This heart-rending story appeared in Edinburgh's evening newspaper in April this year. Please read to the end.
"My 14-year-old granddaughter, Nicole, is the eldest of three much-loved children. But for the past 15 months, her family have been on an emotional roller-coaster as she fights a losing battle with anorexia.
We had a happy, smiley, liked-drama-and-dancing kind of girl before. Now it is as if she has been replaced by a stranger; a sad, depressed, frightened, stranger who shows no emotion unless it concerns her battle with food.
It all began in January 2006 when Nicole's mother, my daughter Sharon, noticed she wasn't eating right. She had always had a healthy appetite before but now she said she wasn't hungry, and she was cutting down on portion sizes too. But it was only when Nicole started losing weight that we became really concerned. We took her to the doctor, who weighed her and gave her blood tests, but couldn't find anything wrong.
As the weeks went, by Nicole's weight dropped further and she became weak. As things got worse we had to keep her off school - she had become a risk to herself. We were forced to put her in a wheelchair when we went out to save her energy. Going to the shops was a nightmare. Every pack, box, and tin was read back to front for calorie count.
In April last year, her mother was told she had anorexia, but as there was no specialist NHS treatment centre available, the only option was to send her to the young persons unit at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Morningside. She was only 14 and we were admitting her to a psychiatric hospital. It was devastating.
Even during this time we still saw glimpses of the girl she had once been. I went on holiday in June and she rang me from the hospital to tell me to have a good time.
It made me hopeful for the future. But then on one of her days out of the clinic, she locked herself in the bathroom. My daughter thought it would be best to phone the unit, who called the police. I was met by a patrol car as I drove up the driveway of my daughter's home after her frightened phone call. You would think there had been a murder, not an incident involving a frightened, anorexic girl. And all of this because she is terrified about being too fat.
It feels as if we are in an endless cycle. The doctors will admit her to the young person's unit at the Royal Edinburgh, feed her up, and then let her out again. It's not their fault, they have saved her life numerous times, but they are not a specialist anorexia unit and are unable to respond fully to her needs.
August came, and it was Nicole's birthday. She spent it at the unit, in a wheelchair being tube fed. Family and friends came to see her, but she showed no emotion at all.
And when she came on visits home, things were no better. She insisted on walking for 45 minutes twice a day, more if she could get away with it. But it was the meal times that were the worst. We would sit for hours trying to get her to eat, before being forced to take her back to the unit. The only thing she would take by this stage was hot water as it had no calories in it.
Nicole has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act for the past six months so she can be forcibly tube fed at any time. We hate that happening to her, but we know without it she will die.
Having said that it does nothing to deal with the real problem she faces either. She needs specialist psychiatric help. The unit do their best but they can't help her. Instead Nicole is on antidepressants, which I don't think have had any affect. And it doesn't seem right for a 14-year-old to be on anti-depressants.
I think the only thing that would have an impact is if Edinburgh had its own NHS eating disorders treatment centre.
At the moment doctors in Edinburgh have to refer the most extreme cases to two private centres, Huntercombe Hospital in Uphall, West Lothian and the Priory in Glasgow, but we haven't been given this option and the prices are well beyond our budget.
We feel as if we have nowhere to turn to. At every corner we have come up against obstacles.
Nicole was meant to be discharged in April this year but her condition has not improved so this has been postponed. She hasn't been out the unit for the past two months.
I'm Nicole's grandma, and I should be able to help her but I feel powerless. I just wish I could see the smile back on her face.
I'm going on holiday this year in June but, in a way, I'm dreading it. We're in exactly the same situation as we were when I went away last year.
And today is just another black day in the life of a family living with anorexia."
The last sentence is worth repeating:
"And today is just another black day in the life of a family living with anorexia."
This is not how life should be but, to our shame, this is life for anorexics and their families and will continue to be life until Scotland funds vastly improved services for the treatment of eating disorders.
Thanks for reading to the end.