Sunday, March 28, 2010

How Does One Deny Her Treats?

"I've just got to have some chocolate."

"We need to get to Krispy Kreme today for the donuts."

"Those soft serve hot fudge sundaes (McDonalds) are so good."

Familiar requests and hints these.... repeated over and over again by my Mom, age 92. She losing everything in her life and on some level she knows it. Her mind, beset by worsening confusion about dates, times, people, where she is or what she is doing sets the stage for very little joy. Her body, steadily betrays her. She gets around with great difficulty. Everything is a struggle. Most days she doesn't enjoy meals much. Used to her own familiar recipes and style of cooking, all of her food is prepared and served by others.

She does love chocolate, ice cream, and donuts however. I can see her face change when she's enjoying the taste of something marvelous, something from her past that brings back tasty memories. I see the stress leave her face and she is lost in endorphin reverie induced by those very things that send me to better places too.

It's so hard to deny people food (although some may say these treats are not food). I feel much like a parent patrolling the eating habits of a child and saying, "No". I don't always say no; in fact I never say no. I simply divert the subject and move on to something else or deliver into her hands the gift that will bring that contented gleam back to her face, the look I long to see but am losing bit by bit as days turn to weeks and months.

I understand the rationale for the suggested restrictions; she has gained a lot of weight in the last year. An extreme sedentary lifestyle and too many calories; it's all mathematics. Moving an ever enlarging body around on weaker legs is hard on her. I get that.

But, that doesn't make it any easier to deny her what is quite likely her last real pleasure in this withering life of hers. And that, makes me very, very sad.


  1. awww... poor Bama. She should just limit herself instead of cutting it out completely. Don't tell Momo though :-p

  2. What a balancing act ~ a taste of a favorite treat but not too many calories at once. Dark chocolate is actually good for you, and there are some delicious frozen yogurts and low-cal ice creams. I don't look forward to the day when I have to watch everything I eat.

  3. Hey, Kate, I think when you have reached 92 you should be able to have those special treats! It brings her so much pleasure! Sted won't eat her prepared meals no matter how much cajoling is done by her nurse, but, she loves my chocolate chip cookies and I'm bringing her a Manhattan next week. That has always been her favorite drink and she hasn't had one in a year. So many things are cloudy in her mind now, but I can hardly wait to see her response when she takes that sip--she'll have a huge smile on her face! She'll remember that taste!


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