The Man Who Couldn't Eat
“I’m a glutton in a greyhound’s body, a walking contradiction, in the grip of the one thing I can’t have—food.”
Food is not just sustenance. It is memories, a lobster roll on the beach in Maine; heritage, hot pastrami club with a half-sour pickle; guilty pleasures, a chocolate rum-soaked Bundt cake; identity, vegetarian or carnivore. Food is the sensuality of a ripe str...more
Between getting paper cuts upon paper cuts, I did something I was told not to do — I’d sit at a desk and read through the long-term disability claims as I was filing.
There was this one man’s claim that I still remember to this day.
He was a 28-year-old with beautiful, spidery handwriting. In his claim, he described how Crohn’s disease had robbed him of the ability to leave the h ...more
For someone as obsessed with food and the nature of Crohn's disease as Reiner, his understanding of the relationship between food, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and the body was disturbing. The macrobiotic is the opposite of what a healing Crohn's patient should be eating, as the fiber and r ...more
In general, memoirs of health issues probably only really appeal to a fairly small of group of people. I do not have Crohn's disease like the author but I do have a very severe digestive system disorder. And like the author I am dependent on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), a form of nutrition that bypasses the digestive tract entirely. You get all your nutritional needs through your veins. And like the author I have NPO ...more
Let me start by saying that while I had a really rough patch when I was first diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, I have been virtual ...more
I read the book because I have a niece, whose husband died young, due to this disease and I wanted to know more about it and more about what she and her children had been through. I had always thought he was an un ...more
The memoir opens with Reiner telling the reader a little bit of background about himself. He is a glutton in a greyhound's body. He has to live in a self-imposed exile from many of the foods he enjoys eating. He lets the reader in on the pain he experiences due to Crohn's. His own kids must eat healthy due to his fear of passing on the disease to his children compounded by the fact that his wife has diabetes in her family. He goes on to tell the reality of ...more
This quote is used by the author very early in the book to describe how he feels in the kitchen of his own home while unable to eat anything. Jon Reiner has Crohn's disease and has been in and out of the hospital with the disease for over 20 years. Often his bouts end in an NPO - nothing by mouth, which m ...more
Reading about the stool blockage that formed in Mr. Reiner’s small intestine and tore a perforation in his intestinal wall, which caused a rupt ...more
The author doesn't sugarcoat anything, and doesn't try to show himself only in a good light. The book ends with him experimenting (and struggling) with a macrobiotic diet, and I wish there were an afterward or something to tell us how that work ...more
At one point, he even wanted me to feel sorry for him for having to stay at home and take care of the house. Seriously? Many people do that every day and I do not feel sorry for them, I respect them. But only if they don't whine about it like a little baby.
Yes, I know I am sticking to a ...more
Mainly because it's so out there that it's hard to walk away from, but also because I told you to.
So, Reiner's memoir is about living with the fallout of Crohn's disease, which I'd heard of before but hadn't really paid attention to. And the fallout is devastating; much of the book follows Reiner's dry humor in attempting to survive as his own body eats away at itself--the beauty of autoimmune diseases.
The thing of the book isn't that it's beautifully written, or even that I lik ...more
We meet Mr. Reiner as he is writhing on the floor of his NYC apartment suffering from a serious complication to his Crohn’s disease. Delirious with pain he slips in and out of consciousne ...more
I very highly recommend this unique & fresh memoir.
Reiner's story will take you on a journey you will be swept up into and deeply moved by, whether you are a Crohn's disease survivor like the author, or have never even heard of this rotten autoimmune disorder. Jon addresses universal human conditions... w ...more
Until I read this, I knew very little about Crohn's disease. I knew it was a disease of the digestive tract, but not how serious it is, much less ...more
The book covers a lot of ground--a painful demonstration of how messed-up the health care system in this country is, a description of a middle-class family one catast ...more