Super Bowl Sunday. It is probably the only day of the year that Americans could potentially eat more than they do on Thanksgiving. The key difference: there is nothing remotely healthy about Super Bowl Sunday foods. The day is full of pizza, hoagies, fried buffalo wings, fatty dips, chips, and you name it. It spawns such creations as the photo I found below:
Early on in my Gastroparesis diagnosis, I would become really depressed about missing such foods. However, now it is really easy to stay away from it all. Except for the deliciousness that is buffalo chicken dip. Every time I see it, I feel like I am in a scene in a movie where there is a person standing by it that only I can see. The person is motioning with his finger for me to come over. He is saying, “Just one bite. … It’s so good. … It won’t make you feel that bad.” Then…poof…in a cloud of smoke he is gone. (I assume back to the hellacious world from which he came. Maybe he was sent by the GP elves who like to take over the house. See… https://adventureswithgastroparesis.com/2013/01/30/the-first-post/)
Except for my Achilles heel of buffalo chicken dip, when I look at party food I don’t see the food any more. I see a trip to the emergency room and an IV in my arm. You reach a certain point in your Gastroparesis diagnosis where you are no longer in denial that you can have “just a little bit” or “it won’t kill me”. You’ve spent enough time doubled over in pain, vomiting for days, and laying in hospital beds with IVs in your arm to know that “just a little bit” isn’t worth all of that. Sure, all GPers have their moments of weakness and give in. Who wouldn’t? However, the more times you give in and go through the cycle the easier it is to stand firm. This is why I will be taking my smoothies and a private stash of Greek Yogurt to the Super Bowl party I will be attending. Below is a photo of my Super Bowl Sunday treats. (Yes, this is an actual photo that I took.)
The food itself is the only part about Super Bowl Sunday that is stressful for a GPer. The other stressful part is that inevitably you will meet new people. I normally enjoy meeting new people, but it is difficult for a GPer to meet new people for the first time around food. The new people will inevitable ask why you aren’t eating anything and will usually make a crack about you not needing to be on a “diet” and to go ahead and eat it. (Gastroparesis is often misdiagnosed and treated as though you have an eating disorder. More on this in future blogs.) Most GPers are polite and try to casually back out of the conversation without blurting out “that hoagie will quite literally send me to the ER”. Part of the reason we are so polite, is that we get tired of talking about it. We get tired of explaining ourselves every time there is a social gathering involving food. Stop and think for a moment of how many social gatherings occur around food and now imagine explaining to people over and over and over again why you are having the same food you did last time, why you have your own smoothie, etc. GPers know that people mean well, but it does get tiresome. It gets especially tiresome, when you do go out on a limb and explain Gastroparesis and it is followed with, have you tried x or have you tried z. Again, you know the person is being polite, but it takes a great deal of self-restraint not to blurt out “don’t you think I’ve tried every possible thing under the sun so that I can eat? Do you think I want to be malnourished? Do you think that I enjoy this type of life? Do you think I enjoy paying for probiotics, digestive enzymes, prescription medicine, a medical massage therapist, acupuncturist, chiropractor, yoga instructor, a GI specialist, etc just so that IF I am lucky then I can eat 1 meal containing solid food in a day?! ” (More on all of this in future blogs.)
So today I will go to my Super Bowl Party and will proudly drink my smoothies and eat my yogurt, knowing that I am surrounded by some of the best friends a girl could have. Most of the people at this party have already been educated and I will do my best to educate the others and remind myself that they mean well and are only trying to help when they ask questions. Except for that guy that will inevitably appear by the buffalo chicken dip. Hopefully today, I can give him a good kick in the shins and then run for the hills!