More medical things to note:
- The pathology on my cyst came back with lots of unsurprising stuff; no cancer, chronically inflamed. One genuinely weird thing.. the cyst was made out of LUNG tissue.. wtf. The doctor told me it was rare (ya think??). Stop trying to grow lungs in my neck, body.
- The culture on my infection came back as… STREP. FUCKING STREP. This all started with a bad case of strep back in early 2019. I wonder if I was just harboring a low-key strep infection for a year and a half, and it would just flare from time to time.
- I saw my doctor yesterday and he said things were looking good and I no longer have to pack the wound, and can just cover it with a band-aid instead of a more elaborate bandage. He said he is “cautiously optimistic, but then again.. it’s you..”, lol. Tell me about it, buddy. I feel the same way.. things seem to be going OK, but I have no strong sense of success yet.
- I told him about the issues I am still having (parts of my neck are still hard as a rock, still hard to swallow, pain, numbness) and he didn’t have much of an answer for any of it other than telling me that I had “a lot of work done” and that it probably just needs time. I can live with that. I don’t have to see him again for another month which is nice.
I want to expand on one thing that has been interesting to me, which is eating. I think this is the longest time in my life where I’ve had a reduced biological drive to eat. Even in the past when I’ve had a stomach flu or something, there are usually still some foods that are delicious enough to tempt me into eating.
The first week after my surgery when my neck was really messed up I went like a week really having to force myself to eat anything at all. One small meal felt like asking a lot. I bought all the most delicious foods I could think of, and even those barely appealed to me (and still mostly don’t, tbh).
Obviously, my ability to eat got worse as the infection grew. When I was about to get emergency surgery in the evening they asked me when the last time I had eaten was, and my answer was.. the day before. They must have flagged me for something because a nutritionist showed up in my hospital room the following day asking me questions about it.
I always thought I must be one of those emotional eaters, eating too much and putting on weight because of it. I think women are probably told that a lot. You think of Bridget Jones in sweatpants, surrounded by empty junk food wrappers, mourning the loss of a relationship. I think I’ve definitely had moments of that, where a really bad day can be turned around by eating something delicious.
I watch the show My 600 lb Life, about very heavy people getting weight loss surgery (WLS). WLS removes the biological drive to eat, and the doctor will talk about how once that is gone, the patients will still often fail because emotionally they crave food so badly that they’ll even push through pain to eat what they want. Or, if they do manage to not eat, they fall apart emotionally and/or replace food addiction with another destructive habit.
I am not having that experience AT ALL. Occasionally some food will still sound good to me, but for the most part when I think of actually eating it I’m like.. meh. Whereas normally if I had a craving my brain/body would just feel obsessed with eating it and I would eventually give in. I have a big bag of Doritos in my cabinet right now that, in the past, would have be on my mind constantly. However, now, I think about eating them, and then just lose interest.
And to top it all off, I emotionally feel totally fine.
I’ve lost weight, and am still losing weight, due to this change, and I sincerely hope it sticks around to at least some extent! It’s really freeing to not have a stupid drive to make unhealthy decisions.
Also, I will note that I DO have weight to lose.. I’m about 50 lb overweight according to BMI charts (I am tall). If I were already normal or low weight, this difference in eating habits would be very concerning and unwelcome.