Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me...

-sings- Happy birthday to me, I wasn't where I planned to be..

Okay, so my birthday was this week. Due to a bank "error" I was broke. My entire life had been put into temporary suspension while I wait, holding my breath, for tests and consultations. We've begun changing The Boy's room (the converted-to-code garage) into a hospital suite in preparation for what seems to be an inevitable surgery. I haven't seen Houdini in months. Almost everything I own is packed, and my room is full of boxes and bags that were waiting for my move. Daydreams of showing up on The Gypsy's doorstep on his birthday (same week as mine) flew out the window with the first doctor's appointment. Sigh. Hell of a month.

With all of this, you would think my birthday would be the last thing on my mind. Well, you'd be right, mostly.. I had to remind myself THE DAY BEFORE that I was about to add a fresh tick to the years survived. This I remembered while one the phone with my doctor, and only because she said, while shuffling through paperwork "You're thirty-something, right?" [short pause while I attempted to remember] "Yep. In fact, I'm turning thirty-five in just a few-- wait.. I'm turning thirty-five tomorrow." That got a laugh out of her, considering we'd talked more than once about me losing an entire year. (My mother had mistakenly wished me a happy 25th birthday on my 24th. As a result, I was 25 for two years, instead of one.)
So, it was no surprise to me that my birthday swept through without cake, candles, or party. It didn't much matter, in the end. I wasn't at my best, and I definitely wasn't in party-shape. Mostly, I wanted to alternately roam the house and crawl into bed. This meant the announcement that I shouldn't touch the (at the time) exploded kitchen at all, since it was my birthday, came as a welcome gift.
I also got a cute lefty mug, several writings by my buddy Sandy Duncan, and a special dinner.

create joy
create happiness
and create
the life
you imagine 
(crappy iPhone pic for speed)

I spent the rest of the day looking up post-op dietary suggestions, to prep myself for the loss of an organ (albeit a small one) and unintentionally sent myself into a bitter, angry spiral of depression. I'm a foodie, dammit, and all I was reading was LONG "Do Not Eat" lists, packed with many of my favorite foods. Included in that list were several I had been longing to grow.
I later found out that the diets and lists are temporary, while your body adjusts to missing something. So. Most of my favorite foods should, I hope, someday be available to me again. What was in the list? Oh, you know, almost EVERY DAMN FOOD AVAILABLE. No dairy, no eggs, no Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, citrus, pork, fowl, corn, beans, caffeine (coffee OR tea, not even decaf), bubbling (carbonated) water, nuts, legumes, spicy food, salt, chocolate, ice cream, fruit juice, tomatoes (gasp!), onions (double-gasp!), oats, sugar, turnips, alcohol of any form, gluten in any form, tap water?!
I passed the list to Blue, after reading some of it off to him, aghast. His response was "What the hell are you supposed to eat, steamed water and air?" Apparently. That and beets, grapes, avocados (gag, even at the thought, as I've developed a food aversion from eating a whole unripe fruit), flax oil (retch), and apples - which we have learned I don't process at all, at this point.
For now, we've decided to continue living as we have, but with a slightly modified diet. I'll be eating more sweet potatoes, watermelon, squash/zucchini... generally anything soft, healthy, and relatively easy to digest. And while I'm stuck here, we'll work on The Back Forty, in whatever limited capacity I'm able. Proudfoot is bringing out a treadmill, hospital bed, walker, shower seat, and anything else she can find that might be good to have on hand for my recovery.

Aside from the health issues, though, my birthday was actually pretty cool. I spent a lot of my up-time relaxing and watching Ghost Hunters, made myself a beautiful sandwich with vine-ripe (not mine, sadly) tomatoes, sweet yellow onion, paper-sliced ham & turkey, lettuce so crunchy it made me glad I had the captions on, and sandwich-sliced dill pickles. Ran out into the back yard to move the hose without my shirt on. Worked on my Lists. Played games on Facebook. Ran like a chicken with its head cut off, taking pictures of the Fancy Dinner as it was being made.

Oh, what was the fancy birthday dinner? Well....

Braised cabbage and apples in a pungent mustard-and-vinegar sauce...

A slice of marinated pork loin, kissed by barbecue smoke and licked by flames over a bed of Holy Trinity (celery, carrots, onions) and apples...

...and a nice rice pilaf. We'd planned to have some fire-grilled zucchini with it, but I was too busy stealing the prep ingredients and taking their pictures, and missed the window for prepping the squash and getting it on the grill in time for plating. No image of the finished plate, this time. We were all going buggy with the scents filling the air and were well into our dishes before I realised I hadn't thought to take the picture.

And I am promised a raincheck on the cake. ;)

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