RECOVERY IN PROGRESS UPDATE DAY 180

It’s hard to believe we are at the 6 month mark. Sometimes it feels like it’s been 10 years already. Then when I try to eat something I’m not yet ready for I realize, it’s just been a very short time in the realm of relearning how to eat.

PROGRESS REPORT

So, for some weird AND unknown reason many food smells that were once welcoming AND comforting now turn my stomach. The doctor says this is fairly normal, but CANNOT answer why it is “normal”. Some of the once loved foods that I can no longer stand to be around are:

  • hard boil eggs
  • pancakes
  • cabbage
  • sausage

I also cannot eat much bread, potatoes or rices because they take up too much space in my egg sized portion of stomach with virtually no nutrient value.

‘REGULAR’ WILL BE A LONG TERM AND ONGOING LEARNING CURVE for the REST of my life

I have SLE (Systemic Lupus), Fibromyalgia and recently ended up with a non-weight loss stomach bypass that changed my life beyond belief.  Just 6 months ago you would NOT have been able to convince me to EVER give up ALL sugar – (nothing like waking up from a routine surgery and learning it was anything but routine and you can never again have certain things), but I have to say no sugar is NOT the worst thing ever. I ALSO DO NOT do ANY sugar substitutes or preservatives because of the SLE and Fibro. So, while my diet does become a bit limited, it is possible to cope.  The thing I REALLY miss is coffee, but am making it work with green tea which is ultimately so much more healthy.

I had needed to lose 15 pounds or so as we all do at this stage in life, but now at the 50 pound mark lost, the doctor’s concern is that I lose no more and try to maintain where I am – he actually felt that way at the 25-30 pound mark.  Because there is no “real” stomach or holding vessel for food, the body does not absorb much at all.  For that reason I have certain vitamins and supplements that will be 5 times a day for the rest of my life. I also have to be picky on what I eat as many foods still do not agree with me and I can never eat sugar again.  Anything with high fat is also an issue so it really limits my choices every day. The biggest lifetime issue will be the amount (or lack there of) of food I can eat at any given time.  My stomach is now the size of an egg.  My stomach does not and will not stretch. It also does not absorb much in the way of nutrients.  My stomach will NOT grow or change in any way.  Eating is now and always will be in the future something of a challenge.

One of the biggest shocks was the need for ALL new clothes, I went from a size 8-10 down to a 2 so far. I have had to buy ALL new underwear, bras, pants, dresses and even shoes! Yes, I said shoes. I lost an entire shoe size – I didn’t even know that was possible.  This is just one of the piles of shoes I made when trying to find something to fit on Easter morning.

DAY 948 aka 2 1/2 + years in PURGATORY ~ UPDATE on the HOUSE FROM HELL and LIFE

WARNING: THIS IS A LONG POST, BUT THE FINAL POST ON THIS HOUSE FROM HELL

While I was cleaning up the kitchen and dinner dishes recently I realized I’ve been posting quite a few recipes, but have been severely lacking on my actual “writing” about what is going on in our lives. For years I have worked really hard at keeping this an eternally optimistic blog full of grace for the great and wonderful blessings in my life, always trying to live by the old rule, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”BUT, there comes a time to call out the crazy acrimonious instigators and tell it like it is, if for no other reason than to get it out of my head so I can be more at peace.

Well, today is the 2 1/2 year mark (though it feels like 10 years), the house is sold and we are completely packed and CANNOT WAIT to have this horrific experience in our rear view mirror.

You all know my categories for this place,  A HOUSE FROM HELL, REHABBING GRAMS & GRAMPS HOUSE, CHRONICLES OF MY MISGUIDED COUSIN BETH which fit REALLY well, but in the 2+ years since we started this project there are a few tags that could be added that now fit even better like GOLD DIGGING WITCH WITH A GOD COMPLEX, THE FOX IS LOOSE IN THE HEN HOUSE, NO BALLS COUSIN and LOONEY TUNE UNCLE.

ALL of this is so sad to admit, you never want to believe the worst about your own family.  This experience has lent credence to the adage that family isn’t always blood, but those you chose to love. It still baffles me that anyone can turn their back on their family, their own flesh and blood,  for money which is exactly what my uncle did when my aunt passed away and he took up with the apparent GOLD DIGGING WITCH WITH A GOD COMPLEX.

He became an even more arrogant, egotistical and abusive cheating bastard after taking up with her. Almost immediately she had his power of attorney and things took an immediate turn for the worse as they tried to swindle us beyond belief. After hiring an attorney we were able to force the sale, but are still losing a ton money on the deal. My uncle used us and our skills as well as our cash to get the work done on the house and then tried to evict us claiming we had done nothing to better the property.  Fortunately, I kept a chronological progress here on the blog, every receipt to the tune of over $50,000.00 and a detailed log of hours which adds up to over $200,000.00 of labor. So, unfortunately, my blood uncle did swindle us in the end, but worse than that he abused a sacred blood relationship.

The definition of swindle is: swindle – to use unscrupulous trickery or deception to defraud others or cheat someone to obtain money or other assets. 

Many of you remember how disheartened we were when we arrived here to find NOT what we were told, but the HOUSE FROM HELL full of…well just FULL and filthy!  It was a rodent’s dream AND it was a hoarder’s nest. It was full to the rafters and even the rafters were full and so was the backyard and the garage.

The agreement with my uncle was that the house was ours for a discounted price if we came to help clean it out and care for my aunt.   He was offering to help get us back on our feet after the cancer, surgeries, VA claim issues and health issues.  Ironically, if he really loved me he would have never exposed me to this house which ultimately left me with the bacterial infections one after another that culminated in my bypass surgery. Supposedly we were going to use our abilities in the process of helping him and make some money for us too, NOT end up completely upside down and worse off than when we got here both financially and physically not to mention we never even had a chance to work on the VA red tape mess.

Here are the BEFORE and beginning AFTER pictures to refresh your memory

So on to the before and after pictures. Hubby is upset that the before pictures don’t truly show how HORRIBLY DISGUSTING this place really was. I just hope the after pictures show how truly GREAT it is now – it really is turn key now!

MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM BEFORE
There was “STUFF” everywhere!  The walls where all stained from who knows what and the carpeting was full of melted wax and cigarette burns even in the closet.  I have to say that my cousin was evidently suffering from some form of mental illness because this is NOT how she was raised!
The picture above is what I got out of the bedroom carpet on the first pass of available floor with my Rainbow Water Vacuum. Disgusting does not begin to describe how it looked or felt.  Below was just one of the cracks to be repaired that was caused by the foundation issues.
The master bathroom didn’t look too bad until you looked close or opened a door and saw all the mold in the wood. So, it ended up getting gutted too. It took me 2 weeks, but I did get the tile clean in the shower, but we still need to find someone to professionally refinish the tile.
MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM LATE 2016

Finally a new window and completed bedroom. We used wainscotting floor to ceiling for the new bathroom walls.
SPARE BEDROOM BEFORE
The spare bedroom was stacked to the ceiling with junk!  It also housed much of her “business” food products.  What was the city thinking when they gave her a food license to operate out of this house? Not to mention it is completely against the H.O.A. rules and regulations for this neighborhood. In the photo below the bottom left hand corner was mouse droppings. YUCK!!
SPARE BEDROOM late 2016
 KITCHEN/DINING/LAUNDRY AREA BEFORE
THERE WAS “STUFF” EVERYWHERE.  NOT ONE CABINET WAS CLEAN OR ORGANIZED .
THE CABINET HANDLES THAT WHERE THERE WERE GREASE AND DUST COATED. THE CABINET DOORS WERE HANGING BY A THREAD.

THE REFRIGERATOR WAS FULL OF SPOILED AND SPILLED FOOD, MILDEW AND MOLD – A SERIOUS SCIENCE PROJECT IN THE MAKING AND ONE THAT THIS IMMUNITY CHALLENGED GIRL WAS HAVING NO PART OF.  THE SEAL ON THE REFRIGERATOR DID NOT WORK AND HAD BEEN LEAKING OUT FOR SOME TIME. THE FREEZER WAS ANOTHER ISSUE TRYING TO GET THINGS OUT SINCE THEY HAD FROZEN INTO ONE BIG GLOB BECAUSE OF THE LEAKING SEAL.
This is the pantry floor as clean as it would get!  We scraped off all the linoleum and sanitized the foundation before re-flooring.
BEHIND THESE DOORS (which are off their hinges and just propped there) IS THE LAUNDRY AREA AND ONE OF THE SCARIEST LOOKING AREAS.  THERE WAS A RATS NEST UNDER THE COLLAPSING, NOT TO CODE WATER HEATER base.  THE DRYER WAS NOT VENTED TO THE OUTSIDE AND HAD NOT BEEN FOR SOME TIME AS THE LINT WAS EVERYWHERE AND THE WASHER LEAKED LIKE A SIEVE!

This 10 pound bag of sugar was spilled ALL over a pantry shelf and was one of the biggest sources for the ants, cockroaches and mice.
KITCHEN/DINING/LAUNDRY LATE 2016
STUDIO BEFORE
STUDIO 2017
ATRIUM BEFORE
unfortunately we can’t seem to find the picture that shows this room stacked 10 feet tall of papers, cabinets and “crap” so have to start with this empty picture.
ATRIUM late 2016
FOYER BEFORE
The door would no longer open due to the foundation issues and she used this 24 square feet (8×3) as a “CAT BOX” area.  I hate to admit that this was the MOST disgusting of ALL the house and required several bottles of hydrogen peroxide etcher after we removed the toxic 2 layers of tiles.
FOYER 2017
New floor, new door and new paint are done and looking good. I LOVE how much light the new door lets in.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE
These are cracks, tears and stains in the atrium/living room carpeting.
It took weeks/months to get the living room to this organized point LOL.  Notice the crack near the vent?  It went all the way to the floor and was 3 inches wide.  It is also why we waited over 3 months for the highly recommended dry wall guy that turned out to be a HUGE joke. The picture below is the living room after we finally got it emptied and ready to start painting.
This is one of 3 sections of the living room carpet that had melted candle wax all over it.  She had just arranged the furniture over it.
LIVING ROOM late 2016
We made built in cabinets in the living room to hold things like the DVD player, WiiU, movies and games, etc…
I could not get Whiskey to move so she’s in the picture! There are still many Christmas things sitting around as I get them pack up to put away, but all in all it’s looking good.
SPARE BATH  BEFORE

There was a funky built in area above the tub for linens that needed to be removed and the walls had to be re-done after the 2 layers of wall paper were removed and the wall board was peeling away. 

SPARE BATH 3017
GARAGE  BEFORE
 This was after hubby spent 4 weeks cleaning and and making a path for donation and trash.
GARAGE late 2016
Hubby has done wonders at creating a neat and organized garage!

It took months to get to this freezer and then weeks to get into it.  The key wouldn’t work!  Turns out the seal had failed and there was a HUGE layer of ice sealing it shut.  It then took hubby days to chip away ALL the ice and bag the food that was there. We are SO thankful for our trash guys.  For a case of beer and soda twice a week and some “special” bottles at Christmas they took ALL we gave them.  Way more than they were supposed to or should have.  We thank them for going ABOVE and BEYOND!

ATTIC
From this point in the attic you can turn 3 directions, but they all look about the same.  We got as much stuff out of the attic as the house it seemed. It is now ALMOST empty except for some insulation that needs bagged and the storage boxes I added just around the opening for when we move.
I tried to salvage these globes covered in nicotine and dirt, but in the end it was a lost cause.
JUST A TYPICAL TRASH DAY.  It looked like this, sometimes double this EVERY! trash day (2 times a week) for 9 months!
The wiring had to be all re-done as gramps and possibly Beth’s boyfriend, Tom had done some really scary Mickey Mouse jobs that left us thankful the place hadn’t been burnt to the ground.  We found an awesome Electrician and while Tommy was expensive, he is a Master Electrician and left us with a safe feeling allowing us to sleep at night.

This was the path hubby created through to the back gate.

Did I ever mention that the neighbor next door in a 2 story tried to buy this place because he loved the floor plan, but my uncle wouldn’t sell until the foundation work was done? In ALL honestly this house would still be sitting here in the same condition we found it if we hadn’t come long when we did.  Unfortunately for us it appears my uncle does NOT appreciate any of this. He still wants more money than it was worth and said if he’d realized it’s condition, he would have just dumped it.  If that is the case I have to wonder why he didn’t sell to the next door neighbor to begin with and honestly if he’s going to “DUMP” it why not do so to the people who spent the money for the parts and labor AND did the back breaking work for over a year?

Here are the FINAL AFTER pictures of an empty sold house:

I would like to say I am thankful for this experience and the lessons learned, but I just can’t. I do know grams is no longer turning in her grave over what her son and his daughter allowed her home to become because we have restored it and made it better.  The girl scout in me has taken over though and we are better people for having done the right thing by family and are DEFINITELY leaving it better than we found it.

I can say I am glad it’s over and after taking some serious time to rehab at the gym and in the pool to regain my strength this summer elsewhere, we will move forward to something better FAR FAR AWAY from any influence of my caustic, toxic, back stabbing uncle who gave such a wonderful speech at our first Christmas about how lucky they all were that we came to the rescue when they were in over their heads because of my Aunt’s Alzheimers and dementia after my cousin died and left this place such a shambles.  He went on and on about how he would make it worth our while because he had no real idea what an F***ing Pig his daughter was until we spent months just cleaning out the place to begin this project.  Calling his daughter, my cousin an F***ing pig were his words, not mine, but then he turned around and literally swindled us out of our time, my health, our trust and our money.

My rant is done.  I know Karma and God will take care of the rest.

RECOVERY UPDATE

I did begin my exercising this week, but it’s going slow as there are a couple complications not to mention being so weak from the excessive weight loss so fast.

For the first 6 weeks after surgery I only left the house about 3 times, twice to the surgeon for follow ups and once to church for Christmas. Our biggest fear was me catching something because of my compromised immunity, the drastic surgery and the fact that flu season is so horrible this year.  I’ve only been venturing out for the past 2 weeks and have been VERY cautious where I go and being around those that appear sick. BUT, somehow I managed to pick up a new infection 🙁 and are back on high dose antibiotics and have an ultrasound tomorrow for swollen glands in the back of my neck. I’m not normally paranoid, but I am to the point where I’m afraid to leave the house because I really want to get well and move forward.

I WANT MY STRENGTH & ENERGY BACK!!!

The other complication is learning to eat ALL over again – just like a baby. Food has to be reintroduced slowly and in very small quantities to test for tolerances, as well as be nice to all the suturing that took place.   I ate VERY well before this surgery because of other health conditions, but I eat even BETTER now! So when there are complications it just frustrates me beyond belief.

The picture above is a typical example of a stomach bypass.  Below though you’ll see what mine was.  Because of the ischemic portion there was even more suturing for me.  This surgery was more challenging also because I didn’t need to lose weight (well not this much – 30 pounds so far and still averaging about a 1/2 pound loss every day) so it’s been a serious challenge to get enough calories and food. My FitPal account won’t even post my daily results because they think it’s unhealthy.

Dumping syndrome is a condition that can also develop after surgery to remove all or part of your stomach. Dumping syndrome is also known as rapid gastric emptying. Dumping syndrome occurs when food, especially sugar, moves from your stomach into your small bowel too quickly. Early dumping syndrome is likely to resolve on its own within three months and can completely go away, but it can also last for the rest of your life!

Early dumping syndrome usually occurs 10-30 minutes after eating, but symptoms can occur as early as immediately or as late as 3 hours later (late dumping syndrome). Changing your diet can alleviate the chances of developing dumping syndrome, but unfortunately during the first few months you have to experiment with your food intake to see what your personal tolerances are. Plain old sugar is the BIGGEST culprit in causing dumping syndrome.

Dumping syndrome can be severe for some. Early symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, flushing, dizziness, lightheadedness and rapid heart rate. Severe cases can require medication. Late dump symptoms can include sweating, hunger. fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness and rapid heart rate.

Fortunately, for me I have only had this syndrome a half dozen times as I’m experimenting with new foods and with limited symptoms; nausea, flushing, lightheadedness and a rapid heart rate. Honestly it feels like you’re having a heart attack and are about to pass out so I am VERY careful with what I eat and more importantly WHERE I eat. We went to lunch today at a popular burger place. We will never be going back for other reasons, but evidently they “sugar” their french fries as so many places do these days to make them brown better. This is assumption on my part, but all I ate was a hamburger patty with cheese, 2 tomato slices and 2 french fries and it ruined the remainder of my day when I ended up having the syndrome.

 

COMMENCE EXERCISE!

Today is day 60, well it’s actually day 63, but it’s day 60 of being released from the hospital and I can officially begin an exercise routine!  Knowing I would be doing my exercise at home, I researched and ordered a set of training discs a couple weeks ago so I could watch the discs in advance and familiarize myself with the routines and timing. It has been quite a long while since I have done anything this organized, but I know it’s a now or never scenario for me. So far, I’m loving these discs done by a personal trainer as if she’s working personally with you.  It’s a 12 disc set and I’m looking forward to discs 2-12. 😀

Six surgeries plus additional anaesthesias for some of the testings in 7 years have ALL taken a toll on me physically being coupled with having lost so much weight so fast (30 pounds in 60 days so far) with this surgery has left me feeling in serious need of toning my body as well as rebuilding my strength and energy.  My FitPal account won’t even post my weight loss because they say it is happening too fast and is unhealthy – DUH, hence why I’m trying to get more strength.

I ordered Personal Trainer, a 90 day program narrated by (you guessed it) a personal trainer.  I haven’t actually watched ALL 12 discs, but do like the pace and energy so far. I know this program is just what I needed!

I’m hoping that the increase in exercise will speed up digestion and increase hunger so I can actually eat more to keep my FitPal account happier 😀  LOL, the doctor says to eat whatever I want, but with a stomach now the size of an egg and the inability to eat sugar, alcohol or high fat items, what is he thinking??  He did say that eventually I probably CAN eat those things, but I’m here to tell you I have serious doubts and that’s okay too.  I’m adjusting really well (or at least better than I thought I would) to no coffee, sugar or alcohol and eating even better than before which was already REALLY good.

ON THE ROAD TO A FULL RECOVERY

Surgery was 6 weeks ago. I’m probably at 80%, but it still hurts to sneeze, turn over in my sleep and there are a few things I can’t do yet like lift heavy objects (anything over 10 pounds) and I’m still short of energy, but it is time to start getting it all together.

Food is still an issue, but it is getting better, SLOWLY! In 2 more weeks I can start a regular workout which will also be the 7 year anniversary of my Ovarian Cancer surgery, hopefully bringing this whole ill health cycle full circle AND to a close!

The BIG key here is to LISTEN to your body! Being able to talk comfortably WHILE working out is a GREAT pace to start at. Aiming for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for cardio and 2 days a week for strength training is a GREAT place to start and build from.

Your body will adapt to the exercising so you can physically push yourself as time goes on. You will also burn less calories as time progresses and these exercises become part of your daily routine. I did do some research though and there are 3 key areas to focus on after this type of surgery:

FLEXIBILITY
Flexibility is the best place to begin to avoid too much straining and injuring yourself. I still feel sore and tight, but know that will pass as time goes on. STRETCHING is the best way to begin. Warm ups and cool down periods are vital for the best exercise routine. Take each stretch slowly and hold it for ten seconds going far enough to feel the beginning of a burn, but stopping short of actual pain! Warming up 5-10 minutes helps get your blood flowing and your heart pumping, and loosens up your muscles. Cool down for 5-10 minutes to reduce your heart rate back down to a normal resting pace.

WARM UP EXERCISES include stretching, walking, jumping jacks or light jogging.
COOL DOWN EXERCISES include walking and stretching as well as helping your body get rid of any lactic acid that was created during your workout. Lactic acid is bad for your muscles.

CARDIO – gives you more energy and helps you sleep better by working through anxiety. In order to get your energy up and boost your metabolism you have to get your body moving! Cardio also strengthens your heart and lungs, increases your bone density as wells as boasting your mental sharpness and ability to focus.

I’ve been walking and doing the treadmill at slow speeds for short periods of time up until now. It’s time to speed up the treadmill a bit and, do some cycling and as soon as things warm up adding in the pool is on the recommended list.

Since I was forced into the surgery and didn’t need to lose the weight I’m not as concerned with the calorie burning as much as I am the getting into shape. But, it’s always nice to know the potential breakdown.

STRENGTH TRAINING – I’ve lost quite a bit of muscle tone and REALLY need to work on this area the most! Having had 6 surgeries in 7 years I seem to have the hardest time regaining my muscle tone with each successive surgery and recuperation. Strength training exercises like squats, lunges, sit-ups, crunches and weight lifting are some great strength training exercise to help build up your “core” and re-tone your muscles. Being more active helps you get back into everyday things and enjoy life more!

Strength training requires a slow start with a gradual build to 3 sets of 15-20 reps. AND this is NOT the time to think no pain, no gain! Any sharp pain requires an immediate stop.

VITAMINS & MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS
The new required vitamins and mineral supplements are mandatory in order to avoid malnutrition. These vitamins and supplements also help build both healthy bone and muscle as well as give you more energy. A regular routine of these helps to maximize the effectiveness of your new exercise routine.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 2 of 2018

WOW, it seems like it was just new year’s eve and here we are on the 8th already entering week 2! I hope you all had a great week. Mine was still low key as I continue to recuperate.  2 more weeks and I can enter a more normal activity life. YAY!!!!

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

The SUPER cold snap has broken here and the day time temps are supposed to be in the 60’s with the lows in the 30’s and 40’s, so I’m actually loving the weather right now.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal with golden raisins

CRAFTS / PROJECTS

Unfortunately, I just didn’t have the drive to get anything accomplished during this recuperation. I’ve just been so slow to get my energy back.

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

I had a good 1 month check up with the surgeon this past Thursday. He said I’m doing great , but still have 2 more weeks of no lifting or cleaning etc… He did give me the go ahead to start experimenting with veggies and fruits to see what my body can tolerate. He wants me eating more calories because I’m losing too much weight.

The one thing that many people don’t understand is that this will never get bigger or stretch, IT IS WHAT IT IS FOREVER! So, I made up a diagram that makes it easier to see that the change is permanent.  It also shows why more chewing and smaller portions are necessary as a few digestive processes are now bypassed.

The biggest issue I recently found out about is that there are tons of medications that I can NEVER take again because of the bypass because they can do serious damage to the “new” smaller stomach.  Among them are the medications I take for Fibromyalgia and Systemic Lupus leaving me with only an occasional Tylenol as my only alternative for ANY pain.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

With the deep cold I never left the house except to go to the doctor so never even took a picture last week.

INSPIRATION

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • LAUNDRYquite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing
  • LIVING AREASplan on doing a deep clean today and tomorrow
  • KITCHENpretty clean
  • STUDIOis mainly storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD nothing
  • BLOGsome recipe updating, future post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

  • I’m reading Sophie Moss’ Wind Chime series during my recuperation and am book #3, WIND CHIME SUMMER.

COMEDIES

  • BIG BANG THEORY, YOUNG SHELDON
  • THE GOOD PLACE, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, SPEECHLESS, GREAT NEWS
  • BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, LIFE IN PIECES

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comedies

  • NCIS, NCIS NEW ORLEANS and NCIS LA, CRIMINAL MINDS, WISDOM OF THE CROWD, S.W.A.T.
  • MADAM SECRETARY, SCANDAL, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
  • BRAVE, VALOR, SEAL TEAM, BLINDSPOT, MACGYVER, SCORPION
  • LAW & ORDER SVU, BLUE BLOODS, HAWAII 5-0, ELEMENTARY
  • CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO MED

DRAMAS

  • THE GOOD DOCTOR, THIS IS US

SYFY

  • Z NATION, WALKING DEAD, FLASH, SUPERGIRL, DC LEGENDS
  • ORVILLE, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE X-FILES

COOKING

  • GUY’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, BOBBY AND DAMARIS, BAKED IN VERMONT
  • KID’S BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP, WORST COOKS IN AMERICA

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
In the beginning I told hubby NOT to get used to my existing diet and the doctor has given me the permission to cook though I still cannot lift so hubby still has to help with the shopping, but is going to have to give up the bachelor foods 😀   While I can only eat a bite or two of what I make, there is NO reason hubby shouldn’t get a few home cooked meals this week. Food will go a A LOT further now, but I am going to have to adapt the recipes A LOT.

I also began Home Chef again for 4 meals this month to ease me back into things.  No matter how you look at it proportions are going to be a challenge so now is the time to start rewriting and reworking recipes.  I will also plan more C.O.R.N. nights into my menus.

In the meantime I will continue working on combining blogs with older recipes and developing newer recipes that encompass ALL the new requirements. I look forward to previewing those rework recipes in a few months.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
B-FAST
3-4 ounces SCRAMBLED EGGS, OATMEAL or WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL and GREEN Tea
3-4 ounces SCRAMBLED EGGS, OATMEAL or WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL and GREEN Tea
3-4 ounces SCRAMBLED EGGS, OATMEAL or WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL and GREEN Tea
3-4 ounces SCRAMBLED EGGS, OATMEAL or WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL and GREEN Tea
3-4 ounces SCRAMBLED EGGS, OATMEAL or WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL and GREEN Tea
3-4 ounces SCRAMBLED EGGS, OATMEAL or WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL and GREEN Tea
3-4 ounces SCRAMBLED EGGS, OATMEAL or WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL and GREEN Tea
2 times a day
1 cup LOWFAT MILK or PROTEIN DRINK
1 cup LOWFAT MILK or PROTEIN DRINK
1 cup LOWFAT MILK or PROTEIN DRINK
1 cup LOWFAT MILK or PROTEIN DRINK
1 cup LOWFAT MILK or PROTEIN DRINK
1 cup LOWFAT MILK or PROTEIN DRINK
1 cup LOWFAT MILK or PROTEIN DRINK
1 time a day
2-4 ounces tuna salad or yogurt
2-4 ounces tuna salad or yogurt
2-4 ounces tuna salad or yogurt
2-4 ounces tuna salad or yogurt
2-4 ounces tuna salad or yogurt
2-4 ounces tuna salad or yogurt
2-4 ounces tuna salad or yogurt
ME 2 times  day

 

 

 DINNER FOR HUBBY

2 OUNCES PROTEIN – BROILED FISH or CHICKEN and VERY small salad

PINEAPPLE PEANUT BUTTER BABY BACK RIBS

2 OUNCES PROTEIN – BROILED FISH or CHICKEN and VERY small salad

C.O.R.N.

2 OUNCES PROTEIN – BROILED FISH or CHICKEN and VERY small salad

SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE

2 OUNCES PROTEIN – BROILED FISH or CHICKEN and VERY small salad

C.O.R.N.

2 OUNCES PROTEIN – BROILED FISH or CHICKEN and VERY small salad

COFFEE BREWED POT-ROAST & BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD

2 OUNCES PROTEIN – BROILED FISH or CHICKEN and VERY small salad

C.O.R.N.

2 OUNCES PROTEIN – BROILED FISH or CHICKEN and VERY small salad

C.O.R.N.

& SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

WEEK 4 UPDATE – RECOVERY IN PROGRESS

The bottom line to me is THIS JUST ISN’T FAIR. I didn’t need this surgery for its original intended purpose, I don’t drink or do drugs. I don’t do fast food. I have cooked from scratch (FRESH perimeter shopping, no boxes or cans) for over 30 years since I was first diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and Fibromyalgia. That said, it just proves my point that LIFE isn’t FAIR!

Despite doing everything right most of my life, I’ve ended up with the Systemic Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Ovarian Cancer and have now had an unnecessary gastric bypass because of FAILED MESH to fix a hiatal hernia, not once, but twice before!

So, while, it isn’t fair, it is now reality and I’m learning a new normal. My NEW NORMAL isn’t that much different from my old normal food wise except for amount, frequency and the BIG addition (or subtraction) of ALL sugar, most carbs and fat from my diet. I watched my sugar before, but I did take it in my 1 cup of coffee in the morning and the occasional holiday sweet. I REALLY miss coffee.  Now though there is the possibility of “DUMPING SYNDROME” which frankly scares the hell out of me. As time passes the threat of this will become less and less.  The doctor said he truly believes that by the time I’m “released” in March I will be able to eat and drink WHATEVER I want. Here’s hoping!

I had a really cool doctor doing my Upper GI test today and he showed me everything as he was doing it and where the dye was going.  Good news is there are no  leaks!  The freaky thing was his showing me my “new” stomach and it’s actual size. OMG it’s tiny – like a small hard boiled egg and it does not stretch or give at all.

DUMPING SYNDROME happens because there is no longer a “holding” vessel aka your stomach for food to sit in and gradually pass along to the small intestine. When sugars and starches that you have eaten are dumped into the bowel, they may act like sponges, rapidly absorbing water from the body into the intestine.  This leads to a number of symptoms including diarrhea, low blood sugar and feelings of weakness or dizziness.

ALL Food now passes directly into the small intestine hence why the small amounts, more frequently are more important than ever. From what I’ve read up to 75% of gastric patients may experience DUMPING SYNDROME at some point in their life, but it is most common immediately after surgery and may subside over time. The key is to avoid ALL the triggers.

There are two phases of dumping syndrome; early dumping phase and late dumping phase.

Early Dumping Phase 15-30 minutes after eating
• Caused by rapid entry of food into the small intestine
• Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and feeling full after eating only a small amount of food. Weakness, flushing, dizziness and sweating may also accompany early dumping syndrome.

Late Dumping Phase 90 minutes to 3 hours after eating
• Caused by a rapid rise in blood sugar followed by a rapid decrease in blood sugar
• Symptoms may include sweating, fast heart-rate, weakness, feeling tired, anxiety or mental confusion

General Guidelines to Prevent Dumping Syndrome

  • Eat six to eight small meals daily to avoid eating too much at a time.  You may be able to tolerate larger portions over time, but keep servings small at first.
  • Have a protein food with each meal and snack such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, tofu or peanut butter.
  • Do not drink liquids with meals. Drink 30 to 60 minutes before or after meals. Eventually you may tolerate small amounts of liquid with meals.
  • Limit high-sugar foods such as soda, juice, Ensure, Boost, cakes, pies, candy, doughnuts, cookies, fruit cooked or canned with sugar, honey, jams, jellies.
  • Choose high-fiber foods when possible.  These include whole wheat breads and cereals, whole wheat pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose foods high in soluble fiber.  This includes apples, oats, beets, Brussel sprouts, carrots, spinach and beans.
  • Try adding a serving of fat to meals and snacks such as butter, margarine, gravy, vegetable oils, and salad dressings.  Fats slow stomach emptying and may help prevent dumping syndrome.
  • Some people find that avoiding very hot or very cold foods can be helpful.
  • Chew foods well and eat slowly. Try to relax while eating.
  • Lying down right after eating may lessen symptoms.

YAY!! Today we start the new phase of my diet – trying to add back in fresh fruits and vegetables in VERY small amounts. I have to say that I have missed salads the most! I’m praying I can tolerate that salad!

WEEK 2 RECOVERY UPDATE

I an now entering the “SOFT” diet for at least 2 more weeks and then everything has to be in VERY small portions that are protein packed. SOFT is a relative word in the world of food.  They are really only adding 3-4 things to my diet, so it is still basically bland, unflavorful and plain. This ENTIRE process is about retraining my body and my mind.  Life as I knew it in the food world is over! It really is that plain and simple!

The part about this surgery that sucks is that I am NOT obese and did NOT need a gastric bypass for weight loss, but ended up with one because the doctor could not save the stomach after the BIO mesh side affects from previous procedures. So, life literally got tipped on its end from when I went into surgery and when I woke up – what was scheduled had to be drastically altered mid surgery.

I had wanted to lose a few pounds, which is definitely a done deal now. Now, I just have to make sure to get enough calories to not let it get out of hand!

I have been craving a silly scrambled egg FOREVER it seems! I also get to add a spoonful of peanut butter – YUMMY! And I told hubby not to get too comfortable with his bachelor diet. Starting next month as soon as I can muster enough energy to cook I am going to to take a hand at some Ramen Fusion. 

I’m already looking forward to 2 weeks from now when we enter the Pre-Regular Stage. The real trick will come in March when the lifetime diet takes affect! I am looking forward to the taste of REAL food, but not the digestive process.  Honestly REAL food scares the hell out of me. I’ve always been a type A person who eats too fast and food that too hot.  This is FORCING me SLOW down, chew more and eat less more often.

DAY 7 of a RECOVERY IN PROGRESS

You know the old Yiddish proverb, Man Plans, God Laughs? If not, you should learn it just to keep yourself sane.

So, as many of you know I have been suffering from some health issues the past few years, especially this last year. To give you a quick background when I was 24 I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and not doing well. Several months into the disease I went to my rhuematlogist, held out my hand with 32 pills in it and said “I can’t live this way”. She agreed and we moved into treating the disease and it side affects like Fibromyalgia with BETTER diet.  I immediately gave up ALL steroid medications, preservatives, splendas, aspartames, diet food of any kind, non GMO food, canned “food”, boxed “food”, fast food as a whole and started perimeter shopping and scratch cooking with “REAL” foods. My life improved almost immediately.

Fast forward many years to 2011 and my oncologist claiming this change in food prep and eating for all those years saved my life when she was able to lift out a twice torsioned (wrapped around the ovary 2 times) volleyball sized ovarian tumor from my body intact and I have been NED (no evidence of disease) for almost 7 years since.  She decided it was because the cancer had nothing else to feed on in my body except itself. I knew I was extremely blessed when after 6 more months of testing everything and everywhere to make sure it was the only tumor, that they found none. I follow up regularly with blood work and testing.

Fast forward another year and I’m having problems with the hiatal hernia that my cancer doctor found, but left alone. Enter a new gastroenterologist who was able to fix the hiatal hernia and shredded esophogaus with a Nissen Fundoplication (2012). This didn’t alter what I ate except in the beginning 2 months, but did alter how much and how often I ate.  I also gave up 90% of bread – just filled me up too fast.

Fast forward 9 months (2013) and the mesh from the Nissen Fundoplication failed requiring a revision surgery and another period of liquid food adjustment.

Fast forward to 2016 and the E.Coli bacterial infection that landed me in the hospital with a concussion because I lost consciousness and fell after becoming violently ill.  For the next 13 months I was tested by neurology and cardiology for my symptoms before they finally handed me off to gastroenterology which had a HUGE wait time so my wonderful primary doctor got tired of waiting and began doing logical testing on her own. She was the one who founda new hiatal hernia (again) from mesh failure and referred me to the surgeon.  His testing was further delayed another 6 weeks past their normal backlog by Hurricane Harvey.

I love my surgeon and his immediate staff as well as my hospital nurses Ericah and Lexi.  Other than that the hospital will be getting a not so favorable review from me.  The recovery nurse should NEVER have contact with human beings and the respiratory therapist is negligent with he lack of follow through and the nurse’s aides need to be trained in patient care and helping.

We went into last Wednesday believing he was going to be able to fix the fix on the revision surgery.  Unfortunately this is where the Yiddish proverb enters.  I had planned food and EVERYTHING on the fix of the fix, but he was unable to correct the issue and had to make a drastic decision to do a bypass. This is a HUGE DRASTIC LIFE CHANGE for anybody, but for me there is very little information written on it because it isn’t for someone who isn’t doing it for weight loss.  I mean EVERYTHING written about the subject is for people who need to lose significant amounts of weight. The diet is strict because of the bypass in general and I can live with that, but the recovery time has now doubled!

And once recovery time is over the way you eat and how often, etc.. is a lifetime change! I can live with the long term lifetime diet and special vitamins as it is high protein, low fat and REALLY healthy which is right up my alley anyway.

So here we are on day 6 of 90-120 days of nothingness except keeping a food and medicine journal.  I cannot tell you how much ALL of your thoughts and prayers have meant to me and are seeing seen me through this ordeal. There is 1 good thing. I did want to lose about 15 pounds and now that is already a given. 😀

I’m starting to research getting the highest protein, nutrients and minerals into the most flavorful recipes compactly. So I will obviously be revamping some old recipes and looking into some flavor packed Japanese Ramen and/or Thai recipes where I’m making my own noodles with high protein. At the end of the recovery time above an average day for the rest of my life will be small nibbles of small meals that total 4-8 ounces per meal three times a day with 2-2 to 4 ounce high protein snacks, up to 64 ounces of water or tea and 5 mandatory vitamins.

The bottom line is that I need to learn to live with a NEW normal.  You know what they say, LIFE is 10% what happens and 90% how you’ll deal with it. I’m up for the challenge and looking forward to better health.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 50 of 2017 DAY 5 of RECOVERY

I hope everyone had a wonderful week and are having a wonderful holiday season. I’m home from the hospital, but will address that in the Things On My Mind section.  The weekend was quiet and VERY uneventful thankfully.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

Temperatures are FINALLY down into the tolerable range. We even had to turn the heat on when we got home from the hospital on Friday. Friday was an ironic day here in southeast Texas.  7 years ago when I had my cancer surgery, we had a rare ice storm in the area.  Then we moved away for several years, but came back to work on my grandparent’s house and are here again for this surgery.  Ironically, we had SNOW last Thursday and Friday. yep I said snow! What a shock that was to wake up to in the middle of the night! I don’t get to go outside for another week give or take so am not yet enjoying the change in temperatures though.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

3 ounces of peach high protein drink.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

Unfortunately for the next 90-120 days this is hubby’s category. I am not allowed to do anything or lift anything heavier than a bag of flour.  Hubby is being a GREAT sport though and tending to my every need. Because of the risk of infection we are still having to wash every day.  He’s just not used to doing it, the vacuuming, cleaning up after the cat and dog, etc…

  • LAUNDRY... quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing
  • LIVING AREAS... I did a serious deep clean just before surgery so am hoping this will get hubby through until March LOL NOT
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean
  • STUDIO… is mainly storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… nothing much
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

I haven’t done any reading since last Tuesday, but am hoping to do some later today and get back into a routine. I’m still trying to finish Ava Miles book #9 Calendar of New Beginnings.

  • BIG BANG THEORY and YOUNG SHELDON
  • NCIS, NCIS NEW ORLEANS and NCIS LA, CRIMINAL MINDS, S.W.A.T.
  • MADAM SECRETARY, SCANDAL, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
  • CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO MED later this season
  • BRAVE, VALOR, SEAL TEAM
  • LAW & ORDER SVU, BLUE BLOODS, HAWAII 5-0
  • MACGYVER, SCORPION, BLINDSPOT, ORVILLE, WISDOM OF THE CROWD
  • Z NATION, WALKING DEAD, FLASH, DC LEGENDS, INHUMANS
  • THE GOOD PLACE, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, SPEECHLESS, GREAT NEWS
  • THIS IS US, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE GOOD DOCTOR
  • GUY’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, BOBBY AND DAMARIS

CRAFTS / PROJECTS

Probably nothing this week, but am hoping to start sketching the door series and tree of life next week.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

This category is a sad and sore subject for me until about March.  My surgery did not go as planned which is changing so much about food, but sure beats the alternative of being 6 foot under. Hubby is loving being able to eat what he calls bachelor food – S.O.S., chili, hot dogs, hamburger helper, etc… I told him NOT to get used to it though, as soon as I can cook again we will be eating healthier than ever.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
2 times a day
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
2-4 times a day
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
2 times a day
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
2 times a day  4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o  4 ounces jell-o

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

These are recipes that have been waiting in cue to post, I’m definitely NOT back to cooking yet.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

You know the old Yiddish proverb, Man Plans, God Laughs? If not, you should learn it just to keep yourself sane.

So, as many of you know I have been suffering from some health issues the past few years, especially this last year. To give you a quick background when I was 24 I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and not doing well. Several months into the disease I went to my rhuematlogist, held out my hand with 32 pills in it and said “I can’t live this way”. She agreed and we moved into treating the disease and it side affects like Fibromyalgia with diet or better said, lack of diet.  I immediately gave up ALL steroids, preservatives, splendas, aspartames, diet food of any kind, non GMO food, canned “food”, boxed “food”fast food as a whole and started perimeter shopping and scratch cooking with “REAL” foods. My life immediately improved.

Fast forward many years to 2011 and my oncologist claiming this change in food prep and eating for all those years saved my life when she was able to lift out a twice torsioned (wrapped around the ovary 2 times) volleyball sized ovarian tumor from my body intact and I have been NED (no evidence of disease) for almost 7 years since.  She decided it was because the cancer had nothing else to feed on in my body except itself. I knew I was extremely blessed when after 6 more months of testing everything and everywhere to make sure it was the only tumor, that they found none.

Fast forward another year and I’m having problems with the hiatal hernia that my cancer doctor found, but left alone. Enter a new gastroenterologist who was able to fix the hiatal hernia and shredded esophogaus with a Nissen Fundoplication (2012). This didn’t alter what I ate except in the beginning 2 months, but did alter how much and how often I ate.  I also gave up 90% of bread – just filled me up too fast.

Fast forward 9 months (2013) and the mesh from the Nissen Fundoplication failed requiring a revision surgery and another period of liquid food adjustment.

Fast forward to 2016 and the E.Coli bacterial infection that landed me in the hospital with a concussion because I lost consciousness and fell after becoming violently ill.  For the next 13 months I was tested by neurology and cardiology for my symptoms before they finally handed me off to gastroenterology which had a HUGE wait time so my wonderful primary doctor got tired of waiting and began doing logical testing on her own. She was the one who found the hiatal hernia (again) and referred me to the surgeon.  His testing was further delayed another 6 weeks past their normal backlog by Hurricane Harvey.  I love my surgeon and his immediate staff as well as my hospital nurses Ericah and Lexi.  Other than that the hospital will be getting a not so favorable review from me.  The recovery nurse should NEVER have contact with human beings and the respiratory therapist is negligent with he lack of follow through and the nurse’s aides need to be trained in patient care and helping.

We went into last Wednesday believing he was going to be able to fix the fix on the revision surgery.  Unfortunately this is where the Yiddish proverb enters.  I had planned food and EVERYTHING on the fix of the fix, but he was unable to correct the issue and had to make a drastic decision to do a bypass. This is a HUGE DRASTIC LIFE CHANGE for anybody, but for me there is very little information written on it for someone who isn’t doing it for weight loss.  I mean EVERYTHING written about the subject is for people who need to lose significant amounts of weight. The diet is strict and I can live with that, but the recovery time has now doubled!  Once recovery time is over I can live with the longterm lifetime diet and special vitamins as it is high protein, lowfat and REALLY healthy which is right up my alley anyway.

So here we are on day 5 of 90-120 days of nothingness except keeping a food and medicine journal.  I cannot tell you how much ALL of your thoughts and prayers have meant to me and are seeing seen me through this ordeal. There is 1 good thing. I did want to lose about 15 pounds and now that is going to be a given. 😀

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

I was able to get most of my elf on the shelf photos taken before surgery and definitely have a few favorites. 😀

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday, Terri at Darling Downs Diaries and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

CHAT TIME ~ Life as it Happens ~ WEEKLY WRAP UP

With all the work on the House From Hell, I got away from my Life as it Happens of just chatting once a week or so.  It’s time to start doing a weekly wrap-up again.

Things have finally slowed down a bit in my life, but as it happens, just in time to get crazy again. In 2011 I had my cancer surgery and began the long trek back to health and fitness.  All in all, I was already pretty healthy and fit – I mean I cook from scratch, perimeter shop without the junk food and eat extremely little fast food.  The oncologist had said that those 3 things probably helped save my life as the cancer had nothing to feed on in my body.

But, the length of surgery caused another problem.  Turns out I had a Hiatal hernia and the stomach acid seeped up and started eating away my esophagus. So, a year later I had to have another operation to remove the shredded esophagus and rebuild the valve.  Then 9 months later an allergic type reaction to a prescription they gave me for my Fibromyalgia started lowering my potassium levels and shutting down my heart and I collapsed, literally close to death.  Fortunately, hubby insisted they take me to the hospital despite the idiot ambulance driver who was convinced I’d been drinking (strongest thing I EVER drink is iced tea) and tried to get me to sign a waiver so he didn’t have to transport me. The hospital staff work quickly to revive my potassium to a safe level and life went on.  When I came to though out on the street I became violently ill.  A few weeks later I knew something was wrong and several weeks after that I had surgery to repair my stomach and esophagus, AGAIN.

Fast forward a few years later and guess what? Here we are again.  Turns out I appear to be a statistic, a part of those late night commercials for the class action suits against products that fail.  I don’t see the surgeon for a couple weeks, but have been doing research and it appears from the last article I read that the type of mesh used to repair my stomach failed 17 out of 24 times – not very good odds in my opinion.  I’m anxious to meet the new surgeon who has gotten rave reviews from patients and doctors alike, and see what he has to say about a more permanent fix.

I have begun amassing cooking magazines and simple projects like changing over the address book, password book, etc… for when I’m laid up.  Unfortunately, this type of surgery leaves you unable to do much more than walk (no lifting, no stretching, etc…) after for quite awhile and on a very strict liquid to soft foods diet for quite a long time too.  I figured I would use the time to read, develop some ideas for new recipes and work on updating the blog compilation. I might be able to do a few simple craft projects to.

At least it is summer and since I’m relegated to the indoors during this weather anyway, it’s a good time to get well.

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LEMONS to LEMONADE, MY NEW MANTRA FOREVER AS I TRAVEL DOWN LIFE’S CRAZY ROAD

Life's crazy roadMany of you know that despite my normally always positive outlook on life I have not always been the healthiest of people. Years and years ago I began a life style change that would make today’s college student cringe when I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus during college. I gave up processed food, fast food, drinking and excessive sweets. It worked! I was able to get off most medications, started feeling better and was able to live life to a fuller extent.

I followed a stringent preventative schedule, got well woman exams, took my vitamins, followed a healthy diet and yet several years later was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Miracle of all miracles and a volleyball sized tumor later, my wonderful surgeon got all of the cancer and I began to breathe AND live again as I recovered from surgery.

During the surgery they discovered a Hiatal Hernia, but let it be since the cancer was more important. It was a long surgery with a 10 inch scar to remind me everyday how blessed I am to still be among the living. It was also a long recovery with a multitude of side affects along the way.

As I got stronger and began to live again, the Hiatal Hernia reared its ugly head and made me more and more miserable. The pain and side affects increased day by day and eventually led to a new surgery last June. This surgery was a Nissen Fundoplication that ended in stomach reconstruction when they needed to remove several inches of shredded esophagus and build a new valve. It also left me on a liquid diet for several months. Even after that I have been slowly adding food by food to test my ability to tolerate and digest certain foods – kind of like teaching a baby to eat one food at a time. Recovering from yet another surgery left me fighting for my strength and energy. Water Aerobics and walking became my daily friend and life saver.

The first side affect that is really making life difficult is searing pain. Until recently I was seriously afraid the cancer was back. But after a recent CT scan I’m told there is no sign of recurring metastatic disease. Yet they did manage to find a few other things! DAMN it’s always something. FLD for one. What is FLD aka Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease? Well it’s something I shouldn’t have given how well I eat! But, yet I have it. I will be going for a Cardiac CT scan in the near future to determine if my life is about to change yet again by adding a dreaded lifetime drug to maintain the FLD.

Then comes the second of the side affects that bothers even more, my vision. After the first surgery one of the doctors mentioned that changes in my vision might happen and recommended not changing to contacts right away. Unfortunately I did begin to see changes and my sight was getting worse, blurry and distorted close up. I recently met with a new eye doctor and was told I have a macular hole. Between the eye doctor, my primary and my new oncologist we all agree on one thing – there is NO good reason that these things are happening to me – I eat well, drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of exercise and rest.

So here we go for more drastic changes. ALL my adult life my mantra has been about turning lemons into lemonade and some days I find it difficult to understand how it is even possible that the pitcher of lemonade is still half full and able to replenish itself. I do realize I would do whatever was necessary to stay healthy and be able to care for my family. I’ve been given a list of supplements to add to my diet, to eat even more fish, fruit, leafy greens and told to wear sunglasses ALL the time. The rest I’m choosing to do as I continue to deal with adding foods to my diet and dealing with new conditions that can’t be eliminated, but CAN BE controlled.

Being removed from my diet on a regular basis is bread in general, red meat as a whole, fast food (what little I eat) and ALL processed food!  Now you might notice on future menus red meat recipes, but that’s okay as I won’t force hubby to adapt to my new ways all the time.

PERMANENT MENU REVISIONS

menu planning 2013Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie

DATE BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER
MONDAY 2/25 CHEERIOS, BANANA & YOGURT TUNA & ORANGE LEMON GLAZED RED SNAPPER, BROCCOLINI, 4 OUNCES GREEN GODESS & SALAD
TUESDAY 2/26 OATMEAL, BANANA & YOGURT TOMATOES, CUCUMBERS & SNAP PEAS

PINK LEMON CHICKEN, BROCCOLINI 4 OUNCES GREEN GODESS & SALAD
WEDNESDAY 2/27 CHEERIOS, BANANA & YOGURT TUNA & ORANGE AVOCADO SALAD, 4 OUNCES GREEN GODESS & ROAST CHICKEN
THURSDAY 2/28 OATMEAL, BANANA & YOGURT TOMATOES, CUCUMBERS & SNAP PEAS CRAB SALAD, TOMATOES, 4 OUNCES GREEN GODESS & SNAP PEAS
FRIDAY 3/1 OATMEAL, BANANA & YOGURT CRAB SALAD ROCKFISH COD, SPINACH SALAD, 4 OUNCES GREEN GODESS & FRUIT SALAD

SATURDAY 3/2 CHEERIOS, BANANA & YOGURT TUNA & ORANGE BAKED WHITE FISH, BROCCOLINI, TOMATO SLICES & SNAP PEAS
SUNDAY 3/3 SCRAMBLED EGGS PROTEIN DRINK MAHI MAHI IN ORANGE SAUCE, 4 OUNCES GREEN GODESS, BROCCOLINI & SALAD