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

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EC_Mom
My other threads summarize our history: 13yo daughter had RAN 5 yrs ago, we did FBT, went through hell, achieved full recovery, with large thanks to this forum. She is blessedly normal now and in college, happy and healthy. 

I recently hired a young woman for help on a time-limited project at work, whom I knew for a few months last year from another project. I had a flash last year of wondering if she might have ED--a bit too thin, talked about her perfectionism, etc., but I also know we can't really know anything based on looks and guesses.

She showed up for the work some weeks ago, and appears to me to be skin and bones. I like her so much and she does great work. I also know that ED doesn't get much help from anyone saying anything, and we work 1:1 a lot, so rapport is important. But meanwhile her look haunts me. 

This illness really confounds our liberal/neo-liberal model of the free, rational individual. I can't think of anything I could say that would be appropriate and constructive. I know how this illness distorts everything and is so punishing. I also know that our professional relationship might suffer if I said anything--and ED doesn't listen.

I'm fantasizing that there is something I don't know about ED in young adults that would mean that I could make a difference with this person. Any hope? There are presumably also legal issues, because I'm imagining that discussing/inferring anything about mental health or disability is not ok. The only thing that occurs to me is to happen to tell the story of my daughter, with no reference to her. But anosognosia probably wouldn't let that make any dents.
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Enn
 This hits close to home for me big time!! I have no sage advice or words but will share what happened to me. 
 I have come across this personally in my profession. I was at a conference  and saw a woman who struck me as AN as you have seen with your colleague. I watched her carefully.  I saw her hiding food, running to the toilet right after her meal and asking where the gym was. I had not known her before this meeting and as luck would have it she was seated (by the organizers) right next to me. I was still in ED h3!! with d at the time and my PTSD was sky high. I thought about it and wrote her a note and handed it to her at the end of the meeting and said that I was so glad to meet her and that I wished her well. In the note,  I stated that I was acting out of caring and concern and that a family member had ED. That I may be wrong so to excuse me if that was the case. I told her I cared and if she had ED I wished for her a life without ED and hoped that she had support. 

She found out may email from the organizers and said she was grateful and that she knew how hard that was for me. (I cried).She said she was getting help and that she had been dealing with the "monster" (her words) for ten yrs. It was really a moving exchange for me. I don't know what has happened to her at this point but I think of her fondly and hope she is doing well. I am glad I did it and I would do it again in a heart beat even if the reception was not a amicable.

I think no matter what you say, you will say it with  genuine caring and concern and she would know you well enough to know how much you care. Sharing your d's experience won't hurt at all and you may the one who helps her take the next crucial step.
Yes I believe you could make a great difference in her life. Just be ready in case, as you say, she does not wish to hear it. But if you say it with grace and love, it would help you too. If she can't get it now, she will later as she looks back on that kind woman who reached out because she cared.
 
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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Enn
PS your post made me cry as I remember that woman and really hope she is OK.😢
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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ValentinaGermania
EC_Mom wrote:

I'm fantasizing that there is something I don't know about ED in young adults that would mean that I could make a difference with this person. Any hope? There are presumably also legal issues, because I'm imagining that discussing/inferring anything about mental health or disability is not ok. The only thing that occurs to me is to happen to tell the story of my daughter, with no reference to her. But anosognosia probably wouldn't let that make any dents.


If that is a time-limited project I would invite her for a coffee at the end and talk about it. Tell her about your d and that it is possible to recover at any age and that you can help her find a solution if she wants that.
It might be true that she will not listen because of anosognosia but who knows? If she does not listen you have lost only time. But imagine she would and she would be grateful that you try to help her? You could be the first step to recovery then.

We had quite a similiar situation here last year. My hubby went to a new dentist and came out all pale in his face. I first thought he had a bad tooth surgery but he told me that he saw AN in perfection in this woman and had a lot of flash backs in there. He did not dare to say anything and to be honest we changed the dentist again afterwards because he could not imagine to go there again. Maybe we should have been more brave but we did not know her before.

I think in your situation I would give it a try. As Enn says, she could be grateful for that.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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atdt31_US

Shakespeare May have been right in suggesting there are too many attorneys. I am one of them and would want to know more about your respective Employment roles before thinking it is without risk to broach that topic overtly. Sorry, occupational hazard to always fear the worst and to sadly know that “no good deed goes unpunished” is sometimes all too true. 

ED awareness week is next week I think... is there a break room you could post stuff or perhaps use the designation of the week to speak of your household’s situation and somehow invite her into a discussion rather than foist one upon her (at least during the time period you are “employing” her)?  


Good luck. It is indeed hard to feel like you have helpful info and not feel free to share and help. 

Mom of either pre-diagnosis or non-ed underweight 12 yoa (as of March 2018) kid here to learn how to achieve weight gain.  BMI steadily in the mid 12's for nearly her entire life.  Born 2006. UPDATE:  April 2018 diagnosed ARFID, based solely on weight being less than 75% of Ideal Body Weight.  Mildly picky, but mostly the problem is a volume/early satiety issue, along with abdominal discomfort and chronic constipation, all present since birth.  UPDATE:  July 2019 diagnosed with PANS. Dr. said likely started first PANS episode at less than 1 or 2 years of age.  On long-term daily prophylactic antibiotics. BMI now about 16 after period of intense refeeding prior to PANS dx,  followed by stagnation as we sort out what is next. FWIW ED-D is a fraternal twin and we have no other kids.
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MKR
Hi @EC_Mom,

I would definitely start with highlighting her great work, that you mentioned. So she can see that you are on her side and be relaxed around you rather than feel persecuted in any way (which could drive up her anxiety).

When I mentioned to my colleagues our family's predicament, quite a number came up to me to share their own experiences, either being ex-AN or having children affected. Though in their case there was no current anosognosia.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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EC_Mom
So my young project hire has had COVID-19. But it was over four weeks ago. Meanwhile when I ask her how she is (on skype), she talks about shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, chest pain. This morning she was on her way back to urgent care with these symptoms and we texted. I asked if her feet or hands are ever discolored. She said at night her hands have been tinged blue. I dropped off (non-contact) our blood pressure machine and gave her orthostatic BP test instructions. She said she was on the border of diastolic limit for diagnosis of hypotension.

I asked if we could phone--I was nervous to bring up ED but felt that if anything happened to her, I would feel better having tried to talk to her about ED. I told her I was concerned that some of her symptoms might be due to inadequate nutrition rather than lingering COVID. She alluded to taking a migraine medicine that reduces appetite and COVID might have interacted. I told her that I had been concerned about this even going back before COVID. I told her that we had been through an ED in my family, and I had great compassion for and sensitivity to ED. I did not say, "Do you have an eating disorder?" But I said that perhaps doctors might consider that diagnosis. 

She was calm, clinical (she generally is this way) and not defensive, but basically said her weight has been the same all through this. I expressed again my concern. 

Meanwhile she felt like urgent care was not taking her seriously so said she would head to ER. I asked her to please tell them about her blue-tinged hands and to insist on orthostatic BP test. I reiterated that inadequate intake might be something to discuss. Not sure what else I could have said.
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Enn
I feel that you handled it very well, I really do. 
It is now in her hands and her head what your concerns are. 
I am glad that you mentioned ED, you could be the reason she gets the help she needs. 
It sounds like she took it well and respected your concerns as she was going to the ER.
🤗 
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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