Monday, April 20, 2009

Food, food, food. Is that all you ever talk about?

When my friend JN had her first baby, he was diagnosed with failure to thrive when he just wouldn't gain weight. She felt like she had, as a mother, let him down. No matter that she had done every possible thing that she should have, no matter that she had been taking him to the doctor every day, no matter that she was the best mother she could have been, there was no telling her that her son was going to be just fine and they would fix it. Her guilt was powerful. It leaked through the phone lines in waves that made me incredibly sad for her. I did my best to comfort her, but the only thing that really did comfort her was when her son, put on a powerful cocktail of drugs and specially prepared foods, finally started to gain weight.

BB has an uncle who is morbidly obese. His aunt, the wife of his uncle, told me at Christmastime, that she was heartily sick and tired of being told that he needs to lose weight. She shrugged and I could see the pain in her eyes as she told me that it was no longer up to her. He has to take the appropriate steps to weight loss and there's nothing more she can do. She supports him and whatever healthy steps he wants, but there's nothing left for her to do. Her guilt was also palpable. As I put my arms around her, she sighed heavily.

I tell you these stories because a dietitian told us that my husband needs to gain twenty pounds. I feel an intense guilt. I don't want to go into the details as it's not my story to tell really, but I will tell you that I don't know what to do.

We are a foodcentric family and this latest bit of news may just put me over the edge. And it might cause my husband to end up killing me as I have started monitoring his food intake in a slightly obsessive manner.

Last week, after a battery of scary and uncomfortable tests, we learned that he is fine. He is healthy. No doctor once said anything about his weight, but this dietitian, she did. And that's all I can hear in my head when I think about this past week.

Just as my friend JN couldn't be comforted, there is nothing anyone can say to make me feel better about this. It's as if some strange biological impulse has been let loose in my brain. My man is hungry! I need to feed him!! I think about his food all day long. I think about what we can eat. I think about what he is (or isn't) eating whenever I am distracted in the middle of the day.

Thank goodness my husband is sane and hasn't let this take over his life. Maybe I should take a lesson fro him.

1 comment:

  1. I relate to this SO MUCH. One offhanded comment from my mother in law about how my husband has "lost 10 pounds since you started cooking for him, he's so scrawny!" and my brain goes into overdrive, shove-cheese-down-his-throat mode. It's not fun.

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