The Unit. Day 10

Things have been calm for the last few days. LB’s had daily visits from various people; family, Charlie’s Angels, and friends. Not Tom or Chunky Stan sadly, neither of whom are allowed in (too young or too furry). The staff ask him in advance if he wants to see people and, so far, has said yes to everyone. The cakes have remained in good supply as well as truck/bus magazines, and other treats.

Yesterday afternoon he was lying on his bed, very quiet, after a loud all-night kick off situation that stopped him sleeping. Today it was aunties visiting; Tracey and Sam. We found him in the living room chuckling at Carry on the Revolution. When it finished, he showed T and S round and was quite chatty. They, like most people were surprised (and pleased) that he wasn’t locked in a room, and was able to wander around the unit as he liked. There are lots of very good things like this, including staff and patients eating meals together (if they want to). When we left, LB came with us down the corridor, knocked on the office door and got someone to let us out. Comfortable in the space. And chilled.

I’ve started to re-read Goffman’s Asylums, which takes me back to my undergraduate days. As I’ve banged on about before, I have a total love-in with Goffman’s brilliance. It feels kind of comforting to think of the G-man hanging out in ‘closed communities’, and to reflect on the differences between what he describes and LB’s unit. Differences that partly came about through his work. What a dude.

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The EEG and the asylum

A freshly hatched post for once. ¬†Laughing boy had a mobile EEG unit fitted this morning. The neuro person, Noreen, was very chilled as she carefully superglued the electrodes to his scalp. Once LB had gone through his usual questions – “What’s your name?”, “Where were you born?” “How old are you?” “Have you got a boyfriend?” “How old is he?” “What does he do?” – he went back to chuntering about other stuff. I realised he was getting naffed off with the lengthy process when he started going on about asylums, straitjackets and an evil attendant called Noreen. Continue reading