Meal Plan 04/16/2018 - 04/20/2018

I'm heading back to work tomorrow after being off since my surgery. I'm a little nervous because I'm still struggling with low energy but I'm ready to venture out into the real world again. I knew I would want a little cushion to get back into our regular routine so I scheduled HelloFresh this week. No regrets. 


Monday: Chicken and rice stew from the freezer. It's not exciting food but it's comforting food. And it doesn't require any prep other than throwing in a pot to heat up. I'll serve with roasted broccoli for something green. 

Tuesday: Mustard-and-Herb-Crusted Pork with Roasted Potatoes and Broccolini from HelloFresh

Wednesday: Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Thighs with Freekeh, Butternut Squash, and Lemon Crema from HelloFresh (I've never cooked with freekeh before so I'm really excited to try this recipe.)

Thursday: Roasted Cauliflower Biryani with Carrots and Dried Currants and Crispy Chana Dal from HelloFresh

Friday: Charcuterie Friday 

If you want to join in the HelloFresh magic, use this link for $40 off your first box (full disclosure: if you use my link, I earn $25 off my next box).

What's on your menu this week? Have you cooked with freekeh before? Have I been missing out and is my mind about to be blown?

Brain Fog

I'm not a doctor or the least bit science-y so I can't speak to the facts of general anesthesia but I can speak to my own experience which is this: general anesthesia is hard on the brain. This was the sixth time I've been put under in the last five years and while the general anesthesia during the surgery and immediately afterwards was the smoothest experience I've had so far, the post-surgery recovery has been tough. My attention span is laughable. My energy is low, my thinking is muddled and slow, and it takes herculean effort to form a complete thought. 

It's one thing to tell you my brain feels foggy but I think I can best describe it by telling you what I did a few nights after my surgery. Before I tell you my shame, though, it's important you know a couple things. One: Poppy is not my first child. Two: Poppy is not an infant. 

Ready? Okay!

It's a few nights after my surgery. I am struggling to function in the critical thinking department. I am existing in a fog. Shawn and I realize Poppy has a bit of a fever but she's acting normally so we go about our day. Fast forward to 3 o'clock in the morning and Poppy is burning up. She's fast asleep but breathing loudly and quickly enough to wake both me and Shawn up.

We have an ear thermometer but it gives different readings literally seconds apart. Every time I use it I decide we need to buy a new thermometer and then I forget about it again until we go to use it the next time someone has a fever. (NOTE TO SELF: buy a new thermometer.) So I do the ear thermometer thing on Poppy and get a reading of 104.6F. 

I decide to call the nurses line. We go through a series of questions and I begin to feel more and more stupid for calling about my peacefully sleeping baby who has a bit of a fever (see above: not my first baby! Not an infant!) And then the nurse asks me if Poppy is lethargic. It is now 3:30 a.m. and Poppy is fast asleep (and has been asleep since about 7:30 p.m.)

Y'all, I woke up the sleeping baby at 3:30 a.m. to see if she was lethargic. (Spoiler alert: after I woke her up she was NOT SO MUCH LETHARGIC as she was pissed right off.) 

Anyway, Poppy is fine, she's just got a nasty cold, and I will be fine once my brain starts firing normally (hopefully sometime soon). 

PS: I wrote about the less hilarious aspect of my surgery over on go check it out and give some love to the other VM Voices.

Meal Plan 04/02/2018 - 04/06/2018

Things are slowly returning to normal after the chaos of last week. I'm started to feel better but my energy levels are still low. I want to try to make meals this week to keep myself occupied (I'm so bored and still can't drive) but keep them simple so I'm not wearing myself out. 


Monday: Flank steak with chimichurri sauce served with roasted broccoli and Mexican Street Corn Salad

Tuesday: Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Rollups (using buttermilk instead of eggs) served with roasted sweet potatoes and green salad

Wednesday: One Pot Couscous Chicken with Bacon and Corn served with asparagus

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza or sushi takeout

What are you eating this week?

Aggressive Brightsiding - Surgery Edition

I had my surgery yesterday and now I'm home resting. I'm feeling pretty low so here is some aggressive brightsiding to try to lift my mood. 

- Heated blankets. I don't know why I love these so much but whenever I'm in the hospital, I make it my mission to have a constant rotation of heated blankets. They're just plain flannel sheets that are folded and stacked in a blanket oven but I freaking love them so much. After my surgery I had the chills and one of the recovery nurses stacked six heated blankets on top of me. It was bliss (apart from all the pain and bleeding).

- I did not have a single panic attack. Not when I went under and not when I came out. It was actually the smoothest general anesthetic I've ever had.

- It only took two tries to get my IV in. I have rolly veins. I don't actually know what that means but it usually takes 3-4 attempts to get an IV going (my record is five. Shout out to the paramedic trainee who will probably never forget me and my rolly, gushy veins.) Yesterday the nurse got my IV in on her second attempt and I didn't even get woozy.  

- After my IV was placed, Shawn sat with me for about half an hour while we waited for the operating room to be ready. Our parking expired, and we were told I'd be heading in in the next five minutes, so I told Shawn to go. And then there was another delay and I waited 45 minutes by myself. Normally this would be the perfect time for an anxiety spiral of doom but instead I tried some of the coping techniques my therapist has been working on with me. I was anxious but did not panic. I was able to identify my anxious thoughts and calm myself. It was so gratifying to see my hard work paying off.

- One of the recovery nurses was a goddamn hoot. She's been a nurse for 48 years. She retired years ago but is called in for casual work when there's a shortage. She gives not a solitary fuck. Y'all, she was amazing. She gave the patients identifying nicknames, which is probably something nurses do when talking amongst themselves, but she referred to us openly as "frozen guy," "throat bleeder," and "little lamb," etc. (I was little lamb or lambikins. I don't know why.) While reviewing my discharge info with us, she told Shawn to "take matters into his own hands" when going over sex restrictions.

 - We are surrounded by love and support. It has been a huge comfort to know how wide our circle of support is. I am basically one step up from useless right now but my people have stepped up to handle it. It is a huge weight off my mind to know that we've got oodles of backup.