If you haven’t read the first part of this charming incident, you can read it here – well you could if I understood how to link it in this application! Since not – go back 2 posts. If you have, you may have asked, “What happened next?”
The original meal was on a Tuesday, the following Thursday Poppy left midday for the dentist. “Good Luck!” I called out with all sincerity. I never saw him return.
When it was time for dinner, I walked into the back to see if Poppy would be eating with us. That is the moment when he told me that he was now on an all ice cream diet. I am not lying to you! “Excuse me?” “The dentist suggested I only eat extremely soft food. So I guess it is all ice cream for me for awhile!”
The next morning, there were two empty half gallons ice cream containers sitting on the counter. That is commitment!
I am my mom’s caregiver. I am Poppy’s adult step daughter. There are several age related changes that have effected Poppy over the past years. But he has no diagnosis that would indicate, nor does he believe that he needs care. So, if he is not in pending danger and he is not endangering my mom, I have to let it pass.
When my mom came out for dinner, I did offer several suggestions of soft foods that were not ice cream and that would provide some nourishment. I offered to make some of them – no, not all of them. I was told, “No, he is a grown man.”
You may think this is not the right thing for me to do. However, this situation is similar to trying to tell my 20 year old son what to eat! (Or anything else for that matter.)
My step father is extremely independent. He definitely eats his vegetables, as he fixes a serving bowl of salad for lunch most days. I never asked, however I suspect oatmeal was breakfast, not ice cream. So, the announcement, that he needed to eat soft food after vehemently refusing to eat soft foods two days prior, was unreal. Then to take it to the extreme and go as far as eating ice cream…humorous.
Shake your head, I did – still am! By Saturday, he was back to eating the meal I prepared for dinner. So the ice cream diet was short lived.
I do take my parents nutrition seriously. One of the primary reasons the decision was made for them to move in with us, was because my mom has no appetite. She just doesn’t think, “Oh, I’m hungry.” She is a tiny and strong person. However, one stomach bug and she is in the hospital. As the doctor says, she has no reserves. It might sound like an exaggeration but 24hrs of a stomach bug and she was completely dehydrated and had lost 7lbs. This happened in the first year after they moved in with us. My husband, kids and I were at my mother in laws for a long weekend. My mom and step dad didn’t contact me until it was time to call the ambulance. She was in the hospital for 3 days.
As frightening as this was, it was enlightening. We quickly found a liquid meal substitute that she likes. I keep it stocked in her refrigerator. Her preference is vanilla Glucerna. We have found that the way her body processes the Glucerna is better than the Ensure. She does not have diabetes of any type but prefers this products. I can get her to drink this when she won’t come in from the garden or if she has stayed awake longer than usual in the evening she will have one before bed with her medications. This late in the evening drink seems to help her sleep sound through the night as well.
In order to keep the few extra pounds the doctor wants on her – we keep multiple breakfast options available in her kitchen – all require no cooking, an art form she gave up long ago. When I prepare a hot breakfast, there is always some made for her. With seven people living in the house, schedules can be chaotic and having options in her kitchen, means she doesn’t have to wait for me. Even now breakfast is a drilled in routine, not a sense of hunger.
Her special treat is when John cooks for her. Usually eggs but not always. She has been blessed with his attention since Covid created high school online for our boys. When she sits down to eat – it is consumed and sometimes seconds!
Do you have “tricks” or foods that entice your loved one to eat? We log meals in her calendar so she knows if she ate, since she can’t remember if she ate. I am learning as we go and always looking for what you have found that works!
Thanks for coming back and have a great week.
P.S. the 20yr old, Paul did not empty the dishwasher tonight, like I asked!
“You only have so much emotional energy each day. Don’t fight battles that don’t matter.”Joel Osteen