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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Kiwimum03
Hi everyone

I guess that our family has been on the recovery journey for a short time compared with some of you. My thoughts go ourt to those of you in for the long slog.

We are receiving good services here in NZ but I am frustrated with how "stuck" my daughter seems and would like to hear your thoughts on it. Probably what she is going through is quite normal for ED recovery but I welcome your thoughts.

Our gorgeous D now 16 was admitted to hospital on 22 January this year at 43 kg and formally diagnosed with anorexia (restrictive) and admitted on the same day. Fortunately no binging or purging and self harm stopped in April (yay!). We were aware of anxiety since October 2018 and the ED evolved from this and depression too. She was IP for 11 weeks and was discharged home with f/up of mental health and FBT services.

She is now hovering just above 56kg so at the lower end of WR/ healthy weight range. However, we need to supervise all 6 meals/ snacks per day and have tried a couple of times to not supervise am tea at school but it hasn't worked. I'm trying to introduce at least one fear food per week to her meal plan.

I guess it's "early days" but I'm wondering if there is anything that we can do to help her or to move her along the journey (i.e move the thoughts and beliefs in her head - difficult when she can't tell us what they are!). Or is that something that only she can do with our support and the guidance of the psychologist and psychotherapist involved in her care?. 

much aroha (love) to you all
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scaredmom

HI there,
You have done so well! Hurray! IT takes a long time and sometimes more weight for the brain to get better. My d had to go 6 kg more than the first WR (6 months after diagnosis) then at 4 months after that and another 4 kg (ie 10 kg more than the first target) she got a lot better. It takes so much time, but look at how far you have come. No B+P since April!! that is amazing! 
I know it feels like such a long time and you have been through so much so it would make sense that you would wish for it to be so much better at this time. At one year after WR we were still in charge of the meals. 
The tea at school, do you feel you know what keeps her stuck? Is it anxiety and does she need meds for that? Some have had a psychologist/ other support to help their kids. There are so many options available to you. Some have just waited it out. My d needed meds for anxiety and is still on meds. Is there a meal support person that could sit with her at tea? Would FaceTiming you during tea time help her? 

I know others will be here soon with their experiences and views. There is no right way, there is just trying and learning what your d needs and responds to. 
Great job! I am so please at how much better things are for 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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HopeNZ
Hello and welcome from another kiwi mum 😁

A quick reply in haste.  Well done, you're doing an awesome job!  As Scaredmom says, it takes a long time and possibly more weight.  I've read on here that brain healing doesn't really start until about six months after weight restoration, and this was, more or less, our experience.  For our d, the anorexic thoughts and beliefs faded with wr and time.  I don't think there's a great deal the psychologist could do until that brain healing is well on its way and quite possibly once that happens, there won't be any need for therapy.

You could try putting on a few more kgs?  For many here, that has helped when they've felt 'stuck'.
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Foodsupport_AUS
It can truly take a very long time. You have done a great job so far, and clearly those tests of trying for some independence show just how stuck she is. If she is at the low end of weight restoration then an obvious suggestion is adding some more weight. I would also suggest making sure there are plenty of fats in her diet, since she still has fear foods, omega 3 fats are said to be needed for brain health. Does she have her period back? If not then definitely gaining till that is happening regularly. 
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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tina72
Well done up to now. My d also was hovering at the lower end of her weight range and we did not get those last kg on her because of open weighings and she fought every little weight gain. We then changed to blind weighings to get those last kgs on that changed everything. Here it was only 2 kg more to see her brain recovery start. I think your d needs more weight to be able to see a good recovery start.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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HopeNZ
Kiwimum03, please email me again, and include your email address in the body of the email... I've been trying to reply but for some reason am not able to!  A lovely FEAST moderator is helping to work out why.
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Foodsupport_AUS
@HopeNZ I hope you have received my email with the details. 
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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Kiwimum03
Just to clarify D did not ever binge or purge (we were so fortunate on that aspect).

Thanks for all your encouragement and suggestions. She got her period back at approximately 50kg. (She's always been a slim build) and the paediatrician and dietician are happy with her weight at 57-58kg as long as she maintains it. So I don't think we can really hope for much more weight gain. Perhaps it is a case of brain healing taking 6 months or more. WR has only been since July. I will try to increase Omega3 oils. 
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PurpleRain
Hi kiwimom and welcome. My daughter was back at her historical curve may but needed to overshoot to start seeing improvement in her mental state. She has always been thin, below the 50th percentile, but is now on the 75th since the end of june and doing great! 
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" september 2018, she had a growth spur a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricitng breakfast and school lunch in january 2019 (that we know). We are refeeding at home (succesfully I think) since the beginning of march.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that i did not know I had. Never retreat, never surrender
Just keep feeding
 
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tina72
WR since July is early days. It took about 4-6 months after WR to see some slow but steady inprovement.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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