Serendopeity

The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Tag Archives: Eating Issues

What else?

I have been working on some projects, lest you think that while I was not writing my blog I have been sitting around doing nothing.  Well, I suppose for some of the time I have been sitting around but doing nothing is not part of my agenda.

Keeping mom and dad occupied is a tough job to say the least.  Boredom comes quickly for dad – mom is a little easier to placate.  But the toughest part is trying to make sure they have things to do.  Sue is pretty good at this – she manages to keep them doing things.  On the other hand I have a difficult time – I get tired fairly easy so after an hour or two of activities I am ready for a nap.  Only thing is that I can’t nap during the day…

Surviving cancer surgery was the easy part.  Surviving chemo and radiation was a little tougher.  It’s the everyday left over residual’s from the surgery et al that slows me down.  I am so envious of anyone who has travelled the cancer path (any variety of the disease) and has pretty well gotten their life back to “normal”.  I don’t even know what normal is anymore.  The biggest problems I have arrive from eating and I know I do have to eat but in all honesty it is more of a pain than not eating.  When the food does go down it sits in what is left of my stomach like a stone.  And then, when it decides to move on, it does LOL.  Usually with no warning.  And it doesn’t matter what it is.  Today it works, tomorrow it doesn’t.  Junk food has become my friend once again – by junk food I mean tostidos and salsa.  For this week, at least it is working.  What used to work – well, its a crap shoot LOL.  This is grapefruit season and since dad can only have 1 a week due to his meds I decided to treat us this week.  Well, big mistake.  I used to be able to eat one a day.  Half on Monday morning and I am still paying for it!!!! Oh well. Guess there are worse things than not being able to eat…

Anyhow, my new project has been sending “care packages” to Canadian troops stationed in Afghanistan.  I am not sure why I feel so strongly about this, but I do.  Everytime another Repatriation happens in Trenton I get more and more angry.  Canadian Troops are PeaceKeepers.  We, as a country, are not at war with anyone and yet …

One night I was surfing the net and found a website called Chosen Soldier.  In a nutshell Chosen Soldier provides names of Canadian troops who would like to receive something from home – it doesn’t have to be anything major and reading the list of things that they have come up with was both funny and sad at the same time.  We take so many things for granted at home, having no clue what it is like to go without some of the creature comforts we have become so used to having.  Simple things really, lip balm, toilet paper, KD (Kraft Dinner for those who are not KD affectionados), potato chips – like I said simple things.

So I got a name from Chosen Soldier and started to put together a box to send.  Thanks to the Military (and for once I can understand their reasoning), a package has to conform to a certain size.  The size is about the same as a case of beer which empty looks fairly large, but start to fill it and it does fill up fast.

In my usual insane manner I over bought items for the box. ( I know, I know, those of you who know me, know that I was doomed to over buy from the get-go LOL). To make a long story short, I dropped off two boxes today at the base in Trenton for shipping and will continue to drop boxes off as much as I can.  The military also says that I can send a letter to “any soldier” but to send a package I need to have a name and rank.  So, I added a letter in each box telling my “Chosen Soldier” to pass along my email addy to anyone who wants a package and I will comply.  If I disappear for a while again, you will know that I disregarded the Dept of National Defence’s list of contraband (LMAO).

What I fail to understand is why a lot of these items are not provided to our soldiers by the military.  How tough would it be to hand out Easy Mac or a bag of candy every once in a while.  Nonetheless I shall continue my little endevour until I am no longer able or until the last Canadian Soldier comes home.  I have heard via the media that Canada is due to have it’s troops out by 2011.  Ya right, I will believe that when I see it!!!!! I am hopeful that once the packages get there I will have some more names to keep me busy. If you would like to contribute to my cause – go get a Tim Horton’s gift card and address it to :

Any Canadian Soldier

OP ATHENA

PO Box 5058 Stn Forces

Belleville ON K8N 5W6

There is a Tim’s at the base in Kandahar and it accepts Tim’s cards in Canadian dollars.  Buy a soldier a coffee and a muffin/donut.  It’s the least we can do.  You can mail the letter postage free too – Canada Post is allowing letter to be sent for free for the duration of the “war”.  For once, CP is actually showing a human side.  This has to be a first.  Or you can email me and when the names start coming in you can send your own package.  However, unless you live close to a base and can drop it off – it can get expensive.  CP has stopped the free package mailing…(of course anything from CP  for any length of time is not going to happen).  See – too good to be true LOLOLOLOL.

You can visit Chosen Soldier and see what they are all about at http://trevlac.biz/Chosen_Soldier.htm

It really is a great story and a worthwhile cause – at least in my opinion.  I cannot imagine being so far away from my family and friends trying to help people which dodging bullets and trying to avoid IED’s.  Call me crazy but…

That’s about it for tonight. I am tired and it is time to shut down the puter and get some rest.  Tomorrow dad has group at 10:00 and |I have a ton of stuff to do before the weekend.

Take care.

nancy

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Eating Issues after EC Surgery

This past weekend brought some eating issues that I am having to light.  During my surgery for EC, my esophagus and 2/3 of my stomach were removed.  What was left of my stomach was then stretched up and reattached to the little (2 inch) stub of my esophagus that remained for the sole purpose of having somewhere to reattach my stomach. 

Right after surgery I had a problem eating, food would get stuck, and about every 3 months I would go see Gastro guy and he would stretch out the place where the reattachment occured.  This is called the anastomosis.  It could only be stretched a little at a time – to try and stretch it too much could result in a tear, which would not be a good thing.  Little by little the anastomosis would stay open on its own, scar tissue stopped growing and I have not had to have a stretching for over 2 years now.

 

However, because I do not have a conventional esophagus and/or stomach, problems still remain when it comes to eating.  A “normal” stomach can hold approximately 1 gallon of food when it is fully extended. (Bet you didn’t know that !)   When you overeat a most uncomfortable feeling occurs whereby your stomach feels like it is going to explode and you wish you hadn’t eaten so much LOL.  I remember those days well.   My stomach holds approximately 8 ounces fully extended and because it now sits in between my lungs, not only is it very uncomfortable, it also makes breathing difficult.  I never knew how much air I ingested while I ate until my insides were rearranged.  When a person with insides in place eats and ingests air, the air goes into the stomach and moves around finding space with the food.  Because my stomach is literally a tube, the air has no place to go.  It gets trapped by food and the only way for me to get rid of it is to lay down and let the food fall to one side so that the air can make its escape back up.  This causes some embarrassing moments; but belching is the only way for me to get rid of the air that is trapped.  It also could cause a major problem by my food aspirating into my lungs  causing choking.  It wouldn’t be too bad if I could just let the air expell in it’s own time, but because of the way the new plumbing is set up, this isn’t possible; being too full causes breathing difficulty.  The air in my “stomach” trying to expand and trying to breathe by expanding my lungs and well, it gets to be really painful at times.

Additionally I have no way to tell if I am full until my food starts to “back up”.  It is always a dilemma whether to take that next bite or leave it.  And it always seems to happen when it is something really good that I am eating LOL.  In spite of myself  I am finally to a place where I can leave the last bite.  I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a home where you ate what you put on your plate.  I do have a new solution for this.  When I set the table now I put a smaller plate at my place.  It is the “salad or luncheon” plate that matches my dishes.  So far no one has noticed that my plate is smaller, except maybe Bosco and he isn’t saying anything because if he rats me out then no more food for him.  And I know, it is a bad habit to feed him at the table – but it the only way I can clean my plate sometimes, even the smaller one.

Eating in front of company has  its own set of problems.  I am lucky in that most of my friends know what I have been through and still love me and put up with my little idiosyncrises.  Most are used to seeing me, at one time or another, get up from the table and head for the washroom, gasping for air – but those who have never had the “pleasure” tend to look a little dismayed when I have to bolt.  They also look perplexed when everyone around me continues on as though nothing is happening.  When I finally return someone will ask if I am ok and the table goes back to doing whatever it was doing before I left. 

I used to live to eat, but now I eat to live. It is a far cry from the days when my plate held a little bit of everything that was on the table.  I now have to pick and  choose what I am going to eat at any given meal.  Food was my comfort zone, my friend.  All-you-can-eat buffets lost money when I was there.  Now, they smile with glee, knowing that they will at least show a little bit of profit from mytable.   I have come to the conclusion that I could be very happy living on fruit and vegetables, but I know that I need protein so I try.  But in all honesty, meat holds no allure for me anymore really, it is very easy to pass up on that steak and reach for the salad instead.  And  I rarely eat dessert anymore, by the time I am finished my main course there is no room for anything else.  However, I have been known, from time to time, to scarf down my dessert before dinner, but it has to be something that I am craving…lemon merangue pie will do that, as will anything with coconut. 

I know that complaining is not going to change anything.  And I also know that I should just be glad that I am still here to complain.  I often joke that just once before I die I would like to be able to sit down for dinner, eat a piece of steak larger than a matchbook, more than 1/4 of a baked potatoe and a healthy amount of caesar salad.  However, should that happen I know that I am not long for this world.

For anyone who has ever suffered eating issues I feel your pain.  The only real eating issue I used to have was eating too much and eating the wrong foods.  These are still issues, but for different reasons.  But as I have said in the past, everyone has their burdens to bear and this is one of mine.