Category Archives: Diet

Debby Downer’s Digestion

It’s going to be one of those posts.  You know the type I am talking about. The type that I sound very ungrateful and whiny. So before the whining begins, let me first say that I am very grateful for my life. In fact, I am very, very grateful I am alive at all.  With that said, I must say the last couple weeks have been more than a little difficult. My health “issues” are the reason I consider myself a resistant hermit. But I do enjoy some good weeks, even an occasional great week, then eventually the rough, bad, painful days come back.

Even at the best of times, I need to plan everything. What I am doing for the day, when I am doing it, where I am going…..then I plan my eating accordingly.  And because what goes in, must come out….I will have an hour or two of problems.  Again, that is on my best days.

I won’t describe my last couple weeks in detail. Really, I will spare you. But I will say I have a choice of eating one large meal and having humdinger of “issues” for a few hours, or I can eat small meals throughout my day and have moderate “issues” all day long.  Yep, those are my two choices.  Doesn’t matter what I eat.  Well maybe a little.  If I have too much gluten, too much meat, wine, soda, etc…..Well, I might as well not move for the rest of the day.  Doctors say this is probably as good as it will ever get for me.  What I eat, when I eat, medications, etc. will only made a small difference.

I could go back to an ostomy, but as Doctor L said, because of my very damaged intestines, and my skin sensitivities, there is no guarantee that I will enjoy more freedom.  And once I get an ostomy, there is no going back.  I do not have enough intestines to have a reversal.

I do apologize for this post. Really sounds depressing and I sound like a Debby Downer.  I really try not to write about my colorectal syndrome issues very often.  And I will try not to post another for as long as I can.  It’s just that my “issues” the last couple weeks have been overwhelming and it does affect how much I can and can not do, where I go, etc.  And as I don’t see any relief anytime soon, thought I should just put it all out there.

Today, I am planning on visiting my sister Kathy, picking up dog food for my mom’s dog, and dropping some things off at my mom’s house.  I have been up since 3:00 this morning, so I will be dragging by this afternoon. But by then I should be home, unless “issues” prevent me from going at all.

I Want A Do Over

I went to lunch to celebrate Karen, my sister’s birthday yesterday.  I think we all had a nice time.  But here is the problem.

I was doing so good.  No bad “issues” although because of lack of rectum, even a good day is pretty urgent.  I ordered a cup of soup and a salad with tuna on top.  Bad choices all around.  First off, both have many ingredients in them.  I should not have ordered either item.  I ended up having a horrible afternoon that went on through the evening.  It could have been the soup, it could have been the salad.  But because I had both and both had many ingredients……..I have put myself through hours of pain and no closer to an answer to what caused it.  Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.  This is why I am supposed to add things one ingredient at a time.

I should have ordered a plain baked potato and left it at that.  Oh the woulda, shoulda, coulda in life.  Rarely does life give you a Do Over.  But there is good news in all this.  Because a lot of healing had already taken place, no lingering damage has been done as far as I can tell.  I am feeling pretty good today. 🙂  So good that I was really looking forward to going to my book club tonight.  I have been a No Show for weeks and am missing the other ladies.  But it has been cancelled.  Hopefully we will all meet next week.

Because I am feeling good and the sun is shining…. 🙂 …….going to hurry up with my inside stuff and spend the day outside or out and about.  My chicken nests need cleaning, eek!  I can continue with washing some windows.  I can take my camera and walk around the Oregon Gardens.  I can go spend some time with my mom.  I can choose or do all.  But you can bet there is one thing I will not be doing today or anytime in the near future…….go out to lunch. 😦  Or I need to make myself say these words, “Just a plain baked potato please”.

Real Food

Not happy with myself. 😦  Certainly not happy with my body.  I did not make my aunt’s funeral today.  I think the only other close family member’s funeral I have missed was my Uncle Val’s years ago when I was in California.  But I have hope.

Hope that things will get better.  I went to my primary physician yesterday and she is on board and is helping me with a strategy to improve my digestion which will improve my life.  I am starting on a couple meds. that although are not normally used for the purpose I will be using them for, one in particular might contribute to some improvements.   We have a strategy for my diet and hopefully solving some mysteries on what causes ongoing “issues”.

For now, things will be very very restrictive.  No processed foods.  No meats except turkey and fresh water fish.  No eggs.  No soda, alcohol, sugary juices.  No gluten (of course).  No nuts, seeds.  No refined carbs and sugars.  No spices and herbs.  No dairy including *gulp* CHEESE. 😦  Sobbing still about that one.  So you might be wondering what I can eat.

Turkey, trout, tuna.  Most fresh vegetables.  Fresh fruit (but no citrus).  Whole grains, brown and white rice (white rice is the one refined food I can have).  White and sweet potatoes.  Maybe a little beans. Herb teas, water, fresh juice.  And after a few days I can add oats as long as it is gluten free.  No seasoning except sea salt.  I know.  This all seems so sad and bland.  But it is healthy.  Basically it is the elimination diet I was already going to start, but my doctor cut out a few more foods.  Everything very simply prepared.  Broiling, boiling, steaming.

I was thinking I would eat like this for a week and then start slowly introducing certain foods back in.  But I have been told that I need to keep things very restrictive much longer than that.  Because my intestines are so inflamed and things have become very serious.  I hate to admit something, LL has been saying this to me but yesterday my doctor said the exact same thing.  (thinking LL called her….just kidding).  What they both said is that they are worried that every time my intestines become inflamed, it is adding to the permanent damage the radiation is already causing.  In other words, if I don’t want to lose more small and large intestines, I need to get serious and very strict about what I put in my body.

I have always known this of course, but I can’t get sloppy anymore.  Which is so very hard for a person who loves food.  Please pray and wish me luck that I can do much better than I have in the past.

Oregon Splendor

What a beautiful day here in Silverton Oregon!  Just about the nicest day weather wise in…..well I don’t know how long.

Moving slow.  It is almost noon and I am just getting moving.  But my hope is to do the dishes, start a load of laundry and get out a bit.  LL has gone to our campsite to get a few things done there but when he gets back, I want to go to the store to get a couple of things for tomorrow and then visit my mom.  Normally I am over there 2, 3 sometimes 4 times in a week.  The last couple weeks I have not been up to going anywhere.  Kind of missing my mom and civilization.

I am also going to take my camera.  A day like today is bound to bring opportunities for a good picture.

Eating wise, I am back to a low residue diet until I know what is going on.  Which is o.k.  But I am kind of whole grain, brown rice, fresh vegetables sort of girl.  When eating low residue, you have to think almost unhealthy.  Low fiber, over cooked vegetables etc.  But it is either that or just having liquids, and I know if I end up having surgery, my liquid days will be many in the future.  So why would I go there before I have to?

Enjoy your day.  And if you live here in Oregon with this beautiful weather…..Really enjoy your day!

Brillo Bowels

How bad can it get…….my bowels I mean.  Oh boy, oh boy, it can get really bad.  But hey, this is what my last couple days look like.

Tuesday started out like a regular day.  Got a little done around here, prayed, read, was looking forward to my book club evening with my new book club girlfriends.  By the way, I enjoy these evenings so much and look forward to it all week.  Anyway, I did not eat anything, my digestion was doing fabulously.  Bailey came in after work and we were having a nice visit.  Then I got a phone call from LL.  A difficult one with some rough news about someone close to us on the Miller side.  Bailey got very upset, I was upset……we took the situation to the only source with some answers….God.  We prayed together.  But after about 20 minutes, it happened.  My bowels rebelled.  Doctor L. told me that not only does food and exercise affect my digestion, but stress does too.  I kind of forgot that until Tuesday afternoon.  It was almost immediate and a good confirmation that some of my health can not be controlled with diet.  After about a half hour into it, I knew I would not be making it to my book club and called Lynda to let her know.  These issues lasted for hours into bed time.

Wednesday, I was able to go for a good walk with my sister.  I did not eat most the day (except without thinking about it, ate some pretzels at my mom’s house) 😦 because I needed to take Max to the doctor at 1:00 and then when I got home, Kane, Lisa, and Brantley was here.  I wanted some play time with Brantley.  So I waited to eat till around 6:00.  Was fine for a while.  But it hit and hit hard.  Hours of misery.

So today I am not doing well.  Not well at all.  Remember the Brillo Pad feeling?  There are times that even when digestion improves and I am no longer running to the bathroom, I am left with wounds.  My ointments help heal these, but sometimes, on really bad occasions, my intestines feel like someone has scrubbed them raw with a brillo pad.  Like a rug burn on the inside.  That is how I feel today. 😦

So what is the plan for today?  Well, I will get myself dressed.  Look in my fridge to see if I have some mild vegetables that can be steamed and see if I have white rice in the cupboard.  Because that is all I will be eating for the next couple days.  If I don’t have those things, I will go to the store.  LL is out-of-town till tomorrow evening, so I don’t feel the need to cook, clean, do anything but listen to my body’s needs.

Tomorrow I will be getting my hair done.  (Badly needed).  Then mom and I will go to store, but again I will be spending tomorrow listening to my body and doing what is needed.  In fact, before LL left this morning, he said “Don’t worry about me at all, I will eat cereal and canned soup, I want you to get back to putting your health first.”  He’s a keeper.  When he says that, he is not just talking about my diet.  With Tuesday as an added confirmation of how stress affects me, he talked to me about meditation, yoga and all the things Doctor L. said I would need to have in my life.  LL is so wise.  (well on this) 🙂  He wants my health to return to my first priority.  Everything else comes after.  Thank you my love for putting me first.

Splish Splash…..Mish Mash

Mish Mash?…….Because this is likely to be a post about nothing and anything.  It is 3:30 Sunday morning.  This last week, I have enjoyed much relief from my “issues”.  Which coming off of a week of vacation eating, I was surprised and relieved.  But last evening and through the night, it has been brutal.  I haven’t over eaten, because I put on a few pounds from Oktoberfest and vacation.  So I am back on counting my points for Weight Watchers.  But what I have eaten might be another story.  Friday, I made my spaghetti because I had a jar left over from canning that I did not process.  It was delicious.  I guess I did eat a large serving because I had not eaten since lunch the day before, and I had a sliver of garlic bread.  So I glutened myself.  But usually “issues” show up right away when it is gluten, and I had no problem that night or yesterday during the day.  I then went almost all day without eating again.  But I made a crock pot full of sweet and sour pork ribs, acorn squash, baked potato and green salad.  Sounds yummy doesn’t it?  It was!  I made sure I did not over eat and there was definitely no gluten in the meal.  But YIKES!  What a horrible evening and night. 😦  So bad, I had to take the pain medicine that starts with a P.  Remember, I don’t write the actual P. word down because it brings on spam comments, and nasty comments from people who seem to think if a person occasionally takes a strong pain medicine,……they must have a problem.

Speaking of P. word.  Here’s another for you.  You know the P. word that refers to a male part.  Well I may be adopting another animal next week that has a head that looks like an eight year old boy’s P. word.  😀  Rett’s brother and sister-in-law are looking for a home for Yoda, their tortoise.  I have met Yoda and as far as tortoises go, he is a handsome little fellow.  I am sure adding this guy to our household will bring on many more blog posts because this truly is a nut house.  Which brings me to……

Splish Splash?…….Yesterday, after I blogged, I went out and cleaned the chicken coop.  While out there, Bailey was on her lunch for work and was talking to me in the back yard.  LL came out and asked me to help him cover the pool for winter.  Now Reggie was out there with us.  He had walked around the pool probably a dozen times this first day that we’ve had him.  But not 2 minutes after we covered the pool with the blue tarp,…..yep, he stepped right on top of the tarp and went in the pool.  I started freaking out, and Bailey quickly grabbed him, but his surgical incision got wet with the green pool water so I quickly cleaned him and put antibiotic spray on his incision.  Not 15 minutes later, while LL is gone to the store, Bailey yells.  I come running.  I had let the girls out to free range while cleaning their coop, and Harriet stepped right onto the tarp and into the pool.  Now you might remember that I lost Alice by drowning in the pool, but Harriet and the others have lived here for 3 years, walking around the pool, tarp on and off.  Never a problem.  So while Bailey is trying to grab Harriet and Harriet is freaking out and not cooperating, I get the pool skimmer and get under her butt and literally throw her out of the pool.  What the @#$% is going on at this crazy house.  Drowning Dogs and Hens!

After such a weird day yesterday with the animals and my trying to keep Max down so his hand can heal, I am hoping for a more “normal” day.  What ever the heck that means in Konnie’s world.  There is only one plan for the day today.  Bailey wants to take LL and I out for breakfast.  Our Anniversary is coming up and she wants to treat us.  Max will probably go to.  She wants to take us to Leona’s, or is it Lenora’s.  Oh I can never remember.  It is a restaurant in Mt. Angel.  The owner is a friend of Bailey and Rett.  I have eaten there before, but LL has not and Bailey wants her dad to try the food there.  The owner is a wonderful baker (has gluten-free choices)  and she makes great cinnamon rolls, so I think Max will enjoy it too.

Well I did say this post would be rambling about nothing and everything.  Between the pain pill that I took hours ago and only a couple of hours sleep, I am pretty nauseous.  I sure wish I could go back to sleep, but as you already know about me, once I am up, I am up for the day.  Oh well, have a blessed Sunday and try not to make your day as “interesting” as my days seem to turn out lately. 🙂

Weighing in on Books. Sorta

So do I celebrate or keep things in perspective?  My weigh in last night was not bad.  Not bad because I spent the previous 24 hours running to the bathroom.  Oh well, I will take it.

Not sure what is up for today.  Actually, I am writing this on Monday night so the weather is a mystery and not sure how I will sleep.  But I will keep talking as if I am writing this on Tuesday morning.  Maybe  “TODAY” 😉 I will get a good long walk in since “yesterday” was a wash out because of “issues”.  Notice I am using a lot of quotation marks.  Don’t know “why”……Just feels “right”. 🙂

If I am up to it and my mom wants to, I really need to do a Costco run.  I usually go and do a big buy for summer stuff.  Hamburger patties, toilet paper, clothes soap, some condiments, etc.  I like to do this before the weather gets nice in case we have unexpected pool company.  That way if it is dinner time, I can throw some burgers and hot dogs on the grill and feel like a decent hostess.

Tomorrow night, Oh, I mean “TONIGHT” is book club night.  I haven’t blogged about this.  A couple of weeks ago  I was invited to join a book club with a friend that works with LL,….HI Lynda.  A group of gals get together for a light supper and we read a book out loud together.  I am having a great time.  So that I can make it, I won’t be eating much through out the day.  The book?  Well I will blog about the book in a future post, but I will say I am surprised that I am enjoying the book choice so much.  I have a theory on that, but again, I will explain later.

So I am happy to say, this resistant hermit is getting out two evenings a week.  Improvement!  I can’t eat much on Monday (weight watchers meeting) and Tuesday (book club), but it is worth it.  I feel almost normal.  Almost.

An Apple and a Carrot

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know…..A day when not much goes right.  That was my Wednesday.  It started out o.k.  But little things kept going wrong.  While walking with Kris, a woman approached us while we were up at the Abbey and was rude and unkind.  She had just left Mass, and I am wondering…….has she ever heard that we are supposed to be Christlike.  Well Kris and I were left feeling sad and upset.  Luckily we stopped for coffee at the Abbey coffee shop and the ladies we know there were appalled when we told them of this encounter and apparently some one else was approached by this gal and that we should ignore her.  Felt a little better after that but it still stuck with me all day.

Other things were not going right.  I could not find things I needed, Max was having a difficult day, had an uncomfortable conversation with the provider of Max’s staff about the delay of hiring a new permanent person for Max, and then it happened.  I went on the computer and could not get on-line.  Fiddled with it a little and I did a stupid thing.  I accidentally uninstalled an important program that allows the computer to be wireless.  You might be wondering, “how did you ‘accidentally’ uninstall a whole program?”  Well I DON’T KNOW!  If I knew, I would not have done it and it would not be called an accident.

It was bad enough that I knew I had blown it, but I also knew that LL was going to be very upset.  He hates undoing my computer mistakes, although he has had tons of practice.  So while I was feeling stupid and nervous about it, I then proceeded to throw my good progress on my diet out the window and eat half a bag of gluten-free chips that my neighbor bought me from Costco.  I did mention from Costco because I want you to picture how huge those bags you get from that store are.  Oh but I wasn’t done.  Kane was supposed to come over to watch Hatfield’s and McCoy’s with LL and I.  So I made pork chops.  Weighed my portion out a head of time so that I would not over eat.  I then found out Kane would not be coming.  LL comes home, upset about the latest episode that his ditzy wife did with the computer.  But he knew I felt bad and he was kind.  I then ate my tiny portion of pork chop and then Kane’s huge pork chop and topped it off with some ice cream.

I sat watching 5 hours of Hatfield’s and McCoy feeling like a stuffed pig.  You know, the kind with an apple in their mouth and a carrot stuffed up their butts.  Sorry, but that is how I felt.

I won’t do a spoiler here but the show was good until almost the very end when something horrible happens to one of the only decent people in the movie.  And it hit close to home for me.  When you watch it, you will understand.  So I went to bed and was thankful that Thursday was bound to be better.

It was better but for some reason, my eating frenzy carried on for one more day.  OH Well, today is another new day.  I am excited to be going to the beach.  Kris and Steve invited LL, Max and I to stay with them at their time share in Depot Bay.  I think Mom and Karen will be there too.  What Fun!  Today is also Kris’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Sis!

Mixed Blessings

Good Morning.  Feeling a bit better this morning.  Yesterday, although I felt better than I felt on Monday, my body had no energy after I was done with “issues”.  In fact, even with good intentions of getting a walk in and things done around here……the only thing I did was go to the bank, gas up car, grocery store, and took Mom to the nursery to pick up a couple of plants.  In fact, I found myself so tired that at some point in the afternoon, I fell asleep and woke up only when Max and Bailey came after work.  I never nap.  It seems my whole system goes into trauma during these episodes and I should be use to it.  But it always amazes me how sensitive my entire body is when my bowels are in distress.

As I said before, I am feeling a bit better but definitely not normal.  I need to be getting Max up at 7:00, we need to be at the hospital by 7:45 and I need him to get ready without eating or drinking anything.  That will be a challenge.  This is normally Kris and my walking time, so I need to call her and see if we will skip it or try to fit the walk in before she goes to work this afternoon.  I won’t pretend to plan to get much done today.  Even though I am feeling better, I still think if I could, I would sleep the day away.

Every day I am improving and I hope by tomorrow I will feel back to normal.  It seems because I have figured out most my food triggers now and the more time that goes between these episodes……the harder they hit when they do happen.  It seems that way, but in reality, probably the fact that I feel good more often makes the bad days just seem worse.  Oh well, the good news is that these episodes are less frequent and I do thank God for that blessing.

Pop Corn is not my friend

It has been a rough few days here for me.  I expected to have a rough day on Saturday.  At the wedding, although I skipped the roll and cake, I knew I would be ingesting hidden gluten.  And I did.  I also took a couple of immodiums so I could make it through the reception and that always screws things up for a couple of days.  So Saturday was a day pretty much wasted.  But it was worth it.  I had fun at the wedding.

Sunday I was feeling better.  Got a long walk in.  Got a few things done.  But I did something very stupid.  I was hungry and this last week I started a diet so I ate a small bowl of popcorn.  Well, as you may know, popcorn for healthy colons can be a challenging thing to digest.  For someone with out a rectum, very little large intestine, and a scarred and shortened small intestine, digesting pop corn is like digesting glass.  Stupid is putting it mildly.

So yesterday, Monday, I had a miserable day.  I couldn’t go for a walk.  Tried to walk on the treadmill, but that did not work.  Decided to make myself at least pick up the house but got nothing else done.  I then needed to take Max to the doctor.  This was at 3:00.  I made it but was uncomfortable.  We needed to go to the store for dog food.  Saw mom and David there but I felt kind of rude, barely saying hi and waddling through the store and back home.  It hurt.  I made it to my weight watchers meeting.  After weighing in.  Lost 2 lbs.  Which was good but for the first week, I was hoping for a little more.  My metabolism since cancer treatments and forced menopause has slowed tremendously so I should be happy with two pounds.  Just not what I am use to.  I stayed for the meeting but sat very carefully and quietly.

This morning I am still getting rid of the pop corn.  Will it never end?  Well I think it is close to being done and then I have to let things heal with the help of my ointments.  This will take a couple of days.  Still, I am hoping before it starts raining hard today, I might get a walk in.  Or probably in order to stay close to the bathroom, I probably will use the treadmill.  I just always prefer to be outside.

Tomorrow morning I need to take Max to the Silverton Hospital to have his gull bladder scanned.  Getting him up early enough for this will be a challenge.  Wish me luck.