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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Jeneldridge

Hello - This is my first time posting in this forum.  Our 14 yo daughter has been in treatment for anorexia for almost 6 weeks, starting with partial hospitalization, and moving up to inpatient last Wednesday.  She has been doing great in group therapy, and is very open and communicative about how she's feeling, so I suppose that's progress.  However, she is still having huge difficulty eating anything that's not a "safe" food (fruits, veggies).  She's on a reduced meal plan and her meal completions are at around 30%, sometimes lower.  Every time I talk to her she cries about how hard it is, and that her ED voices are telling her not to eat.  She says a big part of her doesn't want to get better.  I know this is common, but I'm struggling with how to help get her over this hump so she can start to get better.  I know the ED voices will start to quiet down once her brain has some nourishment, but if she refuses to eat any fats or proteins, I fear we're going to stay stuck in this place.

I'm hoping someone out there has some suggestions or at least some encouraging words.  We're feeling pretty hopeless right now (although I would NEVER say that to my daughter).




15yo D diagnosed with AN-R Jan 2020. Hospitalized since late January. Almost fully weight restored as of late May; ED voices remain very strong.
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Enn

Welcome, 
I do hope you find the support you need. 
I just wish to understand better. Is she inpatient at this time? The only way through her discomfort about eating non-safe foods is to eat them. It is counterintuitive I know. The very thing they are scared of doing has to be done to get better. 
Yes you are right, they don't want to get better but you can help her to get better.  

May I ask why she is on a reduced meal plan ? Is the IP team ensuring adequate nutrition? They should have a plan for unfinished meals like a supplement drink or NG tube. 
Ed does not want them to eat and her upset is real. Learning to tolerate her distress can help you be confident and she needs your confidence to get through this. She will need to eat fats and proteins, the sooner the better really despite how she feels. 

This is a nice link.

Things do get better, but at the beginning I can understand how hard that is to see. 
How are you doing? Are you getting support as well? 
Please ask all the questions you have. We all wish to help.
Please read around the forum for more information, knowledge is power here. There is huge learning curve.
FEAST-ed.org
https://www.amazon.ca/When-Your-Teen-Eating-Disorder/dp/1684030439
Anorexiafamily.com

Sending my best. 

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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Jeneldridge
Thanks so much, Erin.  To address some of your questions - yes, she is currently in inpatient treatment.  I don't believe she's getting adequate nutrition because she is only eating a portion of that she's being given, and she avoids the fats and proteins.  Her therapist and dietician often sit with her during meals and encourage her to eat her fear foods, but that doesn't translate to her eating them consistently.  They do give Ensure for unfinished meals, but she simply doesn't drink it.  They cannot force her to eat, and a feeding tube hasn't been considered because her blood tests and EKGs are pretty normal.  She lost weight at first after entering treatment, but it has held steady for the past two weeks.  I am frightened and frustrated because I feel like she should be making more progress, but everyone tells me that "it takes a long time."  I just feel like she's stuck and I feel like there must be something more we can do to push her in the right direction.
15yo D diagnosed with AN-R Jan 2020. Hospitalized since late January. Almost fully weight restored as of late May; ED voices remain very strong.
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Enn

Ok I understand better thanks!
EKG and labs will be normal. Only if purging or laxative abuse will it show up in labs. If she is not eating it is their priority and medical responsibility to ensure she gets her nutrition full and proper everyday. She is under their care and if weight gain is not happening they are not doing their job. I am being quite blunt here as good care means weight gain. 

With kids they can hold on to the medical vitals and labs until it is almost too late. The faster they get food in even by NG the better outcome over all.
Is this a specialist ED team? 

 

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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Jeneldridge
Thanks. Yes, she’s in an ED treatment center. I’m contemplating moving her to a residential facility or bringing her home and refeeding her myself. I’m terrified that I will not succeed at getting her to eat, but I also feel like this isn’t working and we need to try something new. 
15yo D diagnosed with AN-R Jan 2020. Hospitalized since late January. Almost fully weight restored as of late May; ED voices remain very strong.
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mommiful
Jeneldridge wrote:
Thanks. Yes, she’s in an ED treatment center. I’m contemplating moving her to a residential facility or bringing her home and refeeding her myself. I’m terrified that I will not succeed at getting her to eat, but I also feel like this isn’t working and we need to try something new. 


It's great to hear that you're critically assessing her current treatment. You're the mom. You have good instincts, and you'll figure out a way forward. Sometimes it takes a little (or a lot) of trial and error.

Since she's not losing weight now and it does often take a week or more for them to start gaining weight in inpatient/residential, you have a little time to figure out your next steps. Now is a time when you can do some reading (starting with Enn's suggestions), explore your options, ask lots of questions--here, at her current program, of any other programs you're considering or therapists you might want to work with. I think you'll find lots of support for the idea and practicalities of refeeding at home on this forum. You may find that you have a lot more leverage at home once you've done your homework and have the support of lots of parents who have been there, as well as a (hopefully) good therapist. Being inpatient also can act as a reset button, so you can start things off on a different foot at home. That doesn't mean she'll necessarily be able to go back to normal eating the moment she walks through the door, but you may find you're in a better spot to start figuring out how to get her to eat. If you find you're not able to get traction, you can always decide to try a different residential program then. 
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ValentinaGermania
Is she gaining there?
It sounds as if the treatment center does not concentrate on refeeding and making her gain weight.
0,5-1 kg every week is international standard and should be reached. It is important that she gains weight to recover.
No child should lose weight in IP.

"Every time I talk to her she cries about how hard it is, and that her ED voices are telling her not to eat.  She says a big part of her doesn't want to get better.  I know this is common, but I'm struggling with how to help get her over this hump so she can start to get better."

This is normal and you cannot avoid that distress. She needs to go through it to get better. Her brain needs to learn by exposition that food is not dangerous.
You can only help her when you ask the team there to make her gain and to do their job.
And you can help her by not talking about the disease with her now but distract her with normal life stories and with card games and watching TV together. Every minute she is not alone with ED thoughts is a good minute.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Jeneldridge
After one week in IP she does seem to be making progress.  We are feeling hopeful for the first time since this started, although we know there will still be setbacks.  We are keeping her in IP for another week before reassessing next steps.  Thanks to all of you for your replies.
15yo D diagnosed with AN-R Jan 2020. Hospitalized since late January. Almost fully weight restored as of late May; ED voices remain very strong.
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Torie
Glad to hear that she seems to be making progress.  Has she gained weight this week?  That is the most important thing, by far.  Her treatment team should be taking a firm stand about requiring full nutrition, although it will be terrifying and traumatic for her.   xx

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