The visit to the hospital yesterday went quite well after a shaky start. When I got there (outside of visiting hours) I was ushered away from the ward by a woman of unknown job description before I could even see The Artist. I was taken to sit in the day room to wait for the Consultant's ward round to finish. The Two Year Old Genius sat doing his jigsaws, eyeing up the TV which wasn't on and the collection of videos none of which were really his cup of tea (Bridge on the River Kwai et al).
Two agency health care assistants came in and started moaning about their pay, places they'd worked and one kept saying crap in front of the TYOG. I know, I know it was just the word crap but they shouldn't have been talking like that in front of a patient or carer (as I'm now officially known). Oh, and she was American - so it doesn't even mean the same there or atleast is more inoffensive. Really I was just sitting there feeling very vulnerable and consequently touchy. I began to think that I wasn't even going to be able to see The Artist and would have to hand his things to the ward clerk. I felt like crying and in the nick of time the smiling, northern, male staff nurse came into the room, apologised for the length of time we'd had to wait and asked if we would like to go and sit with The Artist instead.
When the consultant's (Dr N) ward round finished he came down to get me, introduced himself by his first name to the TYOG whose unusual name tends to disarm people.
The Artist said he didn't want to come, so I went with the boy genius. He confirmed they haven't been able to pinpoint the exact cause but apparently this is not unusual. We talked about the problems as I saw them and as they saw them - he was very reassuring, kind and helpful and not in the least patronising.
The bombshell was that the Artist's stay is likely to be at least 3-4 months, more if he does not begin engaging in the whole process. His age is on his side and if he suddenly becomes inspired he could be out in two.
That said they have offered to provide any support they can. They use a real multi-agency approach there and believe that support for the family is an integral part of the therapy package.
We agreed it might help The Artist if I were to visit less often, thus making him reliant on ward staff and himself for things instead of waiting for me to come in and sort things out. This has the added benfit of saving our dwindling funds and my slightly frazzled being.
God bless the NHS. Graeme, over at Incorrect use of the soap, I concur.