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    I have never had reason to use this emoji before but it is entirely appropriate for if someone tried to feed me pureed bread. Your poor father being told he can only eat that kind of diet! I'm glad he's able to eat proper food again. And it's excellent news that he has a vaccine appointment, I hope all goes smoothly with that.


      Fingers crossed, Laura!


        I’m very happy to read about your father having an appointment. Fingers crossed!

        I’m even more happy to hear your father wants to eat real, healthy stuff. Eating good food is such a pleasure! And chewing food is a (often underrate!) workout that helps maintaining physical and mental fitness. You’re very right about not following the sugar bombing diet. I guess someone jotted that down to get at least some energy into someone, but as you say: that amount of sugar isn’t fit for any age.


          Crossing fingers for everything to run smoothly for his vaccine.


            I’m so glad you got him a vaccine appointment! Fingers crossed for it going well.


              Thank you:

              LOL Zastria . Yes, that emoji is perfect!
              I did wonder if that was the reason for all the sugar in the puréed diet, AnnieW - that people forced to eat puréed food are expected not to have much appetite (who would on such a diet?!), so the dietitian is attempting to load every spoonful with as many calories as possible. Unless he is ill, lack of appetite is not my father's problem!

              A speech language pathologist came around to our house yesterday to do another assessment. When the hospital had suggested sending someone, my mother had agreed, thinking the person was coming to educate my father on how to speak more clearly. I thought this was odd, since my father is perfectly capable of enunciating every English word clearly. When he fails to do so it is because he is ill and/or tired and therefore not putting in the effort necessary to do so. Giving him speech therapy is rather like trying to teach someone how to walk because they are lying on the ground not using their legs due to having just completed a marathon. But I don't know everything. So I try not to assume that every consult suggested for my father will be useless.

              As it turned out, the speech pathologist was not requested to address my father's speech at all, but his swallowing, and the diet necessary to deal with his supposed dysphagia. This assessment was equally useless.

              First, the SLP asked my father to explain to her the process of people spoon-feeding him. When he explained that he opens his mouth, and the person feeding him pushes the spoon inside, she was aghast.

              "Oh my goodness! That's terrible for you!" she said. "We're going to put an end to that right away. People need to hold the food in front of your face and allow you to come forward to take it off the spoon."

              My father was equally appalled by her suggestion. "I want people to put food in my mouth," he said. "It would be much more difficult for me to have to move my head forward to take the food for every bite."

              "I'm just concerned that if people are pushing food into your mouth before you're ready for it, the food could fall off the spoon and you could choke on it," said the SLP.

              Does she think we are feeding my father sand? Food is gummy. It sticks to the spoon! I explained to the SLP that food falling off the spoon is not a problem, but that we often experience the exact opposite problem: my father sometimes fails to clean the spoon properly while it's in his mouth, so we end up extracting the spoon with most of the food still on it. The SLP thanked me for my input, but she sounded surprised by it.

              Next, the SLP wanted to address the schedule of drinking during meals. "I'm going to put down that people should give you a sip of liquid after every couple of mouthfuls of food," she said.

              "That would not be helpful," said my father. "Too much liquid isn't helpful."

              "You don't find a drink helps you to clear your mouth?" asked the SLP.

              "Sometimes it does," said my father. "But I don't need to drink that often."

              "How often would you like me to recommend people give you a drink?" asked the SLP.

              "Just when I need one," said my father.

              "I'd like to recommend a specific number," said the SLP. '"Shall we have people give you a drink after every five or six bites of food? Would that work?"

              By this point in the conversation I was becoming a bit appalled myself, firstly because she had failed to notice that my father is perfectly capable of asking for a drink if and when he wants one, and secondly because she appeared to be under the delusion that my mother, myself, and/or my father's PSWs were actually going to count how many mouthfuls of food we shovelled into my father (or pay the slightest bit of attention to any other of her ridiculous directives).

              The SLP then proceeded to assess my father's ability to swallow by attempting to feed him apple juice, apple sauce, canned fruit cocktail, and Chips Ahoy! minis. (I appreciate that she needs to use items-vaguely-approximating-food that she can easily transport around in her car and carry into people's homes, and she no doubt tries to steer clear of the most common allergens. But what is with all the sugar?!) At the end of this testing procedure, she then determined that my father is allowed to eat solid food, but that it must be soft and moistened.

              "I find food is easier to swallow if it's not too wet," said my father.

              "It doesn't have to be liquid," said the SLP. "But we don't want you eating anything that's too tough or dry.

              "He ate chicken fajitas last night," I said.

              "They were delicious," said my father.

              "That's good," said the SLP. "The fajita sauce made the chicken nice and moist."

              "Um... no," I said. "There's no 'fajita sauce'. I stir fry the chicken and vegetables in as little oil as possible, with the intention of keeping the food dry (so it won't make the bread fall apart). Then I put it in a whole wheat wrap with a slice of avocado, some crumbled feta, and a few drops of hot sauce."

              "Okay. So the hot sauce moistened the food."

              "It's 'Supernova' hot sauce," I said. "Not ketchup. I don't use enough to significantly moisten anything." (Supernova is not the hottest sauce we have tried. I do sprinkle it on a bit more generously than hotter products like Scorpion and Momento de Muerte. I like my food to make me sweat. But even I wouldn't use enough Supernova to turn fried chicken into the consistency the SLP was suggesting was necessary.)

              "The hot sauce makes the fajitas taste good," said my father. "Everything my daughter cooks for me tastes better and is easier to swallow than anything they gave me in hospital."

              Still the SLP persisted in writing out a "therapy plan" for my father which includes such gems as: he should sit in an upright position when eating, and the person putting the food in his mouth should "keep the spoon level," and she has now prescribed for him the "Level 7 Regular Easy to Chew for Adults" diet, which includes such advice as "Food pieces can be smaller or bigger than 1.5cm x 1.5cm" (I'm not even joking. This is a direct quote from the document she sent us.) and includes a pictorial description of how to use a fork to test if a food item meets the required level of softness.

              I'd give her points for effort, but shouldn't a healthcare provider listen to her patient well enough to notice when he's telling her her advice is completely out to lunch? My father has been home from the hospital a whole week, he's been eating normal food the entire time, and he repeatedly told the SLP that he enjoys the food my mother and I give him more, finds it easier to swallow, and feels better for eating it than any of the special diet crap the hospital shoved at him.


                Oh dear....





                      The infantilisation of the elderly, writ large. Bless you for looking after your father; he's lucky to have you and he knows it.


                        That all sounds horribly annoying...but perhaps she legally has to say the obvious as to not be held liable.


                          That is a good point, Trbrat75 . Fourteen years in a public school system designed for people who find learning very much more difficult than I do turned me into a person with a very short fuse when it comes to people treating me like I'm stupid. Certainly my cognitive abilities do not fall within the normal range healthcare professionals typically have to deal with. In my experience, most healthcare professionals figure this out within five minutes of meeting me and adjust their messaging accordingly. I confess to not having a lot of patience for the ones who fail to do so.

                          My father's cognitive abilities also do not fall within a normal range. Unfortunately, a lot of people have trouble recognizing this fact in a person who is elderly and disabled (or rather, they tend to assume his cognitive abilities are abnormal on the opposite end of the spectrum). At least the SLP did not shout at my father, speak in a sing-songy cooing voice, or ignore him and talk over his head at my mother and me--all of which are behaviours I have witnessed w.r.t. my father on multiple occasions.


                            “To not condescend” was a primary directive when I was educated in nursing. I learned that when I was working with all sorts of elderly and disabled folks in a nursing home in my teens. Now, I positively loathe being addressed as “hon, or sweetie, or dear” by anyone (including wait staff in a restaurant) in a service industry. “Call me by my name and be respectful or leave me the fuck alone” goes through my head as I struggle to be civil.


                              Sounds like the speech therapists needs some training on how to provide person-centred care and actually listen to her patients.

                              I got my first taste of being infantilised for being disabled at my vaccine appointment a couple of weeks ago. The nurse doing the vaccine had seen me sat on my seat and use the stick to walk over to her from the queue and apparently decided this meant I had the cognitive ability of a three year old because I got her talking to me in a mildly baby talking tone with encouraging nods when she was asking my name and date of birth, whilst holding the card with those details on in front of me. When she got to the part of the checklist of asking if I was driving home from the appointment and I answered yes she must've decided that I was a competent adult after all and spoke in a perfectly normal tone after that. If this is what I'm going to have to deal with from now on I'm going to have start using the stick as a weapon. Accidentally, of course, because I couldn't possibly be expected to have enough capacity to not jab people's shins and feet with it... I do not envy your father having to deal with people treating him like that and making assumptions about his mental state and what he can and can't do. I'm glad he can enjoy his fajitas again!


                                Originally posted by DorothyMH View Post
                                “Call me by my name and be respectful or leave me the fuck alone” goes through my head as I struggle to be civil.