This entry originally appeared on my disability blog, I hate stairs.


A big thing for me right now is keeping tabs on my weight. Or at least that’s what they tell me. Apparently, if you can’t move (e.g., you have SMA), you shouldn’t eat as much as other people do. Makes sense, but it is difficult to put into practice, especially considering that I live in the fattest state in America. These were discussion points I knew would come up as I signed in and took my place in the waiting room at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children.

It was my annual check-up appointment with Dr. Moll, a specialist out of the handful I visit each year. On this occasion, it turns out Dr. Moll was on vacation. So after sitting in the waiting room for about two hours, I was escorted to a back room to see Dr. Torchinsky, who was seeing Dr. Moll’s patients for the day. A few more minutes of waiting and a soft-spoken, yet animated doctor with a Russian accent came into the room baring my chart. Though the nurse who brought me back kept saying “Dr. T” would be difficult to understand, I found him to be easy to understand, given the accent, and I thought his personality quite delightful.

We began by looking at the results of my blood tests from my last check-up (which I was assuming were fine since they didn’t bother giving them to me earlier). Dr. Torchinsky took me item by item explaining each test and telling me whether I “passed” or “failed.” Fortunately, I passed all the tests. I’m surprisingly healthy for someone living in the South who doesn’t like most veggies and gets minimal physical activity. But the issue of my weight finally reared it’s ugly head. A lecture I have heard so many times before transpired. Keeping my weight down was of utmost importance. Did I drink soft drinks like Coke or my beloved Dr. Pepper? Sometimes. Well I shouldn’t because those drinks contain so much sugar that he considers them comparable to medicine. I should see a nutritionist to learn about all the good foods that exist. Bla bla bla bla.

I know.

But knowing and doing are two different things. When you can’t prepare food for yourself, you rely on others to prepare it for you. Sometimes that means Grandma makes fried chicken, mashed potatoes (with extra butter and milk cooked right in of course), corn, biscuits, and apple pie. Sometimes it means Mom is tired and Sonic will prepare our food tonight. Sometimes it means an attendant will microwave something for me. Rarely does it involve eating a planned, healthy, and nutritious meal. Not to mention the foods that are easy for me to eat are finger-foods, which are usually fried or otherwise unhealthy. Oh, and I’m a picky eater. And to top it all off, many of the vegetables that I taught myself to like (e.g., green beans) are on the avoid list for people with calcium oxalate kidney stones, such as myself.

So, yes, Dr. Torchinsky and all the doctors before him are right. I should follow his recommendations, as should the other 68% of Mississippians. But I’m going to have to do it in baby steps, especially as I smell the coconut rice pudding that my grandma is concocting in the kitchen as I write this. So I’m limiting myself to two 12oz. Dr. Peppers a week, not counting any occasions in which we go out to eat. That’s an issue I’ll deal with separately (but you can’t just blindly drink tap water in Jackson). And I’m going to begin the preliminary stages of scheduling a visit with a nutritionist, which means I’ll tell my mom that I should see a nutrionist. Come to think of it, I’ve already mentioned it once, but it won’t be taken seriously until I mention it a few more times. Not because my mom doesn’t want me to be healthy, but because she won’t think I’m serious unless I keep talking about it.

So, anyone know of some tasty, healthy foods?