Big Fat Queer

August 31, 2011

Two Weeks Post Op – Two and a Quarter Miles

Last night I got a pretty solid six hours of sleep and after being up for a while I had another hour “recliner nap” so today my energy was pretty good. I felt better than I have since the surgery and took advantage of it with a nice long walk. I took some pictures along the way.

I went east to York Avenue and walked down towards the hospital where I had my surgery. It was my home away from home for a week and I haven’t been in that area since I got out. Along the way I passed by Sotheby’s auction house, which is one of the larger buildings on that path (it’s at 72nd Street and York Avenue).

Sotheby's Auction House.

Once you get further south on York you enter the hospital zone. The largest is New York Presbyterian where I had my surgery and lived for a week. It is the teaching hospital of Cornell Medical School and also affiliated with Columbia Medical School. It is a huge complex of buildings and divisions. According to US News and World Report’s hospital issue this year, NYP is rated No. 1 in New York and No. 6 nationally. They are in the top two or three in several categories. From my experience, they deserve the ranking.

New York Presbyterian Hospital Main Building

This is the main building. I have tried to find out who the architect is without much luck. If anyone knows please educate me.

Across York Avenue from NYP is Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital which is ranked as the second best cancer hospital in the United States. I hope I never need their services, but it is good to know that such good quality care is walking distance from home.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital

Across from Sloan Kettering and next door to NYPH is The Rockefeller University, which is a small research institution. There is no undergraduate school there. The only students are doctoral candidates and post doctoral fellows.

Entrance to The Rockefeller University

Close up of Rockefeller U Entrance

For a small university The Rockefeller University has large accomplishments.

Past The Rockefeller University there is a footbridge to a promenade along the East River. I walked over than and took a rest on a bench by the river.

The 59th Street Bridge over the East River and Roosevelt Island.

East River Tug and Barge

On the 71st Street foot bridge back from the river you can see the Hospital for Special Surgery which is ranked as the No. 1 hospital nationally for orthopedics and No. 2 for Rheumatology.

The Hospital for Special Surgery

With these top ranked hospitals and Rockefeller University in just a few blocks the amount of brainpower and healing concentrated in such a small area is almost palpable. I have walked this walk many times over the years and I am still impressed by the amount of groundbreaking science that goes on here.

My ankles are skinnier than they have been in a decade.

August 30, 2011

A Walk in the Park

I walked from my apartment to Central Park this afternoon. It is about six tenths of a mile (or one kilometer). I sat for a while and enjoyed the view, then walked some more in the Park. When I was ready to go home I took a bus and got out a few blocks from home and walked the rest of the way. Altogether it was about 1.2 miles.

Despite that I didn’t feel as energetic today. I didn’t sleep so well last night. Since my surgery I have had a problem with my cpap machine. My mouth comes open a lot when I sleep. This reduces the effectiveness of the cpap since some of the air pressure escapes, and it also dries out my mouth and sinuses. The dried sinuses produced a sneezing jag that woke me up in the middle of the night and lasted for quite a long time. I even began to worry that I might injure something internal (like my incision) with the endless sneezing. I eventually got control of things and went back to sleep. I have had several short naps today, but I never really caught up. I don’t know why the open mouth problem has started. I have used the cpap for a few years now without the problem. In a few months I won’t even need it any more. Here’s hoping tonight I get better sleep so tomorrow will be more pleasant.

At least my lower energy today was not due to a lack of progress in recovery, but something explainable.

For lunch I had leftovers from dinner last night, cucumber soup, sweet potato mousse and some vegetable puree. For dinner I ordered a steamed platter from my favorite Chinese restaurant with vegetables and steamed shrimp. I blended five shrimp with a little egg drop soup to moisten them and it was tasty. I also blended some vegetables but they did not taste so good so I didn’t eat much. In place of the vegetables I had some apple-apricot sauce. I always seem to be able to get fruit down. I’m getting really tired of purees. In a week I can start real food. For breakfast I had a protein shake, which I will continue doing after I start real food for the protein supplementation.

P.S. When I was just about home I passed a restaurant around the corner from my building. There is an al fresco dining area. I saw my surgeon with four residents sitting outside having dinner. I started to say hello, but I decided not to bother them outside a professional situation. He was holding court with the young acolytes hanging on every word. I did find it a strange coincidence to see them there.

July 12, 2011

Homework

Just a quick update. I did homework for the nutritionist appointment on Thursday tonight. I had to update my food diary for the last few days and make sample menus for my post surgery meals. The focus is making sure to get in 60-80 grams of protein despite the limitations on the amount of food that can be taken in. It took some work, but I got it done.

Other things I have been working on for over a week:

1. Practice separating liquids and foods (and not drinking liquids 30 min before/after meals). Pretty good at that.
2. Add 1000 iu Vitamin D3 to the multivitamin I am already taking. I have been taking for a week now.
3. Think protein.
4. Choose only sugar-free fluids (which I already do)
5. Practice eating slowly, chewing well. I am working on this, making some progress, but I have to retrain myself.
6. Consult with pharmacist/doctor about medications that need to be ground up. My Dr. will get back to me.
7. Try to lose some weight. I think I have lost about 10 lb, but I will be weighed on Thursday.
8. Exercise. I have been using the Upper Body Exerciser regularly.
9. Keep food records. I’m using myfitnesspal.com (which also has an iPhone app).
10. Create after surgery sample menus (done).
11. Attend support group meeting. Did that, and will attend another if it comes up before surgery.
12. Measure amount of 1/2 and 1/2 I use in my coffee. I drink one mug a day, usually, with 2 tbsp = 40 calories.

I am on track to get cleared after this appointment unless I am misunderstanding something.

My food diary for today:

Sample Menus for After Surgery:

July 11, 2011

I’m Pleepy

A friend of mind teaches pre-school and one of her students once told her he was pleepy. Me too. I had a long day. I got up earlier than normal because I am training a new staff person who started today. Days where I work closely with one person without my usual breaks and diversions really wear me out. Aside from going in early I stayed about an hour and a half later than normal. I will not do any exercise tonight because I am about to fall over from exhaustion, but I will report on my day.

I took the new person to lunch at a really nice place in the work neighborhood. It is upscale Italian and I managed to stay pretty healthy in spite of the many temptations. I had an appetizer of prosciutto and figs, only about 2 oz of meat and three very fresh and delicious figs. My entree was grilled talapia with about two tablespoons of soft polenta. As it is an upscale restaurant the portions were small (at twice the price!), so I managed to eat pretty healthy.

When I came home a made a turkey burger on rye bread with a side dish of cucumber slices, red bell pepper and tomatoes with just a bit of salt and red wine vinegar.

I will have a Chobani non-fat peach yogurt after I post this then plotz in front of the TV. Anthony Bourdain’s series started a new season tonight (first episode set in Havana). I will watch that then go to bed.

The MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone totals my calories at 1330 for the day with 111 grams of protein. In looking at my food analysis for the last few days I am probably getting too much carbs, despite the low calories. I need to watch that. I will weigh in at the nutritionist appointment Thursday. I expect to have dropped a few pounds.

You can click the picture below if you want to know more about Chobani yogurt.

July 10, 2011

Back on Track

Poached eggs, rye toast and Sriracha.

Today I did well. For breakfast I had two perfectly poached eggs (using the steamer) with rye toast. Breakfast was late so I didn’t eat lunch. I had a half cup of apple sauce (no sugar added) for a snack. For dinner I had 6 ounces of grilled chicken with some pureed peas, pureed yellow squash, pureed green beans and pureed carrots (1/4 cup each). I will have a 6 oz Chobani Lemon Greek yogurt for a late snack. That brings me to 1100 calories for the day. I did 20 minutes on the Upper Body Exerciser. It said it burned 194 calories, though I think that is an overstatement. Maybe 100.

This is the Upper Body Exerciser, which is basically a tabletop stationary bicycle that I pedal with my hands. Actually “pedal” is not the right word since it is from the Latin for foot. What would the manual equivalent of pedal be?

Upper Body Exerciser

July 9, 2011

Vicarious Exercise

I must have burned a thousand calories just watching these guys exercise 🙂

Yesterday I began the process of losing weight before the surgery. When I get a specific date they will tell me when to do the liquid diet, but for now just a general effort to lose some weight. I am not on the post-op diet, but I am eating some vegetable purees because I like them. Fortunately I don’t have to puree my proteins so I am eating grilled chicken (mostly), and fish. I tried to find veal in the market today but not a single item of veal. I wil have to go to Agata and Valentina tomorrow and get some veal. I am avoiding beef and pork for now, as I will for several months after the surgery.

Yesterday I had 3 oz of non-fat Greek lemon yogurt for breakfast. For lunch, 3 oz of grilled chicken and 6 oz of mixed steamed vegetables. For dinner I ordered a steamed platter from a Chinese restaurant and from that I had three oz of steamed shrimp, 3 oz of chicken and 6 oz of mixed vegetables. For a snack last night I had a 6 oz of low-fat Greek honey yogurt and 2 oz of pineapple chunks. The total for the day was only 850 calories, but I had 99 grams of protein which is more than adequate. I was low in fats and sodium. I did not get enough vitamins, but I do take a supplement. In terms of total nutrition this is probably the range I will be eating for several months post surgery. That is why the weight comes off so fast at first. I anticipate that even after I heal completely and get on a normal diet (the new normal) I will probably not exceed 1500 calories a day.

However, since I have not had the surgery and I am still dealing with a major appetite, yesterday was probably a little light. This morning I was ravenous and had a full breakfast of eggs, sausage potatoes and toast. This was probably a thousand calories. Tonight I will have 3 oz of grilled chicken and some pureed vegetables. So, for today I project 1500 calories. Not bad, though it should be spaced out better in time and quality of food. Breakfast was fat and starch. Mmmmm good 🙂

February 18, 2011

Chicken Fresco from Ruby Tuesdays

I had a business lunch today at Ruby Tuesdays, not a place I go to often because there is too much temptation to eat high caloric crap (much better than the low caloric crap). I had Chicken Fresco, grilled chicken with slices of tomato and a balsamic sauce (thinner than the picture, which is from the web, not my picture). Instead of potatoes I had string beans. Probably about 600 calories.

February 17, 2011

Pork Products and Veg

Tonight’s dinner was boneless spare ribs and steamed vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, choy sum and snow peas. About 700 calories, totalling about 1400 for today. I will have some pineapple chunks and lychees (as pictured yesterday) after this post.

I walked about a mile today. I wanted to walk more after work because it was such a mild day, pleasant for walking, but It was a hard day at work and I did a lot more physical movement, including lifting and moving things, than usual. I was exhausted and dehydrated. After dinner and a bit of rest, I did do some house cleaning, so in addition to the walking this morning I had a more than normally active day.

As is often the case, I’m too tired to be interesting or insightful, but I think blogging what I eat helps, even if I have nothing witty to say. I hope I have something more to offer soon.

February 16, 2011

I Eat, Therefore I Blog

I have blogged pictures of all my food today. You can click to embiggen. Maybe it will help to keep me honest. For lunch I had the salad in the last post, which probably totalled about 400 calories with dressing. For dinner I had steamed vegetables (spinach, snow peas, bok choy, choy sum, with steamed shrimp, chicken and beef, with a peanut sesame sauce, and a little over half cup of brown rice, about 600 calories. The Chinese joint I order from includes complimentary pineapple chunks and lychees with each order. I will have that after I post this, less than 100 calories. It isn’t exactly a pint of Hagen Daaz, but it’s something sweet and healthier.

I walked about a mile today. The weather is warming up. For the last two months it has been brutal in New York, many feet of snow and very low temperatures. It has been difficult to walk outside, but that is changing. I bought a foot spa today that heats and massages the feet as well as creates bubbles in the water, like a jaccuzi. I will see how it works tonight. As I have mentioned in this blog before I have a lot of issues with foot pain. Maybe this will help.

Asian Salad For Lunch

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 1:29 pm
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Romaine, spinach, edamame craisins, avocado, carrots, grilled chicken, mandarin orange sections, sundried tomatoes.

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