Gaining Weight

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

On Fridays this month, I’ll be telling the story of Husband-Mans journey through illness this year. This post is about his struggle with food.

If you’ve ever cared for someone who was quite sick and didn’t feel like eating, you know  how painful it is to know that they’re having to force themselves to eat. If that sick person is 6’1”, normally skinny Husband-Man, it’s down right scary.

When he got sick, he completely lost his appetite. At his lowest point, I used a “weight loss” app to track his caloric intake to make sure he was getting at least 1,500 calories a day. Usually, he eats about 3,000 a day.

I did everything that I could to get him to eat. We went to the store in another town to get tempting foods that he might feel like eating, and on each trip, he had to go sit in the front of the store and wait for me to finish shopping because he got too tired. I bought snickerdoodle muffin bites and protein powder and big tubs of ice cream. I bought vitamin-D milk and frozen pot-pies. I didn’t care what was in it, as long as it had calories.

At his lowest point, he weighed 15 pounds under his healthy weight, which is 10% of his original body weight. Before he got sick, he was told that he had 3% body fat. So that other 7% was coming from vital muscle and other organs.

I came home at lunch to make food for him and to make sure that he was okay. And I agonized. We waited for a diagnosis, but we waited for something more tangible. We waited for his appetite to increase.

It’s like waiting for water to boil. It’s not a fast process, especially when someone doesn’t feel like eating. We waited for him to gain weight. And life kept going. I still had to go to work every day. I still had to live life.

Just last month, he finally got back to his “normal” weight. I tried to celebrate by making him eat. He thinks I’m weird. It was a long process, but that tiny wait is over. And it’s wonderful.

God was good when Husband-Man didn’t eat. God is good now that he’s eating again. (He’s eating a lot, in fact.)

Day 17

Today, are you waiting for a painful kettle of water to boil? Or are you celebrating that fresh-brewed cup of tea?


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