After Losing the Ability to Eat Solid Food, I Had Lost Twenty Pounds—Did I Want to Lose More?
“I need a new way to eat,” I say. The nutritionist nods and says, “You want to lose some weight while we’re at it, right?”
This is Hard to Swallow, a new column by Kayla Whaley about nourishment, disability, and adjusting to life after a sudden and massive dietary restriction.
The nutritionist’s office is in a high-rise around the corner from where my mom works. To get there, Dad and I have to drive by the donut shop Mom’s coworkers favor, nestled in a small shopping plaza beside a main intersection. If this were a few months earlier, I’d have had Dad swing in and pick us up a dozen donuts, whichever the person behind the counter recommended. But a few months ago, back when I could still swallow solid food, I wouldn’t have had an appointment with a nutritionist at all.
Kayla Whaley is a senior editor at Disability in Kidlit, a graduate of the Clarion Writers' Workshop, and an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at the University of Tampa. Her work has appeared at The Toast, The Establishment, Uncanny Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, and in Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, among other venues. She can usually be found being overly sincere on the internet.
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Nothing had changed from the night before—except for the certainty that everything had changed. Food as I had always known it was now in the past.
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It isn’t my job to bear as much pain as I possibly can to prove that I am somehow worthy of becoming a mother. Why is it so hard to remember this?