Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hunger Pains

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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