I thought I’d do a quick post for folk like me, who can never eat a normal meal again. That’s right, NEVER. Not in a year or when I’ve lost enough weight, or in a few years, or maybe it could be reversed. No. This cannot be reversed, and it can’t be undone, and I can never eat a normal meal again.
So, what about eating out? I guess thats not possible too, right? Wrong. My husband and I have eaten out at least once a week since I’ve had this done. We’ve been to loads of different restaurants and cafe’s, some basic places, other upper class posh ones. I’ve met friends regularly for “coffee n cake” type things, or for lunch or dinner.
One thing I do have is a little card from the hospital, that discretely explains I’ve had major surgery and therefore cannot eat much, and would they be so accommodating as to allow me to simply have a starter or a childs portion. Problem being, I can’t finish them either! The other thing I am lucky enough to have is a husband who happily hands me the menu, and will share with me whatever I want to order.
Some places have been absolutely fantastic – top of the list being Zizzi’s at Birstall, where the waiter sorted everyone elses order then came and sat with me, asked what I “can” eat (as nothing on the menu worked), then went off to see the chef, they made me salmon with peas, potatoes and a sauce, and didn’t charge me a penny.
Bibi’s in Leeds too, we go occasionally for one of their ‘dinner shows” with friends. It is NOT a cheap place, and the menu is a set price per head. Yet when I rang them and explained, they immediately said there would be no charge for me and they were more than happy for me to share what my husband was eating.
Aagrah, at Pudsey, they’re a buffet place and our kids love it – so do we! Speak to the manager when I arrive and they only charge me the child’s price for the buffet, and they don’t hover over me to see what I’m eating to make sure it isn’t too much either.
Everybody’s in Guiseley, I go often with a lovely friend for brunch and they do me a kids breakfast to share with my nanny toddler (who eats more than me!), or if I go at lunchtime they’ll do me a kids portion of anything on the menu, or happily let me and my husband share a meal.
Multiplex places will often have a jacket potato type place, and they let me order the “half a spud” kids option but with an adult topping on.
Curry restaurants happily box up what I can’t eat to take home – I’m never lucky enough to get my leftovers though, as my husband always gets there first!
Other pizza and buffet chains have been more than happy for me to just order a starter, and little local places are simply happy for someone who’ll have a couple of coffees to go along with their “bit of something” they might order to eat.
I was worried I’d have issues asking places, and sometimes they have refused initially – until i go have a discreet word with the manager and show my card, at which point they are 99% of the time more than happy for me to order from the childrens menu. I’ve read online about people having problems, having to spend £15/20 on a meal they can only eat 1/8th of, being refused just one course – of course, some folk WANT to order and have a little bit off all the food, then happily have the rest thrown away by the restaurant but that makes me want to cry – cannot stand food waste.
Don’t get me wrong. Some stuff I simply cannot eat, it won’t go down, and at this stage it is doublful it ever will do. Some days are “eating” days, and some are absolutely not – it used to be that I could eat one day, then not for the next two. Now, it’s probably about 50/50. There’s no knowing what the day will bring though. Some days my tablets won’t even go down, and they ARE my priority. I take about 18/20 a day, and will for life. Do I care? No.
I was asked the other day, “don’t you care that you can’t eat properly?” The only answer to that is that now, I DO eat properly. Better than I’ve ever done. Quality protein, gorgeous sauces, decent restaurants. Yes, the odd bit of processed stuff when I’m in a rush or tired.
My biggest help with all of this? My husband. He has been 100% by my side through it all. Never once complained that he cannot eat what HE wants on a certain day. Never complained at having to stop more frequently so I can eat something. Never complained that I’m costing us money for underwear and clothes…
After him? My friends. My lovely friends who all are happy to go to places where I can eat off the menu that’s there, they’re happy to share or finish what I can’t have, happy just to sit and chat. Bearing in mind it has to be gluten free for me too, sometimes thats quite an ask.
Please, don’t think there are only upsides to this surgery. There are many downsides too, there are folk I thought would share, and they’ve refused. There are folk I thought would “have my back” and be interested, and they have totally ignored all of it. Some people are jealous, other’s are rude.
The people who matter? They’re amazing, and without them, this would be a damn site harder than it has been.