I generally have no problem eating. My problem is stopping eating. But when I am sick, or depressed, that all goes out the window, and I don’t eat. At all. The BH knows this, and has therefore been a royal pain my ass about eating this week. “What did you eat today” is invariably the first thing he asks me when he gets home from work. Apparently water and herbal tea doesn’t count. He also seems to think that a half a cup of rice with soy sauce, or an orange, or a bowl of plain yogurt don’t count either. So bossy. But I know I am getting better, because last night I ate two whole scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa, and a handful of Dove milk chocolate squares that the BH brought home for me. Today, I had an egg salad sandwich. I might, just might, have a pear for dinner.
What is it about being sick that so changes our appetite, our taste? You’d think that the immune protections would cause us to crave hot peppers, and citrus, and cinnamon, all the antioxidant foods. Instead, if I want anything at all, it’s french toast, or Charleston Chews. Carby, sugary, nutritionally empty foods. The thought of broccoli, or a steak, my usual comforts, turns my stomach.
I know it’s important to eat when you’re sick to give your body the fuel it needs to combat the illness, but one thing I hadn’t thought about was lithium toxicity. My shrink called me yesterday to tell me that I was approaching a therapeutic level on my lithium dosage. When I picked up the phone to croak hello, she started asking me about the flu, making sure I was hydrated etc. After I’d assured her that my cup of water with swirly straw was my constant companion, she started quizzing me about my eating, and told me I needed to make sure I was taking in at least 1000 calories a day to cushion my lithium intake— hot chicken broth and miso soup, my other two mainstays, were not enough. I’d never thought of that– I was just concentrating on drinking enough.
I wonder if I can get the thai place to deliver an extra spicy, vegetarian, country style pad thai? And some Charleston Chews.