Today I took dad out for lunch. We went to a place we hadn’t been to for a long time. Dad didn’t remember it at all. I had decided we were not eating an Italian lunch today as I was getting tired of all the pasta. I wanted something different. When I saw dad today I didn’t ask where he wanted to go. I just said I was taking him out to lunch. Did he want to go? Yes!
When we got there, dad was cold because they had overhead fans on. Dad is always cold. I asked if they could turn off the fan over our table and they did. The menu was many pages long. It had so many choices dad spent some time making up his mind. I had been thinking about meatloaf so that was what I ordered.
Dad ordered a corned beef sandwich. The only other time he has ordered one (somewhere else), it was too tough and he didn’t eat any of it at all. So I was hesitant but didn’t say anything. The waitress brought our orders. My plate was full of what I would call “a week’s worth of meatloaf” for just me. Dad got his corned beef sandwich and picked up the first half.
I expected dad would eat only half his sandwich. Often he doesn’t even eat that much. Today he surprised me. He was clearly enjoying this lunch. He finished the first half and cut the other half into two pieces. Soon he ate the first piece and then the second. I was amazed. He had eaten more on this day than he has in a long time.
In the meantime, I could finish only half my lunch. I brought the rest home in a box as I usually do. In fact, it was the first time in a long time that I didn’t have leftover food from dad. He told me how much he enjoyed this lunch. I said I would bring him back again some time.
After I dropped dad off at his assisted living facility, he sat down in his chair and picked up the newspaper. He was more alert and active today than he has been in awhile. Usually he is ready to nap and asks me to turn out the light when I bring him back from lunch. Today he was still ready to read. I told him I would see him on Saturday.
When I got home, my daughter came to visit for awhile. Soon I realized my stomach was upset. This lunch had not agreed with me! I am very sensitive to some food additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and can tell right away if I have eaten it. Usually I remember to ask if they use it when eating at a new place. I forgot this time and it caused me problems. I will have to be more careful when we eat there again. (I would just cross this place off my list, but dad so clearly enjoyed his lunch I will have to take him again.) I don’t think dad has my food sensitivities so he should be fine. Of course, he would never remember to tell me if he has a problem!
Dad has continued to be a fussy eater at his Assisted Living, so I hope this will help him to maintain his weight and maybe even gain a few more pounds.