I’m still alive, been busy struggling with the VA and personal stuffs. (guess that’s the theme here…)
Saw a nutritionist last week, get this, I need to eat more.
Jokes aside, she was very helpful and understanding. The goal is to obviously gain weight in a manageable and healthy way. It’s tricky for a few reasons; my body isn’t used to “meals”, my mind isn’t used to “eating”, and physical limitations. Limitations meaning the post op stuff. For me, it was incredibly frustrating not knowing what to eat. Some stuff was fine one day and the next it was hail marys and escape velocity on the porcelain throne. The World Health Organization threatened to put me on the watch list for Ozone Terrorism after eating food with any hint of inflammatory properties. NATO threatened nuclear sanctions if I ate any beans or dairy.
The whole trick was just too much for me, so the nutritionist helped me out with narrowing down the foods to avoid and what to eat.
I am unable to eat large meals, having a stomach the size of a goldfish’s scrotum and have difficulty knowing when I’m full or near overeating, which in turn sparks some serious full body inflammation from the surgery. Nerves are still grooving along and getting better but they are still DOING THEIR OWN GODDAMN THING…but I’m sure they’ll fall in line eventually…heh.
So now I eat 6-7 small meals a day, the diet consisting of very different things then I previously was used to, when I did eat.
Lots of fruit, nuts, vegetables and some meats. All in small portions. This is to re-train the mental side of eating—undoing 10 years of negative reinforcement–and the gut side (from the stomach down). Yesterday was the first day I actually completed all 7 meals coming in at 2,200 calories.
To put that into perspective, pre-surgery, I could maybe get 400-800 calories a day. Sometimes zero.
And I gotta say…How do you people get anything done when you gotta eat so goddamn much!? I felt like I was chewing all day! Even at the 3rd meal of the day I was thinking this is ridiculous. It’s great that there is no pain but holy hell it’s like a dang multi-stop-event, all day.
I’ve also been ordered to eat slowly… like come on!
I have 7 alarms on my phone plus my wife to tell me when to eat, as I’ll forget and never remember to stop and eat. Even if I’m doing nothing, eating just doesn’t come up in the ol’thinker.
The back pain got a little crazy 2 weeks ago and the VA were quick as ever to help (9 days to respond, 11ish to see me). They also continue to refuse to pay for the travel portion of the surgery like they said they would. (They promised to pay for plane tickets and govt rates for hotels and food, which is like 30% of the actual cost of the trip but it’s better than nothing.)
Without the support of so many people, we wouldn’t have been able to travel to the surgery. I’m not sure what they were thinking, typical government promise of “we will pay you after you get back and had already fronted your own money.”
In all honesty, I have way less will to fight back and recover from all this. After the sheer amount I gave to just be heard and survive. I’m not proud of that, but I’ll be nothing but honest here. My wife has been picking up that torch lately and not letting them walk all over me with the medical side of the struggle. The VA have me going to acupuncture soon. I’ve started Physical Therapy, but only the initial visit. I’ll be seeing a few other specialists to help guide this recovery also, just don’t have those scheduled yet.
Pretty dry update, low energy today. I’ll put more pizzazz on the next one.
Slow steady progress is a good thing. Even if you go backwards sometimes. Keep it up!! Very good to hear an update. Keep up the VA bugging. Hold them, or try, to their word.
Hang in there
You have lots to live for, and lots of us praying for you daily.
It’s hard, but you’re doing this for yourself and the people you love.