We also had a milk cow and raised our own cows for beef, chickens for eggs and meat, and rabbits. Daddy and my brothers did the butchering and Mom packaged it all up for the freezer. So between the garden, the animals, the walnut and fruit trees and berry and cherry bushes, we ate well!As all of us kids grew, married and move out, Mom continued putting up food for quite a long time, even putting up enough that we all had some too. My girls still like only canned green beans and frozen corn because that’s the way Grandma made them! It wasn’t until Daddy was too far down the path of Alzheimer’s that she quit but she still provided Daddy with wonderful, well-balanced meals.
The gardening, canning and cooking skills eventually faded in the face of Mom’s dementia. As I said before, we missed the signs for a long time.When we finally realized the situation, I thought I could improve things once she moved in with me. I was able to give her healthier evening meals but I quickly decided to stick with her preferred breakfast and lunch because I found I had to pick my battles. Her preferred breakfast and lunch may not have been the healthiest but they weren’t horrible. So I left those alone and instead fought the bathing and other battles.
What I didn’t realize, until Mom moved to the Alzheimer’s facility and began eating their planned meals, was that Mom obviously has some digestive issues caused by particular foods. Again, we are in some ways too accepting of our situations. We knew that Mom made many trips to the bathroom every day – sometimes as many as five times in just a half hour. We didn’t think about looking at the food she was eating, we just thought she had issues with digestion in general.Now, after almost a year in the facility, Mom’s aide, Tina, and I have come to the conclusion that Mom has trouble digesting milk in any form. I can always tell now when she has had some type of milk with a meal because those are the times she is constantly running to the bathroom – even in the middle of her meal. Most days, however, she is able to have several hours between trips.
Despite the issue, Tina and I haven’t made a recommendation to take all of Mom’s milk away. After all, she’s 96 now and why would we want to prevent her from enjoying ice cream?
|Mom's favorite - chocolate!|
If we would have known this years ago – hindsight is 20/20 you know – we could have helped Mom make changes to her diet. For now, we’ll just try to keep the milk intake to things she really likes. Like ice cream!