Today, I worked on the post-Schön-Klinik phase of Pádraig’s treatment in Germany. There are a few things one has to do and get registered with to get things going. As it turns out, Pádraig doesn’t fit in to any of the standard cases very well.

Nothing new here. What is new is the difficulties that causes.

images1Someone had given me a form to fill in for Pádraig to get a Behindertenausweis, which is kind of a certificate to say that you cannot do certain things. The Versorgungsamt which is open Mondays and Thursdays is where you have to go to get this organised. So I went, walked through long and empty corridors until I found the ‘Beamter’ who was dealing with “Sch”. I explained what I was looking for and was told that she was not ‘zuständig’ (a really important word in Germany, because if someone is not ‘the right person to talk to’ or ‘the right office to deal with the matter’ then have to find out who is, which, given the size of the German administrative system, is not that easy).

They were not ‘responsible’ or the ‘relevant’ office because Patrick is not registered in Hamburg. I registered him in Tating just before he arrived back in Germany – because (1) this being Germany, you have to be officially registered somewhere if you don’t want to get yourself into deep trouble, and (2) although he was not going to live in Tating, I could not have registered him in the Schön-Klinik.

Easy problem to solve, I thought, and went off to the next ‘Amt’ to register him in our Hamburg apartment – although he is not living here either, at least it’s in Hamburg. This Amt was huge and empty, but – unfortunately – did not have any appointments available to register: until November!

Back home, I rang the office responsible for issuing certificates that would allow Pádraig to apply to another office that allocates apartments suitable for disabled persons and get preferential treatment because he will need this pretty soon – and was told that he would only be entitled to one if he had lived in Hamburg for the past three years.

i explained the situation that he didn’t move from another Bundesland here and that in Tating they did not have that kind of accommodation available. Eventually I was told to ring back tomorrow – but not to have much hope for getting this certificate.

The above is just the bare bones of hours of talk with different offices.

The essence is that (1) if you represent a case that is different from the mainstream, you’re in trouble, and (2) administrators deal with rules that have no exception, which means you’re in double trouble.

Pádraig was ok today – not too alert, but ok. I find it increasingly difficult to think of him being in his room by himself for hours, with just the occasional check by the nurses. When we are there, he is fine. There is no hustle with anything. He is comfortable in bed and if he coughs or needs some help with whatever, we are there to help him. We spend so much time with him, but, obviously, not the whole day. So when he is by himself, coughs, and needs help, he doesn’t get it, at least not immediately. We need to get all this paper work organised, find an apartment were we can start the next phase of his treatment, and settle down.

Today, I started to work on the incorporation of An Saol as a non-profit charity. It’ll be official one day soon.