I've been in a deep meditation over the past three days, trying to figure out my diet life. The fact that there have been gale-force winds all day, well, maybe that's the sign I needed. They are indeed the winds of change here at GFINGF.
No, this isn't about my Oprah-revelation "I'm going on a New Year, New You diet" kinda thing. But I don't know how I'm going to keep blogging about gluten-free cooking with the task before me.
This is about a medical emergency called gastroparesis. It is time for me to heal myself.
Backtrack: I have mentioned a couple of times here lately that I have been diagnosed with gastroparesis by my GI doctor. I have dealt with it for a long time, actually -- since Dr. Catherine Roberts diagnosed it in 2005 or 2006 -- and she said I had that before I decided to become gluten free, to be tested for Celiac, and before I found out about the pernicious anemia thing. ALL those items are chronicled here on this blog. Oh yeah, and the menopause thing after the ovary surgery. Whatever...
But really, after a battery of tests in December, I came to my senses. In fact, I told my sis Susan that things are going to drastically change. I HAVE TO CHANGE MY DIET. That, or as the GI doctor said "You have to treat your stomach as if you've had gastric bypass surgery, except without the benefit of the staples." My stomach does not empty but is massively bloated and distended, and this is because my type II diabetes has destroyed all the nerve endings in it. So I can only eat food that will naturally digest.
I have gastro (stomach) paresis (paralysis).
After 52 years of loving good food, I have to stop eating.
Yeah, you heard me. I have to stop eating.
Now I can no longer have:
Gluten and its derivatives;
Concentrated amounts of sugar, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup;
Lactose (unless I take the Lactase);
Most grains, including the GF grains that I have come to depend on;
Nuts and dried fruits (except peanut butter, in tiny tiny quantities, and not chunky);
Foods high in fiber including dried beans, broccoli, vegetable peels, most fresh fruit with peels and raw veggies in general;
Salads and raw greens of most kinds (and salad dressings, too);
Fried foods (bye bye my one last indulgence -- Micky Ds fries...
High Fat foods;
Chunks of meat, especially beef, including meats with preservatives.
What do the experts expect?
Six small meals a day. Each meal of around six to eight bites of food, unless it's totally liquified, and then, no more than about a cup of liquid at a time. No diet soda or coffee or tea (ok, limited amounts) BUT ONLY after the meal is complete.
Sit up for an hour after I eat, or walk for a half hour, or both. Sleep with my head elevated.
New med in the a.m. to go with the three others I'm already taking.
...and most importantly....
Keep blood sugar as low as possible at all times (which right now is impossible because of another medication I'm having to regulate, but hey, I get it. I'm working on it and testing three times a day.)
And though I lost 10 pounds over the holiday break, you won't notice it -- and I might not lose any more weight, because that's not uncommon with this malady.
For four days, I have carefully counted my food intake and calories and written down every bite of food and how it affected my stomach. My Monday meal of Black Eyed Peas and turkey sausage....oooh groan. I shouldn't have done that. I'm going to keep journaling for a while, to see if I can figure it out.
But here are a couple of things I noticed already:
When my stomach doesn't empty, it doesn't growl. If it doesn't growl, I don't eat. I have gone 24 hours without food several times since Dec. 15. Most people can't imagine going 24 hours without eating, but I do it all the time. And my blood sugar is still elevated because of the fermenting food in my stomach.
Pleasant, isn't it? Well, I'm flummoxed by all of it.
So what is the purpose of this post? I was wondering that myself. Well, I have to take this new lifestyle to work tomorrow. And I don't know what to do.
What is this going to do to this blog? If you'll look at all my last food posts, you'll see that I posted about ham, prime rib, pecan pie, garlic drunk chicken, etc. Most of those foods I ate a small amount of in a one-meal-a-day plan over the holidays. (I'll admit it -- I also had to get some foods out of my system once and for all.)
But what does that mean for this blog? Well, I have other things I need to be doing for a while, and I hope you'll understand.
Do you really want me to blog about my morning power shake of almond milk and sugar free carnation instant breakfast? I didn't think so.
So I don't know what I am going to do for now, but I do know this: I need a little break and the time to figure things out. I need to read, do my research, take my pills, and change my life -- again.
Will you promise you'll check back in a week or so to see what's new? I promise I'll be back with an update on Jan. 15 with an update. But I gotta figure some things out, and I won't, in good spirit, be creating any new recipes right now.
Oh, and keep those emails and prayers and good thoughts a comin'.....I'm trying to keep my New Year's Resolution to be optimistic. And yes, I knew about this when I wrote that, too!
Much love, and thanks for understanding!