Sunday 12 August 2012

An ED-free holiday, and now for the next stage...

We've just returned from two weeks holiday in the south west - a completely ED-free holiday, I am pleased to say - and, following today's weigh-in, Ben hasn't lost any weight. Great stuff. And now for the next stage, which is all about...

...A Level Results, which come out on Thursday.

If Ben gets his grades then he'll be going to Sheffield University in September. So, in anticipation of Good News, the two of us have been working on a University Contract. The purpose of this is to ensure Ben continues to move in the right direction and to agree on various emergency measures if there are any blips. Most important of all, its purpose is to allow us to take action whenever warning bells sound to avoid a full-blown relapse. It is based on this contract from the FEAST website and is based on the stage Ben is at now.

Hopefully we will never need to use what I've referred to as the "Serious Clauses" below...

This is what we've agreed:

  • The daily calorie intake required for a gradual and sustained weight increase in line with official height / weight / age charts.
  • To increase daily calorie intake if this isn't achieved.
  • The absolute minimum weight we will allow at any one time.
  • The absolute minimum "emergency" weight we will allow e.g. if Ben is sick or there is another emergency that results in a serious weight loss. This is 3kg lower than the ideal minimum.
  • To take emergency measures to restore Ben's weight which may include calorific drinks, chocolate bars, "condensed calories", etc.
  • Because we recognise that life at Uni can be haphazard and unstructured, Ben agrees to make up for any lost meals, puddings, snacks, etc by adding the lost calories to the following day.
  • For Ben to accurately weigh himself every fortnight, as now, and to truthfully inform mum of the result.
  • To catch up with mum on Skype once a week, or more often if necessary, to "do points" (our Contract) and to discuss progress.
  • If Ben's weight drops below the minimum "emergency" weight (above) he has a max of 7 days to actively demonstrate that he is putting the weight back on, returning to Weight Restored level within a maximum of 10 days.
The Serious Clauses
  • If Ben's weight isn't increasing, Ben will come home on the Friday after lessons and spend the weekend working on weight gain, returning to Uni on Monday morning.
  • If home weekend doesn't result in weight gain, then Ben agrees to increase his daily calories until he is WR again, returning home the following weekend if necessary.
  • If weight loss reoccurs, this process will be repeated.
  • If Ben's weight continues to drop below the "emergency" minimum following 2 consecutive fortnightly weigh-ins and he fails to retain the lost weight as agreed above - or if he begins to show any of the old eating disorder behaviours e.g. resistance, mood swings, etc - then Ben agrees to withdraw from Uni for the current year, rejoining the following year. In other words, we will work on getting him well before a full-blown relapse gets the chance to take hold.
  • Ben agrees to see the university treatment providers / counsellors, etc, as, or if, necessary.
As with our normal Contract, the above will be adapted as necessary.

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