Yesterday was one of those days that following SCD, and being a ‘Crohnie’, was really tough. Diana and I started what will probably be a 2 or 3 week long process of rearranging, refurnishing, and generally reorganizing a significant part of the house. No big deal, really… just a lot of lifting and schlepping. It also meant a trip to IKEA.
Don’t misunderstand me…. I enjoy shopping, and I love IKEA. But as my fellow IBD-afflicted folks know, it’s labyrinthine layout, enormous size, and single set of bathrooms can present problems of distance and accessibility. So it was disappointing but not surprising when, as we reached the very corner furthest from the restroom, I was suddenly hit with a veritable sledge hammer of Crohnsian urgency. Diana tells me that I looked a little panicky as I quickly arranged a meeting place and excused myself. Fortunately, I knew the shortcuts through the maze and I made it with a few seconds to spare. Ain’t no thang. But it definitely served as a reminder that one’s guard can never be let fully down, and that one *always* needs to know where the nearest restroom is. Just in case.
By the time we were leaving the place, we were both, as we always are after a trip there, exhausted and starving. Back in the day, we’d fuel up at the cafeteria in the store… Hot dogs and meatballs with gravy. AWESOME! And sooo not SCD-legal. So once in the car, all we could think about was getting home to eat some…. what? We hadn’t done the week’s cooking yet, there was no meat thawed, and pretty much all there was in the refrigerator was some lettuce and the brisket we had sitting in brine for corned beef (and which would take 3 hours to cook). No problem! We’ll stop somewhere and pick up some ‘lazy food’. Oh wait…. there’s no such thing as SCD-legal lazy food. At least, not that we’ve found. All I could think about was cheeseburgers and pizza. I needed food, I needed it now, and I needed it to be greasy and bready. I could feel a weak moment coming on, wherein I would break down and eat something I shouldn’t, because it was cheap, delicious, fast, and easy. And in feeling that weak moment coming on, I also began to feel that I was failing as an SCD-er. My rapidly decreasing blood glucose levels were adding a sense of panic to the situation. On top of all this, every glance in the rear view mirror reminded me of the 5 incredibly heavy boxes that would need to be carried up to the second floor, and each of which contained a fairly major assembly project inside. This is a sorry state of affairs, because all these things only served to feed each other into a frothing whirlwind of hunger, desire, self-doubt, defeatedness, and shortsightedness.
By the time we got home, I was a sorry-assed mess. Whiny, sad, and pissed off at my colon. I was so lucky that I had Diana there, because I was able to just throw up my arms, surrender to the situation, and ask her, as nicely as I could muster, to “please make something, anything, to eat and put it in front of me.”. She did. It helped. Some. It didn’t make me want a cheeseburger or a sausage-and-pepperoni-with-extra-olives pizza any less, but it made the desire a bit more manageable.
It was then that I checked my email.
A note from a dear friend let me know about an upcoming reading at Powell’s Books by the auther of The Man Who Couldn’t Eat. I’d heard of Jon Reiner before, having heard an interview with him on NPR. This is a man who was brought to the brink of death by Crohn’s and who, as part of his healing, was forbidden to eat food. At all. For months, he was fed intravenously. And he’s a food snob.
Wow. Talk about a reality check (a ‘gut check’, if you will. hardy har har).
Here was somebody denied any food whatsoever, and I’m whining about a fucking cheeseburger. Seriously.
I don’t know what prompted my friend to send that when she did, but I’m glad she did. It was just the backhanded slap across the face that I needed to get over myself. Thank you!
Not surprisingly, Diana and I will be at Powell’s next Friday, the 14th, to listen, and pay respects to, Jon Reiner and his incredible journey of healing that makes mine look like a weekend retreat at the spa. Anybody care to join us for a cuppa tea before or after?