I have a love/hate relationship with food that most people can’t grasp. I’m almost certain that unless you have a food restriction of some sort due to something such as allergies or in my case Crohn’s disease this post will be difficult to understand.
Since I received my diagnosis I literally think about food 24/7. I’m on an extremely restrictive diet, called a low residue diet, indefinitely, that doesn’t allow me to eat most fruit, most raw/cooked veggies, whole grains, seeds, nuts, red meat, and popcorn (my food love for life). I have scarring in my bowel from going undiagnosed for so many years so being on a low residue diet keeps my pain at bay and also prolongs my need for surgery. When I was placed on this diet it was only meant to be temporary but after a year my specialist thought it was best to stay on it because surgery for Crohn’s patients can often cause the disease to move to other parts of the digestive tract.
I’m always conscious about what’s in my food and something as small as a whole wheat bun instead of white can completely throw off my day. I have legitimately found myself angry with restaurants or even extended family members and friends because my dinner is incorrect. It’s hard sometimes not to burst and say “I’m not being picky, this food could literally send me to the hospital.” Or put me in excruciating pain for a few days.
When people talk about being “hangry” I can completely relate. When the only foods I’m able to eat basically have zero nutrients I literally spend all day hungry and waiting for my next meal. I ate relatively healthy before my diagnosis so I was definitely spoiled. I find myself choosing the tastier, but less healthy options because they allow me to have some semblance of normalcy.
I’m tired of explaining myself and describing my situation to each new person I meet. People often come off as accusatory or sceptacle when I’m discussing how Crohn’s affects me. Most of the time it’s too confusing for someone who can’t relate or someone tries to relate too heavily but they really don’t get it. It’s an all the time thing for me. Sometimes people might know someone who has Crohn’s and can’t understand why my diet is different.
Food is my happy place and my nemesis. It causes me joy and some of the worst physical pain. Most of my thoughts revolve around ingestibles.