March 1, 2012 I disclosed my youngest daughter had anorexia. I said it happened in the blink of an eye. That it came out of the blue. That I never saw it coming.
A year later I am older and so much wiser. So while relapse happened in the blink of any eye, it wasn't totally out of the blue and I sure anticipated it might come.
You may remember that several days ago we had a lovely brunch with friends. It was an occasion very much of the eat, drink and be merry type. Social Butterfly partook of said eating, drinking and merriment; sadly and scarily, enjoying food is a trigger for someone with anorexia.
Tuesday night I walked in the door; Mr. Fix-it was home and said SB was in her room. My spidey-sense kicked in immediately. it's just not SB's m.o. to be off by herself at 5:30 p.m. when there are people home. She was snuggled under the covers, watching a movie on her laptop.
Hey, I said lightly, how about we check your weight?
It was not SB that answered me, it was anorexia.
Sure, it replied flippantly, no problem. It will be down though; I've been restricting since Sunday. The answer was tossed off with a laugh, the number on the scale--129--eliciting a "whatcha gonna do about that?!" look.
Much like Elvis once left the building, my daughter's personality had vacated her brain, squeezed out by eating disordered thoughts which are notorious for their meanness and cunning.
I sat on her bed, conversing with anorexia, until it was very clear that a tipping point had been reached and neither she nor I had the werewithal to pull her out of the abyss. I know the saying, "number one with a bullet," but what is the saying when things are sprialing downward with that same velocity?
That was Tuesday night. Wednesday morning I called the psychatrist. Thursday afternoon we had an appointment. The clinic was closed Friday for the conference, so the decision was made for SB to start the adult program on Monday.
That meant that SB had three more days before she got help, she was already down 7 lbs. in 5 days, and I was unable and unwilling to watch idly as she starved herself. I wasn't under any illusions that she would eat the 2,000 calories a day that is the bare minimum for someone her height, but neither could or would I accept her eating nothing.
Matter-of-factly, with our family and the doctor, I laid out my plan for the weekend if SB did not choose to eat at least enough to keep her vitals signs strong. I would first take her to Rady Children's Hospital for evaluation; if she was too medically stable to be admitted there, I would have to take her to the adult psychitaric hospital for a 72-hour hold. The doctor mentioned that the San Diego Police Department Psychiatric Emergency Response Team could help with that.
Because I have a lifetime of saying what I mean and meaning what I say behind me, anorexia figured out she had better eat or she would get locked up even if that meant I had to lock my daughter up with her.
It wasn't a lot--fruit, yogurt, almomds, some water--but it was enough for the short-term. It wasn't enough to make driving safe, so she got her shift covered at work.
One thing about anorexia is she seems to know when she's getting bested, so she let SB use most of the brain for the weekend. Despite the current of stress buzzing through everything (and there was a load of everything on the calendar), I got to enjoy my girl.
SB started treatment yesterday and came home in a great mood, happy with her treatment team and having eaten more yesterday than over the whole long weekend.
There is more I want and will write aobut this situation, but not tonight. Instead, this is what I posted to a FB support group in which I am active.
My daughter is in a bad way. Down 7 lbs. in less than a week. She goes into the UCSD Adult Eating Disorder program Monday. I just hope she doesn't end up hospitalized before that. This was incredibly drastic--just last week her psychiatrist (rightfully) made an appt. for three weeks out.
Since there are always things to be grateful for, these are mine:
We know a place, we know the people, we have the insurance, and we'll find the money.
Friends! Both my sisterhood of fellow warriors and my amazing group of longtime friends.
A job that allows me flexibility to get my work done and take care of my daughter.
That my daughter has a strong family to pull together and be there for her.
An upcoming wedding to provide lots of incentive--it's not every day you get the opportunity to be a bridesmaid in your sister's wedding.
Meet LouLou the recocery kitty. LouLou is a boy, but he's not conformng to arbitrary gender-norms like pink is for girls. LouLou seems to be just the kitty cat for the job of giving uncondintional love, serious snuggles and many giggles.