I adore Christmas and love everything about it, but Christmas throws a lot of curve balls in the way of my Stoma and often leaves me waking up with far more than a hangover.
In December everything I normally actively avoid eating seems to hide itself in every day food. Nuts and dried fruit appear everywhere at Christmas; hidden amongst sprouts, in stuffing and in a whole array of amazing treats and desserts.
Most of the year I would turn down nut laden goods (no matter how tasty they appear) as I fear the blockage, sickness and general yuck they cause, but something about Christmas makes me throw caution to the wind and I seem to have a devil on my shoulder shouting “bring on the nuts, who the hell cares? – it’s Christmas”!
I have a very adult taste when it comes to food: my Stoma does not.
Winnie is like a toddler, she hates green stuff, nuts, wine, veg, but she loves a good ‘take it out of the freezer and stuff it in the oven meal’, you know anything that involves chips and weird breaded animal shaped food.
I live off spinach, olives, cucumber, basically everything she simply can’t cope with (so I live with a lot of tummy ache, funny farting noises coming from my bag, and green poop) but present her with a sprout, coconut or a nut and she has a total fit and throws all her toys out of the pram totally big time.
Last year was probably the best Christmas of my adult life. For the first time I can remember I enjoyed turkey and all the trimmings without the constant pain of Ulcerative Colitis. I managed to sit through almost the entire meal (yes all the courses), unwrap all my presents and even join in all the family games with only a few visits to the bathroom.
It was magical. I don’t think I have ever been so happy.
But, despite the pain free Christmas, there were still some issues especially around the dinner table. I learnt a few lessons the hard way, mostly not to get carried away with the festive celebrations, office parties and late night drinking, and to avoid certain foods at all costs, no matter how tempting they might be.
This year I will be avoiding, sprouts, chestnuts, cranberries, Christmas cake, green beans, and many more little treats.
A word of advice, if you have an ostomy and don’t want to be in agony for hours, don’t eat sprouts.
I know many people would be relieved to find out they can avoid the little green balls, but I’m quite gutted about this.
The first Boxing Day after my operation I spent an excrutiating couple of hours passing what felt like a giant bolder through my stoma. Somehow, despite obviously chewing it to shreds, it seemed to reform in my bowel and tried to pop out whole – imagine my shock!
This year I have no doubt I will learn even more lessons about my ostomy, and how bloody picky she can be.
But either way I’m going to give into the devil and eat what the hell I want – the detox and Winnie’s much earned break can start in the New Year, after all that’s what January is for!