Admin Note: More Medical Woes

Just a quick note to let you all know that I’m not dead…yet. I’m having major setbacks with healing from my surgery, and will be heading to the ER and probably the operating room later today. I’m not sure how long I’ll be in the hospital – could be 2 days, could be 6 weeks, depending on whether or not they can get out all the infection or if there are any complications. I will try to have Paul bring the laptop so I can update, but can’t guarantee it. If you want to keep abreast of what’s going on with me medically, keep an eye on my surgery journal. Either Paul or I should be updating it regularly. Thanks everyone for your well wishes, and for your patience while I’ve been a very lax blogger.

Update: Apparently the antibiotics are doing their job, and when I went to the ER, they told me that I had no infection and as long as the wound heals properly, I’ll be fine. Thank goodness for better living through science.

December 2007 Roundup

I’m really late getting this roundup out, but the past month has been chaotic, to say the least. The past week or so since I’ve been home has been all about trying to find a doctor to treat a minor surgical complication (no luck yet), and figuring out what is OK and what isn’t OK to eat (ah, self-discovery! very scary!). Sushi goes down really well, as does lentil rice with chicken/gyro meat and sandwiches from Cosi. Not so well received? Bread that isn’t toasted or put through a panini press. It’ll be a while before I try that again, LOL.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of you next week at the meetup at Anna’s on the 10th. If you’d like to go, follow the link and RSVP. And if you’re still undecided, could you let me know as soon as possible so I can give Anna’s an accurate head count? Thanks. It’ll be my first “sit down” restaurant experience since the surgery. I’ve done plenty of takeout, plenty of cooking at home, but no out in public yet.

Well, without further delay, here’s the roundup:

In savory recipes, Mini Mac and Cheese from Amber’s Delectable Delights, Braised Pomegranate Chicken from Anne’s Food, Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs with Gremolata from AnticiPlate, Browned Butter from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen, Baked Chicken Sofrito from The Average Cook, White Bean and Bacon Soup with Escarole and Borlotti Bean Soup with Bacon and Ditalini Pasta from The Bacon Show, Chicken and Potato Croquettes from Bean’s Bistro, Savory French Bean Stew from Blog Appetit, Chile Verde from Cafe Lynnylu, Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits from Closet Cooking, Cider-brined Pork Chops with Creamed Leeks and Apples from The Clumsy Cook, Rice Paper Rolls with Chicken from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, Olive Oil Bread Rolls from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz, Parmesan Tarts with Caramelised Shallots from The Culinary Chase, Stuffed Beef Rolls with Red Wine and Tomato Sauce from Hall in the Kitchen, Rosemary & Garlic Focaccia from Happy Home Baking, New Year’s Day Good Fortune Soup from Homesick Texan, Butter Chicken from HungryBastard.com, Sweet ‘n Sour Meatballs, the Easy Way from Is that my bureka?, Tuscan Bean Soup with Pasta from Italian Foodies, Baked Potato a la Greque from Kalofagas – Pursuit of Delicious Foods, Chicken Stuffed with Green Chiles and Cheese and Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins with Ham and Cheddar from Kalyn’s Kitchen, Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and Two Rices from kitchenmage, Mini Veal Meatballs with Caramelized Onions from Leite’s Culinaria, Bourbon-Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes from Love and Olive Oil, Mesa Grill’s Southwestern Potato Salad from Paper Palate, Butter Bean Soup with Smoked Pancetta from Stuff Yer Bake, Kohlrabi Soup from vegalicious, Squash and Goat Gratin for One from The Village Vegetable, Bulgogi/Kalbi Burgers from Wandering Chopsticks, Pappardelle with Short Rib & Porcini Ragu from Well Fed, Curried Rice and Vegetable Soup and Spicy Fideos with Ground Beef and Black Beans from What Geeks Eat…, Caprese Tartlets from Yuzu Eats, and Short Ribs Ragu with Pappardelle and Caramelized Garlic and Shallot Pasta from Serious Eats.

In sweet recipes, Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies from alpineberry, Molten-Middle Truffle Cookies from Amber’s Delectable Delights, Chocolate and Sea Salt Cookies from The Art of Tasting Chocolate, Donut Muffins from Bake & Destroy!, Rugelach, Hazelnut Mini Cheesecakes, and Kahlua Date Nut Bread from Bake or Break, Mini Custard Pies from Baking History, Swedish Apple Crisp from Bean’s Bistro, Peach Raspberry Almond Yoghurt Cake from butter sugar flour, Southwest Georgia Pound Cake from Carrie’s Cooking Adventures, Pecan Pie Cookies from Cherrapeno, Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes from Coconut & Lime, Browned Butter Macadamia Butterscotch Cookies from Cookie Madness, Grammy’s Carmelcorn from Culinary Fool, Honey Butter Caramels with Sea Salt from Dessert First, Creme de Menthe Cheesecake from Easy Desserts, Eggnog Bars and Chocolate Chip Cookie Topped Brownies from eat me, delicious, Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes with Roasted Pears from FamilyStyle Food, Chocolate-Orange Cake from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen, Chocolate Amaretti Cake from Fuss Free Flavours, White Chocolate Lime Cookies from have cake, will travel, Mini Mascarpone and Raspberry Trifles from Kitchen Delights, White Chocolate and Spiced Pear Tiramisu from Kitchen Talk to Chew On, Rainbow Cookies from Leite’s Culinaria, Bread Pudding Flan from Men in Aprons, Summer Berry Clafoutis from Milk and Cookies, Chocolate Cashew Brittle from My Feasts, Brown Butter Spoon Cookies with Jam from Orangette, Lydia’s Austrian Raspberry Shortbread and Pear Crisps with Vanilla Brown Butter from smitten kitchen, Snowdrop’s Blonde Fruitcake from The Sunny Raw Kitchen, White Chocolate Truffles with Peppermint from Tinned Tomatoes, Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana, Maple Syrup and Honeycomb Butter from Totally Addicted to Taste, Sweet Squash Flan from vanesscipes, and Latkes with Apple Sauce from Serious Eats.

I’m still working on January’s roundup, keep your eyes peeled in the next week or so for it. :)

Kissing the Ground

Well, I’ve clicked my heels three times (figuratively, of course), and I’m back in the grand ‘ole USA. It was a tough trip (with all the flight delays, other issues, and the joy of being randomly selected for secondary inspection by the TSA’s – how farking violating!), but I made it back in one piece and it seems to have been exactly the medicine I needed to start on the road to a full recovery.

Much of my capacity is back (yay – I’m still down to about a third of what I used to eat, but at least it’s more than one or two bites), and the familiar flavors of Ohio food sit so comfortably in my stomach, that I went out today to sate some cravings.

I went to the North Market, where I visited with friends/vendors and picked up some deviled eggs from Heil’s, some cassoulet and meatloaf from NMPG, some pho from Lac Viet, and some cheese from Curds and Whey – all high protein meals/snacks that should help do the trick for the next couple of days foodwise.

And then a trip to Thurn’s, where they haven’t seen me since before the Dispatch article and were wondering what I was up to. We stocked up on lots of meaty goodness (since, of course, it’s protein first from now on).

I’m so glad to be home, and I never realized how dear Columbus is to my heart until I had to be separated from it for three weeks. Now that I’m back in familiar surroundings (and my own kitchen), I have no doubt that things will go back to normal with this blog as well. Stay tuned in the next couple of days for some leftover posts about Brazil, and what I’m eating now. And again, a heartfelt thank you to anyone who emailed or left comments during my absence. I’ve got tons of emails to catch up on, and will be getting back to you soon.

When All Else Fails…

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As I’ve suffered through the worst of the last week, some words of wisdom from my Oma, tucked away years and years ago, echoed in my head. “There will come a time in your life, Rebecca, when you’ll try to eat and be unable to tolerate any food at all. When that time comes, the only thing you can eat and tolerate will be saltines.”

Apparently, when she came over on a big ship from Germany in the 1940′s, she got one hell of a case of seasickness, and had said the only thing she ate for 3 weeks (and would stay down) was saltines and water. How right she was.

Having an iron stomach, I never thought I would see the day where it would revolt on me, rejecting pretty much anything I gave it, even water. But apparently, one of the side effects of migraine medication was severe nausea, so in addition to feeling like I was hit by a baseball bat, I got sick as a dog whenever I tried to eat or drink anything.

I’m happy to say things are much better now. The headache (other than some minor ache behind the eyes that feels a bit like eye strain) has been gone for about 2 days now, and the nausea has been gone for about the same amount of time. I have been able to eat little things other than saltines now, like scrambled eggs, cream of wheat, soup, etc. with no problem.

I’ve had serious buyers remorse in the past week. After my first weight loss surgery (a RNY in 2001), I never had the level of restriction that was supposed to come with it. In the end, I was happy about that – even though I didn’t lose all my weight, I had kept off over 100 lbs. And was able to eat like a normal person who hadn’t had weight loss surgery. This surgery was supposed to be completely malabsorptive – he wasn’t touching my pouch at all, and it was supposed to be an easy recovery – I just had to let the intestines rest for a couple of weeks, and would be back up to eating to my previous capacity, just not absorbing it all.

I hadn’t bargained on the hernia repair and the mesh that comes with it bringing a level of restriction that I didn’t even have with the first surgery. Everything in my abdomen is so tight at the moment (and add to it the fact I’m pretty much corseted in a binder for the next 3 months), that my actual capacity is 2-4 oz. at a time. Think of a meal for me as ordering a cup (not bowl) of soup, and only being able to eat half of it before I’m uncomfortably full. I know this level of restriction won’t last forever, but for the time being, it sucks.

I’ve compared it to that episode of The Twighlight Zone where after a nuclear war, the person had all the time in the world to read, their passion in life, only to break their glasses and be unable to read at all. In a way, I had this surgery so I could live to enjoy food on a more healthy level for the rest of my life – at least at the moment, I feel as if I’ve broken my stomach. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony – finally getting to a healthy weight, but unable to ever enjoy food again? If it turns out that way, I think I would have rather been fat and happy.

But things are on an upswing. We’re leaving Brazil for home on Tuesday. I’m finally reading and enjoying food blogs again. I’ve been able to branch out a little bit food-wise (will be posting about the wonderful soup we got here soon), and I should be back to normal, at least blog-wise, in the next week or so. Thank you all for your well wishes, and for bearing with me during the hiatus where food was the last thing I wanted to think about.