Lately I have been thinking about how lucky I am in the food categories, compared to many others with IBD. I see people on TPN or liquid diets and think, “Well, at least I can eat solid food”. Even though I have some restrictions, every day I feel like I am lucky to be in the position I am in.
But today, I really thought about it and I have started to question, “Am I really lucky”. After my major flare, eggs which were a safe food for me became an enemy. So did bananas. I also realized that gluten products were not helping me to get well. I went gluten-free and cut out eggs. But, cravings would hit. I found the egg issue was a big one. After talking to others with digestive issues, I found out about Papaya Enzymes. I started taking them every time I ate eggs and they really helped. I would get no pain, wouldn’t have to rush to the bathroom 10 times a day and my outlook on food changed.
But now, there is a shift in my life. I take 5 enzyme pills when I eat eggs (bottle recommends 2-3). They used to help but now lately I have been getting some pains when I eat eggs. I know that means my body is adjusting to the pills and the efficiency of them is diminishing. Along with eggs, salad has now also become an issue. I used to be fine with any leafy vegetable. But now within less than an hour it runs its course and comes out almost as fast as it goes in. Slowly, my dietary choices are getting slim. I am back to trying to lose weight so I have to watch what I eat and my choices are shrinking.
So I was sitting here this morning, eating scrambled eggs and thinking, am I still lucky. As many of you know, I love food. I enjoy the flavors and smells. I love the entire experience surrounding food. I don’t feel I can survive on a very strict diet but that is where I am heading. Things I onced love to indulge in I can no longer eat. It has been almost 2 years since I had a slice of NY pizza or a bagel, chinese dumplings or pastries. So many foods that I took for granted I might never eat again. And that scares me. I am trying not to feel depressed over this but it is hard. I went to school originally to be a chef and I work in the hospitality industry. I buy food every day for work. It is my life. To look at a bounty of great looking food and know that I can’t touch it really saddens me.
Some of you might think this is self pity, and part of it is. I know there are others worse off than me. But most people don’t realize just what food means to me. It isn’t just a nutritional, life sustaining thing. It is a way of life and is a part of mine. I feel like today, a part of me has died.
So where does this leave me know. I am still struggling with my weight and trying to eat healthier. I am trying to diet. But this latest development hurt things. But I can’t give in and I won’t. I am done with excuses. I will find a way to get to my goal and overcome my obstacle. Hopefully, my passion for food will rise like the phoenix and renew itself. There are so many new foods out there to try. It might be time to explore options and see just what my diseased body can handle.
And worst case…as I am sure a friend of mine might suggest…there are always gummy bears to live off of. But that, is another story.