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.

Over the past couple of years I have constantly argued this fact only to be shown chart after chart showing that, at his present weight, he is well within the healthy weight range for his age and height.

Currently, the psych is insisting that he is Weight Restored - and constantly checks that Ben is "happy with" this weight.

That, too, is a bone of contention because I don't believe you can ask a recovering anorexia sufferer to "choose a weight" they feel "happy with".

Now, I really like this woman and she has worked marvels with Ben. He is in a very different place now from where he was a couple of years ago when we started treatment. Unlike many of the other therapists which couldn't make it more obvious that they are simply doing the job they are paid for and switch off the moment the session is over, she has built up a great relationship with Ben and comes across as a Real and Genuine Person who really cares about him. Our sessions almost always run over time.

But she's difficult to get hold of in private i.e. without Ben around. Being the NHS, we're not allowed to phone her directly (we have to leave messages which don't always get passed on). We're not allowed to email, either, or just drop in at the centre to see if she's around.

However I have managed to pin her down for a private meeting tomorrow and this is the photo montage I will be showing her, printed out in A3 colour:

To be honest, I don't know why I haven't done this before. In fact I'm busy beating myself up about it.

Is it just me or is it obvious to everyone that sees this montage that Ben's natural build needs to be bigger than it is now? See the 2 x 2008 photographs for Ben at his physical best. (The eating disorder kicked in 12 months later.) (He was aged 11 in the first pic and just getting over the 'puppy fat' stage...)

It is also pretty obvious that, over the past 3 summers (2009, 10 and 11), Ben's overall look hasn't altered much. He was skinny and he still is. Look at his legs - that's what I always look at...

Yet Ben would argue that, back in 2008, he played Rugby and did a stack of other sports and that's why he looks so athletic.

He would also argue that, prior to 2007 / 8, he was "fat" and he still believes that's what he could easily return to if he didn't watch the calories. (Hmnn, I say...)

So I shall see what the psychiatrist has to say when I put this in front of her tomorrow morning.


  1. Such a smart idea! You're right, it's instantly recognizable - he looks underweight in the last picture, relative to the ones where he's healthy & athletic. Good luck with the appointment.

  2. Hi, I don't think that weight is something to be discussed with the patient. Even with my daughter in Recovery, she is content with her weight. It is not what I think it should be, only because I don't think she feels as well as she could, that she has the energy she needs to fulfil her job and other responsibilities and not be so tired. She is young and should be much more physically active. Good luck with the Doctor.

    A Mother, Eating Disorder Actionist

    Karen Barber

  3. Well done getting that appointment, and I think the picture is a great idea. It is difficult to get professionals to understand that sometimes you have to see them alone - discussing some things that are a bit contentious with the patient in the same room is a non-starter.

  4. It is, indeed, very clear, especially in his legs. It is so difficult to get Them to understand that not everyone should be 50% or less (it constantly amazes me how many intelligent people can't grasp the concept of 'average').