September 22, 2005

Getting over

Posted in Health, Life, Me at 10:23 pm by mj

After two years of not being able to eat much of anything without feeling nauseous (or nauseated), and needing medicine to feel even halfway normal, I started recovering earlier this year. It may be linked to my trying some Chinese poison herb medicine, or drinking ginseng tea every morning, or just to intentionally reducing my stress. Or maybe whatever was causing my problems basically ran its course (though I still have occasional recurrences). Whatever changed, it was welcome.

Now I’m battling a different problem: I gained too much weight!

This time last year, I was joking that if I ever did recover, I’d be in an excellent position to pursue my dream of becoming a hunk: I was waif thin, I had developed a taste for consistently eating bland foods, and, most of all, I had promised myself that I would never, ever treat my gastrointestinal tract poorly again. I was willing to give up spicy hot pot, satay, sushi, even cooked seafood, if only I could eat regular food again.

But a funny thing happened on my way to the bank… food.

Part of it is understandable. My symptoms first appeared in February 2003, but it wasn’t until a week before Easter that it hit me that I wasn’t going to recover so quickly. I had bought tons of Easter candy (I have a thing for peanut butter eggs), but every bite had me on my knees. This year, I started recovering, slowly, in January, and it wasn’t until around Easter that I was confident enough to become more adventurous with my diet. You can guess what happened next. Uh-huh. I had waited two years to get a taste of Easter themed candy, and this year that’s practically all I ate for a month.

Once I’d had my fill of chocolate, I started eating normally, but just more of it. I guess I was afraid I was living on borrowed time, and any day I’d be back to chicken noodle soup and homemade chicken salad and dry pasta and water. Every. Single. Day.

It was made worse because exercising seemed to bring on bouts of mild to severe nausea. Or so it seems. Every time I’ve had a recurrence since April, it’s been shortly after I started “working out.” I can control my eating pretty easily. I know it’s not a matter of willpower, it’s a matter of intelligently controlling what you bring home from the grocery. Creating a budget also helps prevent excessive dining out. That part is easy. But not being able to even do sit-ups? That’s just crazy. But then, I guess I’d rather double my weight than go through life not being able to eat anything. (Though I have trouble imagining myself as a 320+ pound behemoth. Instead of a hunk, maybe I could be a mobster. I have that “look” about me already.)

Do the problems never cease? Wasn’t there a paragraph in the Life Passage contract I signed on my way out of the womb–maybe around paragraph 42, subsection 8–about all life’s problems ending once I finish puberty???

I’ll admit, though. I am much happier now–even with all the zaniness at work–than I have been, well, maybe ever. Getting off that creepy medicine that sucked my energy like a vampire…finding out that I really do still love what I do for a living…holding my wife who’s stuck with me even when I was sick, depressed and frustrated…I guess I can deal.

Now, what do I do with all that money I allocated to my FSA at the beginning of the year, in anticipation of having thousands in hospital/doctors expenses?


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