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

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doris
Hi,  I posted a couple of years ago about my D when she was first diagnosed with RAN and read lots and lots. The advice and support and sense of understanding and "we get it" here is fabulous.
Long story short daughter was weight restored (according to CAMHS....) by May 2018. They monitored her once every 6-8 weeks till November 18 and then discharged. During that time she was feeling great in her head, she was back socialising with friends, she had started a part time job and a college course.. we as a family we're beginning to get our heads round this illness that had come into our lives and thrown everything upside down. Whilst I felt traumatised by the intensity and relentlessness of refeeding I also felt we were one of the lucky ones. D was diagnosed relatively quickly, the support from CAMHS, whilst no perfect, did help; we could finally move on with our lives.
Fast forward to this summer, both husband and I have been very busy with work, D has been working odd shifts and passed driving test so out and about with friends, a lot. I have been aware she was losing weight, but she kept assuring me she wasn't having any anorexic thoughts and was happy with life. Last week she went away with friends for a holiday, she very visibly lost even more weight whilst away, so a couple of nights ago we finally got her on the scales.. she has lost nearly 9kg from her "target" weight which was originally set two years ago.
So we know what to do.. we need to take control of the feeding, she is eating, just not enough, she swears she is not anorexic and the anger she is demonstrating is purely because we are saying she's ill when she isn't. She says we are making her ill when she's not, we made her ill last time by mollycoddling her and will do so again, last night when she finally got home at about 2am and ate her dinner (but then had a row about a banana) she said she didn't think she ever had anorexia she just liked the attention. But this anger is not normal teenage anger, chucking things around the room, kicking furniture, pulling my hair, hitting us and even trying to push me down the stairs.. I've seen this anger before and it looks very much like anorexia. I know that the denial is also a symptom, I guess she doesn't have to agree she "has anorexia" at this point, she just needs to eat and the rest will come in time?
I'm not entirely sure why I'm posting.. It has helped me get things a little clearer in my head and I'd really appreciate a "we get it" from some of you guys! H is struggling too.. he has got exceedingly cross with her two nights on the trot now, has never really accepted that it wasn't her fault she was ill initially and thinks she is just being selfish now. 
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tina72
doris wrote:
...she swears she is not anorexic and the anger she is demonstrating is purely because we are saying she's ill when she isn't. She says we are making her ill when she's not, we made her ill last time by mollycoddling her and will do so again, last night when she finally got home at about 2am and ate her dinner (but then had a row about a banana) she said she didn't think she ever had anorexia she just liked the attention. But this anger is not normal teenage anger, chucking things around the room, kicking furniture, pulling my hair, hitting us and even trying to push me down the stairs.. I've seen this anger before and it looks very much like anorexia. I know that the denial is also a symptom, I guess she doesn't have to agree she "has anorexia" at this point, she just needs to eat and the rest will come in time?


You answered your question yourself and you know what to do.
It IS AN talk and action. 100%. Asognosia is part of the symptoms and you see it full blown.
If she had no AN it would be no problem to accept that she lost weight and needs to regain it. Her behaviour is full blown anorexia again.

As in most cases when this happens in first year after WR I think that cahms discharged too early and gave freedom back too early. She was not there. AN recovery takes years. My d is in year 3 now and still needs rules and boundaries for relapse prevention (no ED behaviour left here but it will come back within an hour if she restricts again or skips a meal and she knows that and is afraid of that).
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Doris, so sorry that you have had to come back here. You did a fabulous job, but of course ED is sneaky. You know what we are going to say, as you have pretty much answered your own question. By my reading now D is now 17 so only a short time to be working on things before that 18th birthday. Of course she denies it, and in her own mind I am sure she doesn't have the same ED thoughts that she may have had two years ago. I think for many kids with AN they truly have different hunger cues from the average and are not eating enough to maintain their nutrition. Given CAMHS almost certainly offered a conservative weight for weight restoration she is probably in the unhealthy weight range for her body, ED or otherwise - hence a need to gain, and if there is resistance then again probably ED. The good news is you know what to do, and you know to ignore all that blather that it is all your fault in the first place. A classic ED line. She will get there, but sorry it has to be so hard. 
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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doris
Tina and Foodsupport, thank you both so much for always being here with such reason xx 

Yes I believe CAMHS set her target too low and I could argue set us up to fail by doing so but we are where we are. We will turn it round. .we've done it before and with far less knowledge and a lot more resistance than we currently have. D will be 18 at the end of November so we do have a small window of opportunity, however she is not financially able to stand on her own two feet at the moment and we have a great incentive / threat in providing her with a car which gives her independence.. I believe we need to use this wisely! H is very capable of going off at the deep end and removing car full stop. She has eaten breakfast with very minimal fuss this morning.. may the next meal go the same way!!

x
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kkhrd
Oh Doris, I feel for you, I really do!  My D was doing fabulously end of the school year, but started to creep down in weight at every Drs appt.  We were all so happy to have our lives back and she too just had gotten her license.  I sensed something was wrong and put a camera on her when she was supposed to be eating her lunch.  I actually saw her put her shake down the drain and basically prepare a lunch and methodically grind it up in the garbage disposal, leaving behind a dirty plate for me to see.  It was the absolute lowest feeling in the world.  In many ways it felt worse than when we were dealing head on with AN because she was being so sneaky.  Well as you can imagine we went back full boar and thankfully she wasn't resisting us.  We are back up, but as you can imagine, the new target weight give us much more of a cushion.  I too had hoped that we could put the disease behind us and never look back, but unfortunately that is not the nature of this awful AN beast.  

I hope that added weight helps your D take control of her own non ED feelings and that she can be free.  It's what I hope for all our sufferers, and my D too.  Best of luck to you!!
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tina72
doris wrote:
D will be 18 at the end of November so we do have a small window of opportunity, however she is not financially able to stand on her own two feet at the moment and we have a great incentive / threat in providing her with a car which gives her independence.. I believe we need to use this wisely!


We used that incentive too and now this car is our best friend! She loves it and she will never risk to lose it again.
We had a contract written down at age 18 with rules and incentives and what we will do for her and what she will need to do for that.
The car still runs on our name and we pay insurance. If she did not eat all meals the day before she is not allowed to drive (low blood sugar can make her cause an accident and she knows that). She knows if she relapses first thing she would lose is the car key and she does EVERYTHING to avoid that 🙂.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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doris
Oh Kkhrd that's tough, I can imagine that was such a shock discovering her being so sneaky. I don't think that we are having issues like that.. yet. She has said she will agree to being weighed once a week so we know where we are. I guess if the weight doesn't start creeping back on we know to watch her more carefully.  I too hope we can get the weight on and it helps.

Tina I love the contract idea...something I wanted CAMHS to help us with before discharge but they were too keen to give control to D and let her resume "normal" life. 

She has eaten three full meals today.. more varied and much bigger portions than she would normally eat and with "added extras" to the pan, so I have my fingers crossed. x
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Mamaroo
Hi Doris, sorry about this setback, but you've got this! You are already doing well by getting her to eat full meals, well done! Just keep on swimming.
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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tina72
doris wrote:

Tina I love the contract idea...something I wanted CAMHS to help us with before discharge but they were too keen to give control to D and let her resume "normal" life. 



You do not need Camhs to do that. Write it down and present it to her. Do not ask her to sign it so she cannot refuse...🙂
You are the parent. You earn the money. You set the rules...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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doris
tina72 wrote:



You do not need Camhs to do that. Write it down and present it to her. Do not ask her to sign it so she cannot refuse...🙂
You are the parent. You earn the money. You set the rules...


You are so right! Thank you xx
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teecee
Dear Doris
You have a similar timescale and journey to us and I’m sorry this has happened however please keep it in perspective....relapses do happen (sometimes not intentionally). My D would get really angry if she felt we didn’t trust her...less so now but this has taken a lot of encouraging and supporting and monitoring from the sidelines (with some conflict!)
The other day we had lasagne for tea and the portion on its own wasn’t enough for us so I suggested jacket potatoes etc to go with it which were rejected. I said “that’s not enough” to which she replied “I know mum I’m going to have more - I know how much I need” to which I replied along the lines of that I was commenting on the fact that it was not enough for me and dad also not just her! Her attitude changed as she realised I was not just pointing it out for her benefit!! This is real progress!!

i suppose what I’m trying to say is yes respond to the relapse but try to reframe it to her as a blip that you want to support and encourage her to overcome herself but with your support. Wen my D relapsed we gave her a timescale (usually a week) to turn it around and increase the weight on the scales (or risk losing independence). We had to do this possibly 3 or 4 times in the past year. I have to say we don’t weigh now...no need. We haven’t had blips or concerns as she’s more relaxed about what she needs to fuel herself. 
Overreacting for us proved to be a real barrier to her learning to feed herself it is painful to watch them relapse but if we want them to live independently and be successful at it without relapse then better they do it now whilst with us at home. 
Our issue is that D will be financially independent from us to go to uni and be away from home if she wants. However I have that one covered 😉
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