Making Our Way Back to the Anemone, Princess

I have to say, it makes me pretty sad to know that I get hits daily from people searching for “7 year old anorexia.”

Yesterday there were 2 hits on my blog from searches for those exact words. I pray that no other family would have to endure the heartache and pain we have had to walk through the past 6 months.

In fact, June 28th will be exactly one month since my first post about our journey. It has been a tough one but God has continued to walk with us and we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!

Let me see if I can give a “quick” summary of events. My 7 year old, JJ, seems to have inherited all her mommy’s anxieties, stresses, nervousness and need for control of the situation.

My mom was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma last March and by April JJ was diagnosed with chronic constipation. As my mom went through chemo and battled infection after infection, I was away at the hospital with her a lot and JJ was home… worrying apparently.

Fortunately, my mom went into remission in June {AAAAHHHHH… it’s been 1 year she has been CANCER-FREE}, but JJ still has anxieties about it.

My kids are very close to my parents and this was devastating to them all. Anyways… we had to move, JJ started a new school, and things were spiraling out of her control in her own little world. Not good for our personality type.

Eventually, come January of this year, things seemed to get worse. After the Christmas break, JJ was no longer excited about school and then we noticed that she quit eating.

With her small frame she lost weight quickly and we spent 5 days in the hospital.

Kids do not have much control over their surroundings but can control what comes out and goes in their bodies... hence the constipation and then anorexia. 

This is when things got REALLY bad! They sent us home with Lexapro thinking she needed help with developing serotonin in her brain. It seemed it was too much for her to the point where she turned violent and threatened to kill me and Monkey.

Not good.

After one fit she begged me to take her to the hospital because she knew she needed help. This landed us in a psychiatric ward for another week. Worst week ever and just reading through the past posts are making me cry! It was just so hard to make that decision.

Well, after being discharged her Psychiatrist helped us wean her off all the meds, Lexapro and Risperdol, because there was no other explanation for her violent outbursts.

Making Our Way Back to the Anemone, Princess

That was in March. Three months down the road and we are beginning to see her “old self” again! I can not explain how happy that makes us all!

She was cycling through emotions since getting off the meds (each cycle lasted about a week: sad with lots of crying, happy with so much giggling, and then mad with too much anger) and that has now become not so apparent.

Her moods seem to relate more to what is going on around her rather than the cycle she is in for the week. This in itself is a huge step in the recovery process for us!

And, more good news today from her play therapist who said JJ only has one more appointment and then we can “close out” her play sessions! Hallelujah! (I love her play therapist but the drive is 45 minutes one way, and, plus, I would like to start our next school year without weekly doctor visits).

Therefore, one more session in 2 weeks (we are spacing them out now) and then 2 group sessions in July and we may be done! OMGoodness! Yay! (Oh yeah, group sessions are for JJ and Princess. It seems Princess is on of her major triggers! Go figure).

Her therapist says we have come a long way and they even got to the root of most of her issues today: nervousness. She gets nervous about not being able to control a situation and the emotions go from there until she eventually just gets mad.

We have discussed different coping mechanisms and JJ and I are working on those together (I could use them myself)!

All in all, we are getting “our” JJ back and that makes me so happy!

As a family, we could not be more excited! We still have anger issues to deal with, but nothing like before, and nowhere close to what they were!

It’s been a long walk and caused several sleepless nights and lots and lots of prayer, but we know that God is faithful and we are seeing those prayers answered! And why am I so transparent? To help others.

To let those people who end up on my blog searching for answers to their 7 year old’s anorexia know that there is hope! Hang in there and don’t give up!

Tonight I got a message from a friend on Facebook telling me she ministered to another family this past week using our story as an example of God’s faithfulness. That is why I write such a personal message.

And, to stay with our “Finding Nemo” theme from previous posts, Princess, I think we have finally found Nemo and are making our way back to the anemone!

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