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A Bit of Jip

March 11, 2015

Good news. After weeks of being passed from pillar to post trying to arrange Steven’s blood test, yesterday I thought I’d have one last bash at appealing to the practice manager at our surgery. To my surprise, Steven’s GP had only returned that day from long term sick leave and I was put through to her. She is great. Within a couple of hours she called me back to say that she’d arranged for the senior male partner in the practice to do the bloods on Friday morning. Fantastic, human empathic service. Now to prepare Steven…..

When he was younger, Steven was completely thrown by pain. He didn’t have the language so it was all expressed in distressing behavior. And he would never allow anyone to attend to him. If he picked a scab, he would hide himself away and later we’d find the hall curtains covered in blood. Thankfully, Basil Fawlty entered his life. Steven had a word. Jip. So now, he can say what and where he has a problem – “Dad – got a bit of jip in my back”. Much easier to deal with.

Then along came Holby City. Steven loves a regular ensemble cast, so it soon became favorite viewing. The script is so formulaic that you can wager your house that every Tuesday at 20.40, they perform some emergency surgery. This fascinates Steven – ” Dr Elliott is taking a bleedy bit of jip out of the man’s belly”. Its helped enormously with blood tests, although he worries the doctor might drop an m&m into the cavity (Mr Bean in America). With language and familiarity, his fears have been lessened.

So, on to Friday:

Me – “Steve. Going to see doctor on Friday for blood needle”.

Steven – ” Steven’s seeing Dr?…..”

Me – “Guess. Its a doctor you haven’t seen for a long time”.

Steven – ” Dr Hansen? Dr Hansen’s going back to Holby City at easter”. (He is)

Me – “No. Not Dr Hansen. Steven’s going to see Dr Vaughn Smith”.

Steven – ” Dr Vaughn Smith? With his moustache?”

Me – “What you going to say to Dr Vaughn Smith?”

Steven – “How’s your moustache Dr Vaughn Smith?”

Me – “That’ll be nice. And are you going to tell him how you are?”

Steven – “Steven Neary is fine Dr Vaughn Smith. Jip is all better”.

Sorted. All I’ve got to remember to do now is to buy a bag of Maltezers. They worked as a blood test bribe in 2002 and the routine has stuck.


From → Social Care

  1. meg permalink

    Brilliant. In my work I have been given any number of rules, pathways, approaches and support plans. I tend to read em then ignore em. My own number one rule is simple – know your person (I loathe the term service user). It’s hardly rocket science is it? I have never really followed the logic of cutting family out of the equation, I find, on the whole, that the families of the LD people I work with are my greatest resource. And they’re free of charge!

  2. Brilliant! Hope all goes well with the blood tests Steven and Mark. Agree with Meg, that is the key!

  3. lisa permalink

    Good luck Mark. I really understand.
    28 yr son had never had a blood test till 2 weeks ago. Never ever would stand a needle.
    I had the fortune of bumping into an old neighbour that my son was fascinated with and I asked him if he wouldn’t mind coming with us.
    Thankfully peering into this neighbours googly eyes at the point the needle went in and some, did the trick and blood was taken.
    Weight and Gold .

  4. Hi My son has the misfortune to have rare genetic disorders autism and renal failure. At the hospital he gets a spray of something that has replaced Emla cream. It has really helped him. Love the blog.

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