Hello my friends and I hope you are all doing well. So let’s talk about home cooked meals. As a mother of 6 children I have been challenged with coming up with quick and easy ways to feed the family. During this current pandemic and the most recent 4 week lockdown here in my city, even ordering food can have risks. A few weeks ago, I had a fight with some food poisoning after ordering some takeout. Some people may have slight fevers and other not so pleasant discomforts in the stomach and bowels. However, due to my ever complexing Multiple Sclerosis disease, food poisoning can be a full on battle.
Yes I had tons of life stress that contributed while also concealing what was happening with me. My stomach started feeling and looking swollen. I noticed but wasn’t too alarmed as my disease, meds, stress etc. can cause some bloating. I started feeling fatigue, also a common symptom of MS, and my stomach had a burning feeling and THEN the real pain began. My lower back started hurting, I could hardly walk. The pain was so bad and I was so weak I opted to buy a wheelchair to help. I was mostly bedridden and I was tired of staring at the walls. I started feeling hot and cold chills and with the state of the world as it is, I did not want to go to the hospital unless it was absolutely necessary, but something was urging me to do something about it. I called my neurologist because I was going downhill fast.
After having so much pain walking and simply moving my legs, my neurologist asked me questions, did some physical tests. Before I go on, I would like to point out that these physical tests are freaking hard! There’s pulling, pushing, walking, eye testing, coordination testing, balancing, reflex testing and trying to remember all the concerns I had.. I digress. We looked at my recent brain MRI and he didn’t see any new nor active lesions. At the end of it all we discussed steroids.
As much as I love to be pain free, I take steroids with my Ocrevus infusion every 6 months and I really wanted to avoid the side effects as much as possible. For example, “roid rages”, eating like a bottomless pit but most importantly over time my bones will become brittle. We discussed our options and decided to do a full panel blood test, get a new spine MRI and then decide what the next step is pending the results. The wait sucked really hard, but what the blood test revealed was pretty shocking.
Are you ready for this one?! I had E.coli poisoning!! My nurse called to check on how I was feeling and tried to assure me that it should clear up on its own. My neuro said the small infection is exacerbating my MS symptoms, kinda like hiding in plain sight. We went ahead with getting another spine MRI just to be sure. My family physician and nurse contacted me and prescribed 1 dose of fluoroquinolone. A few weeks later, my spine MRI showed no new nor active lesions and I was starting to feel better each day after.
What this whole ordeal came down to is food. All the risks and trust we put into others to prepare our meals is incredible. It made me really think about my family and how we have all consumed this food and could have ended up in a full disaster if my children were effected. Now I’m a lot more cautious of what I and my family eats. I’ve gone back to my roots, cooking, baking and creating different recipes that my kids are so happy with. My most recent creation was a 5 layer lasagna. I made the noodles and layered the dish while I watched Dr. G Medical Examiner. Perhaps watching her show made me hyper aware about what goes on inside our bodies and contributing factors to deaths. The best thing that I’ve done, as a direct result of using quality ingredients and home cooking, is leading by example. My children love to watch and help me cook and bake. Their eyes brighten up when I make their favourite treats and dishes, but even more so when they know they helped me.
I hope this post gives you some cooking inspiration and health awareness.