Most people without IBD don’t realize that a lot of sleeping and eating quirks come with Crohn’s disease. But those of us with the illness can relate to the strange eating and sleeping schedules we follow.
Here are some of mine:
I need a TON of sleep. Even with 10 hours, which I try to get every night, I’m always exhausted — and often need naps, too. Because I’m fortunate to work part-time from home as a writer, most days I can nap as I need to. The exhaustion comes on suddenly and without warning. There’s no use in even trying to keep myself awake. I can go off for a solid two hours of sleep at nap time. Sometimes, even longer.
I eat a lot of dry Froot Loops. I don’t know why, but dry children’s cereals generally work well for me. I have them for breakfast every morning, and I’ve been known to grab mugfuls throughout the day. I know the cereal is soothing and easy on the stomach, so maybe that’s my attraction. But I can feel like a freak with this one. It’s embarrassing to tell my friends that I eat Froot Loops like they’re going out of style. (I try not to talk about it.)
I chew ice because I have pica. Pica is a craving to chew or eat things with no nutritional value, or things that aren’t even food. Pica is often associated with pregnancy — I’ve known women who wanted to eat laundry detergent, dirt, and chalk — to name a few items — during their pregnancies. But Pica also occurs when a person has anemia. My doctor told me that craving ice with anemia is normal. I go through a lot of ice, and I have a specific way I like the cubes. I like to flavor the ice with a little diet soda, since plain frozen water doesn’t do it for me. I go through many cups of ice a day. This makes my husband crazy when, at the movies or a restaurant, I’m munching on ice. He’s certain that people can hear it. (I don’t think they can. We quibble about this.)
When I’m in a flare, the only foods I seem to tolerate are soup — either French onion, or more commonly, chicken noodle of some sort — and a baked potato or fries. We go to restaurants for dinner and that’s what I eat. Then I DO feel strange. But they’re cravings and I can’t help it. Potatoes, in general, are huge for me during flares. I like a certain brand of baked chips, and it’s not uncommon for me to eat an entire bag during a flare because it’s all I’m eating. You can tell how well I feel by whether or not those chips are in my house. (They’re currently not.)
I’d love to hear from my fellow IBD sufferers — what odd foods or combinations of foods do you eat? Are you a big sleeper, like me? Add your preferences, thoughts, or particularities to the comments section. Thanks!
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