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.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

Need to talk with another parent? F.E.A.S.T. parents offer peer support via:

Blue_Lagoon
2 days ago, I had a long talk with my 23 year old adult daughter who lives at home. She explained and I listened about her bulimia addiction.  It was the first time we had this kind of brutally honest conversation.

Prior to 2 days ago, she would not have felt safe enough to have this kind of conversation with me.  She would have feared my judging her, shaming her and getting angry with her.

But because I am changing; because I am so scared; because I was willing to listen instead of demand instant behavior modification, she was able to share her experience in an honest and forthright fashion.  

She is insisting that she has not purged for about a year.  But prior to that, she purged frequently and says she "messed up her stomach" as a result.   

When my daughter was 12 or 13, I put her in an outpatient program in Chicago. They used CBT, combined with large doses of prozac.  My daughter had negative feedback about the program.  It did not work; she did not like the therapist; the prozac turned her into a zombie. 

She eventually quit purging she says, and can't recall how she did it. Probably will power.  Later on in college, she started again.  Then stopped.  Then it got really intense again when she was with a boyfriend. She broke up with the boyfriend, and she stopped. 

She paid a serious price. 

It sounds like the disease has possibly destroyed her gag reflex and the 3 valves that control it.  She also most likely has tears on her esophagus.  She went to an emergency room 1 week ago because she woke up at 3am with uncontrolled vomiting w/ blood. She had the same symptoms in August. 

My husband will speak with her shortly about seeing the stomach doctor and having an endoscopy. This will determine the severity of her digestion system. 

Someone on this forum recommend FBT and RAN as a solution.  I have not heard of it, so I looked it up:

"While FBT may not be for every family, research shows that it is highly effective and faster to act than many other treatments. It should therefore usually be considered as a first-line approach to treatment for children, adolescents, and some young adults with eating disorders."

FBT appears to be geared for people under age 18.  (But I could be wrong.)  

Other science-based programs have been suggested:  Univ. of Calif. at San Diego Eating disorder program was recommended.  I called them.  They use DBT - skills training. Inpatient only.  

Renfrew treatment center - also uses DBT.

Private Therapists use:  ACT

Last night, I listened to an OA.ORG free phone meeting with a special focus on anorexia and bulimia.  People who have recovery from these horrible ailments were on the line and shared about their experiences.  Two of the women had the same issues as my daughter:  i.e. damaged gag reflex/valves and esophogus tears.  They also left their phone numbers, so people could call them.  I called a couple of them last night to learn how they recovered. 

The oa program (which some people are poo-pooing as being non-scientific) is for adults over age 18. It is a large worldwide fellowship of people with the same illness and who have recovered from that illness. Once they achieve long-term recovery, they "give back" or "pass it on" by becoming mentors to newcomers that are fiercly struggling.  The program is free. 

OA advocates nine tools of recovery:  sponsors, telephone/online/face to face meetings / literature / mindfulness meditation / daily prayers/affirmations to start the day / anonymity / plan of eating (designed by the patient's nutritionist / plan of action (exercise, projects, hobbies.) / outreach calls to other members for support or when they have the urge to purge or binge.  There is a spiritual component, (prayer and meditation) but many athiests and agnostics have benefited and don't let that hurdle get in the way of finding real help. Being part of a group has advantages: they don't feel alone, they don't isolate, they have people to talk with who understand them, etc.  Probably offeres the same benefits of group therapy.     

I find it useful to talk with recovered bulimics.  Several recovered adults who I was able to call and who have shared with me said that they tried: treatment programs, hospitals, inpatient, outpatient, medications, therapy, psychiatrists, and the only thing that truly worked for them - long term - was OA or ABA (anorexic & bulimics anonymous.)

So I wouldn't discount the effectiveness and power of a compassionate support group that is dedicated to helping anorexics and bulimics.

I think it is a good compliment to other therapies that are evidenced based.  

I think a good recovery program for my family could be a blend or combination of multiple resources.  

It was only by talking with my daughter 2 days ago that I realized that I have not been a good role model myself.  I realized that I have been obsessed with dieting for 45+ years, and she noticed that. I mainly eat protein, fresh vegetables, fruits, high-fiber grains.  Because I rarely eat junk food, sweets, sugar, white flour - one could say I am a "restricter." I thought I was just a super-healthy eater, but indeed, I am a restricter.  I just never knew it. 

My husband is a normal eater and she saw that too. He eats everything that is super delicious - even decadent. He eats foods/snacks in packages, at bakeries, at restaurants.  Fried, sauteed, baked, boiled...There are no limits to what he can eat.

I am here to get moral, psychological, or any kind of support there is -  from other parents who have adult children with eating disorders.

This is a scary time and I don't want to be destroyed by this disease. I am looking for comraderie, compassion, supportive information: research, resources (books, videos, articles, webinars). Best practices; Common sense approaches for long term survival. A variety of options.

I am also looking for what might be coming down the road (in terms of relapse, or other nasty surprises) and what to do when that happens. How do I prepare myself for the worst possible situations?     

There are many ways to go about finding recovery.  I just want to know what has worked best for you and your adult child.  

I am looking to hear from open-minded parents who know how to be helpful to other parents that are struggling with feelings of failure, guilt, helplessness, powerlessness, hopelessness, etc.

Thanks for listening!!!

Best wishes,

BLUE_LAGOON  

 


Quote
ValentinaGermania
UCSD are doing FBT (Family based threatment) in there week long programs for adolescents and young adult with AN (Anorexia nervosa). I do not know what they offer for BN (Bulemia nervosa) but there is a very good new treatment manual for that https://www.guilford.com/books/Treating-Bulimia-in-Adolescents/Grange-Lock/9781606233511/reviews. The approach for adolescents and young adults is nearly the same. It was introduced for under 18 but is used for young adults also.
The problems are the same at age 12 or 21.

IP for one week is not long and you would get 6-8 hours therapy every day which is a great help to get started.
It is well recommended and paid by most US insurances.

The treatment options on BN are listed here
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/book-on-bulimia-lock-le-grange-9490479?pid=1305907075#gsc.tab=0

RAN is restrictive anorexia nervosa

You can also use the search button for "bulemia" or read on FEAST homepage about it.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
Torie
Blue_Lagoon wrote:
She also most likely has tears on her esophagus.  She went to an emergency room 1 week ago because she woke up at 3am with uncontrolled vomiting w/ blood. She had the same symptoms in August. 

My husband will speak with her shortly about seeing the stomach doctor and having an endoscopy. This will determine the severity of her digestion system. 


To me, this is the most urgent issue since esophageal rupture is so often fatal.  Is she on antibiotics for that?  xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Quote
melstevUK
Blue_Lagoon,

"It was only by talking with my daughter 2 days ago that I realized that I have not been a good role model myself.  I realized that I have been obsessed with dieting for 45+ years, and she noticed that. I mainly eat protein, fresh vegetables, fruits, high-fiber grains.  Because I rarely eat junk food, sweets, sugar, white flour - one could say I am a "restricter." I thought I was just a super-healthy eater, but indeed, I am a restricter.  I just never knew it."

Don't beat yourself up about the past - eating disorders occur for many reasons and the way you eat or ate may have had nothing to do with it.  The good thing is that you are starting to be more aware of everything that has gone on, you are already becoming more compassionate and are finding that your d is opening up to you.  This is a steep learning curve for everyone involved.

I agree with Torie that the oesophagus and digestive system need urgent attention to see exactly what is going on.  Is your d restricting and underweight right now?  If she is not purging, what are her eating habits like - is she trying to cut out fats, go a long time without eating, for example?  Would she herself attend ABA meetings?  Or is she eating normally and has had to give up the bulimic behaviours because of the damage to her oesophagus? 

What kind of help does she want -have you asked her?  It sounds as if - rather than worrying about the future - you need to have a plan of action to decide where you go from here.  The fact that d has opened up to you is a huge step in the right direction.  I understand your wish to be more like a peer - the fact is that you can be both her mother and her support, and if you can work collaboratively to look at how to get her well, at this stage this will be better than any kind of coercive intervention.  

If she is still struggling with an eating disorder and trying to remain underweight - the treatment for any eating disorder is regular nutrition, three meals and two or three snacks a day.  Is this what she is doing at the moment?

However bad things are right now - there is always hope, in any situation.  The fact is that you have already changed the dynamic in the house and things will start to become easier, I am sure.

 


Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
Quote
Blue_Lagoon
HI MEISTEV

I always appreciate your commentary.  Thank you.

My D has agreed to the following as of yesterday:

1)  to go to a GI specialist and have the endoscopy test.  I am endeavoring to set up a date for the procedure.

2)  Therapist.  I am looking for one that specializes in eating disorders, panic attacks and anxiety.  Female.  Who works after hours.  Who accepts her health insurance and who takes new patients.  This is challenging.  I haven't found anyone yet. 

I'm wondering if therapists do "tele-therapy" via skype and if the insurance companies pay for this.  

I have spoke with several people in ABA (anorexic and bulimic anonymous) and they are a treasure trove of helpful suggestions too.  These are people who have truly been through the gauntlet.  They seems to be in their mid 30's and came pretty close to death, before they found ABA.  (OA.org) also has bulimia/anorexia specialized meeting.

My daughter is not anorexic.  She is not restricting.  She seems to be eating normally. today she had 2 eggs sauted in a red-pepper ring, lots of bacon, mango juice.  My husband cooks normal food for her.  She will eat pasta with sauce, salads, fresh fruit, nut butters.  Also chocolate and pizza.  Bread and butter.  She doesn't seem to eat a lot of dairy products.  Except occasional ice cream. Some almond milk.  I have not noticed any restricting.

After talking with ABA people, I learned that certain foods can cause severe acid reflux and I think she has it.  Foods that cause problems for bulimics:  tomatoes-based foods, citrus foods and juices, high-acid food, possible apples, and possibly dairy products.  

I have asked the GI doctor to send me a form, that my D will sign, that gives me permission to talk with him.  So thanks to this site for suggesting that.

If she is truly not purging now on purpose, and if her issue is a defective gag reflex and torn esophogus... then The main concern I have is RELAPSE!!!! 

If a bulimic has a break up with a boyfriend or other emotional trauma, the first comfort they go to is purging.  I am hoping to to whatever I can to avoid another 10 years of pain and suffering.

The bulimics I speak with (age 35-37 now) have told me that as a mother, the more I push them to get recovery, the more they fight back and resist.  At least, this is how they behaved towards their parents when they were young.

It was only when they recognized that bulimia can kill you, (they googled "bulimic death") or almost died themselves, that they finally surrendered and accepted that they needed help.  The ABA program seems to be a compliment to their other caregivers (nutritionist, psych, therapist, etc.)

They find people (in OA OR ABA)  who have strong recovery, and then ask those people to sponsor them and teach them how to recover in the same manner.

THANKS AGAIN for your message. I really appreciated it.

Love and hugs and blessings

BLUE_LAGOON 
Quote
mjkz
That's great that she has agreed to those things.

My daughter too did a 12 step program (several as a matter of fact) which was helpful in the things they had to offer.  It is an instant support system with sponsors, meetings, etc.  It can be very helpful to talk to people who have been there and who have recovered certainly.  The problem my daughter found and I have to agree to a certain point is that 12 step programs don't expect you to change.  You will always be bulimic and you will always be one step or one whatever away from relapse. The concept of recovery is different and every meal plan I've ever seen comes from your sponsor and not dietitian.  You have to do everything exactly the same way as your sponsor regardless if it is helpful to you and if you don't, your sponsor will drop you like a hot potato.  It is a very rigid black and white system that doesn't allow for much gray.  Each group had their own idea of what "recovery" was and nobody left the system.  It really wasn't like you came in, got better and then left to live your own life.  Every time my daughter wanted to try something different, she was told she was the same old (insert name) who came into the program and she would never get any better unless she did it this way.  My daughter is lactose intolerant but was told it was an eating disorder behavior and her sponsor was bound and determined she would drink milk, etc.  My daughter being the type of person she is and her all or nothing way of thinking as well as trying to be a people pleaser kept to the meal plan she was given even though it included lactose and was nowhere near enough calories.  She had diarrhea so bad that her potassium and magnesium got deadly low and she ended up with cardiac arrhythmias that put her in ICU-at which time her sponsor dropped her because she obviously wasn't ready to commit to the program.


My daughter was able to use meetings and the support of the group (she never got another sponsor or meal plan) to help her when she needed it and then dropped it when she no longer found it helpful.  I would say done right, it was an invaluable part of her recovery in that respect even if it just gave her an hour at a time where she was around people and learned different skills to sit through an urge to binge and purge.  She did take meals to meetings for before the meeting and then did the meetings which was helpful to me because I knew where she was, what she was doing and could get feedback from fellow members about whether she ate or not.

One other thing I would emphasize is get your daughter in a with a dentist.  We don't talk about dental problems much here but my daughter has already had a full mouth rebuild and has 2 teeth left that don't have some kind of restoration.  She has most of her back teeth crowned because the acid eroded them so badly that they were all breaking and decayed.  Her front teeth are so thin that they are translucent and she has had them strengthened and rebuilt with tooth colored restoration.  Most of her back teeth have had to have root canals before the crowns.  We are lucky to have access to a dental school nearby who did most of the work at a significant discount but her mouth has still cost over $30,000 for all the procedures and things that she has needed.  She is in her mid 20's by the way so it was all this or dentures. 

She also has no gag reflex left and has had several esophageal tears, one of which was so severe that they had to put her ICU and use an angioplasty balloon to stop the bleeding.  She has to be careful bending over after eating because the muscle that closes off the esophagus from the stomach is practically nonexistent so she has involuntary vomiting if she eats too much too fast and bends over.  She has to prop the head of her bed up to keep sleep to keep herself from choking on stomach acid and is on several different medications to kill the acid in her stomach.  She at one point had gastroparesis (GP) so bad that she have to have a NJ tube to keep her alive.  She still has to be careful of her diet to keep her GP in check. 

We've been lucky because several things have happened that every single doctor (and all my training) indicated would never happen.  She went from having severe osteoporosis (think breaking a rib when sneezing) to pretty normal bone density with calcium supplements and vitamin D.  This was all over the age of 21 so she shouldn't have had it happen but it did.  Several of her teeth remineralized with the calcium supplements and vitamin D and her GP did get better. While she has to be careful of her diet, she can eat and things still work, slowly but they do pass through and she did regain a lot of motility first with meds and now even that has been minimized.  I have no clue why either condition improved to the point it did but I'm extremely grateful.

Will she ever be able to have kids or a "normal" life?  Who knows but she leads a pretty normal life now given all she has been through.  I know how lucky we are and all I can say is do as much as you can to help your daughter now before she passes the point of no return because there is that point.  I was told several times that there was no way my daughter was ever going to survive the damage she did to herself yet she's still alive and kicking.  My only wish is that I had done more early on and started FBT at an earlier age.  FBT is not just for kids and teens.  It can be done at any age.
Quote
Blue_Lagoon
Greetings MJKZ - thanks for posting. It's good to hear from you.  

I think you have posted some common misconceptions about how OA helps people with eating disorders, and how effective it is in improving and changing people's lives.  For instance, when you daughter told you her sponsor gave her a food plan, and forced her to adhere to it... well that seems highly implausible.  

OA sponsors do not provide food plans.  So I am confused about your daughter's experience.  

From the OA website:  There are no specific requirements for a plan of eating; OA does not endorse or recommend any specific plan of eating, nor does it exclude the personal use of one. (See the pamphlets Dignity of Choice and A Plan of Eating for more information.) For specific dietary or nutritional guidance, OA suggests consulting a qualified health care professional, such as a physician or dietitian.

My understanding is that OA provides literature and workbooks to work the program in order to have a productive life that is free from an eating disorder.  Sponsors demonstrate how the program saved their life and allowed them to be productive members of society.  they offer their experience, strength and hope to sponsees.  But it is up to the sponsee to find the right sponsor; usually it is someone she comes to know and a person who she wants to emulate.  If your daughter was unfortunate enough to have found a bad sponsor, that is truly a shame.  There are many bad ones out there.

There is incompetence in any professional field.  Isn't there?  But you can't blame the entire field because of one bad apple, can you?  

I know what it is like to have an incompetant doctor.  My "famous" "well known" and "world renouned" OB/GYN diagnosed a "fibroid" in my uterus.  Ultrasound testing confirmed it was my daughter.  Did I return to the doctor for more care?  Heck No!  I found someone else with a higher level of competence to deliver the baby.  

I once tried a psychiatrist - supposedly the best in Chicago - and he was speaking with me in a weird tone, laced with profanity.  I was so shocked!! Did I go back to him for more sessions?  Absolutely not!! Never again.  Is the field of psychiatry a hoax?  Of course not.  I just got stuck with a weirdo. 

So If I had a bad sponsor, I wouldn't stick around and suffer with him.  I would fire him or her in one second.  But that is just me.   

Incidentally, there are many medical professionals in OA and ABA:  MD's, therapists, counsellors, nutritionists, doctors, healthcare workers, social workers.  Someone with that background would probably make a good sponsor (in my opinion.) 

Most of the bulimics I have been connecting with in the last week, and who claim that OA or ABA saved their lives, appear to be combining it with an outside team. Some of them have a nutritionist, a psychiatrist; and therapist; and a gastrointestinal doc.

I believe it you were to talk directly with those sufferers who actually recovered using the program; who got their lives back; who got their careers back; who were able to marry and have families; they would tell you a very different story than the one you have heard.    

I think that any parent who has a loved one suffering with BULIMIA should read this portion of the preamable (BELOW) from the ABA website.  This is exactly how my D described her disease, and the other bulimics I spoke with concurred.  

In this group we discover that our insane eating, starving, exercise, and purging behaviors are addictive in nature—that is, out of our own control—and that we actually use these behaviors, and the inner physical changes resulting from them, to numb our emotions and escape from ourselves. In doing so, we also fall out of touch with others and out of step with the universe of which we are a part, and we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to be fully alive in our present time and space.

Furthermore, we learn that we are carrying out these insane eating, starving, exercise, and purging practices in obedience to a deceptive, immensely powerful voice within our own minds. This is the voice of a disease that is chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal. The first action of this cunning and baffling disease is to cast us into a state of unawareness, in which we fail to recognize that we are in mortal danger when we carry out its insane commands.

We learn that the payoff we receive from this disease for our obedience to its demands is nothing more than a mirage: an illusion of control over our lives and our future. We learn that the disease’s principal weapon is overwhelming and paralyzing fear, and that it holds us in its lethal grip by inducing profound guilt and shame within us. The disease lies to us at every turn. It even convinces us that we are to blame for our own sick condition, that we freely choose to do the insane things we do, and that we are unlovable.

In this circle of healing we learn, one step and one moment at a time, to awaken to the truth about our disease, to recognize its lies, to see how it entraps us, to trust in a Higher Power who loves us unconditionally, and to turn our will and our lives over to this loving Power.

As we recover, we come to experience this Higher Power—the Spirit of life itself—at work within us, empowering us to live without any illusion of control. We also learn to truly own our lives and to take charge of ourselves in a way that had not been possible before.

Our program is deeply spiritual, but not allied with any religion. We have found it applicable to our healing journey regardless of our religious beliefs, for we know that our eating disorders are primarily mental or spiritual diseases, although they also comprise a physical component. More specifically, we have a mental obsession that compels us to restrict our food and/or to binge and purge, coupled with a physical “allergy” in our bodies that ensures we will continue restricting or bingeing and purging, once we have begun. 

In terms of "scientific" treatments available for adults suffering with bulimia, the FBT sounds like a great program.  

UCSD recommended DBT for my daughter for "skills".  But they told me If we wanted any further information, my daughter must contact them directly, because my D is an adult. That felt off-putting, but I understand.  

Intuitively, they don't sound like a good fit to me, for our situation. I was told (by one of the recovered bulimics I talk with)  that UCSD has a lot of turnover of their clinicians, which is unusual in the industry.  She said that is not a good sign.  

Regarding your other posting in the other thread about how the disease impacted and destroyed your daughter's health: I found that absolutely heartbreaking and my heart goes out to you for having gone through that. I am also grateful to hear that there has been some essentially, miraculous healing in some areas too.  That is truly a blessing and a relief.  It gives me, and many other people...HOPE.  

It made me feel that I have to continue be very vigilant, very aware about what's going on and constantly educating myself and talking to people about this disease.

Tonite I will listen in on the ABA - 8PM eastern time (USA) PHONE MEETING to see what else I can learn and to see how bulimics think, behave, prevent relapse, and recover.

I doubt there there is any "scientific" program in the world, whether it be UCSD, Renfrew, FBT, ACT or DBT,  that would allow a concerned parent to talk with the patients (either current or former)  to see how things are going.  Would they allow me access to learn what is working or not working with the patient?  I doubt it... legal liability...privacy...HIPAA etc. would prevent it.

But ABA and OA gives me the ability to actually speak with real survivors.  I repeat, survivors of a disease that reeked the most horrific damage to their bodies...from teeth, to heart, to gag reflex, to stomach, attempted suicide, and worse.  They came out of it...and I want to know their journey.  I want to know how they sustain a normal and productive life, and ultimately freedom from the yoke of an eating disorder.  

Yours truly,

BLUE_LAGOON 


Quote
mjkz
Quote:
I think you have posted some common misconceptions about how OA helps people with eating disorders, and how effective it is in improving and changing people's lives.  For instance, when you daughter told you her sponsor gave her a food plan, and forced her to adhere to it... well that seems highly implausible.


While it may seem implausible to you, it is what happened in OA and FAA. 

Quote:
If your daughter was unfortunate enough to have found a bad sponsor, that is truly a shame.  There are many bad ones out there.


Of course there are.  The problem is that within groups if you split with a sponsor, it can be very hard to get another sponsor to take you on especially if they've been in the group a long time together and are friends.

I've read a lot of the material already for OA and agree it sounds great.  Of course the information from every treatment center my daughter has ever been to sounded great to begin with but actually fell short in the implementation.  Unless you've been through a 12-step program, you have no clue.  I know I didn't.

Quote:
Intuitively, they don't sound like a good fit to me, for our situation. I was told (by one of the recovered bulimics I talk with)  that UCSD has a lot of turnover of their clinicians, which is unusual in the industry.  She said that is not a good sign. 


High turnover isn't something I've heard about UCSD but consider the source.  She did by the 12 steps and OA so that is the way that works at least in her eyes.  More of that black and white thinking.

Quote:
I doubt there there is any "scientific" program in the world, whether it be UCSD, Renfrew, FBT, ACT or DBT,  that would allow a concerned parent to talk with the patients (either current or former)  to see how things are going.  Would they allow me access to learn what is working or not working with the patient?  I doubt it... legal liability...privacy...HIPAA etc. would prevent it.


Actually Renfrew let cameras in to follow around patients for a documentary so your doubt is not well placed.  I've been offered the opportunity many times to talk to patients and former patients.  A lot of treatment centers put patient/former patient's stories and comments on their website, etc.  It is not unusual.
Quote
ValentinaGermania
"I doubt there there is any "scientific" program in the world, whether it be UCSD, Renfrew, FBT, ACT or DBT,  that would allow a concerned parent to talk with the patients (either current or former)  to see how things are going.  Would they allow me access to learn what is working or not working with the patient?  I doubt it... legal liability...privacy...HIPAA etc. would prevent it."

You may doubt that but that is what all serious evidence based programs are doing. It was not problem to get in contact to other parents/patients through our FBt therapist.

You seem to be convinced that OA is your solution. If you refuse all the other evidence based concepts that is your good right but it will not help your d when you see only this one way.
I do not really understand what you are looking for. If you think OA is your way, then give it a try and lets see if it will stop her Bulemia. If not, you can have plan B, C.
You have no time to lose so get her to the GP and let him decide if she needs IP or can do OA. He is the professional to start with. She can be in high medical danger and die before she gets any help from OA...

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
Blue_Lagoon
Hi Tina72

I read your post.  Thanks for your feedback!!  

Yes, as you say, It is very evident that you do not understand me.
 
Wow!!! it feels really dissappointing to be misunderstood.  It saddens me.  It's Very disheartening.  

But if I want to express my feelings here,  I'll just have to live with certain emotions.

Obviously, I am going through a period of panic, anxiety, & fear for my daughter.  I am here because I am reaching out for help.

Honestly Tina, I'd rather hear feedback from people who do understand me.  Then I would feel hopeful, validated, respected, understood, listened to...and heard.  
 

Best regards,

BLUE_LAGOON

 

 
Quote
mjkz
Blue Lagoon, I think all of us have our own "Come to Jesus" moment I call it when we truly realize how seriously dangerous eating disorders are and how little time some of us have to save our kids.  Eating disorders have one of the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric disorder and your daughter sounds pretty sick. 

No one here is saying don't do OA. By all means do whatever you think will help but keep in mind that there is more than one way.  OA is going to say it's the only way.  We here value evidence based proven methods and FBT is one of those.  I don't know if there have been a lot of studies done on OA and the success rate. I know I haven't seen them.  It is hard to take in at first that there really is no magic bullet and that you need a back up plan in case OA doesn't work.

Take action in some way though.  If you think OA is the way to go, get your daughter to a meeting.  It is imperative that she have medical supervision though and that's more than just a GI and scope.  That's regular meetings and blood work, etc.  You said that people you have talked to in OA have outside teams so get those set up and get your daughter moving ASAP.  There are meetings on and off line happening all over the place and your daughter can attend any open 12-step meeting (AA, NA, etc.) if she needs support and there isn't an OA meeting happening.

As I've said, my daughter was able to use the built in support of 12 step meetings and the community in a  positive way and now she doesn't need it and no longer attends.  She still has a professional team and attends with them.
Quote
Blue_Lagoon
Hi MJKZ - thanks for your message.

My D has not agreed to attend any OA meetings or ABA meetings.  However, I have been listening in to their meetings, myself, as an education exercise.  The OA members have tried other methods in addition to OA.  Some methods worked for them and some were a waste of time and money.  It sounds like FBT worked well in your case and I am delighted to learn about that.  

As you said, all of these solutions are just tools in the toolbox.  OA may not be the definitive answer for everybody.  But it is a great resource.  There are other resources too.  I'm not ruling anything out.  

My D HAS AGREED to 1)  having a Gastro Intestinal test and 2)  see a therapist.  

She has NOT AGREED to any sort of inpatient treatment program, (like UCSD or Renfrew.) or any 12 step program.  She claims she is currently abstinent from bulimic behavior. She is not anorexic or a restrictor with her food.  As far as I can observe, she is eating normally.  

So here is where things stand:

a)  We are in the process of reaching out to her GI doctor to get a test scheduled.  I sent him an email.  

b)  I have made some therapy progress today to.  I found two therapists, with very differing methodologies who will take her insurance.  One of them has a very interesting approach and can also help patients to quit smoking. (Boy...wouldn't THAT be an added bonus?)

c)  The other therapist is more traditional and very, very experienced.

d)  I am exploring 3 more (who haven't returned my outreach calls) - to give her a wide variety of choices.  

Other informational updates:  Per your suggestions:  

1)  My D has no problems with teeth. (she gets them checked regularly.)  No evidence of acid destruction to teeth. 
2)  My D may not be as sick as I previously assumed.  She says she has not intentially purged for at least 1 year.
3)  She does not know the cause of the 2 recent emergency room episodes involving chronic vomiting and blood.
4)  She is speculating the cause of emergency room visit -  may be an allergy to alcohol, or:  extreme stress; extreme anxiety; or panic attacks. Her doctor thinks it could be bleeding ulcers, but obviously cannot be certain until he looks at the damage inside.    
5)  She claims that sometimes when she brushes her teeth, and touches her tongue in the wrong place, that the gag reflex kicks in.  She describes this as accidental and not intentional purging.  
6)  The brushing teeth explanation sounded quite outrageous and fake to me, so I checked out this symptom with ABA / OA bulimic members.  The OA people confirmed independently that that is a common symptom.  It is not indicative of current purging, but could be a side effect of the damage that was caused by obsessive previous purging

Lastly, I have a lot of common sense and it has served me very well in life.  It is a natural gift  I am not a fool.  I am cautious and skeptical when necessary, and I independently research these topics as much as I can.   but at the same time, I have to exercise some "trust" in what she is telling me.

If she believes that I think she is LYING to me, it will sever our already precarious (eggshell)  relationship.  I need to keep a line of communication open, so she must believe that I trust her.  I do.  I trust and verify.

If I wanted to bully her into doing things she is not motivated to do... it will backfire.  That is not her personality.  Things have to be negotiated and she has to feel like she is making her own decisions.  She is 23 and wants to be treated like an adult. 

My son, on the other hand.... When I wanted him to do something, I was able to bully him and be an authoritarian (like a military general).  It worked with him because he was afraid of me.  Fear of your parent can be a powerful tool for leverage, if it suits the child's personality.  

Unfortunately,  my daughter is completely unreceptive to bullying tactics, so I have to learn other tools and tactics to succeed.  

As people on this help-board are well aware, from their extensive backgrounds, there are somewhere between 5 and 9 personality types.  Information about this is abundant online.  For effective communication, I think a parent needs to explore which personality type their child is ... and then modify their authority and behavior to fit the patterns of the child's mind. (That's a whole other subject.) 

If this doesn't make sense, and it might not for some people, then look up the term:  cognitive dissonance.

The  reason I am here is the following:

1)  The emergency room visits scared me and I thought I needed support.  Now I am worried about relapse and want to know what I can do as a parent to prevent that and sustain her abstinence  (If I am to believe her story).  Maybe that is called "after-care."  
2)  I want to share my worry, fear and anxiety about these emergency room visits.
3)  I want to share my experience or journey with this - so that other parents might benefit from the information and discussions we are having.  

BLUE_LAGOON


Quote
Torie
Blue_Lagoon wrote:
She has NOT AGREED to any sort of inpatient treatment program, (like UCSD or Renfrew.)

 I want to share my experience or journey with this - so that other parents might benefit from the information and discussions we are having. 


Note to other parents who may be reading this: UCSD and Renfrew follow different treatment models.  UCSD has an excellent reputation for FBT.  Last I knew, anyway, Renfrew followed a more old-fashioned approach where parents are not as involved. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Quote

        

WTadmin