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The food OCD is so bad ...


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As you may remember from my post last week, we have strep again - this time in our nose, so we're in a bit of a flare up. We've always had food OCD pretty bad, and this time is no exception. He eats breakfast at school, and all last week his teacher said that they had struggles, they were eventually able to work through, but it was a struggle.

 

This weekend, he wouldn't eat breakfast on Saturday, so I took him to Sonic for an early lunch (it's one of his favorites), and was able to get him to eat, but that was all he ate all day Saturday. We couldn't get him to eat dinner (probably about day 3 with no dinner) - when we tell him there'll be no snacks, that's no incentive, so we know it's the OCD not just a 3 year old not wanting to eat his supper. Yesterday, all he had was one piece of pizza and a pice of birthday cake at a birthday party we went to. (Wouldn't normally have taken him in his current state - but her parents know about Broderick's issues and are big supporters of trying to live as normal a life as possible since their daughter is diabetic and they deal with "normalcy" issues too.) We had a couple of little speed bumps even eating that, but we were able to work through it by eating a sitting a bit seperate from the group and the promise of playing in the splash park with the rest of his friends afterwards. Dinner was a no go again yesterday, and he didn't snack at all either.

 

Tonight - same deal, couldn't even get him to the table. I finally got him to eat a few bites of chicken, but he chewed them and spit them up (in an straight,even line of course) next to his plate. When I tried to clean it, it spilled over into a breakdown which lead to a battle royal to do his medicine regiment. I got him to bed about a half hour early because he was raging, hitting, etc...and I was able to convince him bed was a better choice - thankfully, he was actually asleep in a few minutes.

 

If we just leave him alone and don't make him try to come to the table and eat, there's no meltdown. And with my hubby out of town (yet again) this week, that's a very tempting option, but tough to do while trying to get my 5 year old to sit and eat while her brother gets to sit on the couch and watch TV. I also know letting him go goes against what we're trying to do with the behavior therapy too - but I can't help but think that especially since I'm alone this week and he's fighting strep (AGAIN) - it's about survival right???

 

At this point I'm not totally worried about him being hungry, since I know from his teachers that he is actually eating some at school - not as much as normal, and it's a challenge, but they are getting him to eat. He's been doing fine with snack at day care after school - probably because he eats that by himself since he gets there just after their normal snack time so he can do whatever rituals he'd like. So at the moment malnourishment isn't a HUGE concern (although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried at all - he's already too skinny)

 

I guess what I'm looking for is some validation and support that it's okay for me to pick my battles, even if it sets our ERP back a bit, just to get through this week???

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So at the moment malnourishment isn't a HUGE concern (although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried at all - he's already too skinny)

 

I guess what I'm looking for is some validation and support that it's okay for me to pick my battles, even if it sets our ERP back a bit, just to get through this week???

 

 

edit -- i should disclaim that we did not have previous contamination or food issues except this short-lived time so keep that in mind when evaluating what i say.

 

 

 

i would say YES - it's okay to pick your battles this week!! esp b/c you know of the strep so you have a very big known cause. if it goes on for a week or few more, you'll have to reassess, but for now, yes, get through the week.

 

my ds, now almost 7, had extreme food contamination OCD last summer in what i now believe was a herx-like reaction to an antiviral. at the time, we were worried about malnourishment -- more specifically, dehydration -- it was a challenge to get just enough into him to avoid ER hydration.

 

however, the issues came on and melted away quite regardless of our interventions. at the time, we were at a point that if he insisted on something or something had to be "right", he could say if ther "was a reason" or "there was no reason" or "there's a reason that i don't want to say." . for this, he said, "there is a reason that no one can ever, ever know". i'd never heard him say that before or since.

 

for us, since we were worried about intake, he was starving and wanted to eat, but couldn't seem to "bring himself to", all bets were off -- eating bacon at a Whole Foods cafe held above his face with grease dripping down his arm; eating raw muffin batter face down out of the muffin tin; ripping the tape off an asceptic package with his teeth, eating with his face on a plate like a dog. generally, i like to think i usually promote proper table manners with my kids.

 

all of this 'nonsense' faded away -- some things faster than others -- without heavy intervention from us. at some time later, he said something that there were reasons for not eating but he'd forgotten what they were.

 

from what you say, i'd consider this separate from your ERP work, due to recent strep, and plan reassess where you are when he's healthy without worring too much about doing damage to your previous work and successes. yes, pick your battles.

 

GOOD LUCK!

Edited by smartyjones
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He's eating at school, though? That's good. When my son wasn't eating and he finally started coming around,eating at school was one of the last accomplishments.

 

Yes, pick your battles. I would leave some food at a reachable level for him and let him know where it is and if he wants something to eat, he can just grab it and eat it. My son went through a stage in PANDAS where he would only eat if no one knew he was eating and would eat in secrecy. Also, no one could prepare his food and he could only eat cold food. At one point, only cold, uncooked food was an option.

 

As for setting you ERP back, was food issues being addressed already? If not, it won't set it back.

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Arial- We all know you are totally on top of the ocd. We have had (at times) major food issues- started with not eating dinner, and then tried to expand it. At the time both girls had the scarier food stuff, they were really "sick" with pandas. We did not do ERP with food- we worked on the other stuff- and did whatever we had to do to get the food into them (I will explain below). I had some fleeting concerns that I was creating bad habits, but my kids are really thin to start, they cannot afford to miss meals, also being hungry always escalates everything else. Once they were "recovering", we went back to our old rules and habits- without any issue at all. I have found, after going through that, that I have relaxed some rules (eating before dinner, etc).

 

When food was particularly hard- I pushed meals in front of the TV- longer shows or movies were best. I would not ask what they wanted (decisions could be overwhelming), I would make up a tray of nutritious small bites: whole wheat pasta with olive oil, raw veggies with ranch dip, cut up fruit, small bites of homemade chicken fingers or turkey meatball, whole grain crackers, cheese chunks, finger sandwiches, smoothies. Many times, with the disraction/relaxation of the tv, they would forget and eat more. I also had food available (small appealing healthy high calorie bites) on the table at all times. If dinner was a problem, we did a very large (dinner like- yet disguised) after school snack.

 

Both of my kids went a whole year without gaining a pound- although they grew- so they went from nice and slender- to way too thin. One has gained and is back to nicely thin, the other maintains a lot of food pickiness, so she is still too thin- therefore the relaxed rules.

 

You know what you are doing- so go with your mommy instinct. And really- if eating is and ocd issue- than the first step is getting them to eat (even if that is in front of the tv, video game or while in the clubhouse)- and that is ERP.

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Thanks for all the support, he is eating at school, although not as much as normal since it's been a bit of a struggle there, so I'm not too worried about malnutrition - YET. I think he eats at school more because the other kids are too - so it's almost like a peer pressure type thing.

 

At home, that's another story...I'll let him pick his dinner tonight and see if that helps, but even with that, he usually chooses, and then finds something wrong too.

 

Vickie - my son likes his food cold too - and every night at dinner one of his "rituals" is to put his plate in the fridge to make it cold - even if it doesn't need to be.

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Hi - does his food ocd include drinks/liquids... can you push those and hide stuff in them.

 

My ds was a really picky eater for about 18 months that I believe was all PANDAS related (along with the "can't eat it if it's been broken".. like crackers and cookies) and I could give him more smoothies/shakes etc to make up his calories.

 

What he did eat was good, like meats and fruit, but if it hadn't of been I reckon I could have hidden vits in there and other stuff too....

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Thanks so much for all of your support - we may have made it over the hump - I'm keeping my fingers crossed. On Tuesday I asked him what he wanted for dinner - he said McDonald's - so I jumped on it. We got to McDonalds - it looked promising, he had a couple bite of his cheesburger, and then it went down hill - FAST! There was a very offensive french fry - I don't know what this poor french fry did to earn his wrath - but it must have been bad, because he proceeded to throw his entire happy meal on the floor and started crying and screaming. I quickly packed everyone/thing up and got out of there before someone called the authorities. No dinner again.

 

Yesterday, I was taking a client to the Tampa/Boston hockey game, so our old nanny came over to babysit - I told him what was going on and that I was going to try to make him eat, but it was unlikely, and if he didn't eat it was okay. Again, I let him choose what to eat - corndogs and mac and cheese (I know, not exactly healty - but at this point if he eats I'll be happy). I whipped it up - not only did he eat, the nanny said that he had a second corn dog and more mac and cheese as well.

 

I don't know if he finally ate because he was starving, because the nanny was there so it was different somehow or what - but I'll take it.

 

This morning he asked if he could have Spaghetti-O's for supper tonight. Guess what I'll be stopping at the store for on my way home from work...

 

I feel bad feeding him "junk" - but right now I'll just be happy if he eats anything!!

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When my dd started with the food OCD we would just feed her what she wanted...

and most of the time it was junk.. But she was eatingI bought her some pediatric protein drinks

chocolate... she would drink them all down without a problem...

someday's that would be all she would drink/eat..

IVIG has helped all of that for her.

I am sorry I hope he feels better soon...

Tracie

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I've heard from my parents that *their* parents stuffed them with ice cream and milkshakes because they were too thin. I personally wouldn't worry about healthy and let them eat what they want in these times of trouble -- triple scoop? Milkshake? It's got calories and protein. You could add some powders, etc if it doesn't change the taste.

 

If you read stories about pioneer life or other times, people ate way differently than we do now. Not as much sugar and chemicals, of course, but stuff we wouldn't dream of feeding our families now. Slices of fat covered with sauce, etc. Dinners of cottage cheese and potatoes, because that's all they had.

 

Just my two cents.

 

When my dd started with the food OCD we would just feed her what she wanted...

and most of the time it was junk.. But she was eatingI bought her some pediatric protein drinks

chocolate... she would drink them all down without a problem...

someday's that would be all she would drink/eat..

IVIG has helped all of that for her.

I am sorry I hope he feels better soon...

Tracie

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I think you are making great decisions - you can start again on the traditional ERP when appropriate, but when food issues raise their very ugly head, all bets are off the table, I'll let her eat anything.

 

We also found that leaving out "low pressure" small bites of food as snacks was very helpful. I did not care if she ate a few bites every few hours, so long as she was getting enough throughout the day. Small slices of fruit, crackers, snack mix, etc were just casually placed on table - she would sometimes eat without realizing it, especially when watching TV.

 

Glad he is feeling a little better - hope it lasts. You are an awesome mom.

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Apparently corn dogs are the magic food. They seem to be the only thing that isn't offensive somehow. So guess what he's been eating the last few days!

 

My husband gave me my belated mothers day gift today...a morning alone by the pool with fresh squeezed mimosas, followed by a pedicure and massage and quiet dinner alone this afternoon. I'm loving it!!! (I'm posting from my iPad - poolside). As he was packing upnthe kids this morning for a day trip to Dinosaur World, I noticed him packing sandwiches for him and my daughter..I asked "what about bummy?". His reply - "I'm stopping at sonic and stocking up on corn dogs for the day...that should keep him happy."

 

It's been a very rough week, so my day off couldn't come at a better time...I just hope they have a good day too.

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