Food list for Kevin

Lars

I got Kevin's food list from him today, and I will post it once I get is transcribed. Unfortunately, it is almost the opposite of mine, and so that will present some challenges. For example, his list includes white rice and white bread, which are verboten on my list, but I can have brown rice and whole wheat. I'm supposed to have cauliflower and vegetables in the cabbage family, but those are verboten for him, as they are supposed to increase gas. Anyway, I will write out a new list soon so that I can try to get some meals planned for us.


Kevin did not look good in the hospital today and his colostomy bag still is not yet working. They will not release him until that starts to work, and I do not know what that will involve. I had to leave him after visiting for two hours because I was about to cry, and I didn't want him to see that. I've also called other friends and asked them to call and/or visit him, but so far they have not called him. People from work have visited twice, and I go every other day and call him every day. I told our sister Karen that she needs to call him every day now, even though she is in pain from her knee replacement surgery.


A worker is coming at 4:30 today to install grab bars in both our bathrooms. I'm a bit weak myself after bariatric surgery, and Kevin cannot stand up by himself yet, but they are trying to get him to walk around the hospital. Fortunately, he had a deluxe room at Cedars-Sinai, top floor of the South Tower, and so having the nice views helps. On one side of the room the windows look south and a bit southeast (to see some of the Wilshire Corridor), and on the other side, you can see Century City, which he originally thought was downtown.


I've already bought him a new bathrobe and nice bath towel (both of which he needed), plus a teak shower stool and the grab bars will be in this afternoon. I watered his flowers today - no one else had been giving them any water, and a few had started to wilt, but the ones our sister sent were doing okay, but did need to have more water added to the vase.


It might be a while before I post Kevin's diet, as it will take me a while to write it all down, and I want to make a comparison of it with mine. It will probably depress me even more. It's hard for me to imagine what life is going to be like when he gets home. I'll have to see what help we can get - I don't know how much the nurse is going to do, but I do need some help with house cleaning, and so I'll search for that. I just wish more people would visit Kevin or at least call him. There's only so much I can do, especially since I am recuperating from bariatric surgery right now myself.

If you know anything about post colostomy bag diet, please let me know. There is not a cookbook for this.

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agmss15

Lars - it sounds like you have a lot going on right now. I hope you find the help you need for yourself and your brother. Make sure you take care of yourself which can be hard when you are caregiving for a loved one.

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plllog

((((Hugs))))

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marcopolo5

I posted under your cookbook thread. Sorry, should have poted here. Hope some of what I wrote will help you.

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nancyjane_gardener

You might find some help on the NEXTDOOR site. At least there you will be dealing with local help, whether hired or free.

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maifleur01

Since you state that you feel weak you need to talk to the hospital social worker that has been assigned to your brother. From what you have written you may not be able to give your brother the care he needs right now no matter how much you want to. He may want to use the bathroom to urinate but if he is having problems standing he is in no shape to come to your home because if he started to fall you could not prevent it. Having taken care of my husband, 320 pounds there are normal things that need strength when caring for someone. Besides help walking can you carry a tray to him rather than him getting up and walking to a table right now?

It might be possible that the hospital he is in has a rehab unit that he could stay for a couple of days so that both of you have more time to heal.

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Lars

The hospital does have a rehab unit, and I will talk with him about this again. At first I thought he would be stronger, but that has not been the case. He might even like the rehab unit. Right now he is in a very private room (large), but if the door is left open, he can hear the man in the room next to him screaming at the nurses. That man, I think, is an old codger, but perhaps not that much different from me. I had to yell at some nurses myself, and I had good reason to.

Anyway, I'm behind schedule because the guy who was supposed to install the grab bars never showed up, and I called him twice - the second time he picked up and asked to reschedule. I said tomorrow at 10AM, and if he does not show up, I will hire someone else.

Kevin now thinks that he is going to be on disability longer than he expected, due to new issues that are cropping up. Fortunately, he has paid into the disability insurance long enough to get a full year's worth of benefits, but I don't think he will need more than four months - just hoping.

I am not supposed to lift anything over 5# for the next four weeks, and so I won't be enough help - I even need help myself carrying a grocery bag, but Kevin has a friend who has volunteered to help me go grocery shopping, if necessary. I might take her up on that next week-end. In the meantime, I have plenty in the garage freezer to hold me over. I can still go to Trader Joe's and get some more frozen vegetables, but I'm really also not supposed to be driving for another week - or until my doctor says I can. I will see him on Thursday. I plan to drive, but his office is in Pacific Palisades, and I can drive along the beach to get there. Unfortunately, beach traffic is heavy at this time of year.

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Islay Corbel

I'm sorry you're both having such a rough time. Take as much time as you can to recover.

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sooz

Lars, I'm going to put a card in the mail on Monday for Kevin. I don't know your last name, but I'm going to mail it to Kevin, patient recovering from surgery, Cedars-Sinai, Top Floor, South Tower, (I'd look up the street address for Cedars-Sinai of course) unless you see this and don't mind listing Kevin's room number (or your last names). If this is something you'd rather I not do, please let me know and I'll respect that and just keep him (and you) in my thoughts & prayers!

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laceyvail 6A, WV

Oh, Lars, so sorry to hear about all the health issues. I do hope it resolves well for both you and Kevin.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Is the colostomy bag temporary or permanent? My ex had one for 8 weeks while he recovered from his (overly complicated) colon cancer surgery but there was no special diet - that I remember - that was associated with it. Although I believe there were some general instructions to focus on softer, easy to digest foods. I'm sorry not be more helpful in this regard but this was more than 20 years ago now and I do not remember all the details well. And things have likely gotten more refined and specialized over the years.

I do wish you both all the best and to take things slow and easy. It takes a lot of time and patience to recover from major surgeries like this so take advantage of whatever household and personal help you can muster or afford to hire.

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marcopolo5

Lars , Had another thought to share. Have to try to buy the gel tab form of whatever OTC medicine Kevin will use. Ask if given a script if it comes in gel cap or can it be cut in half so it will disolve. Pills that have a hard covering do not stay in the digestive tract long enough to break down, they pass through whole. It is like you never took it. Antibiotic is usually a problem

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Lars

Sooz, that is so sweet of you. Kevin's address is

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
South Tower, room #8915
8700 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Attn: Kevin

Since you are in SoCal, he should get your card. Earliest expected release at this point is Wednesday, and it might be Thursday.

Kevin's colostomy bag will be permanent, and they are going to put him on a special diet, which will probably change from week to week like mine, and so I'll have to look at what the hospital tells me. I brought home some printed information about his diet, but I just haven't gotten around to reading it. I have to be in the right mood or frame of mind.

I'll ask about the gel form of the medicine. For my surgery, they told me to use chewable vitamins or ones in capsules (not tablets), but then I asked the doctor and nutritionist, and they both said that I could take tablets. For some of the things I'm taking, it is difficult to find gels or capsules.

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sooz

Thanks, Lars! Got the info and card will be in the mail tomorrow morning!

Let me know if you'd like to have me ask my little group of card-making friends to send Kevin a card as well (and let me know if *you* would appreciate some cards as well!).

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Lars

Send me a message here, and I will send you my home address. At this point, Kevin will appreciate getting cards at home, since he will be recuperating for several months.

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sooz

Here's my "extra" email address in case publishing my *regular* email online goes south -- just get rid of all the spaces and put it all on one line! Let me know when you send me an email and I'll look for it.

fabric

gal

@

rocket

mail

.com

The card-crafting group is a small-ish group, and I login with a password to access the message board. I've been a member on and off (depending on my work schedule) for about 15 years, maybe more. Would it be okay if I included your and Kevin's home address on that site so people can send cards directly, or would you prefer not?

Thanks!

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Lars

I sent your our home address and really appreciate your concern and thoughtfulness. Go ahead and post our home address on the site you mentioned - our address is not a secret, and you can even find it on facebook, I think.

I have to craft a birthday card for our sister, whose birthday is Aug 30, and I told her not to expect a present on time this year, and she was very understanding.

BTW, here is Kevin's email: (also remove spaces)
manley_childe @ yahoo . com

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sooz

Thanks, Lars! BTW, my cards are humble little things and nothing too fancy like card artists might make (I think you might be a card artist!!) <grin>

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Lars

Shower stool arrived today, and I guess I will try to assemble it this afternoon. I want to try to clean the bathtubs and bathrooms after having the grab bars installed, but I might now have enough strength for that yet. I don't want to put a new stool in an unclean bathtub, and I think Kevin will like having his bathroom floor cleaned. I use a steam mop (plus a bit of Oxyclean), and so it does not take much effort. I will not be scrubbing any grout. We can hire someone to do that later. The person who installed the grab bars says that his mother has a cleaning service and has a staff of four to help her, as she is in her 70s. However, he did tell me that I would need to speak Spanish with her, which won't be a problem for me, I think she will also speak some English. He wrote down her phone number. She has no cards, and so I have no way of checking her references. I don't know whether it is better to have one person or four people cleaning the house at one time. Diego said his mother could clean my house (i.e., floors, bathrooms, and kitchen) in one hour, and her rate is $80 per hour. I may need to keep looking. I'll ask on Nextdoor.

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Olychick

$20 an hour for 4 -5 people is a good rate and how wonderful to have it all done in and hour!

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writersblock (9b/10a)

What Olychick said. Let them come and do it this time and that's one less thing to deal with yourself. You need to slack off and let yourself rest as much as you can--the stress of all this is more than enough to deal with in your condition, Lars.

If they aren't great, then go to Nextdoor and try again next time, but for now, just let them do it and forget about it.

For a while my parents had a whole family that worked as a cleaning crew and they were phenomenal and fast.

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Lars

I found someone on Nextdoor who said she would charge only $15 an hour, and she lives in North Ladera Heights. Ladera Heights is a very upscale black neighborhood not far from here (known as the Black Beverly Hills), but I know nothing about North Ladera Heights. Still, I think it is worth giving her a try, since the price is so low, and I don't think we need that much anyway. We might end up liking her a lot and want to hire her again. She sounded nice on the phone, but I think she is retired and might be a bit slow. Still, at $15 an hour, that would not really be a problem. It might be nice to have her come in to check on Kevin when I am not available. Anyway, if we hire her a couple of times, it won't be much money spent, and if it doesn't work out, we can keep looking. I think that in four weeks I can do all the housework myself, but in the meantime, I do think I will need some help taking care of Kevin.

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writersblock (9b/10a)

Great! I'm glad you got that resolved, at least for now. And all the better if she can check on Kevin for you.

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Olychick

I hope the person you found on ND is someone recommended by others on ND and not just some random stranger who says she will work for $15 an hour. I'd be less worried about the work than I would be opening my home to someone I didn't know anything about or who was not recommended by others. Being on ND doesn't assure someone is honest or mentally stable, etc. I do hope she works out well for you.

I hired a young man, previously unknown to me, from ND for some yard work and he was wonderful, between more lucrative jobs. But he did post his real name and I checked him out on FB and found he was friends with some people I knew and his FB page was very normal, pics of him and girlfriend traveling, etc. Since he was known in my circle, I felt comfortable meeting with him and he was an angel. I hope you have a similar experience.

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sheilajoyce_gw

Lars, give Nextdoor time to reply with several comments. Then look into the person(s) who have more than one glowing recommendation.

I had to cook for a family of 5 with food allergies. In my dreams, I could make one meal which would avoid peanuts, dairy, and poultry. Impossible at times. So I found I did have to make double meals often. My recommendation to you is to be sure that you have quite a few small pots and pans. For example, if you are making a meal to serve over rice, you would want to cook both kinds of rice, possibly in smaller batches, so two small covered pots would be ideal. Or you could make a stir fry with shredded cabbage for you and with bean sprouts as a substitute for him. Take it one day at a time, and it will not seem so overwhelming.

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bragu_DSM 5

Thinking of you guys every day ...

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Compumom

Lars, I want to echo everyone's good wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery for both of you. I try and be helpful, but I'm really out of my element with your situation. Other's have offered such good advice, I know that you will benefit from their experiences.

I also want to agree that you shouldn't hire one person who is slow. Better you should hire someone who is vetted by a few people on Next Door or better yet, maybe a crew who can come in and get it one and done.

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Olychick

To expand on sheilajoyces's hints about rice...TJ's has the greatest precooked frozen rice, both organic brown and jasmine I believe. It seemed wasteful to me at first, but I cook so little rice it's just perfect to keep in the freezer and use what I need. Instead of cooking the whole package, I just put what I want in a glass dish with a glass cover and a tiny bit of water and heat it for a little less than what the package says. Very quick though. My food coop also carries precooked shelf stable packages of rice, both brown and white organic - it seems to me TJ's used to have something similar, maybe still does. One or two serving size available.

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annie1992

Lars, I'm sorry I was all tied up with Ashley and didn't get back to this. I'll also be sending a card to Kevin, but not a crafted one, it'll have to be store bought, I'm so not crafty.

I agree with getting some of the pre-made foods, it'll help keep your stress level down while you are adapting to new diets for both of you. It won't be as good as yours, of course, but at this point it's necessary, I think.

I've never hired anyone to clean my house, so I'm not going to be any help there, except that my stepdaughter had a house cleaning business with her mother at one time. When she told me all the things she didn't do, I realized that I'd never be happy with someone else cleaning my house anyway. Just be realistic and realize that they probably won't do things the way you'd do them yourself, but it will be good enough for now.

Hugs to you and to Kevin.

Annie


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lindac92

Wow....get busy with house guests and all hell breaks loose.....so sorry to hear about the health problems!
As for cleaning help....I will take a helper who works slowly and charges accordingly than one who works fast and charges a lot. I have having someone banging things around...much rather have someone working slowly and carefully.


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Lars

I think I can tell quite a bit from someone's voice on the phone, and the woman I talked with from North Ladera Heights sounded reasonable, although she might not do the best job, But then I don't think we need that much done. After talking with her, I did feel confident about trusting her, especially if she comes when we are both here. At this point, I think I can do most of the housework myself, and so we may not need anyone, but I would like to have someone help me with gardening/landscaping. I'll ask at work when I go back, possibly as early as Aug 27.

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Lars

Sooz - got your beautiful card - thanks so much for sending that. Kevin's is being forwarded from the hospital because he got an early release, but I made sure that they do indeed forward any mail send to patients. He will enjoy it even more now, as he is having a tough time adjusting to being at home and having to do everything for himself, although I do fix most of the food for him. There are a few prepared things that we have on hand, such as unsweetened applesauce. I think he is supposed to drink juice and I am not, but I have been anyway - but only unsweetened juice. I bought cauliflower yesterday to cook today, and yesterday I cooked 1-1/2 pounds of salmon. Kevin didn't want any for dinner, but I can make it into a salad. I forgot to get tomatoes for that, and I might stop by another store tomorrow. I don't shop as well by myself, as I always forget things, even when they are on my list. I plan to buy a chicken to make chicken soup, but we might have one in the freezer anyway.

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sooz

You're welcome! Glad to hear Kevin got an early release!!!

My little card crafting cyber group has your home address, and I'll have to update them, as a couple of folks were going to send cards to Kevin at a rehab facility once I had that address.

Here's hoping that things go smoothly for both of you!

Smiles,

Sooz

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Gooster

I'm so sorry to read about your health issues and the challenges moving forward, especially for your brother. It's great, however, that he's got a good prognosis regarding the cancer. Take care of yourself, as well.

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artemis_ma

$80 an hour for housecleaning? I have a woman come in every other week and she charges $30 an hour. She does a good job, too, and is done in two hours or less. Is California that different from rural western MA? (She does floors, bathrooms, dusting, windows; I do rug vacuuming with a robot, laundry and kitchen non-floor cleanup).

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artemis_ma

Not incidentally, much encouragement and warmth towards your and Kevin's quick healings!

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Olychick

it was $80 for a crew of 5, not one person.

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yeonassky

I hope you and Kevin heal very quickly. That is sad that he is going to be struggling with this but it's great that he has medical help. Also it's surprising what we can adjust to. (((Lars and Kevin)))

I make a list on my phone of groceries and I don't press send. Then as I pick up the item I erase it from the list. I actually text to myself to do this so I don't send my family my grocery list by accident. This is the only way I have been able to get all the groceries on my list.

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Lars

Friends of Kevin's took me shopping today, and I got everything on the list that was available at the stores. We went to CVS (for my prescriptions) and Trader Joe's for some regular groceries. CVS got one of my prescriptions wrong, and so I'm not happy about that, but I'm hoping the doctor will be able to clear it up. CVS also did not have Calcium Citrate, which I am supposed to start taking on my fourth week, which will be next week, and so I just ordered it from Amazon. Amazon had it available in the exact dose with the exact amount of D3 with it that I am supposed to start taking.

I bought a book on Ostomy that I thought would help me with food for Kevin, but I ended up just giving the book to him, and he started reading it. Maybe it will help him, but it won't help me much. In a couple of weeks or so, he should be able to eat regular food again (I think), and that will make things a lot easier. I will still be on a diet, but it will be a diet that I think will be good for him as well.

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sooz

Thanks for the update! Positive thoughts coming to you both from my little neck of the woods!

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annie1992

Lars, I'm glad that Kevin is home, and that his diet will gradually change so that you won't have to cook for two. That will be much easier for you, although you may have to eat tiny amounts of some things.

Hugs to both of you, I wish I were closer, I'd be happy to help with gardening!

Annie

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sushipup1

Thanks for the update! I hope Kevin finds a support group. A friend in CA was the go-to nurse at the hospital for post-ostomy patients and she also led a support group open to all. He'll find it very helpful in days to come as he recovers and adjusts.

Hugs to you both, I know you'll both do well!

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Lars

There is a group that meets in Culver City on Saturday, but only once every two months. Next meeting is Oct 6. That might be often enough, and it is very close to us. On Saturday, it should be a 15 minute drive at most- perhaps less. I believe he also joined a facebook group. He's been taking walks in our neighborhood (extremely quiet) carrying his urine bag and wearing a bathrobe, but no one has spoken to him so far, other than to say hello.

Gardening here is pretty fun, but I have to wait until my doctor says I can do it. Mostly things need to be repotted, and I'm hoping Bernard can come soon and help. He came last year in October, and that might be soon enough. My orchids are doing better than usual - I think I am getting better at taking care of them, but some of the heavy bromeliads needs to be moved around. Also, we need to clean the fountains, and that is not fun.

Sooz - we got more cards, and they are all beautiful. They are all on display right now.

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Lars

I'm still not sure what Kevin can and cannot eat because he ate the pureed cauliflower I made yesterday and said it gave him no gas. Now I don't know what to believe, but today he started questioning me about what he was going to eat while I was at work. He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow (He will take Über to get there and back - better than my missing work, and I don't feel that good about driving yet anyway), and so he might eat lunch while he is out. I'm sure there would be a restaurant near the doctor's office. Anyway, he has plenty of yogurt with fruit that I bought for him, and there is Greek yogurt plus granola and granola bars, AND there are eggs that I know he knows how to cook. I think he can also slice bread and toast it. He asked me where I put the bread. I really don't know whether he can eat beans or not, but I can, and I hope he can also. Besides that, I always come home for lunch, and I always make his lunch also when we are both there. Also, we have protein drinks that he can have if necessary, but we have to take Metamucil with them.

When his friends took me to Trader Joe's, I bought a chicken, and I'm making chicken soup in the pressure cooker right now. I told him he could heat that up with some eggs noodles (long enough to cook the noodles) or I could cook some white rice for him to have with it - I can only have brown rice, but I think he can have brown rice also. Still, might as well use up the white rice. In addition, we have a lot of very nice crackers (no longer on my diet), and he would eat some of those with cheese, but I'll have to show him how to vacuum seal the cheese after opening it, unless he is going to use a cheese that we will go through quickly.

I've tried to teach him how to cook certain things, but he never gets it right unless it is extremely simple - I think he just does not want to learn. He knows better than to cook for me, he says, because he is sure I will not like it. However, I think he should be able to make things for himself that he likes himself.

I'm a bit anxious about going back to work tomorrow, but I will just see how it goes, and if necessary I will just work half a day and make it up on Friday, since I only work four days a week.

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bragu_DSM 5

don't push it Lars, it's not worth it ... really.

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annie1992

I agree, don't push it too hard, Lars, because healing is a very personal thing and sometimes it takes longer for some than for others.

I think what can be eaten and digested is probably personal too, some people will get indigestion from the cauliflower and some won't, so hopefully Kevin will be able to tolerate some of that type of food.

Can you both have spices and seasonings? That might be a way to make things more palatable for both of you, if you can season things to your individual tastes.

Take care of yourself too, you sound worried and stressed. Be kind to yourself and don't take on too much, I'm sure Kevin will at least make an egg or warm up soup, maybe even make a grilled cheese or one of those chicken sandwiches like you can get at Trader Joe's, the chicken burger thing. We got chili lime flavor and it's very mild, I don't even taste any spice, so it's good for a quick meal.

Hugs to you, and to Kevin, there will definitely be some adapting to do.

Annie

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maifleur01

Think about what he did for food before his surgery. It may be that although you are brothers you are not compatible for living together. His lack of desire to provide for himself worries me since I have known people who could but it was easier for another to do things. If after a month or so you may need to look for another place for him to live. Very difficult situation for you.

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Compumom

Don't worry too much-- Kevin will adapt. It's likely that he's down in the dumps and not feeling like he can do it on his own. But with you providing a list of foods available, he should be able to pull it together on his own. I know you're not up to full speed yet either, so take it easy, pull a 1/2 day at work, if necessary, and don't stress. The Ostomy group sounds like a very good idea. By then he should be feeling better and be open to listening to others who have found themselves in a similar situation. Hugs,

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Lars

maifleur01, Kevin has relied on my to make food for us ever since he moved in with me in Venice, CA in 1995. I helped him get his job transferred, and then I encouraged him to get additional education to start doing web design, which we did together. He started out majoring in electrical engineering, but after the fourth year, he found out that most of the jobs available (from Texas A&M) were for defense contracts, and he did not want to do that. One year from getting an EE degree from Texas A&M, he transferred to UT Austin and starting majoring in art, which is his passion, and which I told him he should do from the beginning. Our father when to A&M, and Kevin went there to try to please him. He did meet his wife there, and I made her bridal gown and was Kevin's best man at the wedding. I do think I got along better with his wife than he did, however, and after Kevin got a BA in art from UT, she convinced him to go to SUNY Albany to get a MFA, which he did, and that took three years. Then she decided that she no longer wanted to live in NY (where she was born), and they moved back to Austin, but after 10 years of marriage, it just didn't work out for her. After their divorce, Kevin wanted to move to NYC to pursue a career in art, but I told him he could just as easily be an artist in Los Angeles and invited him to move in with me in my bungalow in Venice. At first he had to sleep in the (carpeted) garage, but after a few months, my housemate decided to move back with his brother in Vallejo, and so Kevin and I had the house to ourselves, and Kevin had his own bedroom. He loved living in Venice, as it is an artist community, and eventually, I helped him get a job a Sony Pictures - ten minutes from Venice. He has advanced a lot in his job at Sony (much more than I have at mine), and soon we were able to buy a house in Westchester - just a short distance southeast (down the coast) from Venice. We have twice as much room in the Westchester house, and Kevin's commute is still not bad, if he leaves early enough in the morning. At this point, we have saved up enough money to buy a second home in the Palm Springs area, and we are expecting to look in earnest early next year, although it might be better to wait until summer, when people want to leave.

Anyway, there is no reason why we should not continue to live together, as we have similar taste in music, art, design, entertainment, etc. The main difference, especially now, would be in diet, and I think we can work through that. I think that the thought of having us live apart or separately would cause undue anxiety for both of us, We may be co-dependent, but that is something we could look into. We are certainly extremely compatible and always have been, even though there is 15 years difference in our age.

I just had an accident in my bathroom (slipping on my bathroom rug and falling), and so I am in a bit of pain now and might wait until Tuesday to start back to work. I'll have to see how I feel tomorrow. It might still be too soon for me, as it has only been less than four weeks since my surgery. The doctor said I should take three to four weeks off. bit I might need one more day.

At some point I expect to spend more time in Palm Springs, but I know that Kevin loves it there as well. Having two places to live will make it a lot easier, but I won't be able to take much of the heat in the summer, and we both want to travel more. Our next foreign destination is Greece, but we may postpone that a year. I want to go to Michigan next July to visit Annie, if that time will be acceptable for her. I think Kevin will be ready to travel by then as well.

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maifleur01

Sorry, Lars, I had the impression that he was moving in with you until he healed not that he already lived with you. Careful with those slips. One of the things that are suggested once you get to a certain age is to remove all rugs because of those slips. Hard to do if you like a soft surface to stand on.

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Lars

Thanks, Maifleur, but you warned me about the slippery rugs a day late. Last night I slipped on my bathroom rug (it is NOT non-slip, to make it easier to wash), and I fell into the bathtub and hit the back of my head on one of my new grab bars. I was dizzy from the new dose of medicine from my urologist - next time I will wait until just before I go to bed to take it. I also bruised my back on the tub and had a very difficult time getting out of the tub because of the position in which I landed. Fortunately, the bump on my head was not too bad, but I did not go to work today because the pain kept me up until 4:30 last night, and I was too dizzy in the morning. I can go into tomorrow and still get four days in this week, I hope. One other medicine also makes me dizzy, and I take that at bedtime.


Sooz, we've received many more cards from your friends, and they are all beautiful and are doing a great job of cheering us up! The cards are all very different and wonderful. I also got a card from Compumom that looks like a map of L.A. freeways with the caption "The Road to Recovery can seem never-ending". I can certainly related to that. I have to wait two more weeks before I can start on anything like a somewhat normal diet, but Kevin can start sooner. I still haven't found out if he can have beans, but I have a feeling that they will be okay if they are fully cooked and pureed. The psychedelic card from Jenna is especially nice as well as the dachshund card from Ginny, but they are all beautiful and very thoughtful.

I made the mistake of lifting my Cuisinart food processor base and then learned that it weights 18 pounds! I'm not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds for two more weeks, and I plan to start lifting gradually when I do start again.

Thanks again for all the cheerful thoughts! They are much appreciated.

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nancyjane_gardener

So, earlier you mentioned vacuum sealing something or other. The Foodsaver is your friend!

Now being retired, I'm not as passionate about cooking every night as I used to be! BUT I still like my home cooking!

I try to make at least double what I cook and take a few minutes to bag and freeze a couple extra meals to throw into the freezer.

Anything soup-like or very liquid as in pured foods need to be put in a bag, flattened out in a baking dish with 3" of bag being clear of food, frozen overnight, then vacuumed. You can then stack them in the freezer.

This would be especially helpful for your brother's limited diet. Find 3 or 4 things he REALLY likes, make some big batches and freeze some in single serving sizes. Yes, the bags can get expensive, but it's worth your sanity! Make some of your own dishes to re-heat also!

I'm not understanding why you haven't been referred to a nutritionist and/or given a list of foods for his diet restrictions!

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maifleur01

I had to chuckle about my warning being too late. You apparently at least looked at things that could be useful for people with health problems since you were having grab bars put up. Rugs are generally on the top of that list but like most you looked, passed over the recommendation, and discarded it. Although I do not use them there are a lot of interesting suggestions mostly aimed at old people that are useful when there is a medical problem when much younger. Some of them like the spinning thing that I got for my husband that was supposed to be used to aid his turning either standing or placed on a seat are downright dangerous and should never be sold.

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blfenton

Just reading through the thread and I'm wondering if the hospital or Kevin's doctor can refer the two of you to a nutritionist/dietician to help you dovetail the two diets and to give simple cooking suggestions for Kevin. It might help if the suggestions come from a third-party.

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Compumom

Oh Lars! Take care of yourself and please use some grip tape on that rug!

I’m glad you liked my card, I hope Kevin received his card too. I’m thinking of you both and wishing you well!


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Lars/J. Robert Scott

I've seen so many nutritionists with so many opposing ideas that I don't know whom to believe anymore. I think we are going to learn by experimentation. I have a pretty good list for myself, and I'll just see if Kevin had handle it or not. At worst, it will give him gas, and he can let me know about that.

I'm sure Kevin received your card as well - we have them all on display in the living room. We got more get-well cards than we did Christmas cards last year!

Too bad Jessy no longer posts her, as I know her husband is a doctor and possibly a surgeon. She's answered some medical questions for me in the past.

Saturday I poached a chicken in the large pot of my pressure cooker, and the pot was so heavy I could barely move it. I thought ahead and put the chicken in the steamer insert, and so I could remove that to another dish fairly easily. Last night I finished making chicken stock by cooking the bones some more with additional onion and carrot. Saturday I had made brown rice for the chicken with some mushrooms and dried vegetables, and I think I did not cook the rice long enough, and so last night I just took some of the leftover rice and added chicken stock to make soup. I also added some more mushrooms. I'm going to freeze some of the chicken meat because I'm supposed to eat small portions.

I've never been prone to falls before, but the new medication I'm on creates a somewhat dangerous experience, and my doctor did warn me about that. I'll have to see if it persists - it's not supposed to last more than two or three days, but I do feel a bit drowsy today at work.

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tami_ohio

Sending my prayers for both of you.

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mdln

Suggest seeing a dietitian (vs. nutritionist).

A Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN) must complete an accredited program (minimum bachelors degree), a supervised internship, pass a national exam, and continuing education.

Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist (no required education).

[https://www.houzz.com/discussions/anyone-used-a-dietician-dsvw-vd~5417475[(https://www.houzz.com/discussions/anyone-used-a-dietician-dsvw-vd~5417475)

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maifleur01

Seeing a dietitian was probably suggested before the surgery which was the time it should have been done. Having talked to some registered dietitians that knew little about the subject, telling me to drink herbal containing 100% of an herb but not to use that herb, thyme, in my cooking, woke me up to how little some know. Along with seeing one reading various sources is good. At this point it is more trail and error to see what works and what does not.

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Lars

I did see Clinical Bariatric Dietitians (MS RD) - I see that now from the cards - and one of them I really did like, but I do not have her email. She will answer messages that I send to her through my surgeon's contact portal, however.


It looks like I'm supposed to wait another week or two before eating raw vegetables, and so I'll just cook them for now. I seem to lose weight better on the liquids diet, and so I'll try to stick with that a bit longer.

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Lars/J. Robert Scott

Someone from the caregivers or health forum (I think) has contacted me and is now giving Kevin some much needed advice. She is friends with a nurse at Cedars-Sinai and has access to a lot of good information for his condition. Kevin is already back on a regular diet, but my diet is going to be restricted for some time now - probably the rest of my life. However, if that keeps my weight under control, I will be okay with it.

Kevin is still having to take pain killers at night to sleep, but he won't take them during the day. He says Tylenol and Ibuprofen do not work at night sufficiently for him to be able to sleep. He seems to be adjusting to his condition better than I would have. I think he is just relieved to know that he is now cancer-free.

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sooz

Thanks for the update! Continuing to send positive energy and best wishes to you both!

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writersblock (9b/10a)

It sounds like you're doing great, Lars, and I'm glad that Kevin has a source for helpful advice. I hope you both continue to heal quickly.

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Lars/J. Robert Scott

Sooz, we really appreciate all the cards we've been getting from you and your friends. Plus we got a very nice one from Annie with a lovely note inside. For some reason, Kevin has rebounded from this better and faster than I expected, as he can experience depression quite easily. However, this does not seem to have happened in this case. I think he has had some good support from a few of his friends at work, one who has helped us with grocery shopping. She is from India, and so I showed her a recipe I have for Tava Chana and asked her if she ever made it. She said she made it all the time and even brought some for us yesterday! It is very yummy. She uses a family-based spice mixture that is different from anything else I have ever had, and so I won't be able to replicate it. She did say that it has cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg (very little), cloves, etc. I was going to give her some hummus, but we had already eaten it all, and so I gave her a piece of my flatbread, which she seemed to like. I gave her a piece of the one that has za'atar.

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lindac92

Lars, all I can say is keep on keeping on. I know more than one....more than 2 ...actually 3 people who have regained their former avoirdupois after surgery...make that 4...just thought of another!!
I have little regard for most dietitcians...remembering one who made the most ridiculous suggestions when my husband was sick....and am currently dealing with one at church who may be good at "book larnin" but very poor on reality!
Use your common sense....and find out what disagrees....but stick to your diet, or you will gain weight!!

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Lars/J. Robert Scott

Yesterday I fell off the diet briefly, but I won't let that happen again, as I could notice the difference this morning. I do not want to stretch my stomach back, as that is the easiest way to gain the weight back. This week I can start eating raw vegetables, and so that will be a bit help. I also sent my surgeon a note asking him about what exercises I can add now, as I am at the six week period.

I also have run into a lot of dietitians who don't seem to know all that much, and so I am trying to learn things on my own. I did find one that I really like, but she is very busy, although she does answer questions through the UCLA "My Health" portal, but I have to ask the questions through my surgeon, as she is not on the "list" of people I can contact. There is another dietitian there who gave out her cards with her email, but I don't like her as much and she was never able to answer the questions I asked to my satisfaction. She also could not pronounce "important" correctly - she would always say "impor'ant", which irritated me no end. It sort of made her sound like a Val (aka Valley Girl) - the one I like is from Russia and her English is perfect with just a slight accent.

I've known several people here who have had the surgery, and none of them gained the weight back. Perhaps people here are more motivated to stay thin, and there may be more stigma associated with being overweight in L.A.

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2ManyDiversions

Lars, I think a lot of things might be different these days, and perhaps diaticians are inlcuded. My maternal Grandmother was head hospital diatician in Kansas, and they sourced from local farms, everything was fresh and homemade from scratch, all meals were served individually (not on the big tray holders), on china, with silver. This was not a fancy hospital, but rather just the way they did it. My mom, a Physical Therapist, never let me leave the table until I cleaned my plate of a well-balance meal (not that it was an issue ever, I always loved everything, not a picky eater, and new foods were fun in my home).

I think you're doing very well with your diet. I also think others who post here are serious about losing weight. I do know a few who've gained back, but most don't want to, and work hard not to. Exercise (when allowed) is something popular and enjoyable among those I've known or heard of who've had gastric bypass. I'm sure being able to move in ways one once couldn't is a joy to many. I mentioned some time ago a close friend who's had this procedure, and she's not sticking to the diet. Wish I could help her, but that part is up to her. Anyway, great job Lars!

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annie1992

Good for you, Lars, and I'm so happy that Kevin is adjusting well too.

I know you want to stay healthy and you're very motivated to keep the weight off, and I have every faith in you that you'll make that happen.

Hugs to you and Kevin, and be well and healthy!

Annie

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CurryUp

Hello Lars

I am a lurker here and have often wondered at the warmth and caring if the kitchen forum members. You have gotten some great advice from forum regulars who obviously know you well.

your comment about the Indian Friend who made you ta va channa got my attention . Is there any way you can ask her to come home and show you a few Indian dishes that are considered soothing foods ? Ask her for the kinds that she would make for her family if they were recovering from the stomach bug. Not the kinds served at Indian restaurants :).

Heres a few I make. These are Indian dishes and need the ingredients available easily from any local Indian store. Perhaps you will have them already in your pantry. You will need a few Indian spices and ghee if want to try these dishes

Lentil and rice

you will need rice and tuvar daal ( pigeon peas). This is considered the most soothing of combinations, given to kids and to adults recovering from sickness. we all grew up with some version of recipe. I once made it to serve kids at a gathering, many adults liked it too. I would say it’s like chicken soup in the western diet, comforting and nourising.

Boil 1 cup rice to softness. The rice grains should be softer than what’s served at Indian buffet.the rice should hold its shape but can be squished to a paste with a spoon. Depends on the kind of rice you use, for basmati rice use 2.5 cups water to 1 cup rice and pressure cook. Stove top cooking may need tweaking.

1 c pigeon peas, cook in slow cooker or pressure cook until the lentil holds its shape squishes to Paste with a spoon

the consistency of rice and lentil is Critical to this otherwise simple dish.

once cooked but while still warm, mix rice and lentils , add a goodly amount of salt, 1 tbsp of indian ghee , half tsp of turmeric, half tsp of crushed cumin. Mix and it’s Ready to eat.

if you add all the spices to the rice/lentil mix while it’s still hot you won’t need to cook any further. Else heat for a few min

The consistency should be like a thick oat porridge, add hot water if necessary but do not over cook or you will have a gooey mess.

2) chayote squash stir fry

this is another of those soft foods, easy on the gut recipes. Can be modified for other high water content veggies such as squash, zucchini.

Heat up 1 tbsp of oil, add 1 tsp mustard seeds , let the seeds pop, lower heat and add 1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing, 1-2 red chili. 5-6 curry leaves (optional). Cook a few min

add 2-3 chayote squash, cut in cubes. stir and cook until soft. Chayote cooks quick so shouldn’t take long. Turn off heat. Add salt to taste and a tbsp of ghee

mix with 1 c cooked white rice and serve warm. Here’s a pic of my chayote squash

edit Forgot to add that the squash needs to be peeled . Sometimes chayote can leave residue on your hands . All normal, rub a tsp of oil on hands and scrub off with soap water.

Hope that helps

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bragu_DSM 5

Curry:

Sounds tasty, but cumin tends to make my stomach roil, so will have to try it without.

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Lars

Thanks for those recipes, CurryUp - I do have most of the ingredients on hand, except the pigeon peas, which I've seen in the market but not yet bought. I've bought fresh curry leaves in the past, but they don't keep well, and so I would have to buy them just before I make the dish.

You mention lentils (which I do have on hand) but then specify pigeon peas in the recipe. Are they interchangeable? I had been making a lot of lentils in the early part of my recovery, but they are something I make on a regular basis anyway.

I have not cooked chayote squash before, but I'm sure I can find that as well and will look for it. I did buy a bunch of zucchini at my last visit to the farmers' market, but I won't be going there this week.

I very much appreciate your sharing your recipes!

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CurryUp

Lars

you are welcome.

curry leaves : I agree they dontlast long.

Heres my solution


If that is not your cup of tea,here’s an alternativ: microwave the leaves for a min carefully. Let it cool and crumble and store in a Air tight jar. Not as good as the fresh ones but still add some flavor.

Re the pigeon peas. These Are probably the easiest to digest and don’t need much seasoning. Pigeon peas are used traditionally. You could substitutw w yellow mung ( it’s thegreen mung with its skin Removed and split up). others will Work too but you won’t get the buttery melt in your mouth feel( I think ,but happy to be proven wrong ) :)

bragu, the cumin is optional but don’t skip the ghee !

Here’s a more souped up version, I haven’t tried it but it sounds good to me.

this is one of those dishes that taste better that tastes better than it looks .so don’t let the pic prevent you from trying it.

http://traditionallymodernfood.com/index.php/2015/11/30/arisi-paruppu-sadam/

Also : if you are cooking for 2, halve the rice and lentils.

Regards

Curry

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Lars

Do you grow the curry from seeds? I have not seen full plants for sale, although I will definitely buy turmeric plants the next time I see them - I could never get them to grow from the cuttings. I think it might be the wrong time of year for planting, but then I do plant coriander and parsley in the fall.

Ghee is very easy to find.

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maifleur01

You need the roots to grow turmeric. If you have a local oriental market you will find them in the produce section. They are about the size of a finger with the length between the joints. I have seen the a pale tan but the last I saw a month ago were a pinkish color. The look of them when smaller can be off putting as they sometimes have the appearance of being a grub. I have seen several plants offered as curry plant so you might want to take someone with you when shopping who actually uses it. If you have an Indian grocery the one I go to, next to my art store, has them dried in packets. Not the freshest probably but at least available.


Edited to add that you can put the turmeric roots in a pot. Not certain how deep but you can start out leaving space at the top and gradually fill it in with potting mix.

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