Normal is as normal does

Life is officially back to normal. Or at least as normal asit’s ever likely to be again. I’m working, the wife is working, the kid is inschool, we’re looking forward to birthdays, a ballet recital, and a summer filledwith the riding of bikes, the flying of kites, and the sliding ofwater…err…slides.

Eating is something of a chore, as I suspect it always willbe. I have small servings of chow nearby at all times, and my smallish meals—consisting,for example, of a single slice of pizza, or a quartet of perogies, or a smallbento box of sushi—still take forever, but we’re all slowly growing accustomedto and making the best of it.

At dinner, Kristy eats her supper then stays at the table a bit longer, busying herself with things like party invitations and paperworkfor Scarlett’s next year of school while I slowly plough away on my meal. She’s a keeper. And Scarlett’sa pretty slow eater anyway. She likes to take intermissions during her meal,hopping off her chair and doing little dances, or escaping to her bedroom tofind and bring back a doll that she sets up to watch her finish her meal.

As for me, I picked up a heated serving tray a week ago. It’sa flat, featureless stainless steel bed about 30 centimetres long and 60centimetres wide. Plug it in for six minutes and then pop out the cord and its elementslowly releases stored energy to keep it hot for the next hour.

I put my plate on it to keep my food warm, and it works likea charm. Bit of a godsend, actually. Taking 80 minutes to eat a small portionof rice and curried shrimp is bad enough; eating the majority of it at roomtemperature can be almost unbearable.

Not much else to report this week. Had a few episodes ofnausea caused by dumping syndrome, but that seems to be subsiding as I learnthe sort of foods that set it off and the quantities required. Thebubble-in-my-throat thing that I’ve mentioned before (and which people whostill have their stomachs likely won’t be able to fathom) is still happening,but it seems to be resolving itself more quickly.

That said, I experienced it while out in public for thefirst time yesterday, and it was kind of awful. We were at a mall, and I had tohurry back to the privacy of our car, where I spent a few minutes spitting outwhat a fellow total gastrectomy patient I’ve been in contact with refers to as “goo”—athick but clear saliva-ish substance that builds up suddenly and at random aftera couple of bites of food. (It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never been a spitter;it grosses me out each time I have to do it.)

Needless to say, I’m happy my job allows me to spend most ofmy time at home. I can’t imagine having to deal with the goo and the spittingand the impulse to gag that goes along with it while in an office environment.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. Life goes on, and, asanother total gastrectomy patient once told me, life is still good.  


3 thoughts on “Normal is as normal does

  1. skip crockett says:

    Hey Chad just wanted you to know I have been following and keeping track of you and Kayla. It goes without saying all the time that I love both of you and need to know you are OK. Your symptoms dumping sydrome and and goo in the throat accompanied by bubble feeling (i have to kind of burp after each time i swallow) I can’t really burp since my surgery I just sort of burp, sounds like my problem. Whodah thunkit?Take care,Skip

  2. CINDY THOMAS says:

    HI, my name is CIndy, oh you prob read that already! I am special too! CDH1 Positive. Im having surgery may 7th at Rochester Mayo in Minnesota. I have read and read and over read……. so many blogs, sites and boring medical mumbo jumbo, and I learned more in your blog than any of those put together! First of all you and your wife are so witty and entertaining! I feel like I know you both! I would love sit here and read your entire blog tonight, but it is nearing 3am! I just wanted to say you are inspirng, you have taken at least 50 lbs of weight off my shoulders that I have been carrying due to the "unknown" and anxiety about what my new normal is going to be like! Still plenty of weight bringing me down tho!Thanks for making all of this available and i look forward to new updates and to search this be strong hearted site! I wish I would have found it a year and a half ago when I received my results.

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