Monday, April 19, 2010

A Gradual Whittling of Culinary Options

I have this stomach thing.

Long story short, there's about a million things I can no longer eat, and the list just happens to line up pretty much exactly with a catalogue of my favorite foods. Coffee, chocolate, garlic, tomato sauce, onions, spicy anything, and booze.

I actually found out about my stomach thing (which is, I think, the clinical term for the condition) about half a year ago. I went through this process wherein they knock me out, stick a balloon-thingy (more medical jargon) down my throat, and inflate it to break up a bunch of scar tissue in my esophagus. It cured the main symptom of my thing, which is that food gets stuck halfway down my gullet and just lodges itself there like some ill-mannered houseguest.

But the fix is only temporary, and my doctor, my very good doctor, gave me a prescription for an entire phalanx of acid-control products, as well as the following rules:

1. None of the above-mentioned foods.
2. No eating within two hours of going to bed.
3. Never, ever get myself wet.

Actually, that last one is from Gremlins I think, but the first two are legit. And since we now go to bed around 8 to maximize sleep, and I get home at 6:45, I just kinda don't get to eat dinner anymore.

Theoretically speaking, anyway.

In reality, after two weeks or so of diligently following Doctor's Orders, I started getting a bit indignant. I hadn't even had a chance to say goodbye to coffee. And chocolate has been such a boon companion, how could I give it the kiss-off without so much as a last lingering look, maybe with "Don't You (Forget About Me)" playing in the background?

But what started as a last walk down Culinary Lane turned into a six-month rebellion against medical science, during which I not only continued eating my forbidden foods, but actually reversed course and began feasting upon them like Azrael at a Smurf hospital for paraplegics.

I had the right, didn't I? I was barely sleeping. All my leisure activities had been traded in for changing diapers. I deserved a little indulgence.

Fast forward six months. My stomach is a mess.

I yield, kids. I yield. Bring on the oatmeal and stewed prunes and water crackers.

Will I give up everything, all the time?

No. I don't really have to. I have enough medically-prescribed chemicals to indulge in the occasional slice of Hawaiian style, or to slurp a very occasional soy latte. But this time, occasional actually means occasional. The way Christmas is occasional. Not the way, say, Thursday is occasional. Or, like, breathing.

The part of me that is lured by the positive thinking movement would like to see this as an opportunity, maybe a chance to clean up my diet in a way I haven't tried since I lost all my, ahem, baby fat in high school trying to impress Traci Whatsherface (didn't work, btw. She was more impressed by her pot dealer. But I digress...)

Maybe it will be.

I'll keep you posted.