post-op conversations

Simmer Your Raisins in Cream

I just remembered that I told the guy holding the mask over my face in the OR how I got my butt scar. Crap. And Mike just said I told me I said the same thing while I was in recovery.


I had to tell him that?

You get really messed up with anesthesia. I think it even affected my taste buds.

Why is it that when I can eat absolutely anything I want, I almost always crave broth or soup or squash or something healthy like that?

Earlier, my recovery nurse tucked me into warm blankets after my surgery and said, “Now, you can eat anything you want.”


I went instantly into food realm. You have to live on a desert island and you can only bring one book and pick one kind of food for the entire time. It’s a food drama I’ve played more than the number of times people have asked me the question. I looked past my sweet nurse, out the window at majestic trees and sky in the distance. I could eat anything I wanted. I made a mental list and perused it: creme brulee, tiramisu, brownies, cherry pie, ice cream, my grandma’s raisin pie.

I’ll tell you the secret. Grandma simmered those raisins in cream before she put them into a pie with a bit of brown sugar, flour, and butter. If you’ve never had a good raisin pie, don’t doubt that it’s the richest…

Okay, I just tried to google a synonym for ‘mouth orgasm’ before I realized those are the perfect words for what I wanted to convey.

It’s the richest mouth orgasm you’re ever going to experience.

Grandma wasn’t a very good cook, but she could make a hell of a pie. How can a woman be a terrible cook and make pie like that? She wasn’t even all that good at baking cookies or cake. It was just pie. Raisin pie was Grandma’s gift to the world.

Grandma’s raisin pie, never too sweet, was rich. Even if you wanted to, you really couldn’t eat more than a narrow slice. So yes, that was on my food list as I reclined in my hospital gown, opened at the back and considered my options. I made eye contact with my good nurse. Tears filled my eyes.

“You really are good at what you do,” I said. It wasn’t the anesthesia.

“Thank you. You’re still coming out of anesthesia. It’s normal to be a little bit emotional.”

It wasn’t the anesthesia. This nurse had a way of tucking me in, of looking at me when she talked to me. She had warm brown eyes. She was kind.

“Do you want me to get you anything to eat?”

The list.

But no. I wanted chicken soup and scrambled eggs. What the hell was that? What was wrong with my taste buds?

My mind just went blank for a minute there, but I’m happy I’m alive. I’ve been excised from my connection with the crystal in my kidney.

Is there energy in those crystals? Bad juju.

Why do some people keep their kidney stones? I didn’t want to keep mine. On the contrary, I wanted that thing pulverized, ground back into the earth, at one with, well, with anything but me.

My grandma, the magic pie grandma, kept her gall stones in a little pill bottle on the back of her stove. I hated watching her cook with those things so close. They were something akin to snot or a scab, something that needed to separate from her body, and preferably be held at a greater distance from me and any meal I might eat. I wanted to bury those stones. If I had the pieces my doctor had just lazered and scooped out of me, I would bury them too.

Bad juju crystals.

So in my recovery room, tucked into my narrow bed, I looked at my compassionate nurse and finally answered her question.

“I don’t have any idea what I want to eat.” If I’d been on that desert island, that dessert island, I would have failed my own test. Miserably.

“Do you want me to bring you something?”

“Yes, thank you,” I said.

My nurse left the room and came back with a tray.

“Here’s some apple juice and crackers for you.”

No. Seriously. No. This wasn’t even the end of my food realm, my food drama, not even the reality show version. Apple juice and saltines? And the saltines were low-salt.

“Are they even allowed to label them saltines if there isn’t any salt on them?” I asked.

My good nurse laughed.

It was a beautiful sound.

Thank you for listening jules