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  1. KB said:

    Wow. Did this hit home! I went to the pediatrician with my 16 (almost 17) year old end of October because she had lost a few pounds and stopped menstruation. At that time, they told her to gain some weight…she was only down 4 pounds since the summer so not a big deal. However, I had started suspecting there might be something more and voiced my concerns. They laughed me off. I chalked it up to being an overly concerned mom. However, I started watching what my daughter ate and realized that instead of her trying to gain weight, she was actually scaling back. She used every excuse, stomach aches, late for dance and will eat it in the car, etc. I gave her more food at lunch which I found out later she was throwing it away.
    Due to the holidays, I had to wait until the beginning of January for another appointment at the pediatricians. At that appointment, she had lost 10lbs just from her October weight!

    What amazed me is that the doctor didn’t immediately order her to a clinic or therapist. Instead I had to ask for the name of an eating disorder specialist. Thankfully, when I told my daughter I was going to make an appointment, she agreed with no complaints (that should have been a sign to the doctor because what teen would go see a therapist if s/he didn’t think something was wrong).

    Then came the next hard part…trying to make appointments with specialists. I spent a week playing phone tag with the city’s children’s hospital because only the nurse was able to make appointments and she was only there part time. When I did finally talk to her, she was a great help, but then informed me that she would have to put me on a waiting list for April (my daughter would have been dead by then). Appointment with a local therapist who knew nothing about eating disorders (even though it was in her description). I finally got an appointment at another children’s hospital. At that appointment, my daughter was down another 2 pounds. Even though this was the disordered eating group, they again talked to my daughter about eating more and my daughter said “sure”. It took two more weeks and her down 2 more pounds for me to finally get a therapist who said the magic words “your daughter is not capable of making rational decisions about food. From this point on you and her husband have complete control over everything she eats. Food is her medicine and she needs her medicine just as if she were diabetic and would need insulin.” I completely broke down knowing that finally my daughter was going to get help and I was going to have support. We have started re-feeding and she has gained 3lbs in a week and a half so we are on the right track. It has been the hardest, most painful, heart-wrenching experience I have ever encountered made all the worse by the guilt I feel every day as to why I waited or why I didn’t just take her to the children’s hospital ER and say “she’s not eating” instead of waiting for appointments and dealing with doctors who don’t understand eating disorders.

    Thank you.

    February 19, 2016

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