Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I tell you, if back in 2010, someone had told me that one day, one day in the not-so-distant future, the words "carmel corn" would bring me to tears---well, I would have laughed out loud.
Or if that same person had told me that I would get a tear in my eye while watching a cooking show---well, I would have thought that person to be quite daft.
Back then, I didn't realize what a big part of life involves eating food. Especially holidays and celebrations. I didn't realize how life revolves around food. How cooking a meal for someone is, truly, an act of love.
Or how everyday, the media bombards you with images of food. I mean, every single movie we watch has scene upon scene of people eating food. And about half of the advertisements on the radio are about food. And the newspaper is filled with articles and ads about food. And every magazine I pick up at the doctor's office has pictures and recipes of food...
The other day, I was at the grocery store (yes, buying food, for me anyway) and I saw microwave popcorn on the shelf. And I thought, when was the last time I had popcorn? hmmmm.... Probably pre-stroke, when Bob and I went to the movies. What was the last movie we saw at a theater? I can't even remember. Then, I bought myself some popcorn. Because it looked good.
Yesterday, I popped a bag into the microwave and then brought it into Bob's room where we were watching a movie. Now, usually I don't feel bad about eating in front of Bob. I did at first. It was awkward. But once he was passed for "pudding consistency", I'd bring him some pudding to eat while I enjoyed my dinner or snack or whatever. It was nice, because we were "sharing a meal" together, sort of. That was until about January. When he stopped wanting to eat anything at all... It was, as if, he appetite disappeared.
Back in January, I had talked to Dr. Doom, Bob's ear, nose, throat specialist, about this new development. Doom told me not to push it. He told me that anything, even pudding consistency or thickened liquids, was "high risk" for Bob. And if Bob didn't derive pleasure from it, well, don't risk it.
Doom went on to explain, "You really have to weigh the risk vs. the pleasure. For example, some people like to jump out of airplanes. They get a real thrill out of it. And jumping out of an airplane is very risky. It could kill you. But if they derive a great pleasure jumping out of an airplane, then it's worth the risk. Now someone else, take me for insistence, would be scared shitless to jump out of an airplane. So for me, it isn't worth the risk. So, don't force me to jump out of an airplane. And don't force Bob to eat if he doesn't want too. It could kill him."
Since then, I have not pushed Bob to eat or drink a thing.
Then yesterday, I sat beside Bob with my bag of popcorn and Bob looked over at me and said, "Hey! Carmel corn!" The way he said it, with such a childlike delight, nearly broke my heart.
I said, "No, just plain old popcorn."
He said, "Cockcorn!" Because he has trouble with those "p's".
Then he reached over into my bag. And I thought, wow, his appetite is back! Then I thought, oh no! Because popcorn certainly does not qualify for "pudding consistency" and he might aspirate popcorn and die! But I let him have one kernel. Just one small kernel. Which he broke in half. And put one half into his mouth.
And I held my breath.
After a minute or so, he took it out of his mouth, shook his head and said, sadly, "No good."
And I begin to wonder, how many times, in any given day, can my heart be broken?