Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The ABC Virus - A Real Malady

Got a stomach bug this week. Don't know if it was caused by food, airborne pathogens, or Satanic demons in a bad mood. Doesn't matter. What I did identify is the mental pathology of a stomach virus and I have named it the ABC Virus. A for Anorexia, B for Bulimia and C for Comfort.

The virus begins as Bulimia. I felt a little off before lunch but ate anyway and then, when it did not sit well, I ate a half a banana. I had a feeling the crunchy raw vegetables that went down were going to come back up soon and I thought the banana would help smooth the way some how. I don't have a history of bulimia but that felt logical to me. I wonder if someone once shared the idea of bananas helping smooth the way for bulimics? Anyway, the banana, lunch, breakfast and whatever else was in there found its way out - one way or another. 

A few hours later, after I passed the initial constant purging stage, I was embracing my inner Anorexic. The idea of food as evil and taking a pledge to never eat anything again as long as I live seemed logical and necessary. I hovered between not wanting to die and wishing I was dead. I cannot imagine why people would eat food. The idea that food is in my home confuses me. I cramp and groan at the thought of nourishment. My husband was warned not to cook anything for his dinner that would waft aromas around the house. He wisely made himself a sandwich. 

Eighteen hours in, I could keep down chicken broth and plain coconut water.  Twenty four hours in, I tentatively ate oatmeal and then 2 poached eggs. 

At twenty-eight hours my mind starts thinking about eating real food and how it would taste right now. Last time I got the ABCs I am sure I had mashed potatoes, spaghetti, tomato sauce, ice cream and other comfort foods. This time I am giving the C a new designation. 

C now stands for Customary. When I eat I return to my customary foods, not the comfort foods that might make me feel good for three seconds and then mentally sick when I realize I do not want to stop the Comfort Fix. Any thought that my body 'needs' a comfort food is bogus. Any idea that I have suffered and I 'deserve' a treat is bogus. Any rationalization that involves eating something that is not customary is compulsive eating.

Today I am venturing to eat my customary food plan. The only changes are in having more cooked vegetables and less raw. Oh, and I am keeping the use of fats less than normal until my system is back on course.

When ill or recovering, have you rationalized yourself into sick eating?



bbubblyb said...

Sorry to hear you were sick glad you're feeling better. Thankfully when I'm sick I don't really focus on food usually it's sleep I want more of.

Norma said...

Glad you're doing better. That brown toilet is...odd. And disturbing. During a head cold/fever I have been onslaughted (?) by carb cravings, mostly for bread and butter. Fortunately, I don't keep anything around the house that's likely to be a problem, and I am way past the point of leaving the house specifically to buy a binge food, so it's not been a problem. Hot cups of green tea have to suffice.

Jane Cartelli said...

Norma - lol - not my toilet!

Anonymous said...

I love the name you use for a stomach bug...pretty much sums it up! Feel better soon!

Countrywoman said...

I don't eat at all when I am sick

Vickie said...

I think there are processed foods that many of us "go to" when sick - 7up, saltines, toast come to mind. Yes, I once had a doctor recommend ice cream and scrabbled eggs.

I stick to homemade veggie broth (I boil carrots, onions, parsley, celery, strain out the veggies, drink the broth).

I think this whole cycle has much to do with weight problems in many of us. Not so much because of sickness, but because of secondary conditions. Migraines come to mind for me - I always had the illusion that I could "eat my way out of one".

There are a lot of us with chronic conditions or secondary conditions.

And I honestly think that the pain from those conditions has a LOT to do with weight problems.

Most of my secondary conditions went away when I cleaned up my food habits. But for many years, it was a vicious cycle.

Joan said...

I have noticed that whenever I do not feel well physically I will always find myself thnking "What can I eat to make myself feel better?" As if food had some magical power... What Vickie so aptly calls "eating your way out of it". I can now recognize the process and how inappropriate it is.

Same goes for not feeling well emotionally.

Noxluna13 said...

I have to admit that I do indulge in sick or not feeling well eating. I think, having those mini candy bars out of my son's Halloween candy won't hurt because I don't feel well. It as if the calories are non existent if consumed while I'm not entirely happy.

If only that were true! =)

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

So glad that you are feeling better. I typically don't want to eat when I'm sick because I'm afraid I'm going to feel bad again!

Karen said...

I crave crackers and waffles when I have GI viruses. I know this is my disease talking , so I keep homemade chicken stock frozen in quart size bags. I also cook eggs and have plain, non fatty meat like chicken for protein.

I've not tried the coconut water , but I will the next time I'm sick. Is there any specific brand ?

Jane Cartelli said...

I get whatever coconut water is plain coconut water - without anything else. I like the shelf stable packaging, too.

From some of the comments I may have conveyed the wrong message. When I am sick I do not eat either. I am talking about when the illness passes and the appetite returns. That rebound time. That is when I need to rely on the customary foods. When the appetite returns it is usually ferocious.