Tuesday 19 June 2012

Good grief, there is so much stuff!

In my rough draft I am up to the period between our first CAMHS session at the end of January 2010 and the day Ben 'downed tools' in March - the day he spat out half a tub of ice cream onto the kitchen floor and refused to work with the 3 x meals, 3 x snacks eating plan any longer. And what a lot of notes and other info I've got to plough my way through!

At this rate, it's going to be like War & Peace (which, actually, is quite a good analogy when you come to think of it, LOL...)

But it's also helping me to get my head round exactly what was going on then and why, after the initial weight gain on the eating plan, Ben's weight went on to plummet downwards as CAMHS allowed him to take back control of his own eating. At first it remained pretty stable, at - or just under - 60kg, but as the ED took back more and more of the control, it headed south. Two years on it has only recently returned to 60kg.

Boiling down exactly what CAMHS were doing at this early stage, treatment-wise, is difficult. From what I can see, looking through my notes, my ATDT forum posts and from scouring into the cobwebby archives of my own recollections, Ben was doing a pretty good job at pulling the wool over CAMHS' eyes, something he later admitted to doing.

So what they were seeing was Ben gaining weight and sticking to the meal plan, and actually creeping into the 'healthy weight range' ("Congratulations! You're Weight Restored!" they smiled) together with a reasonably compliant and relaxed Ben during CAMHS sessions (most of which I was excluded from during that early stage, after our initial assessment sessions).

But I saw something completely different, especially directly after each session when he'd punish me all the way home for force-feeding him unnecessarily when he was "perfectly OK" as he was.

And CAMHS seemed to reinforce this, from what I could gather.

ED, always the Master of Deception, hoodwinked CAMHS into thinking that Ben was doing just fine. They were probably thinking that his case would be one of the fastest recoveries they had ever seen. So much so that they actually began to space out our appointments. At one stage we went for four weeks without a CAMHS session.

Of course I was viewed as the overprotective mother. They never actually said that to my face, but it was pretty clear. I fussed too much. I nagged him too much which wasn't "helpful" to Ben. And, look, he was doing pretty darn well.

For quite a while I definitely got the feeling that they felt I'd blown the whole anorexia thing out of proportion and that his was, in reality, quite a mild case. Also, because of his escalating BMI, it was no longer clinically classified as Anorexia anyway, more of an EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Specified).

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, ED the Anorexic Demon squealed with glee and made my life hell.

My problem is that I don't want to play the 'Blame Game' here, as regards CAMHS.

Looking back and boiling everything down I really and truly believe that they only had a small snapshot of what was going on - and that snapshot was what the ED allowed them to see during our 60 minute sessions.

They were completely fooled. It was as simple as that.

Thankfully, over the next six months or so, ED began to reveal its true ugly nature to the CAMHS team and we began to work together towards Ben's recovery.

Not always 'singing from the same hymn sheet', but usually managing to get back to the 'same page' after a bit of debating, arguing, private meetings with me, to-the-point letters and so on.

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