Susan shares latest chapter in her life

Susan Manzke
Susan’s holding her breakfast, lunch, and supper.

For over 40 years, I’ve shared my life in my column, the good and the bad. Sometimes it takes great effort to write, other times the words just pour from me. Today, I’m going to see how the words go onto the page. I won’t know for sure until the end.

If you follow me on Facebook, you will already know that I’m currently on a special liquid diet. This was not my idea, but my doctor’s.

In early April, I’ll be having Robotic Paraesophageal Hernia repair with Fundoplication surgery and the surgeon wants to take down some of the fat around my liver beforehand. The preoperative upper GI surgery diet has already rid a few pounds off my frame, so I guess the diet is working.

It sure isn’t easy staying away from the food I love, but I’m managing.

My diet consists of Premier Protein drinks for breakfast, lunch, and supper. I don’t mind the taste of these drinks, too much, except for the chocolate. Its flavor isn’t exactly what I expect from a chocolate drink, but I drink it anyway.

I’m also supposed to drink 64 ounces of clear liquids per day. I didn’t do well on this instruction the first day and became lightheaded. I’m really working on drinking more water, tea, and clear chicken broth now. Sugar-free Jell-o counts as a liquid.

I’m happy to say that my diet also includes two snacks, mid-morning and mid-afternoon. My snack choice list includes ½ sandwich on whole-grain bread (80-100 calories per slice), 1 slice of American cheese (not cheddar) and 3 ounces of lean deli meat (ham, turkey, or chicken); One 6 ounce container of PLAIN Greek Yogurt; ½ cup cottage cheese (1-2%); or 1 string cheese, with 1 cup of raw vegetables.

Susan is reminding herself to drink more clear liquids.

I’ve found that I do best with the half sandwich for my snacks. Even if I’m hungry I do not rush eating. It’s best when I take little bites and chew a lot before swallowing. That way it’s easier on my stomach and it also makes the snack last longer.

My refrigerator is almost empty. If company comes they will have to go to the freezer for food to cook. There’s meat there and all kinds of packaged leftover soups. It will be at least a month before I can start easing into a regular diet again.

There’s peach Jell-O in the fridge along with containers of protein drinks. Also some broth. I’m forcing myself to finish the first container of chicken broth I opened—it counts as a clear liquid—but it is salt-free so not very tasty. My next broth will include salt. I think I’ll like to drink that kind better.

My dog Sunny is upset with me. He looks at me with a sad face when I’m eating my little sandwich, waiting for a bit of the crust. I usually do share with him, but these days I’ve become a Scrooge with my bread crusts. There’s just not enough to share. Sorry Sunny.

My friend, Rosie, told me about her experiences going through a similar surgery some years ago. Even with additional issues, she did fine with the diet. Oh, Rosie didn’t like the diet either but she got through the weeks of protein drinks and is back to normal now. So, if Rosie can do it, so can I.

After all these years of writing about life on Sunnybook Farm, I had to include my readers in this part of my life. Hopefully, when warmer weather arrives, I’ll be my old self again.

Thanks for your support, good wishes, and prayers. I appreciate all that are sent my way.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;;