I’m starting this post with a bit of an explanation about these blog entries. The events I am describing now happened a wee while ago and are not describing the current situation with the Goldfish. I’ll get to that before long but I wanted to provide some of the background before we reach where we are now.
I have always kept a diary and last November I took part in NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel in a Month) in which people try to write 50,000 of a novel in 30 days – 1,667 words a day. I didn’t want to write a novel but I thought it would be a good opportunity to write up my diary entries into a reasonably complete account. With NaNoWriMo there is no time to edit those words – the whole point is just to keep writing so what I ended up with was 50,000 words which really needed to be edited. This is what I am doing now. I hope to post more frequently until I have caught up with the place we are now at with the Goldfish.
Back to the feeding problem, then: this is ongoing through the summer of 2012 and into winter.
The step-monster continues to maintain the Goldfish is eating well. I know he eats well at day centre and when I take him out but the weight loss continues. We suspect she is not giving him enough to eat.
I am astounded to receive an appointment for the Goldfish to see the dietician within a couple of weeks of seeing the doctor. We need the step-monster to be there because the Goldfish doesn’t remember what he has had to eat two minutes – or less – after he has eaten it but I don’t want to give too much notice or she’ll be planning how to make it all sound like she’s feeding him properly. Finally tell her the night before the appointment.
We all go, the Goldfish, DH, the step-monster and I so there’s a bit of scurrying about to find enough chairs. The dietician has notes from the doctor about the weight loss but asks us to explain our concerns. She asks the step-monster what he has to eat in an average day. The step-monster produces her notes – I KNEW she would prepare for this – and starts reading out lists of foodstuffs. It all sounds very healthy: cereal in the morning, toast, soup and roll at lunchtime, main meal at night with some meat, vegetables.
The dietician is nodding away and says it all sounds fine. I’m mentally cursing her for not knowing the woman is lying through her teeth. Yes, soup and a roll for lunch but it’s half of a small tin and half a roll. Then the dietician throws a curve-ball and asks the step-monster about quantities. This knocks her off balance a bit as she hasn’t thought it through and she finally shrugs and says: “Just normal quantities.”
She is asked to keep a food diary for three days, recording everything the goldfish eats and drinks. The dietician gives us a booklet on what sort of foods to give and how to add calories. It’s really interesting with lots of tips such as making up a cup-a-soup with milk instead of water, adding butter and milk to mashed potatoes. She says to forget low-fat as it is more important to get the Goldfish’s weight up so he can have cream and puddings, full fat milk and butter.
The step-monster sends off her food diary, which I know is rubbish. Instead of putting in quantities in weight and fluid ounces she sticks to her belief she is giving him ‘normal quantities’ She’s got it into her head the Goldfish eats very well, but at the same time insists he doesn’t need much because when people get older they don’t need so much food. I know some older people do lose their appetite but it’s obvious the Goldfish still enjoys his food – though the dementia means he doesn’t feel the hunger pangs which tell us we need to eat. He would never think to go and make himself a sandwich. He eats when food is put in front of him – and when constantly told he doesn’t really need much, he accepts it.
Now we wait until the next appointment when the Goldfish will be weighed again.