I’ve been absence for months now and have been battling my digestive tract for over seven months now. I’ve had a stint in hospital, a scary three weeks of testing for the cancers that took my parents and grandfather, and then a restricted Fodmaps style diet that’s gone on and on.
In between I’ve passed another subject at Uni, moved house (packing and unpacking while sick is always so much harder), navigated the joys of working in an environment that turned really negative really fast, found out my son is gifted, worked full time…..
What is hard is that I might look well, inside I’m battling constant nausea, I would tire out easily because I wasn’t able to eat a lot, and what I was able to keep down was not a nourishing diet, but rather a restricted diet of potatoes and corn biscuits that resemble cardboard.
So we moved house, and I found a dietitian who would work with me and my specialist in identifying my new intolerance – hence why I’ve been on a strict Fodmaps diet for the last six weeks, and I’m in week six and noticing now the big difference, now my body has had an opportunity to rid itself of the bad foods.
What I’ve learnt is read the food labels carefully and thoroughly – I no longer tolerate soy, yeast, gluten, lactose, onions…..you get the picture – I have to read and weigh up the different terms that food manufacturers use to hide ingredients. I also have to plan carefully what I eat. I make up large batches of pancakes so I can have two each morning for breakfast, I bake my own yeast and gluten free bread, but finding the time for that can be problematic. Being prepared is another fundamental skill, and knowing that I need to ask about what has gone into any food we buy hot from a restaurant is another joy.
But the fact I am waking up and not throwing up, or get to the end of the day and sitting there holding the toilet bowl, another plus. I’m feeling better and stronger now, but I’m careful with what goes into my body. I no longer take it for granted that my body will be able to cope if I do eat something outside the list of what I can eat. It’s now my new balancing act. One I will have to live with for the rest of my life.