Sunday, May 20, 2012

Evils of Food

There are so many activities and hobbies that I enjoy that I want to participate in but sometimes I just can't. Sometimes walking  inside from the car is a difficult task in itself much less any real physically strenuous activity.
The evils of food, that wonderful tasting, life preserving particles of food create infuriating, excruciating obstacles. How I hate thou!
Due to having a total colectomy and the majority of my small intestine removed, I have Short Bowel Syndrome and must take medicine to help keep my stomach and bowel calm and controlled in order to function. In addition to SBS issues, food also causes severe stomach pain, cramping, and a delightful soundtrack of very loud stomach rumblings that you can even see move across my stomach like some alien life form trying to break forth from my abdomen. Granted, the rumblings and pain have improved some since the subsequent years after my last two surgeries. My stomach noises could easily be heard across a very large room and once caused my professor to literally jump in the air in fright. I previously absolutely could not allow myself to eat any ethnic foods due to debilitating pain for the period of 1-2 days. Now I am able to eat a variety of foods as long as I'm wise about my intake.

My itinerary isn't planned out by what I want to do but what I think I will be able to do, depending on how my stomach and intestine is reacting to the food I've eaten. And not just the food I've eaten recently or even anytime during that day,  but what I've eaten the day before. You see, there are an extreme amount of variables related to food that affect my body and it's performance. I must consider:

  1. How do I feel the day before the activity
  2. What did I eat the day before the activity - best to eat something light and small
  3. Am I having a lot of stomach pain and cramping
  4. What time do I need to wake up in the morning in order to allow my stomach/bowel medicine to start to work
  5. Mustn't eat breakfast if it can be helped
  6. If my medicine still hasn't started working, I must weigh the benefit vs the harm of eating breakfast as sometimes breakfast will cause my medicine to kick in but other times it will make my bowel worse thus the debate
  7. Don't eat anything else until after the activity and drink very little fluids until afterwards
  8. Stand and walk as little as possible until activity has started
  9. Take sitting breaks as frequent and as long as possible during activity in order to prolong ability to participate in activity
If any of these variables come into play, the activity is frequently very difficult to participate in and enjoy. 

I need to make a distinction, that my diet habits to help control my health issues and to feel good are not bound by the same diet recommendations of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. 
Those with Crohn's and UC frequently are recommended to following certain diet protocols as certain foods will increase or agitate inflammation causing symptoms to worsen. 

For me, food in general is upsetting to my body. I feel my very best when I don't eat. When I don't eat I am not struck with stomach pain and cramps from eating or SBS issues. Only problems are that I really enjoy the taste of food and one must eat to survive. 
So I try to eat light, non-greasy, small portion foods whenever possible as these do not upset my stomach and bowel as much as a heavy, large meal does. 

I don't know if there is another that experiences the same issues with food in the same way as I do, although I imagine it is similar to Crohn's and UC flare ups. But either way, it makes the day very hard to plan.

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