Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Diet Progress

It's been about a month since I started on the low residue diet to treat my delayed gastric emptying issue. At first, I didn't notice much of a change. I was on antibiotics and just generally not feeling especially great. But as the days have gone by, I've realized that I am seeing improvement.

For one, I'm not nauseous every morning. This shouldn't be an accomplishment, and yet, for about the last two years before I started on this diet, I've gone to work and wondered if I was going to vomit all over the entrance to my workplace. It was always a burp, but it always felt like it was going to be more. I got used to that. It was my normal. And it sucked.

And now it's gone.

There's also a lot less general tummy pain. Still some, especially from gas, which I've gotten pretty good at discerning from other kinds of pains. I haven't had any sustained pain in the last few weeks, and I definitely haven't had any high level pain. Mostly, I get little needle prick type sensations that are very brief, or kind of a roll of pain in the tummy, but again, brief.

I guess since I'm not feeling quite so sucky anymore, that means it's time to start reintroducing some fiber. I'm hesitant, because I don't want to ruin the good thing I've got going, but I also seriously miss eating berries. And a lot of my backpacking food has seeds or nuts, so I'm going to have to get used to those things again or seriously adjust my backpacking diet.

My weight has also been fairly constant since starting the diet. It's not doing dramatic or even daily shifts, but kind of sticking to a single weight for a while, then changing to another weight and sticking there. I'm neither losing nor gaining very much at this point, which I think is pretty good. I do want to lose some weight to make body weight exercises easier, but I want to do it healthily and without impacting the equilibrium I've managed to find with my tummy issues.

I've been using an app to keep track of my intake and my output. Anything I eat or drink gets recorded, and all of my bowel movements. One of the risks of a low residue diet is constipation, but I've managed to avoid that for the most part. I'm going every day, and that's pretty much exactly what I want.

I'll admit, the one thing I haven't cut completely out on the diet is coffee. For one, I love how coffee tastes. For another, getting off of my daily caffeine habit is not easy for me, and I do not wish, as this time, to go through the intense headaches that the process causes. I figured if I wasn't seeing improvement, then I'd try cutting off caffeine. But I am! So I get to keep drinking coffee. Yay!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Burn the Bras?

I'm not sure exactly why, but I've been growing more and more frustrated with bras. I had a bunch that I got from a clearance sale at a department store, and they worked alright but were no longer fitting (and wearing out). So I got some more at an outlet store. And they fit fine in the store, but less fine after being worn for two to four hours.

At this point in my life, if it weren't for work, where I feel that wearing a bra is part of a professional outfit, and working out, where I need some compression to keep from bouncing too much, I probably wouldn't wear bras at all. I don't like how they feel - not the support, which is fine, but the straps on the shoulders and the band in the back, the foundation of the support.

I wear a sports bra for backpacking because without one I get too sweaty. But none of them are very comfortable, and I've had to work hard to find one that works. Unfortunately, the ones that I've been using, some front zip triathlon bras, are all worn out. Not only are the seams coming apart but the zippers are no longer locking in place. So now the hunt is on for a new backpacking bra, and the most important thing in a backpacking bra, for me, is the ability to dry quickly. Somehow, that never gets included on reviews.

Backpacking is the one time that I want to be wearing a bra all the time, because if I don't, then my piercings will get irritated by being pulled around against my shirt. So it needs to be the most comfortable of bras, and it has to dry on my body at the end of the day so I can sleep in it.

For both backpacking and everyday, I'm interested in trying out some shelf bra tank tops. I swear I used to have some that worked pretty well, but they are long gone by now. I thought Costco might have some, but they did not. Instead, I bought a 2 pack of "bra-lettes" that are at least free from hooks, underwire and tags (amazing how many bras have itchy tags - are they not aware fabric can be printed on?).

The bralettes are working well enough that I might buy another 2 pack, but I really want to find those shelf bra tank tops, because the version in my mind has wide straps, like 2 inches. The one new bra I bought for backpacking has extra wide straps and when I put it on it hardly feels like I'm wearing anything. Perfect really, but that just makes me want to save it for backpacking and not "use it up" on every day wear. Because now that I like it, the manufacturer will surely discontinue it, which is why I dare not type its name.

I'm not opposed to bras in general, but I am heartily frustrated with them at the moment. Not enough to burn them, but enough that I'm actively looking for bra alternatives.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Health Bits

I've been feeling frustrated because while the low residue diet has made me feel better in general, I'm still having mysterious abdominal pains. But I need to look on the bright side. Because there have been improvements, even if I've been focused on the not-improving parts.

So. I haven't had daily nausea. I've actually had very little nausea since starting the low residue diet and when I do have it, it's fleeting rather than a constant sensation that leaves me woozy and desperate to get it to stop.

I'm not in constant tummy pain. I've still got some pains that crop up, though I don't think it's all gastrointestinal pain. I can recognize when I've got gas pain, and, to me, it's a particular type of pain. It feels like a balloon blowing up inside, pressure and squeezing. I also get these sharper pains, and sometimes a prickling, but those feel like they are more in my skin than my insides - like above the layer of my muscles.

There's still frustration that I'm not losing weight. I kind of hoped that after the antibiotics I might see some weight loss. But - on the bright side - I'm no longer gaining weight. I'll take a leveling off over a steady creep upwards. Part of that frustration is that the heavier I get, the harder body weight movements become and I don't want to lose my pull ups. And some of my pants are getting tight to the point where I don't want to wear them or wear them with the button undone.

I am doing overall much better than before starting the low residue diet. I just need to keep being patient and focus on the improvements.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


Well, I got another cold/flu/crud thing last week. I'm choosing to blame my boss, who stayed home some days last week to take care of sick family and also when he (inevitably) also fell sick. And my husband caught whatever it was from me. So instead of starting to evaluate how I felt based on the low residue diet once the antibiotics should have had some effect, I was just ... sick.

Now, I'm done with the antibiotics and mostly over the illness. Not entirely pain free, but it's a pain that is much more manageable than what I'd had before taking the antibiotics. And it's intermittent rather than constant. So there is improvement, but I don't have a verdict yet as to whether I've truly benefited or not.

I started to track my foods so that I could get an idea of what worked, but when I got sick I kind of fell off the tracking bandwagon. I even stopped tracking bowel movements, though I know I did have at least one per day. It just wasn't as important to track. Now, I really should get back to tracking both of those, along with pain symptoms again so I can get a good sense of how I'm doing. My next doctor appointment will be in June and I really hope that I can be in a good place by then.

It makes so much sense that I would have felt better while backpacking, because unless we really work at it, most of our backpacking food is low fiber. And rather than three large meals a day with a few snacks, we snack a lot and have smaller "big" meals three times a day. Kind of. I mean, breakfast is now tending towards being a bar and some jerky on the move, and lunch isn't all that big. Dinners are relatively big, but not huge. I'm looking forward to backpacking season now, because I feel like I'll be able to handle my body better, knowing what I know now.

Work is slower this time of year, and I'm working on handing off projects I would normally do myself to one of my direct reports. He is supposed to be learning how to do the things that I do, so even though I want to do all the things, I have to learn to let go and allow him to learn. It's a process that I'm trying to embrace.