Tag Archives: Healing

A Diet for No-Pancreas

25 Jan

A lot of the questions I had  before surgery were about what day to day life after surgery is.  Now, of course, I am by no means an expert as I am only four months out, but I can tell you where I am at now.

One of my biggest frustrations is my diet.  I feel silly admitting that because I know people who were able to eat far less for far longer.  I had high hopes pre-surgery. I viewed this as a chance to re-think everything, including my poor eating habits.  It is evidently en vogue to “cleanse” oneself before significantly improving one’s lifestyle.  What better cleanse could their be than having not a bite of food for three months?  My plan was to begin with juices and soups all fruit and vegetable based, and move on to purees of vegetables.

It was a nice thought….

Truth be told, my body can barely tolerate most food.  I CAN eat anything.  But, I feel best eating things that are not high on the healthy list… particularly starches, crackers, chips, instant mashed potatoes… and not much else.  I press it of course, because I know that this won’t be doing my body any favors, even if the “instant gratification” of seemingly easy digestion is there.  Raw fruit and vegetables? Forget it, I’ll be hunched over the toilet for hours.

My wonderful mother made five different delicious home made soups from scratch for me after I had my feeding tubes out, the week before thanksgiving.  Those were probably the most sustaining foods I have had this whole time.  That’s right.  My mom is probably the only reason I have any hair left at all (another grisly detail I’m sure most of you didn’t want to know — but if you are preparing for surgery, be warned).  Since then my diet has been spiralling.  I eat a lot of canned soup.  There are some lean cuisine meals I can handle. But it is touch and go.  I try to drink one Boost shake a day.  And I try to have either a smoothie or some eggs each day if I can bear it.

I’m still planning to revamp my eating, part of that will have to wait for me to be well enough to grocery shop and cook regularly again. I’m sure a nutritionist would be horrified by my current eating habits, but I’m pleased just to be able to taste food in general and I’ll take it as I can.  But I do miss salads… so very much!

Exercise is the next thing that I wish I could stand.  My sides ache when I am in a chair without arms to support me, my legs grow weak when I’m standing for more than 20-30 minutes.  Of course my attitude on this topic was similar to the diet topic… but I severely underestimated how weak I was going to be, how hard it would be to stand the cold outside for a walk when shivering racked my healing muscles, how frightened I would be to attempt to work out when no one was around to help me if I collapsed.  At a little under three months I was walking in a craft store when I fell into the shelves, it is a huge blow to realize– to admit to yourself– that you are that frail.  Mentally of course this makes me more determined… physically, I’m afraid I’m not ready.

Call to Arms

24 Jun

So we’re at war in our household with one Bad Pancreas. Admittedly, my weak point is asking for help, but I have to confide that I can’t take on the little guy on my own.   As the months leading to my surgery turn to weeks (and days, and so forth) I’m going to need a lot of support.  So, I’m asking:

  1.  For Prayer.  We desperately need prayer, in every single aspect of our lives.
    • We need prayer on September 12, on the day of surgery,  for guidance for the doctors.
    •  We need prayer after September 12, for healing.
    • We need prayer leading up to and following the surgery for our financial well-being.
    •  We need prayer for our fundraiser, we know God will provide for us to have this operation, but any security we can muster will exponentially help our certainty that we are doing the right thing and allow us to have peace about our decisions.
    • Prayer for our family and friends, this is going to be a hard time for everyone involved.  We’ve been told by the doctors over and over again that it is almost a community affair, this surgery affects everyone, it is going to be a hard, long surgery, with a hard, long recovery.
  2. For Financial Help. This is by far the hardest thing to ask for.  I know with the economic climate the way it is, many of you can’t afford to help.  Please know that I understand, and I’m not asking you for money.  I appreciate anything you might be able to contribute, whether it is a one time prayer, or help spreading the word to those who may feel led to give.
    • Social Media.  One of the best tools we have for raising money is Facebook and e-mail.  In order to raise any money at all we have to be exposed to potential donors.  To do this, we need all the help we can get, from sharing events, status updates, and pages, to initiating your friends to donate their status message for the day with our fundraising link (http://www.giveforward.org/evicttaraspancreas). If you have a blog, please feel free to share the links to this site and the one above, as well as my story and any images.  We have a limited amount of time to make as big of an impact as we can with this campaign and I’m being really up front here because we simply can’t do it without your help.
    • Mail.  If you have access to a list of addresses through your church, business or organization who you think might be inclined to help out our cause, we would love to send them a letter explaining how they could help if they were so led, including the time and place of our eventual event.
    • Fundraising Event. I’m completely at a loss here, if anyone has any experience with these things, I would so appreciate your advice.  I’m sure we’re going to need a location, food, advertisement, possibly people to help run it, and I have no clue what else. I’m open to ANY advice!!
    • Donations or  Merchandise Purchase. If you are interested in contributing financially you can do so here at our charity website OR you can purchase Bad Pancreas Cartoon Merchandise at the Shop.  We get a 30% commission on merchandise sales, and 100% of anything donated to the charity site.  If you have any advice or ideas on how to make this drive more successful, please, please contact us!
  3. For Support After the Surgery.
    • Watering the Plants and Feeding the Cat during the Surgery Week. I know my darling husband will do his best to take care of my patio garden and our giant fat cat, however, I’m sure it will be far more overwhelming for him than he or I realize.  To this point, if anyone would be willing to stop by once a day for the one or two weeks I will be staying in the hospital during and after the surgery, I’m sure it would be an incredible relief.
    • Spending time at the house.  I know this one is tricky.  My doctor asked us if we could find someone to stick around while my husband is at work, and essentially babysit me my first few weeks home.  If you have any spare time you’d be willing to spend hanging out at my humble abode post surgery, we’d be so thankful.  We would be more than happy to provide food and sleeping arrangements. If you can stay more than a day, let us know and we will start looking for some simple furniture to make our spare bedroom inhabitable!
    • Running Errands.  I won’t be able to drive for the first few months, and I’m sure Rob is going to have his plate full taking care of me and working his insane schedule.  Which might leave a few neglected tasks that need to be tended to.  We may need someone to run and grab something from the pharmacy or help me get to a dr. appt.  every now and again.
    • Silly Domestic Stuff.  Like possibly providing a couple meals for Rob and whoever is able to stick around and help out that week.  I won’t be able to stand to cook for myself or anyone else, at first I will be on feeding tubes, so this won’t be a huge deal for me.  But, it might be nice for other people to be taken care of.  If you would be able to do this during the first month or two post-surgery, that would be amazing.
I know this is a lot.  Truth be told, we can’t do any of this but by a miracle of God.  Anything you are able to contribute, even just thoughts or prayers will be more than sufficient.  We love you all so much.  We feel your support all the time, and we are seeing God answer your and our prayers each day.  I couldn’t have made it this far without you, and I know you’ll be with me through this whole super, major, life-changing experience.  I can’t wait to share it with you all.

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