This morning Aaron walked into the kitchen while I was getting Gary’s lunch ready for him to take to work. I told Aaron good morning as usual, and as usual he didn’t respond in kind. The first words out of Aaron’s mouth were, “Mom! Do I look like I’ve lost weight?” Why waste time with a “Good Morning” when there are other more pressing matters to discuss…….like weight.
Aaron has had a weight issue for much of his adult life. Some of it is genetics from my Hollandsworth side of the family. He has that stocky build, most definitely. And much of the weight issue is also from medicines that Aaron takes. Last year we weaned Aaron off of two medicines, and as a result he lost 65 pounds. We had lots of blood work done to check for any physical issues, but he was totally healthy. So we bought him new pants that were two sizes smaller, and he still had to wear a belt. However, he is now on a new medicine and has gained back some weight. He still looks good, and we don’t want him to worry too much about his weight, but it wasn’t lost on him last week at his seizure appointment that he has gained some weight back.
Aaron waited for my answer to his question this morning. I told him, as I always do, that I can’t tell if he’s lost weight overnight. But that wasn’t enough for Aaron. “Well, do I look 189?” I assured him that he looks good and to not worry about that number, but to just be careful with what he eats. “Well, did I look 189 at the doctor?”
Oh, Aaron. He thinks that we can tell from one single day to the next whether he has lost or gained weight, or whether he looks like he weighs what he does from day to day. If only it were that easy!
Aaron loves his food. He not only loves eating it, but he loves to analyze it and talk about it and try to figure it all out, especially if the food is unusual to him.
He called me once when Gary and I were on a trip. He very excitedly told me about how he had gone to a Chinese restaurant, and that he had chicken nuggets (as he called them) and a salad. “But Mom, there was no ranch dressing! There was only a dark brown dressing with those seeds. Or would you call them beads?” Later he added: “Mom, that dressing is a soft black color. Ranch is tougher.” Another observation: “Mom, Chinese love fish food!!”
Speaking of salad, he decided some time back that he no longer wants croutons. I learned that fact at Olive Garden one day when he looked at the salad and said, “Mom, I don’t want the hard parts. Do you want me to give you the hard parts?” As he started handing me the croutons I realized what he meant by the “hard parts.”
He won’t eat cotton candy, thankfully, but one day he described the funny cotton candy he had seen at the store. “It’s like the fluffy stuff inside a pillow!” he told me.
“What are those round circle things at Long John Silvers?” he asked one day. We finally figured out that he meant hush puppies.
Aaron opened our freezer one day, and exclaimed, “You have the ice cream with stripes! You wanted striped ice cream?” That would be Neapolitan, in case you’re wondering.
And one of my favorites, recently, was the other night when he said, “Mom, I ate one of those vanilla chocolate things on a pole!”
|Aaron’s chocolate vanilla thing on a pole!
Coming home from his group one day, he happily told me that they had doughnuts to eat. I asked what kind they had, and he answered, “You know, those normal kind……the green ones.” That’s his color blindness kicking in, just so you know. And right after he told me about eating green doughnuts, he asked, “Does it look like I’ve lost weight?”
Not with eating green doughnuts………or any other color, Aaron.
He gave me a running list of what he had eaten one day when he returned from Paradigm, his day group. He said they had doughnuts, and tornado chips [that’s Bugles, by the way], etc., etc. “I’m over full!!” he exclaimed.
Moderation is always an issue with Aaron. We try and try to make him understand that it’s OK to occasionally eat a little of something, but not a huge amount. He usually wants the super large of everything, or multiple bags or boxes. Many of you will remember me writing about the #52 Slushie from Quik Trip that Aaron was always talking about, and how I finally realized it was a 52 ounce Slushie that Aaron always bought. The biggest of the big, of course!
Even if it’s a healthier food, we sometimes have to limit his intake. One day he was eating cheese slices while watching television. I walked in to find a little pile of wrapping papers by his chair as he proceeded to say, “At first I did not know that they did not have a flavor.”
So why did you eat FIVE of them if they did not have a flavor?!
“What do you want me to eat while I watch TV?” he answered.
I almost asked why he didn’t just finish off the wrapping papers as well, but I thought I better not give him any ideas.
We try to encourage good food, although I know that I allow more junk food than he needs. One day I was telling him once again that he needed to eat good food, like eating supper with us instead of snacking during the day and again at night. “So what are you having for good food tonight?” he asked.
He loves celery with peanut butter, but doesn’t like the mess in his teeth. “I thought I had a rope in my teeth,” he said as he picked and picked at the celery fibers in his teeth. He loves cucumbers, but was amazed one day to see a commercial that showed a spa with a woman on a table………and cucumbers over her eyes. “Mom! That woman had cucumbers in her eyes!! Do you want to do that? Do you want cucumbers in your eyes?”
He saw a commercial about high cholesterol and wanted to know all about what it is. He was eating peanuts and so pointed to the peanuts in his bowl after I explained high cholesterol. “Is this it?”
Sometimes after a seizure, he loses his sense of taste for awhile. One day he said, “Mom, I think my mouth is sick.” So even though Aaron tends to eat too much food, we don’t like it when his mouth is sick.
At other times his mouth is just fine, but he sure is confusing. Take the time he was telling me that he had eaten Doritos at Paradigm. “Mom, you know those Nacho Cheese Doritos? Well, I don’t like them all the way. It’s not that I don’t like them. I just don’t like them ALL the way! Do you understand?”
Sure I understand, Aaron, about as well as I understand you most of the time. Still scratching my head on that one the same as I scratch my head concerning Aaron so often.
So we come full circle, back to gaining and losing weight. One night Aaron said, “Mom, tonight I ate fruit and cheese. So does it look like I’ve gained weight?”
“Aaron,” I answered yet once again. “I can’t tell in one night if you look like you’ve gained weight.”
And he replied, “Then does it look like I’ve LOST weight?”
He still doesn’t understand why I shake my head, walk away, and head for the chocolate.
Aaron better not say one word about MY weight!