Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Fasting and the Furious

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I’m going into day surgery again today to replace the 2 setons I have that help drain any potential abscesses or infections that might be brewing because of my Crohn’s, so I’ve had the day off and am an hour away from going into the hospital.

Anyone heading in for a procedure knows that one of the hardest parts of preparing for it (other than the fear, anxiety, stress, exhaustion…) is fasting – No food or drink 6 hours before you go under general anaesthetic. I’ve looked into the reason behind this and a lot of sources say it’s because when you’re under, the contents of your stomach can flow back into your lungs and cause all sorts of complications. Gross. Either way, fasting when you already are feeling sorry for yourself is not a good combination, and I assure you that by the time I get to the hospital, I will seriously have my cranky pants on and be in some foul mood. Sorry in advance to the doctors and nurses looking after me today!

But there are some(times) wonderful things that I do to distract myself from feeling thirsty and/or hungry…or in my case…hangry.

1. I cleaned the house this morning! I furiously scrubbed and washed the bathrooms, tidied up the bedrooms, put on the laundry and did general sorting. And when all that activity started to make me feel hungry, I would have a nap. Which brings me to the next thing on my list…

2. Naps. They are the best. Sleep away the day! And don’t feel guilty for it. Best way to distract yourself when you’re hungry and low on energy.

3. Have a cool shower and rinse your mouth with some water – the sensation of having something wet in your mouth gives the illusion that you have had something to drink

4. Chew gum – sometimes controversial because it can make you feel hungrier! But I find when you have a minty taste in your mouth, you don’t feel like anything anyway. Alternatively, brush your teeth.

5. Read a book/newspaper/magazine and get some tips about the world or lifestyle. I got a free moisturiser sample with my Marie Claire today. My skin is glowing! hahah

6. Write a blog about distracting yourself from avoiding to eat and drink before surgery (Exhibit A)

7. This is what I ideally would like to do but am yet to do it, mainly because I’m too tired to leave the house before going to hospital, but go get a massage! That would be thoroughly relaxing and distracting.

Things to avoid doing while you are fasting:

1) Do not, under ANY circumstances be around anyone who is eating, unless you are prepared to end the friendship by scowling at them the whole time for satiating their hunger. Also do not cook!
2) Do not enter a restaurant/food court/supermarket – it is amazing when you are hungry how sharpened your senses are… I can smell food from a mile away, and the colours of food seem so bright!
3) Avoid sitting in the sun – the heat will make you feel hungry and will make you even more sweaty and thirsty
4) Avoid watching mainstream tv…there are way too many ads for food! Will just drive you bonkers.

What other tips do you have to distract yourself from pre-op hunger? Would love to hear other suggestions…in the meantime, I am going to have a nap x

Paradigm shift

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I went and saw Dr. Yuwen Lee (my naturopath/dietician/supplements specialist) yesterday and confessed… I had fallen off the bandwagon several times and had indulged in some gluten, dairy, coffee, soy, corn, potato, salad and fruit… all the yummy things that are on my list of foods to avoid.

I’ve seen myself slip several times since June, but have managed to justify that if I eat really well 99% of the time, then surely that soy latte on the weekend isn’t going to kill me. And plus, on special occasions it doesn’t count (“It’s a wedding! It’s good luck to eat some of the cake!”)…

But what I have noticed is that as soon as I eat some of the forbidden things, my body is much more sensitive to them. I bloat almost immediately, and feel lethargic and sometimes constipated the next day, as I am sure my digestive system has hit overload and is trying to process everything that I have just consumed. My greatest discovery is that the little belly pudge that I have had since I was 16 years old (fondly known as my ‘Buddha Belly’ – rub for good luck!) actually is a result of being in a constant bloated state! What I thought was my “body issue” that I wasted countless years trying to destroy through ab workouts and spanx is actually combated by avoiding gluten and dairy! Wow, what I have put my body through!

Anyway, she reminded me that it just isn’t worth it. Don’t cheat on your diet. You’ll never feel as good as you did before when you were solely on it…the reprimand I expected to hear, albeit not what I enjoyed hearing, as I internally rolled my eyes, stomped my foot and told myself “Come on, what harm is a little salad?”…

But then she said something that completely shifted my inner rebel in its seat –

“You’re so lucky that all you need to do is watch what you eat and take extra supplements to keep your Crohn’s under control”

And boom! There was the paradigm shift.

I am lucky. WOW! With all of these supplements and a restrictive diet, I have been able to feel AMAZING! For the first time in years as a Crohn’s sufferer, I can control a lot of my symptoms just by being good to my body and fueling it with the right foods for me. Why wouldn’t I want this for myself?

I do want this. It’s been a crazy year with my Crohn’s flaring and I need to do my little bit to support my system. It’s not a sacrifice or a burden. It’s what I have to do and the results of doing this have been almost immediate, so I should get back to enjoying that. And now that I have a different perspective of looking at it, as opposed to feeling “restricted” – I am lucky that it doesn’t take that much to feel better.

So in saying that, I found a link for a list of restaurants that are good for my fellow gluten intolerant peeps out there (courtesy of Ashley Hunt)… eat in good health!

Stick your tongue out!

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I’ve always wondered what my naturopath and acupuncturist were looking for when they would ask me to stick out my tongue… apparently it is a gateway (not just to my stomach!) into your internal condition and health.

Indicators such as colour, texture and shape provide an insight in to what is going on inside, and judging by the state of my tongue, I’ve got some damp heat. This is pretty typical considering I am on a lot of medication – it upsets the gut flora (need to double up on my probiotics and acidophilus clearly!) .

And heat is indicative of an inflammatory condition – Crohn’s!

So have a look in the mirror and see what your tongue is telling you – see what you can do to improve your inner health.

 

 

The History of Crohn’s

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Speaking of history, it’s been AGES since I last blogged – mainly because life has gotten in the way, which is a good thing (better than Crohn’s getting in the way!)

Last I left off I was having a meltdown about taking myself to hospital. I was subsequently inundated with messages of love and support as soon as I posted, which was a wonderful reminder to myself that I do not need to suffer on my own. It is so important to have a support network – whether people truly understand what I am going through or not, or whether they understand what Crohn’s is all about, what they do know is that during hard times, I need help, and they can be there for me. I must remember not to always try and put on a brave face – I did that for years hiding what I was going through, and this blog is here to free me of suffering alone and in silence.
So a major shout out to my buddy with the same name as mine… thank you for being there when I didn’t realise how much I really needed someone.

Anyway, back to the history of Crohn’s… a very interesting read (thanks to my sister from another mister and my brother-in-law for getting this article happening!) looking at where it all may have begun to where the awareness of Crohn’s is today. Be aware! And beware! Especially the part that says Crohn’s sufferers have a higher chance of getting bowel cancer. Pfffttt… as if it isn’t hard enough to deal with Crohn’s in the PRESENT to then also cope that somewhere in the FUTURE may be a whole other issue attached to it! *Sigh

Dealing and healing baby… will get there!