Before I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I was able to eat what I wanted and when I wanted. It’s funny when I think about it now, I can’t believe the variety of foods I would eat. I also can’t believe how much I would consume in one sitting. I remember working at Briarwood Day Camp in the summers. I knew what I was getting myself into. Greasy food, mixed with the heat and humidity. Not a great combination, right? I remember stuffing food into my mouth, just to get back to the basketball court. I would then come home eat dinner then go out and play ball again. Around 11:00 P.M. I would return to the kitchen to make a corn beef sandwich on rye, mustard and a big milkshake. I would go to bed full, and satisfied. I would wake up and do it again the next day.
I can’t imagine returning to those eating habits now that I have Crohn’s disease. Since being diagnosed, I have not touched fast food. And milkshakes? You can forget about that! Don’t get me wrong; I would love to chow down on a Big Mac, or three soft tacos from Taco Bell. But is worth the suffering? The urgency, spasms, and constant running to the bathroom is something I became accustom to. The more junk I eat, the worse my stomach is. I frequently use the bathroom on a “good day.” Why would I want to make my day worse? Why would I want to put my self in a situation that would make me feel even more uncomfortable?
I had to change my eating habits. I cannot eat whatever I want. I was never a picky eater, but now I have no choice. I stay way from the junk food, the sweets, the food we crave. I am wise with my choices. I choose to eat fish, and chicken. Red meat and red sauce are foods that I stay away from. I don’t eat right before I go to bed any more. The reason being is that the food just sits in my stomach until I get up the next morning. After I get up, gravity takes to affect and I am running to the bathroom, eliminating the food from the night before.
Our bodies need vegetables for its vitamins and minerals that they preserve. I have read in numerous articles that fruits and vegetables are harsh on the stomach for patients who have Crohn’s and Colitis. I embedded this information into my brain so much that I haven’t really eaten fruits and vegetables. I rely on multiple vitamins to supplement the fruits and veggies. As of late, I started trying some green veggies. I have to cook them to cook out the fiber. I started with one type of green vegetable and only a tablespoon or two at a time. So far so good, (knock on wood), but I have to do it in moderation.
All in all, I miss eating whatever I want whenever I want. I miss fast food, and I miss red meat. But I have to be grateful, accepting and patient. These are the keys to this disease. If you want to “try” a new food, introduce it slowly. If it does not agree, then back off. With Crohn’s you have to pick and choose your battles. The first battle is accepting the fact that you can’t eat anything you want anymore. Win that battle!