Monday, December 7, 2009

Refeeding process

Nicole and I have known each other since we were in 7th grade! So roughly 20 years! We had a fun time having a yard sale this past weekend even though we didn't make much:)!
For those just stumbling on to my blog, I post pictures on just about every post to expose "ana" and also since I like photography. So these 2 photos have nothing to do with what I am about to write! They were taken recently as of two days ago though!!!!
I have been thinking a lot about writing my book and jotting notes. I have often wanted to help others through my own pain and recovery. So recently I was thinking about the anorexic side of eating disorders, as that's what I mostly struggled with, with bulimic tendencies (minus binges). Anyhow no one ever addressed the RE-FEEDING process!
When an anorexic is in the disorder itself she/he doesn't see the damage, or ignores it anyhow, like I sure did for so many years. So when entering Reasons Edo in Alhambra and receiving my first meal plan from my wonderful, scary dietician Lisa Arroyas, I thought no fucking way (excuse my french)! I was used to an apple, crackers, water, tea etc. I about freaked the 2nd day of treatment when you had to be 100% or boost. Needless to say I boosted after crying at what was on my plate that Lisa happened to help choose and happened to be at my table that day! Thankfully she understood and helped me through the 2 boosts then changed my meal plan to add 6 boosts a day and smaller quantities of food.
Anyhow within a day or two I started feeling incredible dizziness, extreme nausea, and my balance was off. My body was in shock from having nutrients! A week into the program I passed out in the dinner line in front of my therapist, dietician, director, and the girls in the program. SO embarrassing. For a month the dizziness, shakiness stayed constant! The nausea, however, stayed until about 2 weeks ago! (8 long months!)
So when people say just feed her, stuff her with big macs, have her eat large meals, they have no clue the danger in doing that. It's why people with ALL different eating disorders need to be guided by professionals, especially a dietician when it comes to re-feeding.
Lately I have been trying real hard not to skip meals at all as I am so used to. I am completely focused on recovery but get busy at times and old habits die hard! I try to grab a snack and boost for the car if I am just gone an hour to do errands so I don't go too long without eating.
Having an eating disorder is so much like Russian Roullette.
Hugs and support to all who suffer and those choosing the incredible path of RECOVERY~


  1. Wow, another great post, Brande.

    You're right. Refeeding is not addressed very often and I'm so glad you've blogged about it.

    The body will often go into shock during treatment, and you've explained it brilliantly.

    Good job, you!


  2. Yes, re-feeding syndrome is a little-known side effect that sometimes happens to anorexics once they've entered the semi-starvation phase. One of the long-term bulimic women I counseled experienced it too, although thankfully she was in a hospital when it happened.

    I spent about half a chapter in my book explaining what causes it. It's relatively rare (most women with EDs haven't reached the point where it will pose a significant risk), BUT it is important to realize what can happen if the patient is very underweight. Re-feeding syndrome is also the primary reason residential centers are NOT the same as inpatient facilities, and will not accept patients who are medically unstable. I didn't realize this until I started researching.

    I may upload part of that chapter onto my own blog - I wonder if many pro-ana pro-mia types know what a serious risk this actually is. My guess is not many.