The supper last evening was a foray in gastronomical hell. My wife and I found that a meal without salt is awful - especially since we were both used to using salt freely on and in our foods.
Jean had decided to go on the salt-free diet herself knowing that someday she too might be forced into it. At the supper table she said to me, "If this meal is any indication of what it's going to be like - you're on your own, kid!"
I knew she didn't want to be put in the position to prepare two separate meals, one for herself and one for me. However, she had just about set her mind to that possibility.
On Saturday my daughter Gretchen accompanied me on a shopping expedition. Our first stop was at a drug store specializing in health products and aids. There I purchased a couple of men's hand-held urinals, a bathroom scale, a prescription pill sorter, and a package of protective inserts.
The water pills, especially within the first three or four hours of being taken, force "uncontrollable" urination. The urinals will help prevent accidents while trying to get to the nearest bathroom at home. The inserts are for those times when I am unable to get to a bathroom. Carrying around one of those urinals and putting them to use in public would not be kosher. Also they are designed to absorb and to prevent those embarrassing tattle-tale wet spots on the front of one's pants.From the drugstore we went to the supermarket. I won't need to tell you readers just how many of the products we consume contain sodium. All one need do is to read the packaging for the nutritional values and ingredients. It's actually quite alarming how much sodium can be found in even the most common products, even those considered staples.
The first thing on my list was "salt alternatives," and I grabbed a containers of "Nu Salt" and "No Salt." God bless the inventors of salt substitutes that actually taste like salt!
Other items that met the criteria of the diet on which I'd been placed were greedily tossed into the shopping cart. These items included "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," low sodium cheddar cheese, Egg beaters, 2% milk, a loaf of 100% Wheat bread, a jar of both sliced pears and peaches in their juices, bananas, some Mt. Ranier cherries, fresh strawberries, a bunch of red seedless grapes, etc.
Sunday morning breakfast consisted of Egg Beaters with two slices of the cheese made into an omelet, 2 slices of wheat bread topped with the butter substitute a cup of diced strawberries with a sprinkling of sugar and a 1/4 cup of 2% milk. It was washed down with bottled water followed by a cup of coffee.
To be perfectly honest - it was a delicious and satisfying breakfast.This time around our supper was gastronomical heaven! The salt substitutes made all of the difference in the world. The meatloaf (made with lean beef of course), the mashed potatoes, fresh green beans and the gravy all tasted great! A cup of sliced peaches rounded off the meal quite nicely.
My wife retracted her comment of the previous evening and said, "I can get used to this."
I winked and replied, "Me too!"
You know, I think I'm going to do okay with the new diet and changes in our lifestyles.I'm happy to report that the edema is continuing to improve and to recede within my body. Also the mysterious rash has all but disappeared altogether except in the left arm where it had first appeared. It's appearance is lighter in color and looks as if it will also diminish. I am still experiencing some dry and flaking skin, but the prescribed cream keeps it in check.
I am most happy with the steady loss of weight which the edema had elevated to frightening levels. Two weeks ago, I reported to the hospital at 214 pounds! Last week while admitted the weight had slipped down to 208 pounds. Yesterday evening, using the bathroom scale I'd purchased, I was greeted with a reading of 200 pounds. Lo and behold, this afternoon, I tipped the scales at 198 pounds!
The only other issue of major concern is that the rash and the areas where it had resided on my body seem to be photosensitive! It would appear that at present I have developed an intolerance for bright intense sun exposure. I've already experienced a moment where I thought I was going to pass out while out in the sun.There you have it, my updated status as I know it to be.
During my visit on Friday with the dermatologist he advised me not to use sunscreens but to stay out of the direct sun as much as possible. He took a small biopsy sample from the area of my collar bone where some of the rash was still visible. He will run some tests on the sample and hopes to have some positive results on my return appointment this coming Thursday at 10:30 am. He will remove the stitches then also.