Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Waif's blood results were fine.

I weighed her again yesterday and she came in at 36.5kg (clothed) so she has not lost weight in the last week or so which is good, and may even have put on some. I have put on 1.5kg what with all the biscuits in the house, to which only I succumb. That is not such a bad thing - some say I am thin (although within a normal range at 52kg and about the same height as Waif).

I had a call from the Eating Disorders Unit at the Maudsley Hospital yesterday. Waif is to come for a 2 hour initial assessment on Monday 21 September. This is brilliant news.

Ideally both I and my husband should attend too. My husband has put it in his diary and is hoping to come. As my sabbatical lasts until 1 October, and in any case I don't work Mondays, I am clear to go too.....I would have gone anyway even if it lost me my job....

Bless the National Health Service. Waif is to be seen by world specialists at no cost whatsoever to us. Whilst we are fortunate in that we would otherwise have paid, this gives me heart that no child need miss out merely because of lack of parental funds.

The lady on the phone said that there were a lot of forms to fill in, and questionnaires, both hard copy and on-line. She stressed that it was important to do this sooner rather than later so I plucked up all my courage and told Waif about the appointment. She was not happy but nor did she outright refuse to contemplate going. I told her that if she put on lots of weight between now and then, then they might simply send her away again. I am not sure I should have said that.

I am doubly fortunate in that the Maudsley Hospital is about 6 minutes drive from Waif's school so she should only miss three periods of school even for a 2 hour appointment.

Meanwhile, I have withdrawn consent for the school nurse to talk to Waif until I have taken specialist advice. From her messages, the nurse is acting more like the school's lawyer than their health care provider: her only goal is seemingly to assess what liability and risk there might be for the school in Waif's continued attendance. I mailed her thanking her for her concern and saying that if at any point she thought Wiaf too fragile to safely be at school then she should immediately let me know and I would get a formal medical opinion from her doctor. Meanwhile I asked if the school provided any kind of support as I had heard that other London day schools might, for instance, require certain children to eat lunch with the nurse so that their intake could be monitored. I have not heard back. I am not expecting a yes, unfortunately.

I still live in hope that the problem will simply disappear and prove to be a storm in a teacup.

Waif had a small piece of toast with a scraping of jam for breakfast today, crusts cut off. I made her a fresh orange juice into which I sneaked a teaspoon of sugar and I insisted she also drank that. She has taken in tomato soup in a thermos for her morning snack. I hope she doesn't decide instead that it is lunch. She is in the dance club after school today so needs some energy.

I am trying not to think about the impact on her teeth of all these unhealthy sugary foods that I am pushing her way.


  1. this is good news :-)

  2. Did the nurse reply to your email?

  3. Anon: No, the nurse did not reply to that mail that I sent asking if the school could offer any help. I sent her a further message informing her that Waif has an appointment on Monday and she just said thanks for the info.