Today was a relatively uneventful day. I can only really think of a few things to comment on:
- I tried dunking some Joe Joe’s sandwich cookies in water, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they softened very quickly. I then proceeded to eat an inordinate number of the cookies.
- My meals were almost exactly the same as yesterday’s. The only change was substituting hummus for refried beans at lunch. In the morning, I worried that I was packing too much food for my lunch in the office, but I ended up finishing it at 10:20AM and needing to have half a serving of Vega to make it through the day.
- The oral surgeon returned my call this morning, leaving a voicemail while I was in class. He told me that some discomfort was normal, but he didn’t answer the question of whether I should ice it. People ignoring half of my questions is a pet peeve of mine, but in this case I was less bothered by it because the discomfort had gone away already.
It’s been a couple of days since my supply of Vega arrived, but it’s already changed my life for the better. I already mentioned that it allowed me to go a few hours without eating while I taught back-to-back sections yesterday. A Vega meal replaces at least a couple of smoothies, and it offers more nutritional balance. It’s also a major convenience in the mornings because it’s one meal for the day that I don’t need to prepare before leaving for the office. The taste isn’t great, but it’s at least tolerable. My container of soy protein powder has gone back into the cabinet, so I don’t feel like I’m living off of a monoculture anymore. When I was deciding whether to try this stuff, I had a little bit of trouble coming to terms with the price tag, but so far, it’s definitely worth it.
Today was a big day for me. For the first time since my accident, I taught my three sections. I knew that my speech wouldn’t be perfectly normal, and so it still might be hard for students to hear me if the room were full of chatty students. I also knew that it might be hard for students whose first language wasn’t English. To resolve these issues, I prepared detailed notes for the lesson and told the students that they could take them and leave if they wanted to. I expected that since most of my students were only taking the course to get into business or medical school, most of them would exercise this option. This would have the dual effect of giving the students another way of getting my lesson, and keeping the background noise in the classroom at a reasonable level. My expectation proved correct, as I had only six students among the three sections stay the whole time. Many of those who left didn’t even bother to take the notes.
I’m always a little tired after teaching three sections in one day, and today is no exception. Other than that, though, I feel great. Less than a week ago, I struggled to get even just a word or two out of my mouth, and I was starting to lose hope that I’d be able to teach today. To have been able to get up and teach for four hours under these circumstances is a huge psychological victory that low attendance isn’t going to take away from me.
In all fairness, I owe some credit for today’s success to Vega. I teach two consecutive sections with only 10 minutes in between, which means that I have to go about three hours without eating. On a liquid diet, that would ordinarily be very difficult for me, but after my Vega breakfast, it was not so bad.
On Wednesday, a few hours after my surgery, my concerned mother talked with my landlady over the phone about my medical situation. My landlady is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and she had agreed to serve as an emergency contact for my mother. After the phone conversation ended, my mother reported to me that she had talked my landlady out of buying cans of Ensure for me. Ensure is a dairy product, so I was grateful for this. This morning, though, thinking about the story reminded me that I had seen a vegan meal replacement at Whole Foods once. After a few Google searches, I determined that the product I was thinking of was Vega.
I could see on the website that the nutrient content of Vega was very impressive. It also happens to be free of all major allergens, including soy. Since I want to have some sources of protein other than soy, this made it particularly worth trying. I purchased a few snack-size packets at Whole Foods today, and I tasted two of the flavors. The taste certainly wasn’t anything special, but it didn’t taste bad, so I’ve decided to order a larger supply. At first, I hesitated because of the price (retail is about $5 per serving), but I decided that for something that replaces a whole meal, it really isn’t too bad, particularly given the circumstances. The best price I could find was at Food Fight Grocery, a vegan grocery store in Portland. I’ll order two large containers (which results in a substantially cheaper price per serving), and keep one in my office and one at home.