I know Ben managed to study almost exclusively at home for his GCSEs AND get really good results, but the school says it's very different for A Levels, especially with Ben having to resit some of last year's AS Level exams at the same time. Exams are less than a month away and he's only been in school for a total of 8 hours this week...
I can almost hear ED 'the anorexia demon' chortling away with glee. "Ha ha," it taunts, "CAMHS discharged him, assuming that everything was now OK and most of the big issues were sorted, insomnia included - but I've left my trump card to 3 weeks before the all-important A Levels: the insomnia is back!!!! Ye har!!!"
The moment Ben started his Lower Sixth Form year the September before last, the insomnia arrived - and it stayed with him all through the school year, right through his June exams. Often he struggled into school to sit these exams having had little more than an hour's broken sleep. Although he miraculously managed to get a Grade A in one of the exams, the rest came back with Ds, Es and even an Unclassified. This, from a 'straight A' student...
Up until the Sixth Form, Ben had slept reasonably well - proved by his excellent GCSE results. But insomnia and all the low moods, isolation, anxiety, etc that it brought with it became the #1 Problem throughout the whole of the Lower Sixth Form. CAMHS tried various medications and nothing worked. Because he was under 18, they would only prescribe children's medications which were next to useless.
Then it miraculously faded away over the school summer holidays and I thought it had gone for good.
But now the insomnia is back, Big Style, and it's why Ben is still in bed when he should be waiting at the bus stop for the school bus. And Friday is the only day he manages to stay in school all day. (Usually.)
No, with my Plans A, B and C in place, this doesn't matter academically. Especially as I've also discovered Ben could take an Open University History module in a gap year which would count towards his eventual degree and which might stimulate him more than an A level at this stage.
Make no mistake, I am not 'pushing' Ben academically; he himself needs this stimulation. He thrives on it and it takes his mind off the 'anorexia voice' (which is still there to a certain extent). I also know that he is pushing himself to do well so he gets into uni in September. He sees uni as the 'magic bullet' that will solve his isolation problems and allow him to start afresh. So if he fails to get in, he will beat himself up about it and feel like a failure.
The main niggle I have is that I feel he still needs some kind of professional support now that he's been discharged from CAMHS. Although I am massively able to cope at this late stage in the anorexia, there is a bit of me that feels 'at sea' without CAMHS, despite our (often profound) differences over the two years he was with them.
And I can't get a GP's appointment until a week today to talk about Ben's medication and the insomnia, and to see if there is any support available.
Or maybe we don't need support.
I don't know. I just know I feel this undercurrent of anxiety and worry which, despite our differences, I could talk out with our psychiatrist who was really great at that kind of thing.