We live in Italy and my nearly 17-year-old daughter was diagnosed with anorexia in September 2017, losing about 14kg in 9 months. At the beginning we did not realize the restricting: it started with “I want to become vegetarian”, no pizza, no restaurant, no dinner…..
Until June of last year we managed it together with the responsible of the local center for eating disorders where we had weekly appointments to keep the situation stable, but unfortunately not really to improve the situation regarding her AN thoughts.
Last summer we had the complete breakdown: Three months of school holidays, where we had to work, her little sister (now 14 years old) with important school exams and the whole family very tired and under pressure.
So we decided to send our d for a couple of weeks to my sister’s family in Germany and against medical advice to a summer camp she wanted to go at any price. Our three weeks of holidays in August we passed taking my h to hospital for serious cardiac problems.
The result unfortunately was that at September, instead of returning to school we started our “experience” in the day hospital for eating disorders. We appreciated at the beginning the idea, that they took off a lot pressure of our daily life (8h-30-16.00 with assisted lunch and snacks, some therapeutic activities and a couple of hours of school in the afternoon).
Their approach for alimentation was: “I eat the quantity I feel myself to eat”, what took our d to a recovery at the hospital before Christmas at 33kg – 1,64m of height. After 5 weeks fed with the tube, where we passed 24h a day with her, we managed to get her to eat again (breakfast, two meals and 2 protein drinks, as she would not accept to have any snack), as it was the condition to remove the tube. For Italian law there has to be always one adult with your child in pediatrics – so all supervision and responsibility was still ours, at the exception of the medical controls, in this period obviously essential. During these 5 weeks we promised us that we would do everything possible in order to avoid returning in a similar situation.
Unfortunately the process is very slow when the weight is so low, and we are always struggling with a very poor mood and a very stressed family situation. My h often doubts on our capacities and wants to send her to a specialized clinic, (there are very few in Italy with very long waiting lists), parents (there are many doctors in my family) do criticize our choice…
Do you have any suggestions to improve our daily life? Often I feel as a mix of babysitter and entertainer with very poor results.
Weight goes up more or less as planned (after 3 months ca. 10 kg), but it seems impossible to change anything of the daily routine. Even on Sunday we wake up early for “programmed” meal times.
How do you manage relation with sisters/brothers, with friends, after almost two years of social isolation? She does not want to see anyone, we do not have never guests at home…. , with another d at home it is a so difficult the longer this situation goes on.
I hope to have more strength and tools to handle everything before the summer holidays arrive and the Italian institutions let you alone again…
Sorry for my poor English and open for any suggestion.