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Diet after surgery; soft food for 4 weeks

Lars
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

I guess I did not say much about the surgery I had on July 30, but it was bariatric surgery to remove part of my stomach, as I was having trouble with weight control. Anyway, it has been almost two weeks now, and I have been on a liquid diet for this time, which has gotten very old and boring. I am sick of the flavors of protein shakes and protein powders, but I get to start a soft food diet on Monday. I can have cottage cheese, yogurt, soft fish, scrambled eggs, pureed fruit, pureed beans, and in generally foods that are soft or chewed easily, like baby food, which I will not be buying. I can cook vegetables but I will have to puree them before eating them. I also am not to have any liquids 15 minutes before food and no liquids 30 minutes afterwards. Kcal goal is 600-800 per day, and I believe the protein goal is about 95g per day. I still have to drink protein shakes three times a day, but smaller amounts. I had a follow-up appointment with the doctors on Thurs and Friday, and I seem to be doing okay. The only complication was from my bladder, but that is now being controlled with a drug I take each evening. The urologist told me that the problem came from the trauma I experienced at the hospital (I won't go into the details of that) and that I should be fine again in a few weeks.

Kevin is going on a liquid diet tomorrow in preparation for his surgery, and I believe the prep will be the same as for his colonoscopies. His surgery will be more complicated than mine, but I was kept a day longer than expected, and I was not happy about that. I think I will be able to pick him up at Cedars-Sinai Hospital on Thursday, if all goes well. I had to go to UCLA Medical Center, Ronald Reagan Hospital, and the problem with that is that it is also a teaching facility, and so there are generally students around observing, and in my case, they offered inappropriate and inaccurate advice. However, I knew better than to listen to them, but I did have a panic attack while there, partly because of what some of the students told me. This got very well documented, and everyone knew about it.

Any suggestions for my four week soft food diet? How do I know how much protein I am getting from foods? I have a small book that lists calories, but I'm not sure to know about protein. They say that if I do not get enough protein, I could experience hair loss, but that has not happened so far, as I have been diligent in proportioning the protein shakes and protein powders, but I will be weaning off of those shortly.

ETA: Houzz suggested that I include the Appliance forum on this! That makes no sense to me.

Comments (55)

  • nancyjane_gardener
    2 years ago

    First of all, teaching hospitals are usually great because the residents are closely monitored by the teaching physicians. (My FIL was a well renowned neurosurgeon in the LA area)

    Second, if you had weight loss surgery, they didn't give you a website or list of foods that were acceptable? I think Kaiser would have a whole cooking site for something like this!

    Lastly soups soups soups! Lentil and bean soups for protein plenty of veges. Also, after some oral surgery I did a lot of scrambled eggs with over cooked veges to pretend I was eating something solid.

    And then there are the smoothies (Meah)

    Nancy

    Lars thanked nancyjane_gardener
  • Olychick
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I love myfitnesspal,.com to track food intake. you type in the food and it will find entries that match. It then keeps track of many different things: protein, carbs, fats, sodium, etc. When you select a food, say you type in Hard Boiled Egg, you get a list of entries to choose from. Choose one the closest to your food and it will give you a button that says "Add to Food Diary" and you choose which meal. Right below that it says "Nutritional information" and you can click on that to see what it contains. But if you select it, it goes onto a chart that gives you totals for the day, per meal, per food. myfitnesspal,.com

    Lars thanked Olychick
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  • mamapinky0
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    I can't advise except to say my brother had this surgery. Talk to the doctor before eating beans or other gasy foods. My brother wa s referred to a nutritionist who helped him with food planning and prep requirements.

    My best to you for a speedy recovery and for Kevin also.

    Lars thanked mamapinky0
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    First of all, I've never been to the appliances forum, and so that could not have been the reason!

    For the next four weeks all my food must be soft, like baby food, and so anything that is pureed and then cooked again would be too hard. I've been on smoothies for the past two weeks, and so I'm pretty sick of those, but I have to keep drinking them. At least they do make me feel full.

    I just started some soup a couple of days ago - a very water lentil soup that I added protein powder to. It tasted sort of okay, but I decided to get some more protein powders to try to find some with better flavors, and that is not easy. I started with TJ's Soy Protein Powder (unflavored), and that is not bad, but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth. I then asked Kevin to get me some whey protein powder because I knew it has a higher percentage of protein to calories, and he bought chocolate flavor by accident, and that won't work with everything. Plus I am getting very tired of chocolate and vanilla. Today we bought some more protein powder -a pea protein at TJ's that I haven't tried, and a vanilla whey one at CVS that actually tastes good just dissolved in water, but I don't know how it will work in recipes. I also bought some Metamucil, and it tastes terrible, but my father used to take it every day. I think I may take small amounts during the day - it is supposed to help prevent hunger pains, although that has not been a problem since my surgery.

    Tonight I made split pea soup for Kevin and me, since he needs to go on a liquid diet tomorrow. I added more water and some unflavored protein powder to mine because I want to make sure I am getting enough protein, and I cannot tell how many calories and how much protein is in the soup I made. The soup had dried peas, chicken broth, celery (quite a bit), onion, and carrot. I used my Swiss pull-chop to mince the carrot, onion, and celery, and it did a great job. I generally grate the carrot for lentil soup, but this was easier. I have a fair amount left over that I can dilute and drink for meals later, and it tasted okay. I put a very small amount of my Habanero hot sauce in it, and I think I could have put a bit more.

    Oly, the MyFitnessPal will not really work for me because I am consuming many fewer calories, and my weight loss over the past two weeks has been more than 15 pounds. MyFitnessPal said my goal should be 2 pounds per week, but I will be losing a lot more than that. I did find a good app for my tablet, however, although I seldom use my tablet. I only bought the tablet because it keeps track of my use of my elliptical machine.

    Good to know that other men have had bladder problems after surgery that went away afterwards. That's what my urologist has said he expects to happen for me, and I think he is right.

    Cauliflower was recommended by one of the nutritionists at UCLA, and I did buy several packages of frozen vegetables at TJ's today. Normally I buy fresh vegetables at the Farmers' Markets, but I need the convenience of the frozen ones. This way I can just defrost what I need for a meal, and the puree it, as I am not supposed to eat anything that I have to chew for the next four weeks. I think I'm going to start putting more spices in the food, however, and the nutritionist told me that this was okay. However, not all nutritionists agree, and some very young ones at the hospital who spoke with me just before I was discharged did not seem very knowledgeable at all. I asked them if I could put a teaspoon of Amaretto in my protein shake to improve the flavor, and they said "No, because it has alcohol, but you can use vanilla extract." They had no idea that vanilla extract contained alcohol, and so I am continuing to put small amounts of liqueurs in my protein drinks when they need it. It doesn't amount to a significant amount of alcohol - they were worried about the extra calories, but so far I'm doing okay with calories, it seems.

  • Susan Tencza
    2 years ago

    My ex had gastric bypass. He found his tastes changed a bit but more than anything else is talk to others and find a support group. When he went to them he did great, when he stopped he got trouble. For food, his favorite became tomato soup that I slipped protein powder into. He didn't like the taste of the protein drinks. There are several cookbooks that have breakdown of protein, fat, salt etc.

    Part of the restriction for those asking about drinks and the time limits, the surgery makes the stomach about the size of a fist. Most of the soft stretchy tissue is disconnected from the tougher upper portion. Drinking fluids with a meal takes up room in the pouch and an individual feels full without getting the needed food.

    From the exp I had with my ex and the folks I met when I went to the support groups with him I would suggest keeping a food diary for about 6 months. Some of the people experienced "dumping" where some foods they had loved caused issues for them. One we nicknamed "doughnut" because doughnuts had been her favorite and she now had issues with them. Another woman had issues with cabbage . . . my ex had no issues with anything. Except he got drunk FAST . . that was a whole new issue!

    Regarding hair loss, ask about biotin and zinc, I know there are suggested restrictions on how long to take zinc, but don't remember exactly . . but you take it for a bit, take a break then take it again. It is supposed to do wonders for hair and nail strength.

    Most of all be nice to yourself, the pounds will shed and you will feel so much better. Oh, and don't go crazy getting new clothes . . you will be transitioning so fast through sizes that they will not wear out!

    Lars thanked Susan Tencza
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I have plenty of smaller clothes that I never got rid of, and so I won't be buying anything new for a while. At some point, I may alter some of my large clothes to fit me better, if I think they are worth it. At this point, some of the clothes may look too young for me, but I'll find a way to deal with that.

    A support group sounds good. I'm seeing my regular doctor on Thurs of next week and my urologist the next day. I'll ask my doctor about support groups.

    Here's the UCLA post-op guideline. Some of it is still a bit difficult for me to figure out how to determine whether I am getting what I am supposed to or not. I'm still in stage II but will start stage III on Monday, and this is where it gets more complicated.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    2 years ago

    That is a brave thing to experience. Anything DR/hospital gives me anxiety. Hope this gives some relief. Extra weight can feel like pulling a trailer. Hard on joints and difficult to get the needed exercise.

    Not familiar with the recovery diet but makes sense to keep meals soft and in small quantities...and more often like once an hour. I can understand how that would be hard to track. Especially fresh foods over a purchased container.

    I do like my raw/fresh veg/fruit juices. I have a dedicated shelf in the upright freezer door for my juice mixes. Holds a double row of about 20. Basically a very veggie V8.

    I used to stock the Knudsen brand veg. Now I make my own. All a bit different. I can tell by the color what mix it is.

    Lars thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    2 years ago

    Lars, hope you and Kevin will be back to enjoying normal life again soon.

    Food- LA is great. Look up Chinese and Asian restaurants. congee (porridge) dishes are very popular and there are many selections. Also, tofu dishes and rice noodle dishes.

    I guess risotto is similar to congee.

    dcarch

    Lars thanked dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
  • sherri1058
    2 years ago

    Lars, I agree that myfitnesspal is a great app. I know that it tells you that you should be eating more, but you can just ignore that part because you are following your doctor's instructions. I think that the only thing that the app is not doing is predicting your weight 5 weeks from now. It's still tracking your calories, fat, protein, etc. (go to "My Home" and from there go to settings and you can choose which nutrients you want to track). If you go to the goals section you can set your own goals..... change your calorie intake, change the percentages to reflect the amount of protein that you need, etc. Might not be perfect, but it's good. I find the app very helpful because the data base is so extensive.

    Lars thanked sherri1058
  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    2 years ago

    Lars, I forgot to mention that one thing I like about that site is that it offers you a way to find foods with complementary amino acid profiles, which can help with getting your protein level up.

    Lars thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I do like the http://nutritiondata.self.com better than the Myfitnesspal.com, which I think I would like better if all the information were free like it is in the nutritiondata site. I do not want to pay $50 to upgrade the myfitnesspal to get the information I need, but otherwise it seems like a good tool.

    I'm going to try to keep a written record of everything I eat and record calories and protein (the two main concerns from the hospital reports), and eventually I may remember the numbers. I was a bit shocked to find out that the fish oil supplements I take have 30 calories each (I take two a day) and that one banana has 200 calories. When I am limited to 600-800 calories a day, those add up quickly. I'm trying to find more foods with fewer calories, and I think vegetables will help. I was told to avoid potatoes, but beets are okay.

    I'm taking supplements to keep my protein levels up, but they have quite a few calories also. I think the extra B vitamins are helping with my energy.

    I did buy tofu, but the noodles in Chinese and Japanese soups are probably a no-no at this time, even though I like them. I have a wide variety of them, and I think the bean noodles might be the best choice for noodles, and I'll avoid the rice, tapioca, and wheat noodles for now. I'll have to check on soba. I have soba flour in the freezer to make noodles.

  • Olychick
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I'm not sure what upgrade you think you need to pay for? Everything I ever needed for nutritional content of food is available for free on my fitness pal......and it keeps a running total for each meal and each day. But it doesn't really matter if you found another site you like. I'm just posting this to correct the impression others might get that this is not a free site. It's totally free:



    eta: just ignore their warnings that you aren't consuming enough calories. Set your goal and you can see if you reach it. I like that it tracks water intake and exercise calories, too.




    Lars thanked Olychick
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I may have been using myfitnesspal wrong, but when I tried to get certain information from it, that information was restricted to premium users. I'll look at it again. I do find nutritiondataself.com easier to use, at least for me, but it does not keep track of what I eat - I do that in my diary. I found some other apps on my tablet, but all quantities were in grams, and so I had to do some conversions. I wish the U.S. would switch to metric.

  • sherri1058
    2 years ago

    Lars, you must have extra jumbo sized bananas where you live! A medium sized banana (7 or 8 inches long) is only around 105 calories.

    I understand what you mean about converting between metric and imperial. It seems that everything I look at is imperial, and most times I want it in metric!

  • Olychick
    2 years ago

    When I'm searching in my fitnesspal for a particular food, I find many entries are metric, which is like trying to interpret Martian for my brain. But I just keep scrolling through all the hits for the food and eventually I will always find an imperial measurement.

    Like here, I searched for Peanut Butter and some of the listings are tblsp and some are in grams:

  • plllog
    2 years ago

    I'm sorry, Lars. I thought I'd seen you post in Appliances some time back. My mistake.

    Re the recooked purees, they shouldn't be baked hard, but if that's not soft enough, you can eat them as is (I used to love that kind of thing served cold), or mix in a little stock and heat in a microwave or skillet.

    Thanks to Susan for the explanation about liquids! If that's the reason, that they'll make you feel full, not that they shouldn't be in the foods, I'd like to suggest that you make a variety of reduced stocks in different flavors, and use them for all your cooking liquid. They work, cookingwise, as well as water and bring both flavor and a lot of protein and nutrients.

    I have used both whey and pea protein (unflavored) in cooking and baking, and I don't find that either give a bad flavor. Perhaps look in stores catering more to vegans than fitness wonks. The latter are trying to make the protein taste like candy in smoothies.

    Definitely up the spices. Turmeric is antiinflammatory, and makes meh soups and similar yummy, without being difficult on the guts the way hot peppers can be. Cumin and corriander can make things taste Mexican or Indian. Plus, herbs pack a lot of flavor when no other is present. Tarragon, basil, sage, etc.

    Lars thanked plllog
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I ordered someIsopure Whey Protein (unflavored), and I'll see how that goes. In the meantime, I do have four boxes of protein powder to go through, but I think I will use them all, since I will be on a special diet for some time.

    Thanks for the turmeric suggestion - maybe it will help with my arthritis pain. I'll add some of it to my soups individually - I don't want to add it to a whole batch.

  • plllog
    2 years ago

    While you're on a special diet is also a good time to eliminate nightshades, too. I had to cut them for other reasons, but when I had a treat with some tomato sauce, I had an instant inflammatory response. I want my tomatoes, peppers and eggplants! But I'm foregoing them for now because feeling better is worth it. Sigh.

    Lars thanked plllog
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I've already been putting pureed tomatoes in my soup, plus chilies, and they have not bothered me. I asked one of the dieticians about eating chilies, and she said that was fine. It may vary from person to person. I love eggplant, but I don't cook it all that often, but peeled it would qualify as soft food. I'm okay with giving up potatoes, however.

    I do know that I have slight allergies to wheat, corn, soy, barley, oats, and I think rye. Anyway, I know grains (and even soy) are not good for me, but I do seem to need some soy at this time, although I usually restrict the amount of that I eat. I had my doctor do food allergy tests on me at one time, and that is what he came up with. I am NOT allergic to dairy or eggs, and I had thought that those were the problem. I have been eating some watery oatmeal as part of my liquid diet (I have to puree it), and that is the only grain I have been eating lately.

  • ann_t
    2 years ago

    Lars, hope you get the results that you want from your surgery and that at some point you will be back to eating and joying real food. I know this diet can't be easy for you.

    Lars thanked ann_t
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I should be back to normal food in about four weeks from now, but I will still have to count calories and protein, and I have to cut down on carbs quite a bit. It will be a challenge for me, but I feel like I am up for it. For now, I am going to have to see how I like canned tuna and canned salmon, which I bought for convenience, and I had not bought these in over ten years, since it is so easy to get fresh seafood here.

    I've not been that good at keep calories down to 600 a day, but I have kept them under 800. I'm having to keep portion sizes extremely small - a serving of soup is supposed to be 2 Tbsp.

    The hospital has updated its recommendations, and so I am going to have to transcribe those into something that is easier for me to follow. They gave me a notebook that it is difficult to use - some pages are printed landscape and some are portrait, and this is a bit irritating. That's why I want to write everything down myself where I can access it more easily. It would also help if their nutritionists could agree with each other.

    I looked up bananas at some other sites, and they seem to list them at closer to 110 calories for medium large banana, and so I do agree that 200 is probably wrong.

  • Solsthumper
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Lars, you have received good advice thus far. I suppose the only advice I can give is to obliterate the word 'diet' from your vocabulary. Four weeks will go by fast. And while hair loss is a possibility, it will not be from lack of protein (sounds like you're getting enough). It will be from the physical trauma caused by the surgery itself.

    IF (and this is a big IF) it happens, it will be temporary. No need to worry.

    Stick to relatively healthy, but satisfying foods and you'll succeed in reaching your goal, without feeling emotionally drained or deprived.

    Best wishes for a quick recovery and a lifetime of good health and happiness!

    Sol

    Lars thanked Solsthumper
  • 2ManyDiversions
    2 years ago

    Lars, I just wanted to say I admire you a great deal for having this surgery – for yourself, your family, and those who love you and you love. My best friend had it a several months ago, and I now understand it’s a lifetime commitment and change. That’s huge, Lars, and for you to make that commitment is wonderful. I’d ask my friend what she ate during this phase of soft foods (and I also know you were on a highly restricted diet pre-op), but she’s cheated since the first day. She is also having problems with hair falling out as she is not eating healthily. I know you won’t allow that to happen; you are far too intelligent, and you are creative with cooking and foods, and enjoy diverse fare. I’m happy to hear you’ve been able to tolerate the foods you’ve tried. I think you might benefit from a support group with the right people.


    I hope your bladder problem can be eliminated soon. You and Kevin have remained in my thoughts since learning of Kevin’s diagnosis.


    Bravo, Lars : )


    Lars thanked 2ManyDiversions
  • plllog
    2 years ago

    Lars, if you're allergic to oats, have you considered legumes for a grain alternative?

    Lars thanked plllog
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I am supposed to limit legumes somewhat also, as they are considered high carbohydrate, but I already eat a wide variety of legumes. So far I've made lentil soup and split pea soup, but I have to water them down before I can eat them. Legumes tend to have a lot of calories for the amount of protein they provide, but I did buy some tofu. I'll continue to eat legumes, but it smaller quantities. I'm definitely not giving up hummus.

    I'm very good at staying on this diet so far - no cheating - except for the teaspoon of liqueur in my protein shake - and I've noticed absolutely no hair loss. In fact, I find less hair in my shower drain than usual. I think my surgery was done extremely well - I got the best surgeon at UCLA - and that may have helped.

  • plllog
    2 years ago

    I'm a bit confused...peas have more protein and fiber than oats, and a little less carb. Lentils have almost as many carbs, a little less fiber, and more protein than oats. But I get it if what you meant is you're eating the peas and that's sufficient. I'm just concerned about your allergy. Just a little inflammation, which may not even be noticeable in the large scheme of things, could hinder your healing, though it sounds like you're doing excellently well. Maybe add protein and fiber to your eggs or cottage cheese and give up the grain?

    Lars thanked plllog
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I am adding protein powder to most of my food, although I won't add it to fish, eggs, or yogurt. I will be able to increase my vegetable intake soon, and so far I have not been getting enough fiber.

    Regarding myfitnesspal.com - I tried that again because my elliptical machine says that it can share my workout history/data with that site, but in fact it will not. I even put the myfitnesspal app back on my tablet, and it still still not receive info from AFG, even though the AFG site says that it will and so does the AFG tablet app. I did update my profile on myfitnesspal, but I doubt I will use that site much. The app on the tablet is particularly bad, but the one on the PC is not so annoying. It might work better on Apple products, of which I have none and will never have.

  • sheilajoyce_gw
    2 years ago

    Lars, how about a crustless Swiss cheese quiche made in muffin cups for serving control? You could add vegetable purees as well. They save well for later meals. I used to bake a custard with sweetener in individual servings for breakfast when I was on Weight Watchers. How about a cauliflower cream soup with melted cheese--Velveeta would melt well or try a cheddar.

    Lars thanked sheilajoyce_gw
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I will have to see about what kinds of cheese I will be able to eat, but there will be none for the next four weeks except for cottage cheese or ricotta. I have some Marscapone cheese in the fridge, but it might have too much fat.

    I might try the crustless quiche idea but more in the form of an omelet, as I do not mind cooking an individual one - I have special pans for single omelets that are non-stick. I'm probably not going to put cheese in them for a while, but I could put pureed vegetables.

    Kevin's surgeon just called me, and the news was not good. They were able to remove all the cancer without the need for chemo, but they also had to remove part of his sphincter, and so now he will have a permanent colostomy bag for the rest of his life. I was hoping this would not be necessary, but we did know that it was a possibility. The surgeon told me that they did everything they could to prevent this, but the location of the cancer made it impossible. The other alternative would have put him at risk of cancer returning in the near future, and they decided that it was better to get rid of the cancer than risk having it return. I am very saddened by this, and I cannot imagine how Kevin is feeling, but I might get to talk with him tomorrow. He will be in the hospital for five days, and when he gets home, there will be a nurse to check in on him every day for two weeks. I am wondering if I should take another week off from work next week to help him. I don't know what kind of condition he will be in when he returns. I told people at work that I might have to take that week off as well, possibly for my own recovery, and so they are prepared for that. The doctor did say that he should be able to have a fairly normal life after recovery and that he will be able to go swimming, bike riding, and hiking. However, I am still almost in tears over this news.

    The hospital has called me twice already, thinking that I was at the hospital trying to visit Kevin. I was planning to visit him on Wednesday, as I think he will need Tuesday to be more relaxing. I'll wait for him to call me, and if he wants me to visit, I can go there. It's only about half an hour from here, depending on traffic - about 20 minutes with no traffic (8 miles).

  • plllog
    2 years ago

    Hugs to Kevin, and to you.

    Lars thanked plllog
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I'm really not sure what to do next. I sent messages to two of the contacts that he left with me - it was too late to call them, and he did not give me their email addresses. I hate texting and only do it in emergencies.

    I think I will try to cheer him up with talk about a trip to Greece next year - maybe in May. I want to visit Annie in Michigan in July or August, but I think we can swing both trips. Maybe we will postpone Greece and go to Cozumel or Belize in March for his birthday. I think he should be recovered enough by then. Or maybe a trip to Tikal. I was talking with him about that two days ago. I've only been to Tikal once and would like to go back. Not sure how Guatemala is these days, but they were at war when I went in 1978 and it was not a problem for me. Flores, near Tikal, has an airport, and we could stay there for a few days and then maybe see other places in Guatemala/Belize. I'm not sure how he will feel about going in the ocean again, and I'm glad we went to Fiji when we did. Maybe Kevin will want to go somewhere else in March for his birthday - I'll let him decide, but I think that having him think about it will lift his spirits.

  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I was up until 6:00am last night, grieving, I guess, and so I did not get up today until 1:00PM, which made it too late for me to visit Kevin today, but I am going to see him tomorrow. I talked with him and he agreed that tomorrow would be a better day, and it will be more in the middle of his stay. I don't know if he will want me to visit Thursday as well, but he said that Wednesday would be good. I contacted friends of his at work and a couple of them will visit him.

    I was unaware of your mobility issues, but I do understand that people can adjust to hardship conditions and try to make the best of it.

    I must go now to do some errands. Thanks for your lovely and caring thoughts - it means a lot to me.

  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    2 years ago

    Oh, Lars, I'm so sorry. Hugs to both of you.

    Lars thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • ann_t
    2 years ago

    Lars, well that sucks. Life changing. Thank goodness Kevin has you and you him.

    Sending hugs to both of you.

    Lars thanked ann_t
  • annie1992
    2 years ago

    Lars, we've already "spoken" via email, but I just wanted to remind you that I'm here in any way I can be, even if you just want someone to "vent" at. I'll keep looking forward to the time when you and Kevin can visit, and send hugs to both of you.

    Annie

    Lars thanked annie1992
  • Compumom
    2 years ago

    Oh Lars, my heart aches for Kevin. This is a lousy blow, but with moral support, he can do ok. Our daughter's orthodontist had a colostomy and he lived a pretty full life. We never knew that he was wearing a bag, there was no outer sign. My cousin also has to wear one. He had to have a colostomy due to terrible scarring from radiation for a tumor into his abdomen when he was a baby.

    Hugs to you both!

    Lars thanked Compumom
  • cathyinpa
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Thinking of you both, Lars -- that you find the strength/right words to support Kevin, that you give yourself grace to grieve, and that you sense comfort from all those who are thinking about you. And there are a lot. Please remember to care for yourself too as you continue your recovery.

    CathyinSWPA

    Lars thanked cathyinpa
  • kgc6058
    2 years ago

    Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory food, but is better absorbed in supplement form.This article may help give you more info about using turmeric in your soup versus a supplement.

    Lars thanked kgc6058
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I went to see Kevin today at Cedars, and I got a bit lost trying to find the parking lot I used before. He told me he was in the South Tower, but there are only two towers, and one is due west of the other, and so I'm not sure how they came up with the names. He's on the 8th floor (top) and has a deluxe room with closet, dining table with chairs, sofa, and his own bathroom. I asked how he ended up with such a nice room, and they told me that this was what was available. I had told our sister to send Kevin flowers, and they arrived while I was there, and so I told Kevin to text her to let her know that he got them. They really help the room, and I think it shows the nurses that people care about him. I only took him his phone/tablet stylus plus some lip balm, which is what he asked for. I felt very sad leaving the hospital, and I'm still having moment when I have to cry, but I tried to be cheerful during the visit.

    Kevin did not look at all well, and he told me that his surgery took 10 hours, and so it's good that they got started two hours earlier than originally planned. My surgery was a 8:00AM and took very little time at all - less than two hours, I think. Kevin is going to take a long time to heal. I went for a short walk with him while there, and it was not easy for him at all. I think they might release him on Friday, but he might have to stay until Saturday. Check-out time is 11:00am. I also took a look at foods that he should and should not eat - some have the possibility of creating gas, but that can be dealt with, and they are the foods that we each the most, such a broccoli, spinach, beans, and a bunch of other vegetables. It's going to be tricky coordinating our diets, as they will be quite different. I'll try to see how much overlap there will be. It's going to be difficult when he returns, as I think he will be rather helpless at first, and so I'm taking more time off from work. I'm going to try to get some of my work done at home, as I have a CAD program on my computer here.

    I can start my soft food diet today, but I haven't yet. I'll post the recommendations later, after I transcribe them from my notebook. It will be my diet for the next four weeks.

    I'll ask my doctor and nutritionist about turmeric supplements. In the meantime, I have a huge jar of turmeric powder, and I might as well use that first. I know that with yucca root, the opposite is true from fresh to extract. Fresh yucca root relieved my pain from tendonitis within one hour of eating it, but the capsules did nothing.

    I'd like to find some turmeric plants to grow, as they make nice flowers. The fresh (or not so fresh) roots that I've bought never grew.

    ETA: I just got a text message from Kevin: He said that his doctor told him that he is distended and won't be able to go home until this week-end, and I am thinking it might be Sunday. I will try to visit him again on Friday, if he will be there until Sunday. I'm sorry I missed seeing his doctor.

  • plllog
    2 years ago

    Re East and West, The coast faces SW-ish on the compass, though there are also south facing beaches. By convention, however, the beach is "West". If you orient by the sun in that area, you can get mightily confused, but it's likely that the buildings are either named for their street grid directionals, or their compass/sun line directions, and nobody thought to notice if those didn't match up. Either that, or the South Tower is named after someone named South. :)

    It's a shame that your diets are so incompatible. Perhaps, if you have to make different things, you can at least find themes to tie the together so it seems more like one meal. I'm glad to hear that Kevin is walking, even if it's with difficulty. So much in the body works better if you can just walk, and it gives a feeling of normality. Many good wishes to both of you for your recoveries.

    Lars thanked plllog
  • sherri1058
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Lars, I am so sorry to read about Kevin's surgery. Please don't misunderstand me, I am not making light of it, especially since I know no one that has gone through the same thing, but it seems from what I've read that he should be able to lead quite a normal life.... and that is a blessing. Take good care of yourself. I know it has to be even more stressful for you, coming on the heels of your own surgery but you and Kevin have lots of support.... even if it's from some unknown "internet friend". Best wishes to you both for speedy recovery.

    Lars thanked sherri1058
  • nancyjane_gardener
    2 years ago

    I'm chiming in here late, but is there any possibility of getting a private nutritionist/cook for a month that can deal with both of your issues?

    Maybe someone who knows how to cook and freeze for several meals, so they can come for a week and freeze several meals for both of you?

    Lars thanked nancyjane_gardener
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I took another look at Cedars-Sinai map, and it appears that I was the one confused - the South Tower is south of the North Tower - no wonder I had trouble finding the parking lots and my car! I got completely turned around once I got to the Medical Center, and I should have taken the parking map with me.

    We could get a private nutritionist/cook to deal with our issues, but we decided that it would be cheaper for me not to work and to do this myself. I can take the time off and do some work at home. Also, I live 1.3 miles from where I work, and so I can go in quickly to do inspections of new furniture prototypes and take CAD files home with me to work on. My boss has agreed to be very accommodating.

    I've been collecting nutritional information for both of us, and I can get help through the websites for UCLA and Cedars-Sinai. I'm going to ask a lot of questions when Kevin gets discharged. I offered to go with Kevin's friend who will be picking him up (She has a comfortable SUV, whereas I have a tiny compact commuter car that Kevin said is too difficult to get into), and Kevin wants me to do this, mainly to listen to the discharge instructions, but I will also ask a lot of questions regarding nutrition and what he can and cannot eat. There will also be a nurse coming in 2-3 times a week for the next two weeks, and I can get information from her as well, I hope. I do not trust all nutritionists - some are good and some are not good at all, and I have found only one so far that I consider to be excellent. Her name is Annya and is at UCLA, and she is very good at responding to my message requests.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    2 years ago

    Well that just su*ks. The good and the bad hand-in-hand. Massively stressful on so many levels. Your home, your garden, your outdoor cooking paradise. Blessed for that! One baby step forward will be an emotional event daily. For some time. Seems your personal dietary restrictions will only help in researching his? Something will click I imagine for both of you. Good souls persevere. Still suc+s.

    I had such a petty work day and no one knows what we go through emotionally beyond that personally....so nice your work family understands.

    Lars thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I've been with the same company since 1989, and so we are very familiar with each other by now, but it was not like that in the beginning.

    When I first met my boss, I felt an instant rapport with her and felt like we were meant to be together. When I looked at her furniture, I thought to myself, "These are the exact same proportions I would use," and so I knew from the beginning that we had a compatible design style/sense. It took her a little longer than it did me to realize this, but once she did, she trusted me with all new designs.

    Kevin has some good friends at work, and a couple of the them live not too far from us. One has offered to help cook and help with grocery shopping, if necessary, but I think I am recovered enough by now to handle shopping. I just cannot get anything heavy yet, but that will come in due time.

    As for the garden, I will hire help probably in October. It would nice to have him sooner, but he is my friend in Sacramento, and I have to work with his schedule. I don't trust the local landscapers here. I could possibly find a good landscape architect here, but that would be expensive and more than we need right now, although I'll keep it in mind for the future. It depends on what we end up doing in Palm Springs. I think Kevin will be much happier when we can buy a second home in the Palm Springs area. We'll probably end up in Cathedral City (Palm Springs adjacent but not walking distance), and hopefully Cathedral Gulch. This won't start happening until next year, but it's something to look forward do that I think might help Kevin feel better.

    What is odd is that so many people ask us if we are twins, but I am 15 years (+3 weeks) older, and I think this must be very insulting to Kevin. First people ask us if we are brothers. Then they ask if we are twins. Then they ask which one is older, which is the worst question of all. I've afraid that Kevin is going to appear even older after this ordeal, but if he can have a week-end house in PS, then I think he won't mind so much. I don't know yet how I will look after my full recovery, but I am keeping plastic surgery as an option. I've had hospital technicians tell me that if you live in Los Angeles, then it is almost mandatory. When I had a bike accident that cut my forehead, they would not release me from St. Johns until I interviewed with a plastic surgeon. Back then (around 1996) I did not care about having a small scar or two on my forehead, and now it's barely visible anyway. If anything, what I can see of it makes me look more rugged, I think. I wear bike helmets now.

    Sorry for rambling - I'm having trouble sleeping some nights, and after just having seen Kevin, I am feeling even more anxious. I think I will be able to help him with most of what he needs, but he is very private and introverted and often likes to be by himself. I hope he will spend his alone time in the back yard instead of his bedroom, but for now, I know it is painful for him to sit in a chair, and I expect that to last for a while. I could see the evidence of the surgery that had been done, having to remove part (or all) of his sphincter, which I mentioned before but had not seen evidence of before. He's going to be on disability for about three months, I think, but since he has been paying disability insurance for many years, he will get paid pretty much his normal salary - from the insurance. However, they deduct Californian disability payments, as California is fairly generous with these payments, and so Kevin will have to apply for those as well - since the payments will be deducted whether he receives them or not. He cannot file for California disability until he gets out of the hospital, but I think he knows how to do this.

  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Here's my Stage III Diet, to last for three weeks instead of four. Then I will have stage IV that will last only one week:

    Diet to include scrambed eggs, low fat cottage cheesem pureed
    meats, tofu, tuna, soft fish, low fat Greek yogurt, bananas or pureed
    fruit, unsweetened applesauce canned fruit in water (rinsed), beans,
    squash, spinach, carrots (cooked), low fat soups

    Avoid anything with sugar NO ICE CREAM. No liquids 15 minutes before meals or 30 minutes afterwards.
    Continue to get 40-60 g protein from protein beverages - the rest from food. 95g total
    Kcal Goal: 600-800
    No more than 3/4 cup (6 oz) of food per meal
    1/2 cup food (4 oz) per snack

    Avoid regular texture foods for 6 weeks after surgery.

    SAMPLE MENU (83 g protein total)

    Breakfast: omelt w/ 1 TBS cottage cheese, 10g protein

    Snack: Protein shake 5 oz., 15 g protein

    Lunch: Tuna salad with Greek yogurt; 2 izm 14g protein

    pureed vegetable soup, 2 Tbsp

    Snack: Protein shake, 5 oz. 15g protein

    Dinner: Soft fish, 2 oz. 15 g protein

    mashed carrots 1 Tbsp

    Mashed unsweetened yams, 1 Tbsp

    Snack: Protein shake, 6 oz 15g protein

    Kcal goal 600-800(Sip, sip water (stop 15 min before meals/ start 30 min after meals).

  • plllog
    2 years ago

    That sounds doable. I learned how to make bijou meals a couple of years ago but I can't remember much. You didn't mention fats. I suppose they crowd out the essential protein. If you can digest them however, chopped liver might be a nice treat, or even ethically reared pâté de foie gras. You could probably use the iron since dark green leafies are the opposite of soft, if that's not too much fat, and it's meant to be eaten in small portions. Hm... A broccoli puree might not be bad... Cold asparagus soup made with concentrated chicken stock, maybe with cottage cheese instead of sour cream, for the protein, would be refreshing.

    I think the important thing, with whatever you choose, is to pack it with flavor to help make up for the monotonous texture.

    It might also be fun to experiment with foams and dusts if molecular gastronomy looks at all fun to you.

    Too funny about the map! People in that area really do get confused between their car's compass and the nominal street ordinals. :)

    The new house sounds like fun. Looking for it, designing it, etc. Great projects. And getting out to the desert regularly, if you can avoid traffic, should be healing in itself. I wouldn't worry too much about the "twins" thing. People are really really bad at guessing ages unless they're in the beauty business. In your pictures, even, the resemblance is very notable, and since you've been living together for so long as adults, you probably share a lot of facial expressions. I have not one feature in common with my mother. but people see a resemblance. Either they're wacky or there's a similarity of expression. Then I also knew girls who were "Irish twins" (less than a year apart) who had the same coloring, but otherwise looked very different, and one looked considerably older than the other, so people were surprised that they were in the same class and all. Ergo, if you look the same, you must be twins, even if not identical. If you look different, people are surprised you're related. Simple, if stupid.


    More good wishes you you and Kevin. Good luck with the garden.

    Lars thanked plllog
  • foodonastump
    2 years ago

    Hey Lars - I just talked to a friend who had amazing success with the surgery a few years ago. She didn’t have a ton of advice for this soft food stage (which she agreed gets old fast) but suggested protein shots over shakes. Specifically she took Probalance Protein Shot XL which had 28 grams in three ounces. First choice mango, second strawberry banana. :-)

    She also said she lived on Wendy’s Chili for a while which she liked so she didn’t get sick of.

    Not a ton of help there but I tried! Good luck to you and Kevin!

    Lars thanked foodonastump
  • Lars
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I have a bunch of protein powders now - I recently ordered a non-flavored whey protein, but it says that it is not for weight loss and it has no added ingredients, but I think it will work fine for protein boosting when I need it. I also have chocolate whey (highest in protein), vanilla whey protein, unflavored soy protein (still has a flavor), and pea protein, which I guess tastes a bit like peas.

    The Probalance Protein Shot XL look good, and at least they have more flavors than chocolate and vanilla, both of which I tire of quickly. I bought berry flavored Metamucil, and I don't like that, but I mix it with unsweetened cranberry juice plus a bit of Splenda, and then it is okay. I am supposed to limit any juice that is high sugar/carbohydrate, such as grape juice.

    I've been trying to make little puddings from my protein shakes, and I added 1 banana, 11.5 oz. drink, 1/4 Greek Yogurt, and 1 Tbsp chocolate liqueur plus two packages of gelatin, and it still will not set. Do I need to cook it first? I'm thinking of adding an egg and making a sort of crème anglaise. I can't add too much egg, and I need to use whole eggs.