One More Breakfast

If this was an inpatient facility and I was a student writing an observation of L’s breakfast, I imagine it might go something like this.

7.40 Patient (L) enters kitchen. Mother (M) allows her to heat porridge. M notes porridge is spilt and replaces amount.

7.45 L becomes increasingly agitated at replaced porridge. M insists porridge is to be eaten. L becomes tearful and makes repeated pleas to avoid porridge. L appears emotional and distressed, uses terms such as “begging”. Claims to want to die. M remains calm and impassive. Uses repeated phrases in quiet tone. L becomes aggressive and kicks furniture then repeatedly bangs forehead forcefully on cupboard. M intervenes, inspects for harm and removes L to table area.

7.50 Breakfast commences. L served porridge plus two slices whole meal toast, with banana and spread. Earlier request to swap cream cheese for spread as calorie appropriate swap accepted. L repeatedly bargains for solely toast portion to be eatenM refuses. Toast eating commenced. L eats slowly and what seems to be ritualistic pattern. M prompts as appropriate.

8.04 Toast was completed. Escalating levels of distress exhibited by L at prospect of second part of breakfast. L tearful and repeats pleading and emphasises lack of need to gain weight. M responds firmly and impassively. Offers emotional support in order to eat.

8.15 After repeated and increasing emotional pleas, L becomes angry and raises bowl as if to throw to floor. M remains calm and watches. Porridge remains in bowl (note:viscosity of breakfast clearly a factor) and L leaves room and proceeds upstairs, making banging sounds and screaming. M follows. Knocks on bathroom door twice then warns of forced entry. Prepares to use force, leading to L opening door. L agrees to come to sofa area. Porridge is returned.

8.24 Porridge is consumed, slowly and with resentful compliance. L’s body language submissive and compliant. M discusses college attendance and L claims important to go. M inquires about forthcoming inpatient stay leading to L’s response that this will not be happening. L claims no treatment order under Section 3 MHA will be forthcoming or sought. Patient grasp on reality appears intermittent and poor. Completed breakfast leads to M offering praise and emotional support.

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2 responses to “One More Breakfast

  1. Sounds like hell on earth for all of you. So frightening to see the child you love disappearing both physically and emotionally. Your vivid description of distress behaviours brings back memories of being mother of teenager with MH issues. So painful. Have you been given a timescale for readmission process? Hang on in there. L is so worth it. Feel for all of you having no choice but to try to survive the storm. Hugs xxx

  2. Refeeding is a very difficult process both for you and your daughter. Keep fighting Ed, but just remember to keep being there for her as well. 🙂

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