Discussions By Condition: Mental conditions

How to get doctors to take you seriously when you have an eating disorder?!

Posted In: Mental conditions 7 Replies
  • Posted By: la_petite_moi
  • August 28, 2008
  • 09:30 PM

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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7 Replies:

  • I think the bottom line here is that not eating can become an addiction just like drugs or overeating can. 90% of addicts to drugs relapse, 10% remain sober and "cured." Therefore, what you face in curing your addiction to not eating is difficult, but not impossible. Try to stop seeing the doctors and tube as the only solution - many people recover without the tube. People, especially doctors, are not always reliable, so you should try to rely upon yourself, modifying your own behaviors.
    Non Servium 85 Replies
    • September 18, 2008
    • 10:46 PM
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  • la petite moi, An eating disorder is a hard thing to deal with. That's really an understatement. I think you are very brave to have gone to the clinic to get help. Just because you have gained some of the weight back doesn't make you a failure. It proves that you are strong because you haven't gained all of it back, plus you are here looking for help. Some people believe that you can't trust other people, and that you shoud be able to do everything on your own. That's just not true and it isn't at all realistic. Getting help doesn't make anyone less of a person. It means you're human like everyone else. Eating disorders take root deep inside you and grow and grow until you get help to stop them. Have you continued therapy after leaving the center you were at? I am guessing that you haven't, and my advise is to find a therapist in your area. Through therapy you can get to the "root" of your eating disorder. Then you will be able to gain control and better maintain your weight along with your mental health. I wish you lots of luck.
    ejones7408 7 Replies
    • November 11, 2008
    • 00:51 AM
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  • the ng tube actually puts something like ensure into your stomach so to say you could not keep ensure down is just part of your mental disorder. i do not have an actual ed but a do have a near total lack of appetite and have gone as low as 97 to 100 pounds. im 5'4" and middle aged so that is not a good look for me. what i work on is accepting that i do not get pleasure or satisfaction from food but i must eat anyway. it is so hard that some days i just give up and dont eat. what type of follow up therapy were you getting? are you on medication? i think your doctors do take you seriously but are confined by their rules. you can not have the tube just so you wont have to eat. you must learn to manage your feeling about having food in your mouth and swallowing it. your dislike/fear of eating is an obsession that needs psychtherapy not an ng tube, which would allow you to continue your avoidence of food in your mouth. the doctors are being "cruel to be kind" . please let us know how you are doing. ed is fatal is not managed.
    emmarene 34 Replies
    • November 13, 2008
    • 04:40 AM
    • 0
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  • If you are certain that you need the tube then be persistent. Don't worry about what the doctor thinks of you. Just take charge of your medical care and say something like, "I understand that there is a policy that a patient must be emaciated to receive the tube but, maybe you could ask him for an exception since I have a history of being emaciated. I'm sure he doesn't really want me to yo yo back and forth between healthy and unhealthy weight just to get the help that I know I need. I feel confident that I will become underweight again if you aren't able to provide the tube." be insistent without being emotional... and then if he refuses again, I would just call the insurance company and let them know you aren't happy with your provider and would like to change doctors. Keep going until you find someone who provides you the kind of care you need. You are the authority on your health and you should have a doctor who is willing to listen and work with you. period. you are brave and strong and capable... i can tell by your post. so best of luck to you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 17, 2009
    • 06:47 PM
    • 0
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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?!Hey- hope you have had another attempt at the GPs since- you could try writing something down and being quite demanind in what you want (psychological support- a referal). If you feel fobbed off, change GPs Asap- your GP is near essential to your psychological help as they give permission for pills and referals to hospital care so they need to be on side.Have you tried the eating disorders website called beat.org? its a good website with a forum of people who have had issues like this and could be worth a look.Good luck.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 25, 2009
    • 00:17 AM
    • 0
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  • It would just call the insurance company and tell them that you would like to change doctors and you are not happy with your provider...
    spikemedic 1 Replies
    • August 25, 2009
    • 04:45 PM
    • 0
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  • It would just call the insurance company and tell them that you would like to change doctors and you are not happy with your provider...Depends if the writer has insurance- if its the UK and the NHS/state help, you can easily change doctors to get a different opinion many times as you want, but ultimately, you need to want help and have to ask for it. Pschiatric conditions are so complex that medics need to know for sure that you want to get better otherwise its wasteing your time and there is also likly a long waiting list.RE: A tube, its not going to happen unless you are emaciated. For many reasons but one important reason being that the idea is you learn to eat and not to rely on machines. Its not that your doctor is not taking you seriously, its medical common sense.If you need help and support to gain weight, that can be done, you can be hooked up with a dietition, a councellor or therapist, a psychiatrist and day hospital or out patients, but they will not tube feed you unless it is essential for life and death, its just not what they do.Ask to be referred, to get some proper support, so that you can learn how to dig yourself out of this hole. Its not impossible, it takes some work but nothing worthwhile comes easily.I say that as a person who has a long standing eating disorder in the UK. Please get some suitable help for yourself to get well, not a medical instrument.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 31, 2009
    • 01:20 AM
    • 0
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