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

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jens
After a week at a partial-hospitalization program (Monte Nido/Clementine for those in the USA), they decided my daughter needed the higher level care offered at their residential treatment center.  I dropped her off yesterday.  She called last night and this morning asking to come home.  I feel like my heart has been ripped from my chest.    She's complaining about the food (ie soggy bagel, brown spot on banana), the shower, that she couldn't sleep, that she has zero privacy, that she feels claustraphobic, etc.  Logically I know she needs this (restricting, very limited choice of foods, cutting, etc) but I also am questioning if I chose the right program. 

There is another partial-hospitalization program in town that is more family based and I keep thinking that if we had done that one maybe she wouldn't have been put in residential and could be home right now.  I keep questioning whether she really is at the point of needing residential or if it was just because of the program I chose. 

For those who's children have gone into residential/in-patient what made that the best option for your child?  Right now, I feel like the world's worst mother.
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ValentinaGermania
Her reaction and all the complaining is normal in EVERY IP/residential program. To be honest, my alarm bells would ring if she would like it there. ED is going to be fighted there and ED hates that.
Give that program a chance. You will never know if that was the right decision before you did not try it. If it does not work you can re-decide and maybe try the other program. We had no two programs to chose here, only one bad one and I also felt very bad when we brought her there. But in the end it saved her life. We needed it to get started and to get the first 5 kg on. Once she was known to that IP routine and was eating there it was easier to start FBT at home.

So give this program a chance and monitor her and see what they are doing and how the progress is. You cannot do more at the moment. Stay in contact and send her nice messanges and cards and show her you love her but do not give in to her begging to come home. At that point that higher level of care is needed, when she is better she can come home again.

You are a great mom because you brought her there so she can get help althought it tears your heart apart.
Parenting is not for cowards said a dad here recently. ED parents are true heroes.
I do not know one normal parent that understands what we have been through.

Try to breathe through now and do something nice for yourself to reload your batteries. And try to enjoy a normal meal now. You deserve that.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Enn
My d did not go to residential but I feel I need to let you know that the complaining, no matter where they are, is normal, common and expected. It is par for the course. 
You don't really know what is happening and ED can tell you anything to get home. It may be that ED is being challenged and so has become quite angry- that is a good thing. I know you feel awful and it's hard to think your child is not happy. I say give it a full week. See how it goes. Keep your options open for sure, but don't discount this program after just one day. Just like FBT and refeeding and all things ED, it will be really uncomfortable no matter what path you/she chooses. There is no easy, happy way, I am afraid.

To offer a program to your child and get her into it, you are hardly the world's worst mom, in my eyes, you are a hero. You saw  the need to get help for your child and you are doing all in your power to get your kid better.  The hardest part is the beginning of anything. Give it time, as long as she is safe, please know you have done your best and I know you have done your research on this facility and if you had doubts, you would not have placed her there. 

Big hug, 
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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jens
Thank you, both, for your replies.  I am trying hard to focus on the reality that she does need help. It's just so hard.  Especially when your child who rarely cries calls you up crying and begging for you to come get her.  
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Enn
It is agonizing for sure and being mothers we feel the need to ‘save’ them from upset. The reality is that she needs more help than home can provide right now. That thought used to help me when d was IP. It is only temporary and necessary right now to get on a good path for recovery. 
Can you visit her? That way you can see for yourself the facility and talk to the staff there just to help ease your worries? 
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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jens
Yes, it's only about 30-45 minutes away.  I'm planning on visiting her tomorrow.  I was going to go today but after this morning's phone call I thought it better to wait a day.
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Kali

Hi Jens,
My daughter was in a residential program for nearly 3 months and honestly it was the best thing that could have happened for her at that moment in time. It was really the start of recovery for her. She did not come home cured but she did come home fully weight restored and there was plenty of work for me to do to keep her on track when she did come home. But I never regret taking her there and insisting that she see the program through. And yes she begged to come home when she saw that she was going to have to eat and that in fact she was gaining weight. I told her that she could come home after she completed the program and refused to take her home. 

But I understand how crushed you must feel. It was soooo depressing and sad. Looking back, if I had to do it again, my current self would tell my past self to be kinder to myself and to practice better self care while she was away, because it was very stressful when she came home. Visit often, bring her anything she might need, be there for her, but don't let her make you question your path and what the professionals have recommended at the moment because that is just the ED trying to get you to take her home so that it can continue to make her restrict and self harm. The lack of privacy is necessary so that patients do not self harm, compulsively exercise or purge. 

You are not the world's worst mother. Very very few of us parents here have been able to do this on our own.  In fact you are a hero doing hero's work to save your daughter's life.

warmly,

Kali 

Food=Love
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jens
Thank you, Kali.
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mjkz
My biggest regrets have always been when I let my daughter come home from a program, not when I've made her stay.  There is plenty of time for her to do the outpatient program after she gains some weight and gets used to expanding her food choices.  I'd say I've heard everything and then some usually the first week or so of every program my daughter has been in (she was a long-term tough nut to crack case).  Take the time to recharge your own batteries and also get some plans in line for when she does come home.
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Scaredmom2019
Huge hugs jens. You followed the professional advice and that's the right thing to do I think. I second guess everything but I'm doing best to leave this to the pros. 
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Foodsupport_AUS
It is indeed normal for them to want to come home. Don't tell her this but give it two weeks for you to see how comfortable you are. Is she eating? Is she gaining weight? Do you feel they are treating her with firmness but at the same time with compassion? If so then she is probably in the right place. If you are concerned that she is not making any progress or getting worse it would be reasonable to re-evaluate if she is in the right place. 
For your D, let her know that you have heard her, and that you know she is struggling. It is hard for her. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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ValentinaGermania
Be aware that ED makes even the most honest kid lie a lot. My d never did that before ED and was a great actor and liar then before brain recovery started.
Be prepared that she will tell you things that happen in IP that are not true. Listen to the nurses and the professionals too before you believe anything.
They often have a very different view on things that happen there...

It will get better after some days when she is used to the routine there and sees that begging to come home is no option.
IP is good when they gain weight quite fast there and fear food is tackled and they are supervised so they cannot purge or exercise. She does not need to like it.
See it like she has cancer. Refeeding is like chemotherapy. It is awful for them but needed to survive.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Alwaysthere
My sister is also at a Monte Nido residential facility and she has said the exact same things, can't sleep, food is bad, always tired and under high observation. The only thing that helps me is knowing this is one of the best facilities you can go to (according to the research that I've done) so they must know what they are doing and even though it might not all make sense to me (why would they have bad food for example) it's either because there's a reason behind it, or my sister is just so sick, nothing feels right in that environment. Either way, they know 100% more then I do and she is getting around the clock help. She tried doing something less intense then the residential, but it wasn't enough. If jumping on this disease early means their rate of getting better increases much more, which is what all the articles I've read say, then why wouldn't you want her in the best place, getting the most extensive treatment as soon as possible? It will only help her get better faster. I think you made the right decision. After about a week my sister found some therapists there she really liked and connected with, but that all came with time.

Hang in there...
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ValentinaGermania
can´t sleep - this is normal for AN patients during refeeding, even at home
food is bad - ALL food is bad for ED - that is also normal
always tired - logical consequence of no sleep
high observation - not nice for ED but essential and shows a good quality of IP
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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roadmum
Hello Jens,
I wanted to say that it's a very hard thing to make your child suffer. To beat anorexia, they've got to suffer. They've got to eat and eat and eat and it makes them feel absolutely awful, as far as I understand. Whether you do that at home, or whether professionals do part of it in a specialist facility, and then you continue at home, there's no bypassing a very painful process.
I agree with other Mums here and believe that you have been an extremely effective Mum to get your daughter into treatment. Parenting a child with an eating disorder takes phenomenal strength. You have to reach deep for tough love and ignore all the battery/manipulation/'guilt-tripping' (my daughter's word), abuse etc/misery/sorrow/blame that they - or the ED - wants to throw at you. The more you, or professionals, stand up to ED, the more rumpus you're likely to get. You have to stand firm and just face all that down. It's the hardest thing and I wish I had had a personal coach while doing it - someone to say in my ear in a kind voice, just keep going, you're doing a great job, don't worry about whatever she throws at you.... one step in front of the other...
When we went through relapse, I had gone through the worst of some of these cycles the first time round and it made me much stronger the second time so that I wasted far less time and energy on self-reproaches and confusion. I knew what needed to happen and got on with it in a focused and almost merciless way. It's not that I don't have infinite compassion for my daughter with her suffering generally, but I have no compassion for her trying to get out of eating. I can't afford to have that because the illness is a killer and can rob them of years of their life. It's like surgery. If you hang around having compassion while you wield the knife, you'll only prolong the agony. So sometimes (I believe) great love has to be merciless. That is most merciful in the long run. After my daughter's relapse, I could hardly even look at her until she was weight restored. It was brutal. I actually think she felt the same towards me. She was furious with herself as well.
I agree with what another Mum said. She advised using the time for self-care. Goodness knows, it's hard enough and you will need your strength. So you can go in and  enjoy your times with your daughter as far as possible, stand firm with your boundaries in the confidence that you are doing the right thing and your absolute best by her, and try to shore up some strength for yourself for when she comes home.
I have often felt like 'the worst Mum in the world' for the past 2 years. I think it probably goes with having a child with mental illness. But my daughter has come through. In general, I think we are all amazing. I really do. I think it's the hardest job to parent a child with anorexia and I take my hat off to every parent working their way through it. I'm wishing you all the very very best.
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Gofixgo
It feels like it gets worse before it gets better.  We went through a similar treatment scenario for our 15YO.  At the time, her treatment team said residential was the best chance for recovery and we had realized around the same time that she needed more help than we could provide at home.  We were at our wits end and scared.  Her siblings were scared.  That said, never once did it feel like the right decision.  She hated us for a solid 10 weeks.  She only allowed us to see her once a week at family session and it was awful - not productive. I never thought I would get my old daughter back.  She came home weight restored but still very angry.  I think it’s akin to PTSD for both parents and child.  But her recovery continued at PHP and IOP.  The walls started coming down.  She saw that I was not the enemy.   We finally found an antidepressant that helped - wish we would have been more open to anti-depressants from day one.  She just discharged from IOP and continues to stay in recovery.  I still wish we didn’t have to resort to residential treatment, because I think she was surrounded by some very angry troubled girls, but those same girls were a family and support to her at a time she felt very alone.  The center did get her fed and established her base weight for the first time in her life.  We didn’t really have an alternative and so I guess we got the good with the bad.  Now that she is in recovery, I can more confidently say that it was the right decision.  I wish you all strength and luck and peace and love.  I’m still on edge looking for signs of ED and depression but every day feels a little more normal.  Thanks to this board for the support.  
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jens
Thank you so much everyone. I am slowly coming to terms that this is the right thing for her right now.  I appreciate all of your support and stories of your own experiences. I've actually come back to read your responses a few times over the past few days as it helps me.  
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ValentinaGermania
Come back to ask and to vent as often as you need. This forum is a life saver. We are all here to help you. You are not alone with that.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Hopefulmom2
Hi Jens, How's your daughter doing? Sounds like we're in similar boats with our girls (ED plus cutting). My daughter is 17 and in PHP (Lotus Collaborative - love them), a step-down from recent hospitalization for weight restoration and ED medical complications (UCSD at Rady -- also fantastic). This whole process has my heart being ripped out repeatedly. Now, the PHP is also considering a referral to residential and Clementine is on our list of potential sites. Would love to hear your update. Also a big thank to you the others who replied here with words of wisdom, experience, and support for us moms just starting the journey. - Kelly
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Torie
Hi Hopefulmom, and welcome.  How is your d doing - is she gaining weight?  I join you in looking forward to an update from Jens.  The early days are so very hard, but it does get easier.  Hang in there. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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jens
Hi Hopefulmom2

It's been 2 1/2 weeks now and has been full of ups and downs.  She has been completing most of her meals but had a really rough morning yesterday because one of her exclusion foods is blueberry bagels and they gave her a plain bagel with blueberry cream cheese.  She felt like it was the same thing as her exclusion but they said it wasn't and it turned ugly.  She honestly would have eaten the breakfast if it had been a bagel with plain cream cheese so it is a bit frustrating.

The team at Clementine has been wonderful.  They seem like they really care.  If your daughter requires residential, I think it would be a good place for her.

All that being said, I am thinking of pulling my daughter from residential this coming week and putting her in more FBT based partial hospitalization program.  She was only in the Monte Nido partial hospitalization program for a week (was never hospitalized) and didn't quite get that she needed to finish the meals. I think after almost 3 weeks in residential, she understands what is at stake and that if she doesn't eat or participate fully in PHP she will go back to residential.  

Jen

Hopefulmom2 wrote:
Hi Jens, How's your daughter doing? Sounds like we're in similar boats with our girls (ED plus cutting). My daughter is 17 and in PHP (Lotus Collaborative - love them), a step-down from recent hospitalization for weight restoration and ED medical complications (UCSD at Rady -- also fantastic). This whole process has my heart being ripped out repeatedly. Now, the PHP is also considering a referral to residential and Clementine is on our list of potential sites. Would love to hear your update. Also a big thank to you the others who replied here with words of wisdom, experience, and support for us moms just starting the journey. - Kelly
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Torie
I'm waiting with bated breath to learn if she ate the bagel.  Did she?

I am missing most of the pieces of the puzzle, but from my vantage point, it seems like a good idea that they tackled this with blueberry cream cheese.  I'm a little confused why you would consider pulling her from this program - is she gaining weight there? xx
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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jens
No, she did not eat the bagel.  If they had offered her a bagel with plain cream cheese, she would have eaten it.  She just does not like flavored cream cheese (nor do I).  She would have even eaten fresh blueberries and a bagel w/ plain cream cheese. Just not the blueberry cream cheese.

I'm considering pulling her from program because I think the FBT based php would be a better fit in the long run. It is the program that she was initially sent to but they didn't have any spots for admission so I found the other partial-hospitalization program thinking it was the same but it wasn't. It is designed more for kids stepping down from residential who have already been taught the routines of completing 3 meals/3 snacks a day which I think is why they sent her to residential after 3-4 days at the php.  I figure that we both have more knowledge at this point and I can set some rules/routines at home that we didn't have before and that if she doesn't fully participate in the FBT based PHP, then she goes back to residential.
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Torie
I'm glad you have several options including one you think is a better fit.  It sounds like you have things well in hand - thanks for explaining. xx

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