Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hospital Meals - Part 2 - After Surgery

Lunch (May 12th)

This was the first food I ate after the surgery. It was served as lunch about 10 hours after I got out of the operation room. I was almost starving to death then, so I gobbled everything up right away. What's in the big white bowl was thin rice gruel, but I had no idea what that yellow pudding-like thing in the red bowl was. (It was a little sweet, but not as smooth as pudding...) The drink in the white mug was probably some kind of probiotic drink.

Since I had a great appetite then, I thought I would enjoy all the meals for the rest of my stay there. Buy I was wrong -- definitely wrong.

They gave me rice porridge with grilled fish, nikujaga (simmered meat and potatoes) and some vegetable for dinner on the 12th (no photo). Because I was afraid of starving in the middle of the night, I ate them all. My colleague was there then, and I had to make a great effort to force myself to eat and carry on conversation at the same time. But still, the meal didn’t taste too terrible. Later that night, I thought about having some of my oatmeal raisin cookies, but as soon as I opened the can, the smell of spices knocked me down! After that, I never opened the can until I came back to my apartment.

Breakfast and lunch (May 13th)

Now, these two photos still give me cold sweat when I see them. For the first time in my life, eating meals was a hardship for me. No, it's not that the quality of the meals got worse all the sudden. I guess it was that my sense of taste was a little messed up after the surgery.

It was the 13th when I had a real hard time. I knew their miso soup was thick, but that morning it tasted unbelievably salty. And I felt that the bamboo shoots were challengingly stringy and the simmered short-necked clams tasted weird with an unpleasant (to me) smell of ginger. I felt cold sweat on my back during my breakfast.

But the lunch was even more challenging. The smell of chicken and burdock – the combination I usually love – almost made me nauseate. And the vinegared dish tasted so super-sour that I thought it might make a hole in my stomach. It was strange… I was undoubtedly hungry. I had a very good appetite, because my intestines already started functioning normally early in the morning on the day after the surgery. But eating was such a hard work and again I was soaked in a cold sweat while eating. Stringy burdock, stringy bamboo shoots (again) and stringy asparagus with dressing which tasted unbelievably sour to me…! Seriously, I got traumatized. It’ll take some time for me to be able to enjoy this simmered dish (chikuzen-ni?) again. But you know what? I ate them all -- just to convince myself that I had a lot of guts. ;)

Oh, BTW, you may not know this because my posts on this hospital experience haven't gotten to that part yet, but I already went back to work on the 21st (last Monday.) And I'm still alive (though a couple of problems were waiting for me with their arms wide open).



Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan, I hope you're feeling well!! A fan : )

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sweetie, I'm soooo glad to see you back in circulation ... I'm not sure of the thingie that was removed, but better it be gone, and now you must rest up, and get well. The food looks great ... it made me really hungry -- do they deliver to Hollywood, CA?
God bless, Christine in Los Angeles

Unknown said...

How interesting that your tastebuds were put into overdrive after your procedure. My uncle, after a procedure, said that things tasted different or bad.

obachan said...

anonymous commenter
Thanks. Yep, I'm getting better day by day.

Christine in LA
Thank you. It's so nice to be back.
And the hospital kitchen staff would freak out if I'd tell them that someone in Hollywood wanted their food delivered! :D

obachan said...

Oh, so I was not the only one, ha? Glad to hear that. In my case, it lasted for several days (I'm going to post about it soon.)