Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Eat it, Just Eat it!

I'm kind of venting here. I have a lot of responsibilities with my church position, and I always try to keep confidences of things that are going on. I'm going to veer from that habit just a tad. I will try to not give any clues as to who I'm writing about, but I just need a chance to sort of technologically puke out my frustrations. lol There is a woman whom I have had dealings with who is on a very strict diet. This diet requires her to be gluten free, and lactose free. You can imagine how difficult it is for her to eat. But recently she told us that because of some medications that she is on, her doctor has given her a list of more things she can't eat. Now I know that there can be things that interact with drugs. I've heard that grapefruit juice causes most medications to be more powerful, so should be avoided if you take a lot of medications. But this list included: garlic, paprika, cloves, ginger, and a whole bunch of other things that I don't know. In fact, this woman told someone that her list included PAGES of information. She said she can't even have a trace of those spices in her food. I went to visit her one day and she said that in addition to her special diet, there were other foods that she needed to be careful with. She said she can only eat organic meats. I asked her what would happen if she ate non-organic meats. She said, "I might get food poisoning!" She also said that she has to be very, very careful when picking out fruit or vegetables. She said, "I can't even have the slightest thumb print on a tomato, or I could get sick." She said that her diet is so strict, that for three days she ate nothing because she couldn't think of what to eat. Somewhere in those conversations I decided that she has an eating disorder. I do believe that the doctor may have given her a list of things to avoid, but the fact that she hasn't actually shown the list to anyone makes me wonder if it really is pages long. I simply do not believe that a thumb indentation on a vegetable will make her sick. I do not believe she will get food poisoning from eating non-organic meat. And I even challenged her statement about not eating for three days. I said, "Well, you can always eat fruit and vegetables, right?" She admitted she can, but I think that's when she told me about it having to be a perfect piece of fruit. I told her she should make a list of what she can eat, and stick it on the door of the refrigerator. Whenever she is hungry, she can just pick something off the list to eat. One woman at church is dealing with a family member who has celiac disease and cannot eat wheat products. She has been making bread and muffins for this other woman. She gives her a list of every ingredient in the food. But this woman always finds something in the list of ingredients that she can't eat. Today this generous woman told me about this and asked my opinion. I told her I think it is more of a problem of an eating disorder than it is a real medical necessity. Yes, I know she can't have wheat or milk. I know there may be some spices she can't have. But if this woman isn't careful, she will rule out every food known to man! I guess I'm venting because I feel, because of my church position, that I need to try to help this woman. But I know that I can't fix a psychological problem. My next course of action is to encourage her to work with a nutritionist. Her needs are going way beyond our ability to help. Thanks for letting me vent. :)


Ursula said...

Delirious, let her starve. And decline to discuss her dietary needs. She is a grown woman not a child.

I am rarely for "tough love" but please do not feed(!) this woman's "craving". If she needs attention than she should try and get it by delivering something a little more interesting than frankly ludicrous "allergies". Soon she'll be sitting under a glass cloche for all of you to admire and flap over. She needs help. No, not from a nutritionist.

Next time, just tell her that you have developed this rather mysterious allergy to people with exotic food allergies. That it brings you out in a rash. Not that she'll see the funny side of it.

Good luck, Delirious. And remember: We can't save everyone.


Rummuser said...

My father has just been advised a list of what he can eat and what he cannot by dietician attached to the hospital who translated what the Nephrologist had indicated in his prescription.

It is a sensible diet and not very restrictive, but my father is very upset that a life time of eating whatever he wanted is now upset. I believe that it is more psychological than any real aversion to the recommended food, but my father is a one off!

Inklings said...

I agree with Ursula. You told this woman to make a list of what she can eat and put it on the fridge,so every time she complains, ask her to check her list. :0)

Vid said...

I'm not sure if a nutritionist would help... it's obvious she won't get sick from a thumbprint, so just being told the facts probably wouldn't help much. She seems to need a psychiatrist more than a nutritionist.

blackwatertown said...

You're spot on - psychological not physiological. But still a problem.

Maria from SilverFox said...

I may be far off. Do you know and trust the doctor? Your friend may have found some quack who is willing to play into her fears or whose ideas are on the edge (not the cutting edge) of reality and that his idea of a foold list is not to be trusted