Friday, my son, Jamal came over to mow our yard. Since Kalil has been under the weather, we have been blessed with our children helping out when they can.
My daughter, Amanda, cooked a few meals for us when Kalil was having the worst part of fluid around his heart. As Kalil is on a no-salt diet, it has been difficult to find recipes and food products, which do not have salt added. I had no idea milk has salt in it. Now that I am reading every label on every food product I buy, I am flabbergasted at the amount of salt that is added to everything!
Amanda and I have worked together to find appetizing dishes to tempt Kalil’s taste buds. Fresh vegetables and fruits are part of every meal. He is not allowed to eat any processed food. That means all meat products are fresh. Of course, red meat is something that he can only have occasionally, as it is hard on the heart.
Lemon and garlic chicken with potatoes is one of our favorite meals. It is a Lebanese recipe without the salt. We have grilled, baked and eaten many fresh zucchinis, eggplants, squash, tomatoes, onions and other vegetables. Eating healthy takes time and patience. Did I mention money? Yes, eating healthy costs a little more, but think of the advantages to your health.
I think I am having the hardest time refraining from adding salt to my food. I am, admittedly, a saltaholic. Since salt does affect my blood pressure, going salt-free will be beneficial to me as well as Kalil. I must admit, it is hard to forego salt. I read an article that stated after about two weeks of going salt-free, food has more intense flavors. I am not at that point yet, evidently, since my food seems to scream for a little salt.
Another difficult thing to do is to go sugar-free. By that, I mean no sugar, soft drinks or artificial sweeteners. My Dr. Pepper habit is the worst. I am like a junkie craving drugs when I don’t have a Dr. Pepper each day. I am forcing myself to kick the habit. After the third day of no caffeine or sugar, I had the worst headache. It lasted for more than 24 hours.
My oldest son, Ahmed, has two jobs, which keeps him going ninety miles an hour. He did come to the hospital and brought Amanda and me lunch while Kalil was in surgery. I am so thankful he, Amanda and Jamal were with me while waiting for his surgery to be finished. I was told by his nurse before they took him to surgery to expect a call to update me on how he was doing. The actual surgery was placing a tube with a camera attached down his throat to check his heart for blood clots before shocking his heart back into rhythm. The entire procedure itself was supposed to take about twenty minutes or so.
We waited and waited. No phone call. After about an hour, while I was walking grooves into the tile floors of the hospital room, Kalil’s cardiologist stuck his head in the door and let us know he found no blood clots and it only took one shock to get his heart into rhythm. I was so relieved.We were excited when Kalil was brought back to the room. We all breathed a sigh of relief.
People who have been sedated sometimes act a little strange. Kalil was no exception. Of course, he doesn’t remember any of his antics. He doesn’t even remember anything that we talked about at home that night.
It has been a long process, but Kalil’s health is improving. He has lost 29 pounds and most of that was fluid. Without our children, I don’t know how I could have handled this health crisis. I am truly blessed.
Brenda Daher is editor of The Baldwyn News.