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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sarahthompson19
Hello all of my fellow warrior parents,
I am the mom of a 15-year-old girl who was diagnosed AN-R last June. 
It has been hell for her and our family trying to silence the demons in her head. She was recently discharged from her second inpatient admission and my husband and I are lost without the guidance and structure of the hospital. She still has 4 kg to gain in order to be weight restored according to her outpatient team, but we feel just barely weight restoring our daughter won't be enough to put her firmly on the path to recovery. We feel that she should gain at minimum 12kg so that she can be back in the 90th percentile for weight (as she was as a little girl and as she should continue to be now), but bringing her back to health has proven a nightmare.

She duck-tapes her mouth shut when we try to help her eat and even threatened to super glue her lips together last week if we put cheese on her eggs.
She has tried hiding in the rafters of our garage to avoid dinnertime.
She has been telling us she eats her lunch at school, and although we had our suspicions, we decided to continue letting her eat lunch with her friend... turns out the friend she had been "eating with" was Ana. The other night, we lifted our pool cover as the weather is warming up to find dozens of mayonnaise sandwiches in the water. 
My husband makes her a smoothie with 1 pint Haagan Daaz ice cream, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 1/2 cup vegetable oil every night before bed, but she only drinks a few sips and says it tastes 'yucky.' We know this is the anorexia talking, but we don't know how to silence the voice so she can get enough nutrition in.
When we do get manage to support her through a meal, she runs to the bathroom to purge afterwards so we've had to lock all the bathrooms in our home after meals. She found a way around this too, and started purging into shoe boxes in her bedroom. We took these away hoping this would solve the problem and now we sit outside her room after meals and listen for vomiting. Last night we discovered yet another one of her loopholes - she sneaks out of her bedroom window, onto the roof, and purges into the chimney.

We are at a loss but we are so grateful to have found this community and are really hopeful that we can gain some insight into how to support out daughter through this illness. 
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ValentinaGermania
Before I answer to your post, are you aware that this is a public forum and names can be found by google? If you want to change your name at the head of your post, please contact a moderator (by clicking on their names there will be an orange arrow to send an email).
Just in case you want to change that...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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ValentinaGermania
So, now a very warm welcome from Germany first!
All you describe is very typical AN behaviour and we can help you with support and ideas how to make her gain the lost weight and how to get her to eat regularlay and normal food again.
First question: Did you already know the webside of great Eva Musby and her very good book? https://anorexiafamily.com/
You will find help with nearly every situation you will get into in there.
Did you already read the FEAST family guides? You can find them on the FEAST homepage.

The secret is to make not eating impossible and to make AN behaviour impossible. You did already great with closing loopholes and it is normal that there will open new ones and you need to close them too. So lock her windows, take away all boxes that can be used for purging, take off doors if needed and sleep with her to avoid nightly outings and secret exercise.

Lunch at school needs to be supervised like all other 3 meals and 2-3 snacks. If you cannot supervise lunch at school, take her home for lunch or take her out of school for some time x. Health comes first and normally food that you have not SEEN going in is not going in. They are very tricky and they ly and you cannot trust ED. Never. No bathroom privacy for at least 1,5 hours after lunch, supervised showering if needed (some purge in the shower), no privacy in her room if she purges there. WHATEVER is necessary to stop that behaviour. Be creative! 🙂
I know this all sounds very hard and strange for normal ears but AN is a life threatening disease and early intervention with hard weapons show the best outcome. It is like treating cancer with chemotherapy. Her chemotherapy is food. And like you would do ALL that is needed to get those meds in if she had cancer you must now do all that is needed to get that food in.

So the biggest step at the start it to get them to eat and to finish meals. What consequences did you already introduce if she does not eat? If she is in school and wants to go there you could ask her to finish breakfast before she is allowed to go to school. If she wants to go out to see a friend you can ask her to eat the snack before. Some parents take the phone before lunch and give it back immediately when lunch is finished. Some watch TV during meals for distraction or play games. Try to think about what consequence she would fear or what incentive she would be keen of. We got our d with driving lessons for every day all meals finished. Others with younger kids spend a lot of money for online games or nail polish (whatever works). I told my d that I will add the not eaten food to the next meal and so on until it is all eaten and she realised that there is no chance NOT to eat it and then she started to eat. Maybe Ellesmums thread "Can´t do this" helps you to read how others got started.

The first weeks we all sat for hours at the table and all the days were filled with meals and snacks and other meals. It takes some time and a totally different parenting. You need to be strict and forget all liberal education and have army rules with food and meals. But once they accept that the food will go in and there is no chance not to eat any more it gets better. Your d inside is very hungry and that bully ED does not allow her to eat. She needs your help to take over and to control all intake so she can blame it on you. Then she can eat and then she will get better.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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sarahthompson19
I'm aware - always been very careful about privacy online.
Thompson is not my real last name, but I use it online often to protect my own privacy and my daughter's 
I do appreciate the concern though, thank you (I am new to all this and just learning the ropes)
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Enn
Hello and welcome,

You mention that she was IP and now it is hard to get her to eat at home. I found that keeping the routines exactly as at the hospital helpful to me and my d.

So now with her behaviours, very common. I would suggest if you can hide the duct tape and anything else you think she can use to not eat. 
Many have had to keep their kids home from school until the eating gets better. Or is there someone who can supervise her at school like a teacher. I would not recommend a friend though as too much responsibility for a young person to bear. 
If she says it is "yucky" sit until she finishes it.
What is she eating at this time and we can help you add calories to that.
For the purging that can be very dangerous to her heart. Many have to sit with the child for one hour after eating and no running to the bathroom. Doors off the bathrooms too to ensure she is safe. 

Do you have an  outpatient ED team?

 Some people have to be with their kids 24/7 to ensure they do not purge it is keeping her safe from her ED. Are you or H able to provide that type of supervision? 

Glad that you found us and hope we can help you.
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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ValentinaGermania
She still has 4 kg to gain in order to be weight restored according to her outpatient team, but we feel just barely weight restoring our daughter won't be enough to put her firmly on the path to recovery. We feel that she should gain at minimum 12kg so that she can be back in the 90th percentile for weight (as she was as a little girl and as she should continue to be now), but bringing her back to health has proven a nightmare.


You are totally right with that. In my eyes a growing and developing child should not have any target weight at all. She will need to grow and develop until her mid 20s and she will need to gain until then. If your d has been at 90% percentile that is your first target for the moment but that does not mean you can stop feeding when you reach that. Many of us could not set back calories in the first years of recovery as their metabolism increases with recovery. My d is still eating the same amount as 2 years ago in refeeding and nearly same portions as hubby just to maintain her weight (she is 19 now).
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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