Dr. Sara Forman, director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Outpatient Eating Disorders Program, and Dr. Tracy Richmond, director of the PREP weight management program in Adolescent Medicine, share five things parents should know about eating disorders.
Kids don’t have to be really thin to have an eating disorder.
Not everyone with an eating disorder looks like he or she has an eating disorder. The condition is often hidden in secret habits or obsessions. For example, binge eating and bulimia — or binging and purging — are common eating disorders not necessarily associated with thinness.
Often you hear from parents that they want their child to be the best, the standout star — the child who rises above the rest and sets herself apart from the group as unique or special. But when you have a child who is often told NO, who has been set apart from a group because she is considered too fragile, too sick, too something … your hopes are different.
No child wants to be left out— an onlooker, an outlier — as many of our children are in their everyday worlds. For a parent, seeing your child cast aside due to something completely out of her control is often heartbreaking.
When Ligia Jordao, a nurse who worked for many years with the Heart Center’s Electrophysiology Program, told my husband Mark and me about Pacemaker/ICD Camp, we were skeptical. I couldn’t imagine sending our Grace off for a weekend by herself without us.
Administrative Coordinator, Boston Children’s at North Dartmouth
I get here at 7:30 every morning to get things up and running and set up before patients come in at 8. I check patients in and out, schedule appointments, take vitals, perform EKGs … I do a little of everything. I like that no day is ever the same. It keeps the day flowing.
Because patients do a lot of follow-ups here, I see the same faces over and over, and I get to know the children, and they get to know me. I live seven minutes away, so I often see patients outside of the office too, which is really nice.
I’ve been working in pediatrics for 17 years and at Boston Children’s for two. It’s such a nice place to be every day. People are compassionate and understanding. I can finally say that I get up every morning, and I get dressed, and I love going to work. I love, love, love my job.
Caring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.
“What time is surgery today?” Ellie, age 12, croaks. She hasn’t opened her eyes yet, but she knows she’s headed to the operating room … again. It may be the fourth surgery this month, maybe the fifth. We don’t know. What we do know is our routine has changed from soccer carpools and homework battles to twice-weekly trips to the operating room, where the orthopedic surgeon will slice open my baby girl’s thigh and attempt to wash out the deadly bacteria accumulating in her right femur and knee joint.
We’re trying to learn the new routine and master a new language. The vocabulary is demanding. There are procedures, medications, devices and acronyms. Most are scary — wound vacuum, PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter), clinical failure of vancomycin, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The only one who seems to have any answers is the pediatric resident. Unfortunately, he’s nearly always wrong.
Our trip into this alternate reality started on Ellie’s first day of seventh grade.