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

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Hi all

A quick update re my AN d, now 15.   Home from impatient since November 2015.  Life and eating has been up and down.  Mainly down unfortunately, although for the past 4 weeks we have been on an upwards spurt and she has been eating 100% of her meal plan.  Which is a good thing but the diet is still limited and she is still freaking out about fats and has, in the last 4-5 weeks, completely abandoned dairy (grrrrr).  I'm working on it.....

Earlier this year during another upwards spurt (short lived [frown]) I booked a week's holiday in Greece.  A colleague of mine has a house there in a small village near Kalamata and we're renting it out.  We are taking a 17 yr old friend who my daughter has known since birth. 

I'm really dreading it. I went to a carers' meeting recently where 3 parents had been on holiday with their dds.  Funnily enough they'd all been (not together) to Amsterdam and all had had an awful time - and this is in an urban centre with a wide variety of restaurants.

We will, of course, have the opportunity to cook for ourselves and my suitcase will be full of snacks but any handy tips and advice would be very much appreciated.
A weeks worth of restaurants is way too hard. I'd eat as much as possible at home, making the environment and food as much like home as possible.  Of course, take out is fine (to make it more of a holiday for you), but at least for my D, restaurants at that stage were overwhelmingly difficult.  Once a week was about our norm then (if even that often) and always with her being able to peruse the menus in advance on line and know EXACTLY what she would order and that it was ok with me to avoid any stress.

We only traveled once D was weight restored, but even that was HARD at first.  Now, she is better to able to take it in stride and she did ok on our spring break trip (lost a pound.....not a big deal in the scheme of things, and may have even been natural variation).  Meals were not stressful for her as in the past.
D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!

Hi Lood77,

I was in a similar position to you this time last year and posted about it on here http://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/holiday-with-an-to-go-or-not-to-go-7401338?&trail=25#gsc.tab=0

My D was a similar age, and by the time we travelled, she was WR and doing very well.

Before we went, we had Plan a, B, C, D, E.........for every possible scenario. 

The trip worked for us, because we ate in our villa most of the time.  We had one meal in a restaurant where my D ordered something fairly plain and it came absolutely smothered in cheese and mayo (which to be fair, she wouldn't have eaten even before ED), so I had to quicky disappear to the kitchen and use my school-girl french to get it rectified. But that was the only drama we had.  It was actually a very relaxed week and it was lovely to see my D enjoying herself after a totally cr*p year.

Although it went well last year, I feel that we were very lucky, and therefore, we haven't booked a holiday this year, partly because of ED D and her relapse, and partly because of other things going on with my younger D.  The stress of "do we/don't we" was all too much last year.

Good luck with your decision. x
UK - South East

19 yo D

Dx AN Feb 2015 (Aged 15). Pre-existing low self-esteen and high anxiety. 

2015: 3 x medical hospital admissions. 1 month in IP which she self discharged from [eek].
2016: 3 x hospital admissions. 
2017: CAMHS CBT. WR, dropped out of 2 different colleges and started an apprenticeship.  Started having grand mal seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy in Nov 2017. Sacked from job because of this.  Tribunal ensued.
2018 - doing a Psychology degree through Open University and working in retail to pay her way in life. Relapses with eating disorder in June 18 and Nov 18 😢. 

On particularly rough days when I am sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. [Author Unknown]
Hi Lood,

We have travelled quite a bit with our son. It actually went ok but having a good chat between me and my H with the family therapist and making a plan really, really helped. Also accepting that it would be a holiday with anorexia, unlike those gone before but still a holiday was helpful. We went to Turkey last May, 2 months after diagnosis on an all inclusive. We planned the following:
1. Home food plan of 3 meals and 2 snacks would remain the same. Snacks would be bought from home so as to be acceptable. Pre bedtime hot chocolate was changed to a bottled milk chocolate drink that didn't need to be in the fridge pre opening. This was milk that he drank after sport so he was familiar with it. Can't imagine what they thought when they scanned our luggage at the airport full of bottled chocolate milk and nature valley oat and honey crunch bars lol! This also meant that calories had been pre blacked out with a sharpie on the package.
2. Best case scenario: we would fill plate at all inclusive buffet at each meal and he would be able to eat with older sister and friends (it was a mark Warner holiday where we had been before and we knew roughly 5 families would be returning)
Middle case scenario: have to eat with us
Worst case scenario: 1 parent would stay with him in hotel room, 2nd parent would go to buffet and fill plate and then he would eat with us in hotel room if being around food too triggering.
Somehow having planned the worst case and accepted it, made the what ifs feel much more controllable.
He actually did very well - being around peers was a huge help. His older sister actually took over filling his plate (wasn't able to do this as being at the buffet confronted by that food was too much), and he was able to eat on the teenager table with monitoring from older sister. Snacks went ok, was sometimes 'hard to find' at snack time but all the others were going for snacks as they were ordinary hungry teenagers so it didn't seem that out of place to be having snacks. In the evening before bed he would be on the bed in between us drinking the milk with quite a lot of grumbling, but that was before the discovery of melatonin so sleep was still very anxiety making.
I think key for us was removing food choice at mealtimes as that was (and still is) very stressful for him.
Hope that helps, love Greece and hope you have a good time [smile]
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
Planning is important and oddly enough a change of scene can be a good thing for you and your ED daughter.  The most important thing is to not expect too much- there will surely be ups and downs but you both will have a horrible time if you have this fantasy trip in your mind with corresponding expectations.  Try to enjoy the sights and each other and don't stress if your d has "moments" .  Best of luck and bars, snacks and nuts are a good idea in case the food there is uncomfortable for her.