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Thank you for visiting Team "A"!
In 2016 our family was hit with a hammer. Our son "A" wasn't suffering from what we thought was a GI problem, but a disorder that in a few months had taken his 12 yr old body to near death. After a month in the hospital (including days in ICU) he went into a residential treatment program 4 1/2 hours away from home. He spent 3 months away from the family, being re-fed, and learning how to fight the vicious beast that almost took him from us.
Almost a year from the date we first found out about his disorder, "A" relapsed. We were fortunate to have a team at home who identified the relapse and quickly got "A" back into the hospital and searched for a new residential program that would work for him. Within a week, we brought "A" to Denver, CO (across the country!) and he spent 3 months in a treatment program. Because of the distance, we didn't see "A" for over a month. After 2 months he transitioned in to his next part of treatement where his mom and I spent weeks at a time with him living at the Ronald McDonald House in Denver.
"A" has been back at home with us for about 6 weeks now. We spend several hours a week planning meals, preparing meals, and sitting with "A" to ensure he is meeting his nutritional requirements. We spend hours each week in outpatient treatement, making sure he has all the support he needs to continue his recovery. And we listen to the painful requests he makes about being to spend time with his friends and have the freedom that a 14 yr old boy should have.
This story is not a pity party about our family. It's a reality. It's a view of what a family endures when a family member is suffering with an eating disorder. If I could describe what it's like to have an eating disorder, I would do that. But in our family, only "A" can describe the experience. The pain he's experienced feeling alone and under the control of a monster that can't be seen. The pain of being away from his home and family for over 7 months. The pain of learning to fight that monster while still under it's control. And, the physical pain that goes along with a body that is struggling to support it's own vital organs.
We are blessed that this story can be shared with Aaron in the present tense. Had we been a week later in the diagnosis we might not have an "A" to share with the world. "A" is a beautiful human being in every possible way. Inside and out. Just as so many families have their own "A" that they would do anything for, we have ours.
While we may not have been able to prevent this, the knowledge of what to look for may have kept "A" from almost losing his life. I can only ask that you take a few more minutes to read the details about eating disorders (below). If you would like to donate to the walk, we would appreciate it. If not, I hope you will take something you learn here and share it with those around you. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information
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