Tuesday 26 January 2016

I'm finally happy with my Edinburgh talk!

For better or for worse, I'm a terrible micromanager. And you wouldn't believe the tweaking that's gone into my script and PowerPoint presentation for the talk I'm doing at the Scottish Eating Disorder Interest Group (SEDIG) Carers' Conference 2016 at the end of next month (Saturday 27th February). But I think I finally sorted it out. I think the main problem with my talk (which is called "Eating disorders aren't just a 'girl thing'") is that I've got such a massive story that condensing it into just 25 or 30 minutes has been a bit tricky, to say the least!

Download my blog posts on PDF for FREE - 2011-15

At last I've put all my blog posts (from 2011 when I began writing about eating disorders in boys up to the end of 2015) onto PDFs. So they're much easier to read than clicking around Blogger which can be a nightmare. The latter two years – 2014 and 2015 – tend to be a bit more thin on the ground than the other years because, as you will know if you've been following my blog, I was struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder type symptoms which hit me at the end of 2013.

Saturday 23 January 2016

And while we're on the subject of BMIs…

My sister pointed out this article about a friend of hers whose healthy, sporty son was sent home with a letter from school telling his mum that he was overweight. This especially incensed the boy's mother because she herself had been a victim of anorexia as a young woman and understood more than most people about the dangers of the many things that can trigger an eating disorder.

Scottish Eating Disorder Interest Group (SEDIG) Carers' Conference 2016

I may have mentioned this already, but I'm speaking at the Scottish Eating Disorder Interest Group (SEDIG) Carers' Conference 2016 at the end of next month (Saturday 27th February). The title of my talk will be "Eating disorders aren't just a 'girl thing'"; indeed the main thrust of the conference, I believe, will be about eating disorders in males and in particular eating disorders and anorexia in teenage boys.

Sunday 17 January 2016

Say NO to one of the most dangerous food labeling proposals to date

Join the Facebook page (see below)
According to the BBC website and the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH): "Labels should be added to food and drink to show how much activity would be needed to burn off the calories consumed, the Royal Society for Public Health says." 

When I told my son Ben (who had a lethal exercise addiction when he was sick with anorexia) about this shocking new proposal, he said:

More about why I am donating royalties from my books to 'Mama Shirls' hospice

In a nutshell, Shirley (the school nurse I call 'Sheila' in my book Please eat...: A mother's struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia), gave so much to Ben and me during his long battle with anorexia in terms of support, love and someone I could trust to take care of Ben when he was at school that I wanted to give something back.

And when I heard her speak on Friday about her voluntary work in Uganda I had a brainwave...

Saturday 16 January 2016

Going over and beyond the call of duty... massively.

Sister Shirley Crawford speaking
at school last night
As you will know if you've read my book, Please eat...: A mother's struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia, "Sheila" the school nurse was one of the most supportive people throughout my teenage son's battle with anorexia. I can't begin to describe how supportive she was, right from the start. It was she who first told me about CAMHS, talked to me about eating disorders and told me to get a referral for eating disorder treatment. It was she who provided a safe haven for my son when he couldn't bear to be in school or had broken down for some reason, which he did on most days during the winter of 2009/10.

Why I'd like to go into Ben's old school to talk about eating disorders

When my son Ben fell sick with anorexia, back in 2009 when he was 15, his school was amazingly supportive. By early 2010 he was finding it increasingly impossible to be in school. He couldn't bear being anywhere near his peers, he was regularly breaking down in lessons and in the school dining hall, he was behaving irrationally and dangerously, he was exercising like mad at any opportunity and he was spending much of his time in the school medical centre rather than in lessons. And, of course, he was eating minimally throughout the day resulting in more and more weight loss.

Friday 15 January 2016

Why is Leeds swapping the old treatment models for FBT? I can't wait to find out!

I'm meeting with the psychiatrist guy from Leeds NHS a week on Wednesday and I can't wait to find out what prompted Leeds to make the changes and move from multi-disciplinary CAMHS treatment for teenage eating disorders to a specialist eating disorders service for adolescents - and to adopt the evidence-based FBT (Family Based Therapy / Treatment) instead of the methods they were using when my son, Ben, was sick with anorexia.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Yay! The doctor from Leeds NHS has replied to my email.

And this is what she said: "It is lovely to hear from you and of your interest in the new children’s community eating disorder service soon to be established in Leeds. It would be very useful to involve you in our local service developments as we recognise that the involvement of young people and their parents is integral to the success of any new service plans. I’ve copied in my colleague who is the clinician leading the service model developments; I think he would be ideal to talk through our Leeds plans with as he has had a key role in identifying the evidence-base treatment to include in the service model." This is so exciting…

Monday 4 January 2016

A mixture of excitement and sorrow

Excitement to see that my local NHS has seen the light, so to speak, and appears to be pioneering FBT (Family  Based Treatment) for adolescents with eating disorders in England. Sorrow because we missed out on this fantastic opportunity. But that's water under the bridge; nothing can be done to change the past. However, hopefully, the future in Leeds looks BRILLIANT. Here is the email I've just fired off to the person in charge:

Sunday 3 January 2016

A big huge massive snotty kind of blob

No, not me. I'm describing my anger, as suggested by my wonderful therapist (who sadly I will have to leave within the next week or so). I still have a heck of a lot of anger inside me, primarily concerning the way I had to fight CAMHS so very much throughout the 26 months Ben was receiving treatment for his eating disorder. There are so many, many reasons why I'm still angry – but of course much of it is about the past, about things I can't do anything about now.