Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Recovery Bubble

Tomorrow will mark six weeks since Emily chose to stop restricting with the help of the magic plate and an increase in medication. This section of the road to recovery has been a pretty straight line. Emily's weight is healthy, she eats meals with relative ease, she is preparing her own lunches and some breakfasts. She even served herself at supper recently. She is back at school and thriving, back at water polo and loving it, back into socializing with a variety of friends and is even exhibiting episodes of typical snarky teenage behavior.

But, and you knew there would be a 'but', sometimes it feels like her mood is a little too good, which is probably the medication. And her list of comfortable, easy foods is quite limited while her list of 'bad' foods is very long. I have also seen a pattern of her becoming intensely fixated on ideas like going to Poland to help sick kids, and doing water polo five times a week, and getting her nose and lip pierced, and can't shift her thinking away from her version of the issue even when there is substantial objective evidence that she should.

I have found myself describing our current state like being in a bubble where everything is good, stable, moving in the right direction and faintly glowing with the promise of significant recovery. But like all bubbles it can be burst anytime by the smallest unexpected pin prick, or be blown off course by a predictable but unavoidable wind storm. So my challenge is to enjoy the bubble while it lasts, be prepared for the inevitable wind storm that life will bring up, and most importantly to be awake enough to notice when some unexpected pin prick causes her to shift from living in the bubble to pretending to be living in the bubble.

To meet these challenges I need to get the team going on the CBT that got deferred due to Emily's restricting and team member unavailability. I need to revisit the information on 'set shifting' and make more inquiries into the availability of cognitive remediation. I need to spend a little bit time of everyday reflecting on whether or not there is evidence of a pin prick to try to see when she is starting to slip rather than waiting until she has completely slipped off of recovery mountain.

So this is why blogging is such a powerful tool. Before I sat down to write today, I didn't even know that I needed a game plan let alone what it would entail. And if any one out there has any suggestions for ways to help a mom notice slips, and more importantly how a mom can help with slips, I would love to hear from you.



  1. hi! i'm sorry i can't help you,as i'm only 20 and a sufferer myself,but i really wanted to tell you how much i admire the way you're dealing with your daughter's ED. i wish my mother was a little more like you.
    the only thing i feel i can do, is suggest you this forum
    i don't know if you already know it,but it's a forum just for parents of kids struggling with EDs..sometimes i just visit it to have a look and i think it could be really helpful! so that you could confront yourself with other people in your same situation, to see how the dealt with the same issues you're dealing with now.
    hope this can help you!
    you're daughter is lucky to have a caring mother like you!


  2. Dear Ana withoutexit,
    Thank you for your encouragement and suggestion. I am familiar with 'around the dinner table' but I find that it makes me overwhelmingly sad to see so many suffering families that I haven't used that forum very much lately. I hope you can find all the support and love you need to get you through this ordeal.
    Take care.