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

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Penny31
This is really just a quick question - my D has only left the house a handful of times in the past couple of months due to massive anxiety/depression issues, but tomorrow I'm going to get a new guinea pig (an hour away by public transport, including a 15-minute walk) and she says she wants to come with me. This would be a major achievement for her if she did. However, she's not eaten anything now other than a small handful of fruit and veg (some of it stir-fried, so at least she's had a bit of fat) and tofu for at least 48 hours. I really want her to come tomorrow, but I don't want her to faint. She hasn't lost a huge amount of weight during the short course of her AN so far, so her weight itself isn't the risk here, only the immediate fact of her not having eaten for a while (if that makes sense). Should I make her having breakfast tomorrow a precondition of her coming with me? Not so much as an incentive to eat (incentives don't seem to work for her), but just in terms of the fainting risk. I really don't know how to play this one.
14 year-old D diagnosed with AN in March 2016. Episodes of self-harming, anxiety, severe depression. Waiting for a CAMHS assessment to see if there's an additional diagnosis. 
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Torie
I'm a little confused about your situation, but what makes sense to me is that after she finishes her breakfast (all of it), the two of you can go get the guinea pig. If she can't finish her breakfast, no guinea pig tomorrow. (If she's too ill to finish breakfast, would you leave her alone for several hours?) Does that make sense? xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Penny31
Sorry, should have clarified. She wouldn't be alone if I left her - my husband is here, and my D would probably be curled up in bed, which is where she spends most of her time. I just don't want to run the risk of her fainting if she goes out, as she's not been out for a while and hasn't eaten anything to speak of for a couple of days. But at the same time, she needs to get out too.
14 year-old D diagnosed with AN in March 2016. Episodes of self-harming, anxiety, severe depression. Waiting for a CAMHS assessment to see if there's an additional diagnosis. 
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Penny31
I should have also pointed out that while of course she needs to eat her breakfast, and I will do my utmost to insist she does so, the 'life stops until you eat' approach doesn't work at all with her as she's effectively stopped her own life anyway (see my previous post about 'Pervasive Refusal Syndrome'). The anxiety issues are as serious as the eating ones at the moment. So getting out of the house would be brilliant in itself. It might be a one-off, but at least it would be something.
14 year-old D diagnosed with AN in March 2016. Episodes of self-harming, anxiety, severe depression. Waiting for a CAMHS assessment to see if there's an additional diagnosis. 
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deenl
Hi swash,

I think Torie's advice is good; eat breakfast and we can go off and get the guinea pig.

Buuuut, I get the feeling that your d and my s have a lot in common and that never worked for my s. [bawl]He would just shrug and go back to his room. If he was feeling chatty we might get a mumbled 'don't want a guinea pig anyway". The only way we could play it was to give him a life first and have the food follow along.

Buuuut, one thing I've learned is not to take things for granted and not to fall for EDs traps. So absolutely try breakfast first - you may be pleasently surprised [biggrin] and FOOD is ALWAYS better. The only thing scarier for my s than eating was the thoughts of a medical emergency and all the chaos and panic around that. So I would say things in a very matter of fact way "Your heart is slower than normal. That's your body telling us it needs food. Here you go" (We measured blood pressure, heart and temp at least every 2 days, under doctors orders!)

So you could try "We're off to get the guinea pigs. Your body needs the energy for this excursion, here you go"

As I am sure you know, any outing is stressful (Once our S couldn't leave the IP with dad on a day pass and he really, really wanted to visit home. I had to coach him literally step by step over the phone) So all the usual. Leave masses of time so everybody's tension doesn't creep up. Mealtime a good 90 mins before you have to leave. Try to have everything organised tonight, change, charged phone, bottle of water, etc. Consider using a taxi if budget allows.

Have contingency plans; if she does faint what will you do; if she has a panic attack what will you do; if she can't come with you what will you do etc.

My son never really felt faint so I think it depends on the person.

I do have to tell you that with the experience of my s behind me, I do feel that this may be a difficult challenge for her. But you will never know your d's limits if you don't test them.

We got rabbits while S was IP and they have been such a joy to have in the house; such good fun, laughing at them, cuddling, S interacting with warm, fuzzy creatures, feeding and caring for them. Have to laugh; he is at this moment letting them out for a run in the kitchen. They are teenage bunnies now and going through a territorial stage so nipped him this morning. I can hear him saying in a funny voice "Release the beasts. Agg run" and he is running away from them [thumb][rofl] Fun! in his life! It's magic.

Anyway, I wish you luck and I'll be thinking of you tomorrow,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Torie
swash wrote:
... the 'life stops until you eat' approach doesn't work at all with her as she's effectively stopped her own life anyway...


So this is your chance to try it, right? (Because she does want the guinea pig and she also wants to go with you to get it.)

I realize I'm not answering the question you asked, which is probably annoying. Sorry. It just seems like it might be an opportunity to see if LSUYE might work in this situation, in which case, perhaps it could work in other situations, too, with some brainstorming.

Also, I'm not a doctor so I can't estimate the risk of fainting. My gut feeling is that she would be at risk of fainting (or worse) given the extreme lack of nutrition the past few days, but I don't know how much the trip would increase that risk (which I would guess is still a risk even if she stays cocooned in bed the whole time).

I'm so sorry this illness is so confusing and difficult. It's clear that your d is a tougher case than mine was in the early days so I may not be a good person to give advice. If you'd like my advice anyway, it's to tell her that the two of you can go pick up the gp as soon as she has finished her breakfast. This forum is full of stories where the sufferer surprises the caregivers, in both positive and negative ways. Maybe she will eat her breakfast then. If she can't, I would say the gp needs to wait.

It's perfectly 100% fine if you want to ignore my opinion / advice. You're the one there, on the ground - I'm just guessing what I would do based on the very incomplete understanding I have of your situation.

It's so hard. I'm sorry.

Best of luck. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Torie
P.S. I should mention that I agree with Deenl that furry friends can be a big plus during these difficult days. My d wanted a cat, which we couldn't get because a family member is allergic. So I got her a skunk.

I really hope she eats her breakfast and gets the gp. xx

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


So this is your chance to try it, right? (Because she does want the guinea pig and she also wants to go with you to get it.)


It's perfectly 100% fine if you want to ignore my opinion / advice. You're the one there, on the ground - I'm just guessing what I would do based on the very incomplete understanding I have of your situation.

It's so hard. I'm sorry.

Best of luck. xx

...

I really hope she eats her breakfast and gets the gp.


Ditto from me! We are simply idea generators and families know their own kids best!

And Torie, I just had to laugh - a skunk [crazy]  !
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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K63
Hi swash, my d recently told me that when she was at a low weight and restricting that we were in town and I needed to go to the bank and she thought she was not going to make it as she felt weak it was a very short walk. Also when she was ip she had a tummy bug and was allowed home for weekend was advised just to drink clear fluids for 24 hours . She months later told me she had chest pains that weekend and felt terrible but she was in the throes of ed and knew she didn't have to eat for the weekend as advised by doctor. I would be advocating to encourage and sit with d to have breakfast before ye go as is normal . What would you do if it one of your other children would you take them with you if they didn't eat or take breakfast in the car with ye.
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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Psycho_Mom
Hi,

What is her heartrate? What is her orthostatic heartrate? Has she ever fainted before? Has she ever purged? How much weight has she lost? When did she last have a medical check? Under whose medical oversight is she and what do they say about these long periods of fasting? What is their criteria for hospital admission? 

Frankly, if my d hadn't eaten for two days and I was worried she'd faint, the only place I'd be taking her would be hospital. Sorry if I don't understand the situation.

But I do love guinea pigs. 








D diagnosed with EDNOS May 2013 at age 15, refed at home Aug 2013, since then symptoms gradually lessened and we retaught her how to feed and care for herself, including individual therapy, family skills DBT class, SSRI medication and relapse-prevention strategies. Anxiety was pre-existing and I believe she was sporadically restricting since about age 9. She now eats and behaves like any normal older teen, and is enjoying school, friends, sports, music and thinking about the future.
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Sotired
Ed kids are at risk of fainting all the time if they aren't drinking or eating enough.my d is a fainter and in your place I have taken her to my GP for checkups whenever she stopped eating or drinking for 24hours.i insisted on an orthostatic heart rate being done.she had bloods done every week.she can hide in her room-until those things need to be done.but those are the non negotiable bits of medical care,they HAVE to be done.
Otherwise your d could suffer a heart attack if she is purging and you don't know what her potassium and phosphate are doing.
I just want to reiterate that one more time-your d is ALWAYS at risk of fainting when she is in starve/dehydrate mode.
Please take her for a check up.then the guineapig.[smile]
Sotired42
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Penny31
I decided in the end that I would make breakfast a condition of going to get the guinea pig (not 'we won't go until you've eaten', but 'eat your breakfast and then we'll go'), and all hell broke loose. Full on raging tantrum, two lots of breakfast flung across the room, accusations that I'm unfair and don't care about the our existing guinea pig who needs a companion, saying that she'll never eat ever again and it's all my fault. And then she claims to have actually eaten a slice of bread when I was out of the room, and she may well have done, but I calmly explained to that because she's been hiding food I need to see her eating, and the tantrum got even worse. It's such a shame that she didn't make it outside, but I felt I had to set the priorities - important though it is for her to get out after nearly two months basically cooped up indoors, food is the top priority right now, especially after 48 hours of eating virtually nothing. We'll be trying again with the guinea pig next week. 
14 year-old D diagnosed with AN in March 2016. Episodes of self-harming, anxiety, severe depression. Waiting for a CAMHS assessment to see if there's an additional diagnosis. 
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OneToughMomma
Swash,

It doesn't really matter, but I do think you've made the right decision. It's not easy, though, is it?

xoOTM
D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
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Torie
Aw Swash, what a lousy, rotten way to start the day. But good for you to hold firm and hang in there during the battle. Maybe it will work next time, and if not, the only way to know for sure what does and doesn't work is to give it the best shot you can.

Ugh. I hate this vile illness.

Please be kind to yourself - Ed takes such a terrible toll on the mum's, too.

I guess I'll call this one:

Swash:1
Ed: 1

A tie leaves you in a better position for future matches than a flat-out win for Ed.

Hang in there. You're a fab mum. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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deenl
swash wrote:
It's such a shame that she didn't make it outside, but I felt I had to set the priorities - important though it is for her to get out after nearly two months basically cooped up indoors, food is the top priority right now, especially after 48 hours of eating virtually nothing. We'll be trying again with the guinea pig next week. 


Ed is just a bloody sod! But you did just fine. You decided the priority for the day and you stuck to it and you retained your parental authority. Sure, it didn't go as you had hoped but you didn't cave.

I always serve up the next meal as scheduled, nice warm, affectionate 'Hear you are, love' and I act as if nothing has happened and he often eats. Now we are a couple of months on, I notice that it takes him less than a half hour to recover is balance after a melt down. I do think my lack of reaction means he can calm down and not worry about my mood etc. I also keeps the atmosphere in the house as warm as possible inbetween the Ed crap. Important for the whole family.

Hey, keep plugging away, I know you will find the way forward with your d, come what may.

All the best,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
Quote

        

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