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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Human
Hello all, I am new on this forum. My D was diagnosed on the 26th March this year, with AN aged 9 years and 9 months. She was in hospital for 9 days. She was 2 days off a feefing tube, as the 'voices' in her head were telling her not to eat. However, she wad strong enough to defeat these voices and managed to put enough weight on to be able to come home. Cahms at the time were also looking into a specialist eating disorder unit for my D to go to. The trauma of being bullied by 2 boys in school, brought on ptsd which manifested into a ED. The voices wete those of the 2 boys, my D reported that these left her about 4/5 weeks ago. She was restricting food, exercising alot throughout the night (unknown to me), throwing her school lunch away for at least 3 and a half months, lieing about eating food when she hadn't and throwing food away. She has had EMDR therapy to target the trauma and now has cbt to address her anxieties of getting fat. She was weight restored 5 weeks after coming home from hospital and contnues to put weight on. I am now working through fear foods. This journey has been very difficult as a single parent, but i am determined to beat this monster in my child's head!!!!!!! I continue to feed, feed, feed.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you have done a great job getting your D back to a healthy weight already. It is great that your D is showing signs of recovery. Please ask any questions you need. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Human
I guess do I need to keep feeding, feeding, feeding? I know it is a very short period of time since the diagnosis of AN and things are looking more positive than they have been. Time is a great healer as they say and I understand, it takes the brain at least 6 to 12 months to heal after malnutrition.
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Foodsupport_AUS
At 10 she will be growing quickly, so she does need to continue to gain. How rapidly depends on where she is in puberty. So yes you do need to continue to feed. Brain recovery does take some time, very variable but the more you can keep starvation away the faster it recovers. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Human
Yes she has grown a cm since March and has started to hit puberty. She is still anxious around trying fear foods, but is doing it ok. We have just started this really. I have had to put boundaries down, as she can lash out and kick me if new foods to try are mentioned.
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sk8r31
Welcome to the forum Human, though sorry you have a need to be here.
Sounds like you have caught things early, and have been working well on nutritional rehabilitation.  The really short answer to your question is that you'll be feeding for a good while yet, to manage growth and puberty.  And kids do continue to gain into their early 20's as they mature.
Sounds like you've done a marvelous job so far, and have gotten up to speed with good information. 
Hang in there!
Warmly,
sk8r31
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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tina72
Hi Human and welcome from me from Germany too.

I have another question (I think you are already doing great with having her WR and tackling fear food and you already learned that you need to keep feeding for a long time):
What about the 2 boys in school that bullied her? Will she need to go back to that class and will they be there again?
I ask that because my d was bullied in school in 6th grade and her ED was initially caused by changing classes in year 11 and she was confronted with 2 of these girls again.

Did you talk to the teachers about that? I regreted later that I did not in 6th grade (because my d feared that it will get worse when I do). It should not be accepted by society and by schools that in the end normally the victim leaves the class and the bullying has no consequences.
I talked to her teacher in year 12 about it when she came back from hospital (without mentioning names, just told her what happened in year 6 and that 2 of the girls in the class were involved) and she asked me and my d also to report any incident how small it can be to her and she will make sure that these girls leave the school.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Human
Thank you sk8r31, It's been horrific to be honest. I do not know how I have coped with all the trauma, temper, exorsist moments from D!!  I plan to continue feeding, adding different foods, but not taking anything off the meal plan as ED would love this! D is beginning to feel ok eating with others i.e family and this is a really positive step! She is in her own bedroom again. She slept with me for 3 months, due to the excessive exercise she was doing very quietly in ger bed throughout the night.  
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tina72
I hope you do something for self care. That is really important as carer burnout is very common among parents of ED patients.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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tina72
Human wrote:
I have had to put boundaries down, as she can lash out and kick me if new foods to try are mentioned.


Try to make clear that violence is not acceptable. At age 10 that is easier to handle but she will get older ...
Some here told their kids "it is an eating disorder and not a rudeness disorder"! 🙂
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Human
Hello tina72, yes the school know about the situation and they spoke to the boys parents and the boys. Unfortunately my D was unable to return to the primary school as it was just too distressing and traumatic for her. She is however speaking positively, of attending the middle school at some point. The 2 boys will be at this school, but they won't be in any of her classes and the school knows of my daughters situation and if the 2 boys. She won't be returning to school until she herself feels 'safe' and there will be a meeting including Cahms, to discuss her return, how she will be safeguarded etc. Her last school really let her down and did not safeguard her. You are right, the victim always suffers whilst the bullies are ok and are able to live a normal life. This was very serious for my daughter. 
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tina72
It is good that she can start at a new school although it might frighten her to be able to meet the boys there.
My d was not able to change school and she chose that class for her graduation although she knew that these girls would be there. I think she just hoped that at age 16 it will be easier. There were no bad incidents but I think she did not oversee how difficult it will be for her just to see them and be in one room with them.
In the end she graduated in that class and nothing bad happened any more and her teacher supported her perfectly. I think she grew on that fact that she survived that in the end and the girls did not get rid of her. 🙂

Try to keep her not too long away from school as the fear will get bigger with more time. When she is physical o.k. for going back start with some lessons between meals and get her back slowly so she can get used to it again. My d was not in school for 4 months and went back on half days then and we increased it slowly in the next 3 months. It must be tackled like fear food and all the other anxieties that AN kids often have. Exposition, exposition, exposition. When she sees that nothing bad happens when she eats ice cream / goes to school again she can cope with it with time.

You are doing a great job there! I raise my hat for all single parents that go through that hell alone...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom

Hi Human,
Welcome!
Good job on the weight gain! Your d has been through so much more than a young child ever should. I am so sorry for that. I have done EMDR and it was helpful to me. I am glad your d is feeling more positive about going to school in the future. There is no rush, she is still so young. You are doing well with her, and keeping her safe and feeding and addressing the other issues. 
As for growth my d was 11 at diagnosis and now 14, we are just over 2 years from diagnosis and she needs a lot of food in the day just to continue to gain appropriately for her age. So, yes keep feeding. With the high calorie feeding, my d got to a nice steady state of normal weight increase and height growth for her percentile. They do tend to find their stride with that. You are doing brilliantly!

I know it is hard, you are not alone. Please ask all the questions you have. We all wish to help in anyway possible.

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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Human
Thank you all so much for your support and responses. It's just good to hear all your experiences and what has gone well etc. I intend to have EMDR myself to help with the trauma of single handedly supporting my D with re feeding etc. As for school we have a meeting on the 12th September, to discuss her going back part time etc. She says she is ok about seeing the boys there and I really hope the EMDR has helped with this. It seems to have, she says she isnt scared of them anymore. My D has been in a terrible situation at such a young age. She lost over 2 stones and was very close to heart failure. We were lucky to catch it early ( food restricting over 3 and a half months) and I look back now and think how an earth did I miss the signs???    
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sk8r31
Don't beat yourself up for not 'reading' the signs of an ED earlier.  We were in the same position, with a big weight loss within 4 months, even though my d was never at a weight that was determined to be 'unhealthy' by BMI/health chart standards.  It was the rapidity of the weight loss that caused all kinds of problems and had d in the ER for a week for medical stabilization. 
Unlike you, it took us a long time to access good evidence-based care and to find great peer support and education to help on this journey.
Tina is so right that you must also take the best possible care of your own physical and mental health.  The challenge of an ED in the family takes a real toll on everyone's health.  It is not self-indulgent to pamper yourself when you can and to take a few minutes every day to do something to recharge your batteries.
Sending warm support,
sk8r31
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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tina72
Human wrote:
We were lucky to catch it early ( food restricting over 3 and a half months) and I look back now and think how an earth did I miss the signs???    


Most of us missed the signs, do not feel guilty for that. You could not watch out for something you did not really know it exists (you might have heard of ED but you will for sure not have expected THAT) and you were not prepared to see the little signs. ED kids are often easy kids before, trustable, relyable, telling always the truth. Their character changes 180 degrees with the disease.

Someone here said "this was not in the baby books" and that is so true.
Do not beat yourself up with what you did not get or not do in the past. Try to look forward. You cannot change what happened in the past but you can help her to change her future.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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debra18
My daughter also lost weight very rapidly. I started refeeding after 5 weeks but it did a lot of damage on her body in 5 weeks and recovery still takes very long. Your daughter will need support for eating for a long time.
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Human
Thank you all for your support. I try not to feel guilty about all this. The school have been horrendous, on top of caring for a traumatised child with an ED. I have sunk very very low, but now I can see chinks of positive light I am feeling better. I know my D has a long way to go, but looking back to how she was on the 26th March in hospital I feel nothing but love for my D. I am very proud of her. I had to scream and shout to get the appropriate therapy and support for her. But saying that, we have met some incredible people who have helped and supported us. She ate 2 Haribo's tonight....yay!!! 
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scaredmom

2 Haribo's are amazing. We understand what an accomplishment that is. Your d wants to get better and you will ensure that happens.
Please ensure that you take care of yourself too. Do you have help from any family members?

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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Human
Hi scaredmom, yes i have family support and they live close by. Due to me being a single parent, my D for a long, long time only felt safe eating with me. Now she can eat with other family members and she had her first sleepover at grandma's house last weekend without me. She was able to eat her supper and breakfast without me there. Amazing to say about 6 weeks she couldn't eat with anyone but me and was saying she didn't feel safe at grandma's. I hate hate hate this insidious monster!!! I want it gone!!
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Human
Can anyone with young children with AN, please give me any insight into recovery and remission please? I guess I need to know that my D will be able to live a 'normal' life in time?
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Foodsupport_AUS
There are no guarantees with this illness when it comes to full recovery, however young children seem to have some of the best outcomes when it comes to treatment. Recovery is always possible. Many parents on here have seen full recovery with their children. You may like to look at Mamabears posts. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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scaredmom
Human,
The first part is the hardest and it is so hard to see thing getting better. For my d it took about 6 months in for her to be more of her old happy self. We are 2 plus years in d is a happy girl and social and academic. That was her old self. We still have issues when there is anxiety about school for example and she tends to restrict at those times and we are working on different ways to cope rather than eating less. 
I fully  believe my d will recover and I think it will take years and conscious active engagement on her part over time to do this. Your child is so young and you have a lot of time to help her fully recover . It takes so much time. Many have young children here who have recovered. I also think of meadow’s story. There are so many! You may also read the stories of recovery that are posted on the main forum for inspiration as well a recent thread by cbmum. 
For sure no  one knows what the future will hold. The refeeding is the hardest, it does get better a lot better after that. 
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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Mamaroo
Human wrote:
Can anyone with young children with AN, please give me any insight into recovery and remission please? I guess I need to know that my D will be able to live a 'normal' life in time?


My d became I'll at age 9.5 and spent her 10th birthday IP due to her heart. At age 11 she was WR and brain healing started 6 months later. She had a great 12th birthday party with plenty of party food including a birthday cake and she ate everything. Now she is 13 and a bit and in full recovery. She has no fear foods and is back to her old self again. Granted there were blimps during those years, but she got back on course again quickly.  My d still requires more food than her older sister, so I ensure she's eating plenty of food every day (breakfast,  morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner - supper is no longer required).

Your d is in good recovery and as long as she keeps on eating, she'll have a normal life.You got this, girl!!!!!
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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Human
Thank you for your replies, scaredmom, Mamaroo and Foodsupport_AUS.
You have all given me hope. It's just so scary and I would never have ever believed my D would be in this position. She found out at Cahms today, that this week she will be eating fish fingers, potatoes and peas oh and 3 Haribo's. Wasn't happy, but has said she will do it!! 
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