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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Tempest
It took more than a month to get insurance to acknowledge that residential is a covered benefit and another several weeks to get acceptance into Roger's ED Center, but our D finally has an admission date for the end of December.

We are all hopeful that this will help. D is willing to go, although understandably anxious about it. As are we all. I hope we've made the right decision. We haven't been there to visit as it is a five hour drive, so I hope we are prepared for it not to be as expected.

Hubby and I have discussed how we will know whether to leave D there or not. I'm not sure how I will be able to tell the difference between warning signs that the place is not for us versus 'cold feet' about the whole thing. Fifteen months ago IP experience on an adolescent psych ward was a nightmare for us all. I suppose we didn't have an option as she presented as suicidal and had severely disordered thinking. Luckily, all that has seems to have cleared. However, I sure don't want a repeat of ThAT experience. What do we do if we get home and she calls with horror stories?

I feel resolved on this day, in this moment, to proceed with residential, but I know when we get there it is going to be very hard. Do we stay for several days to make sure she's ok? How do we even assess this? How do we know whether to trust the care givers. The overnight staff at her IP were downright incompetent. They didn't even follow their own safety protocols.

Does anyone have advice for us for preparing for residential? I suppose I sound like a big baby. This morning at work (I teach middle school) I burst into tears in my classroom. It's all so overwhelming. I can't really even believe we are at this point as it feels so drastic. But we are exhausted and have taken family care as far as we are able right now. I hope residential will give us all a chance to regroup so we can support her when she comes home. She has made tremendous progress in the last 12 months, as I have to keep reminding myself. But she just can not seem to stop purging and restricting.

Tempest -18 yo daughter diagnosed with EDNOS since 15, FBT at home WR 12/13, relapse 10/14, Residential 2015 for 3 months, PHP several weeks. New dx bi-polar. Home now seeing good treatment team weekly, attending college. D still occasionally purging but weight stable.
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dad67
I can sympathize with your anxiety - it is difficult to assess how well a residential program will help your D.  My experience with my D is that she really needed to feel some connection to a therapy team in order to make any progress - we failed in the first attempt and she was readmitted to IP after a couple of weeks.  In the second attempt (new facility), she did find a connection to a particular member of her therapy team and a couple of the other girls that were there.  It took some time and many difficult phone calls/visits but she eventually settled in to the program (she is naturally very shy and has a hard time connecting with people).  At the time, I think it provided a structure and a discipline that we were unable to achieve in the home.  I think it also relieved some of the stress my D felt in the family environment - though we never cast any guilt her way I think many of these children deep down feel heavy guilt about the impact the disorder has on their loved ones.  In short, I think she finally had some distance to work through some issues on her own in an environment that was safe, supporting but also where she was not provided any options (home was a constant negotiation over meals, exercise, school, etc.).  She left the second time WR and with a better transition back into home life - We have had some relapse since then but for the most part have remained stable and she utilizes many of the coping skills she learned in residential (and since then in therapy).  It is such a hard rode for everyone.

I will say to expect those hard phone calls/visits, tantrums, threats, accusations, etc.  This is par for the course with ED no matter what treatment method you are in - ED will try to scare you.  The proof will be in the weight gain and her improving state of mind over time.  You know your daughter best and those parental senses will kick if you feel something is truly not right.
Dad of daughter with ED
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karasmom
Hi Tempest - 
So sorry for your reality of this Ed life that none of us want to live, but are.  My d is in RTC too.
RTCs vary immensely from place to place.  My d was 16/17 when she went for 5 months and they had ample visiting hours and monthly family weeks.  When she relapsed in Oct, the facility she is in now is very good, but very closed.  No visitation hours. Family week twice a year.

ED treatment centers are very different from adolescent psych units too.  When my d was taken to the ER and blue sheeted (suicidal) and ambulenced to a adolescent psych unit, that was a nightmare.  We really don't talk about that.  She was there over night and first thing I could as fast as I could was to get her to a ED inpatient/RTC/etc. facility.  Luckily, my experience has been I haven't had to wait for insurance coverage for days like so many of you all have too.  I know that has been a blessing and acknowledge that.

 It is tricky but my best advice/2 cents is to develop a good relationship with her treatment team and follow their recommendations and communicate well with them.  Unfortunately, you cannot always trust your daughter's comments on what is going on. - It may be ED talking and her perspective may be skewed.  Make sure you fight to keep her in there for the time it takes and have a strong out patient - relapse prevention after care plan in place.

I also am a teacher, (elementary), and I have been in tears often over this.  My students have been my saviors in so many ways.  They have given me happiness and support when many adults have been..... distant - awkward- or whatever.  

Feel free to e-mail me if you want to discuss more specifics.  Hang in there.  I am not familiar at all with the facility she is going to - where is it?  
Sending strength, love and encouragement.
Karas mom "just keep swimming"  D - RAN - overexerciser.  Hospitalized 5 months in 2013 at CFC - shaky recovery after then relapsed at 18 (2014) - spent 4 months at Avalon Hills - very good experience.  Now hooked up with an amazing OP team - hoping for the best. 
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Sadmom

My D is still in RTC, and we had no choice, as she came right out of a hospitalization. She never came home in between and we never had a chance to take a breath and wonder if this was a good or bad choice. We just had to do it.

She cried a LOT at the beginning. In fact, I think she cried for the first many weeks, every single time I saw her (you can look at my older posts). She didn't like the girls, didn't think she was like them, didn't even think she had an eating disorder. She spent several weeks saying that no one was trying to help her and that she just wanted to come home. She was really, really miserable and having to look at her feelings for the first time.

People on this forum told me that the crying and carrying on was really normal, and in retrospect, now I see it was. When I see new girls in her unit, they are crying. My D no longer is.

She has never connected with her therapist, and we tried to move her to a different one, unsuccessfully. This was really unfortunate. We were very lucky to have a superb family therapist, who has served as the liason to the whole team, who responds to my many frantic emails, and has really helped me and our whole family. A good team really makes a huge difference. 

It's really hard not to be anxious, particularly if you can't visit regularly. The hope is, with a well respected center, that they know what they are doing and will take good care of your D. And be wary of her crying and complaining, since that will be expected.
 
Warm thoughts as you embark on this stage.

Sadmom
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Calm_USA

Tempest,

I can fully commiserate with your anxiety of placing your d in RTC.  I still don't know how we managed that drive, and it was only an hour from us.  Expect tears from all of you.  It's emotional but it is the start of healing.  As others have said, establish and maintain good communication with the treatment team.  Work with them.  You are going to get a very skewed view of what is going on from your d (or rather ED speaking through your d).  She will tell you she hates it there, etc. etc. Of course they do.  They have lost their freedom and have been placed in a structured environment and have to comply.  That structure, however, provides safetry and support which in turn gives them the freedom to start working through issues.  Slowly things will improve.  She will start physically feeling better.  Mood improves.  Friendships form.  Healing takes place.  I would reiterate what Karasmom said - make sure you fight to keep her in there for the time it takes and have a strong out patient - relapse prevention after care plan in place.  Insurance is often the culprit here, they only pay for treatment upto a "medically safe" weight which we know is not nearly enough to be a healthy weight. 

I know I probably haven't relieved one iota of anxiety for you.  All I can really say is residential saved my d's life and for that I am truly grateful. 

Wishing you all the best.

Mom of a 19 yr old. RAN diagnosed 1/2014. Residential, PHP, IOP. W/R since late summer 2014. Now in remission and thriving in her second year at university. My Faith remains.
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perdido
Tempest, my d is in a RTC as well. I got cold feet before we left. My d unfortunately had sunk into substances so we had to find a RTC for both EDs and substances. My d has said the usual, "I hate you", and I am leaving and I can't do this. The center has also giving me some mixed messages.
What I finally decided was that I need to take things with a grain of salt, and as time has gone on we still have the ups and downs.

Today, she said she was leaving again, she said it last night, but then she decided to stay. I spoke with her tonight and she sounded good, laughed a bit and apologized for being angry last night.

So, breathe and remember that while she is at the RTC to take care of yourself. I am finally at that place where I am taking care of myself and have even gotten myself some of the therapy that I have paid for her for all of these years. Three plus years and I am finally letting go of some of the irritations and anxieties that have kept me jumpy.
So, it is hard, hard to get them there and hard to be away from them and just plain hard all around.
Hugs and strength.
Slow and steady
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BLG
Just reading along here, as my 16 yr old son is about to be admitted into RTC in two days. We're super stressed also and worried about what we'll do when he begs to come home. He's a willing participant but I'm worried he'll change his mind.
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HateEDwithApassion
Would any of you share the RTC you chose and if you posted reviews on them? 

19 yo D. AN - since about 15 years old. WR quickly - but the last four years have been tough. Since Sept. 2017, two residential stays, now in IOP, fighting a relapse. ED is hanging on, mental state not great, can't get her to remain at a weight long enough or high enough to see mental healing. She's on a gap year that will likely now turn into two.
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Colleen
HateEDwithApassion, you can find reviews of RTCs in this other forum:  Feedback on Specific Treatment Providers

It's not a hugely popular forum but it's private--it can't be accessed unless you are a member here.  That makes it easier to give honest information without worrying about the repercussions of making announcements here in this public forum.

Hope you can find something useful there.  There are some very good evidence-based centers out there now--many more than when I joined 7 years ago.  And there are also snake-oil spas that don't do anything but take your money.

Even with a good RTC, it's important to realize how important your part is.  Brain healing takes longer than any insurance company will pay, and you'll be needed for a long time after your child is discharged, in a very hands-on way.

Best of luck!!
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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