He’s adorable and super kind, but I don’t really find him very helpful. His general answer to things is a shrug and a “give it a try”. Which is great and all, but my food history is bad and I’d like to take the opportunity to adjust my lifestyle. His main thing is that I lost too much weight too quickly, and anything we can do to stabilize or gain some weight back is A+. I’m all for being kind to my heart and metabolism, but I would like to lose another 20-25 pounds, albeit at a slower and healthier pace. My cancer had me mostly living off of meal replacement drinks or soup broth for a good 4-5 months. I’m as psyched as he is that I’m eating again, but I’m starting to re-eat the same shit that probably had something to do with this mess in the first place. I need to rewire my eating habits.
Easter is great, but I also went fucking nuts for sugar the last few days. Like a conveyor belt of creme eggs went in my mouth. Like, this is not what I should be doing. I’m really not able to do much physical activity with my energy levels, surgical recovery stuff, portacath stuff, immune system stuff, etc. As it continues to warm up I hope to be out and about more often, but it sucks doing a bunch of walking alone and I’m super isolated where I live now. Sarnia is such a driving city- and I don’t even really live in Sarnia, I’m on the outskirts. And I rarely have a car thanks to the mysterious and impossibly irritating nature of my younger brother.
Depression is absolutely a large piece of this. It’s 4pm and I haven’t really left my room yet. I find it harder and harder to self motivate myself through this illness. It’s so hard to just pack it away and forget about it for an evening. I experimented for the first time with drinking since my surgery a few nights ago. Though I went slow, it was kind of terrible. I had no idea where my tolerance was at. I kept getting served ice cold drinks which burn my throat and fingers thanks to the chemo (and yeah, I know I shouldn’t drink while on chemo… but hey I’m also dumb and impulsive). Dealing with an ileostomy bag with a buzz on is less than ideal, because alcohol also makes the fucker active with super burning output. I spent the night in a friends guest room essentially terrified awake by the prospect of my bag failing and me ruining a mattress. Looks like it’s back to sobriety until after my j-pouch surgery… and even that’ll be an experiment.
Anyway, the depression element. A big part of how I dealt with being sad was through eating. I’m absolutely someone that has some problems with balance. I don’t know when it becomes appropriate to pull out the ED definition. I use to be a big binge eater. I mean I didn’t get fat by some strange accident. I ate like shit and ate often. Honestly the months where I couldn’t eat because of a physical restriction were a very strange experience… because I sort of enjoyed it. I was loosing weight and finally something I felt like I couldn’t control was being controlled for me. I have no idea how much damage was done during this period of time to my heart and metabolism. I was essentially anorexic via cancer. Now that my weight is essentially stable (I flux like 7 pounds within a day between fluid retention from drug/surgery things), I kind of miss the thrill of loosing a pound a day. I know that’s insane.
If my ileostomy wasn’t doing the work for me I know I’d probably be gaining weight right now. I’m eating like pure garbage, but it tends to flush things out faster than I can take in all of their caloric or nutritional potential. I grew up in kind of the classic lower middle class frozen food household. My family doesn’t know how to eat healthily and neither do I. I’m like, useless with actual cooking. Shamefully so.
So what are my dietary restrictions? I should be trying to stay low on processed foods, especially refined sugars. Minimal red meat, like keep it an absolute luxury. Nothing that is stoma blocking: seeds, most vegetables (unless pureed or super super soft), beans, nuts, etc. I should be high protein for healing purposes, but low fat for easy digestion. I find pastas and rice helpful for keeping me hydrated (which is a huge problem for me) because it slows down my digestive system so the water isn’t just flying through. If it’s cold, it’s out. Chemo has made it near intolerable, except for a few days before my next round. If I have to chew forever it’s out. Mouth sores are appearing and they hurt. Everything I’m writing seems to lead to an easy suggestion of “soup”, but after so much time spent on a liquid diet I have very little appetite for the stuff.
I just want to hire a life coach to make me a meal plan, show me how to cook, how to schedule these strange days of mine. I’m finding it all so exhausting.