I’m back among the living (and the heavily sedated)

Hi all. I’m home. I swapped out my phone with one David wasn’t using so my normal number is working–apparently phones are very unforgiving of herbal tea.

It’s gone back and forth, but I AM on a low-dose estrogen pill, we’re going to wait on menopause and see how the pain is from the implants that are left on my other innards. The intestines and the wall of the abdomen have growths they couldn’t get off in this surgery. The surgery lasted 3 1/2 hours and recovery was long because my blood pressure wasn’t coming back up (60/30!). But I’m home now and am on some narcotics and horse-pill ibuprofen. Every now and then I get a wild hair to come off the percaset (?) because I feel dopey and have crazy evil nightmares, but then get uncomfortable enough to go back on.

We had some incision issues last night where the outer layer opened up about an inch in length. David took a picture for me to see, which I will kindly not post here (I can’t bend over very well to see it myself). After a call to my doctor, David flushed it with saline and peroxide and retaped it like a pro, it’s staying closed and dry today.

Life involves a lot of sleep and lying there and reading. Reading can be tricky because focusing can be hard with the drugs, but I did manage to finish Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma. I’ve been widely recommending this book for a long time based on my reading of several of his articles that went into the book and reading the first few chapters, but now can more authentically and fervently recommend it. As I’ve said before, it is required reading for people who eat. I wish I could distill it down for you, but short of periodically typing in some of the huge sections I highlighted, it deserves a good reading.

It is written by a journalist who truly loves food (and no, is not a vegetarian) who really wants to know where all our food comes from. He doesn’t just discover the (apalling) problems, but reports on some people trying other, viable solutions. You really understand why things are the way they are, why otherwise intelligent people continue to support a sick system, and why it is so hard to change. You also realize why and how your family likely should “opt out.” It really is the only thing individual families can do to protect their own health and hopefully move the needle toward a safer, saner food supply for our grandkids.

Put simply, if we really knew where our industrial food came from, we simply wouldn’t eat it. As Pollan says, the whole system is built on the assumption that eaters will “look away.” If the walls of the processing plants were glass (not just those of the slaughterhouses, but even the plant-based factories) things just simply wouldn’t happen the way they do–none of us would tolerate it.

If we knew, we’d demand other choices, and those choices would become more available and affordable. “I don’t want to know,” is simply not an okay stance for parents in an age of rampant food-borne illness, children beginning adolescence before ten and the appallingly costly burden on our health, the economy, the environment and our moral standing when we buy “cheap food”–which (as in the storyofstuff.com and most industrialized products) looks cheap because it doesn’t fold in the greater costs to the consumer in other forms–it is actually much more expensive on a greater scale.

Please read it. You can instead (or in addition) read Animal Vegetable Miracle (now just $10 in paperback) and get a good synopsis of Omnivore as well as lots of practical, interesting and family-level ideas on how to fix our food problems without becoming a “food freak.” A lot less anthropological/philosophical stuff, which I like, but you may not be into.

I have come to see the problem as a very spiritual issue with a spiritual solution and it is uncanny how the prophets have guided us toward a better way long, long before it came to this.

As Kimball said, it is important that we do not lose contact with the soil, it brings us humility and opens our eyes to how the Lord provides for us. Needless to say, I am very excited for planting season this year and am ordering my seeds today (maybe after a nap). I’m ready to be off and hoeing–except for the pain and incoherence.

Anyway, I’m back to my usual tirades, so that’s a good sign. Now they are just drug-fueled.

Well, thanks for all your prayers and support. Hopefully recovery will be swift.

PS: No worries, Megan, the problems were with the BMW. Thanks for the sweet card! xoxoxox

5 replies
  1. Jen
    Jen says:

    Welcome Home, Val! Glad you are taking it easy enough to sit and read. But ouch incision issues. I’m going to pray that that doesn’t happen again!!! I’m still reading Animal Vegetable Miracle and loving it. Where are you ordering your seeds from? Speedy Recovery

  2. Purple Echo
    Purple Echo says:

    Hope you are able to get some rest. My mom is in the hospital right now – she broke her hip – and I know you can’t get any rest there! I had problems with my incision after I had the kid and the watered down hydrogen peroxide did wonders. Also keeping it dry – try putting some gauze there against it and changing it several times a day if needed.
    Love ya!

  3. brieanne.
    brieanne. says:

    so glad you are recovering as well as can be expected from such an event! I have much to catch up on and will hopefully get back to this blog sooner than later to read up on it all. and thanks for the warning of herbal tea … i have a bad habit of putting it on the floor by phone when i’m too lazy to put a tray next to my bed at night. love the new look by the way 🙂

  4. jolie fleur
    jolie fleur says:

    Valerie, I don’t know if you remember me but I lived in East Pas about two years ago and you were a godsend to me! I have to just say that I stumbled onto your blog (still a MEPAF member just to stay a bit connected) through an email on the MEPAF listserve and I’m in love with it! A couple of things, after reading, I went out and borrowed a couple of books by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I LOVE your quote from Dallin H Oaks (can I steal it?), and the article by Ezra Taft Benson that you link to was paradigm shifting. (Where have I been all my life that I HAVEN’T read that yet???) I just have to say that I really enjoy your blog. You write well and are so very real that it really means something to me. Thank you for that.

    Jennifer Mackay


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