Monday 31 December 2012

Firing on all cylinders ready for the New Year

It's the final day of 2012 - and the end of my blog posts for this year. Tomorrow we begin our "fats experiment" whereby we spend a couple of weeks closely analysing (and adjusting) fat and calorie content of Ben's intake, preceded by a weigh-in session. I will also be measuring his height. Then, each week in the New Year, I will be introducing new challenges / experiments / tests / whatever with a view to making 2013 the year that Ben really does recover fully and permanently.

I am a Mum on a Mission and am raring to go. We will also be adjusting our Recovery Contract to take into account everything that needs tweaking for 2013 with a view to moving Ben onwards and upwards.

Yesterday my H said to me: "I don't believe Ben will ever fully recover." Now, as you can imagine, this was like a red rag to a bull as far as I was concerned. H believes I am wasting my time and energy. "Well," I told him. "I will continue to do whatever it takes to get Ben well. I will fight tooth and nail. And if I fail, then at least I will have tried my hardest." Basically Mama Matty doesn't take "no" for an answer. Failure is not an option.

But, first, let's get through the "fats experiment". Then, next week, Ben is being assessed for further treatment on the NHS. Good grief, that assessment appointment came through a tad faster than when I first asked our GP to refer Ben for treatment back in the early autumn of 2009. Remember how I was told we'd be looking at an 18-22 week wait? And that was from the date I received the acknowledgement that CAMHS had received the referral.

Mind you, this is just an assessment. There might be a wait following that. And, of course, we have no control over who Ben is referred to. I will be pushing for eating disorder treatment. But I'm not holding out much hope. Unfortunately the Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders doesn't take people on with BMIs of higher than 17...

... which, of course, is ludicrous because - during his entire eating disorder - Ben's BMI never got that low. Yet he had full blown anorexia. At one point his weight was one third down on his pre-eating disorder weight. So, presumably this means that a heck of a lot of adults are slipping through the net, being refused treatment because their BMI isn't low enough.

But I will ensure I'm present at the assessment to make sure the assessor knows exactly what needs addressing. And, with all my years of experience behind me, I instinctively know when the professionals are talking rubbish, don't take us seriously or treat me like an over-protective mother worrying about nothing.

I will be in a fighting mood, believe me.


  1. Good luck Batty and Ben.
    I just feel so let down by adult services. I know I need more support atm but I just feel like there's so much in me saying no to going back to adult services because as much as I need the support, I just don't feel they give it. Even when you're able to stand up for yourself and say 'this is what's wrong, this is what I need', that's almost seen as 'well, you seem alright, so you must be'?!
    It's good that you're going to be there with Ben though. I had an assessment last year (I've since been discharged after being given unhelpful 'treatment' and then told they didn't feel there was anything else they could do to help me) and my mum came in with me initially, before being asked to leave so the psychiatrist could talk to me on my own. She should have stayed, I was 'up a creek without a paddle' on my own. How he was supposed to be able to properly assess me in the time we had and with what I was able to give at the time I'll never know.
    Also, I read your post about the DBT book and I checked it out on amazon, given my lack of faith in other avenues of support. I'm not sure how I'm going to get on with it but have had a read through and it seems okay. I guess time will tell. Have you looked at any DBT stuff yet? In the meantime, I suppose it's just a case of trying to keep my head above water and try to accept positives if and when they happen.
    Sorry for my rather long comment :-/
    I really hope it goes well for you at the assessment and in the new year through.

    1. Thanks for your reply, Anon. In answer to your question... the DBT book is good, but I feel it would only work if the individual themselves worked through it. Contrary to what I hoped, it isn't really something I can use to work with Ben - there is far too much "homework" i.e. it is a workbook first and foremost. But very good nonetheless. In fact I may use it myself, for me!!!!!

  2. I very much agree with you about BMIs. Eating disorders can occur at any weight and exclusion from treatment because a BMI is too high is just wrong and unjust, in my opinion. I should imagine it is a policy driven by funding and resources (lack of). Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you for your reply, There and Back. Funding and resources, however, should never be an excuse to compromise our children's lives when dealing with a potentially fatal illness. But you and I know this, the trouble is that presumably "the powers that be" don't - or have more pressing uses for their funds.