Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Friday, 6 April 2012

Unexpected Dietary Requirements.

Before the Smaller Portion was released from hospital a dietician came to see him.  She was young, she was earnest and she stressed that his diet would have to change radically for the next six to eight weeks while his gut settles down.

As little fibre as possible.


A maximum of one piece of fruit a day (and preferably less).  With a perfectly straight face she told him that if he ate grapes they had to be seedless and peeled.

Vegetables to be kept to a minimum and if he must have them they should be peeled, boiled and mashed to within an inch of their lives.  


Water is bad.


Lemonade is good.


Increased salt.

No spicy food (which, if he was eating, would make him suffer)

Listening to her, I struggled.  I badly wanted to laugh.  Although I do understand that this is about being as gentle to his intestines as possible it almost completely contradicts any dietary advice I have ever heard or read.  After she left I told the Smaller Portion that it sounded like he should just eat at Maccas for the next eight weeks.  He didn't laugh.  I did.

The dietician added that he would need to eat often to ensure that the ileostomy was working as it should.  The pharmacist who dispensed the medication he left hospital with added that he was likely to be nauseous and that the remedy was small amounts of food.

The Smaller Portion has eating issues at the best of times.  This is not the best of times.  Since he was admitted to hospital on Tuesday of last week he has kept down three or four strawberries and a teeny weeny bowl of yogurt.  He waits until he is on the verge of vomiting, has a little food and throws up.  He then tells me (either explicitly or with meaningful stares) that he knew that eating was a bad idea.

To say that I am angry and frustrated is an understatement.  He is a grown man and it is his decision but it is not an easy one to watch.  So I did a shift at Lifeline yesterday as a form of respite.  And it was.

51 comments:

  1. Jesus! That Lifeline should be a respite? Application of boot to trouser required.

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    1. The Application of the Boot is a very real temptation.

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  2. So very, very difficult. And frustrating. My thoughts are with you and best wishes coming your way!

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    1. Ron: It is frustrating. And difficult. A mantra of Kill, Maim, Murder keeps popping into my head. Thank you for your best wishes.

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  3. What is Lifeline? So sorry - this is terrible. I am a former caregiver for my father and I quite understand what you are going through (although he didn't quite have the eating restrictions that SP has.) (((HUGS)))

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    1. Lynn: Lifeline is a telephone counselling service offering crisis support for people in a range of circumstances from relationship difficulties, mental health issues and suicidal urges. I have been volunteering there for a number of years. Gruelling but valuable. Caring is a sadly underappreciated role and it too is gruelling. Thank you for your support.

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  4. Don't rule out a temper tantrum. TSH needs to take some responsibility for his outcome. Don't wear yourself down! And, good luck and good thoughts.

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    1. Joanne: Shortly I am going to have a nap. He could also do with one, but that is up to him. He has at least and at last acknowledged that part of his weakness/fatigue is because he is not eating. He continues to reject food though. Sigh.

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  5. All you can do is make the correct food items available...he is an adult after all and needs to get his mind straight about what needs to be done. You can't force him to eat.

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    1. mybabyjohn/Delores: The foods he needs are here. He knows that they are here. He also knows that I would be more than happy to cook for him. The rest is, as you say, up to him. It is really hard to watch though.

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  6. "Horse? This is water. You know what to do..."

    have that nap. spend time in the garden. and know that he will get to the other side of this... as you will, also.

    it's got to be frustrating, though... take care.

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    1. 'Horse? This is water. You are not allowed to drink it - unless you add salt'. It is frustrating and a little frightening watching him, but ....

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  7. Can't help having a bit of a cackle at the thought of peeled and seeded grapes.

    Hope he develops a bit of an appetite soon.

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    1. Cat Drawings: I don't feel anything like fond enough of him to start the peeled grape caper yet.

      Under a little pressure (all right quite a lot) he has now eaten three slices of shsved chicken with some barbecue sauce.

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  8. Well EC I certainly feel sorry for you. Sounds like you're doing the very best you can and at this point, when you've done everything you can, the only thing you can do is take that nap and look after yourself. I feel sorry for him - what he's going through must be horrible - but still... if everyone is telling him to eat and he doesn't, well, it's up to him. Horse, thy name is vomit.
    Hugs, EC. Take it easy.

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    1. EC - your comments are playing up so I'm commenting as a reply to something I'm not replying to!

      Oh it all sounds really awful and hard.
      Increased salt - my poor diseased kidneys shrivelled a bit more when I read that!

      hard cheese and salty dry biscuits is all I can think to offer as a suggestion - if he's open to one xx

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    2. Cheese and dry biscuits are in the refrigerator and the pantry. He knows they are. He just isn't ready to eat.
      Sigh.

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  9. Absolute agony. what we know or have done is lost in the fierce NOW of a situation like this. Hang in there Dear


    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    ><}}(°>

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    1. Cloudia: I hope you are right. I really, really hope you are right.

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  11. Chin up and do the absolute best you can under these difficult circumstances. I wouldn't blame you for chucking a hissy fit either :-).

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    1. Windsmoke: I know he is unwell, in pain, peeved and nauseous. I still want him to be an adult though. More sighing. And a hissy fit tomorrow if necessary.

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  12. WOW! How awful for both of you! He knows what he has to do. I know that it must be agony to watch him not eat though. You must feel so helpless at times. Don't blame you for having to get out. Hugs, Teresa

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    1. Teresa: Thanks. It isn't fun at the moment. It will get better though.

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  13. My 84yo mother is currently in hospital having had a knee replaced. Her major worry is that my father only eats when she feeds him and she's away for two weeks. Sometimes people just have to take responsibility for themselves.

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    1. Cat Drawings: You are entirely right and I agree with you. I just find it really difficult to watch. I hope your mother is OK. (And your father.)

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  14. Sending you lots of positive thoughts and hugs, to get you through the next few weeks. Sending SP healing thoughts, and a minor kick in the pants to man up and eat small amounts often. xxx

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  15. Little or no fibre? Do they want him to become constipated? Or do they just want things slowed down? I don't see how peeling the grapes is going to make much difference, there's fibre in the grape as well as the skin.

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    1. River: As I understood her, things like skin are often not digested at all. The idea is to make his digestion as gentle as it can be. Slow is probably not a problem, though constipation would be.

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  16. It sounds like a terrible situation for you both. It is so hard to eat when one is sick and the depression that comes with being ill complicates the matter. On the other hand, the role of caregiver is the most under appreciated job there is. You often become the vehicle for the rage and frustration of the patient.

    Take care of yourself.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: Thank you.

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  17. What a pain in the you know what. I hope you can talk some sense into him. Otherwise, just leave the house and walk. There is only so much you can do. He is a grown man....

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    1. Dorothy: Thanks. The presence of his sister is inhibiting my shouting, but I am getting there.

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  18. Everyone is saying all the good stuff. I guess just take care of yourself!
    xx
    C

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  19. Thinking of you and the troubles you are going through, I hope your patient gets better and that you take care of yourself too.

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  20. It is so difficult to care for a person who will not care for themselves correctly. I'm sorry you and he both are going through this and hope things will improve. It has to begin with him. Hopefully he comes around soon. Take care of you. :)

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  21. Peeled grapes sounds fin, most people don't chew the skins properly anyway. As for the rest, it is all about what NOT to eat rather than what would be beneficial. If pureed vegetables are the order of the day, that would be fine by me and certainly would assist with the natural flow-through of things, though I would probably draw the line at Heinz baby foods - oops, my tongue got into my cheek somehow. Seriously though, if his alimentary tract needs to recover, pureed vegetables can be made quite tasty but it is best to eat small amounts often and strawberries with all those little seeds that act like sandpaper are probably to be avoided unless peeled.

    I wish you luck with your obstreperous patient.

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    1. Arija: We are talking a meat and potato man. However, small steps are being made.

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  22. Oh, how rough a time you're having. I've been thinking of you and wondering how the two of you are getting on. It's not enough to keep him alive, a couple of strawberries and a bit of yogurt. I appreciate you writing about the trials and tribulations, though, because there's no telling when I might be there myself. You volunteer for LifeLine? I think that's a wonderful service. You are amazing...

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    1. DJan: Thank you. We are told that his previous diet has a part to play in reaching this point. Not sure how much of that has sunk in though.

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  23. My gods men are frustrating. You've done all you can, it's up to him to pull himself together and quit acting like a baby. We went through this with my stepfather when he had a permanent colostomy done. It was 2 weeks before he stopped the pity party and acted like an adult. Hang in there, EC, he'll come around. Take care of yourself. I think you're fabulous.

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    1. Austan: Paddling in the pity pool is something we all do from time to time. A wallow is something I find difficult to accept. And thank you so much.

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  24. I'm glad you're getting out, just for a bit. Your patience must be never-ending. People vastly underestimate how a strict diet can affect your mood it's bloody awful, and being ratty with the pre-parer aint gonna help one bit. I had the same diet,still do to some extent, it's nuts. Without the nuts. As little fibre as possible. Gah. I found things like jars of peeled and de-seeded peppers, pre roasted. They came in brine but I poured that out and replaced it with olive oil and garlic. I can't have 'normal' peppers again, but handily the jarred ones taste great. To me anyway. Same with tomatoes, though not in a jar, we get passatta that has no skin or pips in a carton. I'll have a think of anything else, unless you just don't want to dwell on the subject. Keep your chin up and get into the garden often xx

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    1. All Consuming; Patience is not one of my strong points. I am going round the house muttering mung, mung, mung as one of our cats used to do when displeased.

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  25. Good luck and boatloads of patience being wished for you, EC.

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    1. jenny_o: Thank you so much. I suspect that luck and patience will be necessary.

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