Tuesday, 12 April 2011

How the actual Maudlsey visit went

After the fiasco of Monday, we went back to the Maudsley on the Tuesday (2 weeks ago now).

When I arrived at Waif's school to pick her up, the car refused to start again  :-(   Happily Waif breezed off and returned 10 minutes later riding high up in the maintenance men's van, along with Bob and John who gave me a jump start.  There are kind people around.

We were half an hour late arriving at the Maudsley, but the psych was very understanding.  Anorexia Daddy came along too, which he has not done for ages.

First things first and Waif was weighed.  She came in at 48.1kg, so a whole kg more than last visit.  Whilst this is slow progress, Waif has been steadily gaining weight for 15 months now so the trend is fantastic.  I can't help thinking that controlled weight gain is more likely to last than if we stuffed Waif with chocolates and ice cream for 4 weeks and then expected her to eat normally and maintain a new high weight.  Obviously, below a certain weight, immediate gain is imperative and urgent so there is no choice, but where we are now (hovering just above anorexic range) the slow and steady proper meals approach feels more sustainable to me.

The sessions are always relaxed when Waif has gained (in contrast to the tears, misery and monosyllables that greet the infrequent losses).  Waif was able to express her desire to go out at all times of day and night without telling  me (!) saying that "all her friends did it".   I pointed out that I have NEVER stopped her doing anything she has wanted to do (true) and all I wanted was an indication of where she would be, with whom and what time to expect her home.  She kind of agreed this was reasonable but said it was a complete pain to have to say goodbye when she was going out.  We all agreed (hubby, psych and I) that this is the minimum you would do with a flatmate.  Sigh, she is a proper teen now, which on the whole is good.  Her latest t-shirt reads "nicotine, alcohol, caffeine".    Ho hum.  I know that her friends smoke but hope that Waif is sensible enough never to try.  She knows exactly how disappointed I would be if she were to smoke.

The conversation then turned to motorbikes:  I have now passed my motorbike test (did I mention that?) and am giving Waif the odd lift to school on the back.  Actually, I am kind of regretting it as it does not feel wholly safe and Waif spends the journey telling me to go faster!!!  I had thought it would be safer than letting her cycle on her own (which is what she wanted to do) but now I am not so sure - on the bicycle, it is possible to avoid roads for the first 2 miles, and there is only road at the end.  On the motorbike, I have no choice but to take a major "A" road and, since I stick to the speed limit, I feel very vulnerable being tailgated by lorries and cars wanting to go faster.

Anyway, Waif told the psych that she was getting a moped on her 16th birthday.  Hubby and I said she wasn't as it was too dangerous.  She says she will spend her own money on it, and leave school and get a job if necessary.  I am 99% certain this is all bluster but quite effective all the same!  I realise the hypocrisy of my having a motorbike but forbidding it to my daughter on safety grounds so I said that I wanted to get rid of my motorbike as I have realised it is too dangerous (really, I feel fine on it myself but am prepared to give it up if that is what it takes to stop her having one of her own as a teen), hoping that Hubby would pick up the cue.  But instead he said that we had spent so much money on helmets and leathers that there was no way we were giving up!!  Sigh.

Hubby and I agreed afterwards that when it came to it, we thought that Waif would forget about the idea of a moped (personally, I think this more likely if I have sold my own), especially if I offer to drive her in the convertible we have just ordered (wahay!).

Father in Law is in on the act, having just bought himself two vintage Bugattis and being determined to ride them despite having two hip replacements and not having ridden a motorbike for over 45 years!!  Two of his brothers have had months in hospital following motorbike accidents but this seems to be no deterrent.  I feel doubly worried now I have read a thread on mumsnet with women saying how many from their class at school were now dead....I assumed this would be older mothers writing, but they were not:  many were in their twenties and the common theme seemed to be drugs and motorbike accidents.  Ho hum, let's hope Waif makes it to a hundred.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Braces, Oxford and The Maudsley again.

It has been a while since I posted so we have lots of news.

Waif's brace fitting day came and went at the end of March.  I had been gently warning her for about 3 weeks that she was only to have the braces if she was 48kg or above as otherwise there was too much danger of her slipping into anorexia again what with it being difficult to eat with braces on.  This was really not intended to be any kind of threat but just a statement of common sense....indeed I have fully paid for the braces already (£4000) so am pretty invested in her having them, and, more relevantly, she definitely needs them.

Two days beforehand, Waif told me that she didn't want braces just yet.  I asked her if this was to do with her weight and she said "yes, a bit".  I didn't explore further as we had the Maudsley coming up the next week and I thought that we would see how her weight was then.  I don't think she has put on any weight recently but I am equally hoping she has not lost.   I wonder if it is also as she is a bit nervous of braces as she saw both Older Daughter and me struggling a bit with them in 2009.  I have rebooked Waif for September at the orthodontist and will do my best to encourage her to go for it then.  It may be partly (who knows) due to her being in the throes of true love with her first boyfriend who is a lovely boy although very very thin (yikes) but he does eat a lot, I am assured by Waif, it is just that he is the tallest in the year and has grown a lot recently.  He seems lovely - quiet and gentle and a supreme skateboarder.

It is coming up for the end of term and I booked us a weekend away last weekend, to Oxford, partly to look round colleges for Older Daughter who is considering applying, and partly to attend the Literary festival.  We stayed first at Keble (seen pic above) and had breakfast in Hall (see below):

I though it was beautiful although the "Friends" of Keble college (Aka the Keble Demolition Society) at the next door college has the membership requirement being the acquisition of one brick.

We then stayed at Christchurch college which is astonishingly dreaming spires.....all golden Cotswold stone, manicured lawns, and beautiful wrought iron gas lamps.  Here is Anorexia Daddy in Meadows Quad:

We went to the more child centred talks and laughed HYSTERICALLY at Louise Rennison who really should be a stand up comic.  Philip Pullman was good too, talking about the sprite that is the narrator in a tale - the one who sits on the author's shoulder and can leap into certain minds but not others.

On the Saturday afternoon, in Spring sunshine, we took a walking tour but Waif, feeling tired, sat on a bench in the University Parks reading (her new Louise Rennison book).

On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast in Christchurch Hall, being the very room where Harry Potter was filmed.  Later in the day we went to a Blue Peter talk back there again :

Sunday was Mother's Day.  We all forgot.  I belatedly remembered and dropped enormous hints to the girls who bought me a box of champagne truffles  :-)   Poor Waif was a bit put out about the whole weekend and wanted me to know that generally she wanted to spend weekends at home in term time as that is when she sees her friends.  Sigh, fair point, but I appreciated her company for the weekend away.  I felt a bit guilty on our return as she did have a lot of homework outstanding.

In the afternoon, Anorexia Daddy and I went round the Ashmolean whilst Waif and Older Daughter sipped hot chocolates opposite in The Randolph Hotel, made famous by Morse and, latterly, Bill Clinton's hotel of choice.  One can force too much culture on one's children and I reckoned I was at the limit of elasticity for the weekend.

So roll on Monday, today.  I knew that the Maudsley appointment was this week and had a vague feeling it might clash with my taking OD to Cardiff Medical School open day on Tuesday/ Wednesday so first thing this morning I mailed them to confirm the exact time/day.  They mailed back saying TODAY!!  Yikes, I texted Waif, phoned school and took her along.  She was not best pleased as she said it was in her diary for tomorrow and she had to miss her art lesson to come today.

We waited and waited, and waited some more, and eventually it transpired that there had been a diary mix up and the appointment is tomorrow after all.   Waif had been right.  Poor child.  It is an emotionally traumatic trip for her each and every time and she was in floods of tears on the way home and announced that she won't go tomorrow.  I have some sympathy with her.  I can't decide whether to rearrange for next week (which is also school holidays and so easier) and which would suit me better (I need to get to Cardiff tomorrow and the timing is tricky) or whether we should simply bite the bullet and go.  In my heart, I know the latter is more sensible even though it does mean that I will go to the Maudsley with Waif and then dump her home alone whilst I leave with OD.  Hmmm, maybe that is not such a good idea unless I can get Anorexia Daddy to come home for 6pm from the office which is not at all easy for him mostly.

As for me,  I have less than 2 weeks until I am running in the marathon.  That means a bit less training for now and so more free time.  I will go for a last long run tomorrow morning and then taper.  I have not trained as much as I should have but am quietly confident of finishing in well under 5 hours, hopefully under 4h 30.  Waif clearly has the running gene as she came third in cross country at school last week, and that was after she had run 6km at the gym the night before.....don't worry she only goes to the gym on Wednesdays as it is part of her Duke of Edinburgh award.  On Tuesday she volunteers at Oxfam, and on Mondays she goes to art classes.  This is partly why she is so cross with me today as she missed art for the Maudsley and now she is to miss Oxfam too for tomorrow's visit.  Not fulfilling her commitments is commendably stressful to her and not something she would willingly do.  She is determined to get all 3 badges - bronze, silver and gold  and I would bet my last penny that she succeeds.......(as long as she remains well).