even a miracle.

One Comment

  1. Posted September 11, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Merely a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style. “Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad.” by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

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