So a big part of this whole journey I’m on, post-surgical and all that, is making those changes that will enable me to live a healthier life. I am learning to exchange a bad habit for a good one. There are discoveries along the way, as you can imagine. Here’s what I’ve recently thought about:
I have come to a workable routine with my medication that must be crushed. I just put the powder in water rather than try to disguise it in some kind of food such as applesauce or pudding. I’d much rather toss it back that way than ruin the flavor of something I would otherwise enjoy.
Omeprazole (Prilosec), which decreases the acid my stomach produces, is my new best friend. Next to my surgeon, that is, because he said I could take my Meloxicam for my poor aching thumbs, as long as I continued the omeprazole. Yay, me!
I would not recommend having this surgery during the holiday season unless you avoid parties like the plague. Standard fare at holiday parties, in my experience, is not post-surgical-tummy-friendly. And it shouldn’t be — these are the parties of excess, with rich cheeses and meats, delectable baked goods, and mountains of veggies and chips for dipping. This is the food you mindlessly sample every time you walk past. At least, that’s what I used to do. This year, I kept away from the kitchen to avoid the temptation. But I did have a deviled egg, some flakes of smoked salmon (perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture), and a few small cubes of soft cheese. Thank God. What a treat, especially after so long on liquids!
As I sat in the living room or wandered outside during these parties, I thought about how much we center our social lives around food. I will have to learn how to socialize without food and alcohol, and even coffee, to some extent.
I thought about how eating such a small amount forces me to choose what I want the most; I have to get used to throwing away uneaten food. Having been raised not to let food go to waste, and having admonished my children not to be wasteful, this is a very difficult change for me.
It will take some time to get used to estimating how much (or little) to cook for me and the Mister. My mind’s eye is still calibrated to a family of 4 with two teenagers and a couple of overeating parents. My spaghetti sauce overflows the skillet; my estimation of how much pasta to cook always results in too much. I never learned how to cook for two; even when we were first married, I was cooking like I’d seen my mother cook: for a family.
I went to the store for a few things and ended up with three pounds of bacon and nearly as much chicken breast. Now, the chicken will be made into soup or stew, but why did I buy that much bacon? Old habits die hard, I guess.
But in other, more exciting news, I am finally able to fit into my wedding rings again! I can’t recall when I was last able to wear them, but I’m sure it’s been at least 3 years. So I took them to a jeweler for a check and cleaning and now they sparkle like new.
Yes, I missed piling my plate with the sausage, the raw veggies, the lasagna, the sandwiches, the prime rib roast, and even the BLT salad at these parties. I missed the pie, the pickles, and the wine. But I look at my rings and I am SO HAPPY — and that is so much better.