Thursday, September 22, 2011
Step 1. Have a relatively simple surgery.
Step 2a. Develop serious complications.
Take ambulance ride to another city for an emergency surgery. Ask if they’ll put on the flashing lights for the hour-long road trip.
Oh, they’re already on.
You’re probably too sick to be excited about all the attention, though.
Step 2b. Have entire large intestine removed.
That's 4 pounds gone that you won't gain back.
Step 3. Spend 2 weeks in the ICU. Remember, you have a breathing tube in your throat, so you will get your fluids from your IV for the first full week.
You are allowed exactly 4 ice chips, so enjoy them while they last.
Step 4. Plan on having about 8 more surgeries, one every other day, so no food after midnight on even numbered days and morphine for dinner on odd numbered days. When you get a break between surgeries, you're on clear liquids only, so you can have more jello and tea and broth until the next midnight deadline.
Yum yum. Don’t you just love jello?
And don’t forget, red food coloring makes your insides red, which is a no-no for intestinal surgery, so you only get lemon jello.
Lots and lots and lots and LOTS of lemon jello.
Step 5. Let the nurses hook you up to a TPN bag so you can get all of your nutrition through your IV instead of by mouth.
Be sure to joke with the nurses about strapping on your “feed bag.”
Step 6. Slowly add more food to your diet but don't go too fast.
Try drinking Boost. It'll kill your appetite for anything else.
Step 7. By now you have been lying on your back in bed for about 3 weeks or so. You should have lost at least 40 pounds via muscular atrophy alone. Good job. (And don't worry about that huge scar across your back. It may look like you have been hit with a bullwhip, but it was just a sheet wrinkle bedsore, we promise.)
Step 8. By week 4 you should be mostly back to your old diet. Sorry the food is so bland; our diabetic menu is also heart healthy.
Why did you only eat half of your dinner?
It was gross?
Do you want some lemon jello instead?
Step 9. On week 5, you're going to re-learn how to get out of bed, walk, put on your socks, and sit in a chair. It's hard work, but you've got to get those muscles working again.
To get the most out of your workout, call your physical therapist names and he/she will work you harder.
Feel the burn… and the stabbing pain… and the cramp…
Oh nurse, when can I have more pain pills?
Step 10. If you are losing weight too quickly, grow some facial hair. The weight of a mustache and/or beard should help to offset your rapid weight loss.
By the beginning of week six, you should be near your goal weight.
My goodness, you look thin. Nice job.
Monday, September 19, 2011
This morning I spied an odd looking bug in the back yard. It’s black with a spiky back and two yellow stripes running down each side from head to tail. I wonder what it is?
Here are more odd looking bugs on another leaf of the same vine. There are lots of these bugs and the spiky bugs all over this vine. These papery, shedding bugs are frequently sitting next to the spiky bugs, so I suspect they are the same bug at different stages of its growth.
Aha! The spiky bug and the shedding bugs are all baby Ladybugs.
Huh. What would a baby Ladybug be called? Little Girl Bugs?
Saturday, September 17, 2011
The other day, I had a plate full of tomatoes from the garden.
The next day, a whole bunch of cherry and pear tomatoes were ready.
I also plucked two red jalapenos off Frank’s plant. (Aren’t these colors beautiful?)
I had to run up to visit Frank at the hospital that afternoon, so I put all the tomatoes and both red peppers on a plate to wait for me to get back and do something with them.
The next morning, one of the peppers was missing. It was later discovered on the floor in the hallway. I thought that was odd, but picked it up and put it back on the plate.
An hour later, one of the tomatoes had rolled off the plate and onto the floor.
At lunchtime, I wandered into the kitchen and saw Ollie on the counter, tossing the tomato and pilfering the pepper … again.
I sat quietly with a book until there was a commotion in the hallway. It was Ollie and the red jalapeno.
The fun ended up in the bathroom…
… and due to cat teeth marks and the fact that it was batted around on the bathroom floor means that this poor pepper will not be eaten by humans.
I’m not sure where the pepper is at this moment, but right now Ollie is very interested in something under the couch.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Frank has a cookbook featuring old fashioned recipes such as pickles, kraut, yogurt, sourdough, and all kinds of fun projects. One of their tomato recipes is a very simple tomato sauce that I have been dying to try.
As of this afternoon, I have the main ingredient ready to go:
I’ll post the recipe if my in-house food critic approves of the sauce.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
'Tis near Frank's hospital. I heard this mansion iscurrently in foreclosure and in a sad state of disrepair. Next time we go up I'm going to see if we can locate this Portland icon.