Went to visit LB this morning, after Sue and Tina called round in the mini bus with LB’s classmates. They’d brought a lovely card and flowers. Hilariously the kids pretty much ignored me but waved like crazy at Chunky Stan. LB was in the bath when I arrived, so I hung out in the lounge playing Candy Crush. It wasn’t so much about seeing him as knowing he was OK, letting him know I was around and, for me, being in the same space as him.
Various staff members stopped to chat and the other dudes hung out too. It was enormously peaceful. The odd offer of a drink. Lunchtime came and went, a communal eating of beans on toast. Some laughter and a sense of familiarity.
A staff member (JK) we hadn’t met before pitched up. He mentioned that LB’s dad had phoned the evening before but LB had said no to sharing his health information with him.
Oh yes. LB had the right to say no. He also had the right to say no to visitors. We should ring so the staff can ask if he wants to see us. Ehhhhhhh??? He’ll never say yes to seeing me???? I make him fill the dishwasher????? The room started to spin a bit as the extremes to which this could be taken to started to sink in. JK said that if LB wanted to appeal against his section, they would support him. Oh boy. LB with rights. That was kind of hilarious. He is going to LOVE this. We talked through this a bit more, JK talking about various past experiences with patients. The room stopped spinning.
I left after 2 hours without seeing LB. He knew I was there but chose to stay in the bath. I rang the unit later to see how he was.
“He’s been fine all afternoon, totally absorbed in his map of Ireland that K gave him. He’s been tracing road routes along it.”
“That’s brilliant. I spoke to JK earlier about seeing if LB wanted to see us, which we’ll do in future. I just wanted to say thanks for letting me hang out so much there this week. It’s been so important to get a real feel for the place, see how everyone interacts and so on. I am so impressed by what I’ve seen.”
“That’s great and no problem at all,” J replied cheerfully. “We’re here to support the families as well as the patients.”
I’m off to have a piece of coffee cake now. And wait to be served the court documents.