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

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Hi everyone, we're about day 10 out of hospital with d (anorexia, she was severely underweight when admitted), and on six meals a day. D is putting on weight but heart rate still struggling with high jumps when she stands. She is being medically monitored.I have set meal and snack times with d. Sometimes she eats straight away and others it can take hours still with refusal. I'm exhausted at times (and a solo mother with 3 other kids). I am thinking I need to set a time limit for her to finish meals and snacks as I cannot sustain hours insisting she eat. I understand this is a preferred way with Maudsley, which is what we're doing, to insist she eat but I need a point at which I can call stop for my own sanity. She doesn't care about her phone or TV being removed, or not seeing her friends or being at school. I was thinking of getting Fortisip for when the time is up? I have already ordered Benecalorie which I'm yet to receive. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions please? Thanks. I'm feeling worn down today. 
You have posted that in 2017 posts by incident I think. Please move it to the actual forum or ask a mod to help you with that.

It is a good idea to set a time limit, many here did it. We had 45 min for a meal and 30 min for a snack. If not finished in this time she had to add a complete fortisip (which was then more than a normal meal and she tried to avoid that). We also ate in front of TV watching funny series like big bang or 2 and a half men and that helped her to learn to finish within an episode.

I can imagine that you feel worn down today. But please know that nobody here got that from day 1. It is a learning process and most families needs weeks to learn how to get into a good routine and get all that food down. You are still early days. Give yourself some chance to learn it.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Hi again,

Is there someone who can give you a hand with the other 3 kids?  In a cancer situation, there would surely be lots of offers of help.  I know it's tricky with this difficult illness...  I so wish I could come and do your chores and make you a cup of tea ðŸ˜„ so you can just crash in bed after each of the meals and snacks.

Our therapist insisted we all eat as a family.  Big mistake!  The siblings truly suffered. Only after a while I read somewhere that they should have had their meal separately until the D is ready to join them.

My daughter tried to interfere with my cooking. She would stand at the door and pick a moment to tip sauce out of the pan or pasta into the bin.  I can't remember being more stressed in my life!!  Luckily she insisted on early nights and I cooked for the next day as soon as she went to sleep.  But I was exhausted and was dragging my body.  Does this help?  I don't know.

As ValentinaGermania said, if you really get stuck, offer a caloric alternative.  I would say to D, Easier to finish what's on your plate, right? Sometimes the last mouthful was the most difficult.  As if the ED stood over her and she almost secretly ate that last bit. Have her sit at the table to ensure she has swallowed it.  I did, but somehow found lots of scrunched serviettes in her room, with food in them.  When discovered, she would look embarrassed. When I mentioned ants being attracted by the food scraps, she stopped doing it for a while.

I also think ValentinaGermania's eating during a 30-minute show is a good idea, because it gives some sort of framework and helps with the timing (five minutes to go..).

All the best â¤â¤
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
Moderators' note: We have moved this thread to the 2019 section 
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.
I know that feeling of meals that last for ever and a child that didn't care about anything. For us too life just stopped on discharge from hospital because she just couldn't eat. I note from your registration that you are in Australia, not sure where. Since your D is showing signs of medical instability it may be that she needs readmission to get her stable again. It may be worth asking your team their plans. 
There is no right way to do these meals - time limits, no time limits, adding a supplement if a meal is not eaten in X time all can work. The only really important thing right now is that the calories go in, but it sounds like that is not always happening. I agree with trying to get others to help you out, particularly with caring for the other children, taking them places etc.. 

In terms of getting your D to eat some find consequences for not eating helps, taking things away, removing privileges, others find rewards for eating can help - returning electricals, able to do an activity, monetary (small ) rewards to build towards something. There is no one way - it was whatever motivates your child. 
Some kids though just find it too hard to eat initially, would the hospital consider supplementary feeds in ED if she can't comply at home? NG tube at home has been used by some? Some hospitals offer a kind of outpatient step down but most don't. 
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.
We did a time limit and then supplements to make up for the food she didn't eat because sitting there for hours just seemed to prolong the agony we both felt.

I am in Australia too, and our (private) dietician was able to give us a referral script (through her job at a hospital) for way cheaper Fortisips.(Around $30 for 24)
i can’t give advice on refeeding but can say you are doing a much better job of it than we are. WELL DONE! (We suck at it. After losing 2 kg in the first 3 weeks after hospital, we have finally managed for D to at least maintain her weight. She wants us to remove the threat of hospital readmission - that’s not going to happen, it’s the only way we stopped the downward slide.)

Good luck, I know it’s so tough & horrible, but you need to find a way that doesn’t kill you... (I’m still impressed you got her gaining weight though).
I love this forum, I use the search function to find threads on topics that are on things I want to know.
sending hugs