So, I was only going to write only about something called the Last Supper Syndrome, but I had to write a quick note about my recent chicken experience.
I am really feeling overwhelmed by chicken today. Maybe that’s because when I went grocery shopping, everything I bought revolved the chicken and the chicken soup I was planning on making. No breakfast or lunch meals were planned for. Yes, I spent $60 at the store on chicken dinners. As a result, I’ve had to eat something with chicken in it every single meal, most of them revolving around chicken and rice/noodle/potato soups, chicken and veggie stir-fry, raw veggies with a spicy shredded chicken dip.
I am definitely ready to expand my palate because I am definitely chickened-out. Anyway, on to our regularly scheduled post.
When I last saw my nutrionist she gave me a lot of information about what to expect both before and after surgery. One of the topics was something called Last Supper Syndrome, which is the act of making sure you try all of your favorite foods before surgery, making sure you get one last taste for a while or maybe forever. I laughed as soon as she said it and exclaimed, “Oh yeah, I totally have that!”
The nutritionist explained that this is a point of stress for many people. I have been having fun with it making mental notes of things I have to try one last time, so she kind of surprised me. Maybe I’m OK with saying good-bye to some foods because I am really tired of food in some ways. And maybe I’m OK with it because I’ve kind of been down this road before.
It was maybe 2002-ish when I found out that I had a whole host of crazy, extreme food allergies. I kept ending up in the emergency room with strange swellings all over me. My hands or feet. My lips. My eyes swelled shut once. I went to my primary care doctor and they had no clue what was causing this. I was tested for everything from Lupus to MS. Finally, a friend of mine showed up at my house when my eyes swelled shut and took me to urgent care. I told the doctor everything I had eaten, the medicine I was taking, the household products I had used. Everything. Finally, she said, stop taking the penicillan immediately, you’re having an allergic reaction. Then she quizzed me on the other times I experienced this and she was like, yeah, girl go see an allergist. So, I did.
The allergist completely shattered my world. I’m allergic to milk, tomatoes, peanuts, shellfish, and corn just to name a few. Think of all the food made from these foods. Pizza, ice cream, peanut butter. And medications like iodine. They tried desensitizing me. Didn’t work. So, I had to completely elimnate these foods from my diet. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. But you know what? My world did not come to a complete end. I have learned a lot about cooking and how to make tasty foods without those allergens.
It is not easy. I still struggle with craving different foods. Sometimes it is very hard for me to walk past the frozen pizzas in the grocery store or sit the the same room with someone who has just ordered a pie of zaaaaa. I have found myself many a time trying to justify buying a pizza. Just one. A small one. Just a slice. I have benedryl. I’ll be fine. Then I force myself to remember the time during the desensitizing phase, I was in the emergency room after eating pizza arguing with the doctor because I would not let him put a tube down my throat just in case the swelling became so bad I stopped breathing. I know that is a possibility and yet the desire to eat pizza is strong enough that I have to tear myself away from pizza section. Or force myself to leave the room if someone orders it.
I know my struggle with food will not end the day of the surgery, but I also know if I can walk away from pizza, ice cream, lasagna, cheesecake, etc over and over again, I can handle anything. I do not plan to completely gorge myself. I have not so far, but I am going to enjoy tasting some of my favorite foods and saying “good bye” even if it just might be “see ya later!”