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Diary Health

CHF Recovery: Day 21

It is so difficult to maintain a low-sodium diet. I hate it.

Today the plan was to go to Cha An for lunch, then check out Chinatown. We did both of these things, but at first there was some confusion about whether or not I could actually eat anything at Cha An.

Cha An is a cool Japanese restaurant that focuses on tea and dessert but also has appetizers, side dishes, and a couple of meal options. I was looking at the menu before heading out to meet Kathryn and it seemed like it wouldn’t work out. This was really upsetting, because I had really been looking forward to this place. I grumped around for some time, then decided I could probably have the “salmon toast”, so we met up and went there as planned.

I ended up ordering the appetizer sampler, which came with six different items in very small portions. The fish items didn’t seem to have heavy sauces, and nothing tasted particularly salty, so I was hopeful I’d be safe. We shared a seasonal parfait at the end of the meal, which consisted of assam tea jelly, chestnut ice cream, and sweet potato custard, with toppings of mochi, chestnuts, and a matcha (green tea) Rice Krispies treat bar. It was amazing.

Later, when I attempted to tally the nutrition information for these items, I learned that one of my appetizers, the seaweed salad, has a ton of sodium. I was not expecting that at all.

Dinner happened at a diner we passed while walking back to Kathryn’s apartment, and it wasn’t very good. I did find something I could eat: grilled chicken with steamed vegetables and a baked potato. The portion size was ludicrous. I received two full chicken breasts and enough vegetables for four people. I got tired of eating it after awhile, so I stopped eating even though I was still hungry.

The highlight of the day was Chinatown. Kathryn took me to a three-level grocery and home goods store. The top level had beauty products, home office supplies, and some cute decorative items. The middle level was the grocery store, with a wide variety of food, including tons of snacks. The bottom level, Kathryn had kept as a surprise: it was filled with dishes!

I spent ages there, going through the aisles again and again, looking at bowls and plates and cups and teapots. It was so wonderful. I haven’t had a place to shop for Japanese dishes since Hibari Market in Lexington shut down, years ago. There were so many different designs! So much blue and white! I ended up getting two medium-sized bowls in a traditional Japanese pottery style and two small bowls with a pink sakura pattern. (Here’s hoping I can pack them properly for the trip home…)

So, while my heart failure tried to ruin the day, it ultimately failed.

  • Got up, had protein shake and morning meds
  • Goofed off online and wrote a very tiny bit
  • Took a shower
  • Met up with Kathryn and went to Cha An
  • Went to Chinatown and it was awesome
  • Went back to Kathryn’s apartment, stopping at a diner on the way; took mealtime meds
  • Hung out at Kathryn’s apartment for awhile
  • Came back to the Airbnb; at this point I was grumpy
  • My host made me some eggs and toast for a snack
  • Ate the snack and then got back on my computer for awhile
  • Grumpily ate a piece of baklava
  • Took evening supplements

My mood was not great at the end of the day—I actually started crying a couple times on the walk home—but I think it was due to the day being long and tiring. I’m going to bed now, and hopefully I’ll get some good rest tonight.