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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MamaDo
Hi all,

My 12 yo doesn’t have a proper diagnosis yet; our GP has referred us to the ED program in town which has a 4 week waiting list for adolescents. As soon as we found out our D was purging, and we realized she’d been restricting for a few months at least, I took time off work and started plating her meals and room control of her food. We seem to have caught the behaviour before too much weight was lost, as it’s only been 4 weeks, and at a check in with the doctor yesterday, we are at WR (hooray!), which is probably what last Tuesday/Wednesday’s melt downs were about, if I think about it.

But now what? We are still waiting to get into the ED program here, though since I took time off and have been feeding her, she is mostly eating very well. I am thrilled that she has adjusted so quickly; I feel like maybe we really did catch this early before it grew out of hand.

But I am also sure she will relapse as soon as the stress triggers (school, me working out of town, decreased family dinner time due to evening activities) are back in place. And a very small part of me (the bad mom) wonders if she is complying so well because she wants me to be home. Which, now that I write it, obviously means I’ll be looking for a new job, closer to home.

What has everyone else done about work during recovery? Is everyone home? If you are still working, how are you managing to maintain recovery meals? For those of you in parenting partnerships, is one of you taking the brunt of the ED work, while the other one supports the family and keeps their job?
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debra18
Sometimes there is a honeymoon phase where kids appear cooperative for a few weeks before resistance starts. My daughter was mostly cooperative for the first few weeks of refeeding before all of the behaviors started, including hiding food in pockets and napkins, and spitting. Watch for these behaviors as they might start still. I was able to work with the school to have her supervised in school.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Great job on getting some weight back on so fast. Most of us have had to make major changes to the organisation of our lives to help our children recover. This is not an illness with a quick fix and if she has an ED then it is likely she will need assistance for some time to come. The thoughts and behaviours don't go away overnight. It may also be that she needs more weight than you imagine. At 12 they are gaining weight on and almost daily basis as they go through puberty so it is important to make up for not just the weight that she lost but also to get to the weight she should have been if she had not lost weight at all. 

Most of us have had to very slowly hand back control over meals to our children, it can be hard to get back once relinquished. This means slowly letting her choose her own meals, allowing her to prompt when it is time for meals etc.. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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ValentinaGermania
I was lucky not to need to work when my d got sick and I think it is very hard to work and care for a child with AN. The big problem are the loopholes. If you cannot close them, you will not win that war. So best would be to seek a work you can do at home when she is in school or to work only while she is in school. If you cannot take her home for lunch, you need to organise some supervision in school or you cannot count lunch. What you did not see she has eaten is normally not eaten.
In many states you have the right to stay at home with your sick child by law. In many cases insurances pay for the loss of income. Can you tell us where you are located so maybe someone can help you with ideas to organize that?
Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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MamaDo
Thanks Tina. I am in Canada, and we are also lucky that we do not need two incomes: one of us could stay home. If I thought we could manage ED AND work, I would. I struggle with making the decision to let work go - we have had so much progress over the last month, that I am hopeful (and naïve?) that we are going to be ED superstars and beat this thing in record time.

I read everyone else’s stories, and our journey seems mild in comparison, which makes me wonder if these are warnings of what’s ahead, or if our journey is just less extreme than everyone else’s.

It will help when we finally get into the ED program. In the meantime, we just take it as it goes, I guess. One day at a time.

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ValentinaGermania
If it is possible, let work go. You will need a lot of power and although it seems a "lighter" case, it must not stay this way.
By the way, we also had a "light" case, for example no purging and no exercising (which is like winning a gold medal with that disease). But I have PTBS and a carer burnout one year after WR. It is so exhausting and while you only function and do all you need you do not notice that but you also have a big price to pay.
Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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