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. 🙁