I can’t eat sprouts & other Scrooge moments for ostomates

On Saturday morning I work up feeling like a wet dog had been lying on my face. My


head felt like a gnome had been bashing it with cymbals, my stomach like I’d drunk a litre of washing up liquid and my mouth like I’d spent the evening drinking washing up liquid and eating cotton wool. God knows the shock my partner must have had when the turned to see his formerly dolled-up girlfriend transformed into the creature from the Black Lagoon over night, with crazy eyes, hot breath and panda eyes (not to forget the Sonic the hedgehog hair) – I must have been a stunning sight.

Yes Friday night was the legendary Work Christmas do, and I was waking up with my normal horrific post surgery hangover which leaves me wanting to go to Tesco and throw every bottle of wine out of the window.

Since my operation alcohol doesn’t taste the same, it isn’t worth the pain or the expense. Ok I still love a nice glass of wine (or 3 I hear you yell) but I pay the price. Alcohol in any form has started to have a really schizophrenic impact on my body – some nights I only have to sniff a glass of wine and I’m wasted, others I can drink a fair amount and just be a little merry and giggle, other times I rather humiliatingly fall fast asleep – but really it doesn’t seem to matter how much I inhale I still feel like I’ve bathed in a vat of vodka the next morning.

Ok, I’ve never been a great drinker, but this is starting to get ridiculous. These days I’m more careful than ever, and I think that’s mostly due to the fear of having to change my ostomy bag when I’m so plastered in can’t see my own hands. I also find alcohol can have an undesirable effect on my Stoma output, either turning everything to water or stopping it working all together. Also changing your bag while feeling like puke is never desirable – mistakes have been known to be made.

The girls

The girls – yes i didn’t look that orange at the start of the night

Anyway I was in pain…a lot later I figured out a substantial amount of the agony in my abdomen wasn’t drinking. My Stoma felt like it was trying to pass a small boulder. After about 20 minutes of writhing around I inspected it and much to my surprise discovered a whole sprout, which appeared to have re-formed inside my digestive system. Ouch! And it wasn’t th only one.

So bah humbug I can’t eat sprouts, that’s a fact not an excuse. I bet all kids would love to use that one, but it’s a sad fact that I actually love sprouts – this one I would rather have not seen again!

With Christmas coming up I’m starting to think what other festive delights I might miss out on. What else will be missing on my dinner plate. At the Christmas do I indulged in a turkey dinner – the next day I discovered the hard way that cranberries, stuffing and nuts could join sprouts on the no go list. I’m also thinking red cabbage, cabbage and chestnuts will be a bad call….but we’ll see how daring I am on the day.

Living with an ostomy is about experimenting. Just like living with IBD everyone’s body and illness reacts differently. I know people with Crohn’s Disease who can scoff scorching hot curries, down pint after pint of beer, smoke and god knows what else without any impact on their day-to-day illness. Others struggle with every morsel of food placed in their mouths. I’m more among the latter, but I can get away with more than most – mine is brought on by pretty much nothing at all, just when it wants to ruin my life (and I’m not being overdramatic).

I know people with ostomy bags who eat raw food all day – I struggle with spinach but I love it too much to stop. I know one day my love for mushrooms will cause a very problematic blockage, and I have learnt the importance of thoroughly chewing. But despite this things still come out whole – it literally makes no sense whatsoever.

With a lot of parties, rich decadent food and drinking coming my way I’m going to have to be careful. I’m already ill enough. My colitis is awful at the moment and my fistula is in overdrive, surgery is looming and I need to look after myself. On thing’s for sure I don’t want to be on a pure liquid diet this Christmas and I sure as hell don’t want to spend Boxing Day in hospital.

I don’t want to see another whole sprout which has already passed through my stomach acid unscathed again. So long oh humble sprout may you never grace my plate again.

8 thoughts on “I can’t eat sprouts & other Scrooge moments for ostomates

  1. I hear you! Same has happened to me with large amounts of nuts, and corn (still looked like corn), narrowly missing a hospital admission. Drink loads of water and apparently fizzy drink can help clear a blockage! Also, knee chest position. Good luck and have fun 🙂

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