The Unit: The beginning

I’ve just been reading old posts in preparation for a meeting with the learning disability service manager this morning and realise there was a jump from Charlie’s Angel’s taking LB to town on that Tuesday morning to him being sectioned that night.

Just briefly, to fill in that gap;

The trip to town on the bus went ok but LB became agitated after his Subway sandwich and they came back quite early. I was at work later that day when a mate rang and told me about a mental health/learning disability treatment unit she’d been told about, very locally, that should admit LB on an informal basis because he was a danger to himself or others. She gave me the number to ring to set the process in place. And a second number to ring to follow up, if he wasn’t admitted within an hour or so.

Sitting on the bus home, holding the scrap of paper with the two numbers scribbled on it was indescribably awful. As was the rest of the day. And the days that followed.

Funny really, looking back. These numbers obviously gave us access to tap into a tried and tested process. After a very short space of time, we had a consultant sitting at the kitchen table. Bizarre really as we had been shouting for help with zip all effect up to that point. But hey ho, until you know what you really need to know, you don’t really know anything in the weird world of learning disability support.

The consultant talked with LB first on his own, and then went though a load of questions with us. There were some tensities, shall we say. Rich nearly exploded when he suggested organising outreach workers to come in each day to check on LB instead of admitting him. Things had got beyond outreach in a big way. And we had little confidence in whether ‘outreach’ would materialise. Eventually, after nearly two hours, and a call to his line manager, it was agreed that LB should be admitted.

The consultant left saying he would call when ‘the bed’ was ready. Tom had his judo grading. Rich dropped him off and told him to walk round the corner to his grandparents after and wait for us to collect him. I got together some pyjamas, clean clothes, wash stuff and sat with LB who seemed quite excited. He loves the whole hospital/institution thing; uniforms, wards, processes, order.

We got the call and set off for the unit.

“Where are we going?” said LB as we turned away from the local hospital. We explained it was a different hospital and then, five minutes later, arrived at a neat two storey building on the site of the learning disability team. Right by the psychiatrist’s office. ‘Five minutes from home’, you say? Next to the psychiatrist’s office??? Yep. Knowledge eh? It’s a vicious beast when you don’t have it.

There was a  brief blip and slight tensities as we weren’t expected and waited at the door trying to establish our credentials.  Rich asked, again through gritted teeth; “You get a lot of people turning up randomly to try and get their children admitted, do you?”

We waited in the living room while the official approval to admit LB was received and then unpacked his bits in his new room. We left pretty much straight away and went to pick up Tom. He got his blue belt.

One thought on “The Unit: The beginning

  1. Pingback: Not quite independence day | Indigo Jo Blogs

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