Thursday, June 1, 2017
Here you are, Viewer Dear, with a peek at the Dysphagia Dining Room (I've decided to give it a more agreeable title)! It is actually a separate, smaller room within the larger dining room of the rehab facility (where I was staying). Dysphagia dining was for those with difficulty swallowing, but there were plenty of windows looking out to the broader world of healthy swallowers (large dining room). The Dysphagia Dining room was populated by only a few tables, and plenty of space for wheelchairs, since wheelchairs were the only type of seating. (Fortunately, I had one).
After the first meal was served to me in my room, I began my back-to-meal-eating sojourn here. *
First meal here, I was seated at the table at the far end of the room, facing the blank wall. To my left was Charlie, elderly and hard of hearing. To my right was Leroy, elderly with very garbled speech. Please know that dinner conversation was minimal!
Near the end of the meal, Leroy took his "Magicup" (to the best of my knowledge, Reader Dear, this was a type of pudding containing lots of nourishment), and painstakingly tucked it under his shirt.
"Your secret is safe with me!" I assured him.
Alas, however, when his nurse came to fetch him, she seemed to have a sixth sense for this kind of action. "Leroy, no! You know you can't do that. Put it back on the tray!" To this day (and I suppose forever) I don't and won't know if Leroy was trying to get out of eating the Magicup, or if he simply wished to have it for a bedtime snack (my guess is the former). If you happen to know Leroy, Dear Reader, will you ask him for me?
*Later, when obtaining a photo, the great big banner proclaiming "DYSPHAGIA DINING" had disappeared. But it was there to greet me with its nine-inch letters, stretching the whole way across the far wall, when I first came to this facility. (I found it so amusing**)
**As I pictured a brand new restaurant opening up in a busy metropolitan area. "Have you read the latest yelp reviews on that new eating place downtown?! It's got a weird name--Dysphagia Dining!"