Over Christmas I've been thinking that no matter how much I like our treatment team (now just one person: our psychiatrist) and no matter how much we are 'on the same page' of the 'same hymn sheet' these days, there is still one sticking point - and, the more I think about it, the more it seems to be a pretty big sticking point.
It is the fact that Ben has been asked 'to choose a target weight' he 'feels comfortable with'. Some time ago, Ben chose 60kg as this target weight. He is now 60kg (BMI 20) (5ft 7 inches height). I have always believed this weight to be too low for Ben - especially when you consider what he was like before the ED - i.e. a Forward in the rugby team.
I believe he needs another 4 or 5kg at least. Or just until he 'looks right' rather than focusing on numbers at all.
The psych has emphasised that, although this is considered to be a 'healthy weight' it is at 'the low end of healthy'. This, of course, gives him minimal room for manoeuvre should he be unable to eat through illness, upheaval or whatever reason. A few kg lower and - ping! - the ED thoughts could return.
Never forget that, throughout his entire illness, his BMI was never mega-low. At its lowest it was 52.8kg (which was in February of this year). At the height of the ED behaviour it hovered around the 57 - 58kg range.
So, before our psych leaves in March, I need to have a serious talk with her about where she sees Ben's weight going from here - and I intend to do it this week.
She has also explained to Ben that as he grows older through his 20's, his weight will need to increase accordingly.
The trouble is, these important points were lost on Ben.
I believe that, without her pushing harder for a higher weight, he will stick with 60kg come hell or high water.
My point is that I do not believe he should ever have been asked to 'choose' a weight he felt 'comfortable with' as his 'final' weight.
I would argue that if you asked any anorexia sufferer to 'choose a weight they felt comfortable with' as their target weight they would choose a lower target.
What Ben SHOULD be saying, but isn't, is that he wants to be like he was directly before the ED hit - an athletic, muscular rugby player with a physique that used to turn girls weak at the knees and make me as proud as punch to be mum to such a healthy looking 'strapping' lad.
Instead he prefers to stick at a weight that is around the same as my weight - and I am 4 inches shorter than him.
And I still believe this is because he sees himself differently from how everyone else sees him.
He really does think he looks the same as he did before the ED. And he also comments on how skinny other blokes look e.g. on the TV when, to us, he looks skinnier. Ben's legs are still stick-thin.
So 2012 MUST be a time when we work on subtly changing Ben's mindset so a higher weight becomes 'normal' for him.
I believe this can work, given the right support from our psychiatrist. After all, this time last year he felt 54kg was an 'OK weight'...
But he shouldn't be allowed to CHOOSE.
Of course it may be that she is just allowing him to adjust to 60kg before pushing for something higher - which is why I need to have a private chat with her right now, setting our goals for 2012 and finding out what her plans are before she leaves in March.
And also pushing for a higher weight than he is now.
Not massively higher, but higher than he is.