The Unit. Day 28

Sleepless night, worrying about the end of Section 2. Then a last minute meeting at the unit this morning with LB’s head teacher, teacher, Vicki (a Charlie’s Angel), and unit team members to discuss his return to school. Bit of a rocky start to school return yesterday. He was taken to the primary site (as far as we can tell) and refused to get out of the car. “I’m confused”, he said.

Team LB Ed were impressive throughout the meeting.  I was bemused by the vigorous writing down of the descriptions they provided of LB’s decline into “CRISIS” (beginning to seriously hate this term) when I’d already told so many professionals about this, but hey ho. Engagement at any level is engagement. It was also a reminder of how dire things had got.

The gap between education and health was palpable but also manageable with flexibility and a shared concern for LB. Plans were made for him to be supported to return to Trax and the farm with unit staff accompanying him. Sensible, informed engagement.  Good. The ending of Section 2 was discussed. This would be discharged (?) today with an anticipation that he would agree to stay as an informal patient. If he wanted to come home, the mental capacity team would be called in. A further section unlikely because he’s currently a chill pill.

‘Er, can we be told whether he’s an informal patient or issued (?) with a DoLS (deprivation of liberty safeguard)?’ Oh yes. Action point; keep parents informed. No words.

The meeting finished with a new Team LB Ed/Health (Yowsers) and a general love-in about how much better LB had become over the last month. It was genuinely heartwarming and sealed with a cheeky smile from LB when we left.  “Tsk”, I said to head teacher, as she had a weep outside the unit, “The crying days are over, we’re moving on to better places”.

Later that afternoon I got a call from the unit. LB wanted to know if I was going to visit tomorrow. “Eh???? Really??? Yes of course I will. I can come now if he wants?” I hadn’t arranged to visit this afternoon because I saw him before and after the meeting this morning. After a quick check I was told, yes, LB wanted me to visit today.

Five minutes later I was driving in the sunshine, humming to the radio, loving stupidly the fact that LB was actually asking to see me.

As soon as I saw him I kind of recognised but ignored the signs. I gave him the photos of the forensic police investigating Rosie’s break-in. “YOU LIAR!!!“, he shouted, raging. And, instantly, we were back to four weeks ago.

I don’t know what’s happened since I left him there, around 6pm. I rang later and was told he was still very, very agitated. I read into that; possible restraint? Medication? Harm to staff? Almost definitely no Trax tomorrow if medicated?  A Section 3???? I don’t know.

And LB in deep, deep distress.

Now, I don’t know, they don’t know and maybe (as often is the case) we’ll never know, why he got so distressed so suddenly. I’m sure it’s to do with the fact they had to inform him of his rights and the ‘discharge’? of the section. It’s the only thing that’s changed between this morning’s chill bear dude and this afternoon. I don’t know what was said to him about this discharge from section? (Is it a set statement that’s read out, or a more measured interpretation that he might understand?) I think he thought he was coming home when I turned up tonight. What else could account for him asking if I was going to visit, and his immediate distress when I did.

He can’t possibly understand the complexities of the Mental Capacity Act or the Mental Health Act (as is the case for a lot of people including me).  To expose him to either in a “thinking” capacity is cruel and unnecessary. Especially as he doesn’t really have a choice about staying or leaving.  The system is seriously flawed.

28 days later.

The blue onesie

“Hey LB, how was Trax?”
“Good Mum.”
“What did you do?”
“Looked around Mum.”
“Wow. What did you see?”
“Car workshops Mum.”
“Cool. What else?”
“Many many more Mum.”
“Many many more what?”
“Car workshops Mum.”
“Very cool. When are you going to start there?”
“Wednesday Mum. I’ll wear my blue onesie.”
“Maybe call it an overall there, eh LB?”

Hazard Alley

LB went on a school trip to Hazard Alley today. A purpose built safety centre in Milton Keynes for ‘experiencing hazardous scenarios in safety’.

In his diary, his teacher had written “LB was on fire, answering all the questions.” Attaboy! Being known as ‘Health and Safety Sarasiobhan’ around here, this was a trip after my own heart. Risk reduction knowledge.

“How was Hazard Alley, LB?”
“Good Mum. It was good Mum.”
“What did you do there?”
“Looked at hazards, Mum.”
“Cool.. What sort of hazards?”
“Like roads, Mum. Roads are dangerous.”
“Ok. And what else?”
“Lorries, Mum. Lorries are dangerous.”
“Because they run you over, Mum.”
“And anything else?”
“Petrol stations, Mum. Petrol stations are dangerous.”
“That’s right. What about in the house? What hazards are there in the home?”
“Dunno, Mum.”
“Try and remember.. What is dangerous in the home?”
“Cookers, Mum. And fires. House fires, Mum. And everything, Mum. The home is full of hazards*, Mum.”
“That’s right. Hey, Vicki said you answered questions. What questions did you answer?”
“It’s very dangerous, Mum.”
“Oh. What was the question?”
“How dangerous is it, Mum?”
“….. What did you learn then, about avoiding danger?”
“Don’t go down dark alleys, Mum.”

*Yep, you’re right matey… spot on.

Making a statement

Holyfuckingmackeral. It’s Statement of Special Educational Needs time again. The annual misery that is reading through some faux authoritative representation of LB and declaration of his ‘educational needs’.  All bullshit really.

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