I was talking to my partner about Godiva chocolates today. He was telling me how, as much as he loves it, he doesn't want to eat it unless he is a little hungry. That was why he didn't want any when we were in the mall the other day -- he wasn't hungry at all. My first comment to that was, "I don't have that problem." As I got to thinking about it more, I realized that I haven't really felt hunger like most people do for over 16 years. I remember what it used to feel like when I was growing up. I would get a twinge of hunger that would grow the longer I ignored it. When mealtime came, many times I could recall only the hunger leading up to it. For some reason, after my first hospital visit, feeling hunger hasn't been the same for me. For a little over ten years, I never felt hunger -- at all. I was a 6ft tall man that weighed in at about 100 lbs. If I didn't remember to eat, then I just didn't remember. I actually had make a conscious effort to eat for the longest time. In many cases I would care around bottles of Ensure just to make certain I was getting the nutrition I needed.
The converse of never feeling hungry was that I also never felt full. I could eat and eat and I wouldn't know when to stop for the longest time. Most people rely on that feeling of being sated to stop eating. I was used to getting that feeling for so long that when it was gone I would eat to the point where I would vomit. I just ate too much. I eventually learned to keep better track of the portions to make certain that I stopped myself before getting to the point of rebuke. At some point, I did start to get back some semblance of hunger pains and feeling of being sated. It is a bit odd for me now, as I am having to relearn a new set of feelings and urges. Where as they were gradual in the beginning and non-existent in the middle, they are now more akin to an ON and OFF switch. One moment I will be fine, and then the following moment I will be excruciatingly famished. I can be eating and enjoying my meal and then, like a light switch turning off, I am stuffed to the brim.
I have always wondered if others with Crohn's Disease have experienced anything similar. Have you?
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