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

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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HopeE
My 18 yr. old daughter was on a waiting list for inpatient treatment before the pandemic. A little background - D diagnosed with Anorexia restrictive type in March 2019. She struggles with orthorexia, exercise compulsion, as well as depression and anxiety. Her weight was very low and we engaged in modified FBT, as well accessing really good outpatient therapy, nutritionist and psychiatrist. While she had restored weight, more recently she has admitted she is trying to lose weight. She is so ambivalent about getting better! She continues to be extremely restrictive and refuses fear foods. Her ED behaviors, like lying about eating something, hiding food or throwing it away, continue and has lost weight. I could go on and on. Anyway, the center is continuing to admit patients but I'm concerned about the quality of care being different during the Covid19 regulations. For example, there will not be in person family sessions or visitation, nor will the residents have outings in the community. If therapy providers are conducting groups virtually, will that be effective? Does that even matter? Are other parents facing these decisions about whether to go ahead with admission or wait? I am hoping to hear from others in similar situations. My D does not want to go, but seems to understand she has been stuck in the same place for a while and needs more help. All feedback is welcome!
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Foodsupport_AUS
It sounds like at the very least going inpatient is likely to help stop the weight loss and allow for weight gain. If nothing else this is really important right now. Whilst actively losing weight and restricting it is impossible to recover from ED. It has to stop somehow. Once stopped and weight is going on then therapy can have a role. It certainly would be a lot more restricted with being offered virtually but who knows whether it would make a difference. My thoughts would be if you can't turn this thing around at home it may be the best move forward. 
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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Jeneldridge

Hi @Jedwa2222. Oh man, do I feel your pain. We were in the same boat a month ago trying to decide whether to send our 14yo D to inpatient care 4 hours from us with the pandemic looming. (The center is in North Carolina and we live in Maryland, US.) We decided to send her, and as hard as it was/is, it was 100% the right decision. One factor that pushed us to send her was the terrifying thought that if we tried refeeding her at home and she ended up needing higher level care at some point, there may not even be a hospital bed for her. 

She’s been in inpatient since March 24. It has been very hard for all of us to have her so far away with no visiting. Still, I am grateful every single day that she is in good hands, getting the care she needs, gaining weight, and recovering. We have Skype visits and phone calls daily. True, there are currently no parent programs or outings, but those will restart when things reopen. For us, it was more important that she start refeeding, and given the severity of her illness, I knew I would not succeed in doing it at home. As it turns out she needed an NG tube to jump start the process, and she got it her second day there. It was removed 4 days ago... yay!!! 

Good luck making your decision. Every situation is different, but if your D could benefit from professional help now I would encourage you to go for it. 

15yo D diagnosed with AN-R Jan 2020. Hospitalized since late January. Almost fully weight restored as of late May; ED voices remain very strong.
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LaraB
@Jeneldridge, so glad to hear about yourD’s progress. This must have been a very frightening time for you, esp with pandemic as well. Great to hear that she has been getting nutrition in with NG tube and progressing..
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Bailey2019
We were also in exactly the same position 3 1/2 weeks ago here in Canada. D (5 years with AN) had been slipping for the prior several months, and the loss of structure, routine, and distraction when the schools closed accelerated her deterioration. We AGONIZED over the decision to have her admitted. Not only was the adamant that she would not go (we had to call 911 to get her in), but we of course knew that she would not be getting full services AND were highly concerned about exposing her to COVID-19. We ultimately realized we were losing ground at home and had no leverage to help her, so that was the call. She's been here for 3 1/2 weeks as I say, and so far has gained almost all the weight she had lost over the several months prior. As you say, all group-based services, family services, and outings are a no-go right now, however we're fortunate that the hospital is in our home town. The visitor restrictions currently in place allow one parent per 24 hrs, no in/out privileges, and no one other than the two parents. So either my wife or I are here at the hospital (I'm here now in fact) from 8am to 8pm every day providing meal support for 5 of the 6 meals (we leave before bedtime snack, so she gets the experience of someone else supporting her for at least one meal). We are largely confined to her room, so we have found creative ways to pass the time - LOTS of colouring, in addition to online school now. As of this week she has finally started to at least receive one-on-one talk-based counseling again. That was also a kerfuffle owing to therapist illnesses, redeployment, and one just returning from a maternity leave, we got almost no psych services for the first 3 weeks. 

So so far the positives have been: weight restoration, medication management (we're still tinkering with that), and of course the added leverage of the NG tube, extra observation rooms, to get her to comply with eating and sitting.

The negatives have been: none of the 'normal' services beyond talk-based therapy one-on-one (and that's been spotty), no outings, and I'll fully admit that after 3 1/2 weeks my wife and I are getting fatigued as we are providing 12 hrs/day of full-time support. Interestingly, when D tried to kick me out the other day when I brought a snack from home she thought was too big, the medical team said I couldn't leave and have to remain here in the room for FBT-type meal support. Don't get me started on that.

It's not a great place to be right now, but then again the hospital never really is. We'll keep you posted if you're interested, though at the end of the day we do believe that admission was the right thing to do. Hope that helps.
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LaylaBoo
My daugher (23) was admitted to inpatient near Boston on April 7.  The therapy sessions (family and individual) are all virtual but other staff (nutritionists, resident counselors, nurses, etc.) are onsite.  They are doing group activities (only 10 in the group total).  They are unable to go out for restaurant meals in the community but are doing all meals as a group, sometimes with takeout from local restaurants.  It is much better than her situation at home which was getting pretty bad for the weeks leading up to her admission (she has BED which cycles with anorexia).  So far we are very pleased with the support she is getting and the progress she is making.  We are sad that we can't visit in person, but she is able to call or facetime during what would have been visiting hours.  We are making it work.  My advice is to go forward with inpatient if you can get her in.  Even on virtual sessions, they are much better equipped to deal with this than we are.  Good luck.
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HopeE
Thank you all for your responses. We are moving ahead and are likely admitting today or tomorrow. My d. vacillates between somber silence and lashing out with "You're sending me away right when I have been able to build the support team I need." She is referring to her therapist and dietitian who she has developed excellent relationships with over the last year - plus has finally made one friend outside of her twin sister. As with all other ED accusations, I let it roll off my back. The road has been excruciating, but I want to see her thrive again - and I know this is the next step. Thanks for all your support. @Bailey2019 We are in Silver Spring, MD!
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deenl
Jedwa2222, wishing you the very best of luck whenever she gets admitted. My feelings were totally mixed up at the time - glad my son was going somewhere that would help and sadness that he would not be home with us. Hold on to that vision of her thriving again. I found it so important for myself and for him.

Warm wishes,

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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HopeE
Update: 
We just dropped our daughter at the front entrance of the residential facility. We weren't able to accompany her because of COVID-19. She is texting me saying, "This isn't for me. Please come. I'm serious. They're treating me like meat on a stick. Please. I am so serious. It's like that horrible psychiatrist we saw once. I'm not lying. This is a bad choice." 
So her father and I sit here trying to keep believing this is the best thing. This is harder than I imagined. Thanks for listening. 
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Enn

Of course it is hard!! You are not alone. If she or rather ED was happy then I would be really concerned as it would mean that ED is thriving . We want ED to know this is serious. 

I send a hug and a cup of tea ☕️ 

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Torie
Good for you to take this oh so difficult step!  I know it goes against every parental instinct to tamp down the urge to "rescue" her, but Enn is right that the centers that are effective are the ones that tend to provoke messages like the ones you are receiving.

Hugs from afar ... xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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HopeE
Thanks for your kind words. Very hard day. I dont know why but they let her use her phone this evening and she called begging to come home. She called her twin sis asking her to come get her. What a day. I feel sad for her that she thinks she is being punished. She's so desperate! Just had to say this to someone...thanks for listening. 
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Enn

@Jedwa2222
We all really understand. Remember that she is safe. She is getting what she needs . This is an important time for you too. 

I hope that the team has regular updates for you to know after awhile how she is doing. That may also reassure you . I would also reach out to the team to let them know she is texting and asking to come home. These behaviours/ texts can be a gate way to her thinking and help the team know how she is doing.
They can support her better if they understand how distressed she is. 

Rest a bit and I mean, really rest. Take care
of the other children. Prepare for when she comes home. Find nice things to do for yourself. 

We are always here to listen, always. So go ahead ‘talk away’. 💐😊

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Foodsupport_AUS
It is really tough, and the current COVID situation just makes it harder. I would go so far as to say it is normal and expected for someone just admitted to inpatient to beg to come home. Commonly they will promise the world to get out of there. The hardest part for  you is that you have no way of verifying what she is saying or experiencing.  

I hope they can work out a way to help you feel more at ease. Video calls/ conferencing, keeping you updated very regularly as to her progress. She is not imprisoned but to her it probably feels as though she is. I know that you researched the facility before hand, further things were out of control at home. You have made the right decision to have her admitted. Try to rest, take care of yourself, and give it some time. 

Thinking of you. 
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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MKR
Sending strength to both parents 😀. 
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Torie
I hope it gives you a tiny bit of peace to know that her current misery is a sign that she is getting the help she really really needs.  It will be well worth it in the end although oh so difficult in the meantime.  Take care. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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HopeE
I called yesterday and talked to the person that seems to have an administrative, rather than therapeutic role. She said she had talked to staff working with my daughter and she was doing a little better. I can't bring myself to believe them. 
Someone here commented that we researched the choice and have to trust the decision. I thought I had researched, but now that she is there, I am torturing myself by finding all these negative reviews online. Her outpatient team recommended Center for Discovery in Virginia as they have worked with clients who have completed programs there. Just reading others warnings about the philosophy of Center for Discovery after already admitting her is troubling. 
When we dropped her off, we were not even given contact information or names of who to connect with. When we finished talking with the woman yesterday, my husband asked what I thought of the call (we had her on speaker phone). I told him I thought it was a three out of ten and didn't feel any better as the person was  general and sounded slightly condescending. When I asked how I could check on D. over the weekend, she said she wasn't sure, but they would probably let her call us on Sunday. Anyway, it is hard to stop these spinning thoughts in my head. I am going outside to powerwash so I can be distracted for a while. Thanks again for listening.

BTW I changed my username for confidentiality. 
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Enn

I want you to hold onto the facts here. She was just admitted. The person did talk to you and was available to you. Is there the ability to call the ward anytime you want? Can you ask to a a caregiver or doctor? 

I am very wary of on line ratings for a number of reasons. Generally speaking if you were happy you would go on with your life and may or may not write a review. If you were very unhappy and there were real issues those places would be found negligent etc... Ratings can be so subjective. But i understand your worries. 
You have  done a big thing for your d and of course you may question the decision. It is in retrospect that we can have more objectivity. YOU did research this properly. She is safe. You can call them all the time if you need to, don’t ever hesitate. 

I would suggest writing all your questions down, anything you want to know and writing out the answers. Then you have a factual record with less emotions that you can refer back to. I find unless I write it down when it comes to a stressful situation issue, I cannot trust my memory as I start reading into everything and questioning everything.

Give it time like a few weeks. You can always take her out if the situation changes. You can always change your minds. 

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Kali

Dear HopeB,
When my daughter was in residential a wise parent on ATDT let me know that most patients would at some point call and beg to come home and that a big part of the reason why was that they have to eat and gain weight and of course they don't want to do that, it is very frightening for them. Recovery is difficult and eating is difficult. Therapy is difficult. Being on a unit with other ill people is difficult. Being away from home is difficult. There is nothing easy about it for her but you can support her and assure her that you love her and that you are there for her. 

So the day when I went to visit my daughter and she sat in my lap, told me she loved me, and then begged to come home...(after a month of hating me) well I saw right through it and told her that I loved her too, and that she would need to complete the program because that was best for her health, and when she had done so and her doctors agreed that she was well enough to come home, we would welcome her home. And not before. She was 18 at the time, like your daughter. She was there for 11 weeks, came home fully weight restored and with a carefully crafted step down plan. I am sure I would have been making a big mistake if I had allowed her to leave the program and come home prematurely. She was not recovered, she was merely frightened at the prospect of being fully weight restored. Today she credits her time there as being very difficult however the start of her recovery.

I too had carefully researched the unit where she was. 

If your daughter calls you tomorrow, you can ask her when you can phone her and how.
If she doesn't phone you on Sunday, do get in touch with the facility on Monday and request that information. If the person you are speaking to doesn't know, then ask to speak with someone else who does.

Because it was not during covid, there were generous visiting hours, when the patients were not in programming. Part of the program she was in was also a once weekly family therapy session which focused on how to manage the transition home. So she was able to phone any evening or weekend time she wanted to, and sometimes during the day between programming. There was no limit. Unfortunately generous visiting hours are not the case now when we are all working so hard and cooperating to slow the spread of Covid19. However during the first two weeks she was there I took a step back and limited my interaction with her, by mutual agreement. And she needed to get acclimated to her new surroundings. We had been fighting about eating and things were not great at home and we both needed a break from that. Her behavior was frightening. When we got home from dropping her off I had to wash blood off in the bathroom from where she had self harmed that morning. I had no doubt that she needed to be exactly where she was.

Also has your daughter signed the HIPPA forms so that you and your husband can get updates on her progress from the staff?

I know firsthand how very worried you are, but are there any ways you can practice self care or do something kind for yourself while she is in residential? Try to recharge your batteries now for when she comes home because you will need to be on top of your game then in order to make sure she is eating and following her step down plan.

You can do this.
warmly,
Kali

Food=Love
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HopeE
Enn and Kali- I'm so grateful for your thorough, encouraging and kind responses. I distracted ted myself with power washing the house. It helped! I feel calmer and more at peace for now. She is strong-- and I'm stronger than I thought I was before this all began. Warmly, HopeE
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Enn

Yes you are stronger and your d has your strength!! Ã°Å¸â€™Âª

 

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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dancinggirl
As someone who has been in residential before, as an adult even, I called my parents many times begging to come home.  There are always times when it feels like I can't get through things and there are also things that happen that are unhelpful.  However, at the end of it all, I always come out improved and having learned new skills.  Try and listen and just let her vent without taking it all on your shoulders.  It helps to have someone remind you that you are loved and they are there for you even if they can't take the burden away.  Encourage her to engage with the staff and calmly explain her feelings if she is able.  Take care.
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