Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Life goes on

Waif has been a little tired and emotional recently.  I do hope she is not overdoing things.  She has been eating more independently (round at other people's houses for tea, our with a friend etc) so Thursday (Maudsley weigh-in) will be telling.  I am hoping that the tiredness is not a reflection on not eating enough.

My good friend, the child psychiatrist, asked me last week how on earth I was letting Waif cycle to school every day when she is still so thin.  She asked me what the Maudsley thought.  Being absolutely honest, I am not sure that I have fully covered the point at the Maudsley but my general impression is that Waif is to be given as much freedom as is compatible with weight gain.  I guess if she has not gained any weight on Thursday then cycling will have to stop.  I am certain she has not gained the requisite 3kg in 3 weeks, but maybe 500g.  I am happy with slow and steady if it is being attained with a good, healthy, nutritious diet and exercise.  I fear that if it is all chocolate and ice cream then Waif will struggle to know what is a normal "maintenance" diet at the end of it and I def don't want her yo-yoing.

Meanwhile, she is doing well at school, coming top in lots of subjects:  maths and science as well as english and french.  Waif has asked me to give her extra coaching at home as she doesn't feel stretched at school and doesn't want to go backwards.  I had a look at her maths and saw she was doing second order difference in quadratic based sequences.  This isn't even on the GCSE syllabus, only iGCSE so I reassured her that it was without doubt progress.  Meanwhile, now that she is a little stronger, I will try to find some lectures for us to go to together - I often go to the Royal Institution for science lectures and Waif fancies the Royal Geographical Society for geography talks.  We went there not long ago for a talk on prime numbers by Marcus du Sautoy and it was great.

Meanwhile we have been going backwards on some fronts - Waif was back in our bed on Sunday night although okay again last night.  She has also taken to following me around the house - she likes to be in the same room as me at all times which is terribly sweet, and I love it, but it's possibly not normal for a 13 year old.

I just finished reading a book called "Skippy Dies" by Paul Murray which is set in a boys' boarding school in Ireland.  |There is a girls' convent school next door.  In a minor sub plot, one of the girls gets lured into a sexual encounter with a boy (planned, aided and abetted by a different girl) and is so traumatised by it that she stops eating and ends up being hospitalised for anorexia.  Her parents cannot understand her behaviour and attribute it (wrongly..ish) to the death of her friend Skippy.  It makes me wonder if anything traumatic has happened to Waif that she has not shared.  I do hope not.  I do hope she could tell me anything but every parent hopes that and it's rarely the case.  Perversely, perhaps it is even more difficult to talk to a parent who believes you to be wonderful as you might worry that you could burst their bubble.  Actually, nothing Waif could ever tell me would make me love her the tiniest iota less.


  1. have you tried asking her: 'waif is there anything bad that has happened that you haven't told me about?'

  2. Yes, anon, we have tried asking Waif. THe first psych she had kept on insisting that there must be something that she was hiding and Waif got very cross and upset about it as she felt it caught her in a bind - she used to ask how she could come up with something when there wasn't anything and did we want her to make something up?

  3. Hope, I didn't mean has the pysch asked her.
    I meant: have *you* asked her.

  4. Well, anon, I have brought up the subject but perhaps too obliquely. I will try again this afternoon although I need to tread carefully - she was in a turmoil this morning as I mentioned that we had a Maudsley appointment on Thursday. She is always fragile in the lead up and the aftermath of consultations. I guess she is in conflict as to whether she will have not put on weight (and be, in her mind, in trouble) or have put on weight (and be, in her mind, getting fat). Poor kid.

  5. also (forgive me if i am spelling out the bleeding obvious). be careful of the *context* of the question. Specifically - it's not ED

    - the question that waif would have heard from the psych (regardless of what he said) was 'is there something you haven't told me that's causing (or at least relevant to) your ED'
    To which she probably answered truthfully in her mind: no, nothing of any relevance.

    - you should ask her in a non-ED conversation, (if that's possible) whether there is anything bothering her.

    I'm not saying there necessarily is. My betting is that that there is nothing you don't already know about.

    I am just saying to ask her. The saddest thing I read from time to time is people saying 'I was really sad when I was young because of X, but no one ever even asked me if there was anything wrong'. (although they probably would have said 'nothing' anyway)

  6. Hope, I know I am probably coming across as harsh in my comments, and obviously,they do not have to mean anything to you, but the longer Waif is at the low weight and only gaining very small amounts slowly, while you let her do more exercise than you should be letting her at this point, plus while you are not 100% honest at the Maudsley, the more the Anorexia is going to become ingrained and a part of her mind and thinking.
    Do you not see this!!??
    Dont you think it would be better to be stricter NOW and nip this earlier, rather than stuff around with wanting her gto not miss out on things, and have the Anorexia still with her throughout high school, university,etc,etc, which is exactly what happened to me!!
    I am at a loss as to why you keep playing around with this illness! I was in a coma at 29 kilos at 27 years of age, BECAUSE MY ANOREXIA WAS NOT TAKEN SEIOUSLY EARLY ON!!

  7. Dear Hope, I sympathise with what you are trying to do with regard to exercise, but if Waif isn't eating enough then, she could be over-relying on adrenaline to get her through the day. Exercise may be giving her an instant energy and mood boost when her body cannot supply real energy from food, (preferably carbohydrates). Exercise will only mask the true extent of her problems. I agree that she needs some exercise, but would only recommend yoga or pilates for now. There are yoga postures as well as foods that can help stimulate mood and appetite.