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

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grumpylostlittleboy
So school started again, and we are on a new contract with my S to normalise the last little niggly odd eating habits and particularly work on timing more strictly as well. Every day has some reward and the week has another reward. Negative consequence being taken out of school for a ED program. So everything was going really well for about 5 days...and then last night, trying to help him get ready for his shower I grab the PJ from the chest of drawers and out fling the handful of cashew nuts from afternoon tea. It almost felt like a so I no movie as they clattered on the floor.My heart just sank. Everything stopped. I confronted him, and the reaction was sheer surprise, as if someone else had done it. Jekyl and Hyde. Is this a relapse? I cancelled everything today. No work. No school. Full supervision. And of course, no day or week reward, which upset him, but not in the 'it's so unfair and you are mean' way he has been known to exhibit. Is this a relapse? Have I been strict enough? Should we admit him to the day ED program? We have started the contract over again for now in any case. Clean slate. Groundhog day.
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Sotired
You have found the loophole,so now you plug it.resume supervision but I would be wary of taking too much away from him-his ed punishes him every day and you want him to see that life is worth living.so maybe a 'I can see that eating is hard for you again.we are going to help you with this by sitting with you while you eat' approach, rather than a everything you love disappears until you eat approach might work better?
You know your own child best,I only know that taking everything away made our d wonder why it was worth getting well.this is a relapsing illness so working together to fix this might be an easier way to go.these are just my thoughts though so you must do what you know works for you.
Sotired42
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iHateED
Oh dang!  I know that feeling well, thinking you can breath again and then you find some hidden food.  That happened here a lot!  Is your son WR and if so, for how long?  Remember that getting there is just the beginning of the brain healing process so you will still have to stay vigilant for some time to come.  Good that you confronted him, I think that is important to let him know you found the food.   I also agree with Sotired that if you take everything away for one bad move, he will have no motivation.   We learned this lesson at the UCSD Family week when we told our D that if she didn't eat her breakfast at the program we would not do anything after program, just go back to our hotel and stay there.  The wonderful therapists explained that by doing this, our D had no motivation to eat for the rest of the day.  They had us reframe our consequence into a positive statement.  We told our D that for every meal and snack she finished at program, she would earn a half hour of time after program to do anything she wants to do.  It was in LaJolla so lots of beaches to walk on and things to do at the end of the program.  If she finished both meals and both snacks, that would be 2 hours that she could decide what we were going to do that night.   We also worded our contract that we came home with in a similar matter, to keep things positive instead of negative.   So perhaps you want to rethink the end of week reward and how to turn that into motivation.  You sound like you are doing a great job and really have knowledge and strength to keep supervising your S.  From your post, I am not sure what his other ED symptoms are that you think he may need a day program, unless he is not WR and you need help with that.    Hang in there! 
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mamabear
No this is not a " relapse". This is part of the process. Unfortunately it takes a really long time. It just does. There are so many times I felt like we were " failing" or my D was exhibiting behaviors that had been gone for awhile. It sucks when that happens. I went through it hundreds of times. I still find the occasional baggie of rotten food in my storage room. It is all about finding the holes and filling them for as long as it takes for his brain to right itself more. It sounds like he has been fighting hard and it is just so very very difficult. But you are still pretty early on. Be patient. Plug holes. Support calmly as possible. As hard as it is we have to truly not get angry at our kids, we use it all as feedback to know where we need to focus more to squish Ed out.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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grumpylostlittleboy
Thank you for the sound advice. This felt like a really big hole to plug. In May we will have been at this for a year. Some anniversary. We are still working on so many things & struggling immensely through months of emotional anorexia as well which set in as soon as he was WR in Oct last year. FBT in our home pretty much happens in silence, just watching the clock. He is still gaining (couple of kilos above WR now), growing, eating well, but the habits that were developed are soooooo hard to break. I was so hopeful this new contract would help as he had set the parameters himself and was working so hard.In fact, h e was going so well, some independence was slowly being handed back but after this incident I decided to do full supervision again for a little while at least. Sometimes I don't know if we will ever get him back.


I should add that the contract is primarily geared towards positive reinforcement. It was my son who suggested to include a negative one (the day program) hoping that the fear would push him to work harder. In the end, I think he buckled under the pressure of school, a cold and tiredness. These kids run 6 marathons a day when they complete their meal successfully. I so need to remind myself that that takes an incredible amount of energy, dedication and focus.
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deenl
Hi,

My son accidently on purpose lets us find hidden food. It's his way of getting help. I find it really helps to stay calm, act as if you expect hiccups and they're no big deal, things just need tweaking and on we go with that hole plugged (and then the cycle repeats). It's just feedback and you know how to deal with it. You're doing grand, keep it up.

Warm wishes,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • 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.
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grumpylostlittleboy
Thank you D. I don't know if it's a boy thing, but mine does that too. During phase 1, I tended to find things on the day, clumsily discarded. So clumsily it had to be done on purpose....like breadcrumb.s Portions which disappear so fast they clearly went into a pocket rather than mouth. The hiccups I expect, and I know they will be there, but I find the big ones floor me for some reason and make me wonder if I'm ever going to get ED out. It's like that book of DrSeuss, where the spot just transfers on different things and can never be eradicated. So often I just want to Chuck it all, and give up. Some of the carers on this forum just sound amazing, calm and much better placed to fight ED than me. Can't find my Zen space this week [wink]
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deenl
Know the feeling! Sometimes I just feel so burnt out. But that passes. Has to really.

I find that trying to get some good sleep and a bit of menu planning helps me feel less like I'm just fumbling my way through the day.

What helps you?

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • 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.
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grumpylostlittleboy
Hi D....Sometimes the little things help. A hot shower, a walk at the beach, retail therapy (not so little [wink]; and dare I say it.....work...the great distracter. Ironically one of the components of my job is to provide workshops on reflective practise and mindfulness ....I love facilitating these....just can't practise what I preach!

We also got a puppy a year ago to help with therapy....and then this week of course of all weeks we receive a complaint from the council that a neighbour reckons he barks too much (probably when I'm at work).... So on top of ED, a puppy to retrain.....hey, but at least the puppy was fixed in three days. He Can't talk, but he sure listens. [wink] .....

I just realised our boys are the same age...are you finding a gender divide in some areas of EDs? (Causes, Language, stigma, therapy , coping mechanisms etc). There is so little research on ED compared to other illnesses, let alone ED in boys or stories about boys who recovered successfully.

I'm also finding little on cultural aspects. We are a bilingual family (Dutch/English) which sometimes helps and hinders the whole therapy process and approach.

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deenl
Snap! Bilingual Dutch/English too! OMG that's nuts!

We are living in The Netherlands at the moment.

I do find that S is totally atypical. No body image issues, not fat phobic, not afraid to be weighed but doesn't want to know the number. His treatment has been less than ideal but isn't everyone's?

We are at a BMI of 13 having crawled from 11 so he is still pretty sick and not able to engage at all in any type of therapy. Won't even meet anyone except pediatrician for medical checks. 

He was IP last year and lost weight and was terribly traumatised. We are finally in a place where we can breath so are expecting to meet with the service providers to see what the hell happened!

The biggest difficulty is that in NL kids from 12 can refuse treatment unless their lives are in danger. S ate just enough that he wasn't dropping dead and refused treatment and there was F all we could do. It was hell. 

Great to make connections, even if only online!

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • 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.
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grumpylostlittleboy
The Dutch regulation doesn't surprise me. This was one of my issues I struggled with here in Australia. The Dutch value independence in a very different way. My kids were making their school lunches and dressing themselves from the time they started prep. My son was a whiz in the kitchen from age 6, cooking and a few years later making his own bread. When ED hit, it hit us in a cultural way too. All of a sudden we were looking at 6 meals a day, when really this morning and afternoon tea thing was such an English thing to me. Worse was suddenly having to take full control of a feeding process I had spent so much time handing over to the kids in ensuring their independence. I used to frown at mums still preparing lunches for their kids in year 12. Now I'll be one of them for different reasons. I clearly had to be taught a lesson...

My son managed to lose weight quickly last year. 17 kilos in about 3 months. We weigh him only at the psychologist now. He doesn't like seeing the number, but he is ok. No body image issues....other than that the ED did get started because he wanted to build muscle to get better at his sport. He doesn't think about that now. He does seem to have a fear of growing up. Getting him assessed last year was hard, as blood works were fine & GP found him healthy. The nutritionist and sport psychologist I organised and which he saw for about 6 weeks were a disaster (they listed themselves as ED specialists, which I now know they were NOT). "Luckily" one day at a cross country competition did he complain of heartache to a teacher. That teacher alerted me, we got him to. GP, then hospital emergency, and yes...you guessed it bradychardia. Heartbeat of 28. Could have died in his sleep. He is now WR and we are in phase 2, thanks to the help of one psychologist.
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