Friday, 1 June 2012

A course of private treatment sessions, starting tomorrow

Both Ben and I are well aware that there are several 'loose ends', shall we say, that need tidying up - and that he has reached a plateau where he needs a little help to move forwards. So tomorrow we start a series of private treatment sessions to try to sort this all out and get things moving again, towards full and complete recovery.


The problem is that Ben was discharged from CAMHS in March when the psychiatrist went on maternity leave. He had also reached the age of 18 which put him outside the remit of CAMHS. So the decision was made to discharge him rather than moving him to Adult Services - because I was told that "Adult Services wouldn't have him" at his present weight and level of recovery.

The GP, too, didn't seem to think there was a problem and that Ben would "grow out of it, given time".

In other words, time would heal and there was nothing practical or useful that the professionals could do.

But we are stuck.

We're stuck with all the social issues and the fact Ben is 100% socially isolated, relying exclusively on his Dad and me for his social life and entertainment. Otherwise, he is on his own. And he doesn't seem to be able to "go out there, get involved with things and make friends" as we really wish he would do.

Having been on Planet ED for nearly 3 years now and - at the same time - isolating himself socially, suddenly being dumped at University in September, away from home, and in potentially challenging social situations: Freshers Week, room-mates and so on, three years of missing out on social skills may prove to be a real problem.

Then there's the eating. Sure, he's eating "enough" calories to maintain his weight and, perhaps, very slightly gain weight, and he's doing this without any problem at all.

The problem is that he is still counting calories, weighing food, checking nutritional content, etc and unable to break free from this. He is fine when he knows what's going into his meals but not so fine when it's been cooked by someone else or we're eating out.

The odd non-calorie-counted meal, fine. But he wouldn't reach for the butter to put on his bread, for example. Or choose "normal" ice-cream (as opposed to "light" ice-cream), although I have seen him eat mayonnaise which was obviously not the "light" version and, yes, he does have the odd Solero ice-cream which isn't "light", either.

But no way would he go out for a slap-up curry, a meal at Pizza Hut or any "unhealthy" restaurant or take-out. Not even on a one-off basis, although he does have the odd fish'n'chip meal in a pub. But this is when he's eating with us, and eating with his peers and friends is ten times harder for him.

And he would find it virtually impossible to eat meals his room-mates cooked for him, unless they, too, use "healthy" ingredients and don't include too much fat or oil. So, while everyone else is eating in a group, I predict he will be eating alone. He will be the "odd guy" measuring, weighing and counting while the others just sling it on the table and tuck in without a second thought. And it's not as if he's obese and doing this; he is very slim and doing this. It will seem odd.

Most important of all, it's not a normal way to behave. He can't carry on like this, controlling his intake and weight for ever. But I believe that, if left to his own devices, this would be the case.

So tomorrow we are seeing U, a dietitian who is highly experienced in the world of eating disorders with an eating disorders CV that reads like War & Peace - all thanks to the recommendation of a dear (ex anorexia sufferer) friend of mine. To a certain extent, I believe that U is also experienced at dealing with some of the psychological issues that underpin all this. So I have high hopes, providing Ben continues to cooperate.

But, as I have said to him, these things need to be sorted out - or at least well on the way to being sorted out - before he goes to Uni. And I am the one with the purse strings.

No Bank of Mum, no Uni.

(Oh and a huge thank you to my dear late Dad who is paying for these private sessions!!)


No comments:

Post a comment