Hope

We’re now two weeks into treatment. In some ways it seems longer, like we’ve had this same schedule forever. And for me there’s a certain security in the routine. I think the security comes from the fact that someone has listened and responded. Someone is helping me to nurture her back to health, both physically and emotionally. In some ways I’m jealous of the growth she’s shown just in the two weeks, and at a young age. Growth that I didn’t achieve until much later in life. But I’m really thrilled for her to grow on this journey.

You’ll also notice that in this posting I mention my daughter by name. This I’ve done because it’s really no secret to my friends, and it’s easier to write and give her name than to think of ways to work “my daughter” into the sentence! However, my other two daughters shall remain nameless for now.

My friend drove Natasha to the hospital this morning. I was so grateful to be able to stay at work uninterrupted by the time, and get a few things done as well as give myself a rest from driving!

Today was different as there were new girls and many of the other girls have moved on in their treatment process and only have to attend a couple times a week. A success for them but a sadness for Natasha as she’s suddenly without friends that were formed quickly and trying to form new ones. At 12, she’s still one of the younger girls.

I left at 2pm to start the drive up north. I had to be there at 3pm for nutrition counseling. On the way I dropped one daughter off at the outlet mall while another daughter was at a birthday party. Both girls knowing that the shuttle was the way home.

Nutrition counseling went well. We discussed Natasha being able to have a Sprite now and then, though not the large amounts she used to take in. It was her food of choice, if you can call it that! Though on the menu planning numbers it counts as 4 fruits:) I guess fruit is another way of saying sugar! But actually it’s just a way to get around those negative words like “sugar” or “fats”. But the best news happened here! Most likely, Natasha will get a pass for Sunday! What that means is that she won’t have to go up to the hospital for that day. She still has to follow the plan at home, and we’ll see how she does. We will find that out tomorrow for sure.

It was then on to the parent meeting. On Wednesday it’s more or less a vent session. The mom who is angry, the one with the bulimic daughter, is still angry. Her take on it is that her daughter started a diet and it went too far. She has no emotional problems. Perhaps mom has some as well? Just a thought. The explanation given by the therapist makes perfect sense to me. I’ll shorten it for you. We all can get angry pretty quickly, and we find a way to help us calm down. With anorexic/bulimics they don’t calm down so they eventually find a “way” to do this. A release, if you will. One by purging and the other by starving. It actually releases chemicals in the brain that makes them feel better. She’s not buying it though.

Time for dinner! The girls that’s sad often, her family is here tonight. But the good day comes to a bit of a halt as Natasha notices that she has cottage cheese. How could I not know she hates cottage cheese? And she’s angry. Truthfully I didn’t know she hated it, and doubt that she really did. It’s like the chicken was one night and the celery the other. It’s not about the food so much, though I know sometimes they really do hate some foods. So she eats the rest of the meal and gets down to the cottage cheese. We’re talking 1/2 cup here. She refuses. So we get up to go over to the nurses who check that they ate everything and she tells Natasha that she’s going to have to supplement for that. Natasha knows this will count against her so she heads back over to the table and starts in. She’s not even chewing it, just swallowing, to get it finished. A couple times she pauses to say something rude to me about how put this on her menu (and I did). But she’s successful! So we get her snack and head for home.

On the way out to the van, she’s still angry. I’m trying to figure out what she was thinking that she got so mad about, or if she really just hated cottage cheese? But it’s too much of a puzzle for me to put together, so I just give her an “I’m sorry, will you forgive me” to which she doesn’t really respond, so I try “Let’s just drop it” and that works.

We come home to the other two girls and to a gluten free meal that a friend has made for us. This same friend offers to make more food, and Todd asks if I can tell her to stop. I ask if it makes him uncomfortable, and it does. “It’s ridiculous”. But it warms my heart to have friends who walk alongside us during this time and help carry the load by driving, making a meal, and especially praying. Isn’t‘ that what Galatians 6:2 says “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

And, as the title of this says, there’s hope. The chance that she might have a day “off” this weekend. The fact that she conquered the cottage cheese and didn’t have to supplement, giving her a better score. And the fact that even she can pick the new age theme out of the yoga time! And the Coke machine in the cafeteria was clean today!

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