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If you would like to send him a care package please send to: Harrison Park ℅ Eating Recovery Center 5120 Legacy Drive Plano, TX 75024
Our story: It seems like a lifetime ago when I have seen Harrison just be a 12 year kid, run around with his friends, smile, ask me questions like he used to, ride his scooter, have fun playing soccer, play with his brother - all the things. Even just a normal sit down meal, we haven't had that in so long. This is what Anorexia nervosa does to you and your family. It is an eating disorder, with an intense fear of gaining weight, it uses extreme efforts controlling your weight and shape, thus significantly interfering with everyone in Harrison’s life. Harrison severely restricted the amount of food he would eat by watching his calorie intake and he exercised excessively. No matter how much weight he lost, he continued to fear to weight gain. This caused to be life-threatening and to be emotional for his self worth.
This all started back in August when Harrison became obsessed with exercise by running 4 miles every day he was off from soccer practice. He had soccer 3-4 times a week. He would run the days off along with an extreme core work out. He would also lift weights. Soccer practice would be 2 hours long, they would run there too a little. He became, of course, the fastest runner on his team. He was always a perfectionist. He wanted to be the best at everything he tried. He made straight A's in school. Usually all 95s and above, was upset if it wasn't 100. At our August pediatrician visit, I asked her because I noticed he had dropped several pounds. She went over the growth chart and he was declining. He was always one that was on the 75 percent. She said, "oh I wouldn't worry about it, he has been swimming all summer on the swim team and he is very active on the soccer team... "
October comes, this is when I start to notice Harrison becomes very involved in making his breakfast every morning (4 oz egg white omelet, a few spinach leaves) 3 strawberries - make his own lunch which consists of turkey sandwich on wheat bread cut off the crust (save 8 calories) with spinach leaves, mustard, banana peppers. Side of strawberries. Yogurt. a few Pita chips. Dinner would sometimes be a struggle. I would make dinner, he would watch me, making sure I did not add butter to whatever I made, made sure I gave him a small portion, it was always so hard to watch and make dinners in the kitchen. We would sit at dinner and play games to get through our dinners to help him eat the entire dinner. He would then shower and go to bed. November and December were so hard and sad.
December was the worst month for us. He went down to 1 practice a week and we restricted his exercise, which made him sad and mad at us. Exercise was the only thing that made him happy. We were trying to gain 1/2 lb a week, thus failing. At the end of the month we went away to Anna Maria island thinking if we got away from it all, it would be a relaxing treat and he would maybe not think about the eating disorder - but it got worse and all it told us that he was in desperate need of help.
January 1 we checked him into Norton Children's Hospital. The night before Harrison could hardly talk or walk. Harrison stayed at the hospital 11 days. His heart rate was in the 30s and they were worried about his kidneys. I stayed with him every night. Chris and I would switch off during the day. He would come relieve me in the afternoons when I would go home and shower. I had several nights where I had with Hudson to eat dinner with him and Chris was able to hang with Harrison. Hudson could not see Harrison while he was in the hospital - although we did sneak him up one day to get a hug in. He had a sitter with him 24 hours a day to watch him as well to make sure he ate his meals and obeyed the eating disorder hall rules. It was very strict. Harrison had very hard days feeling sad, fat, body image, wanted to get out and move on. He ate 100% of his meals. He called them “thanksgiving meals” they were all very large, especially of what he was used to. He did get his TV privilege and he was able to walk around the hospital hall 3 laps towards the end. We got to go in a wheelchair ride as well. When we picked Hudson up from school after we got Harrison out of school, Hudson was so happy to see his. brother. I loved seeing him smile. Harrison was so happy and excited to see Hudson too. I was so thankful for Norton’s as it saved his life and got him back on track and just a little hope to move on to the next journey of our lives. They did such an excellent job taking care of Harrison.
When we were released we went home on restricted orders. Being home is very hard for Harrison. He has a hard time at home without guardrails. Eating at home is so hard bc he doesn’t have the rules in place and it is just mom and dad telling him what to do. He has the biggest fear of us over serving him or not portioning it correctly.
We left for St. Louis Mccallum Place on January 20th. I won’t go into all of the details of this treatment center but it was not a good fit. He was mixed with adults and it was awful. We left there on January 29th. Now I will post on the journal entries for my start with Dallas ERC. ❤️