Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In the deep end

My son is just over a week into an intense feeding program in the city. He has three daily sessions, one at 8AM, 11AM and 3PM, five days a week, for six weeks. He is fed breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack by a behavioral psychologist and occupational therapist. The amount of food he eats and leaves behind is measured and his calorie consumption totaled up. With his current diet, he's currently getting just over half the calories he needs.

He's obviously underweight, and his body mass index is lower than the low end of the chart, lower still.

One morning as we waited in the office for his appointment there was an overweight girl there with her mother and an aide. Mom told me her daughter is 12 and weighs 187 pounds (she's not that tall, maybe 5'2") is diabetic and they have to lock the kitchen cabinets at night. She then proceeded to ask if my son would like a Snickers bar.

Hard to really evaluate progress at this point. Yesterday I watched him drink four ounces of milk three times, which is more than I've ever seen him drink in a day. I was told he got a bit non-compliant during the afternoon session today.

I'm there Monday, Wednesday and Friday. His mother on Tuesday and Thursday. His aide for the summer also comes from Tuesday-Thursday. I'm very grateful my workplace has allowed me the flexibility to do this. I have to work four ten hour shifts a week, including weekends, but this has to be done.

Getting in a routine is hard, even harder for my son.

Last week I did have to say something to the doctors. They were in his face cheering, turning on a video, every time he took a bit of food. I could see through the monitor that he was clearly overwhelmed as he was leaving his chair every time this happened. Had to tell them to dial down the brass band, which they did, to some success.

At this time we watch the sessions on a small monitor in another room. There will be alterations as the weeks progress. On Wednesdays there is a "family meeting" in which we assess what's up and go over the process.

In other news what may be the final stop on the 2013 #2 Bus Tour will be at the Urban Arts Space downtown next Thursday, August 1st as I'll be reading as part of the Paging Columbus series. Writing has come slowly to me this year, but I will have some new work to debut along side of the hits. In all the busyness of this summer, I am very excited to be a part of this local event.

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