So BFF1 and I went on Thursday to visit this inpatient unit, one of The Priory’s hospitals. It was so much better than I had hoped for and we were both willing to move in for a week.
On the practical side, it’s 7 minutes away on the train and a leafy ten minute walk. With visiting hours between 6-9 in the evening I need it to be easy. It has 12 beds, six upstairs and six downstairs. The downstairs rooms have en suite bathrooms, upstairs has shared. The bedrooms are akin to a cheap hotel: pleasant with enough room to move around in and decent storage and that’s about it. They have a small garden and it’s in very green settings with noisy birds the greatest outdoor sound. They have 5 staff on at any one time, doing a 12 hour shift in the day time who seemed really nice and friendly. The atmosphere was warm and calming. It did not smell, feel or look like a hospital. It felt positive.
They have a full timetable during the working day, from group therapy to education. How would they cope with someone who hid under the duvet, I asked. Well we just had someone like that and we had group therapy in his room instead and he soon decided to get up, said the ward manager. They’ve dealt with people like 2son before, which in itself is a relief. Most of those in are for depression, social fears, anxieties. They were calm and quiet rather than the Joker in Arkham Asylum which is what 2son was asking about.
What’s more, they had an empty bed!
So we went home and discussed it. I then phoned up the psychiatrist to say get a move on, to find out she was on leave last week (how dare she!) so I spoke to his therapist. I reminded her that I’m on Jury Service next week so we either have to get it together and get it done this week or wait a few weeks. Also, if someone else comes and grabs that bed, then we have to wait. I’m now waiting for a phone call.
I feel better and worse. I feel better because we have somewhere that I feel comfortable for 2son to go, where I think they will be able to help him. Worse because we have to sort it out and because I don’t know how he’s going to act while we remove him from the house. It’s not going to be nice. So I’m on edge until that is accomplished.
But the sheer relief of seeing a place with a good atmosphere that feels safe, comfortable, nurturing rather than the hell hole that we can all envisage is a weight off.