I have this thing with food. I’ve talked about it at length in other blog posts like here and here. It’s a process. I’m back in Georgia and I’m stressed. As I’m typing this my grandfather is taking a shower and I’m sitting outside the bathroom door as a precaution. He’s already had 2 or 3 near falls this morning. Luckily I was there to catch him. What do I mean by near falls? His breathing becomes labored. His eyes roll to the back of his head. His body becomes rigid. His spirit goes away. When these “spells” occur, he has no control and will often fall or clutch the nearest object with the death grip to win all death grips. Two or three times I was there. Once I wasn’t.
I heard something that sounded like marbles against a wall from the other room. I walked into his bedroom found him in the closet in an awkward diagonal with his head against the wall, stomach on boxes, and feet on the floor. I put him in the rescue position on the floor of the closet and put his head on a pillow. He resisted told me he wanted to “bade” (take a bath). I responded that I wanted him to stay there for a few minutes because he’d just hit his head. He argued that he hadn’t and that he was fine.
He wasn’t fine.
It’s always difficult when I find my grandad after he has fallen. The last big fall he had left him bloody and covered in his own urine. Afterwards, I craved Cheetos. It was immediate. Once the adrenaline settled the craving took its place. That time, I ate them. This time, I did not.
I’m on day 6 of a 21-day gluten-free elimination test. I craved Cheetos last night and refrained from eating them. After his fall this morning, the craving returned and I refrained from eating them again.
I continue to be amazed at how connected I am — at a chemical level– to food. The events of this morning have renewed my sadness and reminded me that he is going to die. I will have no grandparents left. I will no longer be tethered to this family that hurts. At least not tethered through obligation merely bloodline. As I continue to explore my odd position in this family and the oddities of this family I can’t help but wonder what will happen to me when his life goes away.