Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Middle of the night
It is 1.30am and I cannot sleep. I am sick with worry. I am in a story I don't want to be in. I want to break out of it. I want the Waif to break out of it.
I weighed Waif last night and despite a week of her eating reasonably (ish), she came in at 35.5kg - that will translate to 35kg in the morning. This is further loss. I am losing her. She is fading. How did she get here? Why won't she see how she is damaging her body? I should say how the anorexia is damaging her body.
Pudding will no longer be optional.
Waif disappears sharply at the end of every meal (pre pudding). I have never insisted that my children formally request to leave the table and she slips away unseen whilst I am clearing the plates. I am now slightly worried that she may be making herself sick.
She tried to avoid eating today by claiming she felt sick. This may or may not be true - her sister had a tummy bug over the weekend, but I could not afford to allow her not to eat.
I am going to institute a rule that she does not leave the table without permission. She is to stay at the table until she has eaten enough and even digested it a little. She is going to hate me for a while. I can't stand back and watch her disappear before my eyes.
I am so glad that I am seeing the doctor later today. I have to be careful to be calm and rational when I feel out of control and demented. This whole situation feels unreal.
I can't believe that I have let this ride for so long. When I first became concerned that Waif was losing weight, she was 42kg. Tis was after a term of skipping lunch so I expect she was nearer 44 or 45kg back in January. I told her then that if she got to 38kg I would consult the GP with her.
She reached 38kg in about June. So by then she had lost at least 10% of her body weight (this a 12 year old), at a conservative estimate, and yet I allowed the doctor to fob me off with a "Let's get her back in 3 months and see how she is going."
I am not going to allow that complacency today. From the litereature, it seems that the earlier anorexia is treated, the better the outcome. My stomach churns when I read the morbidity and mortality statistics for anorexia. Waif HAS to be treatable. She HAS to get better. I fell physically sick when I think about her emaciated state. How is she feeling, I wonder? She doesn't want to talk about it. I love her so much and this a nightmare. Nothing else is important in my life right now.
My older daughter is supposed to have read 1984 over the holidays. She has not so far (one day to go) although she HAS spent 2 weeks on Spanish camp (not much fun) and fully revised chemistry ahead of next Summer's GCSE's, and done a week's work experience in a hospital for she wants to be a doctor. So she has not been completely idle. Nonetheless, my husband told her last night that she would have her pocket money stopped until she reads 1984. She was in tears wondering why Waif gets only rewards (eat this and I will buy you cinema tickets) and she gets only punishments :-( We need to be careful not to lose sight of her needs too. I told her that of course we wouldn't stop her pocket money but that it really was a good idea to read her set book as it wouldn't go away and she has to read it some time. My older daughter is so thoroughly lovely and kind and intelligent. I am not sure how much to share with her. Enlisting her help would be invaluable yet I have no wish to place heavy burdens on her 15 year old shoulders. It is no fun being the sibling of a sick child.