I finally managed to reach Ben yesterday. Or, I should say, he finally decided to pick up the phone. My friend, Sarita, went down to the flat to see him, and took him to the GP so he could get a referral to the private detox centre we’ve settled on. The GP was rude and abrupt and refused to follow the centre’s procedure. She simply wrote out a generic letter and printed out his case history. I think she takes a dim view of alcoholics, which is fine for her as an individual, but not fine as a doctor. Is this really how severely depressed people should be treated when they visit their doctor?
I’m really hoping that the centre will accept her letter and print-outs as a referral, because we are running out of time. Meanwhile, Ben has insisted that he can manufacture something that will allow him to be detoxed in hospital. None of us thinks this is a good idea. He isn’t thinking clearly and is only doing this because he feels guilty about the added expenditure.
Thing is, if he had taken responsibility in the first place, and stayed off the booze for those last crucial days, he would be in rehab now and we would not be in a position where we have to fork out an additional 2 grand for a detox.
When I spoke to him today, he said he was going down to A&E this morning. I asked him to make sure he tells Sarita once he goes, so she knows where he is, and so she can tell me. He said he would.
I went out with Rosie after speaking to him. I took her to the Biodome where we saw a two-toed sloth, sturgeon, pink spoonbills, macaws, penguins, an otter and much more. For a few hours, I forgot all about Ben and London. I was engrossed in Rosie’s excitement at seeing a caiman, or splashing through a water installation.
When I got back, I tried ringing Ben. There was no answer. Sarita told me he wasn’t answering her calls either. He probably never made it to the hospital.
So tomorrow, I’m back on the phone, ringing London, trying to sort things, trying to get that all-important referral, trying to buy myself some peace of mind.