A Life Without Food

Posted by Nancy Albert on January 18, 2017 at 05:53 PM

Did you ever wonder how you would feel if you could never eat again? I'm not talking about fasting for a day or so, but for the rest of your life? Well, this is my story. Since we are beginning the new Die(t) series and fiveonfive Challenge, I thought the time was right to share this Significant Event in my life, hoping it might be a small inspiration to someone. I never mind talking about it, but I don't dwell on it because I don't want my disease to define me.

In Parade magazine a few years ago was a article about "The Girl who Couldn't Eat". Well, I'm the woman who can't eat. The little girl and I have a digestive disorder known as Chronic Ideopathic Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction. It is a rare, incurable motility disorder. It was also showcased in the recent book and movie Miracles from Heaven. The true story was about a little girl with the same debilitating disease. She fell down the inside of a hollow tree and when rescued, was curedno more digestive issues!

My problems started as a middle-aged adult. I spent many years trying to control it with diet, not knowing when I might get sick, usually for days at a time, and sometimes ending up in the hospital. Eventually, I had to give up everything but clear liquids. For the past 6 years, I have received nutrition through a port and now a permanent central vein catheter in my chest for 12 hours every night.

Never eating again? It's really not so bad. I still enjoy cooking and baking and the way the house smells when there's food in the slow cooker. I meet some great friends twice a month and watch them eat lunch. I love holidays with my family, and most holidays revolve around food, don't they? I spend less time cooking for myself and less time and money at the grocery store. I have more time to read, craft, take 2-3 dance classes a week, walk my dog, perform and do scenic painting for community theater, and volunteer for SouthBrook's great ministry, Cancer Hope (subtle plug!). I live a very full, happy life...without food. Instead of being bitter, I feel blessed that the technology exists to keep me alive, and blessed that I am rarely hungry.

I still pray every day for a cure, a "Miracle from Heaven", for myself and my brother, who suffers from the same disease. However, you won't catch me climbing any hollow trees! —Nancy Albert