F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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UKmumof3
Hi all,

I posted recently about my D's (12 year old) sudden change from eating everything on her meal plan, to eating nothing except a rich tea biscuit every day. Well, it took 2 weeks in total, but she was admitted to an eating disorder unit on Friday and we are all slowly trying to adapt.

I have mixed feelings about everything which has happened. When she was seen in the children's ward for observations after the first week, one of the doctors made comments like "why do you want to lose even more weight and be even skinnier? Do you think having the brace fitted made you stop eating? You would be so much more beautiful with a bit more fat on you". I passed those comments on to her keyworker and a complaint was going to be made.

We needed a doctor to sign off the referral into hospital, but if I hadn't been able to make the Tuesday appointment, I would have needed to wait until the Friday. There seemed to be no sense of urgency. And then when she was actually admitted on Friday and they did her blood sugar levels, they were astonished to find they were so low (2.2). It made me question why they had not been done at any other point. But, it's happened, so I move on.

D seemed to think that going into hospital would prove to the anorexia that she was ticking all of his boxes. She refused to eat or drink (other than water) and so was put on a feeding tube. That was what she wanted to happen and she thought that would help her hit rock bottom and help her to start eating again. 

Unfortunately, she is still not eating or drinking. She is reporting mixed comments about the support she is getting, but I have to trust that everyone there knows exactly what they are doing and her thoughts are just from an annoyed anorexia. I visited her this morning and she is really low. She wants to come home, but she also doesn't want to "be here". I know this is quite a normal feeling from all of the reading that I've done. But it does hurt to hear it. She looks at all of the other young people and sees them as being thinner/more ill/battling for longer than her and still thinks that she's not ill or ill enough. Today she said her ankles aren't as bony as another girl. 

I DO know that she needs to be in there. She is very ill and I couldn't have kept her at home any longer with her refusal to eat. But it's so hard to leave her there when I just want her to be back at home. 

How do they encourage people to eat who refuse?? She is on medication to help with anxiety, and they have upped her dose today because it didn't seem to be helping. 

Sorry for the rant. It's taken me since Friday to feel a bit helpless - had been doing ok until today!! 

x
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ValentinaGermania
UKmumof3 wrote:

Unfortunately, she is still not eating or drinking. She is reporting mixed comments about the support she is getting, but I have to trust that everyone there knows exactly what they are doing and her thoughts are just from an annoyed anorexia. I visited her this morning and she is really low. She wants to come home, but she also doesn't want to "be here". I know this is quite a normal feeling from all of the reading that I've done. But it does hurt to hear it. She looks at all of the other young people and sees them as being thinner/more ill/battling for longer than her and still thinks that she's not ill or ill enough. Today she said her ankles aren't as bony as another girl. 


That all sound very normal to be honest. They compare each other and who is the most sickest and most thinest. Try to not give in to that talk, it is all ED.

UKmumof3 wrote:
How do they encourage people to eat who refuse?? She is on medication to help with anxiety, and they have upped her dose today because it didn't seem to be helping.


They should have a plan there how to get off the tube in steps. Ask for that. Normally they present normal food first and they should at least lick on it or take a piece into their mouth and spit it out again so she does not forget the taste of real food.
Ask what their plan is and how you could help to get her off the tube again as they might be in lack of personal to offer her normal food.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Torie
Thanks for the update.  I'm glad your d is getting the treatment she needs, although sorry you have to be apart from her.  "How do they encourage people to eat who refuse??" is a great question to ask her team.  It is important that they DO encourage her on that even when her nutrition is supplied via ng tube.  I can't remember who it was who said that her d was offered many foods while on tube feeding, and that the ones she saw, smelled and maybe tasted were easier to reintroduce later than the ones that had been out of sight the whole time.

Are you able to see her often?

Take care. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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UKmumof3
Thanks both. I can visit her as often as I am able to, which is helpful. However, that won't be so easy once I'm back at work next week. She is only 45 minutes down the road on a good day, so I know it could be a lot worse.
Unfortunately, she has now been refusing her ng tube feeds - since last night - and nobody is managing to get through her thoughts to her. So she is currently having a feed whilst being held. 
I'm holding it together, so long as nobody asks me how I am! x
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deenl
So sorry to hear how difficult it is for your poor daughter and you all. 

Is your daughter allowed a phone, even one of the basic ones that just text and call? My son was in such a difficult emotional state when he was IP that his behaviour towards me was very up and down. Sometimes he couldn't stand to see me, sometimes he needed to vent and other times we had a calm, warm visit. We started texting and ringing him just before his bedtime to say goodnight. As far as I remember dad did it first as he was calmer with his dad. It also allowed his brothers to stay in touch. For some reason, he was much calmer at those times (mostly) and that connection was very special and precious to us all. The exact same routine might not be possible for your family but some other little routine that is positive might work out for you guys.

I hope there is a change for the better soon. We know how emotional and difficult it is.

Sending you strength, courage and a virtual hug,

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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UKmumof3
Thank you. Hug very much appreciated.

She is allowed her normal phone and to text/call whenever she wants to. But she seemed to be slowly shutting down to me yesterday and is just very scared today. I will definitely keep working on her making more contact in the evening when she's maybe feeling even more vulnerable. 

I just have to keep hoping that things will change, somehow, very soon.
x
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MKR
Sending you and your daughter lots of strength, courage and hugs from here, too ❤ ❤.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Foodsupport_AUS
I am sorry to hear that your D has been admitted, but as you say she really needs to be there. I trust that they are working on her regaining lost weight with the NG tube, realistically the faster the better. It is important that food is offered regularly and repeatedly each day however more important is that she has full adequate nutrition every day. 

As much as possible try to remember her comments about not being sick enough, or thin enough are expressions from her ED thoughts and not from your real D. Acknowledge that she is struggling, with accepting that she needs to be there then move on as best you can. Offering arguments, reassurance about how ill she is will not change things for her right now. The more we reassure the more we make the thoughts seem valid and appropriate.  As time goes on she will accept that she needs to eat to get better, but it can be a long road. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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