by Lydia Wayman
Oh, it’s not always pretty, is it? But you buckled up, and I know nothing but how to be completely honest… so here we go.
Call me spoiled. If I run out of money, Mom will back me up. No questions. I guess I really am spoiled. Mom is like my Daw (grandma, Mom’s mom) was in terms of giving, both materially and with her time. I have yarn to knit with and crafts to sew; I have Disney t-shirts and pink hoodies for no real reason; I have new boots, because Mom wanted me to have them. And then, I see Mom like three times a week, just the two of us. Yeah… I guess I am a bit of a spoiled girl.
But, well… I don’t like to go running to Mom for money. And the money I have to spend on a week’s worth of groceries is only lasting me 4-5 days. So, the end of the week leads to things like tonight. I had to choose from: stale tortilla chips with processed cheese, canned applesauce, plain white rice, plain canned carrots, dry Rice Krispies… oh, or a plain egg which I’ve had twice today. I also have two kinds of juice but don’t want the sugar, as dinner was rice with the end of the butter and that’s enough carbs.
So what’s a hungry girl to do? Well, I grabbed a Diet Mountain Dew. The carbonation would fill me up without any calories.
And then I got to thinking. I’m currently spending probably 60% of my food budget on diet soda. I know how bad it is for me. Trust me, I know. I also know that I’ve tried a dozen times to give it up, and… still. Still, I go back. I’m telling you, it’s bad both for my body and my wallet.
Sitting here, pondering that atrocity, I noted the receipt Mom brought home to me to enter into my checkbook; she picked up Elsie P’s food for me tonight. $45 and some odd cents. It’ll last her, oh, 2 weeks? She’s currently eating about $3.50 a day in food and her weight is holding steady at 9.2. She looks perfect. She eats a/d food, which is easy to digest and has lots of extra calories. She can’t eat any old cat food, as she’ll throw it up and lose too much weight.
So at this point, I have two options: Good cat food/cat, or diet soda.
Right, like not treating my cat right was ever an option. And so, tomorrow, let the meltdowns and sleeping and migraines begin, because I’m kickin’ the DMD.
Who said we don’t have empathy, again?
About the Author: Lydia Wayman is a young woman with autism and the author of two books: Living in Technicolor: An autistic’s thoughts on raising a child with autism and Interview with Autism. This piece first appeared on her blog, Autistic Speaks, and is reprinted here by permission.