Registered: 1504544128 Posts: 2
Reply with quote #1
Hello, my 21 year old daughter had to leave university in January and attend a day patient service at the Maudsley in London. She completed the 6 months and went from 48kg at 172cm to 54kg. She wants to go back to university in Bristol in a few weeks which I am happy with but a bit worried about her current state. She has not reached bmi 20 (which her team wanted) and is not w/r as she lost from 66kg to 48kg. She is over bmi 18.5 though so should I be happy with that? She eats a much wider variety of foods but it is on her terms- she cooks her meals and only lets me prepare a few things. She still has a lot of fear foods and I think she compensated still if she eats something scary. Am I right in being worried about her return to uni??
Registered: 1268143852 Posts: 1,395
Reply with quote #2
My son left for university (around 30 miles away from home - UK) in 2012. Although we thought he was ready, he wasn't (his decision), and in the end (after 3 or 4 days at uni) he mde the decision to 'defer' for 12 months on medical grounds and made a second (more successful) attempt in 2013. There's a lot of stuff on my blog that describes our uni experiences first-time and second-time around which may help you in your decision? If you click on the PDF links below and go to September 2012 and September 2013 you can read them more easily than clicking through the blog itself. How far do you live from the university? I found myself travelling to and fro many times during the settling in period. Although the second attempt was more successful, my son did struggle a lot. As regards BMIs, I - and many others - are not great fans of BMIs as an indicator of recovery. It really should be a case of 'state, not weight'. If it were me (and this is only my opinion), I would keep her at home for a year. My son's unplanned 'gap year' in 2012 turned out to be a pivotal moment in his recovery. He and I worked hard to get him as near recovery as damn-it during that time and he was in a far better position when he made the second attempt. He also did various voluntary jobs during that year to get him back out there in the real world with real people. We also used that year to get together a Plan with the university - getting all the various support services on board from Medical and Counselling through to Departmental staff and Accommodation Mentors, which helped enormously second time around. This way there was always someone that we could call on in an 'emergency' which was a massive weight off my shoulders being 30 miles away. FEAST have a College Transition Contract which can be downloaded here which may help? http://www.feast-ed.org/?page=PrintableResources (Scroll down the page to Sample Documents & Templates to download) I hope this helps in some way?? __________________ Bev Mattocks, mother of 24-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.
Registered: 1504544128 Posts: 2
Reply with quote #3
Hello Matty, thank you for your reply. The university is about 2.5 hours away (on a good day). She spent a lot of first year coming back and forth and then in the second year she had to travel back to have appointments at the Maudsley. I don't know how good having her home this year would be, she is bored and she has already spent 8months here and attended day patient. She also only gets a certain number of therapy sessions on the NHS which will be over in 2 weeks so she will have no more emotional support here. I am starting uni myself in London so won't be able to support her anymore in the day. I'll have a look at your threads and do some more thinking
Registered: 1284535839 Posts: 3,591
Reply with quote #4
I think it is important to recognise that your daughter is nowhere near recovered. Her BMI with the figures you have given is less than 18.5, but even then BMI is at best an indicator of physical recovery. It is clear from her behaviours that you have mentioned that she continues to restrict and try to control her weight which in turn means her eating disorder is alive and well. She does need continued support to help continued weight gain, is the outpatient unit prepared to help her with the continued gain? It would be a lot better for her to head off to university in a better state of mind. The other options could be transferring to closer to home, finding support for her in Bristol, but at this point I would be very concerned that your daughter will rapidly go backwards again.
__________________ D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Registered: 1385153142 Posts: 1,179
Reply with quote #5
I would be very worried. Our d took a year off before starting uni, to make sure she would be safe.
xoOTM __________________ D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old.
Registered: 1396016102 Posts: 4,922
Reply with quote #6
I'm really sorry to say that I agree with Bev and FoodSupport. As difficult as it would be to address this aggressively now, it will almost certainly be even harder to deal with it later. Ugh.
I wonder if it would be possible to postpone your own university enrollment. It's a good bet that the next year will be very challenging for you and your d. I'm so sorry to say this. I wish I could offer an opinion that is closer to what you want to hear. Best of luck, and please keep us posted. xx -Torie __________________ " We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP ♡
Registered: 1268143852 Posts: 1,395
Reply with quote #7
I've put all the links to uni blog posts onto one page for easy reference here:
https://anorexiaboyrecovery.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/son-or-daughter-about-to-leave-for.html In the meantime, I agree with the parents above. What many of us have found, unfortunately, is that we've had to put our own plans / lives 'on hold', so to speak, as we concentrate on getting our son or daughter through this illness. It's not great knowing that you might have to do this - for example your own university plans. Could you defer for a year, explaining why you need to do this? I deferred an MA for 2 years for the very same reasons. The thing is, if your D gets worse and not better, you'd probably have to do it anyway and you might be past the 'cut off date' for having to pay tuition fees - for both of you. (Sadly sometimes we have to think of these things in monetary terms...) So you'd both be left with student debt for a term or whatever. Not great... In an Ideal World, we hope that your D will thrive and that both of your courses will go swimmingly. But there is a chance that this may not happen... Could the fact that she is 'bored' work FOR you, I wonder? In terms of leverage? If you do decide to defer for another year, you could use uni entry in 2018 as a kind of carrot? Something to work for? And make it clear that it won't happen if she doesn't work with you towards recovery? Many of us have found that stuff that gives us leverage gives us some power in the fight to get our children well. As Torie says above, this is probably not what you want to hear, but it's based on our own experiences... __________________ Bev Mattocks, mother of 24-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.
Registered: 1438737617 Posts: 1,518
Reply with quote #8
I have to agree with everyone above. Maybe you and daughter can both take a gap year and help focus on her getting healthy. Sending her to uni at this point is dangerous. She is not weight restored and still needs a ton of support. Unfortunately that usually means we as parents are the ones who have to do it. While therapy is important, getting her weight restored and helping her stay that way is the first step.
Registered: 1398657817 Posts: 428
Reply with quote #9
My D is home now, took a gap year this year. Thank goodness she did. She is in a relapse and is struggling. Her therapist recommended the gap year, with a strongly worded warning that college is for emotionally healthy kids and not for struggling kids of any kind. More and more parents I talk to who have kids in college and hear that my D is on a gap year say they really think their child should have done the same. It's not forever... only a semester or a year. What is that in the scheme of life??
Here's a sobering thing -- My D is in a ED day treatment program right now, and I'm amazed at how many women in their 40s, 50s and even 60s are in this program with her, still fighting ED thoughts. Their whole lives! That is not anything we want for our kids! Many have told my D that they wished they had really worked on recovery when they were her age.
I'm sorry - It's so hard to watch your child take a detour from what you thought their life would be. And for you to take a detour on your own plans. I wish you luck in whatever decision you make - it's very difficult.
__________________ 19 yo D. AN - since about 15 years old. WR quickly - but the last four years have been tough. Since Sept. 2017, two residential stays, now in IOP, fighting a relapse. ED is hanging on, mental state not great, can't get her to remain at a weight long enough or high enough to see mental healing. She's on a gap year that will likely now turn into two.
Registered: 1396918777 Posts: 640
Reply with quote #10
You say she is bored at home -- if she were to stay home for another semester, is there something she can do with that time? Could she take a few classes at a local college? Or classes of interest or a hobby, like photography or creative writing? What about a part time job or volunteering her time with a meaningful group. If she loves animals for example, maybe she could volunteer at a local pet shelter. My kids both volunteered for a "special needs" sports program and I can say it was so valuable and meaningful to them as much as the kids they mentored! I think I also agree with the others that it does not sound as if your D is ready to go back to a Uni that is far from home without much support. Hang in there!
Registered: 1268143852 Posts: 1,395
Reply with quote #11
During his unplanned gap year my son volunteered at a local charity (thrift) shop. He also got in touch with his old school to see if he could do some teaching practice for free. So he was doing both these activities. We also encouraged him to get out there and meet people and during this year he made some fantastic friends. But most important of all, when my son wasn't doing all this stuff, he and I worked on moving him forwards so he'd hopefully be ready to make a second attempt at uni the following September.
Even though, that September, the second attempt was successful on the face of it - and because my son was now in a position where he really could eat properly and regularly without me supervising (and I knew I could trust him to do it) - he had some MAJOR teething problems during that first year. In fact it got to the stage where I'd dread getting a Facebook message from him because it would terrify me, especially if the 's' word was mentioned, which it was on a number of occasions in that first year... Thankfully, another thing we'd done during the gap year, was to meet up with all the various university staff who'd be able to offer support - and they really came into their own at times like these, especially the accommodation mentor and her team who worked till 9pm most nights. I'd fire of an 'emergency!' email to her and she'd dash round to his student apartment and have a chat. He also made use of the university counselling service and signed up with a fantastic GP at the uni medical centre. Plus, he came home every weekend. Somehow he got through that first year but goodness only knows what would have happened if he'd stayed at uni first time around. The best thing we did was to take him out once we realised that it wasn't going to work. This was literally just days into the semester. My point is that, even when my son was to all intents and purposes 'ready' for uni the second time round and change coming after several years when the ED had kept him isolated and at home. Really, IMHO and with hindsight, a young person needs to be fully recovered before attempting something as tricky as going away to university. (The good news is that thankfully the second year was a heck of a lot better and the third year... well... by this time he was loving it! So much so that he stayed an extra year to do an MA.) __________________ Bev Mattocks, mother of 24-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.