One of my recurrent symptoms of non-combat post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the inability to digest food. At these times, the thought of having to eat anything solid triggers an outraged response from my digestive system. I’m surprised the neighbours can’t hear it shrieking out for help.
Everything about food, the look, colour, texture and smell leaves me nauseous. My throat rebels by tightening up so that it’s even a struggle to swallow tea. TEA? I ask you. Nothing has ever stopped me drinking tea. Except the panic that comes with the flashbacks. I’ll write about those later.
The OM (Old Man) has to shoot out to the chemist to get me a protein shake which lasts me all day. All 203 calories of it. I wish I could pop a pill or mix a powder with water instead.
To be honest, for the past ten years my diet has been restricted to 15 different foods, all bland and unexciting. It’s too much effort to think about shopping for it, preparing it and then having to actually eat it. My winter breakfast is an oat bar, my summer breakfast, muesli. Lunch is always soup and gluten free oatcakes, (home -made) and dinner, a tiny portion of fish and salad or just salad. Rice cakes do a good job of filling the holes.
I’m a lousy dinner guest and you would never see me posting pictures of meals in restaurants as I rarely go. It’s such an uncomfortable experience. I can’t drink alcohol (hate the stuff) and have to be really nice to the staff to organise something for me that’s off-menu. Gluten free, acid free, lactose free, meat free, sugar free and fat free. Grass madam?
May as well since everything tastes pretty much the same. Don’t offer me sludgy food either. Rice pudding, custard, porridge. I’m not sick but I would be at the mere sight of something that looks as if it should be plaster for walls.
The stress of long term trauma has left me with a condition known as GORD gastro-oesophageal reflux disease which has got so bad it’s upped its game into a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s Oesophagus. I should have shares in Aloe Vera juice, Apple Cider Vinegar and other stuff which boasts its efficacy in soothing the gut but is the underlying trauma leading to the stress which impacts on the stomach, that second brain, that is to blame. Please don’t tell me to get therapy. I’ve tried it all at great expense. A memory wipe-out would be the easiest.
It’s been eight days since by last big melt down. I am back to drinking tea and nibbling on a rice cake. There’s an event in the town I am supposed to be attending tonight. Hopefully I won’t be bamboozled into trying Mrs. Shepherd’s utterly delicious lemon drizzle cake. The dog might be in for an unexpected treat.