Thursday, 3 September 2009
The GP yesterday agreed that the time had come for specialist support. He proposes to refer Waif to the Maudsley. He says that there is some administration involved: the surgery is in Lewisham whereas we live in Greenwich. He must refer Waif to Greenwich, knowing that they will on refer to the tertiary centre that is the Maudsley. I understand that the Greenwich psychiatrists routinely on refer to the Maudsley. He cannot however directly refer to the Maudsley even though he knows this is the right place for her, and is fully confident that Greenwich will send her there. Consequently, there may be some delay.
The GP said that I might want to explore the private health insurance route as it might be quicker. I phoned BUPA. I discover that they will happily pay large amounts for inpatient treatment at The Priory, but will pay only up to £1,000 for outpatient treatment at The Maudsley. The logic that The Maudsley approach would be cheaper for them does not seem to cut ice. I guess that's fair enough. I have been advised by my child psychiatist friend to stick with the NHS as she says the Priory admit far too readily as (she speculates, please don't sue me) that is how they make their money, and she advises that the Maudsley is the right place for Waif.
Waif also had her blood taken for testing yesterday. She is needle phobic but, bless her, still submitted to the phlebotomist with only a small amount of damage to her sister's hand whilst it was drawn - ridiculously, I could not go in with her as blood is no longer taken at our doctor's surgery nor at Lewisham Hospital but is instead taken at a few centres throughout the borough (to save money centrally at cost to all the patients instead in terms of transport, time and parking fines). Only 3 or 4 of those centres can cope with children. Only one of those has a walk-in service (otherwise the wait is over 2 weeks, seemingly, to get blood taken). That particular centre is in the residential centre of Catford with only 4 pay-and-display places for cars, all taken as the clinic has well over thirty patients queuing, so I had to sit in the car in a residential bay. I would not want to be the parent of a child needing frequent blood tests in Lewisham. I was lucky that Waif's older sister is so sensible, so nearly grown up and so present.
Neither the GP nor I are expecting the bloods to turn up anything but I can see that it must be done to rule out some physical explanation for the Waif's loss of appetite.
Perhaps due to the prompt of the doctor telling her she was too thin and might have to see a specialist, perhaps due in part to the long talk we had the night before about the dangers of under-eating, Waif ate so well yesterday :-) including shepherd's pie and cauliflower cheese for lunch, and a large steak and chips followed by honeycomb ice cream and toffee sauce for her supper. I slept well last night for the first time in days. So did Waif - she was not in my bed for the first time in weeks....she slept in the spare bed in her older sister's room........eschewing either of her own bedrooms.
Meanwhile, the school nurse phoned me yesterday wanting to know how Waif was doing - she had phoned me last term, concerned about Waif's loss of weight which had been pointed out to her by the sports teachers, and today is the first day of the new year. She wanted my permission to talk to Waif fortnightly to monitor if she was well enough to attend school. I am reluctant as Waif will hate it but felt that I was not being given more than a token choice, so I acquiesced. I shall have to forewarn Waif who will be mortified.
I am today hopeful that Waif is truly going to start eating and getting better. My cleaner is a fully qualified social and health care worker in Hungary, and she reassured me yesterday that most children with eating disorders recover rapidly.