Registered: 1453123417 Posts: 124
Reply with quote #1
We are 18 months in and at Christmas time my daughter was weight restored and doing well.Just before school started back her anxiety went through the roof and for the first time she started to vomit up her food but not the way you would think.She was not going into bathroom or shower to vomit,she has never been one to bring up her food.She just said her throat felt tight and every time she swallowed her gag reflex was activated.She was actually trying to keep the food down.I started to panic as I didnt know how many days without food staying down she could last.I rang the clinic at our hospital and we went in.We have always said nothing happens without full nutrition but what happens if you can not get the food to stay down.They have started her on prozac and she seems to be doing better but even with the medication she still seems to have difficulty swallowing some foods. Obviously with the weigh loss her thoughts have gotten bad again.We went out for dinner the other night and all of the old ed thoughts started coming out of her mouth.This is unhealthy,they dont cook food right here and with every word she said I just started crying and crying.I literally could not stop.As we were sitting there surrounded by happy families all I could think is, how am I going to keep doing this.As soon as I think we have this thing licked the monster returns in a different form.So my question is has anyone heard of anxiety activating the gag reflex and if so what did you do .
Registered: 1396016102 Posts: 4,258
Reply with quote #2
I'm sure mamabear will be here to tell her own story, but in the meantime, from what I remember ...
Her d started involuntary vomiting, too. What she did (I think) was to feed tiny amounts - really tiny, like a bite or two - at a time. Of course, that meant she was pretty much feeding all day long, but she DID get through it. I will be interested to see if anyone has a different solution because my d experiences involuntary vomiting (from stress) but only occasionally. Thinking of you. xx -Torie __________________ " We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP ♡
Registered: 1436500021 Posts: 534
Reply with quote #3
An internet search revealed that there is a medical condition called Hyperactive Gag Reflex. It does sound similar to what your d. is experiencing (in addition to the ED). Perhaps you could look into this and speak with her pediatrician about it. From what I read a visit to an ear, nose and throat doctor to have her examined and then some sessions with a pediatric occupational therapist to help desensitize her palate would be the recommended way to go.
As we were sitting there surrounded by happy families all I could think is, how am I going to keep doing this.
What helped me when things were really dire was to come on this board and read the stories of hope. I didn't just read the end story. I looked up the person and read about their entire journey and the difficulties they had faced along the way. I remember being particularly inspired when I read what a member named doitagain had posted. As her name says, she did it...again and again...until her daughter got better. All of these parents had something in common. They loved their child unconditionally, they never stopped trying to help them and yes they had moments of utter frustration and grief. Perhaps for the time being you should give up the restaurant visits until your d. is a little further along. We did for awhile. My d. would get tears in her eyes looking at a menu and it made me too sad to eat out with her. Later on in the process, when she was weight restored, I made restaurant night a weekly event and when she got to a better place it was fine. To get back to going out I first started ordering takeout from a restaurant in our neighborhood and we ate that at home, and eventually, we were able to go there and she ordered what we had had at home from their menu. This is unhealthy, they don't cook food right here This is ED chatter...she is letting you know what is going on in her mind when she looks at the food and I think that we can, as parents, counter this. So, for example, you can say to her look they have xxxxxx here, which tastes really good and is good for you. Just keep countering the ED thoughts when they come up, calmly and firmly, and don't spend time arguing about it, (I don't argue with the ED) then change the subject. For example my d. always thinks that portions are huge and then the next thing she does is think about what specific thing she doesn't like about whatever is on her plate. So I let her know that it is an appropriate portion and remind her of what she does like on the plate. Then I move on to something else. best wishes, Kali __________________ Food=Love
Registered: 1368575859 Posts: 1,075
Reply with quote #4
We went through that same thing in January 2016...it was a brief and very hard relapse. I do believe it was triggered by heightened anxiety (unrelated to ED in our case), which caused her to have a nervous stomach and bam, she started vomiting and was unable to keep much of anything down....then, of course, she didn't want to eat because she was afraid of vomiting. It was an ugly cycle.
What we did: got her team involved. Went through an intensive set of therapy sessions over the course of a few weeks. Got her back on her anti-anxiety meds (hydroxyzine). We started with small meals on the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast), and slowly reintroduced a more varied and sufficient diet. Because she was otherwise in a decent place in recovery, she actually was pretty motivated to do this on her own (she was able to recognize the slip, and it scared her too), and she worked hard to get her weight back (she lost 6-7 pounds pretty quickly) to where it needed to be. I think it was primarily the ant-anxiety meds which helped the most as she was able to quell her anxiety. I had her take it 30 minutes before each scheduled meal (main meals). And, you CAN keep doing this. I know well the feeling that "I just can't. I can't do it anymore.", as I felt it very strongly after about 18-24 months into the process and she would have any sort of slip. Like, how much more can *I* take. Many here have found it helpful to go into therapy for themselves, to get the support they need to keep battling....put on your own oxygen mask first! Since I had no choice (or at least any choice that was rational...I sure as hell wasn't going to let that damn ED win), I kept going. But, I did a lot of self care....massages, long walks, etc while D was at school, often letting other things slide (volunteer work, housework, laundry). __________________ D, age 17, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since. UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side. :-)
Registered: 1453123417 Posts: 124
Reply with quote #5
Thank you Tori,Kali and mnmomusa for your advice so far.I must admit this has me worried.I have felt somewhat in control because I knew what I have to do to get my daughter better and have learned many lessons and gotten a lot of advice from this forum and our Ed doctors.All that I know seems pointless if we cannot keep food down.She has been better since starting prozac.Vomiting episodes seem less and less.I am now scared to introduce more fear foods as I am trying to get weight back on that she lost with safe foods and worry that moving back into fear foods could trigger more anxiety and more vomiting.All the while trying to be conscious not to be trtricked by the ed.
Registered: 1296569362 Posts: 5,552
Reply with quote #6
Gah. The puking thing is the worst. I can SO relate.
About 4 months in or so my daughter started to involuntarily projectile vomit at the table nearly every time she ate. It was horrible. She was only 11 at the time. She said that the voice in her head said that if she was going to eat, then it would just make her throw it up. I want to predacate my experience on that we did not have a "team". I live in a very rural area with the nearest real ED help being 7-8 hours away.So we figured out a strategy to attack it on our own. We tackled this by me sitting with my D for several days and basically spoon feeding her bites and sips. All the while I would be very calm and just keep repeating that she was not going to throw up and that she was strong and she was going to show ED who was boss. Wee had constant distraction of activities and TV etc. During the few days we did this we gradually fed her more at a time and then spaced it out farther and father until she was able to stop vomiting. After that week she never did it again. Obviously- for my daughter it was 100% psychological. She was never on any meds. Good luck with everything. __________________ Persistent, consistent vigilance!
Registered: 1453123417 Posts: 124
Reply with quote #7
Thanks mamabear and toothfairy for words of encouragement.I think to a degree the vomiting is phycological it didnt help that I freaked out when it started as I genuinely didnt know how to stop it.I now have a few options in place.I dont have a team as such.We have never had a dietitian but we have ed specialist at our childrens hospital and a Maudsley trained psychologist.Plus I have advice and reassurance from this forum,from the start i have been totally against any medication but when food wasnt staying down I realized it was an option we had to try.My daughter is now on prozac 20mls and could have dosage increased if needed.It has helped with her anxiety and will hopefully continue to make this a little easier on her.Thanks again.
Registered: 1453123417 Posts: 124
Reply with quote #8
Its funny to say I dont have a team.When really we have the best team at the touch of our fingertips.We might not be doctors but we have a collective knowledge that is pretty impressive.😊