Can`t eat, Won`t eat…

This is the phrase that pops into my head when we sit down to eat our evening meal. It refers to the 2 most important people in my life, and hopefully goes some way in conveying just why mealtimes fill me with dread.

Can`t Eat

This is all about Paul, and the health problems he has currently. He has been experiencing stomach pain, mostly during or immediately after he has started a meal. This is accompanied by  quite severe swelling, and these symptoms combine to prevent him from sitting down and eating a simple meal, so he loses his appetite and gives up.

We still don`t know what is causing the problem, but he has psoriatic arthritis, and takes low doses of methotrexate (an anti cancer drug) plus various anti inflamatories and pain killers. These drugs, although they are there to help the pain and skin condition, can also create problems with the kidneys, liver, pancreas and stomach.

Paul`s basic amount of daily medication.

Paul has also developed a condition called  Barrett’s oesophagus- which is basically scarring of the oesophagus caused by the stomach acid washing back up and burning the lining. We have been led to believe that this is the most likely cause of his stomach trouble- even though the gastroenterologist wanted to treat the 2 problems seperately. It is unplesant, and wakes him at night- so he has to sleep propped up for fear of being sick. Its all fairly graphic and yukky, so I won`t elaborate.

Its hard, as we lost our Dad to an advanced version of the condition- and it does trouble me.

I am doing what I can by supporting him. He (and I) have stopped smoking, and now we have also given up caffiene. We don`t drink either, so we have no vices left. And now food has lost its pleasure too.

Won`t Eat

This is all about this little madam here:

When I first started seeing Paul, Jessie was 4, and I didn`t see much of her as she spent part of the week at her mums.

However, she now lives full time with her Dad and me, so I do my best to fulfill the mother role. As I have no children of my own, the best I can do is try and recall how my Mum brought us up. I remember a childhood of good simple homecooked food, and baking being a fun learning experience. We were brought up having tried most basic foods, so we were familiar with flavours and textures. Yeah, we griped and groused over some things, but on the whole, the menu was excellent.

BUT  <- (thats the big but!), I just can`t get through to the kid. Well, I say that, but some weeks are ok. On the other hand, some weeks are like a minefield, with mealtime casualties at every step! This kid can take 2 hours to eat a bowl of cereal, will gobble vegetables till the cows come home, but try a piece of plain chicken breast, and its like i`m asking her to eat dogpoo! She refuses to chew properly, and will sit at the table with a tiny piece of meat in her mouth, gagging and spluttering with her eyes watering if we get that far!

It absolutely ruins mealtime for me. All I want is for us all to sit down as a family and eat and chat about the day, but I think both myself and Paul dread it. It doesn`t help the fact that I love cooking, and all this hoo haa about meals just makes my efforts as a cook (and a mother) diminished and I end up feeling utterly drained and rejected.

I live in hope that both situations will get easier given time, but I have been compelled to write  this to let off a bit of steam, and  maybe show the other side of my life. It is not all “moms apple pie” and  alternative Martha Stewart!

Until next time,




~ by Zoe on September 15, 2011.

3 Responses to “Can`t eat, Won`t eat…”

  1. Well speaking as one who is a finicky eater at the best of times I have to say i think it´s partially a kids think and partially personality. I know my nephews are horrendous when it comes to food, they will only eat very plain stuff and you´d think getting them to eat a vegetable was like asking them to eat an alien or something. So I guess I´d say try not to worry too much about Jessie. She´ll be okay and you´re doing a grand job k. As for Paul well I know what the stomach acid is like as I get that sometimes though thankfully only sometimes. Hurts like hell and yeah people do find it hard to understand when you can´t eat because of it. I used to get a hell of a lot of stick for it from my Dad as he couldn´t see how much it hurt. I´m lucky in that it seems to have got better now and I only get it with alcohol mainly now if we go out. But yep it used to wake me up at night in agony too. I sympathise with Paul bigtime. And as for the Dad’s well you know we´re the same there. Dad goes through good and bad days when it comes to food. Worst was when he was jaundiced. So really all I can say is I know how you feel and try not to let it get you all down k Fluffster. Things go in cycles and they will do their best for Paul and Jessie will change as she gets older. It´ll come together matey. You´ll see. Big big hugs oxox

  2. We should swap notes at some point because I’m on proton pump inhibitors to reduce the amount of stomach acid I was producing as it was causing me gastritis (painful) and causing me to suffer heartburn and acid reflux. (The former was so painful there were occasions when I thought I was having a heart attack! I’m also another drug for bile salt malabsorption. Basically everything I was eating and drinking was going straight through me. The side effects I’m getting from the meds are almost as unpleasant as the problems themselves.
    From experience, avoiding spicy foods, hot drinks (especially coffee), carbonated drinks, acidic foods such as citric fruit, cucumbers and tomatoes helps reduce reflux. Peppermint tea is also extremely soothing if sipped and ginger is also a natural tummy settler.

    As for Jessie. If she doesn’t like the texture of chicken don’t give it to her. There are foods that Blake can’t bear the textures of. For example, he loves yogurt but he won’t touch it if it has lumps in. He also hates the texture of broccoli and cauliflower. Instead I give him peas, sweetcorn and carrots. Occasionally I’ll ask if he’d like to try the broccoli and cauliflower again and this time he ate a little and quite liked it with cheese sauce over it.
    I shouldn’t worry too much though. They all go through finicky phases. Blake’s has been 6 years and counting. Lol! As long as she’s eating enough and relatively healthily then there’s no real cause for concern. We finicky eaters sort ourselves out in the end. 🙂

  3. Oh, and it can take Blake hours to eat too. It’s really frustrating but seems to the norm.l having spoken to some of his friend’s mum.

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