Food Issues


In the days, weeks, months leading up to hospitalizaton, my relationship with food was changing. I have always loved to eat. I loved fresh salads as well as ice cream, steak and potatoes along with cake, roasted veggies as well as fresh breads. The only things I didn’t care for were beets and ocra.

When your digestive system is not working the way it should, and you’re landing in the bathroom within minutes of eating something, you begin to associate the food with the pain, diarrhea, and cramping. The problem is that it ISN’T the food causing you to be sick….it’s the disease, in my case, Ulcerative Colitis. Still, I had a one-to-one correlation in my head between food and discomfort, and therefore developed an aversion to food, certain smells of food cooking, etc.

Now that I can eat again without the pain or diarrhea, I still have to coax myself into eating sometimes. Some of this is normal post-surgery stuff and it will get better over time. Having an ileostomy, there are now certain foods I am to steer clear of, and others that I’m encouraged to eat. For instance, prior to having surgery, I tried to stay away from white pastas, potatoes, and breads. But now, these foods are actually encouraged!  I used to love fresh veggies and fruits. These are now discouraged due to their difficulty of being digested. I now need to eat veggies that are cooked well, and fruits that are very ripe or mashed (like applesauce).

So it’s a bit of an adjustment. And add to that my need to gain back some of the weight I lost, I find myself thinking about food more than I’d like to. Perhaps this will be a temporary thing, and a new normal will develop to where I’m not having to think about it so much.

One food group that I have yet to get back is my love for coffee. 🙁 Oh how I loved my morning cup of coffee!! But the smell, while I was sick, was more than I could handle. The smell isn’t bothering me anymore, but to drink coffee is still an unappetizing thing in my mind.

I’m wondering if drawings of coffee cups will disappear from my sketchbooks…prolly so. 🙁

0 thoughts on “Food Issues

  1. Chris says:

    Wow-changing your eating habits is a difficult thing indeed for so many of us. I wish you well on this adventure to find a healthier way of life and look forward to the many fabulous drawings we will see while you journey.

  2. Pat Reed says:

    Sounds like your making progress,this makes me happy.
    Not sure if you remember the lady I introduced you to at the Art show her name is Meredith.Meredith’s husband has gone through the same or simular surgery it has been a year since his problem began.He is now making giant steps in his recovery,his baby steps were very depressing for him,but with encourgement he kept putting one foot in front of the other,we are so thankful he is doing well.The reason I’m sharing this with you is to let you know Meredith is so versed in this recovery and is sending you her help if you need her.Keep up the good work Perhaps one day we will once again enjoy a cup of coffee together.Love ya Pat

  3. Edwina Mordasky says:

    this was very fascinating and helpful to read—just spent about 5 weeks where coffee tasted wicked too strong….now that I’m better it’s back to delicious…I think the Commissioned Artwork to the right is so wondeful–you can feel the joy !

  4. Missy says:

    You have been on my mind and in my prayers Jennifer. I am sitting here with a glass of juice which we just juiced up fresh in the kitchen…..wondering if that might be a means by which you can have fresh fruit. I would be sad without fruit and coffee, too.
    I’ll continue to pray for you, understanding that diet changes are HARD. (We’ve got some gluten issues around this house and that’s hassle enough!)

  5. Elsie Hickey Wilson says:

    Good morning, Jennifer! I’m so glad things are progressing and to see your posts, but wish the adjustments did not have to take you on a difficult path, and were more delicious! I hope that soon you and food will be friends again…even if you best food buddies have changed! Such a lovely painting to illustrate your current love-hate relationship with food! That is a good release…get it on the paper! Sending healing thoughts and prayers! Hugs!

  6. Denise Nelson says:

    Thank God for your returning health.Let it be As unique as the new adventure finds you. You have always been an unlifting spirit. thank you for being here.

  7. Karen Graham Blados says:

    I’m glad you’re home, but so sorry you’re still on the road to recovery. My father has Crohn’s Disease, which has similar dietary restrictions. He still eats very small amounts of things he’s always like – a bite or two – when he’s feeling good. His disease tends to go in cycles, so he’ll have a few weeks feeling good and then a bad week. I hope you and food reconnect soon. Sending good thoughts and prayers.

    BTW, I found your site recently and am in awe of your spontaneous, lively use of color. Everything is just so rich and exciting!

  8. Ann says:

    I am happy to hear that you are improving and also sure that this must be very frustrating for you. Hang in there! With your creative spirit you will no doubt figure a way back to enjoying your own unique and wonderful cuisine. Sending healing thoughts your way 🙂

  9. freebirdsings says:

    After my husband’s kidney removal he found he no longer liked his spaghetti as he’d made it for almost 40 years! It turns out anesthesia can change your tastes so you could be dealing with a double whammy. Can you have smoothies? Frappucinos? As summer gets hot maybe things like this will start to sound good or you may find new things you like. We finally made a vegan version of my husband’s heavily meat laden sauce and he is back to enjoying it (in fact the whole family is liking it more) so you may find eating things a bit differently will be okay in the long run. To relearn to like something if you want to, what about playing music you really like or chatting with your family as you sample some of it again. Serve it in really colorful dishes or whatever to disassociate it from before to a new now. I truly don’t know what would work and can only suggest but I do know my husband slooowwwly gained back his appetite and liking for most of the foods he liked prior to surgery. Except for the spaghetti which fortunately we were able to change for him. Good luck Jennifer.

  10. Alex Tan says:

    I am sorry that you’re going through so much pain right now. I hope things will get better real soon and that you’ll be able to take food like before. I’ll pray that you heal fast.

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