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Bette walks into the facility, her stomach in a mess of nerves, unsure of how Tina will receive her. She approaches the admission desk. “Hi, I’m Bette Porter. I’m here to see Tina Kennard.”
“Hello Ms. Porter, I’m Laura – one of Tina’s nurses.” She looks down at her list. “Yes, you are on her visitors list, so I’ll take you back.” Laura starts to stand but hesitates. “Hm?”
Laura looks at Bette curiously furthering her anxiety. “What? What is it?”
Laura smiles at Bette. “It’s nothing, really. Ms. Kennard was just… emotional this morning. I guess she didn’t want to sit in the visitor’s room today because she wasn’t expecting any visitors. She was pretty upset about it.”
Bette lets out a breath of relief. “Okay, that makes sense. We haven’t spoken to one another since I dropped her off here, and with everything she’s dealing with she must have forgot I was coming. This surprise visit may be just what she needs.” Bette says excitedly.
The nurse stands and walks around the desk to lead Bette to the visitation room. “I think you’re right. This has been a rough adjustment for her, and that’s not uncommon, but when she’s able to recognize she has outside support that should help her accept this process better.” When they approach the room, Laura points out where Tina is seated alone looking out a window. “She’s right over there. Visitation is all day, 8 am – 8 pm. It’s just a bit after 8 am now, so depending on how long you can stay you can have lunch and dinner with her; also, you can take her on a walk outside if you like, but…” Laura looks back at Bette and hesitates to continue again.
“But…” Bette presses.
Laura looks down before establishing eye contact with Bette. “Before I continue, I just want you to remember that Tina is safe here and is being closely monitored. Also, I’m only allowed to share this with you because Tina signed a release for you when she first came in, so that allows us to update you on her treatment and progress. I’m just going to give you basic information and then I encourage you to find out the details from Tina personally. After that, if you have questions or concerns, you can talk to her therapist.”