Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sam phoned several times yesterday.

He has done the same today.

Each time he has seemed very disturbed. Very, very disturbed.

Will he be well enough to come out on Saturday again? It has been agreed if he is.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It was Jen's birthday and we were visiting Sam. Jane decided she was determined to take Sam out.

She'd rung the day before to arrange it with the staff. I said there was no way they would allow it. They wouldn't let him out on Christmas Day with all that we had planned to make it work so they were bound to say no. He probably hadn't got the leave written up by the doctor anyway.

So they said yes.

I still didn't really believe it when we got there. But Jane marched in saying we've arranged to take Sam out and got hem all organised!

But Sam didn't seem at all well. Did we really want to take him out? If it went wrong again ...

But Jane was on a roll. This was going to happen. I noticed a member of staff standing nervously. He was obviously designated to accompany us. It was the nurse who had been with us when Sam had jumped in the pond and who said he felt unsafe about bringing Sam home on Christmas Day.

He looked very tentative as if he wished he wasn't there.

Then we were off with Sam chattering nonsense. We got him into the car and I was worried that his language was becoming more confrontational. Not a good start.

We headed for a country park for a walk somewhere where he should be reasonably safe. We parked and set off. We were together and then Sam said to me,

"You play with David."

David was the nurse. Then he put his arm around his mum and they strolled off in front. David and I walked behind and chatted. And it all went off fine.

It was lovely to see Sam and his mum arm in arm just chatting away so naturally.

On the way back we stopped at the cafe. It had been a fine, sunny afternoon - warm for the time of year - so we sat outside and drank our tea and shared biscuits. Sam had forgotten his tobacco so I got some cigarettes we keep in reserve in the car.

We chatted some more before agreeing it was time to go back.

What a lovely afternoon.

It made Jane's birthday.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

We've been away for almost a couple of weeks.

Resting and getting back our energies.

Last year Sam came with us to this special place. It is a lovely peaceful cottage lent by a friend. On the way down he helped Jane as she drove through the snow on dangerous, deserted hilly roads. The responsibility made him sane.

This year we returned to some places we had visited with Sam last year. It is less than a year ago that he was allowed to join us for a long wekend. This year we cannot get them to allow him out. He's stuck in hospital getting worse.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

We've just returned from almost a couple of weeks away. A break for some rest and to recharge. We were staying in a lovely cottage that a friend sometimes lends us for this purpose.

Last year Sam was able to join us for part of the time. Jane brought him in the car driving through dangerous hilly roads covered in snow. Sam was calm and helpful offering good advice. The responsibility made him sane.

This year we revisited some of the places we had been to with Sam last year. There was a sadness that he could not be with us again but instead is locked away in hospital getting worse.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Of course the proposed date of the CPA meeting was inconvenient for Jane and I. We are not important enough to be consulted.

But they agreed to change it - so it is a few weeks away now.

In the meantime Sam just seems to be so very poorly and is still not getting out.

Jane was upset today her hope having deserted her.

It is the hope that keeps her going.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A letter arrived at lunchtime. From the hospital. Private and confidential. Always ominous.

I opened it. An invitation to a CPA meeting - basically a planning meeting. They are supposed to take place at about six monthly intervals and are supposed to result in a plan though rarely do. And if they do - nobody takes any notice of them.

So what is this all about. We had a CPA a few months ago at our request. Why a new one so soon? Is it as a result of our meeting on Monday? Or just a coincidence?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sam is a young man who has had his youth stolen from him.

He has missed out on going clubbing and on forming relationships.

For many young men diagnosed with schzophrenia the medication takes away sexual desire along with most other emotions and brain functions. However Sam still feels a need for women. So he propositions female members of staff. Totally inappropriately. Rudely and invades their space.

We discussed this with two female members of staff the other day. They were wearing low cut tops. I'm sure they would not think that inappropriate but ...

... on an all male ward of young men, most of whom have been detained for a long time, might one perhaps be a little more thoughtful - or am I being silly?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Since Christmas we've been worried about - well, what next?

Leave I suppose foremost - but everything else too.

It all combined together into those issues about hope and progress.

After all that had been arranged at Christmas to enable Sam to have leave and then when Sam was prevented from coming home on Christmas Day it just felt as if hope had been taken away. As if they weren't going to let him have leave ever again.

So we planned to meet with the ward manager. She wanted us to go to ward round but the issue for us wasn't what the psychiatrist said. The ward staff would just ignore it. They would use their judgement as always that Sam is not well enough to go out whatever the consulatnat has written up. So we needed to influence the ward staff. It was down to them.

Oh, she listened so nicely. She really did. She's lovely. She was understanding about how they had to think about us as well as Sam - but we are talking about Sam, not us. She's obviously been on a course. Perhaps Jane was talking on it!

So in the end - is Sam going to get leave?

Well of course they are very supportive of us in what we are saying but ...

When it comes to the bottom line if staff on duty on any day don't want to take a patient out then nobody is going to make them. The nurse in charge is responsible. If anything goes wrong and she is seen to have been acting negligently then it could ruin their career. And here are we, pestering them about Sam ...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sam looked through his fingers.

He was trying to describe himself playing with his young cousin who had visited him yesterday.

"He did this. He was trying to hide. I just said "Boo" to him in my head."

Sam's face had lit up when we asked if he'd enjoyed the visit from his young, Spanish speaking cousin yesterday. At the time he had been quiet. But when I asked him about it today his face lit up. He had been thrilled.

He had genuinely enjoyed it so much. It was lovely to see Sam so animated and keen.

It had been difficult to arrange and almost hadn't happened. We'd thought they might not entertain the idea of a child visiting the ward but were told it would be fine. They would arrange a room off the ward and a member of staff would be present.

So Jane tried to set it up. But then we needed to talk with the social worker. On holiday today, back tomorrow The next day - on annual leave. So discuss with the ward again. The ward manager to give her credit sorted it. She had to have it agreed with one of the hospital managers. But it would take place.

So when Jane rang to say we would be arriving at half past three - oh, the room is only booked until four!

So a rush to get there in time.

Why are so many problems to do with communications and why is it that if we don't do the initiation of such communication that it never seems to happen?

Anyway - in the end it worked. (Despite the sour faced nurse and her panic when Sam went to the door to try to get a drink.)

Sam was happy - and we all were too.

Sam's cousin could be the other side of an ocean by now. He reminded us so much of Sam at that age whilst he was here.

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