Rest and Respite.

It has been four days since L was admitted. There are equal measures of sadness and relief. I miss her, but if don’t miss Ed. Unfortunately he was admitted alongside her so he can sit on her shoulder at meals and whisper malevolent thoughts in her ear, telling her she is huge already, urging her to compare herself to all the other patients who are so much thinner than her. She has lost weight since admission as she has not completed meals. The unit’s regime is to time meals and remove food after the allotted time, placing patients on bed rest and refusing home leave until weight is gained and meals completed. As you may guess, I have some doubts about this approach.

But it is definitely the case that things could not continue as before. Freed from the need to wake and be on shift at meal times until bed time. I have realised how tired I am and all I seem capable of is sleep. Tomorrow I return to work and if L was at home, C would have the routine of breakfast by nine, ending forty minutes later followed by an hour supervision, by which time it is morning snack, then lunch with a further supervision and so on until we all fall into bed. We would have to search her room and refuse to allow her time to be alone to buy laxatives or blades – and as there is no policy of searching rooms or luggage at her unit, I wonder if others smuggle these in and hide them so easily in their private rooms. I imagine telling these fears to the staff and how they will respond by stating L needs to want to get better, conflicting with the advice of CAMHS that she is unable to make rational decisions at present. I would like to get both sets of professionals in a room and ask them to set aside their need to do things their way and to find a way through for L. But that is weeks away, at her next review, and for now, I am just too tired. Tomorrow a commute and a backlog of work awaits, coupled with more problems to solve. I long to find L and to run away to a calm place where we can sleep forever.

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3 responses to “Rest and Respite.

  1. Oh heck! It must be desperately disappointing that L is still losing weight. But it is still early days as an inpatient. Shocked that it seems possible for patients to access blades and laxatives. Is there some assessment process under way that may allow the unit staff also to conclude that L is incapable of rational thought and do whatever is appropriate as a consequence? Clearly no respite yet from the fear and anxiety you feel for L.

    Make the most you can of the respite from the endless grind of trying to feed L sufficient calories and prevent purging. When you return to work I so hope they your colleagues will do what they can to support you, both in terms of workload and emotionally. Please try to do the minimum absolutey necessary at work and allow yourself as much time as you can to recover yourself and rebuild your strength. I know this is very easy to say but so much harder to achieve. But you need to get well too.

    Hoping so hard that L turns the corner and accepts that she is dangerously underweight and not the huge person she believes herself to be. Also thinking of K and wishing she is now able to face school again. Hugs and good wishes sent your way xx

  2. I’ve very surprised at the policy of no room searches. Regardless of their approach to her treatment and her wanting or not wanting to get better the unit have a duty of care. You would think, that knowing someone self-harms or abuses laxatives, it would include making sure they don’t have access to things which could do them harm.
    It is probably got around by the use of the word “reasonable” somewhere so they can say it’s not reasonable to search rooms or luggage.

  3. I’m surprised that the staff don’t search the luggage. I’m 18 and have been in inpatient treatment for most of the last 2 years. Both centre’s I was in searched my luggage and removed items that I wasn’t allowed, my mobile being the most upsetting “loss”. I was required to inform the staff that I self harm and as such I’m under supervision…It’s worrying that L’s unit don’t do the same. I wish you and your family well and hope you can help your daughter recover…you sound like a really caring mother.

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