Friday, August 12, 2011


In How the Mind Works, while discussing the importance of food, Steven Pinker quotes from Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior:
There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection is the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted.
Food doesn't seem to be important for me. I have never felt hungry since my stroke. I am fed every two hours but even if the feeding is delayed, there is no problem. I have no idea what exactly has happened but I don't think it has anything to do with the bacteria.(Talking of bacteria, have you heard of the two bacteria that went to a bar?) It is as if the communication lines between my stomach and brain have been cut so my brain does not get any signals of hunger or satiety.

I remember one doctor saying in the hospital that since I was on a liquid diet I will feel hungry very quickly so my feedings should not be delayed. But exactly the opposite has happened. My feedings have at times been delayed by a few hours mainly because I was travelling but I did not feel hungry. I would have liked to go without food for a couple of days to see if I get any hunger pangs but nobody will agree to this proposal.

The time for such an experiment is probably over. For the past year or so, I have asked for feeding, sometimes before it is time but it has nothing to do with hunger. Many times, before it is time for feeding, my gastrostomy starts leaking and paining. The pain subsides only when the feeding is given. Sometimes the pain is there and sometimes it is not there. It is a bit of a mystery.

Aside: According to this TED talk, there is a second brain in our gut. How cool!


  1. When you see or think of a favourite food item from the past (such as Rumali Roti or Gulab Jamun), do you feel any urge to "eat" it?

  2. Kailash,

    I have lost the urge for solid foods probably because particles cause cough which I try to avoid.