Tuesday, July 24, 2012

caring and culinary arts II

Between bowls and bowl games and the NCAA channeling memory loss by erasing 14 years of football victories as part of its sanctions against Penn State University football, it was worth rummaging through storage for this 25 year old poster, “The Few … The Proud … The Lions”.  Patti is a Penn State alum.
Penn State National Championship poster Fiesta Bowl 1987
Multiple Sclerosis visually impaired, my fellow holder got laughing so hard at my improvised description of the poster in my best sportscaster affected voice that I had to use her lap to support her end of the 1987 Fiesta Bowl victory poster. 

Of course to us the preeminent bowl is the bowl I use for my continuing experiments with caring and the culinary arts. Recently we tried reverting to a more conventional self-feed meal where food bites are similar, such as chicken tenders as the main entre.

Sure enough Patti reverted immediately to what I call ‘chipmunking’ her food. She just keeps putting pieces in her mouth forgetting either to chew or swallow. Unmonitored this can quickly create a choking danger. And this is why in the care facility era she has progressed to being fed in the assisted dining room rather than allowed to try and self-feed.

peaches, strawberries, black grapes, raspberries, chicken breast grilled in Italian dressing
Soooo all the more I wanted to try reverting back to using varying shapes, textures, tastes and color of food pieces to try and keep her mouth rebooting (for the lack of a better word) with each piece and extending her ability to self-feed just a little longer. It worked like a champ just as it had last week. Today’s bowl featured Patti’s favorite cut peaches, black grapes, cut up strawberries, raspberries, and cut up chicken breast grilled in Italian dressing. No chipmunking! No choking! I wish I understood why.

With my own attention and time increasingly consumed by living with lung cancer, my lung cancer odyssey, I’m discovering that keeping all the balls in the air is a bit more challenging when suddenly I am one of those balls … and yeah it’s just a bit harder when Patti cannot remember. 

by Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @ http://caregivinglyyours.blogspot.com/

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  1. maybe it is the company she has when she is eating the bowls you make her Patrick, that she doesn't chipmunk her food since she is enjoying all the sensations, good food, great companionship with you, etc. Food looked good again!


  2. Thanks Betty for the implied compliment to my companionship but in the interest of scientific accuracy, Patti chipmunks her food with me as well as without me sitting next to her if the food is of similar taste and texture, as in a main entree.

  3. Just when I think I have something figured out it up and changes again. I have found there is no such thing as predictability with caregiving. It's a minute by minute trip.

  4. I agree with Corgi, if you weren't so interesting she could concentrate better!



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