Thursday, July 31, 2008
Sam had been getting very angry. As he got angry he became more ill. His anger was seen as part of his illness rather than as a natural response to being locked up for so long. He was angry because he did not understand what was going on. A professional who was the one person he trusted in the system was no longer around. Sam felt responsible but did not understand why. He had his 29th birthday. His youth was slipping away from him while he continued to be locked up.
There is more that even in an anonymous blog I cannot go in to. It has happened before elsewhere when we have made a complaint and it has rebounded on us. The message seems to be clear. "Don't mess with us."
But it is Sam who got most hurt. So angry.
So he went over the fence again. It is over 15 feet high with an overhang. There are no finger holds. He got over it when - so we are told - staff were watching. "He is so agile," said the clinical director of the hospital.
He is overweight as a result of the medication and unfit through having been locked up on a corridor for years with almost no exercise. Agile? Don't make me laugh.
Or then again - please do. It might make a change from crying.
A couple of days later he burst in to the room where the ward round was taking place. He took an aggressive stance against the doctors there as if he was going to attack them. They ran from the room. Fortunately there was a good nurse in the room who dealt with the situation sensibly and calmed Sam quickly. It is the kind of situation where all too often the alarms would have been set off and four burly nurses would have pinned Sam down and injected him.
A few evenings later he tried to escape through the ceiling in his bedroom.
Perhaps he thought he could get on to the roof and make his get-away. If he had been a prisoner of war he would have been a hero - but as a psychiatric patient he is seen as clearly very ill.
So they wanted rid of him. They have done for some time. This psychiatric ward is in a private hospital. They take around £700 a day to care for him. They advertise that they provide male complex needs services in a low secure setting, that they accept patients with dangerous behaviour and/or chronic challenging behaviour, patients who represent a persistent risk of absconding and patients with an intractable mental state and behavioural problems who are unlikely to immediately be suitable for section 17 unescorted leave.
Yet they cannot cope with Sam.
They say that those who fail to progress in PICU may be considered.
But when they were fed up with him they wanted him transferred to a PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit.)
Dear tax-payer they are stealing your money.
They have a PICU of their own so they asked the commissioner who holds the purse strings to be able to transfer him to that ward. The commissioner pointed out that the Health Trust had a PICU of their own. So the hospital rang the manager of the NHS PICU direct who accepted him.
Nobody who knew or cared for Sam's long term needs was consulted - or even knew what had happened. His care co-ordinator still doesn't know how it happened. Surely someone who knows of Sam's history and has a vision for his long term future should be involved. No?
It seems not.
But it gets worse ...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Below is the temporary post I have had up for some time. Thank you for all the kind comments and emails. They are very much appreciated.
It has been a difficult time recently. As is often the case - it tends to get worse!
I will bring you up to date soon.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I am sorry for the temporary removal of the blog.I am trying to write to those who have contacted me - please forgive me if you have not heard from me yet.I hope this will be resolved soon.
Posted by Mike at 3:39 PM
Hello Mike,I am so sorry to see that your wonderful blog is not available to read. It's given me so much strength over the past difficult year with my son. I do so hope that it has not been removed because its existence is causing you more problems with Sam's hospital. With warmest regards to you and your family, Leah
July 10, 2008 1:19 AM
You don't need to write back, but I hope everything is okay with you and your family.
July 10, 2008 6:11 AM
Hi Mike, I have very much enjoyed reading your blog and am very sad to see it down at the moment, I hope you keep up the blogging when you feel able to.Kimkjp_uk@yahoo.com
July 10, 2008 7:33 AM
i read the blog all the time it's very interesting in that they don't seem to be able to treat sam. He's been in 5 years or so i think. he seems to be getting worse rather than better.(concerned citizen)
July 10, 2008 10:31 AM
Oh! your blog has been such an inspiration to me, as my daughter and your son are so similar. I always knew I wasn't alone in this journey and always, always understood what you were telling, because I had been there! Right down to the weekend telephone box not working to gain access to the hospital. I've had good staff, awful staff, all of it.I also understand the fatigue and worry.I do hope the best for all of you, and will always have you all in my mind with good thoughts.Take care,and best wishes,Stephany at soulful sepulcher blog
July 10, 2008 10:36 AM
Hey,I've been a regular reader for over 9 months now. Your blog is a very emotive portrait of your experiences and I hope the circumstances that have led to the blog removal are not too sad or stressful.I'd appreciate the chance to keep reading but the need for privacy is understandable.All the best.Ursula
July 15, 2008 4:19 PM
I am so sorry that something has gone wrong with your site. I hope you and your wife, you family and son are well. My son has his CPA on Thursday (his last I Hope)after over two years. Please keep in touch because you have given so much hope to a lot of people. I will help you and your son. Please contact me. Maria C x
July 16, 2008 4:09 PM
I am sorry that your blog is not live at the moment. It seems only a few weeks ago that I pulled an all nighter to read all of your archives. Hope everything is ok for you and your family. Hannah X
July 20, 2008 3:37 PM
I hope you, Jane and Sam are alright.Thinking of you all,Katia
July 23, 2008 9:06 AM
Thinking of you all and hoping to see you posting again as soon as you feel able to.
July 26, 2008 10:43 AM
Theresa Williams said...
Miss reading your blog very much. It is so honest and real, and a comfort for those of us in a similar situation.
July 27, 2008 8:54 PM
Hope you are all OK. I have been following your blog for 6 months. I have several members of my family who have a mental illness and could relate to some of the difficulties you where facing.P
July 28, 2008 3:58 AM
Mr Mans Wife said...
I dito what Catherine said - no need to respond but I hope you are all ok.
July 28, 2008 5:42 PM
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Then later in the afternoon we had a call from the hospital ... they wanted a CPA meeting next week. Is this a result of the incident at ward round last week or just a coincidence?
I no longer believe in coincidences!
Then we found out that the clinical director of the hospital has been invited ...
Now what is all that about?
But Jane visited Sam today and he was great. Really well compared with recently.
Perhaps they'd given him some Lorazepam again!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
The nurse said whilst we were talking on the phone Sam had run to his room and slammed is door causing the window to fall out. Later he had gone into ward round, jumped around the chairs and threatened the doctors with violence. The doctors had run out frightened and Sam had to be restrained.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Sam seemed pleased.
But later he started going on about a picture in the newspaper. It was a picture of me he insisted. It looked a bit like me but clearly wasn't me. It was to do with photography. Then Sam started ranting at me. He was angry but I couldn't understand why. It seemed to be to do with the man in the paper not me. Then he wrestled me to the ground and knocked my glasses off.
I managed to calm him a bit but he started getting agitated and threatening again. A nurse was walking past the room so I asked him to let me out. It was better for me to remove myself from Sam while he was being so antagonistic.
He rang a few times the next day but when I tried to ring back the ward office didn't answer. Today when that happened I tried going through the switchboard and got put through. Perhaps they had been avoiding answering me because they knew how angry and antagonistic he was.
He just shouted at me angrily. He wanted nothing more to do with me. He just wanted me to kill myself.