In the hours leading up to my departure to Edmonton for next-day surgery, I found myself restless. Goodness knows there were lots of things I could or should have been doing to make my post-surgery life easier.
I could have been preparing for the bizarre diet I’ll need to follow post-surgery. During the pre-admission clinic I met with a dietician. Her lucky job was to break the news to me that for two weeks after the operation I would essentially be on a liquid diet. She handed me a tip sheet on how to get enough calories and nutrients from the Canada Food Guide four categories. The catch is, it all has to be thin enough to easily go through a straw. But using a straw itself isn’t allowed because you could suck in too much air.
That means that while the family is eating an Easter feast I’ll be pureeing?what, ham, cabbage rolls, and salad? I’m only being slightly facetious. I’ve stocked up on Ensure, Yop, baby food, and soups that still will all need to be thinned down.
The liquid diet is to be followed by four to six weeks on a soft diet. Think ultra-soggy Rice Krispies, bananas, ice cream, poached eggs. In general, the list of ?Choose? items is shorter than the ?Not Well Tolerated? list. Avoid anything hard, crispy, crunchy, raw, nutty, chewy, gas-causing, acidic, spicy, or deep-fried. Other than that, go ahead . . . knock yourself out.
The good news is that apparently people lose weight on this regime. (Really?)
But today, instead of getting my food in order I’m pacing and trying to put my office back together. This need to tidy up, purge papers, and beautify the space by hanging pictures reminds me of the nesting instinct pregnant women experience as they count down to baby’s arrival. You’re not quite sure what to do with the nervous energy, so you putz.
In either scenario you don’t know what to expect post-event. Will you come through the delivery/surgery well, or will there be complications? How will you cope with the new reality, whether It’s a sweet bundle of joy or a crying machine? How will you cope with the pain management and restricted activity following laparoscopic surgery? Better than the old days of open surgeries, heavy-duty anesthetic, week-long hospital stays, and six inch scars prone to infection, of course. What will your state of mind and energy level be like?
You want the place to be nice and clean if visitors come. You want to pace yourself and allow enough time and energy for only the important things, like nurturing baby or getting well. It’s time to be smart.
In our almost-done renovation state I’m settling for good enough: a new feather pillow, clean bedding, some degree of order to the chaos. Maybe I’ll have time to actually read something longer than a magazine article. Or restart Netflix. Maybe I’ll have the wherewithal to finish what I can’t get to today: stacks of papers and file folders of ?really important stuff.?
A good wife would be preparing meals for her long-suffering husband, who won’t be on a liquid diet. Guess I’m not that good, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.