OK. I know. I’ve been a klutz. I haven’t been updating – the nice ladies at Brierfield Bridge Club have been telling me off a bit, so I’ll take their castigation as being from you too.
So where were we? Well it’s now just over six months since my bypass surgery and the good news is that I’ve lost nine stone and 11 pounds (62.1 kilos). The not-so-good news is that I am still finding it difficult to tolerate certain foods, although there have been some recent breakthroughs. I went to a crossword gathering in London a few weeks back and went with everyone there for a Chinese meal. I confess (sorry Jane!) that I wasn’t too pleased about this as I knew there probably wouldn’t be much I could eat. Meat and “solid” vegetables were still causing my new tummy some distress and being allergic to most seafood ruled out that part of menu. Unlike other Asian restaurants, there were no dishes featuring minced meat, which I was able to tolerate. Eventually, rather grumpily I settled on diced pork with cashew nuts. Couldn’t have rice or noodles and though I would have incurred the wrath of Vanessa my dietitian, no chips were served (I would have had no more than half a dozen anyway as I hadn’t experienced them since the op either).
The dish duly arrived and I was dismayed to find the definition of “diced” pork should probably have been “sliced” pork. However, the prudent use of a knife meant that it was in tiny pieces. I ate a couple of forkfuls, following the mantra of “chew everything 25 times” and was delighted to notice no ill feeling. A few weeks earlier a small amount of scrambled egg had induced projectile vomiting all over myself and Big Sister, so i was prepared and bothered as I was in company. I managed a few more forkfuls and actually enjoyed some Chinese vegetables like water chestnuts, that I previously would not have bothered with.
My success with this led me to try some Quorn sausage a couple of days later with a little mashed potato and all went well. A poached egg on toast (Warburton’s Milk Roll) also stayed down, as did beans on toast. So the diet has become a little more varied now.
The worst thing I think is not the food intake, but the fact that I can’t drink with my meals. I invariably had a glass of fruit juice or a coffee with my meal, but another of the mantras is to eat and allow your pouch to digest food before moving onto fluid. I find this really hard, but something I try to follow assiduously.
The really good news on top of the weight-loss is that I have managed to keep out of hospital. Last year I had fourteen admissions, mainly with cellulitis linked to my lymphoedema. This year I have been in once. Sad to report, I still have problems with cellulitis and indeed am nursing an infected leg at the moment, but we are trying to manage it with regular dressing changes and antibiotics (liquid form, including one that tastes of banana – yukkk!). I have also resumed treatment under the lymphoedema specialist nurse and now have tasteful full-length stockings to wear. these are designed to induce gentle compression to try and squeeze the pockets of fluid that have gathered in my leg.
Other news. You’ll be able to have a laugh at me on TV later in the year when I appear on the BBC4 quiz show Only Connect as part of a team called The Listeners. I am bound by a superinjunction from Victoria Coren herself which means I cannot tell you how we did, but we had an amazing time and a special thanks to all the production team who were just brilliant, as was Madame VC herself. I’ll post details of the date or dates nearer the time.
There are other updates to the website going live over the next few days and I’d appreciate your comments as to whether you enjoy them or not.
That’s all for now and I promise to return in a day or so with more news. I am off to do 50 lines “I must be more conscientious….”. Ah the days when doing 50 lines involved writing rather than using a drinking straw….