I wanted to know what messages Ben has taken home from our recent treatment sessions as regards weight gain / weight restoration. With this came lots of positive stuff about the other ways the team has been supporting us over the past 16 months which, I agree, they have. This is reassuring because I wasn't entirely convinced our sessions were doing him any good as he always seems depressed, before, during and afterwards. However he does believe the team is happy for him to settle at a final weight which is "massively lower than what you and dad would like me to weigh".
It's really hard at this final stage (I say 'final', but I still believe we have quite a few kg to go...) to know if the treatment team has 'overstayed its welcome', so to speak. They've done their job on a number of counts and helped us fire-fight crises; the only thing they've never really pushed for is proper and continuous weight gain.
After all, he weighs less now than he did at our first session 16 months ago and this can't be right when we're talking about a former rugby player / athlete / cyclist who is 5ft 7ins tall and is almost 18 years old.
The only thing that has resulted in regular and consistent weight gain recently is the Contract I introduced a couple of months ago.
But the more the Contract works on this front, the more we (me, son and team) end up disputing what constitutes a sensible and acceptable weight range. And of course the eating disorder sides with the person who insists on the lower range, distorting what we parents are pushing for into "wanting to make me fat".
Some might say I'm getting obsessed with numbers again. But at the end of the day I know my son will never recover until he reaches his natural weight level otherwise known as 'full nutrition'.
Treatment methods like the Maudsley would have focused on weight gain first and foremost, not last of all with minimum importance attached.
To be at a lower weight than he was when he started treatment 16 months ago and for this to be perceived as 'almost there' is just wrong.
Yet, on the other hand, the team acts as a kind of 'rock'. I guess it's a bit like having parents that irritate or embarrass you but you'd miss them like hell if they weren't there!