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

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So, two years ago this week my then just turned 11 year old daughter was admitted to the hospital with a dangerously low heart rate/BP/body temperature.  She weighed in at barely 55 lbs. 

Since then, we've been to doctors, nutritionists, therapists, medicines....well, you all know - trying to find something that 'worked'.  She did a PHP program the following summer and of course gave up all sports.  She used to be a happy go lucky, outgoing elementary school kid that made good grades.  It took a lot of trial and error, too many 'holes' to mention to get where we are now; but we're still moving in the right direction.

Today, she's a 98 lb, 13 year old middle schooler.  She's emo, lonely much of the time - cuts much too often and can be downright rude and sullen to me.  She eats, but still not intuitively and will lose weight if I blink too long.  Still, she does NOT fight me on eating.  She doesn't care about her grades at all, but isn't failing any classes.  She really does NOT like middle school and feels she has nothing in common with the kids at her school (even though she's in an art school with many other kids similar to her).  She no longer speaks to kids she doesn't know and is much more introverted than she used to be.  BUT....to be honest, nothing she's doing is particularly all that different from me in middle school (except the anorexia).  We keep feeding - she still takes Prozac -- but she won't go to therapy.  I check her body often for cutting and we do talk about it - it's not nearly as bad as it used to be.  The last time was (she said) some boy 'broke up with her' online and she felt she wasn't lovable. 

But in between she laughs, draws/paints, watches anime, goes to conventions and concerts, goes to the mall with her sister and friend and otherwise acts like a pretty normal teen.  She's into weird emo stuff and enjoys collecting bones.  To be honest, she was ALWAYS into bugs and bats -even as a toddler so that's not really very unusual.  Her favorite stuffed animal even today is "Batty".

One interesting thing that happened a couple of months ago.  In the middle of the night, she noticed a trail of ants going to a drawer in her room (we're in florida, not uncommon when it rains).  She followed the trail and apparently had found some food she had hidden years ago stuffed way in the back.  Well she went downstairs and started hysterically crying - to her sister, not me.  She was inconsolable.  She said she just couldn't stand it anymore and finding the food reminded her of how much she's lost - and she was mad/sad and frustrated all at the same time.  In a way she was grieving some of her lost youth.  Still she would not come to me - but I'm glad her sister was there to listen.

So, we still have a ways to go and maybe I'm dragging it out by not pushing for shakes supplements or making sure EVERY last meal is jam packed; but to be fair, the break was needed by both of us.  I do need to jack it up a bit as her weight gain has slowed so much in the last few months.  But I'm better at it.  I know when she's struggling.   I know when she's lost a half pound.  I also see her helping herself to treats more.  She love pirouttes and will eat them from the can!  Still can't get her to eat peeps - marshmallows used to be her all time favorite sweet. 

It's a marathon - but time is moving forward.  I believe she will heal completely - we're getting there.  I also believe she may always have the compulsions in times of stress - we need to learn NOT to give in.  But we are getting there!!!!!

I hope you all get through the holidays unscathed.  I hope you all get through the next year making progress.  Remember, we've been in the trenches - we've still in the war, but we've moved from the front line.  But we will be there for all of you that got dragged in to this war we never asked for. 
Caroline - You could have been describing my daughter a few years ago, down to the last detail. Once she started to heal a bit, there was a real and profound grief about what AN had stolen from her...friendships, normal high school experience, her teen years. I shared the same grief.

I will encourage you to keep doing what you are doing, because full recovery is possible and more wonderful than you can imagine. Today my daughter is a college freshman, healthy enough to attend school 1000 miles away from home. She is happy, successful and has finally got a wonderful group of friends to share her life with. She is doing well both academically and socially. The timeline for recovery is agonizingly slow, but you have made tremendous progress. Keep it up. You are doing such a fabulous job. 
Daughter dx at age 14 with AN and depression. Currently 19 and experiencing a relapse.
Thank You for posting this update. 
I see so many similarities in our kids.  My d was 12 at diagnosis.  we have not been at this as long but I see some of the personality traits...lonely, few friends (though she is starting to expand), not caring as much about school, not doing therapy...this was a tough one for us as she has pre-existing anxiety issues.  She says she has her meds now so she doesn't need therapy.  Eats all that I give but not an once more.  Though has started asking for water...a small  but significant step for her.  She also often asks for her evening meds which she has with snack...I often wonder if this is her way of asking for her snack.
I can slowly see my kid again.  Though I know we are not out of the wood yet, at least I can seem them thinning.
It is good to hear you tale down the path as well.
Keep on Keeping on...we will get through this!!!
Mom Up North
It's amazing how lives are turned upside down by this illness. So much in our lives change. So much loss to grieve. So much trauma to process.

But the hope is there. Each little step forward needs to be celebrated. And to look back to where it started and reflect on the journey is good for the spirit. We are all stronger than we realize.

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  


15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
Thanks for the update, Caroline.  You and your d have come a long way ... such a tough slog.  Such a tough mom.  And d.

Sucks that it takes so long, but most here still have quite a ways to go at two years in.  So you're right to remain optimistic - I bet your year three update will be even brighter.

BTW, I always loved worms, and my favorites are still frogs and bats.  Does your d like fossils? xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
congratulations, Caroline. What a wonderful update. So happy for your hopeful news and by sharing you have given us all hope, too. Best wishes in 2017! XO