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News & Press: Stories about People on Nutrition Therapy

I can no longer really eat, but I'm obsessed with food

Tuesday, September 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Andrea Guidi
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By: Bob Levin

The Globe and Mail, 9/07/18

 

Bob Levin is a former editor at The Globe and Mail and author of the novel Away Game.

 

My friend Dan was driving from Maryland to St. Louis to attend a memorial service recently and, on Facebook, posted photos of food from roadside joints along the way. Potatoes and gravy in West Virginia, BBQ mutton in Kentucky. He was taking a different return route, he said, so I mentioned a small-town smorgasbord in Indiana that I recalled from my college days, oh, some four decades ago. And the remarkable thing is, it’s still there, albeit under a new name, and Dan actually went, calling me his “true road-food soul brother.”

 

Which is fair enough, in spirit, just no longer in practice.

 

My eating is mostly vicarious now, my relationship with food increasingly remote and bittersweet. After four bouts of cancer from ages 18 to 63, I emerged from my last round a couple of years ago with an esophagus that, simply put, no longer works. I can eat small portions – a bit of chicken stew, say, once a day – and that’s about it.

 

I survive on TPN – total parenteral nutrition. Liquid food, propelled by a pump, flows straight from a plastic bag into a vein through a PICC line in my arm, 12 hours a day. This is not only deeply unsatisfying but, as it turns out, sometimes unstable – twice in the last year I’ve endured long, miserable hospital stays caused by blood infections in the line.

 

Click here to read more about Bob's story.


This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.

 

Updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. 

 

This website was updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.
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