Our local university has said that they are willing to transfer Ben onto their degree course if he decides that he isn't ready to live away from home. It's exactly the same as the other university course, at a similar "ivy league" university ("Russell Group" as they call it in the UK). But it would mean that Ben could study for his degree while living at home. He has until the end of April to make a decision.
"I must go to Sheffield," he said yesterday morning.
"Why 'must' you go?"
"Because I need to prove I can live away from home. It's something I need to do; something I need to do for myself. The only thing that's putting me off about Sheffield is the ED nurse. If, God forbid, I ever had a relapse at university I couldn't bear finding myself in her clinic only to be told that my eating disorder was anxiety based!"
"But would you ever need to see the ED nurse? After all, for the past year or so I've been your clinician as well as your carer. You've been your own clinician, too. And, together, we've been pretty damn successful. Also, you're planning to spend half the week at home and half in Sheffield to begin with, and definitely if you ever slipped back into the ED." I also explained that we'll be running our University Contract, just as we planned to do last year. So, if ED ever reared its ugly head again, Ben will need to stick to certain conditions.
So he would never really need to see the university ED nurse. And there are always the university doctors and the other nurse. Mind you, we don't know what their perceptions of eating disorders are like!!
And who's to say the local university eating disorders team is up to speed with the evidence-based latest research on anorexia, hey...
So at the moment, therefore, my money would be on Ben sticking with Sheffield.