Today, I am getting quite tired of not having enough white blood cells to eat things I want to. There are so many delicious things in the world that I cannot have right now. The fact that it is really bothering me to see and think about delicious things I cannot eat probably means I am getting better because my desire for pesto, lobster rolls, yogurt, deli sandwiches is much stronger today than it even was two days ago. I don't get my labs checked again until Monday and I may have to resort to super-gluing my teeth shut to stand the weekend.
Evidently today I am only going to talk about food because I wanted to describe my visit to the CMC cafeteria while Terry was off getting his ultrasound. I went at about 6 pm which is not the smartest time in the world to go, but I wasn't hungry earlier. Because my white cells are still kinda low, I am on the "neutropenic diet." You can google it if you want to know it in detail, but the basic idea is to be sure that the bacteria/fungus count of food I eat is down as much as possible. There are several versions of the neutropenic diet and I try to do what Dr. Hill's handouts say which may differ a little from what the internet says. Leafy things have to be well cleaned which means I really can't eat them except at home; fruits and vegs have to be scrubbed which limits them as well, but if they are in hot soup in limited amounts, I figure they're probably disinfected, but I avoid vegetables that might not be completely cooked like a delicious bowl of peas when I am not in charge of cooking them myself.
Here is what happened at the cafeteria: The soup was honey carrot (can only have pasteurized honey and carrots need to be scrubbed--if it had sounded good to me, I would have asked those questions). The salad bar was totally out due to can't be sure it's well enough washed. The hot food table had this deep fried hot chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and some other things on it. It sounded exactly like dinner to me. I explained my deal to the very nice woman behind the counter who was not really sure when it had been made so she sent me on to her boss. He was very nice and told me the food had been cooked at 4 and kept at 140 degrees since then. That didn't sound like the safest thing so I crossed the steam tray off my list. He was very nice and offered to make me a hamburger just for me so we could be sure it was fresh enough (trouble is I really try not to eat beef--I feel bad for the cows). Interestingly, he had not heard of the neutropenic diet. One hopes he is not the manager of the in-patient food service.
The next area is the grill. I had them make me a grilled veggie burger with swiss cheese (can only have some kinds of cheese due to mold content--no sharp cheddar, brie, feta, farmer's) and they said the french fries had been made six minutes before. This seemed safe. They had single use mayo and catsup packets (not supposed to use condiments from large multi-use containers). The next counter over had deserts (not interested now, thanks), yogurt (live cultures--nope--although I am very jealous to see that a lot of neutropenic people get to eat yogurt with live cultures) and fruit (could I wash and scrub it in the ED exam room? probably not.) So, dinner was fine; the french fries were actually quite tasty and really hot, but overall the options were rather limited. In the scheme of things, really, I did not go hungry so I can't complain (much), but this was the first time I'd been in a hospital cafeteria since being on the neutropenic diet and I was kind of surprised there weren't more options.
Other than craving all the delicious things there are in the world, today was another pleasant and dull day: a walk, some errands, some letters written, a little weaving. Poor Emily has a cold and I got to take care of her just the tiniest bit which warms a mother's heart.
I hope you are able to eat all of the delicious things you want this weekend. Please, have something tasty for me.