After the strange period in which I was ill, it is back to work again, with the competing PushMePullYou forces of work and L. I am away from home, until Saturday night. I can’t visit L and in a week in which she seems to really be struggling, this worries me.
L is not my only concern; J has an audition at the Scottish Conservatoire in Glasgow. He must fly there alone, for the first time. I have booked his ticket, printed off the travel plans, the musical instrument policy and step by step airport instructions. I have also booked a taxi to collect him and take him to the Music School. I have taken out cash to pay for his return taxi, his meals and his music lesson that he will have after the audition, so he can assess the suitability of the school.
But none of this is a real substitute for being there in person. I am anxious and restless about how he will cope. Before leaving, I also urge C to text L’s father, to work out who will see her in the afternoon and the evening. I leave new knitting needles that she needs out so someone can take them in, feeling guilty that I did not take them over in a spare moment before leaving, even though I know no spare moments were to be had.
Tonight I call her, after visiting time, because I don’t want to interrupt. Except she had no visitors. She has not got the knitting needles. She has spent the afternoon and evening alone and with nothing to do. I am incandescent with fury. Is it too much to ask that others make their arrangements in a way that ensures L gets to see someone? Except of course, that I cannot rage at them. Because I am away and not able to see her. Of course, L tells me, in her lovely cheerful voice that it doesn’t matter. But it does. I feel we have all let her down. Today she started her medication. She is a 15yr old girl in the fourth month of being an inpatient. We should have been there.