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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kgm
So, totally new to this!  4 weeks ago we noticed our 15 year old daughter wasn't eating.  2 weeks later she was admitted to hospital due to heart problems.  Turns out she'd lost 14kg over 4 months.  Great parents!  She is now an inpatient in our Paediatric ward under a great team.  She has gained 1kg each week and continues to eat well but refuses to when we are in her room and just so so sad.  The Drs want her to eat with us and outside of the hospital but she is a mess when we try this.  I guess we just keep trying?!  She just wants to stay in her room and not see anyone except her Dad and I.  Has anyone else experienced this kind of sadness and anxiety with their child?  Appreciate any advice!
15.5 year old daughter diagnosed anorexic January 2020. Currently doing FBT after a 2 month hospital admission. Very very slow going.  
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum. Sorry you have had to find your way here. Many of us feel after the diagnosis that we should have got on to it earlier, but it is important to remember we don't know what we don't know. Hindsight is fabulous but we can't change the past. 

It is great that your D is gaining weight in hospital. It is also quite common for kids to struggle eating outside the hospital environment. Many hospitals have a requirement for NG tube feeding if any meals are missed and for quite a few kids they need to feel as though there is no choice but to eat. Many withdraw and isolate themselves, depression and anxiety are common and are  probably the norm rather than an exception. 

Right now keep on insist that she is eating and there are no exceptions to this. If she can only eat in hospital  then that is where ideally she should be. Some kids improve with weight gain, others only really improve once they have gained all the weight back plus a bit more. Unfortunately it is a long slow road but we are here to hold your hand as needed. 
Please ask lots of questions. 
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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kgm
So good to hear that from someone who’s been there, not just a medical person!  Thankfully she eats her food as soon as she’s back on the ward so no NG tube for her. She is needing to top up with fortisip after some meals though. I guess we’ve just been so taken aback by how quickly and dramatically her mood has changed. She was always so respectful and entertaining before the ED and now she’s either angry or crying. Really putting our faith in the theory that as her brain gets nutrition, she’ll start to reappear again. 
15.5 year old daughter diagnosed anorexic January 2020. Currently doing FBT after a 2 month hospital admission. Very very slow going.  
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LaraB

Hi @kgm I am so glad you have found this forum. It has been invaluable to me and everyone is so kind. I am glad your D is in a safe place and eating and putting on weight. As everyone here says- food is medicine. 

There are some great resources that can help you. This forum has a search facility. There is also a Hall of Fame section you can find under categories under quick links which is where some really great inspirational and wise posts /threads have been collated, so worth reading around the forum to learn as much as you can. 

Other resources I recommend are:
the family guides on the feast website; Lauren muhlheim’s book “when your teen has an eating disorder” which is a really practical guide. Also anorexiafamily.com is a wonderful website.

sorry I am probably overwhelming you with resources! I mainly just wanted to say hi and give you a hug. 

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kgm
You’re the second person to mention that book so I think I’d better order it!  Thanks!
15.5 year old daughter diagnosed anorexic January 2020. Currently doing FBT after a 2 month hospital admission. Very very slow going.  
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Enn

Good morning from Canada!
Welcome.
What you describe is normal and you are really at the early early stage.

May I ask what happens when you take her out of the hospital to eat?
My d too was admitted right off the start and we had graded meals on the ward. So forst was that dad and I sat with her to eat her hospital meal. Then we took that same meal off the ward to the Ronald McDonald room, the we took her for a snack in the cafe in the hospital etc...
Right now the best thing is for the weight to go up and your team is achieving that! It take many many months after an appropriate weight gain to see the brain get better.
The anger and sadness are common and expected. 
There are so many voices of experience here so please tap into that by asking all the questions you have or letting 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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ValentinaGermania
kgm wrote:
So, totally new to this!  4 weeks ago we noticed our 15 year old daughter wasn't eating.  2 weeks later she was admitted to hospital due to heart problems.  Turns out she'd lost 14kg over 4 months.  Great parents!  She is now an inpatient in our Paediatric ward under a great team.  She has gained 1kg each week and continues to eat well but refuses to when we are in her room and just so so sad.  The Drs want her to eat with us and outside of the hospital but she is a mess when we try this.  I guess we just keep trying?!  She just wants to stay in her room and not see anyone except her Dad and I.  Has anyone else experienced this kind of sadness and anxiety with their child?  Appreciate any advice!


Hi and a very warm welcome from Germany.
What you descibe is totally normal and it is part of the AN. The brain is malnurished and she is depressive and the disease tries to seperate her from the ones she love. Try to ignore it and visit her as often as possible and make all the others visit her too. The AN says she wants to see nobody but your d inside does want that. Drs sound great when they encourage you to eat with her, this sounds very professional. Try it every day. She needs to eat with you at home so better you both learn that very soon.
The sadness and the anxiety are high at the start but will get better with every kg she gains. Try to be patient and trust the process.

Use the time she is in hospital to prepare yourself and your home when she comes back and learn about that disease as much as you can. We are here to help you and to answer all questions.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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kgm
Thanks for the reassurance. 
At the moment the routine is that I visit in the morning and take her off ward to eat her morning tea. She only gets as far as outside the door of the ward and makes me park her there, turn my back on her, not talk and then she’ll eat her snack.  I look like an idiot but hey ho. Then I am to stay in the room with her and the nurse while she has lunch. She refuses to let me look at her or talk to her during this so I have to face the wall and read a magazine. Even then she can’t eat so ends up having to have full fortisip. 
I then go home, snivel in my pillow for a bit, walk the dog and wait for my youngest daughter to get home. Then husband visits hospital and does an off ward ‘adventures’ during which she sobs and cries “take me back” and he deals with all the helpful people who ask if she’s alright (clearly not).  Then he hangs around, manages to cheer her up a bit and comes home. Then in the evening one of us visits with her sister (who is totally over this already!)

So that’ll our life at the moment. Oh, and now the dog is in hospital with gastro. 
15.5 year old daughter diagnosed anorexic January 2020. Currently doing FBT after a 2 month hospital admission. Very very slow going.  
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Enn

We had the same ,really.
When d was discharged from hospital we
could not look or talk to her at meals. I actually had to hide in my room door locked because of her outbursts that were directed at me.
It takes time. I really wish we had a fast forward button on ED! 

We have been where you are. You are not at all alone. Please feel free to vent and yell and cry and celebrate here! 🌺

I am sorry the dog is not well. 😢

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
Hello and welcome from USA.  As you see, no place is immune from ED.

It is really great that your d seems to be getting effective care that achieves weight gain at a good clip.  In my book, that is the only thing that really matters at this point.  Every additional kg brings you closer to getting your d back.

We all wish we had seen the signs sooner.  But please try not to beat yourself up about that because that does not help your d and it sure as heck doesn't help you; the only one it helps is ED because it brings you down and saps your strength.  I hope you will learn to set those thoughts aside and think of something else.

It really sucks that the dog is sick too.  So unfair.  Our dog needed emergency surgery during our battle with ED and good grief I did not need that stress and responsibility on top of it all.

Big hugs. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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MKR
Hi @kgm from a Kiwi mum.

Just adding to the sound advice above, a few facts where I am:

FBT:
Overall, NZ public (Kari) and private eating disorder care in NZ is firmly oriented towards family based treatment. In other words, even after the child is discharged from hospital, the lasting recovery is in the hands of parents. 

At the moment, this is fairly new and has been proven most effective. Sadly, it is not the case in some other parts of the world yet. So yay NZ!

EDANZ:
The amazing volunteer parents and recovered ED patients man the 0800 helpline and host support groups in their homes. I can't describe the feeling of a roomful of people who "get" you! As if I've swam ashore. And better even, they pointed me to this forum, where answers are available around the globe, around the clock.

What NZ lacks:
The private health insurance available in NZ does not include eating disorders, to my knowledge.  This can be tricky when there is a waiting list for an appointment at a Kari Centre. (We did a combination of private and public). But hey, at least everyone puts you straight onto FBT, not wasting time and money.

That said, I send you lots of strength and courage for the months ahead!

Feel free to ask questions.
Mum's Kitchen

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

Hello from Australia. 

Do you think you could play a card game with your d while she is eating? Monopoly (the card version) is a good distraction and allows you to be facing the person, without it seeming like you are watching them eat. 

It sounds like you are doing exactly what needs to be done. Do not waste time feeling guilty for not catching it sooner. It happens very fast and it takes everyone by surprise. Just keep moving forward.


D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
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