The Bookworm

The Man Who Couldn't Eat is Jon Reiner's candid memoir about living with Crohn’s disease. Jon, like most of us, loves food. Yet as he lives with this illness, his life is changed in many ways and the wrong foods can be his body's worst enemy. 

Amazingly Jon has gone several months without food or water. He was hooked up to an IV in a hospital room when his intestines burst while he was home alone. When he was finally able to leave the hospital, he was still unable to eat and was fed intravenously. The agony of his situation is really unbelievable. I think taking food away is torture not only for the body, but for the mind as well. Food is comforting. I was shocked and very much moved as I read Jon's story. 

As you read, Jon takes you back and forth from current day, to his childhood, and throughout different events in his life. You get to see the connection he has with certain foods, like most of us have. He is a great storyteller and as I read his story I was totally swept in. He describes food and the way it ties in with culture really well. 

In between living with this painful illness, Jon has to balance his family life. Crohn’s disease has made him a stay at home dad. His wife works while he cares for the children, yet when his intestines burst, he actually found the strength to call someone to pick up the kids from school for him that day. His descriptions of the pain and the procedures he has gone through were really heart wrenching and had me gasping in shock. 

Crohn’s disease does not have a cure, yet Jon doesn't feel sorry for himself, he doesn't ask for pity, he tells his story candidly and I found this to be an inspirational memoir. 
I teared up as he speaks about his young children and their reactions his being sick. While reading, I felt like not only is Jon a survivor, but so are his children and his wife. 
Jon's story reminds you not to take anything for granted. 
I recommend reading The Man Who Couldn't Eat, but make sure to have a box of tissues handy. 

"Reiner is a great storyteller, and as I read his story I was totally swept in."