Progress A.C. (After Covid) / Describing a Mind that (Temporarily) Ceases Productively Processing

Now: Interior Doings / Exterior Escaping

Progress continues to be made after my 12 days spent in the hospital with Covid-19 related issues. I am now annunciating more clearly and concisely. My loss for words is on the wane. And probably more importantly, my blood pressure is averaging around 95 / 53, versus the dizzyingly low 80 / 45 range. And lastly, my oxygen is bouncing between 92% and 98%. Which is quite reasonably decent.

Sun O)))

I also spent three hours outside in the courtyard today (first time since December 20th). The entire effort was more exhausting than I anticipated it would be, so I had to come back inside early. But the concept of being outside in the 73° sunshine was sound, as the sun was round. Hopefully, I will get more enjoyment out of the outdoors tomorrow.

And my room is still my own, so I am resting and recovering well. Any noise generated is typically due to noise I've directly caused myself. There are a couple of intermittently yelling out/crying out neighbors in the vicinity, but at least the TV's generally shut down around midnight. And really, I am only contending with two televisions…. versus the five, six, or seven, simultaneously simulcasting in the other wing.

And now, the main thrust --

Food Thoughts Exclusive!

What I think was fascinating (while in the hospital) was that I was so unwell that I couldn't even think in complete sentences. Simple ideas and concepts were difficult, too. Practicing mindfulness (mindlessness) worked at times as a means to distract me from the unpleasantness, but still, the random unorganized partial thoughts passing through the synaptic turnstiles without rhyme or reason became crazy-making.

So, in attempts to organize some semblance of logic within the incessant thought flow, I focused upon one solitary item. Food.

That's right, a Human Howard who CANNOT eat real food orally spends his bleak hours hemmed in the hospital's Covid Ward focused on oral sustenance. To that end, I obsessively focused upon every last food item I'd ever enjoyed through the entirety of my life. Yes, that's what I spent several consecutive days doing.. nothing more complicated than that… repeating the exact same food items, situations, and scenarios, in my head over and over again.

First, there was that perfect cinnamon roll I enjoyed when I was six years old, the one at the bakery on Halsted. Delicately wrapped, layer upon sugared layer, gently softened by means unknown.

Then, there was the frozen pizza square I inhaled after my Little League baseball game, back when I was 12. I'd been starving (not unusual back then) and there were no other nearby food options available. So, that happened to have been my first ever piece of pizza (wrapped in foil and heated in a tiny oven inside a detached trailer).

But why did I wait so long prior to my initial pizza-indulging?

When I was a small child I only ever willingly ate meatloaf and hot dogs, because most everything else made me physically ill. Yes. Food items made me feel sick, bloated, and forced me to use the toilet with great frequency. But I never even considered that I had a problem. I assumed everyone else had the same sensation after eating food. I mean, how would I know any different? Although it's strange that no one ever asked me why I was in the bathroom all the time.

Mostly, eating was an unpleasant experience growing up. I didn't fully realize that everyone experienced food differently until I was at least 13 years old. Then suddenly, at that age, all of my food sensitivities seemingly evaporated. I could eat everything and anything. And I actually grew nine and a half inches in that one calendar year. Talk about sudden growth spurts!

Note: seven years later, all of the food sensitivities returned nearly instantaneously. So with nothing else to go on, I attributed my newfound ability to eat (back then) to my growth spurt… perhaps a rearranging of hormones or testosterone or something. Then, once my body stopped growing, it reverted back to a "sick" state.

My first hamburger? I was 8 years old and we were parked at a drive-in restaurant, a place called "Dog 'n' Suds" (on Kedzie Avenue). Their specialty? Hot Dogs and Root Beer!

But my parents were suddenly thrown into a panic because these self-proclaimed hot dog specialists ran out …. of HOT DOGS!

"What else could our starving son eat?" They likely wondered aloud.

And thus began my hamburger experience. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and meatloaf. The grand sum of my daily diet for several years running. And bologna each and every day at school for lunch.

So, my hamburger addiction exploded. By the time I was 13 years old, I was putting away seven McDonald's hamburgers (only onions) each and every day of the week.

What else?

The first time I had matzo ball soup was at a Chinese restaurant in Wilmette. That was also the first time I ever had Chinese food (Shrimp Fried Rice!). I was 16 years old working my first legal job in a drugstore and I was the guy who was sent out on errands, deliveries, and such.

Oh, I cannot forget about my first time ingesting… SHRIMP! Again, this is all about another hot dog emergency. No hot dogs within dozens of miles as we worked our way down the Florida coast on the A1A. My dad was becoming rather frustrated due to my making every meal situation so difficult. So finally, at long last, he, my mother and my sister's gave up trying.

I'd have to eat a candy bar. Probably a Milky Way. Maybe, two… whenever I was hungry. And it would make me slightly unwell, but the milk chocolate would sure as heck taste good!

But that's not what happened on one particular occasion. We wound up at a seafood restaurant (it may have been Red Lobster. I'm not sure). But in my starved state, and after my mother's tireless convincing, I mouthed a butterflied shrimp. And within moments, I ate a whole plate full. And then I had a dozen more butterflied shrimp. And then I tried to order another full dinner, but my dad freaked out. Now my eating and appetite was a matter of money. How many shrimp could their half-starved son possibly eat? Well... Dozens!

That was in St Augustine, Florida in 1977. And from that point forward, we avoided seafood restaurants altogether. My new-found ability to eat things cost my father real money.

Out on My Own

I bought my own groceries weekly for the first time ever at 21 years old. And these were my initial staples:

Tony's Taco Pizza (microwaveable). Oh my goodness, what a wonderful combination of refried beans and other Mexican food toppings set atop a regulation sized pizza crust!

And within that same eating era, Tyson's Chicken and Potatoes with Barbeque Sauce, plus Corn.

Pop Tarts? Yes, I tried them for the first time… Cinnamon Pop Tarts were a wonderful discovery. Growing up, we were only allowed to eat super duper healthy foods. Apparently, Pop Tarts were very unhealthy, because we were never allowed to purchase them.

But 1989 was the end of those shenanigans. At 21 years old my intestines turned back inside out, becoming crazy sensitive to everything. No more alcohol, dairy, wheat, and an ever-increasing list of other "sensitivity" items were added to the list as the decades passed.

Now, it's four spoonfuls of applesauce, one Skittle, and 2 Gluten-free Oreo cookies per day!

That's right, I am able to tolerate the Oreo cookies, just barely. Previously I tried other gluten-free cookies, but they had potato in them. Potato literally destroys my energy envelope. Brain fog. Sweating. All kinds of bad stuff.

And I now have Celtic Sea Salt.. which I'm hoping is helping my blood pressure. This morning I totally kicked ass at 104 / 60. That's my best reading yet.

And then there's this: I spent several of those lost Covid days daydreaming about pizza. About eating a pizza. And as a result of those near obsessive daydreams...

Pleasure Eating

Someone special is planning to order a pizza for me. The idea is that I can chew on the pizza and not necessarily swallow it. The problem is, finding a pizzeria (locally) that doesn't use potato ingredients in the gluten-free crust. And this issue may soon be resolved, as soon as I start making additional phone calls.

My favored toppings will be ham, mushrooms, onions, sauce, and then extra sauce. No cheese or cheese substitute of any kind.

This may sound selfishly indulgent, but really, that's the only gosh darn thing I thought about while I was in the hospital. Ordering a pizza. And eating a pizza. Well, at least pretending to do so. Tasting the pizza's contents.

And now that I think about it, probably not eating (or feeding) for 14 consecutive days likely contributed to my food obsession. Or perhaps it was the mere simplicity of food itself. Food is easy to think about. Perhaps easier than anything else.

Okay then, I'm hoping some, all, or most of this makes sense to somebody out there. Or make somebody smile. Or react in some sort of fashion. I am having difficulty gauging.

Take care,



You were very hungry. Poor guy.

From what you said, how you were in an allergy/sensitivity remission during your teen/growth spurt years, it made me wonder if you have ever tried HGH (Human Growth Hormone) or things that promote that?

Hip makes a very interesting comment about that in this thread:

I take THIS supplement from time to time and sometimes when I take it before bed, I wake with just the slightest feeling of actually having had refreshing sleep.

I have never had my HGH levels checked though. That probably would be a good place to start.

Anyway, you know how I like to throw ideas like spaghetti (couldn't help the food reference :D) against the wall to see if anything sticks. :)

How are you doing now with the tube feedings? Intestines back to taking them okay?

Hope you can find that gluten-free, potato-free, cheese-free pizza soon.

It's so good seeing you post things again.

This line, "...still, the random unorganized partial thoughts passing through the synaptic turnstiles without rhyme or reason became crazy-making." was novel worthy. I especially love that phrase, "synaptic turnstiles."
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Good day, Howard.....So you're really back with us again?ti. Naughty person, though, you're making us all feel guilty for wanting something like pizza, or a Nathan's hot dog....well, all sorts of junk food (sorry there, but isn't that what a nutritionist would call it?....and then go home and eat it) Perhaps it will help my appetite have a easy to get into an anorexic state when one is ill.

Have you been tested for gluten sensitivity? I ask because there is now a link between such sensitivity and neurological problems. Not many in the entire world, but the numbers are increasing. Funny how so many of us have GI problems of one sort or another, isn't it?

Glad you were able to go outside, but please rest while you have that room in solitary (well, I could have phrased that another way), but you know what i mean. We don't want you to end up with the Flu, Omicron or whatever the Greek alphabet will give us after Omicron.

Have you seen any of your family? I'm sure you talk to your mother each day, and hope things are OK there. Enjoy your Oreos. Yours, Lenora.
Ok...............I should have put a drool rag under my chin before I read this! I'm usually not that hungry much in the a.m...............but now I'm really hungry. I hope you get that pizza soon!

So good to hear from you:hug:
From what you said, how you were in an allergy/sensitivity remission during your teen/growth spurt years, it made me wonder if you have ever tried HGH (Human Growth Hormone) or things that promote that?
HGH. Hmmm. Interesting. I also read the post and will have to look into that. I did go to an endocrinologist about ten years ago, but I have no recollection regarding anything that happened involving that.

And yes, the tube feedings are going more smoothly. I'm almost ready to increase from 1500 calories per day to 1800… where I left off. It seems I've dropped at least ten pounds.

I appreciate the compliment on that written line. My intuition surprisingly kicked in allowing that sentence to happen. Lol


Gluten has been completely off my agenda since 2000. It's only recently (2019) that I had an anaphylactic type of reaction to it (hidden ingredient in Gas-X). So yes, bad things indeed.

Yep, the "going outside" thing didn't work out Friday. I was rather wiped out from my brief excursion. And, the lone CNA that had it out for me was on-duty for the first shift… and I didn't want him doing anything with me or to me. I've been documenting the behavior for the past seven weeks on this. If need be, I'll do what I need to do to get this resolved.

Family Visits

I do indeed video chat with my mother each day. I haven't seen her in person, nor my sisters, in the past few years. I seem to recall seeing my son last spring. Time seems to run together when nothing much happens. At least now, things are happening all the damn time!


I never ever really think about food, because obviously, I can't really eat food. And even when I used to eat food, doing so was always way down my list of priorities. Clearly, my body has long been in opposition to food. Plus, eating is a fleeting sensation (if you do it right). And a fleeing to the bathroom sensation if you do it wrong! LOL

The Wacky World of This Morning's Blood Pressure Measurement

Right arm
81/57 then
Left arm

I believe the BP equipment needs to be recalibrated!! But yeah, I've over 100 during successive measurements.

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I'll be wading thru the food Dreams.

During my recent gastro event, with some fever and a virus in my stomach-

I designed my spa.

The only time I could stop shaking, vibrating, hurting and nauseated: was to get in the hot bathtub with Epsom salts. Getting out was rather challenging.

I took four baths a day for eight days. Used all the water I'd been saving up due to droughts.

So this need to soak in hot water in order to not want to die: well its powerful and when I end up down by my daughter, well I"ve got to have this spa.

My daughters friend is an artist, making cool welded lighting. So my spa needed lighting, too.

so far I can strongly relate to your tale of early food: I was poisoned by the food, severe food allergies and a hyper taster. There was not an event that I didn't come back and get sick to my stomach over it.

And my poor parents.....well poor me, but they had to live with it, put up with it, deal with the kid who can't or won't eat THAT.
There are now these cauliflower based pizza crusts....they can be pretty good but potato starch could lurk.....check ingredient list?

I stopped alchohol myself at: 22.
Yes, I was able to track down cauliflower crust. Yay!

This evening's blood pressure was a bone crushing 115 over 69! So the past two days, things have really been improving on my end.

I'm glad you are around again. :)
Or perhaps you have been around, and it was just me!
Kidding... I realize you've been occupied. Literally and figuratively.

Take care of yourself. Or a plant. Yes, please take care of one of those, too! Since that's one of your things. Or many of your things. LOL

And for some reason I've been receiving a lot of mail from the post office, especially of late. The mail comes from different people. I will elaborate additionally as details become readily available. :)

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