Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating Part #1

About a year ago I started getting calls from the school that my daughter wasn’t eating her lunch and that they were concerned. I just pushed it aside and contributed it to an overzealous school nurse (kind of akin to a parking lot patrolman). After all I’d seen her eat at home. But every month without fail, I’d hear from the nurse again. When she’d have parent teacher conferences they’d bring it up again.” She’s not eating. She throws her food away.” So I asked her. “What did you have for lunch today?” And she’d tell me, “a yogurt and string cheese”. Okay. Case closed.

But then the nurse started calling her primary care doctor, and they both would call me. So I would ask her if she was actually eating the lunch. “Yes!”, she would reply. But the calls kept coming. It was then that I started noticing that the brownies I’d made were still there after several days. That she would move her food around and hide it under her napkin, throw it away, or more often just have an excuse as to why she couldn’t eat what we had for dinner. She’d eaten a big breakfast, had a lot to eat today, the meat wasn’t cooked right, etc.

In January 2009, I made an appointment for her to go for an evaluation at Children’s Hospital. After an intense two hours of appointments, it was recommended that she participate in the outpatient treatment program. I did what any freaked out mom would do. We left. Went AWOL. Bailed. Chickened out. Not a proud moment. I felt as if I wasn’t in control and feared that I’d lose her. But that’s another story linked to another time.

Over the next few months, the calls kept coming. And this time they were more frequent. I noticed her eating habits were really getting bad. She was tired all the time and in pain. So in April I called Children’s again. This time there was a wait for the intake evaluation, and I’m sure they thought me to be unreliable as well. The call came on a late Monday in May. Her appointment was for the following Wednesday. After the appointment, it again was recommended that she participate in the outpatient program.

This time we didn’t bail.

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