Ch.76 The Gobbler and the Slow Poke: How Lewy Body has Affected our Mealtimes
I’ve always been a fast eater. Pat has always taken her time. We’ve often kidded each other about this difference: “Are you done already?” vs. “Haven’t you finished yet?” But that was when “fast” meant my eating a full meal about five to ten minutes quicker than Pat. Lewy Body has gradually increased the gap, to the point now that recently I realized I had finished my dinner before Pat had even begun. And that was with a bowl of beef stew, one of her favorite meals.
Typically, now, I bring our meals to our tv trays (the tv may or may not be on – that doesn’t seem to make a difference). Pat says thank you but keeps on reading a magazine or doing whatever else she’s been doing. It’s as if she couldn’t care less if she eats or not. In fact, Pat’s appetite has diminished appreciably since she was diagnosed with Lewy Body. It lessened even more when she was put on the diabetic medicine Ozempic a few months ago. Ozempic advertises that weight loss is one of its possible benefits. Pat has lost perhaps twenty pounds in the last year. She likes losing weight, but I worry because I’ve seen Lewy Body patients lose so much weight that they become rail thin.
If Pat is reading and I say “Pat, your dinner is here” she tells me she knows that, but she keeps reading. Eventually, she takes a bite or two and goes back to her magazine. This frustrates me, Pat’s hard-working chef, wanting my creation to be appreciated. It frustrates our Collie-mix Levi even more as he waits longingly for the last bite.
People with Lewy Body tend to ignore the usual social conventions (Dinner conventions are just one example). I don’t know why. Maybe life is now too short to bother with society’s unwritten norms and mores or perhaps they have actually forgotten them. I haven’t forgotten them, though, and I struggle to accept these changes. Before I serve a meal, I try to remind myself that Pat is Pat, and she has the right to eat at her own speed. I also attempt to remember that the main point is for her to consume enough calories to stabilize her weight. One hard part is not sneaking peeks to see how much and how fast Pat is eating. The hardest part is keeping my mouth shut.
There is one saving grace, though. The one meal Pat still eats relatively eagerly and quickly is steak. Medium rare. Life could be worse.
Pat’s comments on The Gobbler and the Slowpoke:
We do eat at different speeds and what turns you on may not be what turns me on. It doesn’t bother me when you finish your meal ahead of me.
Ron, you’re not counting your own bites. You are only talking about my bites. You are paying too much attention to me. I am not rail thin. It’s a good thing to lose weight because I’ve always been too heavy in the past, as you’ve pointed out so it doesn’t make sense to criticize me now for losing weight.