We’ve all been there (Gastroparesis or not); we get dizzy and start to spin. Everything gets blurry and moves in and out, it starts to make you feel nauseous. It is a helpless and frustrating feeling. You don’t know when you’ll stop spinning, you just hope that it is soon. Today, the dizzy spell started for me….on my way home in rush hour traffic.
With Gastroparesis the dizzy spells happen quite frequently. It’s really not all that surprising when you stop and think about it. We can’t eat “normally” and are lucky if we can handle solid food once per day. This makes it difficult to meet the nutritional needs of your body and it is extremely easy to become malnourished. Hence, the frequent dizzy spells.
When your body can’t digest food properly, it means that you no longer eat food for enjoyment, flavor, or socializing. You merely find ways to force yourself to intake the minimum daily nutritional requirements of your body. Did I mention that this is done while avoiding a plethora of food? (More to come on food limitations in future blogs.)
My current method of forcing (yes, forcing) nutrients into my body is through custom made protein smoothies, Greek yogurt, and coffee. I refuse to give up my coffee even though I know it is trying to kill me. GP has taken so much from me that I refuse to let it have my morning cup of Joe!
This means that every Monday – Friday I have the EXACT same “food” intake. Yes, every Monday…Tuesday…Wednesday…Thursday… …Friday…every week…every month…it is the same exact same food at the same bat time on the same bat station. I start off every day at 7 am with a cup of Greek yogurt for its 15 grams of protein. At 9:00, I venture for a slight walk across the building for my morning cup of coffee and gossip. Then at 10:30 it’s a custom protein smoothie containing: tofu (protein), frozen organic berries (all sorts of fun stuff), orange juice (calcium), spinach (more fun stuff), peanut butter (more protein). Around 2:00 it’s time to follow that smoothie up with…you guessed it! Another smoothie! This time it’s a thrilling blend of: coconut water (potassium), oatmeal, more frozen berries, honey, and hemp protein powder. Yes, hemp protein powder. My experiment with whey protein powder almost sent me to the emergency room for severe stomach cramping. I may have avoided the hospital, but it did result in non-stop vomiting, which led to not eating for a week which led to an IV to refuel. (More on IVs in future blogs.) For dinner it is usual some stand-by recipe involving various combinations of rice, chicken, turkey, noodles, and if I am lucky…some beef.
As you can see, experimentation with food is not advisable. Experimentation only occurs on the weekend when I can allow proper recovery time if something goes awry. Experimentation only occurs when I am close to home and know that I have my comfy bed to curl up in, my guard dog to try to cheer me up, and my amazing boyfriend to make sure the GP elves have restocked the ginger ale!