Sabaidee and Happy New Year! This past weekend, I went to Wat (Temple) Lao Riverside for Lao New Year festivities. I had so much fun celebrating with my sisters and childhood friends. There were vendors selling Lao food, kids and adults running around pouring/spraying water and shaving cream on one another, Monks blessing people, Lao band playing traditional Lao & Thai music, and people dancing have a great time. In our culture, water symbolizes new beginnings. If someone pours or sprays water on you, it is good luck. I know this is a good thing but I did not want to get wet and mess up my outfit. LOL. Although people still sprayed water on me, it was all in good fun.
Let’s talk about food. As soon as I arrived, I wanted to eat everything in site but I had to control myself. Talk about major self-control! Once again, I had to strategically plan my meals, drinks, portions and eating times. I started with my favorite, papaya salad, sticky rice and boat noodle soup. I literally took 5 bites of the salad with rice. For the soup, I mainly ate the beef balls, beef and a little bit of the noodle/broth. Then I drank water roughly 1/2 hour after my meal. I did very well in terms of being careful as to what to eat and which vendor to buy from. I watched carefully as to how the vendors prepared their food (sanitation wise).
Then my sisters and friends starting passing out small Hennessey shots. I took a couple over a period of time. I was fine throughout the entire day until the end which was 4 hours later. I made the mistake of eating another serving of papaya but this time, it was spicy. Then I drank coconut juice and took more sips of Hennessey. BAD IDEA! This combo made my tummy hurt BAD! Between the sugar in the coconut juice and the papaya, it punished me for 2 hours. Needless to say, I will never do that again.
The purpose in sharing this story is my stomach and I are still getting to know each other. After a year in half, life post gastric cancer has not been easy. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I want to eat the way I used to prior to cancer. It is challenging and I am not perfect. When I am at home, things are good but at events, I struggle. I have to learn to be better and control my eating habits. So my friends, learn to say NO when you realize your tummy cannot consume anymore food/drink. 😉
This event prompt me to write this story and provide tips for my friends who just had gastric surgery or if you know someone, please share these helpful tips.
Post Gastric Cancer Surgery Tips:
- Keep Coke or Diet Coke on hand. If food is stuck in your throat and you feel like choking, take small sips of coke. Let the gas break down the food particles. Stand up straight, walk if you can and keep taking sips of the soda.
- Relief kit-Invest in a heating pad for home, travel heating packs and tiger balm. This combination has soothed my stomach pains 100x over. In fact, I had the travel heating pack and tiger balm in the car from the ride home. Once I applied the heat pack, the pain started to subside. The pain usually lasts roughly 20 minutes. Anything longer means you have to go #2. 🙂
- Portion out your meals. This is very important! Eat protein first, vegetables then carbs.
- Sugar is your enemy. A little bit is okay but a lot will put you in pain.
- When you are full after eating, stay away from water. Wait at least 20 minutes before drinking water. If you must, take a sip of water but don’t drink more than a sip. Your stomach will be at it’s limit and drinking more water will take you over the edge. This will make you feel very uncomfortable.