I spent an entire week on a liquid diet. Liquid diet. Liquid.
Boost, Jell-O, broth. Got to have ice cream. That was good.
Folks wrote to me, sending me scrumptious sounding (well, some of them sounded good) recipes for pureed thises and thats, but I discovered these purees don’t count in a liquid diet unless they were made of things that were liquid at room temperature. And I got tons of advice of how to heal this horrid Crohn’s disease by eating this and not eating that. I’ve done research on this mess, too, and I found a site that said I should be on a high-fiber diet (uh–no. Nothing causes me more pain than a high-fiber diet), a raw food diet (no, for the same reason), a gluten-free diet (which is fine if I had Celiac disease, but it won’t make a bit of difference for Crohn’s), a vegan diet (how many ways can I say no?!), and an all-meat diet (boy-howdy! I wish!—but, no).
No, the occasional bowel rest using a simple liquid diet works just fine. But a week on a liquid diet when I don’t feel sick and do have an appetite is rough, to say the least. Add to the mix my favorite channel on TV—the Food Network—and you can see how I’ve suffered.
Oh, how I’ve suffered!
Food commercials, the Food Network, and just plain ol’ watching MSB have lunch–which I cooked, by the way, have all weighed on me from last Tuesday to this Tuesday.
By last Thursday, I got it in my head I wanted a hamburger. I can have hamburgers on a Crohn’s diet, but I have to be careful. Can’t have the onions or the pickles or the sesame seed buns. Should eat mustard instead of mayo, but hey–a little cheating won’t hurt much, will it? Dairy Queen burgers are the safest for me. Can’t have charbroiled burgers from Burger King. Don’t like most of McDonald’s burgers except their angus burgers–which I can’t have. Haven’t liked What-a-Burger burgers in quite some time. Their meat is far too dry to suit me.
So Dairy Queen it is.
I tell ya, just thinking about it now makes my mouth water. The soft bun, lightly toasted. Crisp lettuce. Juicy tomato. And meat seasoned just right (at least at the DQ we go to). All topped with a dollop of mayo. Or mustard. I like mustard too. As I was daydreaming about this thing, I pictured it both ways. But I had to chase the onion rings out of my thoughts with the viciousness required to kill a rabid dog. I’m an onion ring addict, but can’t have ‘em on a Crohn’s diet.
So, from last Thursday to this Tuesday, all I could think of was sinking my teeth into this lucious DQ “Beltbuster” hamburger. As I sipped on the broths, downed the Boost, spooned the strawberry Jell-O, I pictured the day I’d be able to chew my way through one of my favorite foods.
Tuesday morning, I went into the hospital for a CT scan. Got to drink that “stuff” they give ya to make things show up in the scan. Had more “stuff” pumped through my veins to make things show up in the scan a different way. The entire time, I kept thinking about my reward when it was over–a DQ Beltbuster. MSB dared tease me about not taking me for one, and I was one breath away from a big, blubbering bawl. My eyes teared up, my nose turned red. Seriously. I had to hit him. There was nothing else to do. He may still be bruised, but honestly: He shoulda known better.
The techs couldn’t tell me the results of the test, couldn’t interpret it for me, but they did let me know this much: the abscess they described is quite a bit smaller than the one I started with.
I may find out differently tomorrow at my next doctor’s appointment, but it really does sound like the treatment is working, and this is the first bit of encouragement I’ve had in quite some time.
Which made the hamburger all the more important. This was no ordinary burger. It was the celebratory dinner of choice for someone who desperately needed it.
First thing I did when I unwrapped it was to open it up and breathe deep. Admire how precisely the tomatoes were cut. Rave about how fresh the lettuce looked. Babble on about how the meat patty perfectly fit the toasted bun. I thanked God for Dairy Queen, hamburgers, and whoever it was who invented hamburgers—and of course, I thanked him for my good news. Which for some reason didn’t seem as important as the hamburger at the moment.
After a week of a liquid diet, and losing ten more pounds on it, I couldn’t eat the entire sandwich in one sitting, which suited me fine. I got to enjoy it twice during the day yesterday. Even left over, it was good. The best burger I ever ate.