When a Foodie Can’t Eat

I’ve only fairly recently been in the “foodie” camp.  Growing up, “adventurous” food was fresh vegetables (my grandmother considered green Jell-O to be salad) and it was a gourmet night when my mom made pot roast (to be fair, she makes pretty darn good pot roast). Once I was out on my own, I expanded my food repertoire, but it wasn’t until K and I met and began our cooking adventures together that I really started eating new and wonderful foods. For example, it turns out I very much enjoy pig tongue (as served at both Victory 44 and Meritage). I do wish someone would come up with a more elegant name for it though.

Nine years ago, I was very, very sick for about a year. I could only eat soup, rice, toast and ice cream. After awhile, even that made me violently ill. For that year, my a-hole doctor kept telling me it was all in my head. Then I read an article that someone discovered most ulcers are caused by a particular bacteria. The symptoms listed sounded exactly like what I had. I demanded the a-hole doctor test me for the bacteria and turns out the test was positive. Two weeks of hardcore antibiotics and I was on the way to healing.

A few months ago, right before our wedding (of course), I started feeling sick again. Despite medicines and nutritional measures, I’ve been struggling to heal the little hole developing in my stomach. For someone who loves food, this is torture! I’m pretty good during the day when I eat primarily cereal for breakfast and lunch (always have — some foodie, right?). At night it gets worse. To add insult to injury, I now have to pass on those elegant, nuanced glasses of wine and delicious cocktails (just when concentrated gastriques in cocktails are starting to pop up everywhere). I feel physically gross and not being able to fully enjoy going out for cocktails and food with the people I love feels awful.

This is a busy food month for us, as was last month. To everyone we dined with last month: Sorry I didn’t appear to be enjoying the meal more. I may only have been able to eat a few bites, but I still appreciated their deliciousness. We may have ordered a bottle of wine for the table and I only had a few sips before passing my glass to K. Sorry you all had to shoulder the extra glass or two (more wine for you, right?!?). To everyone we’ll be dining with this month: Yes, we just got married. NO, I’m not knocked up. I won’t be enjoying wine and cocktails with you because I’m trying not to throw up on your shoes. They look like nice shoes, I think we can agree no one wants that. We can order an appetizer and dessert to share, but I’ll probably only have a bite or two, if I have a bite at all. We can still split the bill down the middle.

And to K: I won’t be able to share in awesome wine for our Valentine’s Day dinner, but I *will* get better in time to eat our way through New York City for our honeymoon. I wouldn’t miss out on the full Le Bernardin experience with you for the world!

I hope to be back in action and enjoying full-on food adventures again soon. In the meantime, if you’ve experienced having an ulcer and can offer any suggestions on happy healing strategies, I’d be glad to take anything and everything into consideration.

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