120.8 pounds. That’s Pat’s most recent weight. This from a woman who weighed over 200 pounds before Lewy Body began its attack on her brain and body. True, Pat is a small person, only five feet tall, but it is sad and scary to see her steadily melting away.
I asked Diane, the nurse at The Refuge, if weight loss is generally the best predictor of mortality risk. She didn’t want to generalize, of course, but the answer was mostly affirmative. Our conversation began when Diane asked me if I would agree to placing Pat’s Libre 14-day blood sugar sensor in Pat’s thigh instead of her arm because her arms were now so thin that they bruised each time the staff replaced the sensor.
Pat still has a good appetite. Last night she polished off a sloppy joe sandwich and her dessert, mostly managing to feed herself. But I think her body isn’t processing her meals efficiently; calories consumed are not being fully converted into calories used. I plan to speak with Diane about trying Pat on a supplement like Ensure, but the last time she drank a bottle it caused digestive problems.
I help Pat both at her lunch and supper meals. I try not to push her too hard to eat. It really won’t matter whether she eats one or two more bites. Pat will keep losing weight because her body is gradually shutting down.
I feel sad and scared, as mentioned above. But I also realize I’m being prepared in this way for Pat’s death. Her body is leaving me, one pound at a time.