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A week and a day after open-heart surgery, my proportion of pills to food is higher than ever.
I take pills in the morning, just before bed and "as needed."
Meanwhile, I still don't have my old appetite back, and anesthesia residue continues to affect my taste buds.
I've eaten well since I returned home four days ago, enjoying grilled shrimp, cheese omelets; baked, wild-caught haddock breaded with panko, and big green salads.
Last night, we had Chinese takeout -- hot-and-sour soup, vegetable and shrimp dumplings; sesame shrimp for me with brown rice; and chicken with mixed vegetables for the rest of the family.
Tonight, I'm looking to get more spice out of life, so we're planning to go out for some scrumptious Mexican tacos, as I try to wipe out the memory of all those no-salt, no-caffeine, low-fat and low-taste meals I was forced to eat in the hospital before and after the operation.
My nurse at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center gave me a list of nine pills -- including a vitamin, pain killer and pro-biotic -- and told me to take them daily.
Before the operation, I took a baby aspirin, a 20-milligram cholesterol pill and a multivitamin.
When I eat and drink now, I still taste something funny in the back of my throat. My visiting nurse said the anesthesia affected my taste buds and hasn't left my system completely.