L has her review today at which we predict readmission will commence. As described in the previous post, the morning doesn’t start well. Luckily I have an interlude by visiting town with K. She makes me laugh, even in the grimmest times. We have to collect items from various shops and we joke about Game of Thrones. “Call the Banners, we ride on Topshop”. In Starbucks, K has the long awaited Orange Hot Chocolate. I sip some. It is so, so good. It is the hot drink equivalent of K. More perfect than you can imagine.
But there is no putting off the review. L and I drive there, scarcely speaking. It is as if we are both empty and just facades are left. In the meeting room it is revealed that her weight is dropping faster than we thought possible. The psychiatrist pulls no punches. Readmission is urgent and it is even possible that A&E admission for NG feeding could be necessary. She tells L how concerned she is at her poor grasp of reality. That she feels she has slipped away from all of us. I ask what would happen if she refused admission and she says she would recommend detaining her under The Mental Health Act. L’s eyes widen. I ask if she is shocked. She is, but because she doesn’t believe her. She says she is scared of losing her place in college. I tell her I am afraid of her dying. She stares back, uncomprehending. I wonder where she went. I want to reach into the husk of a person in front of me and find the remnants of my daughter and plead with her. But there seems to be little of me left too.
We leave and head to Tescos. L tells me she thinks they are lying. I tell her to do so would be gross professional misconduct. She is impassive. In the supermarket she asks for porridge. In sachets. I buy some and buy gin for me. We head home. K and I go buy a tree. The world sparkles festively but I feel nothing. I want to connect with this ritual, but it’s not happening. In the garden centre the usual Christmas Forest scene is polluted by a violent shoplifter scaling the metal gates and hurling abuse at the staff. We are asked to be witnesses. This is our Christmas; one in which an aggressive, abusive yobbo breaks in and destroys everything.
We take the tree back home and decorate it. We argue over the order, K shrieks as C tests the lights ON THE TREE! We exclaim over decorations and coo at the cardboard angel, made by J. He is home, with his comforting presence. But it all seems a palliative charade. This looks a bit like Christmas, but it’s not really. We are all acting out our parts, but one person is absent. There is an empty space where L used to be. We want her back so much.