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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Thankgodforthedog
Hello - so far admission has been one of the steps in our journey, and there are now different challenges. My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with Atypical Anorexia in Oct 2019 and admitted voluntarily to an adolescent psychiatric ward in January 2020 after we had tried with all our might to make FBT work at home. We were heartbroken though hopeful. Our D did manage to stabilise after a difficult start in hospital, and we had been having brief home visits, seeing her several times a week in hospital, and felt some hope. Unfortunately, the increase in meal plan was too hard for her to cope with, new girls were admitted to the ward who'd had several admissions and there was a dynamic of competition among them. Our D, who had started CBT E, began to question everything, even her team and the Consultant whom she'd initially trusted, she wanted out of CBT E, saying after just a few sessions that it wasn't working. This last week she started refusing to eat and on Friday she was sectioned as she'd been talking about wanting to be discharged. Last night she was transferred to the general hospital for IV fluids to increase her blood sugars. We are waiting to hear if she needs to move to an NG tube. My fear is she'll lose her place in the ward, I don't know what they'll offer if she doesn't eat, whether there is hope. It's all so worrying and unknown : (
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deenl
Hi and welcome,

I love the name and I think there are more than a few people here who have the same feelings.

We had different difficulties IP so I have no real words of wisdom to share. I am sure that others will be along soon to share their experiences. But I definitely identify with the worry that you feel. It is so difficult when our kids have to go IP and, I don't know about you, but I did it with a very sad heart but with the belief that it would be a turning point for us. Like you, IP was not the missing ingredient that we had hoped for, although in our case it was due to misdiagnosis than to the ED battle.

I know at the stage you are at it is a fog of fears and confusion and a desperation for clarity surrounding the way forward. It is in the nature of the ED beast that this is often not possible. Once the illness is challenged and the patient simply has to eat what is necessary for life, health and recovery, there is often a big flare up in symptoms and stubbornness. Our poor kids can't help it, the anxiety is huge for them.

But I can tell you with 100% certainty that there is hope. It may take far longer than we wish but so many parents here see improvement and recovery even after very, very difficult presentations of the illness. It is an unfortunate fact of the disease that there is a spectrum of severity and some of our kids fall on the tougher side of it. My own kid lost weight in IP and was uncooperative that they were looking at sedating him so that they could use the NG tube but his medical condition was so severe that sedation was a big risk. To look at him now you would not believe how ill he was - he has a very happy life, is very healthy and is taking his final secondary school study and exams absolutely in his stride, working hard with
(edit: without!) obsessiveness.

The key in our case was me reading lots and coming here for support and suggestions. If you would like any book recommendations, please let me know.

Wishing you continued strength and courage,

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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ValentinaGermania
Unfortunately, the increase in meal plan was too hard for her to cope with, new girls were admitted to the ward who'd had several admissions and there was a dynamic of competition among them.


I wonder if you had already an appointment with the consultant psychiatrist that is in charge for her? The head of the team?
Increase in meal plan is something that needs to happen and is not negotiable.
But the competition among the patients needs to stop and they should have a plan for that.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Thankgodforthedog
Thankyou Dee - any book suggestions welcome. I've read/got a few of the usual suspects, I found Eva Musby's book helpful when we were working on FBT, and I think it still has a place sometime in the future : ) It's so helpful to hear there is hope when things feel very difficult. Part of the difficulty as well as worry for our D, is how do we live as a family now - we have two younger children. The other part is how to cope day to day with such worry. 

VG - yes we did meet with the consultant to discuss the plan. I understand the increase isn't negotiable, and our D's unhappiness with him and the team must be linked! I think some of the problem is she was also very tired emotionally and physically, and it was so very difficult to carry on. She had said when she was at home that it was easier for her not to eat. Perhaps she herself had lost hope : ( 

Last night she was put on an NG, apparently she was very calm with the procedure though grumpy with the nurse. We wait to see how she is today - such a large part of this is riding the ups and downs, and I find the downs, well, difficult!

Appreciate your support. The power of hope is a gift.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum. The hardest phase for most of dealing with eating disorders is getting things headed in the right direction. You tried your best to turn things around at home and so it came to the admission. Commonly the more her ED gets challenged the harder she will find things, but if it is not challenged she won't ever recover. One of the things that is commonly needed at this stage is for them to have the feeling that they have no choice. If the ED voice is strong they can often feel a relief that they are not choosing to fight it voluntarily. It is a bizarre illness, with sometimes illogical conclusions from things that seem quite logical. 
It is a positive that they have not hesitated in starting NG feeding. Hopefully they will continue to work at weight gain with this, with a view to transitioning back to oral food soon. Please ask lots of questions. 
It takes so long to see changes for the better at this stage, and often they will come so slowly that it is only when you have looked back you will see things have changed. If at all possible try to make sure you take some time for your self whilst your D is inpatient, as well as caring for the rest of your family. 
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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ValentinaGermania

VG - yes we did meet with the consultant to discuss the plan. I understand the increase isn't negotiable, and our D's unhappiness with him and the team must be linked! I think some of the problem is she was also very tired emotionally and physically, and it was so very difficult to carry on. She had said when she was at home that it was easier for her not to eat. Perhaps she herself had lost hope : ( 


For sure it is easier not to eat for her. No stress, no problems. But that is not possible. She must go to this stress and discomfort to learn to eat again. With every day she eats her brain learns again that food is not dangerous. It is her ticket to a normal life.
It is very exhausting and emotionally hard for her. Try to support her and show her you care but do make clear that food is necessary to recover. Food is the medicine.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Thankgodforthedog
Thanks folks...12 hours of the NG tube and my D decided to eat food again on Tuesday. So far that has continued to be the case, however I now know that this can change dramatically and we are trying to keep it a day at a time. She did say it was the lowest point for her. And now to start to climb back up that mountain : )
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Foodsupport_AUS
Great that she is eating again. Sometimes they just need the reinforcement that there is no other choice, food goes in either way. May things continue to improve. 
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
Wishing you all the best and especially for your daughter, may she get back to safety soon ❤.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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WeWillBeatThis
I just want to wish all the best as you move through this journey.   

We are in week 3 of FBT with our 14 year old daughter. Weight has remained stable but not increased.  Every day is a struggle but based on what we read in these forums it is worth it. 
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ValentinaGermania
Can we help you with ideas to increase weight, @Jenanddre?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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WeWillBeatThis
We always appreciate input and ideas.

I think i'll start a new post on weight gain ideas (Weight Gain Ideas for FBT) so others can be sure to easily search and see it.

thanks
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WeWillBeatThis
Thank you @ValentinaGermania!
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