Coffee heat rising

It Lives!

And it just quit its job.

Mayo PxYesh. I survived the surgery, apparently (to judge from the nurses’ and doctors’ commentary) better than most old ladies. Other than an overall sensation of having been run over by a truck, I feel pretty good. The tubes are out, everything is out but the IV connection, which they flat refuse to remove until I’m walking out the door. I even managed to figure out how to use the shower, which in its environmental correctness barely trickles out enough water to get your body damp.

In theory, I’m supposed to be discharged at noon, when M’hijito will kindly take MORE time off work to come schlep me around. The surgeon said I could pick up the dogs, which will make it possible for me to deal with them. And if that’s the case, I should be able to handle the pool, since nothing involved in its maintenance weighs more than 20 pounds.

Food is going to be a problem: I have to avoid high-fiber foods, and in my “real food” diet that’s mostly what I eat. The doc favors fake “food supplements,” which I flat refuse to eat. Somehow I’ll have to pick up some things I can cook that will be soft, high in protein, and low in fiber.

And that, I believe, will be chicken à blanc with rice or pasta. Heh. And I happen to have a lifetime supply of Costco chicken in the freezer…

My drinking habits will have to abate for a few weeks, alas. (How will I survive??) But that’s hardly the end of the world. In fact, it may be a good thing.

And: While I’ve been sitting here fielding sass from the current batch of students, some of whom have shown themselves to be exceptional douches, I’ve had a full-blown epiphany: I am NOT going to teach any more!

I’ve had six surgeries over the past year, one of them for a life-threatening condition. Enough is enough: I fail to see any reason to continue making myself miserable for a net income of $1,120 a month, max, averaged over 12 months.

So… I just sent an email to the departmental chair telling him I can finish out this section but wish to be relieved from duty this fall. If I just can’t make it without that $1,120, then I’ll go back in the spring. But somehow I don’t think a $13,400 drawdown from something over $600,000 is going to break me up in business soon. That’s a 2% drawdown. There’s enough in the credit union to cover six months’ of living expenses without any teaching income. So the soonest I’d have to start a drawdown is next January. Probably not even then, with any luck at all.

And with any luck, my proposed new enterprise, which promises to be pretty lively, will generate at least that much. And more, I hope.

13 thoughts on “It Lives!”

  1. I was wondering how you were going to continue teaching while recovering from surgery and working on your new writing endeavor. Congrats on quitting and best of luck to you! Get well soon, too.

    • Thanks. I have help with these classes — couldn’t begin to do them alone and get anything else done. But I think we’re both a little tired of this gig.

  2. You know I was kind of worried because I couldn’t call your blog up *at all* for a couple of days. 🙁

    I am absolutely thrilled that you are quitting teaching. Now, if I can just talk you into a vacation or two. 😀

    • I think the system was up and down. While I was in the Mayo sometimes I couldn’t get in, either, but the hospital’s wireless service is not what you’d call “robust.” So I figured it just wouldn’t connect. Then this morning a weird message came up…Jesse fixed it.

      It _will_ be a relief not to have to deal with the constant niggling annoyances of teaching. Unfortunately, if I couldn’t afford to junket around with that munificent $1120 a month pouring into the coffers, I surely can’t afford it now. All I want to do now is try to make this enterprise turn into something that will crank enough to replace the teaching income…and preferably, to double or triple it.

  3. Glad to hear things are going better and that the surgery was a success. Good choice on quitting the job. You’re ambitious and I have a feeling that you’ll replace the income in some fashion, whether it be with what you have in mind now or something completely different. Either way, whatever you come up with has to be less torturous than the teaching gig.

  4. Glad that you’re shining that job on….Now you have more time to write porn! 😉

    Seriously: They were lucky to have you but you deserve to have a better life than that of an adjunct.

    • LOL! Let’s hope the life of a pornographer is better than the life of an adjunct. I suspect it’s safe to assume it is… Anyway, what’s good enough for Anais Nin is good enough for moi.

  5. I wasn’t checking the blog for a week because I was back in Chicagoland visiting my mom for her 75th birthday. And when I return I find the posts about the bowel obstruction and surgery, then this. Wow!

    I’m so glad you’re recovering and that you’ve freed yourself up from something that has been a source of intense stress. Enjoy the extra time you have now to work on things you really like!

    As for the food situation, my most recent bout of diverticulitis left me in the same situation. For those days that I had to be on liquids only, I made my own Jello from real fruit juice and Knox gelatin. It’s easy and takes no longer than the boxed stuff. Gelatin has a good amount of protein in it, too. I also found a brand of boxed broth that tastes great and isn’t full of crap: Saffron Road. I could only get it at Whole Foods, but it was worth the special trip since I had to drink the stuff straight so I wanted something that didn’t taste awful. (I have no idea why most brands include sweetener. Isn’t broth supposed to be savory?!). For a sweet treat, I would have a frozen fruit juice “popsicle.” (The only ones with no fruit pulp where the lime ones, but they were tasty.)

    My doc told me to work my way up through the lists of “low residue” foods with the starchy stuff first, so once I was able to eat solids, I added some plain noodles to my broth or had it with some (white bread) toast. Next up the chain was dairy, so then I added things like plain yogurt with honey and cinnamon, cottage cheese, corn flakes with milk (I use goat milk, also found at WF or Trader Joe’s; the Summerhill brand is fantastic, if they offer it near you), and rice pudding (Kozy is a brand that is not full of crap, yet is prepared and in the grocer refrigerator case). Creamy peanut butter is also on the low residue list, so you can have that on some toast to add protein to your diet, too.

    It took me about a week to work my way up to animal protein. At that point, plain cooked chicken and poached eggs became part of my eating routine. And I waited about 10 days before I added any real vegetables or fruit on the low residue list. I started with frozen green beans but had to switch to canned ones because even the frozen ones were too hard for me to digest at first. Over-cooked carrots were next for me, I think.

    Just ease yourself into eating stuff slowly and give yourself a few days on each thing before adding something new. Glad you’re back! 🙂

    • This is useful, indeed! Thanks!!

      I hadn’t thought about Knox and fruit juice. It’s been so long since I’ve even seen Knox! But that is a truly inspired idea.

      My mother used to make a kind of cold aspic salad thing that was really, really good. Or at least, I thought so in my teeny-bopper days. She would take pieces of thinly sliced roast beef and roll them around asparagus (in those days we used canned, so they were cooked to mush). She’d lay these in a flat pan, along with a number of other things, most of which I cannot remember. Maybe cooked strips of carrot? A mound of peas, I think. Anyway, once she’d made this kind of Betty-Crocker-style salade composee, she’d mix a packet of Knox with a can of consomme (not broth — Campbell’s consomme has a different flavor), and she’d pour it over the whole lash-up.

      Chill it and it comes out of the fridge as this kind of savory gelatin. Very good.

      I do NOT know what it is about American foods these days: EVERYTHING is dosed with sugar, even things that are not supposed to be sweet by any means. Have you seen the proportion of sugar in ordinary ketchup? Mayonnaise? ugh!

      This whole “let’s you quit eating anything with fiber in it” idea has turned my diet upside down! She wanted me to eat high-protein stuff and proposed I drink some yucky processed sugary “protein” drink (echhh!) to goose the protein content. (You’ve never heard of yogurt, doc?) Then she said no fruits, no vegetables, no whole grains.

      That’s exactly the opposite of my less-meat-but-better-meat scheme.

      Amazingly, I haven’t put on any weight — in fact, have lost a pound or two — even though I’m still so bloated I look like I’m about three months pregnant. Down from four, anyway… 🙄

      She did indicate that within a couple of weeks it should be OK to start slowly moving back toward normal. It’s a long coupla weeks, though!

      I’ll look for the Saffron Road. It would be VERY nice to find a boxed or canned broth that doesn’t taste awful. Most of the boxed ones taste a lot like cardboard, and the canned products are your basic salt with a little water mixed in.

      Our Safeway carries some of those fruit-juice pops. I’ll take a look at them. Used to be partial to them, but the sugar content took them off the diet, too. But in the sugary department, I’ve been living on Talenti gelatos for the past week. They’re cold and they DO soothe the belly and some of them contain milk (hah! protein!!). Nice comfort food…that’s why I’m shocked that I haven’t put on five pounds.

      Hope you’re feeling on track by now!

Comments are closed.