Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Truth, with Garlic

Last night brought much excitement and zeal as my first meal after three weeks of the low Iodine diet. This last week The Hater and I have talked about food more than any other topic -- what did I want to eat first? What did I miss the most? When could we have chocolate again? It was much like planning a last meal in reverse.

We had decided not to get too elaborate. The Hater made me one of our favorite pepperoni pizzas, complete with all of the goodies that we add to it ourselves - onions, fresh garlic, and spices. I had visions of Heaven opening and a fanfare of trumpets welcoming me from my prison to sit on the other side of the living room from The Hater - which he had already set with one of our tv-trays and a a glass of wine. We are not always as classy, but thought it best to sacrifice candlelit dinner at the table for the rule of radioactive distance, as we very well cannot have two superheroes developing their special powers at the same time.

I took slow bites and allowed each morsel of goodness to slide down my throat. Indeed, it was great, but it didn't have the pizazz for which I had hoped. I confessed to The Hater, who said I should still remember that it was just a heat-and-eat pizza. This was true, but I was still a little disappointed.

The truth is that for about the last week I have had little desire to eat anything at all. It was probably a combination of lack of thyroid function (mild depression) and being tired of eating from the low Iodine menu. My want to eat had been replaced with my knowledge that I needed to eat; I essentially forced myself to eat and snack, tried to mentally convince my body that I was eating good, nutritious food that was important for my recovery.
The food I'd been eating was so bad I couldn't even blog about it.

Until now.

I never acquiesced to the art of eating and enjoying oatmeal. In fact, the last several mornings brought forced attempts to take multiple bites of the gruel. You never heard me mention the different other 7-grain thing because the one time I made it, it was beyond awful. I made The Hater try it one morning with me, and he looked at me and immediately said it would be okay if I never ate it again. I may try it again, mixed with milk and with some butter, but it'll be fertilizer if I'm not instantly wowed.

Apples continue to be my friend. Grapes haven't been completely played out, either. But I'm done with raw or steamed carrots for a while, and have come to understand why Angry Dissenter both despises them and refers to them as "death rods" or "vomit sticks". The Hater mentioned tonight that he's tired of steamed potatoes, and before I even started this diet I was tired of steamed broccoli. Needless to say, a diet that is to mostly consist of fresh fruits and veggies played out before the three week clock buzzed.

The "no more than 4-5 oz fresh meat a day" did not sound like such a bad stipulation, until we had started the second week. We probably won't grill chicken again until the end of the summer; even the thought of it now hits me with an aversion to all things food. But grilled food is great, you say, there are so many possiblities! This is true -- but when your marinade ingredients are whittled to oilve oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and brown sugar, everything starts to taste the same.

Sure, you say, but how did you go a month without chocolate? Chocolate was considered a dairy product on my diet, which meant it was taboo to touch my quivering lip. Never fear; I found a low-Iodine brownie recipe... that was another culinary disaster. It had oil, egg whites, cocoa powder, and splenda -- and that's about it. They ended up cooking to be about a half-inch thick and tasting like cocoa powder and splenda. To simply say they were awful would rob them of their injustice as a culinary creation. I really can't believe that someone submitted it into a cookbook - or that it was included for that matter. So they were bad, you're thinking, which means I didn't eat them. Oh, but I did... they were my only options when I was jonesing for something sweet.

Which brings us to the nut mix, my afternoon snack. That's right; it was mid-afternoon before I consumed any significant protein. Oh, goodie, I can have unsalted nuts! And using an egg white with nutmeg, splenda, cinnamon, alspice, ground cloves, and other such spices, it was a sweet afternoon snack. Not as good as it's salty first cousin -- you know, the Christmas blend with chex mix -- but an acceptable alternative, I thought. But it, too, quickly led me to a stomach-turning aversion to looking at the baggy that held it.

And today? Today, the first day where I could eat anything? I skipped breakfast and wanted only an apple for lunch. By early afternoon The Hater, in desperation, tempted me with a half of a turkey sandwich, to which I begrudgingly agreed to eat. He brought me the absolute BEST toasted turkey sandwich with bacon and the perfect amount of mayo. I called him twice from my prison to priase his wonderful sandwich-making prowess. Between the non-grilled meat, real bread, and a condiment that did not mimic fruit, it was simply harmonious.

We called our friends to see if they had supper plans. We decided it was time to make a trip out of prison to a real restaurant, something else we haven't done in a month. And I wanted a beer... not because I've ever been a self-proclaimed beer drinker, but it wasn't allowed on my diet, which only lead to my hankering it even more.

Supper was good, but the fellowship was pristine. I'm still in some cabin fever shock, but it was nice to feel like a social being. I've since returned to my prison to continue the time-distance-shielding triad of protection of The Hater and Zoloft, but I'm looking forward to an official return to society, post radiation, special powers and all.

Mostly I'm looking forward to cuddling with The Hater -- and learning how to eat real food again. And taking these sweet new special powers for a spin.

Two points for you if you noticed that I totally ripped off Al Franken's books The Truth and The Truth, with Jokes with my title. One point for each time you read something that we had to eat and made an ick face. Three points total if you have pity on The Hater for eating supper with me every night... and not complaining.


nicole said...

Hey, I've got pity for BOTH of you! :)

(Do I get credit for even reading the fine print...?)

Barb said...

I completely understand what you are saying about the low-iodine diet. I found it most disagreeable and depressing. I found a low iodine recipe for unbaked chocolate cookies which did not set up and I ate with a spoon. Ugh. But eat them I did, because it was the only way I could eat any chocolate. LOL

I assume that you still have to have your big dose of I-131 and will have to go back on the LID once again, maybe not so long this next time. And I also assume that you are not taking any synthroid or other thyroid med until after your dose. If so, you will not be feeling good until you get started on that for a while. But hang in there, you'll be feeling better soon after that.

Just rest lots ... and eat what sounds good for now. My first meal after my 4 week LID last January? All you can eat sushi at my fav sushi restaurant. I craved fish and kelp and couldn't get there fast enough. :)

I'll check back and see how you're doing.

genderist said...

Woah, honky-tonk... I've had my big, ablation I-131 dose. They've restarted me on synthroid. This'll all be past tense within a couple of months...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post...really enjoy your writing. :) Glad to hear you are able to eat more of a variety of foods...gratz!