I took the news of my impending surgery with equanimity. Binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy and Dr House and reading medical nonfiction somehow prepare you for bad news. My state might have worried the doctor, so he asked me if I was sure I wanted to go ahead with the procedure, especially during a raging pandemic. This was going to be my first foray into the hallowed halls of an operating theatre (OT). I wasn’t going to let a doctor’s warnings get in my way.
Upon leaving his office, I did what any self-respecting hypochondriac does. I googled gall bladder surgery. Soon, my crash course was over. The surgery seemed harmless, only the part about food had me worried. The after-effects included a sensitive digestive system and an inability to metabolise fat. The samosas, which never had tempted me before, now seemed indispensable. As a true North Indian, I don’t have blood running in my veins, but ghee. How was I ever going to survive this?
Most people when faced with an impending physical challenge, work towards strengthening their bodies. One wants to have a splendid recovery to brag about. Anyone else might have become more regular with their workout schedules. I am not that anyone, and I say that without any pride. Or shame!
The two-week run-up to the surgery was spent in a hedonistic haze of food. The weekends were about eating any junk that I could toxify my system with. During the week, I relished home-cooked food with a twist. It reached a point that the neighbour stumped at the ‘party food’ aroma wafting out of my kitchen daily and asked me in all seriousness if I was running a catering business from home.
Lest you think otherwise, I have a conscience. There were moments where I felt guilty. My family would remind me how dreary my foodie life was about to get, and with a future dependent on a low-calorie diet, I could easily lose the weight I was gaining. This underlines the importance of having a team with similar goals, right? By the time I was wheeled into the OT, I was two pounds heavier, and disgusted with food, eating and the kitchen.
A week after surgery, I was given the green signal to eat everything, but with a monk’s discipline, I stuck to fruits and boiled food. Then one day, the daredevilry seemed inevitable. Ice-cream in the freezer beckoned. A spoonful can't hurt anyone! I expected retribution for this trespass against my system. But nothing happened. Just to be sure, I ate the entire tub the next day. Gathering courage, I tasted a bite of paneer pakora that weekend. Everything seemed okay.
My two weeks of binging and another three of sipping on soups had amounted to zilch. Not only have I many pounds to lose, but no motivation of a nervous digestive system to lose them with. There is no justice in this world.
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