Nov 19, 2010 - 1:54 am
It's a bit boring I know, if you are a regular reader (and who isn't?) but I have to go over a bit of the history in order to get to where I am now.
Once upon a time, oh, five years ago, I guess, I was told that I had cancer and they could do some wonderful things with my tongue and nerves and maybe I could be the man I was before (they, apparently, unaware of my previous reputation as a man of sexual prowess, tongue-wise).
Oh, and they indicated I could eat again, too. (Food, you perverts!)
That, as I have indicated in the past, has not been the case. I recall that as soon as I returned from the hospital, I went to the fridge and made myself a most refreshing tall, and I mean TALL, glass of ice cold water. When my wife saw this, she went apoplectic ( that is big-word for bat****). She went crazy. Those of you who have had surgery to mouth, tongue, throat, you know, because they tell you, that water is probably the hardest thing to get down. They fear that you will aspirate, which is to say, that you will BREATHE your water. That can lead to drowning, or at least pneumonia.
Of course, if you have been sneaking (?) ice treats for yourself for two weeks in a hospital, it is not a problem for you. I frankly thought they were sugaring the ice cups, they tasted so good. And I had a system, hoping that the nurses and my wife would not catch on (as if)... I had three tiny cups of ice, one that I was allowed to take sustenance from (ice and a bit of water), one that I kept aside (more ice and water, the replacement I assumed they would not notice...I WAS half crazy in there, after all), and last, the all ice one I used to replenish cup two, which would ultimately replace cup one. That is how I lived in the hospital.
I rationed my water hoping they would not notice. And they DID complain if I overdid it. I still don't know why.
Except for the aspiration issue, I suppose, which never came up in official circles.
I really think that except for my paranoid wife they were rather pleased that I was going for it. I could be wrong: my ice and water continued to be rationed, after all.
That is a start.
I got home. I made myself a tall glass of ice water. Ice water! My wife came in, having brought me home just before, and dragging all of my crap into the house, to see me in the rocking chair sucking from that tall, cold, water.
She, um, went off. She went off so far that she actually threatened to leave me. I had no idea, of course. Many of you will know my response, and if you cannot imagine, well, then, you are a better person than me.
I was, let's say, perplexed. Here I was sipping from a glass of water and my wife was going ballistic and even threatening to leave me?
I didn't get it.
Oh, yeah, that aspiration thing.
Didn't buy it from the start. But SHE did!
To this day I think it hindered my development as an eater again, I really do.
I am not blaming her (okay, I am), but I think it made me a bit more fearful for awhile (yeah, I definitely am).
She is not to blame for what came next, for sure.
Eating requires a few major prerequisites. Among them are teeth (usually), a tongue (usually), and especially a mouth that will open and a throat (esophagus) that will accept food.
I was fortunate enough to have some teeth. They ripped out some wisdom teeth and a molar or two, but I was in good shape there.
But, I couldn't eat. I was missing part of my original tongue, and believe it or not, you need that to sort of move food around from tooth to tooth so that the teeth can do what they do. I know we didn't pay much attention in school, but it turns out that all of those babies have a purpose, and it turns out, as well, and this is something they DIDN'T teach you in school: the tongue moves the stuff to those various teeth for their various jobs.
Early on, of course, I could do yogurt and pudding and even ice cream, if there was no crap in the ice cream, like cherries or fudge or whatever. True!
PUddings. Cream of this soup or that soup. And even then, the little extras might gag me, the bits of chicken, for example (I hated that!).
And I was on the ever-reliable PEG tube, so eating was a sport, you might say, even if I practiced it religiously.
People complain about the tube, people want to get off of the tube, but I have to tell you, I had the tube for four years (stomach insertion...not sure I would have liked one through the nose), and I found it so convenient that I feared it...it was TOO easy. Like taking the elevator when you work on the second floor, you know?
It was quick, it was easy, and it was out of the way. I had no image issues with it. I feared it for its convenience. That's the truth. All of you who cry about it and wish it was gone, well, I have little sympathy. Sorry. Great device and it feeds you. Whatever your issues are, you should think about them and try to get over them, because that tube is a great device.
Me, I wanted it gone, and you do too, hopefully because it feels like a reminder, or like a dependency thing. Not because it looks ugly or whatever weird reasons some of you people seem to have. Get rid of it WHEN you can BECAUSE you can. No hurry. No worry.