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2:52 am EDT 55°F (13°C) in Binghamton, NY
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I still have absolutely nothing better to do. By this time, I’m feeling pretty good, and I have gotten the go-ahead from at least last Saturday’s surgeon to get back to driving. Apparently, I still have to undergo a D.O.T. physical exam administered by a company-associated doctor, and I will have to ride somewhere with another driver to have that done before I will be allowed to run another load. Additionally, I got the OK to remove all of the post-operative dressings left on my lower abdomen; it appears that I have stitches left in two places, one set basically coming out of the upper rim of my navel, and another perhaps 3” (7.6 cm) below there. I’m told these are the self-dissolving type of stitches, so they should dissolve on their own within the next couple weeks.
I am hoping that I can use this whole saga with the appendectomy to make at least a small lifestyle change in regards to diet. For a long time, I think I have done a piss-poor job of getting enough decently-hydrating fluids into my body (OK, OK, pun intended). This whole trucker lifestyle and the preponderance of fast food has really led me to just jump on the fastest, most convenient, cheapest beverage alternative, which is almost always soft drinks. There is no fucking way in hell that drinking as much Coca-Cola and Pepsi as I have done in the past can possibly be very good for me. I have known about the evils of making soft drinks 100% of the liquid part of the diet for some time, but I guess it never really clicked until the anesthesia wore off this past Saturday and I was having the hospital’s food menu thrust in my face.
Not only do I need to be getting more fluids into myself in absolute terms, but I also need to be making sure that the fluids I do take in are doing me some good. I mean, while I was in the hospital, I experienced a re-connection to something I loved in my childhood but really hadn’t had a drop of in years: apple juice. Even with the pediatric-wing refrigerator set too cold, which caused ice chips to form in the little 4-oz. (118 mL) foil-sealed plastic cups they had, I lost count of how many of those things I went through in two days — in addition to the roughly ½ gallon (1.9 L) of water I was drinking each day, plus the saline IV drip they had running. What was amazing was that I wasn't off to the restroom any more than maybe 3-4 times each day — which means that a lot of it was just probably just going to re-hydrate my body after months, if not years, of under-hydration.
To that end, in the three-plus days since I have been released, I’ve been making an effort to avoid soft drinks with meals, and I’ve been making a further effort to drink a hell of a lot more fluids than I used to. I’ve been going through at least one 32-oz. (946 mL) bottle of Gatorade every day, if not two on most of these past few days, mostly due to Gatorade’s reputation for excellent hydration. I’ve also been going largely with milk and/or water with meals, and I’ve thrown in the occasional 20-oz. (591 mL) bottled water here and there — and I’ve been doing this at a truck stop that (a) doesn’t have much of a selection of beverages other than soft drinks, and (b) has a drink refrigerator that hardly keeps anything cold. This may not be real easy to keep up once I’m back to driving and always pressed for time again, but damn it, I’m going to do whatever I can to keep this up.
Well, I don’t know when they’re going to have somebody here to pick my ass up for a ride, so I’m going to bring this to an end and say good night.