Nighttime Hunger

I had a horrible night of sleep. I’ve been adjusting my eating schedule and foods that I eat and I woke up after just an hour or so of sleep absolutely famished. I didn’t want to eat because all the foods I seem to be having lately are really bothering my stomach and they are all too disgusting to consider for a midnight snack. As I lay in bed with hunger pangs rumbling in my stomach until the morning, I longed for those days my roommates and I would order Papa John’s pizza in college or when I could grab a mug of ice cream should such a starving feeling keep me up.

Until I started trying to change my diet in the past month or so, I was never hungry during the night; if anything, I was overstuffed. I’ve forgotten how difficult it is to sleep when your stomach is growling, begging for food. The hours crawled by. I didn’t want to risk further aggregating my digestive tract because my skin is becoming too fragile and irritated right now from the excessive bowel movements. This is all clearly oversharing, but I’m not in the mood to pretend things are rosy. Life, at least mine, isn’t always picture perfect and brag-worthy. It’s often full of embarrassing challenges and far-from-glamorous day-to-day happenings. Chronic illness is ugly; the beauty comes from living your life to the best of your ability anyway and trying to convert the pain and challenges to love and happiness.

It wasn’t just the hunger pangs that kept me up last night. As has been the case the past several nights, my joints were hurting, creating a pain too severe to sleep. Probably the same inflammatory factors that are aggregating my joints are disturbing my digestion. This is typically the case with either a flare up or a contamination. I also don’t think the tiny bit of dairy I’m trying to incorporate every day is being well-accepted by my body. I’d immediately give it up, particularly because I’m not loving the limited dairy choice the doctor permitted as a low-allergen dairy product, but I’m convinced, at least for now, that the benefits to my bones and body in general are worth the problems caused. Because I’m not having any anaphylaxis in the slightest, it’s at least “safe” enough to incorporate for now. My bone mineralization is so poor right now. Although a few weeks of a half-cup of dairy products aren’t likely to significantly increase bone density, I imagine it will help somewhat. If it becomes clear that it’s the dairy that’s actually creating this inflammatory chain of events, I’ll have to put the bone-building benefit aside and give it up again. I’m not going to tolerate this degree of daily joint pain and digestive distress for multiple weeks; however, it’s often the case that there’s no direct genesis for a flare-up. In other words, it might not be dairy and it might not be any particular thing.

This morning I have my genetics appointment, which will take several hours out of my work day, particularly because the appointment overlaps with my longest chunk of work hours in the day. Thus, since I’m supposed to be working a lot more right now, I’m very stressed about this predicament. I don’t want to compensate by adding work hours at the end of my day, since my day is undeniably going to be exhausting, I got one hour of sleep, and I don’t do well working too close to bedtime because of how much it taxes my brain, which then refuses to relax. Unfortunately, there’s no magical way to add hours to the day, so I’m going to now have to put in even more hours the next few days, on top of an already bulked up schedule. The good news is that I don’t think I have any other appointments this week, so at least I won’t have large chunks of time out of my work day. My health is important so things like today’s appointment have to take precedence. With that said, of course I’ll do my best to catch up.

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