That picture pretty much sums it up. That is me pretty much all the time. Nearly every day.
Since I was in junior high, I have had all sorts of tests to find out what the heck is wrong with me. (Heart tests, swallowing scopes to explore my digestive system TWICE, upper GI tests, blood tests, etc.) Since I was a pre-teen, I have been told that there is nothing wrong with me (except depression). Every few years, I get frustrated enough to go to yet another doctor and try some new tests. In recent years, they have started to suggest IBS to me. The diagnosis of exclusion.
It is likely enough. Depression, chronic anxiety and chronic fatigue (all of which I have) are highly correlated with IBS. But, I have ignored all suggestions of this diagnosis for years now. Perhaps it is time I attend to reality…
But, I had my reasons. Everything I’ve ever seen on IBS management is mostly diet based and it’s a diet that I cannot imagine following:
- No/Low Caffeine
- No/Low Alcohol
- No/Low Chocolate
- No/Low Sugar
- No/Low Dairy
Well, WTF… that is just about everything I eat.
I am a vegetarian, because I love animals. I will eat a minimal amount of fish, so I’m not “pure” vegetarian, but there it is. I avoid meat and only eat fish a few times a month at most. I only eat what little fish that I do eat for the sake of my health. I feel a lot better if I eat it.
Many (well, most) fruits and vegetables make me sick. Yup, they actually trigger my IBS symptoms. I can handle some vegetables if they are boiled beyond recognition, but I am no cook and have had a lot of trouble finding places that will serve me this kind of food. Anyway, it is generally better to avoid fiber all together as I suffer from daily diarrhea that only gets better or worse and never ever truly goes away. I could live on cheese and my digestive system still behaves as if I’m abusing laxatives (I’ve never taken a laxative in my life!).
Thanks to lifelong depression, I am a pretty low energy person. Caffeine is crucial. While my ADHD meds help both my fatigue and my ADHD symptoms, it is not enough on its own. I need my caffeine. I am not sure how I would achieve anything without it, even though I admit it very much triggers my IBS symptoms.
Sometimes sugar is just about all my stomach can handle. Sometimes anything else in my stomach makes me feel like my stomach is never going to empty and I end up spending a day or two nauseas and wishing I could just vomit. It is far more productive to just eat the sugar (candy, pastries, whatever) and deal with the sugar crashes and feelings of malnourishment than to spend a full day or two trying to push through nausea and the extra fatigue that comes with feeling that sick.
While I am lactose intolerant, I can tolerate some small amounts of dairy and those small amounts are crucial considering how limited my diet already is.
In previous years, I have been too diet fatigued and not strong enough in my eating disorder recovery to mess around with food journals and the like, but I am feeling like I might be able to do this now. Maybe… but I’m not sure that it’s worth it. I fear working with a professional to help me limit triggers might just take away the few things that help me right now. My frustration over all this is enough to throw me into tears any time I think about it seriously.
I can normally handle a fat-hating doctor pretty well, but add to the scenario my already very emotional frustration with this (likely) IBS and I’m not sure I’ll have the fortitude to fight for myself the way I need to.
So. F*ing. Frustrating.
I don’t know what to do, but I feel the need to do something. Maybe I will just try food journaling on my own for bit. But, just about everything makes me sick, so I don’t really see the point. Gah.
So here you go fat-hating trolls. Here is a fat person who doesn’t like eating. I don’t ever remember really liking eating. If I could get all the nourishment I needed in a pill, I would take it and avoid all this digestive drama. I am so sick of being sick.
I think I’ll go cry now.
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