Tuesday 26 February 2013

Update on who I'm seeing, when and why

Firstly, I'm meeting up with my local MP at some point next week (probably) to talk about the issues raised in the letter I posted here a few days ago (primarily over 16s and eating disorders). Secondly, I'm meeting with two of our local GPs to talk about the current situation as regards diagnosing / understanding / recognising / referral for eating disorders. And, thirdly, I am talking with (so far) 17 UK families about their experiences from when they first realised something was wrong with their child through to referral for eating disorder treatment.

Monday 25 February 2013

Getting out of my comfort zone...

As I just said on my Facebook page: What is it about contacting the medical profession that scares me so much? Is it because I'm "just a mum"...? Obviously if I'm going to write a book about UK families' experiences of the early months of their child's eating disorder, which would include presentation at their GPs' surgery, then I am going to need to talk to the medical profession in order to take an informed viewpoint. So why does it scare me?

Saturday 23 February 2013

My letter to our local MP. Get writing!

Please feel free to adapt this to send to your local MP! (the wording for paragraph 2 is taken from of this report, as are some other facts and figures). Here goes...

And just in case you're wondering about "Please eat..."

I am still waiting for Ben to finish reading it! In the meantime I have sent off for a final printed proof in the hope that he won't have too many changes. So, all being well, Please eat... will be published in early March.

UK parents, I need your assistance please!

Back in the summer of 2009 when my son, Ben, began to show classic signs of anorexia, I had no idea that boys got eating disorders. As a result I didn’t recognise the warning signs. I knew something was wrong and that it appeared to be getting worse, but I had no idea what “it” was. As the parent of a teenage boy you don’t expect your child to get anorexia. You don’t even think about it.

Friday 22 February 2013

I am LIVID, LIVID, LIVID. And I know I am not the only one.

Today I read an article in the Daily Telegraph about yet another 18+ teenager with an eating disorder that has been failed by our current system of allowing 18+ young people with serious eating disorders to make their own decisions about whether or not they have eating disorder treatment. Worse, this young woman was discharged because "at 18 she was deemed to be old enough to care for herself". Having reach that magic age of 18, she discharged herself. Within months she was dead.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Letter I wrote "to anorexia" in Feb 2010

I've just unearthed a letter I was asked to write "to the anorexia" at the start of Ben's CAMHS treatment but which was never followed up at a subsequent CAMHS session, so it ended up in the cobwebby archives of my PC. Here it is, and it's going into my book:

Monday 18 February 2013

Ben is going through my final proof... slowly...

Last summer, Ben and I went through the manuscript for my new book: Please eat... with a tooth comb. However I've changed and expanded it quite a bit since then. So now he's decided to go through it all again, so I ordered 2 final printed proofs which arrived the other day: one for me and one for him.

Friday 15 February 2013

I'll say it again... I am NOT exploiting my son or his eating disorder, and he agrees with me.

Me: There's this girl... She's a former anorexia sufferer, or still has anorexia... and she wrote on my Facebook page saying simply 'Exploitation at its finest'. I can only assume she is referring to my new book. In the past she has suggested that I may be 'glorifying' eating disorders and 'publicising and exploiting' your eating disorder, Ben. I deleted the post. I just wondered what you thought about it, Ben...

University is going out of its way to help - wow!

Wow, what a superb package Sheffield University has put together to help Ben ease back into university in September (if, indeed, he chooses to return). And here it is, in all its awesomeness!

Yesterday's debate in parliament about eating disorders

It's Eating Disorders Awareness Week and, yesterday afternoon, a group of MPs spent three hours discussing eating disorders. I watched it, from start to finish, and was riveted. I believe you can still watch the three hour discussion here. Well worth viewing if you have the time - or just listen to it on your PC while you get on with something else.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Ben and I, both with red pens at the ready

Ben has decided that he wants to read "Please eat..." before it's published, so I've ordered two final printed proofs - one for him and one for me. Then we can both go through it. Hopefully he won't want me to change anything; we both went through the draft last summer, page by page, which is why I've incorporated his comments into the final book. Fingers crossed he'll be okay with the additional chapters as I don't want to change anything at this late stage when I have dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's!

Thursday 7 February 2013

I am still here! Just...

At the moment I'm not blogging as much as I used to because I'm busy going through (the third?) printed proof of my new book "Please eat..." Now, please don't groan and tell me off for ranting on about my book yet again, but - really - this final stage is crucial. I must get it right. Also, I'm ecstatic about all the great reviews that are coming in - from professionals, other authors and parents. So when is publishing date?

Sunday 3 February 2013

Why I am donating the first 8 x royalties to eating disorder charities

Some authors give away books for free, but I've decided to donate the first 8 x royalties to two of my favourite eating disorder charities: Men Get Eating Disorders Too and FEAST (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders) (which also runs the awesome forum: Around The Dinner Table for parents and carers of young people with eating disorders).

Sermon #6: Happy to settle for 'good enough'? Noooo!

Carrie Arnold's 6th point on her excellent and informative list is: 6. There is hope for recovery. Many people with anorexia recover and go on to live happy, fulfilling lives...and you can be one of them.

Saturday 2 February 2013

Sermon #5: Not a 24-hour emergency service

Carrie Arnold's 5th point on her excellent and informative list is: 5. Anorexia is deadly serious. Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness. The "best" anorexic is the dead one. Not a nice topic to write about, but here goes...

Friday 1 February 2013

Sermon #4: Anorexia is not a BMI

Carrie Arnold's 4th point on her excellent and informative list is: 4. Weight isn't the measure of how sick you are. Not that weight and health have nothing to do with each other, but you can be very ill with anorexia and be at a "normal" weight. Remember, you can drown just as easily in six inches of water as you can in six feet or six miles. Now this is the point that really hit a nerve with me...