Oh The Things They'll Eat

Another guest post from Deborah Romick Schultz. Ann is still recuperating at her daughter’s. She has been home a few times to visit Ken, but is still to weak to stay there for very long. Ken continues to be cared for at home by family members and paid caregivers. Deborah has returned home to Utah. This is something she wrote while caring for Ken in California.

My dad has a hearty appetite not affected by his Alzheimer’s. He eats and then he forgets he just ate and eats again. Last night I brought home Chinese food with a large portion of rice and noodles, thinking we could save some for another night. I dished up both of our plates and then the phone began to ring. My dinner was interrupted three times. It was no big deal, except it gave my dad time to finish his dinner and clean his plate. Then he insisted he hadn’t had a thing to eat, was starving and wondered why I was eating and he wasn’t. So on top of his full dinner, I gave him all the rest of the noodles and rice and he gobbled those up too. This is not a growing boy, but maybe, because sometimes he thinks he is one, he has the same appetite.

It’s not just the amount he will eat, but his willingness to eat anything. At times this is a good thing, because I am able to cook whatever I please, and he eats it with gusto, proclaiming how much he likes it. We are polishing off my broccoli slaw, a delightful dish which sits in the fridge going to waste when I make it for my family in Utah (so I don’t), but my dad eats it with pleasure and compliments.

In his stubbornness if he believes something is good, he will continue to eat it all, even if it isn’t good.  He insisted on eating a whole jar of salsa with a spoon straight from the jar, and before the accident polished off a jar of capers and a special concoction he made using the contents from a large spice jar of turmeric.  Adding water he insisted it was butterscotch pudding. (He later slammed down his spoon proclaiming how awful it was.)   Dad has also indulged in a generous helping of dirt (looked like a crumbled bowl of chocolate cake) from one of my mother’s plants, saying it was delicious.

I have found  the best offense to his peculiar eating habits is a good defense. If I offer him something every two hours he seems less likely to help himself to strange contents he may find in the refrigerator or anything else that looks like food. Now if we can only discourage him from helping clean-up the kitchen after we eat.  No telling what he might find.

My mother has a bowl of very life-like fake fruit that sits on the dining room table. The apples have definite bite-marks, but he will trade for the real deal when offered.  I finally put the decorative fruit out of sight after he insisted that the fake banana was real. He broke off the tip to peel it, and when that didn’t work, proceeded to try and cut it with a butter knife.

Just like a small child, the answer to all of this weird food eating is trading. He has a real fondness for vanilla pudding in individual cups. I trade the weird stuff for the pudding and he’s generally willing to give me whatever he has decided is the food of the day. But whoever receives the green onions he has insisted on mailing in an envelope will have a real surprise, but that’s another story if he finds a stamp.

Originally posted 2010-04-07 05:01:25.

5 Responses to Oh The Things They'll Eat

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Oh The Things That They’ll Eat « Aromick’s Blog -- Topsy.com

  • Denise says:

    Hi–I just stopped by to see how Ann is doing. I’m so glad you’re posting updates to her blog. Please let her know I think of her and wish her a thorough and healthy recovery. Best, Denise

    • aromick says:

      Just talked to my mom today and she finally sounds like her old self. She should be back on the blog in a few days. I will be writing one last post.

  • robin says:

    I got here from the Alzheimer’s Reading Room post, & have so enjoyed both your (Aromick) & your mom’s posts. I laughed out loud, literally, at your comment about mailing the green onions!

    My Mom has advanced Alzheimer’s & I appear to have very early onset. ( I’m taking prescribed medication now.) I looked & looked for a blog dealing with this from someone with a Christian perspective, & now God has led me to yours!

    Thank you!

    • aromick says:

      Robin, My heart is touched by your comment. And my heart and prayers go out to you in caring for your mother, as well as your valiant challenge which is ahead. It’s with faith and hope that we travel this tragic road of Alzheimer’s, and it’s through the help of our Lord that we make it through. Hopefully, medication will be everything you need in your personal fight. Thank you for sending. Ann Romick (It’s daughter Debbie’s photo that still appears as guest blogger.)

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