Since my last post, I’ve connected with more CDH1 bloggers—Originally I had been following (more like lurking on) a few blogs here and there looking for pointers and tips for myself on what to expect during my recovery. Little did I know that one of those bloggers had found me as well! From Marne’s page I linked up to a few others. This a rare genetic mutation, and probably even more rare to find others willing to share so openly about their experiences with it, so I’m thankful to have been connected to so many, and hope those connections continue to grow. One thing I’ve noticed is that every blog I’ve come across has a really positive, go-get-em tone/attitude. Not sure if positive people are more likely to share, or if sharing openly about tough situations makes you more positive. Hmmm. I’ve included links to the blogs Marne shared at the bottom of this post. Never know who might find their way here through a google search, so I figure it doesn’t hurt to have the information posted in two places. Steve Dang’s “Farewell Stomach Tour,” makes me feel a lot less guilty about the tasting menu Drew and I splurged on when we took our trip to Quebec City right before my surgery!
There are a lot of shady things that go down on the internet and through social media, so I’ll take all the warm fuzzies I can get from positive connections being made across the globe!
I continue to progress in my recovery and haven’t hit too many bumps or hiccups since my last update. Life seems to be (mostly) returning to normal—I’m back into the 9-5 grind of the work day, back to weekly meal/grocery planning, and the Big Guy and I are embarking on some new home improvement projects. All those weeks cooped up inside during recovery (and, during this never ending winter we’re having in the Northeast) gave me plenty of time to come up with a fairly extensive list of projects and ideas for putting our mark on our place. I’m excited to see it all come together—picking paint colors, agonizing over first world problems like window treatments, accent walls and the dangers of participating in a trend (I’m looking at you, grey color palettes and chevron area rugs).
My new relationship to food seems to be a pretty positive one– I’m not sure if my portion sizes are getting closer to normal, or if tiny portion sizes are starting to become the norm, but either way, I seem to be able to tolerate just about everything. Since I started back on normal food, there hasn’t been too much of a strategy in what I eat. With the objective being to get calories in and maintain a weight, I find myself picking foods based on specific cravings rather than thinking about a truly balanced diet. Thankfully I enjoy cooking, so on week nights I’m good about preparing a well balanced meal for Drew and I. During the day I should probably try to replace my usual snacks of ice cream and goldfish crackers with some fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables.
I’m really thrilled that food hasn’t become a negative experience for me. Where some people take up writing or photography as a hobby for creative expression, mine has always been cooking. From start to finish- browsing the farmer’s market (sometimes with a list, sometimes making impulse buys), planning a meal, trying a new flavor combination, recipe or preparation method, and then ultimately sitting down with friends, family, or just the Big Guy and literally breaking bread together. Eating and dining are hugely social experiences, and I’m glad that I don’t feel too much like the odd man out in those settings. I am definitely not as interested in agonizing over the ‘right’ restaurant choice or jumping on board every latest food trend and, frankly, maybe this is a good thing. I’ve also learned that foodie anxiety and the constant hunt for the most artisinal/small batch/heirloom/hyper-local items is pretty annoying for everyone but the foodie. See Portlandia for a hilarious exaggeration of what I’m talking about.
One unexpected improvement in my cooking habits is that I am more relaxed about cooking in general. Not every meal has to be a made from scratch masterpiece fit for pinterest or 100’s of instagram likes. I still make those masterpieces (at least, I think they are masterpieces), but they’re more special, intentional and thought out. On nights where we want to keep the kitchen clean and spend our limited free time with friends or each other, a package of store-bought ravioli and a jar of sauce will do just fine. The kitchen is one of my top happy places so I’m happy to be back to enjoying it, and I’m also happy that I’ve balanced my over-the-top foodie compulsion to always make the ‘best’ meal with a more relaxed attitude. I’ve danced around the subject for a bit now… what I’m basically saying is I think I’m less of a snob now. And that’s a good thing. I forgot how good a simple grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup could be! 😉
Basically, things are fairly mundane for us right now—but considering all we’ve been through in the past 60+ days, we’re thankful for boring :). I told a coworker the other day, 2014 is the year of home improvement. 2015 will be the year of white sandy beaches. (She was quick to point out that 2015 sounds way more fun. I tend to agree).
Links to other CDH1 Bloggers:
Life Without a Stomach:
It’s the beginning, not the end.