Antibiotics and Smoothies

To answer some questions. Yes, I do am enduring Ensure. Tastes like crap. I’ll be on antibiotics, which I hate doing. They do their job. I’m just not a an of pills. They even prescribed an opioid, to which I kindly refused. I will NOT take pain pills of that degree. Some of you may think me crazy, but I can’t abide by the mad sloppiness, and addictive persuasion of a culture that screams, “Just take a few of these and you’ll feel fine.” I don’t want to hide the pain, I want to get RID of it.

Now, I have to confess, Phillip is rather cross with me. He hates seeing me like this. Pale, losing weight. “You could have….” is what he says. I push him with all my might and end up falling over. He laughs….sort of. I know he’s worried, because the man he sees is not the man he used to be. I know that. There is a solid reason I do not take pics anymore. I look dreadful. I look….I don’t want to say.

Now, I can’t be cross with him, because he cares. He knows I have no energy because I can’t eat. And yes, to answer another question, I do have a Magic bullet, but I’m not ready to put a cheeseburger in it for sustenance. I’ll stick to smoothies.

I’m so hungry, you have no idea.

I really have to confess, I’m a bit scared. I have NEVER felt like this before. I’m so tired. In the last week I’ve pretty much just STARED at things. My ambition has been wiped clean and I LOOK at things….I don’t pick them up and actually get to work on them. I just sit here….because that’s all the energy I can summon.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I want to finish my children’s book, want to finish my knitting. My head isn’t where it should be. My head is…terrified. Of all the things that have tried to beat me down, from being homeless, to the problems with the IRS, t my health…..of all those things, this is the one that is actually winning. And that’s what scares me. And I say with such heavy heart, I’m too tired to fight back.

So, antibiotics and smoothies. Long hours in bed sipping broth. More weight loss on an already 125 pound man. I hate this.

I HATE this.

But, I’ll fight it…..

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  1. Try drinking Boost, a Nestle’s product, instead of Ensure. It has a much nicer flavor and comes in several permutations and calorie levels. My mom will readily drink Boost, while completely refusing the Ensure products. 🙂 Feel better!

  2. I am disappointed in myself for remaining silent. I want you to know I’m saddened by your suffering. I’m helpless to help . . . I do, however, keep you in my prayers. You know I live nearby. If you ever need someone to fetch anything for you or you need a ride, please reach out. I will email you my contact info.
    Love & Light . . .

  3. Sending prayers for your healing, Gregory. I hope you get the infection taken care of soon so they can begin the work on your teeth so you can start to feel better.

  4. There’s nothing worse than a severe infection; I know from experience and I’m a woman that went through a year of breast cancer treatment. The infection makes you feel awful, the antibiotics make you feel horrible, then your body is affected by the by products of the dying bacteria (look up Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction). I certainly empathize, and while it doesn’t help right now, in time you will get better.

    Some hints: Mix the Ensure half and half with milk. It becomes more palatable. For smoothies use frozen fruit and freeze some yogurt in ice cube trays. Toss some frozen fruit, frozen yogurt, and protein powder with the liquid of your choice in the Magic Bullet. You end up with a milkshake that contains some probiotics.

    Be kind to yourself. I’m praying for you.

  5. Sending you good thoughts, wishing you a speedy recovery. I’m glad you are getting help, and loving and occasionally cross care at home.
    I totally agree with your opinion on opioids. For me, they never really take the pain away, they just make me loopy and nor care how much pain I’m in – but also make it pretty much impossible to function effectively. I prefer Motrin over the “hard stuff”, but if you can’t eat much (or don’t drink milk or can do yoghurt or the like), it might mess up your stomach to the point the pain relief isn’t actually worth it.

    Anyway- I hope you get through this whole process okay, and get your strength back.

  6. Please give yourself permission to just stare numbly at things. Nutrition, sustenance, have a lot to do with mental capacity and how effective your brain works. The good thing is, there is an end in sight.

    My mantra for a long time has been, “It’s not always going to be like this.” It serves as a reminder that life is fluid, bad times end and so do good times, and it’s allowed me to appreciate the moment. I’m not saying you should appreciate this moment, only know that even though this feels endless, like it will last forever, IT WON’T. It can only get better from here.

    We’re all behind you. I hope you have a solid timeline to look forward to. But in the meantime, please try not to be hard on yourself.

  7. Keep on fighting and don’t give up. I totally agree with you no wanting to take strong, addictive pain medication. Too many people get trapped on that dead-end street. However, you might to consider milder, over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol extra-strength just to take the worse edge off the pain after the surgery. You might also need anti-inflammatories for your gums but your dentist will know if you need them or not.

    If you want to feel a little less hungry, try adding some eggs (and maybe a little vanilla extract) to your smoothies. You’ll get some much-needed protein from that. Cottage cheese is good too and you can add some fruit to that and give it a whirl in your Magic Bullet.

    Don’t be afraid of the actual procedure though. It will be over in no time and the procedure itself is pretty much painless. If you really feel intimated by the appointment itself, ask your oral surgeon to give you one or two pills to relax you and which you can take about an hour before the appointment. You’ll be SO relieved when it’s all over that you’ll wonder why you waited so long to do it. Good luck!

  8. I have to say, I don’t blame you and don’t recommend taking a magic bullet to a cheeseburger, meatloaf, lasagna or any real food. I had major oral surgery in 2012 with my mouth wired shut for 6 weeks but I took a bullet to real food… nearly vomited which isn’t easy nor painless when your mouth is wired closed. I can’t imagine the pain you are in. I do recommend you add a hearty protein powder to some almond milk or whatever dairy/non dairy you drink. There’s Jay Robb Egg white protein powder that got me through.
    I pray relief for you.

  9. Please, if income is down to barely there .. try to ask for assistance? You never know medicaid could be right there …. I know you have probably already explored this, but I worry about you and had to say something. Vitamins may help right now as well … EmergenC packs, check protein in Ensure vs reg protein drinks …. they taste better and you never know, may provide better solution. Body building protein powder …. don’t lose heart. You are feeling this way due to lack of food! This will pass, teeth will be sorted, you will eat again, pay the dentist and the tax man. With love and healing energy, Susan

  10. I know you hate it. I’d walk a mile in your shoes if I could just to give you a respite from the pain. I know you are sick of smoothies, but you KNOW your body is starving. That is why you have no energy, and lethargic. Your thought process will slow down as well. You must put some protein back in your body, and quickly. If you don’t take care of you now, it will take even longer for you to heal and the removal will be even harder on you. You don’t want to get so sick that they can’t do the removal, do you?! See if Phillip can find you some kind of protein shake mix. Fruit flavor will probably be the most palatable. Whatever. If you can’t do pureed food, that’s fine. But you WILL starve if you don’t get some protein in you. I mean it, Gregory. You cannot live on just the damn broth. You will get too weak & sick to do the removal if you keep this up. Your body burns calories and energy just sitting there looking at things. Every breath you take requires nutrients to give your body the energy to function. At the rate you are going, your organs are going to start malfunctioning soon. Getting harder to think straight yet? Tend to space off and not be able to concentrate for very long? PLEASE swallow your damn pride and start doing something more than Ensure or broth. I’m very serious about this. Protein shakes like what body builders use or start pureeing food. If you don’t do some drastic changes in what you eat quickly, you won’t have to worry about the pain in about 2-4 weeks max. I don’t care if you don’t like the taste of it. You must get more protein in your diet. Swallow the damn pride, PLEASE! We ALL put our pants on the same way. If not for your sake then do it for Phillip’s sake. I’ve stood by and helplessly watched my significant other die in hospice care as his organs slowly shut down. It took about 2 & 1/2 agonizing weeks and he weighed more than you do. Please Gregory. For your sake and Phillip’s, you have the power within you to change. Please, PLEASE DO IT!! Too many people care about you, and want you to succeed. Please don’t give up when you are so close. It will get better. I swear it will. You have come too far, not to keep going. Protein, smoothies, shakes, whatever. You must get more protein & carbs in your body, or you are going to literately starve to death in front of Phillip’s eyes. You can be mad at me all you want, but keep this thought in mind…

    “Dead men don’t need dentures.”

    What’s it going to be???
    Love & Hugs,

  11. I’m sure you’ve already thought of this but make sure you add some fat to your smoothies. Avocado will give you some calories and might help you feel a little fuller. Maybe some pudding? Chicken noodle soup…that boxed stuff, full of salt, but those noodles are the bomb. Actually, you could just add some of those noodles to the broth you’re already drinking….cook them enough and they fill you up, but there is no work involved in eating them. Hope you start feeling better soon.

  12. I don’t have any words of comfort, and that isn’t what you need right now. All I can do is express amazement that you are still writing, and so eloquently, and to thank you for your honesty. All I can send to you is love, and I am.

  13. That type if pain is the hardest. And im so very sorry you are experiencing it. You will get through this.
    According to what I read earlier, you have a plan of action. The first steps are the hardest.
    You have a wonderful “in-person” and “virtual” support group. Use us.
    As for the Ensure. It does taste like crap. I used to drink chocolate Boost and add mixed berries to it.
    Rest and know that we are here for you.

  14. Please re-access your views on Pain Meds. Their is a time and a place for them. A short term of Pain medication will make your quality of life much better during this time your body has to heal. Once this ordeal is over, you will be able to put the pain meds aside. My heart aches for you. If my finances were different I’d be having what teeth I have left extracted and replaced with dentures. I have a lot of medical issues and I hate taking ANY kind of pills. But some are necessary if I want to remain here on planet earth a while longer. You have inspired me and so many others. You and Phillip are in my prayers. I am glad you have him to help you through these difficult times. I wish I was the “boy next door” to help you both. Alas, I am thousands of miles away but spiritually you have thousands of “Boys/Ladies next door” and we are all rooting for you. All my love, Tobias…Eloy, AZ

  15. Something to consider for protein: Pulses and Dals. Phillip will know how to cook these up. Basically, legumes or lentils cooked down to as mushy as you please, spiced and seasoned to your liking so you won’t be bored eating it often. Super high protein, and cheap to buy the dried beans. For when your ready for something other than very liquid food. I wish you good luck, I know things are going to work out.

  16. Premier Protein drink has 30 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar. Tastes good. comes in Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. I get it at Costco. All the other things people said about adding protein, fruit, etc is also good advice. Shakes are good too. I will send you a healing tonight at 10 pm Pacific.

  17. To echo those above – you need protein. By whatever means, you need to get some protein and more balanced nutrients than you’re getting right now. Protein, some fats, some fiber, you need to fill up and keep your guts working right which is difficult at best on a liquid diet, add something like the mix in water Metamucil or somehing similar, get the tiny little pasta, acini de pepe, those can just be swallowed without chewing, oatmeal if you can manage it, cook it and dilute it with milk (preferably whole milk), or put it in your smoothie. Puree some chicken and mix that in your broth, it’ll be drinkable. Get a good protein powder and mix that in the smoothies, or in milk, try other brands of stuff like Ensure. Even something like Carnation Instant Breakfast would help. Keep fighting. You’re in my prayers.

  18. So very sorry you are going through this BUT you will feel so much better once the teeth are out and the infection is cured.
    I want to encourage you to take the pain killer. Are you aware how debilitating pain is?
    Pain causes depression. I suspect a good chunk of your lethargy is the pain.
    Take the pain killer, it will help you get through this.

  19. I feel you. I lift you up I’m prayer. My goal is to save enough to buy a bear. Hopefully grey. Or mermaid colors, even if it’s lion brand yarn. My knitting snobbery is vanquished. We are struggling to keep our house. My husband lost his job after a year on workers comp. That year was a blessing of steady income for a truck driver. I remain one of your greatest fans and supporters. For God’s sake, I’d donate about fifty pounds of my excess. If only. Money I don’t have now but I send my love and prayers.

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