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NG tube for eating disorders

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Hi, I'm a 22-year-old female who has suffered with an eating disorder for 14 years. Well, I've been in and out of treatment, therapy, and hospitals for the last three years (as the ED has gotten medically worse), and yet, I'm still struggling. I had an NG tube placed for weight restoration while at Remuda Ranch- I had it for two months. When I was admitted I was considered "medically emaciated" and had nearly died according to doctors in the hospital I was at before Remuda. I gained 30 pounds at the Ranch with the tube, then another six while at Remuda Life (despite frequently refusing the oral supplements Ensure/Boost).

Now, eight months later, I have lost twenty of the thirty-six pounds I had to gain to reach the low end of my "ideal weight range" that RR calculated for me, and I'm struggling deeply to maintain my weight. I really want recovery, as I can see how much I have in life (loving family, husband, friends, many possibilities, etc). I am not at the emaciated weight that I was before I went to Remuda, though.

I went into the doctor, embarrassed and disappointed in myself, and got up the courage to ask for the option of an NG tube in order to maintain/restore weight. My main doctor seemed like he would consider it, but then he went to talk to the head GP in the clinic, who told him that the NG tube is not an option for me because I'm not "emaciated." All I want is to be able to get my brain back, along with my physical health, and I really do want recovery. The head GP even asked my doctor if I could "drink Ensures" to get my weight up. I mean, what makes him think that I could drink supplements like Ensure and Boost if I can hardly eat/keep down food? For me the NG tube = medicine, and purging is not an option due to the fear of aspirating the tube into my lungs (which can be fatal).

I guess my question is: How do I get doctors to take me seriously? I already feel like such a huge disappointment, and like a complete let-down to my family and husband and friends. I know I'm not severely underweight, but I don't want to get to that point again! What if this time, I were to die?! I don't want that at all, but I feel helpless at the hands of ignorant doctors! Is there some sort of specialist that you believe I could talk to that would actually listen to my concerns (besides ED specialists, as there are none in my city)? What sort of things should I talk to my doctor about so that he may consider this option before it's too late?!
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replied September 4th, 2008
Experienced User
Have you tried the 12 steps of EDA? Eating Disorders Anonymous can help you recover from an eating disorder if you're committed to doing everything it takes to get better.
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replied September 4th, 2008
illustriously fickle wrote:
Have you tried the 12 steps of EDA? Eating Disorders Anonymous can help you recover from an eating disorder if you're committed to doing everything it takes to get better.


I guess I should have mentioned that I have been in school counselling, therapy with a psychologist and psychiatrist, been to OA (when it's the only food addiction group they had), been to an eating disorders group that just started about six months ago, hospitalised multiple times, to two different residential facilities, to one acute IP facility (http://www.remudaranch.com), and seen multiple dietitians (including my mother-in-law who is the clinical dietitian at the hospital I was last at). I have had the NG tube before, as I think I mentioned, for two months while at Remuda Ranch (acute IP). So really, 12-step isn't enough right now. I am literally taken over by these thoughts.

I think pretty much, I just want to know if anyone could give me advice on showing doctors I'm serious, and getting them to listen to me, the patient. I know more about my history and disorder than anyone, especially the doctors in my town, as no one specialises in eating disorders here. Sad

Thank you for the suggestion though!!! At least someone cares enough to post!!! <3
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replied September 5th, 2008
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Are you talking about recovery from an ED or about getting treatment on your terms?

If you're not ready for the 12-steps, then I don't believe that you're ready to stop an eating disorder addiction. You need to be willing to do whatever it takes to recover. It seems that you still want to run the show...and control people around you in the meantime.

What do you want the doctors to do?
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replied September 7th, 2008
Ahhhh! Yes, I meant getting treatment on my own terms. I've been through all sorts of therapy and treatment facilities, so I can't afford much anymore. Right now, I am working with my MIL who is the chief clinical RD at the hospital I was last at, and we are developing a meal plan to help me at least get something in me, but I need maintenance and weight restoration sometime soon. It's not that I'm not "ready" for a 12-step...it's that I've done it, and right now, I need nourishment to even be able to think!
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replied September 9th, 2008
Experienced User
Please update! I hope that you get back to a healthy weight soon!
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replied September 10th, 2008
Definitely. So far, still no tube. I gave the hospital my mother-in-law works at today, as they have home care with enternal feeding, and the lady was actually totally helpful. However, I still have to get a flipping referral from a doctor in order to have it placed, or I have to come into the hospital. Sigh...and it's all so expensive. I can't get health insurance due to the preexisting medical issues I have due to the ED.
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replied September 11th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I think you shouldn't rely on the tube. I mean you can get the tube again, gain some weight to then get the tube out and go back to your cycle. I don't think the tube is a long term solution.
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replied September 13th, 2008
Oh, no, not at all. That's not what I'm saying I would do. Lord, I would hate to have the spaghetti noodle in my nose longer than I would need it. Had one for 2 months in treatment, and it sucked!!!
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replied September 13th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I think the only thing that could work for you is if ask God to cure you. You have tried all treatments possible without success so it is clear men can't do anything for you so why not give a try to God who has higher power than men. If you have enough faith he can cure you really. I have seeing many people cured of alignments that way. Go to praying circles and ask that they pray for you and stick with them. Trust me that it will work.
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replied September 13th, 2008
God is an amazing thing, I agree, but mental illnesses and terminal illnesses are a physical thing. God created us for a purpose, and He asks us to struggle with these "flaws" for a reason. And I've been on the prayer list at my church for almost 2 years, as well as been in care group prayers, and was given a prayer quilt during my last treatment in 2007.
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replied September 14th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
lapetitemoi wrote:
God is an amazing thing, I agree, but mental illnesses and terminal illnesses are a physical thing. God created us for a purpose, and He asks us to struggle with these "flaws" for a reason. And I've been on the prayer list at my church for almost 2 years, as well as been in care group prayers, and was given a prayer quilt during my last treatment in 2007.


God can cure mental illness and terminal illness. Known on my church of God curing even Alzheimer. Keep going to the praying circles and keep having faith. If you are not cured your faith is still not strong enough because there is nothing impossible to God trust me. And no God doesn't want you to live struggling like that. I will be praying for you.
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replied September 14th, 2008
nightangel73 wrote:
lapetitemoi wrote:
God is an amazing thing, I agree, but mental illnesses and terminal illnesses are a physical thing. God created us for a purpose, and He asks us to struggle with these "flaws" for a reason. And I've been on the prayer list at my church for almost 2 years, as well as been in care group prayers, and was given a prayer quilt during my last treatment in 2007.


God can cure mental illness and terminal illness. Known on my church of God curing even Alzheimer. Keep going to the praying circles and keep having faith. If you are not cured your faith is still not strong enough because there is nothing impossible to God trust me. And no God doesn't want you to live struggling like that. I will be praying for you.


2 Corinthians 13:4-7 (New International Version)

4For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you.
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replied September 14th, 2008
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
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replied September 15th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Girl let me tell you like this. God wants you to eat so you don't die and are able to speak of his Glory. And you are disobeying God for not eating. Now you have to fight the evil force that makes not to eat okay. So now when it's time to eat you will say "in the name of God I'm going to eat this food". And after you eat the food you go and pray (or read the bible), go for a walk, put gospel music in your room until at least 2 hours for the food to digest.

And read this bible verse continuosly (put it in every mirror of your house)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:13 NIV).
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replied September 15th, 2008
That's one of my very favourite verses that I use when I am feeling low. God cannot cure anorexia, but He can definitely get you through hard times. Smile
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replied September 16th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
lapetitemoi wrote:
That's one of my very favourite verses that I use when I am feeling low. God cannot cure anorexia, but He can definitely get you through hard times. Smile


Alright girl there is nothing no one can do to help. You have said it, you believe god can't cure your anorexia so if god can't do it much less a powerless doctor will do. So just try to enjoy your time left on earth as you know well anorexia is fatal. A friend of mine when she was told to going to die she went on trip for the whole world and enjoyed it very much. So concentrate in doing as much of the things you dreamed while you still can okay. And be nice to your mom too. I will have you and your family in my prayers.
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replied October 1st, 2008
Still no update on the tube. I see a doctor tomorrow so please keep me in your prayers.
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replied October 3rd, 2008
How did it go? I hope well.

I might not have read your first post the right way, but I'm a little confused though as to why you think the tube is the only way. But if you're as determined as you are to get the tube to help you gain weight, why can't you put that energy into adding a few ensure along with your meals and snacks?

Whatever ends up happening, I wish you the best of luck! (and I'm relieved to read that you've got God to lean on, it does help doesn't it?)
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