Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Back for a bit

I had hoped not to be back at all, and definitely not quite so soon.

The Good News is that Waif has been growing and steadily  (slowly) putting on weight.   She now weighs 46.2kg (clothed).  This is wonderful and I hug this knowledge to me when I look at where we were this time last year.

The Bad News is that because she is older and taller, Waif has (just) fallen back into the anorexic range  :-( at 85% of a healthy weight.

We had this wake up call at a visit to the Maudsley (with Christmas ski-ing and psych holidays it had been 4 weeks) last week.  I have not felt yet that I have reversed this ship....Waif left the house this morning without time for breakfast which should never happen.

I guess I have handed over too much control too quickly...the fishfinger sandwich at breakfast had been quietly swapped for cherry tomatoes on toast...still 2 pieces of wholemeal toast but nowhere near as many calories.  This struck me as okay as she also has cereal and milk, but more often recently has not drunk her juice.

Waif spent the whole of last term deciding that she needed to be asleep by 8pm so we had also dropped the late night snack (or else ate supper so early to fit in the late night snack that we dropped the coming home snack instead).  She had been looking very healthy on the sleep  :-)

It is difficult to move back to our starting position of more calories but that is what we need to do.

At Christmas everyone was commenting on how well Waif was looking, and we were asked by ever so many people whether she and her older sister (see left) were twins as they are now the same height and both have the same long blonde hair and big eyes.   Older sister is also very slim.   But now I look closely, I can see that Waif's thighs are once again concave from her knees and that her chest has flattened out.

As Waif is a little older (14 and a half now) and has more local friends, having been to the local school for a year now, she is also spending much more time out of the house and away from where I can remind her to eat.  She has just acquired a first boyfriend.  I am not sure what that means other than hours in the park after dark watching him skateboard in the cold.  I hope to entice him into the house soon, and get to know him a little.  I worry about Waif as although she can be as headstrong as an ox, and can boss me around utterly, she also has a very vulnerable side to her personality, and an innocence, or rather naivity, despite the fact that she believes herself to be streetwise.  I am also not sure, in a school that is mainly boys, what she considers to be normal interaction at her age and suspect it would consist of things I had never even heard of when I was 14.

Waif is still not happy to be alone in the house even though she will wander round town after dark.  I have not understood that yet but it bothers me that she does not feel safe at home.

Meanwhile I am training for the London marathon, and Waif and I are regulars at the gym.  I hope this is okay to do and does not knock Wiaf off course.  THe maudsley said that normal family exercise was fine as long as it was not excessive or obsessive.  Waif and I go together twice a week to the gym and she runs 3km.  That seems fine to me.  She is a good runner but I don't encourage her to take it more seriously as first she has to put on some more weight!

I have made an appointment for her to have out her last babytooth on Friday.  She is then able to get orthodontic braces (which she needs) but I have long said to her that she will NOT have them until she is a good weight.  I have a horror of her teeth not being strong enough and cracking, or of her finding it difficult to eat as much as she needs when she is growing and recovering from anorexia at the same time.   I have spoken tot he orthodontist and he backs me. It might work out okay, oddly, as the NHS waitlist is about 2 years and so she can sit on that knowing that if she can maintain a healthy weight she can have the braces earlier as we will go privately.

At the Maudsley, I mentioned that I might be going back to college or work next year and Waif threw a bit of an ab dab.  She thinks that I need to be home for her.  perhaps I do but the psych thought that Waif was being rather controlling.  I suspect that if I start a college course, it might take a long while before Waif even notices as any MA will be largely self directed study.

Sigh, so many issues.  But we will get there!!!!!

The pics are Waif (above) and her older sister (lower picture) taken at the weekend by a friend for her art project - theme of enchanted garden.

Waif has had her lips blocked out with concealer -she is not really that pale!!


  1. I have been somewhat of a silent follower of your blog for quite some time. You are such a caring and tuned in mother, props to you for going to such lengths to get Waif healthy again! I admire you so much.
    It is so good to get an update on Waif, although I am sorry that things are stressful right now. I am 20 and trying to recover from anorexia myself. My point is not to scare you at all, but I do think it is important you pay attention to the small swaps for lower calorie foods. The tomatoes on toast instead of the fishfinger sandwhich could or could not be a consciouss thing. In all honestly, when I was 15 my anorexia told me to make subtle switches like that too. My mom never thought much of it because I was still eating, but the eating disorder definitely gained ground as I did this more and more.
    I know that you're all in treatment, I don't mean to make suggestions because I'm sure you've heard everything I could suggest! Perhaps instead of a bedtime snack you could add a supplement that she needs to drink right before bed...something less bulky than food. Or, maybe just make a bigger dinner so that the food eating at dinner covers the meal and her snack. Just some ideas : ).

    Again, you're an amazing mother! Please update again soon : )


  2. Thank you so much, Sarah, and I believe you are right...it's so good to get "inside information". I re-introduced fishfingers this morning at breakfast and Waif ate 2, saying tomorrow she would graduate back to her usual 3.

    I do wish you well in your personal journey to recovery. It is so important for everything you want to do in life, and you are just at the age when it is all starting to happen :-)