Thursday, August 28, 2008


I'm happy to report that I have nothing to report. N is doing so well. Even with the stresses of starting junior high, he has responded well. I only see glimpses of the anorexia now, here and there, but infrequently. Sometimes I'm really not sure if it is the anorexia that I'm seeing at all -- maybe it's just typical 12 year-old crazy behavior.

He has almost complete control, now, over his eating choices. I still check up on him and watch his food portions. He is dishing up his own plates at every meal, except breakfast (which I think he would skip if I let him). I'll continue to regularly check his weight.

I'm not sure about the OCD behaviors. I need to figure out if he is just masking them. Sometimes he still does things that could be OCD, but they aren't pervasive behaviors. I'm so pleased at how far he has come in just one year. Amazing!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Things continue to go well. N is on top of his school work -- which admittedly is almost nothing right now. But he's getting time to do it during school and typically only comes home with Algebra. I weighed him on Sunday at 111 pounds. He got himself up and ready for church on Sunday and even made it to a youth leadership meeting before. He's been playing some soccer. His stamina isn't what it used to be, but he's doing fine. The more time that passes, the less excited he is about P.E. and soccer. That's a good indication in my mind, since he really didn't like sports before he got sick.

The only bad news: I have shingles. I'm sure it is a result of the stress of past few weeks -- scout camp, starting school, and T going out of town.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Visceral Memory

This morning, N got hung up on choosing his clothes for school. It was like a throw-back to months ago. I had to run his brother to school, but asked T to help him. By the time I got back home, both N and T were gone. I called T on his cell phone and he reassured me that everything had come together rather quickly after I left. N had emerged rather quickly and asked T to drop him off with his friends who would still be walking. I was glad that his goal was to catch up with his friends and not just to get to school on time.

This is progress. However, it took me a while to calm down. Apparently I have a strong visceral memory of the struggles of the past year. My shoulders tensed up almost immediately as I saw N struggling with his clothes (and potentially being late) and J asked me why I was breathing funny (big sighs) while driving him to school. It's been almost 5 hours since N headed off to school, but I can still feel the tension from this morning in my muscles. He's okay, but I'm not sure that I am.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


N came home with a smile on his face. He kept his same Algebra teacher -- just changed times. They moved his Study Skills class to a different time and teacher. That's it. No more changes for this semester, anyway. Whew, what a relief! I think this change is manageable for him. He'll actually attend Algebra tomorrow, so it's almost like he didn't miss anything (except for a no-big-deal study skills class). He laughed about going to a Spanish class instead of German. And he told me tonight that he really doesn't want to do soccer. These are all good signs -- it reminds me so much of the child that we lost a year ago.

He is doing so well!


Boy, I have such mixed feelings about this. I just got off the phone with N's 7th grade counselor. She wanted me to confirm that changing from Pre-Algebra to Algebra was okay with me. I wasn't sure if N would actually go through with the class changes, but obviously he did. T and I talked about it and agreed that we thought he could do it. But it was clear from talking to the counselor, that it would require moving other classes around again. She was going to pull N out of his class and work it out with him. I'm so nervous about it -- for him. It's already been so challenging for him to have such a big schedule with lots of changes from day to day. I can't imagine him having to change schedules, classes and teachers again, all so he can have Algebra. Will it raise his stress levels? I'm pretty sure it will for next few days. This is probably one of the hard parts of being a parent -- letting go and trusting N to work it out. I'll be on pins and needles until he gets home in an hour or so.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

N's first day of school, which was actually Friday, went well. I made a very specific schedule and he was able to keep track of where he needed to be. I guess I'll keep doing that for several weeks until he get used to changing schedules. His whole demeanor was much more upbeat upon his return as compared to when he left. I could tell he was so stressed. It helped that he walked to school with a bunch of buddies (which is so much better than walking into a new school alone). He had four or five classes with friends and a good locker location. He also indicated that he wants to shift into Algebra, not because Pre-Algebra is hard -- but because his friends are in Algebra. I told him that it was up to him -- and that he needed to take care of the arrangements.

Tomorrow the real rigors begin. His schedule will only be five classes, but having been a teacher, I know that they'll start to buckle down.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back To School Night

Last night was a doozie! First N had "Back to school" night. We spent an hour and a half at the junior high. He practiced opening his locker, met his teachers, and purchased lunches and PE clothes. The whole experience was very overwhelming -- even for me. N will have 9 classes divided between two days -- an "A" day and a "B" day. On "A" days, he has first lunch. On "B" days he has second lunch. On Mondays, he has one less class and an early dismissal time (and different lunch schedules). So, he has the potential of 4 different schedules -- depending upon the day of the week. His beginning lunch times vary from 10:50 all the way to almost 1:00. We've already manipulated his schedule in order to get ideal beginning classes as well as good teachers. I don't think there is any way to alter things so that his lunch is more consistent. He'll just have to be good about having snacks. Today, just the 7th graders went to school. He goes to all 9 of his classes. I'm anxious to hear how the day goes.

We were 30 minutes late for his first soccer game last night. This is a low-key recreational soccer team. T and I both agreed that familiarizing N with the junior high was more important than being on time to the soccer game. N is a confident soccer player and often scoffs at his younger brother's soccer team. I've been nervous because N has only played soccer during recess for the past two years. I've been worried about his self confidence once he got onto a team with more experience soccer players. And sure enough, it was a pretty big fall.

Between the Back To School night and the soccer game, I heard a myriad of self deprecating comments. They were sprinkled and repeated throughout the night. He said, "I'm a big fat slob; Everyone is taller than I am; I feel so self-conscious; and I feel like I am relapsing." Talk about a night full of triggers! We talked with him about feeling a lot of stress and emotions. We also reassured him that we would NOT let him relapse. I can tell that it will be future moments like this that we need to worry about most.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So Tired

N is still recovering from the camping trip. I'm amazed at how much he has been sleeping. He's been sleeping in for several hours each morning. I've even caught him napping mid-day. On Sunday, all of the boys his age looked like they were dragging. In the last few days, he has slept less. That's good because he starts school on Friday! We'll go back to a 6:00 am schedule. I'm not sure that I'm ready for that.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

He's Home!

N got home about an hour ago. He is stinky, dirty and happy to be here. It sounds like he really had a good time -- and earned 8 merit badges. They did get rained out of their "Wilderness Survival" (build your own shelter and sleep overnight) night. I was afraid of that. He was upbeat about the whole experience, though.

He did mention that three of the boys were mean and crude, which isn't N's style. Eventually these same three boys kicked N out of their tent, which made me so sad. 12 years old is a terrible age that way. But N said he was actually happy to be moved. He was tired of their language and antics. He is better friends with the other boys, anyway.

He enjoyed the waterfront and the classes. It sounds like things went relatively well with his eating. He said that the anorexia was strong sometimes, especially when the boys were being mean or he was feeling anxious/missing home. It sounds like he had most of his snacks. There were some "skipped" or late meals along the way. That's not ideal, but he doesn't seem to have lost much weight. I'll have to weigh him tomorrow.

Mostly I'm glad to have him home. I love him and missed him a lot!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Missing N

N gets home tomorrow afternoon. I've missed him and worried about him and prayed for him this entire week. I'll be glad to have him home and hug him tight.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Phone Call

We got a phone call late Monday night from one of N's scout leaders. He was calling to reassure me that N was doing well. He said that they didn't get a chance for lunch until 2:00 p.m. (with N eating breakfast at 6:00 a.m.). A leader clued into N potentially (likely) being hungry and they made sure to pass him a candy bar around noon. He said that N gobbled it up (I bet) and had been eating well generally. I'm extra glad that we sent snacks for the ride up. I should have better anticipated a possible delay in lunch time. But all is well.

We sent letters on Monday night. He should receive them tomorrow. Tonight is his "Wilderness Survival" Merit badge overnighter (sleeps outside in a shelter he made). I'm extra nervous for that experience to go well. I hope he stays warm.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Scout Camp

N left this morning. He'll be gone for 6 days. He cried last night (was tired, nervous, scared to leave home). But this morning, he was excited.

I've talked with all of the scout leaders about N's illness. His Scout Master has a sheet outlining possible snags, as well as suggestions. I also made a chart listing three meals and three snacks for each day. The idea is that someone will mark each meal/snack that they watched N eat. Hopefully the chart will ensure that someone notices if N stops eating or isn't eating enough. There will be several leadership changes throughout the week and I was concerned that his eating could fall through the cracks. We donated two large boxes of candy bars for all of the boys (and to make sure that N gets one every day). He has a snack built into his evenings already. And he has money and instructions to buy a snack from the trading post every day.

He's been doing well lately and I don't anticipate that there will be any problems. However, that little blip last Friday made me extra concerned. I'll be praying for him. Now, I'll hold my breath and hope that all goes well.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bad Day

It's a bad day today. N has been crying on and off now for about two hours. He blames the anorexia//can't choose clothes//can't get going. I finally got him to confess that he has a headache. I've given him something for his headache and sent him to bed. I haven't seen this kind of behavior from him for months. Is this a relapse? Or is he just temporarily sick -- which is strongly affecting his emotions?

Wednesday night, N met with his therapist. They talked at length about negotiating land mines that will sabotage his progress. The general feeling was at this point he is solidly in recovery. That was my feeling, too. Though there have been blips, they've been small and quickly taken care of. So strange to have been there on Wednesday only to feel like we've gone back in time (about 4 months worth) just two days later.

Starting school and scout camp are the next two weeks. Perhaps it is the stress of it all.