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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Hello everyone ,

We are new to this whole ED/anorexia thing - my 15yo daughter was diagnosed on feb 3 this year. 
She was initially managed as an inpatient for 2 weeks due to new diagnosis , bradycardia , postural reflex tachycardia etc etc. 
her initial discharge went rather well with a weight gain of nearly 2 kg in the first 10 days. We foolishly thought we had this whole thing worked out - ignorant newbies! 

She has had a number of shorter admissions since - mainly after starving herself of both food and fluids for a couple of days. Her last admission ( 4 days ago with discharge last night) was found to be in full starvation mode with high levels of ketones and hypoglycaemia along with all the usual suspects ( low HR, low BP etc). 

Our biggest problem is that she simply won’t eat. Anything. Flatly refuses. We are offering the three meals and three snacks daily and she simply says no. Repeatedly. Over and over again. 

Does anyone have any ideas how we can get past this total refusal as time , persistence, encouragement , nothing seems to work. 

Its all getting a bit much really 🙁

Welcome to the forum. Sorry that you have had to find your way here. Your profile indicates that you are in Australia. I hope that they hospital has helped you get in touch with some sort of support team on the ground. 

Unfortunately it is very common when our children become ill for them to struggle to eat anything. In hospital it is common for there to be a requirement for NG feeding if foods or fluids are not taken. For many it is this requirement, the lack of choice that helps our kids to eat. They truly cannot fight this on their own, no matter how hungry they really are. They need to to be able to tell their ED that there is no choice. 

So how do some parents manage to do it? In part it depends on the ED and its strength. There are some that use the technique of life stops until you eat (LSUYE). Sometimes called magic plate. You can find some information on the Hall of Fame here. Many others find Eva Musby's videos and ideas useful you can try these

For my D there was no persuasion, no sitting it out, no pleading that ever got her to eat. For mine it was ultimately the certainty of another hospitalisation that helped her eat, we had many, many hospitalisations. Making eating a priority above everything else. Ultimately we got an agreement from the hospital that she would attend the ward for supplementary feeding if she couldn't complete her meals at home (getting her there was another story). Some have managed to negotiate bringing their child in for NG feeding. Others have driven their child with food to the hospital and the child has capitulated in the car park. 
Some find prompting every mouthful, with distractions on / off to help. 

Let us know what is happening and I am sure some people will suggest some more ideas. We are here for you. 
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.

Welcome from me as well. I am sorry you needed to be here. Our members have a vast array of experience with ED and we can likely put our collective minds together to find a way through for you. There is no right or wrong way. 

We all want to help, just ask.

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)
It sounds like you and I are in a very very similar situation. The sheer control this disorder has on our kids is immense. Can I just encourage you to keep showing up at that table and keep loving her. 
After an 8 week admission and countless trips to the emergency room, our 15 year old finally ate real food yesterday at the table. The first time in nearly 5 months. Up until then she had been surviving on fortisips, hidden away from everyone but me. 
Please feel free to email me so we can encourage each other, if you want. 
Bye from NZ!
15.5 year old daughter diagnosed anorexic January 2020. Currently doing FBT after a 2 month hospital admission. Very very slow going.  
@kgm gold star moment!!!!!! Xxxx