Phew! Finally, I am able to indulge in my passion for mind dump blogging. So much has happened in my life that I have not been able to concentrate writing. Some of what has happened has been wonderful; others not so.
As many of you know, my stubborn,sometimes mean as a junkyard dog mother has moderate Alzheimer’s. After a serious fall in the summer that made our lives a living Hell because she refused to believe that her alter ego was NOT in fact, Wonder Woman. She kept falling and falling, and falling some more. Well, she finally fell and broke her hip. Rushed to surgery, then to rehab at the Skilled Nursing Facility. She still thinks she is Wonder Woman. Until they finally found a way to keep her in her wheelchair, she would just decide that it was time to get up and try to walk away, then whoosh, thump.
By law I’m told they can’t restrain her, even if it is for her own safety. But, (diabolical laugh here) a clever physical therapist came up with the wonderful idea of giving her a wheelchair with a lap tray! Voila!!! Problem solved.
So, it has been three weeks and although a part of me says that I should feel guilty about saying this, I’m going to anyway. It’s been a welcome vacation. I have regained my center and de-stressed in a major way. I can wonder at the sunrise again. Aaaaaahhhhh!
Vacation almost over. She comes home in a few days and hopefully, her time away has reset her obsessive compulsive need to feed every cat in the neighborhood with all of the food in the house, from cookies to canned beans to corn flakes and Cheerios, to blackberry jam. One can only hope. It got to the point that I had to hide food in a refrigerator in the garage or freeze whatever I could in order to keep her from piling it all outside for the strays.
Now don’t wag your finger at me. I’m not letting them starve. We have three ferals that were born in the backyard and they expect to be fed. I give them big bowls of dry cat food that is replaced whenever it gets near empty. They are perfectly happy, as is the raccoon and the family of possums that live under our shed. Well, some of them do. Some of them took up residence in our neighbor’s attic. She spent $$$$ on exterminators to get rid of them, but they keep coming back. Domage (Oh well), Guiltily, I like possums so I have only a little sympathy for her situation.
So, why is this blog titled “White Food and Hippocrates” ? I’m coming to that. When mother was in the hospital, I was remembering my time in the hospital for surgery. Nothing major, just hysterectomy. Funny that it should be so commonplace I was almost compelled to yawn while writing it. Hmmmm.
Anyway, at that time, I was a rabid vegetarian and nature freak. Hospital food terrified me. I was so pleased when a nutritionist came to my room and asked me detailed questions about my diet. She had an official looking clipboard and an efficient haircut. I was lured into confidence. Meat? No. Dairy? No homogenized milk. Butter? Okay. Eggs? Yes, but prefer free range organic. No processed foods. No meat, poultry or fish. No seafood. No caffeine. No sodas. No refined sugar. Blah blah blah. I say this now as I am sipping Starbucks and munching on a honey raisin bran muffin.
She smiled prettily and marked her form, then clicked her pen shut with gusto. Inside, I’m sure she was laughing until she was about to puke, but she smiled, thanked me, and left. I was actually looking forward to dinner.
Dinner came. The nice young orderly placed it on my tray and arranged it with a practiced hand, then lifted the lid with the flair of a maitre’d in a five star restaurant. I expected him to say in a snooty French accent, “To-nait, forr your dining plaizure, ve haf….”
My eyes popped out of my head! BOINNNGGG! Meatloaf, gravy, canned green beans, cola, and the reddest Jell-O I have ever seen, topped by the imitation, food-like substance that squirts out of a can in lovely satiny, faux creamy swirls! Not the dinner I had envisioned. So back it went with instructions to look at the nutritionist’s guidelines and bring me a vegetarian dinner.
I guess it’s like sending food back in some restaurants—an insult. The urban myth is that the cook spits on the new food to get back at you for not liking your meal. When my new plate came, it was vegetarian alright, but also very, very, very white. I had a mound of white rice, a blob of mashed potatoes, a slice of white air bread, and a big scoop of cottage cheese. For desert—tapioca. Of course, my drink was a big glass of milk! I don’t remember if I ate it or not. I probably did because I was so hungry, but white food was indelibly etched into my mind from that moment on.
I don’t remember much else about my stay there, except for them also ignoring my allergy to a certain antibiotic. Of course that’s the one I had in my IV so I broke out all over in lovely crimson hives. When I complained, they just brushed it off as nothing. They must have changed it out because the rash went away in a few days. But what really stands out in my mind was the plate of white food, glaring up at me and sneering like a demonic albino fish. Still, it didn’t kill me and I came closer to learning a valuable lesson in being a radical anything.
Ah well, as the reincarnationists say, “Life’s a bitch until you die, then life’s a bitch until you die, then life’s a bitch until you die.”
Fortunately, my mother’s stay in the hospital was a positive one. She had great drugs, decent, if not gourmet, food, and kind, caring people around her to listen when she, out of her pain meds, talked about the little people dancing naked in her drawer, or the elevator that takes her to the rainbow sky at night. Jeesh. In the late 60’s I would have paid big bucks for ‘meds’ like those.
So, do you have a tale to tell. I’d love to hear about your quirky, funny, odd doctor or hospital experiences. Also if anyone else is having to care for an Alzheimer’s parent, I NEED TIPS.
For some reason, the wise words of Douglas Adams come to mind, “So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Check out my other blog, Fractured Foodies Having Fun
for a report on the absolute best spaghetti and meatballs on the planet! Hell, in the galaxy!!