a woman looking exhausted after eating

Why did I eat that?!

You might be wondering why I haven’t learned what I can and can’t eat by now. The thing is, I have. I do know what bothers me. So why do I still eat it?

I pre-empt the pain, looser stools, increased wind, and I take meds in advance. Yet I still often find myself feeling shocked when the pain actually hits, and it’s THAT bad. Or when I am sat on the toilet into the early hours of the morning, just passing liquid.

I’ve had UC since 2007, and between then and now, I’ve had many periods of not being able to eat certain things.

What I can and can’t eat has changed a lot throughout my journey. Surgeries solved some of the issues such as strictures and diseased parts of the bowel, but still, some of the same problems recurred and caused more issues with different foods!

Eating things I know will cause me pain

Whatever the cause was, I always had days where I was just like “F**k it. I am in pain anyway, so what’s a little more?”

I would try to be as sensible as possible, so if I knew something was going to result in me being stuck on the toilet later (or sometimes immediately), I would eat it at the weekend when I knew I wasn’t going anywhere.

I would also eat it earlier in the day, so it didn’t interrupt my sleep. Same with if I knew something was going to cause a lot of pain. I would wait until the weekend because I knew I could take more pain relief because I didn’t need to concentrate on work or anything else.

The longer the rough patch was, the more frequent it would become. I would literally spend every weekend at home gorging myself on the food I actually wanted to eat, rather than the “safe foods” I had to stick to all week at work.

Why do I put myself through pain?

I guess most people would wonder why someone would willingly choose to put themselves through pain, constant toilet trips, and sleepless nights.

My mindset was that my working week was something that simply HAD to be done, so it was my reward to myself for dragging myself in every day when it was genuinely the very last thing I felt like doing!

That said, plenty of times I would ask myself if it was worth it, knowing the answer was a resounding no!

I’m fully freelance now, and I don’t have anywhere near as many limitations as I’ve had in the past. Working from home definitely helps, in some ways, but it can also make me feel a little too brave on occasion, resulting in me eating something questionable during working hours. That doesn’t always end well...

Eating trigger foods by accident

There are also still times when I might eat the wrong thing by accident. A few months ago I swapped out normal rice for cauliflower rice on an evening meal. I still don’t understand how I’d not realized at the time that I just had a plate of vegetables and fish.

I know I need carbs when I eat vegetables to bulk up my stoma output, so how did that one slip past me?! I ended up awake well into the early hours as I waited for my stoma to stop gushing liquid!

Is it worth eating things that hurt me?

Then, there will be the odd occasion where I have just pushed it too far with the number of veggies, or some random item has caused me pain.

All of these things result in me questioning: “Why did I eat that?!”

The answer is simple – sometimes, it’s worth it.

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