It’s been a while since I posted any recipes. The last recipe I posted was the Orecchiette with salmon, edamame and beurre blanc sauce in April. Soo many things have happened since then that I don’t even bother documenting here as I really wanted to keep going with my recipes and be more of an encouragement to others with IBS to think outside the box and try different things to cook.
Since then, due to stress, my IBS got worse and my gastritis which I got as a gift from my previous job (also due to stress) got worse to the point where I couldn’t have any citrus items, like oranges, lime, lemons or anything with acid like tomatoes, regular coffee, Chocolate etc…
As many know, when you have stress your body can start to break down. You get aches and pains and other issues you never had before. When you have a chronic illness, the stress makes those issues even worse. When those health issues get worse, right on cue, anxiety, more stress and maybe depression knock on your door. Then my papa’s Alzheimer’s was advancing, causing a mountain of anxiety because of the uncertainty of what the day would bring. What mood would he be in? He wasn’t usually aggressive, just spurts here and there, but he would sleep a lot more and when we tried to keep him awake he would get irritated understandably. He knew who we were but didn’t remember our names anymore nor what day or time it was among a few of the many thing this damn disease stole from him. While I work from home, that guilty feeling of spending a limited amount of quality time due to work killed me. All the stress left me with was the inability to focus on two things at once. I had to have quiet in order to make sure all the details of what I was doing workwise were accurate. He would come to me and show me what he colored and I’d say GOOD JOB PAPA! but when asked to color with him at times I’d say, I’m sorry Papa, I have to work. I knew in my heart I’d regret the time I didn’t spend with him but I didn’t think he would leave us the way he did.
My beautiful Papa still joked, dance, ate a LOT as he had a great appetite which many didn’t believe when he was at the hospital nor the arrogant nurse from home hospice, but he did. He walked with pain due to his knee but he sprinted down the hallway when he was with his walker. My dear papa died 3 weeks after going into the hospital for Urosepsis due to MD’s who JUST DON”T LISTEN. While I will not go into as it is too painful to write about and gutting to remember. What I will say is he passed away at home with us and smiled one last time before he took his last breath.
After this, my stomach got soo bad, I couldn’t take my vitamins anymore as they upset my stomach, my nausea was at an all time high all the time and I stopped drinking rice milk, oat milk, almond milk couldn’t eat avocados anymore and nothing with Citric Acid which apparently a TON of things have…and well…the list gets longer. I could only eat, bread, water, eggs, bananas and half a cup of espresso (since it has less acid and only in the morning). Maybe some chicken, with only herbs, no spices at all and that’s about it. I was also going to the bathroom all the time. Basically I had to stop grieving for my papa because it made me worse. I tried to juice things like kale, carrots, mangoes, peaches with a horrible result as my stomach was tolerating nothing.
I took a webinar for tapping thanks to a friend and that helped stopped me from crying when i had the urge but i still needed to grieve and needed to check the state of my intestines as the pain and worry of whether or not my intestines and my esophagus were eroded from the acid I kept producing. Fast forward to October 27th when I had to drink colonoscopy liquid prep that made me feel pains in my side but I did it and had both an endoscopy and colonoscopy done on October 28th. After the procedure the doctor told me he saw nothing bad other than the mild gastritis I have as well as inflammation in my intestines and in 2 weeks he’d give me the full results.
The 2 weeks I was waiting were horrible. My intestines felt worse than before the procedure and I waited 1 week to do yoga and afterward I had horrible pains and knife like cramps. The acid reflux was front and center and while I was hungry, I had panic attacks when I ate due to the pain I know I’d get afterward all this pain wiping me out and making me utterly exhausted.
I went to the doctors office and he told me, aside from the gastritis he mentioned before, I had mild esophagitis but said it will not turn to cancer when I asked because I had googled a LOT beforehand and asked questions. I told him what can I do, is there anything else that can be checked or that this can be since I cannot eat what i used to and I’m can’t build muscle if I’m no feeding my body what it needs. The visit was a big “I have no answers other than it’s stress” No treatments for the inflammation or urgency to find out how to get rid of the inflammation or even concern that he was leaving me with inflamed intestines and no answers. I told him the pain when i exercised, my inability to tolerate vitamins and I got crickets. I’ll admit I am a WORRIER and very nervous patient with stuff like this, but I am also someone who wants answers so I can get better. Not pills that will mask the issue. Antispasmodics were prescribed but they have a ton of side effects and are not a cure. He is a patient doctor, friendly and comforting when you are worried before those procedures, but he seemed rushed and I felt like maybe he’s just annoyed to have someone like me peppering him with questions. I felt worse and cried for hours after I left the doctor’s office. No answers is worse as you are starting again from square one. I am saving money for alternative remedies and holistic doctors but it’s gonna take time to save up enough for more than just a consultation.
My acupuncturist who is a saint is the only one willing to help but I am struggling as well to keep going as the bills are mounting. So for now, I am doing what I can and that has been doing Transcendental Meditation again which helped me before when I was able to do it twice a day. I have been able to do DDP Yoga a bit more and yoga for IBS maybe 1 a week. Thanksgiving was brutal with the empty seat at the table this year as it was just me, my brother and mom. Our tears flowed as we prayed beforehand and this Christmas season has started and the tears continue as the pain in our hearts is still very dominant. The 3 of us have stuck together and my cousin has come by to visit us when we have needed her and that makes a world of difference but I still feel alone.
I have also started watching Chris Hemsworth’s series Limitless to see what things he is doing to reduce stress and maybe live a little longer. One thing I saw was the cold water technique which is funny as I saw something similar from actor Neil Jackson who posted technique he found to help his brother and himself with depression. He explains in his Instagram that’s he does this for 5 minutes, but I tried it in 2020 when I found his post for 10 to 20 to 30 seconds and will be trying this again working up to at least 30 seconds which was recommended in the Limitless episode. Maybe this will also help my digestive issues? Doesn’t hurt to try this one. **Make sure you check with your doctor first of course before doing this or anything else if you have a medical condition**
Right now it’s learning to live without my papa while also trying to heal, fight my depression and not leave my mom alone. Make sure I’m with her as she lost her love of 52 + years.
Right now I guess I’m writing all this as a way of releasing some of that pain. A Lot of guilt I felt has faded after speaking with a good friend of mine who got me back into crystals and happens to be a nurse with plenty of experience with dementia patients and that talk we had helped immensely. Talking things out does help and while that’s another thing I cannot afford, I have been lucky to have my friend reach out when I needed it badly. I have also deactivated temporarily my main social media accounts to disconnect from that and not have others message me to
“It could be worse”
“Be grateful for what you have”,
“Other’s have it worse than you”
or my favorite: “You need to stop being soo negative, you can choose to be happy” advice which when you are depressed is NOT helpful.
Another I have found comfort is at Idontmind.com . I have used their texting service which helped me immensely in some super dark days. Text IDM to 741741 to reach a trained Crisis Counselor at Crisis Text Line or go to their website for other resources.
I truly hope to heal where I can start cooking and baking again. I can still have espresso biscotti so that’s something! But I mean imagine someone who went to pastry school and loves to cook and bake but can’t eat chocolate or taste what she cooks anymore? My 1st love and passion was cooking and I hope I can do that again as well as get certified to teach yoga, tai chi to help others with IBS, help others with mobility issues or aches and pains like I have as well as help older folks with dementia, move and live a better quality of life.