Today I ate outside the house for the first time since surgery two weeks ago. I was desperate for a bit of normality, so after getting my hair prettified I met up with a friend at one of my favorite local pubs.
Don't worry - I didn't drink!
I had a chat with the manager, and he brought the Chef out to see me. We went over what I can eat, the amounts and textures, and he went off to work his magic.
It was really nice to be out of the house, with a friend, in a pub. OK I wasn't drinking, but I didn't mind her wine, I didn't even ask to stick my tongue in it (the wine you filthy perverts).
The Chef pulled together a lovely chicken and artichoke mousse quenelle, together with a mashed carrot one. Both tiny and perfect.
I was daunted about going somewhere where I knew I would have to order off menu, but the staff were brilliant, curious about what I had done to myself, and a little shocked as I am known for liking my food and booze.
If you are worried about explaining to strangers what you need and why, don't be. Everyone I have had to explain this to over the last few weeks have been supportive and understanding. It is a tool for us to transform our lives, and by talking about it, we demystify the procedure. If people understand it, they will understand us.
Baby steps people. Try it somewhere you used to go to and know the staff. If you don't want to talk about in front of people you are dining with as they don't know, call and speak to the chef/manager in advance.
Just because we have undertaken this procedure, doesn't mean we need to be restaurant and social hermits.