The Ones You Love Always Hurt The Most

30 March 2013
If there's anyone out there who's been hanging around this trainwreck since the dark, early days of the Xander and Nico Pod, you may remember it was a recurring theme that I was sick all the time. Back in my early twenties, I smoked heavily, and drank, and dabbled in bad stuff, and reaped the benefits of such a lifestyle; an inability to digest food, exhaustion, fainting spells. As I got myself together later in my twenties I cut back on the booze, but still smoked, and was still pretty unwell. I met DH a few months before my 30th, and laughed at the irony at falling in love with a man who has never taken a drag on a cigarette, never tried any drugs whatsoever, and only been drunk a very handful of times in his life. I always meant to quit smoking of course, but struggled, until the night of May 4, 2009, when sitting outside my flat at Summer Hill having an evening cigarette, I started to cough, and coughed some more, and started coughing heavily, and coughed up blood.

 I remember that day; it's like a second birthday. I haven't had a cigarette since. I didn't feel instantly better, of course; I was quite out of sorts for a while. But a week or so later, bored one day, I decided to tackle the Coogee to Maroubra walk. With all my health issues, I hadn't exactly been a great fan of walking for pleasure, but it was a gorgeous day and what the heck, off I set.

Inspiring. Image from Bondi to Coogee Walk
As I strode along, engergised by the sea breeze and sunshine, I began to notice something. I felt healthy. I felt strong. I felt good, pacing along the boardwalks, passing other walkers, well and healthy and a normal person. It was like coming back to life, and I may have let out a primal cry of delight. Soon after that, I took up running in Centennial Park, then roller derby, and although I've struggled with my weight some, ever since then I've been healthy and well, and enjoyed exercise. I had a horror pregnancy and birth, but there was nothing I could have done to prevent that - indeed, if I'd been a bit less healthy, maybe I'd have had a smaller baby with fewer ongoing issues with my back and hips. And Kegel exercises? Forget it.

 I was healthy and well, until recently when I've been I've been tired all the time, and had weird niggling aches and pains in my abdomen, and horrendous backaches even for me. I've chalked it up to my insane schedule - oh, just full time work, and uni, and campaigning for the Greens, and having a toddler at home - until last Monday. Can I give a word of warning? No matter how early it matter how tired you matter how desperately you need coffee...please, please, please check the expiration dates on the cream before you add it to the coffee. I was in such a hurry I was having instant coffee instead of making it properly, and that tastes so unpleasant I couldn't tell the cream was off. A whole week off, in fact. I felt increasingly unwell all day at work, was so sick I had to skip uni, and spent much of that night and into the next morning wishing I were dead.

Food poisoning, we thought. It will go away in a couple days, we thought. But it didn't go away. And my symptoms were so icky and bizarre that after describing them to DH (not a conversation you want to have with someone you have sex with, but he is a registered nurse), he came to the conclusion I have a gall bladder problem. And after seeing the effects of eating, then not eating, fatty food over the past few days, I think he's right. I'm off to the doctor to make sure, but in the meantime, it seems I better stick to a low fat diet.

Remember how I said I have a tendency to weight issues? This is because I bloody love food. Fats? Those are my favourites. Yes a salad of fresh summer fruit can be exquisite but to me there's no comparison to deep dish pizza, blue cheese alfredo, duck fat potatoes, sour cream on everything. For the sake of my health, I must abandon all my favourite foods. And it's not a question of "if I eat this I might have a heart attack one day", it's "if I eat this I'll shortly be in great pain, and unable to leave the house". I'm going to have to learn a whole new way of eating. It hasn't really sunk in yet. I have a possibly unhealthy attitude to food - that after my family it is my main hope and reward for getting through the day. This is going to be worse than quitting smoking. The food of my dreams has become my worst nightmare.


  1. Oh bugger, I hope you're on the mend soon. Hopefully a good cleanse means you'll be able to eat your faves in moderation again in the future.

  2. Thanks, I've been looking at various cleanses involving Epsom salts


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