Tuesday 31 January 2012

Big meeting at school tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon I've arranged to meet with the Assistant Head, Head of Sixth Form and School Nurse about the problems Ben is still experiencing at school. On the agenda will be...

Monday 30 January 2012

Thanks Giant Fossilized Armadillo for these questions

Giant Fossilized Armadillo often comments on my blog and is herself in remission from anorexia. Here are some fun questions she asked some of her contacts today with my answers. Just for fun, kind of...

"Not suicidal enough"

For some reason at 3am this morning I got thinking back to the time when Ben was suicidal. This was throughout the summer of 2010 when he was at his worst, five months into treatment and ten months after his GP referral. The thought came to mind: "Just how suicidal did he have to be before anyone would take action?"

Sunday 29 January 2012

Would GPs be so slow in responding if we were talking cancer?

I went along to an all-day BEAT conference in Leeds yesterday, with another ED mum I know well. One thing that came across strongly from the various speakers and discussions was the apathy, lack of awareness and sheer dragging of feet shown by British GPs when faced with a young person needing to be referred for eating disorder treatment.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Starbucks with a woman who knows eating disorders inside out

ELT is a 40-something academic who has lived with anorexia since her teens. She is now in remission and always insists on Full Cream Milk in her favourite Cappuccino with Chocolate Sprinkles, naturally. She is one of the many friends and contacts I've made in the world of Eating Disorders over the past months and years, and she lives just around the corner from me.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Saturday 21 January 2012

Today's baking reminds me of Baking Days From Hell...

Ben's about to make amaretti biscuits, except he's customising them because we don't have any almond paste so he's using marzipan (which it says you mustn't use, LOL...) So a bit of improvisation is required. In the Bad Old Days this would probably have led to yet another Baking Day From Hell...

Friday 20 January 2012

Food, calories and exercise... how it was and how it is now, for Anon

Because Anon's latest questions might also be relevant to other people, I am doing a second post based on our own personal experience. Of course every family's experiences will be different and this is no substitute for proper medical or professional advice! But it might prove useful to someone, so here goes...

Thursday 19 January 2012

Answering Anon's comment on my last entry...

After I published my last post, Anon sent me an interesting comment : "I was just wondering, with Ben during his recovery has he ever been taking any supplements such as ensure plus, resource, benecalorie etc? And what have his portion sizes been like for meals? Has he ever been eating large portions e.g large portions of meat, large plates full at dinner etc?"

CAMHS sessions going from strength to strength...

... Just as we are about to lose our psychiatrist who is on maternity leave from March... So we have a heck of a lot of loose ends to tie up before then. This morning, in response to Ben's remark that - although he was well aware that his "mind was screwed up" at the height of the anorexia - he wasn't entirely convinced his body was in danger. The psychiatrist immediately put him right about that...

Monday 16 January 2012

So how did the psych meeting go on Friday?

Well I whipped out the (huge A3 version of the) photo and thrust it onto the desk in front of the psychiatrist. She could see my point. She also told me that it was obvious to her that his bone structure / build needs to carry more flesh.

Thursday 12 January 2012

If you don't succeed at first...

If you've read through my blog you will know that the main bone of contention between me and our treatment team (now comprising a psychiatrist) is that, throughout the treatment, I have believed that their idea of Weight Normalisation / Restored is TOO LOW for Ben.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

More on the subject of new year diets...

Thank you for all your comments on my last post. I've put a complaint into the Unit and they say they'll investigate it further. In response to ELT's comment on my post, yes this seems to be part of the problem Ben's facing i.e. on one hand the 'health professionals' are telling him to eat MORE calories while on the other a tonne of other 'health professionals' are telling people to eat LESS. Also, he's being told to CUT DOWN on exercise while seeing all the media messages about INCREASING it.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Dieting MAD!!!!

It's that confounded time of year when all his female friends seem to be able to talk about is DIETS and how few calories they have consumed that day. It is driving Ben MAD! He finds it really, really difficult to handle being around people that are talking about diets - I mean REALLY hard...

As if to rub salt into the wound...

Like some dreadful pop song you can't get out of your head, the School Song has been playing in my mind on a non-stop loop since it was sung in the school chapel on Sunday. I went to bed trying to push it out of my head. It was there at each of the 5 or 6 times I awoke during the night and it is still here this morning.

Monday 9 January 2012

The gleaming spires of Christminster

In Thomas Hardy's 'Jude the Obscure', Jude dreams of aspiring to the 'gleaming spires of Christminster' (university) which he could see in the distance. For several years, when Ben was small, I'd drive home from work over the high moorland looking towards my own 'gleaming spires', as I referred to Ben's school back then.

Like a bolt of lightening

I was completely unprepared for the way it hit me yesterday - the sheer force of heart-break emotions as, there in front of me, stood 'what might have been' or, rather, 'what SHOULD have been' if it wasn't for the way the eating disorder had stolen such a massive chunk from Ben's teenage life.

Friday 6 January 2012

I have all the material; I just need to formulate the book!

A while ago I mentioned that I'd like to write a book about my experiences as a parent of a teenage boy with anorexia. Following that, I sat down and collated a truck-load of information, including all the stuff from this blog. Then I worked on structure after structure, creating umpteen different documents on my computer. Result? Chaos!

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Have you joined the ATDT forum yet?

What is the ATDT (Around The Dinner Table) forum? It is a forum aimed at supporting parents of young people who are suffering from the full range of eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia. Some of these parents are new members, others are 'old timers' like me, now into my third year on the forum.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Back to the university's Disrupted Studies form...

Cue Version One Zillion as I attempt to construct the framework for Ben to write a supporting statement for the Disrupted Studies form, explaining more about how the anorexia has affected his studies over the past two and a half years. When I say 'framework', I mean something that he can take and put into his own words. It's important to get this right. After all, the university knows very little about Ben's background over and above the limited space allowed on the UCAS University Application Form.

Monday 2 January 2012

So what role has Ben's dad played in all this?

I am aware that I don't often mention my husband and his role in managing Ben's recovery from anorexia. That's mainly because, for the first year or so, he was working away from home. Poor bloke - all he ever got was grief over the telephone as we lurched from one crisis to another. "I'll phone Dad" was a threat I'd use when Ben's behaviour got completely out of control. Not that it did any good and it only upset his dad who, no doubt, felt pretty helpless on the other side of the country.