Caring for an Anorexia Nervosa Sufferer – How the Caring Started

I looked at this girl sitting on the other side of the conference table and marveled at how well she had handled the interview. She responded quickly and positively to every question or comment thrown at her. At times she countered with the skill of a humourist to some of the statements.

“Are you very nervous, or is this your normal personality?” I asked after another clever interjection by her.

“I try to be happy all the time,” Mouse answered and I thought that it would be refreshing to have that attitude in the office.

At the end of the interview she said to me, “I am Anorexic.”

“So what,” I thought. Little did I know what I was letting myself in for when I confirmed her appointment three days later.

Never had I experienced such a diligent and tireless worker as was Mouse in the office. Within a month she had taken over the complete administration of our office, including my diary and Petty Cash. It was just after her birthday, she was 25, when she confided in me that her accommodation was not ideal and could she rent a room from me in the house. Naturally I agreed and she moved in, with the understanding that we would not get in each other’s way and would live separate lives after hours.

The arrangement worked well for about two weeks then I noticed that she was not eating. Although there was ample food in the house she would not prepare anything for herself. When I casually remarked on it, she told me that she did not know how to cook; hence she only ate apples and drank tea. Alarm Bells; I started researching Anorexia on the internet. Imagine my shock and concern when I realized that anorexia is not just a fad or weight loss programme. I asked her about her support from her family and I was told that they did not support her at all and her illness was an embarrassment to them. Okay, now the choice was mine – send her back to the toilet and shower that she was living in before or try to help and support her. It would be no hardship to feed her as I was in any case preparing food for myself. After discussing her preference for food I became pretty much a vegetarian, which I did not mind in the least and I set about providing for both of us.

All went well, although she ate a miniscule amount of food, hence the name of “Mouse”, for about a month and then she started finding excuses not to eat. This deepened my research as I could see that when I broached the subject of her lack of nourishment she became very distressed. That was when I realized that I had embarked on a mammoth task.

First off I had to learn a whole new way of speaking and NEVER use certain words or phrases for fear of sending Mouse on a raging path of self-destruction. I was now beginning to understand the reason for her diligence in the office. A trait of an anorexic is the ability to develop high standards, values and ideals. The slightest deviation from that self-determined level of perfection would totally unbalance Mouse and needed care and patience to bring her back to an acceptable level of functionality. One of the first lessons I learned from my research was to listen carefully and absorb everything she told me about her mental and physical experience of anorexia.

When Mouse was 16 or 17 she already had Anorexia, but only went to hospital when she was about to die. Apparently the doctors at the hospital only expected her to live for a few days when she was admitted. Her treatment was, from what I am told, a little archaic. She was put on drips and fed copious amounts of food for three weeks and released. The early days of her Anorexia are a bit vague and I will not delve into them, as nobody talks about it. I will also not express my opinion on the reason for her illness as all I know is hearsay.

Koos Myburgh is passionate about anything natural. I Have done a fair share of hiking, camping and exploring remote parts of Southern Africa. I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and am comfortable in the company of pauper and king.

At the moment I am doing Internet Marketing which covers Article writing, Affiliate Selling and Blogging.

For more information on Anorexia Caring go to my blog Also check out my website