I thought perhaps those who have sent their love and support to Phoebe would like an update on how she is progressing, I wont lie to put it down in words is also therapeutic for me a way of getting it out of my system & I suppose a way of documenting it .. something that in the future we can look back on and think .. WOW we’ve come so far.
Phoebe has now been in the eating disorder unit for a month, the first few weeks she was being “stabilised” in other words they were basically making sure that all her organs and functions were working as well as they could with the weight loss, and also making sure that she didn’t experience re-feeding syndrome which is very dangerous. She has now passed that phase and now now progressed to re-feeding .. her daily food intake is slowly increasing and she is once again eating foods that she hasn’t eaten for a very long time.
The other week I sat with her while she ate a KitKat .. chocolate is something that I haven’t seen her eat for a very very long time, she did exceptionally well, we had just had one & half hours leave in which I bought her a few things she wanted including a scrapbook so she could document her time in the unit to her recovery when she comes home. We were sat in the kitchen at the unit .. Phoebe with a water, me with a coffee, chatting & whilst chatting she just ate the KitKat .. it seemed without really thinking about it. A week later I was back but this time to join her for an evening meal, whilst being monitored with one of nurses, again Phoebe did very well, eating all her meal (chicken satay, rice & broccoli), this may sound strange, but she used cutlery and instead of picking apart her food she put little amounts onto her fork, I haven’t seen her eat that well for a long time, don’t get me wrong she still has a very long way to go .. but seeing that improvement was really quite amazing and heartwarming.
Phoebe is also taking some of her GCSE’s whilst in the unit as there is a school on site, not ideal, but it gives her a chance to once she’s left the unit to carry on with her course work and her A-Levels, and this is where I must say that the school Phoebe attends have been absolutely brilliant, supporting Phoebe all the way, and making sure that when she does return to the Sixth Form they will support and encourage her and make sure everything is made as easy and calm as as possible. Sadly though Phoebe will be missing her Prom night something I know she was really looking forward to attending with her friends. And what good friends they are, they write to her telling Phoebe the latest gossip at school and keeping in touch with me to see how she is getting on, I know they are all looking forward to when they are able to visit Phoebe at home.
What I haven’t mentioned before are the downs .. the ups are great .. they are happy and they are positive, but the downs are very very hard, when the anorexia and the controlling nature of it is more prevalent within Phoebe, for example the other week there was an opportunity for Phoebe to have several hours leave, one which I was going to take her home, but for whatever reason the times which we were given Anorexic Phoebe was not happy with, so much so that when I arrived in Birmingham she didn’t want to come home and decided to stay in the unit, this was obviously very difficult for me to understand (& believe me I really don’t understand what she is going through, I think you can only truly understand if you have been there & experienced having anorexia), the nurse who was with me was so kind explaining that this is very natural and very normal, that I wasn’t the first mum this had happened to and I certainly wouldn’t be the last. I can hear/feel the frustration and sometimes anger in her texts to me if things are not as she had planned in her head, and yes she absolutely takes it out on me .. its hard to not take it personally, but I know that this is not my Phoebe, that at the moment the anorexia is still very strong inside her, that it will take time for her to fight her way out.
I am going to meetings most weeks, and have now met other parents of some of the other girls in the unit, all with different yet the same story, when Phoebe was first diagnosed I really thought I wouldn’t want to meet anyone else, but just that one meeting changed my mind, it was so good talking to people who knew what Phoebe and me are going through, who understood how as a parent you would go to extraordinary lengths to encourage you child to eat, we even laughed at ourselves .. and some of the situations .. not because it was funny but because it was a release to have someone “get it”, we’ve exchanged phone numbers and we will be meeting up again in the next week or so for more discussions on how we can help our children now and when they are back at home. Some of these meetings the boys will have attend, so they can help Phoebe with her recovery and also can talk about whats happening, to be fair to them though they are coping very well, we talk about the anorexia and about the future when Phoebe is back home & how we can all help her to remain strong, healthy & happy. The anorexia is living in Phoebe, but it affects us all, the ripples from it spread far.
As I’ve said on all my posts about this, Phoebe will beat this, she will get stronger, she will start to bloom again, and she will have a life full of adventure, love and happiness.