Registered: 1518244471 Posts: 2
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My 18-yo D has had bulimia since 2012 (age 13) but I only found out about it in June 2017 because I caught her bingeing and purging. Since then she has had two inpatient admissions (neither of which she found helpful whatsoever, saying that the therapy was only helpful for AN since she was the only bulimic in both admissions) and has been having individual therapy the whole time. We also pad-locked bathrooms shut and would make her count at all times, which she says did nothing but make her even angry, lie and sneak around managing to binge and purge behind out backs. She now can make the choice to binge and purge whenever she so chooses as long as she pays for her binge food and replaces electrolytes afterwards. Since doing this, she has been able to reduce binge/purge episodes and has been much easier to handle - she used to slam doors, scream and hit us when she wasn't allowed to binge/purge when she wanted to. She has also been much more honest with me about everything which is a miracle. She does not need to be weight restored since she is at BMI 22 and has been between BMI 20-26 the entire time she has had bulimia. She is currently in university and so I am unable to ensure that she isn't bingeing and purging whilst there. She is trying to recover, she has reduced her bingeing and purging to around 1-3x a day from more than 10x a day (she would skip weeks of school at a time in year 11 and 12 to stay home and binge/purge) which has given her so much more time to live. She is soon to be starting an IOP program here and thinks it will be helpful for her. Even considering this, I am very worried because her body isn't doing especially well - her potassium is low and amylase is very high (indicating damage to the pancreas). She also has minor abnormalities on her ECG (slightly delayed QT-interval and 1st degree AV block with sinus arrhythmia). She is always very weak and tired and even though she is working hard at recovery both she and her team think that it will be a few years until she is near being fully recovered since she has had her illness for so long at this point.
Anyone have advice? Much appreciated x
Registered: 1431767540 Posts: 1,944
Reply with quote #2
One of the only th8ngs that I could get my d to do at one point was to agree to weekly blood tests and I think that this is a road you definitely need to go down with your d.because potassium is vital for heart function she is risking potential heart damage.she will need regular potassium tablets as well.your doctor can prescribe these.the weekly blood tests will keep an eye on her pancreas too.sometimes if there’s only one line you can draw in the sand, do the one that safeguards her heart.
I feel for you because living like this is hard and we have less leverage than others sometimes think.i have to accept that my job is to try and keep my d alive, even when she is playing silly buggers with her health.but I also have had to accept that I can’t control her life either.i can make suggestions but that’s it.follow through has to be led by her.my job is to plant the seed.then she might fuss and argue but I just repeat that’s ive just asked her to think about doing a,b or c.
I’ve found this approach to work reasonably well.
Make sure you look after yourself because their illness can take over everything in our lives if we let it. __________________ Sotired42
Registered: 1496061527 Posts: 628
Reply with quote #3
a very warm welcome from Germany, although I may not help you much because we have AN in the house. But I have a friend who had BN and her teeth are badly damaged. So I would suggest that you ask her to see a dentist regularly and ask for dental sealers. This may need to be paid privatly (here the insurances only pay it for under 18 and only for the occlusal surface of the teeth). That may help to keep some damage away from her teeth although she is purging. My friend is now 45 and has lost all her teeth and has dentures now and she is very sad about that. If you can talk openly to her, ask her to keep a diary and write down which were good days with less purging and which were bad days. So she may see a rule behind all that, things that make stress or food that leads to more binging and purging which may help her to avoid these situations. As sotired says, regular GP visits and blood tests are essential. Potassium should be added if low. Tina72
Registered: 1385153142 Posts: 1,150
Reply with quote #4
I am no doctor, but your d sounds very ill. If she were mine, I would pull her out of university until she were well. My d had a gap year, and went to uni in robust health. Even with that beginning, uni has had challenges for her. I'd hate to think how difficult it must be for your d to try to recover and live away and study all at the same time. It seems like she is really struggling with it all. You say she is starting an IOP program 'here'. So she is coming home for that? I think that's great. And what does that team say about her medical condition? Is this the same team that tells her she will be sick for years? She might need a team that can interrupt her binging behaviours. I'd want her to have more to hope for than years of this vile illness. BN is very challenging, but it can be beaten. xoOTM __________________ D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old.