Salad: A Different Perspective « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowSalad: A Different Perspective

Salad: A Different Perspective
Published on Sunday, May 15, 2011 by

Having Gastroparesis has changed my life.  It isn’t just about the food I can’t eat anymore, but about the emotions that revolve around the loss.

When you are diagnosed with Gastroparesis, you actually begin to experience the five stages of grief.  Although acceptance is the final stage, denial and grief are often revisited by many – including myself.

Perhaps it was denial that brought me to the point of staring down a lettuce leaf this week.  Or perhaps it was a sense of hope.  Either way, it was a life changing moment.  A moment between me and a bit of lettuce.  Go figure.

Ever since I developed GP I’ve told people that when I die, if I go to heaven I want to be greeted with a medium rare steak and a Caesar salad.  These are two things that can never pass my lips that I miss more than anything I’ve given up.

Interestingly, over the last year I’ve been able to add a few things to my diet that I wasn’t able to eat before.  GP is a funny thing.  You might be able to eat something daily for a year and have it cause extreme pain on day 366.  But lettuce?  Not worth the risk.

That is, until I decided it WAS worth the risk.  At least for the moment.  Recently I successfully ate green peppers on a turkey sub.  My friend asked, “How is it you can eat green peppers but you can’t touch a lettuce leaf?”  This caused me to stop dead in my tracks.  And wonder….

Monday I found myself in front of a salad.  The first one I’ve made at home in two years.  Everyone dug in, while I took two small lettuce leaves lightly coated with dressing.

The kids enjoyed their dinner, completely unaware of my struggle. I stared at the lettuce, feeling actual fear as my fork neared it.  And then moved away.  After all, one bite of lettuce can double me over – and I don’t fall easily to pain.

gastroparesis salad

Finally, with my heart beating faster, I stabbed a piece and put it in my mouth.  And then I savored as time stood still.

Oh my goodness.  How I have missed the crispy cold feel of lettuce in my mouth. The taste.  The crunch.  It was sheer heaven.  After I swallowed I felt a wave of panic.  I had done the unthinkable and might possibly pay dearly for that one moment of paradise.

Amazingly, those two pieces of lettuce did not cause any severe pain that night.  The next day I was nauseous, meaning the lettuce was probably still in my stomach.  However, nausea is a normal thing for me, so I will never know if it was truly the culprit.  I plan to test it again one day soon.  On a day when I feel brave.  Just not today.

For now, I have a recent memory of the taste, feel and smell of icy crisp lettuce.  How strange that something so normal to most is now a forbidden treasure to me.  A treasure that I was able to re-visit for a single and unexpected moment.

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  • That must be so hard. I am lactose intolerant but as long as I stay away from dairy – in particular cream and soft cheeses – I am fine. I cannot imagine having to eliminate so many things from my diet but I know what the nausea and pain is like. It is so debilitating. I am really glad you were able to enjoy the crunch of the lettuce.

    • Do you LIKE cheeses and dairy and miss them? Or are you ok with living without them?

  •  I can totally relate.  I am going to do the same types of tests with my daughter when she gets out of school for the summer.  We can’t take a chance with the pain when she has to go to school but the summer should make things easier.  I hope you are able to add lettuce.

    • Do you have any kind of medicine for your daughter in case the trial turns out bad? I have phenergan for my backup… it knocks me out but will stop the pain.

  • I can’t imagine not having salad.  I had a Caesar salad every single night when we were on our cruise.  I’m glad you didn’t get sick.  Perhaps you can eat salad at some point.  I hope so.

    Have a terrific day.   🙂

    • I bet the Caesar on the ship was AMAZING. I can’t think of any other salad I like better… a Caesar is just SO GOOD!!!

  •  I’m glad you were able to enjoy at least a small taste of it. It kinda gives you hope, doesn’t it, that maybe it’s not a complete absolute. There may be little tricks that allow you to at least taste and enjoy.

    Big hug!
    (unless it gives you a stomach ache) 😉

    • Hugs to NOT cause stomach aches, so thanks! 🙂 I actually was kind of sick to my stomach for a week after the lettuce, but I still have hope and will try again. Funny how something healthy can make me so sick. But I am happy to be able to be mom, to keep my job and get around at least – so I count my blessings!

  •  That was very brave of you. You won’t see me experimenting like that with milk or cheese. NOsiree.

    And thank goodness I hate ice cream (-:

    • Oh wow… you can’t have dairy and you hate ice cream? That is my oldest son!!! People were always shocked when they offered him ice cream and he refused… he can’t take dairy off of pizza and eat the pizza… no allergic reaction… but if he even TRIED something milky he would barf b/c he hates it.

  • “When you are diagnosed with Gastroparesis, you actually begin to experience the five stages of grief”

    Yes. That happened to me when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s. And lettuce is still and will always be my mortal enemy. I’m VERY glad YOU were able to enjoy it though!

    • Hey girly! Yup, you and I have very similar problems gi wise… different but very close. Actually two weeks later I am looking back and realize after those two pieces of lettuce I suffered for quite a while.. my gp symptoms came back and I was nauseous when I hadn’t been. Oh well, but it DID taste good. Why is it we can’t eat anything HEALTHY, you know?

  •  Wow, I had no idea that lettuce could be so evil. It seems so innocuous. Is it all types of lettuce or leafy green stuff?

    • Mike, it is all types, BUT… I can eat cooked spinach. Go figure! And why can I eat green pepper but not lettuce. Thank HEAVEN’S I can tolerate coffee!

  • I like lettuce so match =(

    • OH how I miss lettuce!!!! I see people eating a salad and drool like Pavlov’s dog!

  • I like lettuce so match =(

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