In the past week, I’ve touched on all the negatives of my post-op condition.
There are a few positives, though. Some I was expecting, such as dropping some weight. Others, I was not, such as my body’s reaction to food.
The return to eating solid food has been an incredibly slow process. Not only do I still have some pain in my throat, I also am unable to open my mouth all the way, my jaws get incredibly tired from chewing, and because I’ve been “choke-swallowing” (a term the ENT used), I really have to focus on swallowing properly so nothing gets stuck. Additionally, my stomach’s capacity has definitely reduced in size, from not being utilized.
While it is incredibly frustrating (because after a week of Gatorade and applesauce, I would love nothing more than to fall face first into a platter of very unhealthy cheese fries), I am choosing to see this as an opportunity to restructure my relationship with food. It’s extremely difficult to hit the reset button on things like eating, so when chances like this come up, where one has a little extra “help”, it seems foolish to not take advantage.
Since consuming food has become such an exhausting endeavor, I am absolutely no longer tempted to have snacks. Not only am I not particularly hungry for them, but the effort required makes it seem not worthwhile. For some reason, my cravings have been for fresh fruits (especially watermelon), so if I can manage a little extra eating, I head straight for the fruit.
Another change is that I have been choosing my meals more carefully. Because my portions are much smaller and more infrequent, I need to pack in as much punch as possible. We’ve been eating out quite a bit because we have family visiting and I’m not up to cooking huge meals, and I find myself choosing and focusing on proteins more than carbs and side dishes. I’ve never been much of a meat eater, but I’m acquiring a little bit of a taste for the stuff. I’ve been able to eat some blackened mahi, soft pulled pork and cut up hamburger patties, all of which have given me energy and filled me up. While pastas and breads are soft and easier for me to chew, I am still having some difficulty swallowing them successfully, so I haven’t had much of a taste for them.
The one thing I really want is a big, fresh salad, with lots of veggies, but I’m kind of scared the lettuce will get stuck going down, so it will be a little while before I attempt that particular challenge. Soon, though. Soon.
I still have about a week before I can start seriously exercising again, which I admit, is stressing me out in the calorie-burning department. I had to order some new clothes since I have a lot of things that are starting to fall off me, and I’d like to continue in that direction. It will be easier once I can get going on some workouts.
It hasn’t been easy, but I am glad for the chance to get my eating habits back on track. The tonsillectomy, while frustrating in many way, has given me the ability to sit back and reevaluate the way I see what I am putting in my mouth and what I am using to fuel my body. Don’t get me wrong. I still have a date with those cheese fries at some time in the not-so-distant future, but they will definitely be a one-off.
Do you try to make the best of not-so-great situations?
Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?