Health Update / Tips & Tricks for Illness Management

I Can Eat

This time of year, I see people I haven’t seen throughout the year. They inevitably ask about my health since being sick is pretty much my job right now (and because I’m just so darn loved). My main response in terms of how I am compared to last year is that I still can’t do much, but I can eat!! Last year, I had to leave Christmas Eve due to my nausea. I was sitting there, so nauseous with the room blacking out then coming into focus, back and forth rapidly, wondering how long I could tolerate it for, working so hard on just sitting up at the table… when I realized my nausea wasn’t just nausea, and I needed to get home ASAP. While family enjoyed catching up with one another and shared food, drinks, and gifts, I spent the night curled up on the bathroom floor. Looking back at pictures, I was SO skinny. I know I’m skinny now, but if you saw me last year, you know what I mean! This year, I can eat and not feel nauseous (most of the time). I may not be able to do much else, I may need to be really careful about what/how much I eat, I may get really tired after eating, I may get lightheaded after eating, and I may get nauseous after sitting up for too many hours, but for the most part, I can eat and then digest food. You have no idea how amazing it is to want food. I know some people think it’d be nice to lose weight and not crave food, but it really isn’t if you take my route to get there.

Case and point… today I suddenly really wanted a peanut butter Twix. I haven’t ever eaten one, but I had a crazy, intense craving for one. I know what a Reese’s tastes like and I know what a regular Twix tastes like, so I could imagine it. I can’t just go buy a Twix because is has dairy, soy, gluten, probably egg, and it’s full of nasty additives. My body has a hard enough time as it is, I like to keep it to ingredients I can pronounce and ingredients that agree with my body. So, I made a giant, quarter pound, twix-like treat in about 10 minutes plus cooling time. It really wasn’t even too sugary because I used dark chocolate. sugar = inflammation. It is organic and made with almond butter which I prefer to peanut butter. The cookie part (used coconut flour) stayed really crispy just like a Twix bar cookie does. Yum! When do modified food recipes turn out perfect on this first try? It’s a Christmas miracle.

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This time last year, I definitely wouldn’t have craved this. I definitely wouldn’t have made it had I craved it (because I knew eating something so heavy was pointless as I wouldn’t keep it down). I definitely wouldn’t have eaten the whole thing in one sitting (no dinner for me tonight!). This year, I did all of the above.

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20 thoughts on “I Can Eat

  1. I’m so glad that your ability to eat has improved so much since last year! Every little improvement matters a lot. When you have a chance, could you post the modified recipe for this, please? I’m trying to gain weight, and it looks super yummy. :-)

    • I’d love to share the recipe. I need to remake it and actually measure this time. I’ll probably be up for another treat this intense and heavy in about 2 weeks or so, stay tuned!

  2. So good to hear you can finally eat. I remember how skinny you were. Just felt bones when I gave you a hug. Hope you can really enjoy Christmas this year and wish I was there to give you a big hug. Just know that I love you and will see you soon.

    • I was snuggling with Emma the other day, and it was nice to not feel like I was stabbing her. I have a tiny bit of cushion which is all I need. Last year, she was constantly adjusting her position as my ribs/hips/collar bone dug into her! I love you. I’m quite jealous you’re in Florida right now but am happy you’re not here for this cold!!

    • I’m happy you could eat too! Even though I can’t eat the same food as my family, it made Christmas so much more pleasant being able to eat. Their food actually doesn’t look good to me anymore because to my body, it is poison!

  3. Hi, Jackie! I’m glad you can maybe get some nutrients in that body of yours finally! Last year sounds really miserable! The “Twix” looks delicious! (I used to eat peanut butter Twixes. :-) I like them! This looks better now!)

    • Last year was quite awful. I’m so happy to be able to nourish my body! I think the last thing it needs right now is to be starved! By the way, are you a gelatin user?

      • I tend to rely more on homemade soups and broths. My husband, however, is a huge gelatin user due to premature joint pains and a family history of arthritis. We found some studies to support it for that, and he went for it. He thinks it is helping him and has been using it probably for about 6 months. We use Great Lakes (or something like that), the one that is in the green bottle and readily dissolves. I also do make Jello out of it for us using juice (using the one in the red bottle). You know, finger jello and gelatin salad. :-)

        • I bought both types of Great Lakes gelatin a few weeks ago. I’m digging it because it can turn liquids into a protein source that will keep me feeling full if my stomach is being difficult. Being nauseous AND hungry is pretty annoying, let me tell you. I’m also thinking it’ll be helpful for my joint issues. Has your husbands joint pain improved at all?

            • Well, there’s two things:
              1) I got diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which is what probably predisposed me to POTS. It is a connective tissue disorder characterized by hyper-mobility (never even knew I was hypermobile).
              2) To get that diagnosis, I had to travel to the other side of Chicago (2 hours during all that snow). The doctor spent about 3.5 hours with us. All of that made my body angry (lymph nodes swelling well beyond my normal, fever, skin hurting). When my body gets angry enough, I do about 1.5 weeks of steroids to chill out my lymph nodes. Usually I save the big guns for just a few times throughout the year when I think I’ll go insane if I don’t get some relief from my throat hurting.

    • I will definitely share the recipe when I try it again and get some measurements. It’s a splurge in terms of sugar content (for me anyways), but it isn’t full of icky ingredients, so for me, it’s a nice treat.

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