Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A brief story about pain... followed by dougnuts

I generally don't see a point to making posts explaining where I've been or saying sorry for not posting. It get's repetitive with the I was working, I was sick. But a change of focus and two months of radio silence should probably have some mention and I promise to bring it back to food. (feel free to skip to last paragraph for doughnuts)

Back in October I was finishing the last week of my training . I was in my bosses car on the way to visiting another Organic grower when pain happened. It was bad pain. It was like when my appendix flared up only higher and on the other side. It was bad. I went to A+E and by the time I got there the pain was starting to drain off, but the time I'd got seen it was just an ache. Bad enough to be painkiller worthy but not bad enough that the Doctors could do anything about. Diagnosis: could be period related, could be gastroenteritis. Go home.

After a few more days of going between 'ouch' and 'ooooooooouch' and with my digestive system playing silly buggers I went back to the doctors. I got an appointment with the GP who told me that depression for no reason had no evolutionary advantage and therefore I must have repressed memories and offered to regress me. I hate this man, lets make that clear, so I brought Stephen with me. We'd just come from work and the last task I did before leaving was checking the chickens for eggs. They where about to be cleaned so there was a definite funk of ammonia that stuck to me. I also smelt like wet dog because it was raining. So because I smelt of ammonia and because I had pain in my stomach I got the diagnosis: UTI, three days of antibiotics.

That was probably the beginning of the end. I held it together for a couple of weeks. Managing to work my last weekend, rescuing an injured chicken in the process, do some volunteering and ending up in the background of a piece the local news did on the farm where I worked. The pain was on and off, as was my ability to have a functioning digestive system. I couldn't go anywhere there wasn't a toilet, spent hours feeling so nauseated I couldn't stop gagging, and... pain... there was pain. I got an appointment with my regular GP who I loved and she booked me for a blood test and I started keeping a food diary. Best guess: IBS, but we had to rule some stuff out.

So at this point I was a total mess. Really. I was panicking every time I had to go somewhere in case I couldn't get to a toilet fast enough. I was exhausted. I was worried that anything I might eat would trigger a bout of sickness and on more than one occasion I sobbed because I didn't think eating was worth it. I had to have a blood test, which isn't easy when I have a blood phobia so bad that I get nervous having my blood pressure checked. On top of that, triggered by finishing my training, I had the worst bout of depression I've had in the five years I've known Stephen and stopped being able to sleep.

Probably the worst of it was that nobody wants to feed someone curry when they are having stomach issues. My beloved Indian food was lost to me.

Eventually I got the blood test results back. No Celiac was good news. But my Iron levels sucked. I was anaemic. Not by a little bit, by a lot. I've been on iron tablets for just over a month. Most of my symptoms have settled down but I still have a really delicate stomach. I'm eating Indian food with Stephens blessing. Especially if it has spinach. And I'm still sleeping 12 hours a day but I've managed to get that down to ten a couple of times. The current guess as to how this happened is that heavy periods made me loose an abnormal amount and I couldn't eat enough to catch up (not eating red meat put me at a disadvantage but is unlikely to be the cause) so my levels got lower which made my periods worse which made me loose iron... any other reasons we'll investigate after my next blood test. The words camera and bottom where mentioned.

So back to food. I've forgotten how to eat and how to cook. I've been thinking so long about want makes me sick (all of the things) and what I have the energy to cook (none of the things) that I've forgotten how to eat for the joy. I've forgotten that I love cooking, that I get excited by new cookbook releases and check blogs and participate in vegan mofo. So I'm dusting off the old books, ordering some new ones and learning how to eat again. What better way to start than with Hearty Vegan Food For Monster Appetites and the grab your taste-buds it's time to party gorgeousness of their Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes. The best thing to happen to yeast since bread.

You know what? I love baking.


  1. Glad you're feeling a bit better and hope you will be completely fixed soon.