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

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Needinghelp Show full post »
Torie
Sometimes if you wake them up at least an hour before normal wake up time with smoothie in hand with a cheery, "Here, drink this," they will drink it before ED really wakes up and then they can roll over and go back to sleep.

Please keep us posted!  xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Ocras68
It’s such a tough decision. With CAMHS, we agreed that our daughter would stop all exercise at home but could continue to do some team sports at school for social reasons (as isolation and social anxiety were partly what triggered her ED). In our case though, she was compliant about eating and understood that sport at school was dependant on sufficient weight gain every week. It sounds more tricky with your son. We’re all desperate to maintain normality, but ED isn’t normal, and stamping ED out is the priority. Hopefully the quicker the weight gain, the quicker normality can return.
Wishing you strength.
Xx
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Enn

Well my D stood all the time, all the time. Would not sit. It was hard to extinguish and we HAD to do it. It was ED keeping her hostage. She had to wake up every morning at 6 am even on weekends and go to bed by 10pm. She had a lot of 'rules' that did not include food but it was ED. Had to keep her bed perfect and no one could touch it and wreck it. It was hard but we got it done and so will you!We took her out of gym at school too and extra play at recess. She had to sit in the playground. 

So I would suggest he stop the exercise.

Now she sleeps in until 10 or longer- like a perfect normal kid! She had a nap today after a sleepover because they went to bed late. She says she hates cardio. She used to try to run faster and faster but not all the time. Now she lies on the couch, sits on the computer watching Netflix and I could not be happier!!

As for normality, sorry it can't be what it used to be,  not right now. He is not well enough for what was normal for him, if you know what I mean. There may be a new normal next year and it will still be good, it really will, just different.
XXX

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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tammy
Hi needinghelp,
I am sorry I have not been in for a while so missed this. As a Mum of a nine yr old son who battled anorexia last year I know what you are going through. You have had loads of good advice.
Our son was also very resistant with awful temper tantrums and violence. Some days we would sit for hours to get him to eat a packet of raisins. He kept saying he did not want to get better.
The thing that helped me was the understanding of how terrified he was. We tried to be as compassionate as possible. Lots of cuddles and never blamed him. We always let him know that this was an awful illness he was battling and that we would all get through it together.
We also found that he was not scared of milk and he drank pints of full fat milk a day. I added cheese, cream, butter , rapeseed oil to everything I could. Slowly but surely our boy came back to us with lots of bumps slowly no the way. Exercise became more of a problem as the eating improved and then we had to tackle that too.
We had to have a very strong stance and he knew that unless he ate he would miss football, playing with his friends etc. He eventually saw that we would not let this illness beat us.
I wish you lots of luck and strength. It can and will get better. We were out for a big family dinner and he finished his own starter and main and grabbed a bit of pizza off his sisters plate then had ice cream! We have our boy back. Last year I could not even get him to eat a small chocolate from an advent calendar!
Please remember that this is torture for them and they need you to fight it for them. Listen out for little hints. My son would say things like “ you are make me me eat that right!”. It made him feel better to know he had no choice even though he really did want to eat it. Good luck
Tammy
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Alls_fair
So so sorry you are facing this at such a young age! You are doing the absolute right thing coming here, and tackling this head on. Give yourself a huge pat on the back!
These are some of the things that worked for me during refeeding my RAN 12 yr old son.
1) come here every day and read up on maudsley method and tips from these amazing warriors
2) I put my mindset in General Mode, and considered ED the enemy. Whatever I gave to eat or drink was going to be finished completely come hell or a trip to psych ER. Every single meal, even if I didn’t believe he would do it.
3) I had a war plan and took it to every meal. Really did this. It included what I was going to do and how I was going to react to every attempt to not finish a meal or discuss a meal. I always got sucked into the whys ( why r u making me do this, I don’t need this) and the never ending negotiations, so I limited my self to a few sentences only: you need this, this is medicine, I know it’s hard and I’m here with you, no, you have to finish the whole thing. I’m doing this because I love you. Had those written down too, because the battle gets nasty sometimes. ED is fighting you, your son really has to have you in total control of ED.
4) I also had an ABC list of the exact steps I would take if the meal wasn’t finished. A= total meal value replaced with high calorie boost ( took 3 for some meals and snacks) B= trip to local Psych ER to have them oversee giving boost 3) nasal tube. He knew these steps and thank god I only had to take him one time to the Er for him to know that I wasn’t kidding.
5) yelling screaming even cussing into a pillow on the floor was allowed , if he threw something, and it broke he had to fix it after the meal. I acted cool as a Michigan winter day, if at all possible. Violence toward family would mean the police would be called, also only had to do this once and he calmed right down after seeing cops show up at our door . ED is just testing you. If you give in, ED gets stronger during the next battle.
6) I made my son drink a 2000 calorie shake every night until he gained all weight back, and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s every night for the following year.


after reading everything I could about RAN on this site and through the recommended literature, I knew the faster I could get the weight on, the faster the symptoms would abate. And it’s true! If you spend just one week getting 3-4 thousand calories into him, you will see improvements you don’t now think are even possible. As the others said, it’s like he has to have a way to refuse ED. When you are totally in control he’s seen that consistently , he will be relieved and the battles will get shorter and less violent . It is a full time job for both of you to refeed. Try to surround yourself with support. Get away from the situation and have a break whenever you can. Mental illness is stigmatizing but if you are open with others, share your struggles, and accept help when offered , it’s a little bit easier.

Please listen to the others and stop all exercise and sports now. I didn’t do that and had to face exercise-RAN and bulemia 1 year after he recovered the first time. I know it seems like a great outlet , but for the eating disordered it’s just not. Maybe when he’s fully weight restored, you could have a rule about how much extra he has to eat to be allowed to practice. He should still be able to play in high school if he’s recovered fully.

I also didn’t understand how many calories it would take. Err on the side of many many more, and make him gain 5 more than you think he needs.

Most physicians, and even many specialists do not know the evidence-based methods that are most successful with eating disorders. Once you get through this, you will be educating them, and others whose children show symptoms of this life-threatening illness.
Sorry this is way too long, I just connected with your experience so strongly.





Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
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Alls_fair
One last thing. Before this experience and to this day, I am a very non-controlling kind of ‘accommodating ‘ parent who relied on natural consequences and boat-loads of love. It was hard for me to become this super controlling, ED-battling general, it’s not natural to me. The only thing that made me put on my ‘big-girl pants’ was the cold hard facts of ED. EDs have the highest death and suicide rates of ALL mental illnesses , and my brother took his life 1 year before my son was diagnosed. I thought about that every single day and it kept me going
Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
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ValentinaGermania
Yes, here too the change in parenting style and the introduction of army rules to everything food related was the big game-changer. Strict and consequent but with love and compassion.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Needinghelp
Thank you all. Had the day from hell as had a therapy session where they found he hadn’t put on weight so having to limit exercise.
Then had 3 hour standoff over morning ensure and lunch as he was refusing to eat if he couldn’t do as much exercise. Toughed it out and we got there in the end but feel emotionally drained. Therapist is saying target 2000 a day but feels like we need to be going higher based on advice here so trying to increase above 2000 plus limit exercise.
We have people staying for Xmas so can’t imagine how this is going to pan out in next week or so.
Appreciating support on here - really helps! Xx
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Mamaroo
Needinghelp wrote:

Then had 3 hour standoff over morning ensure and lunch as he was refusing to eat if he couldn’t do as much exercise. Toughed it out and we got there in the end but feel emotionally drained.


Great job, I know you feel exhausted, but you showed ED who is boss [biggrin]
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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ValentinaGermania
Limiting exercise is needed. The exercise is ED driven and you need to fight all ED behavious.

"We have people staying for Xmas so can’t imagine how this is going to pan out in next week or so."
This will be extra tuff and extra work and you already are exhausted. Can you maybe cancel that? I think everyone who knows how severe this disease is will understand that...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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katieschoice
I don't want to play Devil's Advocate but I have to put it because it pains me to see lots of post saying to secretly refeed with secret fats and calories. Daughter found Dad doing this could never forgive him even after recovery. It could be because she was older whilst going through recovery but it only worked once it was based on trust from everyone and that broke it for her and her dad. She needed to know she was safe with us and that we would stick by rules as long as she did. But unlike her Ed we would always be honest with her and be on her side never fly like the Ed did
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ValentinaGermania
Hi katieschoice,

I am sorry that you experienced that. Best thing indeed is not to get caught...[wink] But here it happened once or twice, too. A big meltdown but after WR she does not even remember that. Now she sees me adding openly cream and butter and does not even say a word about that.
What I want to say is that your experience is unique like all our experiences are. There are kids who forgive and forget and there are kids that do not. It is maybe also a question of recovery state. My d is 19 now and thanks us today that we did all that to help her recover.

I think it is important to mention that most families are not able to make their kids eat enough fat and sugar and to make them gain weight without adding secretly. It is so much easier for them to get started if the kids do not know what is exactly in the meals. It is no cheating. It is self-defense. It is necessary for many parents.

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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debra18
I cooked like I always did. Didn't add anything extra. But I give you daughter two high calorie drinks and added more when needed. Extra nuts, syrup, chocolate, etc. I just tell her it has what she needs and she should trust me.
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keeptrukin
Sorry this is so tough. It really just is. Any time you get the calories in it's important to consider the day a victory on the road to health. My son was young as well, but not so focused on the content of food. I did add lots of heavy cream and butter to things when he wasn't looking. It was not too too sneaky, though. When he asked us about it we always just said that this was what his body and brain needed to get well. Our relationship was not good during this time (aka really crappy). I think it is important to emphasize to him that this tension is temporary and to reassure your child (and yourself too) that things will return to normal after ED is gone. Our relationship is great now (over a year post recovery) even though sometimes he gets mad at us because, well, he's a teenager (duh!). The ED is so scary to your son that he needs reassurance that it won't destroy all of the things that he loves, it's really really hard when you see it doing exactly that, but the best thing you can do at this point is be brave and determined to get those calories in regardless. The rest will come with time and recovery. 
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katieschoice
Hi katieschoice,

I am sorry that you experienced that. Best thing indeed is not to get caught...[wink] But here it happened once or twice, too. A big meltdown but after WR she does not even remember that. Now she sees me adding openly cream and butter and does not even say a word about that.
What I want to say is that your experience is unique like all our experiences are. There are kids who forgive and forget and there are kids that do not. It is maybe also a question of recovery state. My d is 19 now and thanks us today that we did all that to help her recover.

I think it is important to mention that most families are not able to make their kids eat enough fat and sugar and to make them gain weight without adding secretly. It is so much easier for them to get started if the kids do not know what is exactly in the meals. It is no cheating. It is self-defense. It is necessary for many parents.

Tina72[/QUOoTE]
I do understand that.its all just difficult isn't it!
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ValentinaGermania
katieschoice wrote:

I do understand that.its all just difficult isn't it!


Yes, it is so difficult and so different with all families even though many experiences are the same.
I hope your ds relationship to her dad will get better by time. Brain recovery is slow and the brain develops until their mid 20s so I hope she will see things different when she is a bit older.

Mine sees today that she feels so much better and has her life back and can do so much more things than last year and eat just what she likes to have. Inside she feels that we did the right thing.

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Mamaroo
Hi Katieschoice, I was one of the mum's who couldn't hide calories as my d was refed on ensures. It came in a tetra pack, so not even possible to make it with milk instead of water. When we swapped over with food I had to calculate everything to make sure she had the same amount, not easy. She knew she had to take extra and even till this day eats more than her older sister. In a way not hiding calories made the acceptance of more food easier for her.

I totally understand what you said about your d being upset with her dad. I had a very limited diet growing up and my dad tried to get me to eat eat chicken liver by telling me it was mushrooms. When I tasted the liver, I was so mad at him that I stormed out, it was 30 years ago and I still remember it 😁. Now I know I only tried to help, even if it was the wrong approach. Maybe her dad could say that his heart was in the right place, even if his methods were not.

ED is not honest, ED always changes the goal, weight must be lower, amount of food eaten must be less. Richard Morton in 1689 wrote: "At first it flatters, but then deceives the patient".

https://www.kartiniclinic.com/blog/post/anorexia-nervosa-in-the-17th-century/

As Tina said, with brain healing, perspective will come and your d would understand that her dad just wanted to help her.
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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