So i have been sharing on this blog recently just how positive the progress that TB has made has been.
What i would like to share today though is my thoughts on what i call the ‘weight’ issue. TB has been making fantastic progress in terms of his food groups, portion sizes, coping mechanisms, spontaneity, and its incredible to watch, however what isn’t progressing at the same rate as these is his weight, yet one of the first questions people like to ask is ‘so how is his weight doing’.
We are being lead by the health professionals treating him on this one, they do not seem too worried, and told us from the start not to expect massive weight gains, that actually his body would use the nutrients within food to start healing, restoring, repairing parts that it hasn’t been able to in a while. Thats not to say he’s not gained some weight, he has, but it seems to be going at a slow and steady pace, enough for him to get used to his body as it changes. So i find it frustrating when people ask how is his weight doing.
I know that he has an eating disorder and therefore a measure of telling his recovery will be that he is a normal and healthy weight at the end of it, but i want people at the minute to measure his recovery not just in terms of how much weight he has gained. I want them to see it in the fact that his hair is glossier, his skin has lost its yellowy tone, in his increase in energy levels, in the fact this his breath is better, his eyes are brighter. I see his recovery in the greater range of food groups, in the fact that something which would have caused him anxiety for a full day may now only affect him for a morning, the fact that we had lasagne for tea the other night. The other evening we went out for a glass of wine and to the cinema, where we shared some chocolate buttons (TB had 5 of them, but i can’t ever remember seeing him eat chocolate before so it was an incredible achievement!)
But i also want them to see his recovery in the things that they may see as negative, TB is learning to release his emotions rather than internalise them, this can be very sad and scary as his girlfriend, watching the man you love cry is incredibly difficult, but it is so positive, rather than bottling these things up he is releasing them and experiencing them, and it allows me to help him through it.
So when someone asks me how is his weight is doing i want to say ‘ok, but look at all these other amazing things that he is doing, look at all the wonderful things we have been able to do since his treatment started, please don’t judge his recovery on his weight alone’.