Two days ago, Children’s Hospital’s ER in Seattle called with a request to treat Rachel. Rachel has been at a treatment facility in Seattle since last August to learn coping mechanisms for the several different diagnoses, including self-harming behaviors.
For the past couple of months, Rachel hasn’t been eating much. In the last month or so, the daily intake has consisted of about 200-300 calories.
She was taken to the emergency room because her heart rate slowed down to a dangerously low level. All therapeutic efforts to motivate healthier eating habits failed.
Now, Rachel is confined to a wheel chair for the most part to conserve energy output, is required to eat the food prescribed by the dietician, and the doctors are watching her heart rate, blood pressure, weight, and blood carefully.
A refusal to eat will require her to drink a Boost (meal replacement), and after a certain number of refusals, they will insert an NG tube (a tube from the nasal passage into the stomach) to provide nutrition.
After not eating for that period of time, their concern is “refeeding syndrome”, which, from the doctor’s explanation, is the body failing to adequately absorb the food and fluids in a way that benefits the body. It is a complication of starvation.
Rachel was not cutting, or taking pills, or any of those other things, but by refusing to eat, was dying.
I have spent the last couple of days in the hospital, trying not to push an agenda, not digging too deep, not saying too much, reminding my kiddo that she is LOVED. Please don’t die. Please stop trying to die.