Clean living

As my blood counts drop and I become neutropenic I become more prone to infection. If my counts go very low then I'll be admitted to hospital so they can keep and eye on me and possibly keep me in semi-isolation. However I should be able to be at large in the community with counts lowered to a point.

To be able to do this I have to follow a few guidelines and have a "clean diet".

Firstly I have to take my temperature twice a day and if it gets near 38 I have to 'phone the ward even if I feel fine. This could be the start of an infection.

Then I have to avoid people who have colds or tummy bugs, ensure visitors wash their hands etc. and avoid crowded public places like shops, cinemas and offices.

The "clean diet" sheet has general advice about eating food within date and kitchen hygiene etc. but also prohibits several types of foods to avoid exposure to bacteria and other microbes including:-

Salad vegetables
Fruit that can't be peeled
Soft cheeses
Soft Ice cream
Pate
Eggs unless completely hard-boiled
Take away food
Unwrapped bread and rolls

So the traditional convalescent food of grapes is out unless I have a Nubian slave to peel them for me.

Dominos' Pizza share price may tumble at the announcement that I can't have take away food but what I will miss most are the salads.

I love to have a sandwich of say, cheese, with lettuce, spring onions and tomatoes but unless I wash the lettuce in Milton it's not an option.

I could blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and split and peel the skins but the texture isn't the same. So I have been trying to think of other things I can have on a sandwich.

So far I have come up with peeled and sliced salad onions and peeled and grated carrots but if anyone else can think of something I could have please post a comment below.

All in all it's not a great hardship to follow these guidelines and the next time I can have a cheese salad sandwich will be something to look forward to.

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