Below is another part of My AVM Story: the recounting of the discovery, removal, rehabilitation, and survival of an arteriovenus malformation. To read from the beginning of the story, click here.
Real Food, Part 1
Food was a big dilemma in the hospital. I was still on a feeding tube as they were very concerned about getting the proper number of calories in me to get my body to kick start the healing process. After a day or two of being fully awake, I had an evaluation with the speech therapists to see if I could handle soft food and liquids.
Did you know you can still eat when you have a feeding tube in?? You can! I had no idea. I kind of thought my throat was totally filled with the tube. It’s not.
Anyway, because of the semi-paralysis on the left side, the doctors aren’t sure I can swallow or chew. So the speech therapist brings in a variety of things to try. I ate itty-bitty bits of crackers, applesauce, and jello.
Oh man, solid food is SOOOOOOO good! I couldn’t eat very much because the feeding tube keeps the stomach pretty full, but I was loving my first meal.
Liquids are another story. Did you know that “normal” liquids: water, juice, milk, can choke people if their esophagus isn’t working quite right? Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. Due to this potential hazard, I was on thickened liquids to start.
The juices are like drinking partially solidified jello. That’s pretty tasty. Thickened water and milk, on the other hand, are not. It’s nasty, nastiness. It doesn’t help that the milk isn’t really milk (shelf-sustainable, soy stuff), and they stir in cornstarch or something to thicken it. I guess the flavor really isn’t that different, but texture makes a big difference.
I pass my evaluation which allows me to eat real food. Yay!
Continued Therapy and Movement
I continue to have twice daily physical and occupational therapy sessions, and the nurses try to encourage me to get out of the bed as much as possible. Honestly though, it was completely depressing to get out of bed. If I got out, not only did it take a ton of effort on my part to sit up, hold my head up, and attend to stuff around me, it required several people to get me up. I couldn’t just get up when I wanted. I was completely dependent on other people to get me out and about.
I’ve never felt so helpless in all of my life. It is not a fun feeling to be so incapacitated. At times, the nurses would say, why don’t you look out the window for a while? It was early December, miserably gray, and snowing. I did not want to look out the window. When I did all I could think about is how difficult it was going to be getting back to real life. My biggest concern was the snow. I was already nervous driving on snowy roads, would I feel even more nervous if I was handicapped?
While I wasn’t totally depressed or in the dumps during this time, I wasn’t exactly happy and motivated either. I still felt ill when I sat up or tried to stand, so I was never too excited to try again. An event is coming though that turned my attitude right around. God’s hands are always working even when we don’t know it.
Next: My AVM Story – Part 25