Saturday, 31 December 2011

And so a whole year of blog posts draws to an end...

... which will mean a new PDF for 2012 to sit alongside the (almost) complete PDF for 2011. This PDF is my attempt to make it a little easier for you to read through my blog entries in chronological order and / or click through from the index to any specific entries. Thank you to all my blog followers and all the lovely comments and feedback you've sent me over the past year. I wish all of you a wonderful New Year. May it bring all that you wish and hope for, and may it be enormously better than 2011.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Such a big topic I hardly know where to start...

...Although a dear friend of mine succeeded admirably in her latest blog post: We, ED-connected friends across the world, are starkly aware that young people are dying from eating disorders; my blogging friend has learned of four deaths in the past six weeks alone - and one of these was tragically on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

While we're on the subject of 'wanting' to recover and 'making choices'...

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.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

And ED takes another victim...

A couple of minutes ago I got news that ED has taken yet another victim. Worse, this family lost their beloved child on Christmas Day. On a day when the whole Western World was feasting this family was watching their child die of starvation. On a day when a 'Slimming World' leaflet came through my letterbox, I found out about this terrible event. The irony... My heart goes out to that family. I hate this killer illness.

"I'm alright, Jack"

Wondering what to write following a much better Christmas than last year and definitely the year before, there was the temptation to write about what a wonderful Christmas we had. OK it wasn't perfect and the ripples of Ed are still there, notably on his 18th birthday on the 23rd, but I could have gone down the happy and thankful route. Then I read my dear friend Charlotte's latest blog entry and was prompted to write something very different.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

My 'little boy' is 18 tomorrow!!

18 years ago this evening things were moving... fast. I'd been having contractions for 24 hours and had already been down to the hospital only to be sent home because I wasn't ready. Then at 10pm my waters broke and it was back to the hospital for a LONG and PAINFUL labour until Ben decided to appear at lunchtime the next day - cooincidentally his Dad's birthday, too.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

4 nights in Edinburgh

Ben wanted to go to Edinburgh for his 18th birthday, so we did - and we've just come back. I was aware of the ED being there in the background a little bit. Not a lot, but definitely there. And it got me thinking that we still have issues that need ironing out before we can truly claim that Ben is 'recovered'.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Funny how our relationship with CAMHS has changed so much...

Funny how, for the first 12 months of our relationship with CAMHS, I felt as if we had two completely different agendas. I had serious problems consolidating the messages I was getting from my various professional and lay ED contacts and those I was getting from our CAMHS team. At times I felt totally at odds with them. Often I used to wonder whether they were colluding with the eating disorder rather than kicking it into touch.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Detective Mama makes a discovery

You know I'd never have known about this if I hadn't delved a little deeper and done some trawling around the Web...  The fact that Ben's first choice of Uni now has what is called a Disrupted Studies Form which deals with exactly the kind of issue I've been ranting on about. It's brand new, introduced this year.

... Now I'm angry!

At the end of my last post a thought popped into my head. How come the government encourages universities to accept LOWER grades from students who come from 'disadvantaged' backgrounds like inner city estates and / or from families with low or no income - and YET there is no (obvious) policy of doing likewise for students who are disadvantaged because of lengthy and / or serious illness?

It's not like a physical illness...

The thing with anorexia or any other eating disorder is that it's not like a physical illness. Sure, people can 'see' that you're losing weight at a rapid pace, but I believe that most people just don't realise that there is a mass of other really nasty stuff going on as well: messy emotions, erratic and sometimes violent behaviour, irrational thinking, compulsions, obsessions, personality change and a total inability to cope with normal life. It is not simply a 'diet gone too far'. It is not something that 'any sensible person' could 'just snap out of'.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Five resits in January...

Last summer the tail end of the eating disorder helped Ben to flunk his AS level exams. As a result he has no less than FIVE resits in January. And he needs to get good grades in order to get the grades he needs in this summer's all-important A level exams. So, basically, if he doesn't do very well then he can kiss goodbye to his university choices. No pressure, then...

Friday, 9 December 2011

We are assuming Ben will go away to Uni...

I had a frank and useful conversation with Ben yesterday about whether or not he feels he will be ready to live away from home at university and successfully manage his own food and recovery. We need to decide over the Christmas period because, if he'd prefer to put our home city as his main choice, then we need to apply pronto for a special scheme that takes into account interrupted studies and the need to attend a local university.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

That's enough of the 10 days of ED Christmas...

Not wanting to labour the point too much I decided to stop at Day Ten and move onto something more current which is the continuing niggle over whether or not Ben will be ready to leave home for university in September 2012.