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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UKmumof3
Hi all,

I am currently awaiting a referral to CAHMS for my 12yo daughter. We have already waited 4 weeks because the GP didn't take her height or weight, nor did she order any blood tests. If I'd know she'd needed that when I went in then we might be at a different stage now.... When we saw the GP I wasn't totally sure that my d had an ED, as it stands now, I believe that she has AN (weight loss, excessive exercise, calorie counting, secretive about exercises in her room, throwing away food etc).

I feel fortunate that I see her eat breakfast and a meal with me every day: those two things are not a battle. But everything in between is. I have read Eva Musby's book, so am approaching the situation from that perspective, trying to increase food intake and also trying not to engage in pointless conversations where she wants everything justified and questions what I know. I have a 16 year old who starts his gcse mocks today and a 14 yo daughter who is really struggling through all of this - so I am very mindful of making sure she is ok too. I am also a single mum, and although they see their dad once a fortnight for a few hours, it's me doing the work.

I have learnt not to trust what she tells me and that is something which is breaking my heart. She can look me in the eye and tell me that she has drunk her milk or that she ate her lunch, but I know that she is recording this info every day, and that these things are not happening. 

My question is whether I should be stopping all of her exercise. I have cut out a lot - and I know I didn't do this soon enough, but I was actually scared of dealing with how she would react. I feel like I've faced up to things a little more now, but I'm still allowing her to run 3 times a week and do a class of taekwondo. Commonsense tells me that this needs to stop for the time being until she has put on weight, but as we've not had any support or advice so far, I know that she will question it and I feel like I need concrete proof to show her. 

I am so grateful to have found you all.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum, sorry that you have had to find your way here. 

Great that you have already found Eva Musby's book and are starting on increasing her intake. In general the faster you can get things going the better. Many of us have looked for support from various teams but good support is is unfortunately not common. 
It is hard to confront ED, you have probably realised that there will be a lot of back lash from your D when her behaviour is challenged - it is the right thing to do. That includes stopping the exercise for the time being and the taekwondo. 
Being a single parent adds some more difficulty - is it possible to get her Dad more involved, particularly with the other children whilst you are working with your daughter. Everyone working together is going to achieve so much more than individually. 
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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Enn
Welcome from me as well.
I would agree with you that all exercise should stop now and 3 meals and 3 snacks be initiated. 
These kids will argue like the best!
I wonder if you told her you spoke with the doctor and they told you that this is what she needed  to do. I did that. I told d that I called the doctor and she had to eat x that week. 
You could also say that exericsenwothoit enough fuel is bad on the heart so no exercise. That is the truth no matter who she asks or where she looks.
My d was 12 at diagnosis. The one thing that we found was d was not eating her lunch at school and many of us have had to take their kid out is school to ensure they ate.
A lot of what we advise seems so drastic but it can be needed to get on the right track.
What is she eating now? 
Please ask all the questions you have.
Do you know when your assessment will be yet?
i do hope you find the support and information you need.
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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Enn
Just another question.
Did the family doctor rectify the issues of weight and height and bloods to send with the referral? If they have not, insist it gets done as that may expedite the referral. 
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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ValentinaGermania
UKmumof3 wrote:

My question is whether I should be stopping all of her exercise. I have cut out a lot - and I know I didn't do this soon enough, but I was actually scared of dealing with how she would react. I feel like I've faced up to things a little more now, but I'm still allowing her to run 3 times a week and do a class of taekwondo. Commonsense tells me that this needs to stop for the time being until she has put on weight, but as we've not had any support or advice so far, I know that she will question it and I feel like I need concrete proof to show her. 


It depends on her physical state but normally all exercise has to stop until they are not underweight any more.
Normally the doctor should tell you to stop that.
She has no energy to spend for any movement that is not necessary at the moment. When she is able to eat and gain and she can eat extras for exercising, then she can go back.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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sandie
@UKmumof3 
most people don’t put their real name in their profile so they cannot be identified. It is easy to change. 

We had to not just stop exercise but drive to and from school and then when D struggled to put on weight, there was no walking and we had to minimise going up and downstairs.
shopping trips are also exercise and dr told us at first appointment these needed to be stopped as well. 

Xx
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair
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UKmumof3
Thank you all for the messages and advice re exercise. 

@sandie - I didn't realise about the name but all changed now.

Unfortunately, the dr wasn't helpful at all when we went to see her. She didn't take her weight but still made the comment 'we can see you're a nice, healthy weight' despite D being sat with her blazer and coat on. We were actually given no information at all other than to talk to the school nurse for advice!

@Enn - I have been following up to get the re-referral done. Bloods were taken 2 weeks ago and on Friday I was still waiting for the referral to be done.
At the moment she is eating porridge and banana for breakfast and a normal portion for an evening meal. I did watch her drink milk last week - and that was when she told me that she hadn't drunk any at all before, despite me trying to get her to do it for the previous fortnight. I naively thought that she was doing what I'd asked. I also read her 'plan' for today which said to 'throw lunch in bin before getting to school'. She doesn't know that I have found where she's writing everything. 

@Foodsupport_AUS - getting her dad more involved won't be easy due to his location and their relationship, but I will try to get him more on board. He does understand what is going on but I do think I need to educate him further.

Thank you all again.


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sandie
You should be able to self refer depending on where you are in uk so maybe worth doing that while waiting for gp. 
Cahms started my d on 3 meals and 3 snacks daily. I was told it was important that she eats every 3 or 4 hours and that this is all supervised. Eating disorders are very sneaky and after several weeks I realised my D had been hiding food all over the place despite being a very honest girl. 
Can you start by adding a snack to what she is eating now? After school or supper? 

Also so fruit and veg are not substantial and just fill you up. I had to learn to cut down on those and focus on getting carbs and fat in. 

Xx
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair
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Torie
Hello, and welcome to the club no one wants to join.

I agree with with what the others have said, especially about recruiting some help.  Perhaps your ex would read some blog posts or watch some videos or something?  Maybe he would like to join us here?  In any case, I really suggest you reach out wherever you can to find some help - friends, relatives, neighbors, church, etc.  AN is not a "casserole illness" like cancer, where everyone lines up to help, but usually people are willing to pitch in if you let them know there is a need.  Often it is possible to find support for siblings - friends can often invite them over for dinner and games or some such, and often help with driving can be arranged.  

It is so important to take care of yourself when so many people depend on you.  It's true what they say about putting on your own oxygen mask before tending to others'.

Please feel free to ask all the questions you like. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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teecee

Please stop all exercise until at least she has been successfully refed. 

My D had exercise compulsion AN and was previously a national performance tennis player...if I tell you that immediately prior to diagnosis she was sprinting around the circuit training class with people complimenting her on how fast and fit she was to then the following week not being able to walk up stairs unaided it may show you how powerful the mind is. She was dangerously ill and ended up having scans on her liver due to irregularities. 

she slept and slept and slept a lot in those months and I would say her physical health did not get back until at least a year later. She has never returned to competitive tennis but just does coaching and a small amount of hitting with kids. Nothing like the 20 hours a week she was doing. 

Their health comes first and foremost. 

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ValentinaGermania
UKmumof3 wrote:

Unfortunately, the dr wasn't helpful at all when we went to see her. She didn't take her weight but still made the comment 'we can see you're a nice, healthy weight' despite D being sat with her blazer and coat on. We were actually given no information at all other than to talk to the school nurse for advice!


Seems to be one of these doctors who need a very urgend lection about EDs! He does not seem to know anything about that!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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melstevUK
Welcome UKMumof3,

I think part of the problem is that GPs try and appear calm and reassure that there is nothing to worry about - whereas if there is the slightest hint that an ed might be involved, they need to move up to high alert and look at the worst case scenario, do all the checks, and start putting the patient onto a three meal three snack structure straight away.  Medical and GP training is still inadequate and this is something that needs to be looked at - it is getting those involved in training to agree to these changes and finding the agencies to do this.  SEDIG in Scotland have improving medical training and GP training as a longer term aim but it is not easy to make changes to courses.  

Has your d's weight been taken and her bmi calculated?  Can you weigh her yourself?  You need to self-refer if her BMI is at 16 or below  and get her seen immediately.  This is a critical weight - if she drops below this, you are in deep water and looking at a long long time for recovery.  If she is still hovering at 16 or above - you can maybe pull this back very quickly. 

Can you get her weighed in her underwear at home - she does not need to know the weight herself but you do.  Four weeks wait is too long and in any case, how much longer will you have to wait? 

If you can, stop all exercise, pull her out of school for a week and monitor everything that she is eating.   Try and get a snapshot of what exactly is happening.

If I knew then what I know now - I could maybe have saved my d from years and years of illness if everyone had been 'on to it'.

Please do everything that I am saying and get back to us with the results.

Please see the urgency of my post.  I am posting with the best of intentions.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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UKmumof3
Thank you all for the further replies.

Today I have found all of this support and to top it all off, I took a phone call at 5pm today from one of the practitioners at the area's specific ED team. We will be going for an assessment on Monday. 

I really appreciate all of the advice about stopping exercise. It has properly opened my eyes up to the dangers of continuing, and I know that all replies have been posted with the best of intentions and through experience. Exercise has stopped as of today and I am continuing to try to get 3 meals and 3 snacks into her. 

Thank you all x
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Enn
This is great news. Sending my best.
let us know how we can help. 
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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teecee

Very brave of you to trust in these experienced carers. It’s difficult to do that especially when professionals may be making you feel you need to listen to their conflicting advice. Arm yourself with knowledge. 

very best wishes and ask what you need to whenever you need to. 

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MKR
Hello and welcome!

Great that you have read Eva Musby's book and already "speak the language".  

We stopped all exercise "for a month" - what a mistake to put a time limit... her anxiety increased when the month was up. No exercise for months on end, it turned out.

I will be short, just 2 things:
- Avoid taking her food shopping, it overwhelms.  All AN sees is each shelf screaming "healthy/ unhealthy", "calories", "carbs" etc. What you want is for her brain to turn away from those thoughts as much as possible.
- Try to get the school on board.  Discretely, but this is important because they see her during the day.  Our school was our eyes and ears. Stopped her from doing laps, going up and down the stairs endlessly, checked that she was eating lunch and timed her toilet breaks (she tried to exercise in the bathrooms).  You want to tell ED that there is no loophole.

All the best,
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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