That has to be one of the crapiest experiences a person could have putting their child in a home.
We had a long wait for the doctor sat next to the main callbox where some young girl was pouring her heart out to her mother about how upsetting it all was and how one of the other residents was upsetting her and it just went on. Eventually the doctor found time to see us yet we waited in his office for a good 10-15 minutes whilst he finished his chat with a friend, it certainly didn’t sound like a call he couldn’t have got out of.
Next we started an hour or so of questioning, all the sorts of questions that they could have asked in advance, that I could have brought with me but I had to try and remember loads of really vitally important stuff from memory. When did Jermaine get diagnosed with diabetes? When did seizures start? When did the seizures stop relating to the diabetes? What medication was he first given for epilepsy and then which one after that and what was the reaction of each? This was after I had to run through from birth up to about 12 in great and ever increasing detail, all stuff that was in his notes from the hospital had they bothered to ask for them. Sue had to ask if they wouldn’t mind us having a drink!
From the doctor we went to see the building and Jermaine’s room and needed to suggest to them that time was getting on, maybe we could have some lunch? They made up some sandwiches which were horrible plain things and a little dry. Jermaine’s pre lunch bloods were 3.6 and by the time he had eaten a sandwich gone down to 2.4. They had put all his medication away so no dextro or hyperstop, they had to go to pharmacy to get one by which time we had got some from the car.
During lunch the entertainments guy came in and started lots of questions as to what Jermaine liked to do, what he would do, what he could tolerate so that went on for an age. Then, we took his clothes to his room but Jermaine was in thumping mode by now sick of sitting around getting bored for hours no doubt.
After lunch it was yet more question that majority of which we had already been asked, you know, things like ‘address’. That was bad enough but then it because obvious that her English was so bad she needed every word spelt out to her several times and she was still making mistakes … Northampton is, apparently, spelt: Northhamden. The questions became more and more anal. Even though we had already said several times that everything needed to be done for him they were asking if he was OK making a hot drink himself or doing the ironing? We’d already established he couldn’t dress himself but they asked if he could iron. Then there came a point where I still don’t know how I didn’t walk out … she asked about his continence issues and she was told he was in pads and was doubly incontinent. She then asked: “Didn’t it ever occur to you to try and potty train him?” Both Lucy and Sue both jumped in and suggested another topic and fairly quick like. From thence on I had no time for the woman and just took Jermaine to his room as he was falling off the chair in the dining room and no one seemed interested in that little detail.
I was hoping to get a little time with him to say goodbye properly but the bitch followed me and started asking what he had for breakfast, when he had it and whether he had a bath or shower and whether this was before or after his breakfast. I kinda snapped and just told her to look at the notes she had already made, I needed some time with my son.
I tucked Jermaine into bed because he was knackered, a hugged him a little and told him how much I loved him, kissed his head and he fell asleep. I still don’t know how I walked out of that room and less still without crying.
My proper transition time with Jermaine settling him in and at least allowing him to feel like it was his home was taken away from me but pointless questions and red tape. It’s a lovely building but they need to do way better than that for me to be content Jermaine is in the right place or that I can trust them.
I really appreciated Pete calling at one point, it helped calm me down at a time when I was getting really uptight.