I didn’t eat all day yesterday, and I have to admit, there was only one point where I even really thought about it. A couple of times a week, we usually share one of those fabulous flatbreads covered in olive oil, onions and herbs that you can now buy. Last night was due to be one of those nights. I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t taken one out of the freezer and food entered my head for only the second time that day. I wasn’t feeling hungry, I just wanted those wonderful flavours. Just like the years I spent with a feeding tube down my nose, it wasn’t food I was missing, but the tastes of the things I really loved. In those days, when I was alone, I would sit here with my secret stash of food and enjoyed it. It had to be a secret, not because there would have been a single problem if anyone knew I was eating, but I wasn’t. I would take a mouthful of which ever took my fancy and chew it, savoring every taste that was there. When the flavours started to die, I spat them back out. Hence my secret. It’s not exactly something you want to share. Swallowing was just too dangerous back then, so I didn’t.
These days, outside of my few chosen diet of granola, camembert with black pudding, and mixed nuts with raisins and of course, my Psyllium pancakes, I don’t eat much. When I do, I am often sure that I am doing it more out of habit than any need to eat. Food and I, since my health went into a full speed crash course of disasters, has been very hit and miss. I have gone through many phases of just not wanting to eat, or forgetting that I haven’t, to wanting to sit and do nothing else. Yesterday was different from all of them. Yes, I had agreed not to eat after talking it through with Adam, but on one occasion when I was in the kitchen, out of habit, I reached into the cupboard and took out a single brazil nut. I had this horrid feeling of dread at the very thought of eating it. The night before had been traumatic, but not to that extent. I still put them back and felt a huge feeling of relief as I did so.
This morning, I had breakfast. I enjoyed every mouthful, but just after I finished it, that feeling of dread reappeared. I know it’s stupid, as I have nothing concrete to base it on, I didn’t even feel sick, just dread. It’s now two hours on and my now normal, ring of pressure that I live with around the top of my abdomen, is tighter than normal. Once again today, I have been to the loo perfectly normally. Apart from the pain, my digestive system is still working, so there is no reason for me to feel this dread, but it’s so strong and despite it making no sense, it’s how I feel. I, of course, never said a single word to Adam about it. He is spending the day with his mother, and I didn’t want to give him the tiniest reason, not to go. So I kissed him and reassured him that I was fine. He doesn’t see her that much and I wanted him to go and have a good day, without thinking about me for every second.
It’s odd the power that notions and feelings have over us. How this strange little thought that quite often we can’t fully put into words, can affect everything we do. I don’t know fully what my dread is about. Whether it is the fear of being sick again, as quite honestly I have never been that violently sick in my life, and I do mean violently, or if it is the dread of what may lay behind it. It doesn’t matter how major or minor it turns out to be, it’s the power of that feeling. I doubt there is one of us who hasn’t felt this way at some point. 99% of the time, it turns out to be something completely innocent, but our minds and bodies have the power to scare us, as long as we have that element of the unknown. Just like a bump in the night, if you don’t know what made that sound, if you can’t find the source, it will play on your mind.
Our minds can convince us of anything, from the plausible to the totally absurd if it’s there in our minds, playing round and round, it disturbs us in ways nothing else can. In fact, even more than the physical can. Pain is part of my everyday life. There isn’t a single part of me, that at some point, I haven’t felt pain in. I know that, I’ve lived with it for my entire adult life, but let me be sick, twice in just a few days, and suddenly that everyday pain, is turned into something else. Nothing else has changed, nothing at all, other than that, yet suddenly somewhere in this brain, the one I don’t trust as far as I could throw it, it’s suddenly something else. Brains are dangerous things. In actuality, they are probably the most dangerous thing we own, because we never know if they are lying to us, telling the truth or supplying a combination of both.
All I can do is to treat this as a normal day. Eat my normal meals, drink my normal drinks and wait and see what happens. Time is the only thing that will bring me any answers and it’s probably the only thing that will shut up my more than annoying brain.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 07/03/2014 – Passing flares
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