“So now that I’ve essentially reached 100 days, do any of my diet restrictions loosen up?” I asked Dr. Sauter at my Day +98 check-up.
“Now we’ve reached the point when it’s time for negotiating,” replied Dr. Sauter. “What is it that you want to eat?” he asked me playfully.
Oh no. The pressure of this immense decision! I have to pick something that’s worth it and can’t push the requests too much or I’ll lose my bargaining power. Must make this a good one. Out came the first thing on my mind – something that’s been on my mind since getting out of the hospital:
“A Ceasar salad. Just a plain Ceasar salad – with croutons – and shake-on Parmesan cheese.”
“You’re really jonesing for a salad, huh?” he replied, while laughing and assuring me that I’m not alone among transplant patients craving the crunch of fresh vegetables. “That’s fine. But no anchovies and wash the lettuce really, really well,” he added.
At the idea of anchovies on my salad I squinted my face like a baby seeing pureed carrots balancing on a spoon in front of him. That expression effectively showed my agreement of those terms.
“Not a problem. How about a Pumpkin Spice Latté from Starbucks?” I inquired.
“Sure. I don’t see why that’d be a problem,” he said.
I lit up. This was going so well that I thought I’d push the envelope a bit. I feigned ignorance and smeared on my best puppy dog eyes accompanied by a few blink blinks of my newly grown eyelashes, asking:
“Will I ever be able to have a beer or a glass of wine again?”
“You can do that now if you wanted,” he replied, to my full surprise. His nurse practitioner nodded in agreement beside him. “It may burn your stomach though, but try it.”
“So I can have, like, a microbrew and don’t have to be worried about the active yeast process?” Ah, what an idiot! As soon as it came out I couldn’t believe I had said it. I knew the answer, and I had effectively just blocked myself out of enjoying my favorite Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA.
“Ummmm, well. Let’s just stick to wine for now,” he said. “But just one glass.”
“Of course,” I said, but he didn’t specify what sized glass, nor does he know how big my goblets are … .
“Anything else?” he asked.
“Nope. That’ll do,” I said, smiling back.
I could live a satisfied life feasting on Caesar salads, pumpkin spice lattes and wine. Great negotiation success!