I had not thought about that conversation until this morning when I was reflecting on what occurred last night. The story begins in the late morning when I was talking to my sister-in-law about what we should have for dinner. I suggested baked Russet potatoes with all the fixings and it was agreed. I couldn't wait to eat dinner and it wasn't even lunch yet! Fast forward to when the potatoes are placed in the oven where they cook for the next hour or so giving off the mouth watering aroma and triggering happy thoughts. When they come out I can hear the crunch of the skin as the tongs grabbed onto them. I tell Dee to have everyone eat and I can be fed afterward. This is the standard operating procedure around here. I'd rather have them be satisfied than be hungry and wielding sharp objects near my face. So I'm relaxing in my chair as everyone grabs their perfectly cooked ’tater's, when my daughter, who is last in line, asks. "Isn't Dad eating?" "Yes!" I say enthusiastically. "There's no more baked potatoes left." Dee mistakenly bought one less potato than the people that were eating with us. A simple mistake that is easily excusable. Dee responded that she would reheat a red potato from the fridge for me. A delicious tuber but it isn't a baked Russet potato! "I don't want one of those? I'll just have a (protein) smoothie." I say, feeling irritated. A few moments later I tell her I don't want a smoothie, I'm not hungry. Which I wasn't. After offering some other options which I decline, she says "Okay." Over the next few minutes my frustration turns into angry disappointment. I sit there, fuming, when my son asked if he could use the TV for something. "Go ahead!" I reply in an angry tone. Staring at me with a perplexed look on his face he says, "What's wrong Dad?" I then tell him how pissed off I am that I didn't get a baked potato. He then leaves me and comes back with a bite of somebody else's baked potato which I deny. "I can't eat that it has hard stuff in it which I can't chew!" I tell him, still angry. I wanted my own baked potato prepared the way I like it. I have very little, if any, control over my life but that doesn't mean I always have to settle. I then thank him for trying to help and apologize for my angry rebuff of his offering. Next, Dee comes up and asks why I am being a jerk! A fair question that deserves a fair answer. "Because you can't count! You knew it was my idea to have this dinner! And you knew how many people were coming for dinner!" Yeah, a fair response. "You wouldn't be able to eat one anyway!" She snapped back as she walked away from me. Everyone then sits down for a movie. After the movie Dee comes over and gives me a drink of water and asks me if she can make me some dinner in a sweet voice. I then apologize for my anger and tell her what had occurred to me during the movie. “I no longer have hunger anymore. I haven't for some time. I had, just now, consciously realized it. ” I need to supply enough calories to maintain my original diagnosis weight of 210 pounds. After two years I am beginning to lose the battle to keep up my weight by the look of my legs. I can see the outlines of my bones which is a big contrast to my once massive thighs. If I eat semi-solid food now, it's because I want to. It will probably take me a long time and it will exhaust me and I might even choke on it but I want to savor this particular meal one more time before I die. I explained this to Dee and she understood why I was disappointed. She then offered to make me something but I declined. I wasn't hungry or in the mood to force myself to eat. I finally had a protein smoothie eighteen hours after my last meal with not one hunger pang. Thanks to my body feasting on itself.
From now on, if I eat a regular meal, I will try to remember and enjoy everything about it. The flavor. The aroma. The texture and consistency. Even the act of eating itself. I have tried to live in the moment since my diagnosis but the act of eating has been ignored. Not any more. Now I eat to stay alive. I eat so my body won't eat itself. No, I eat to live damn it!