Today, I finally saw a dietitian.
I was originally referred to one by my neurologist because we had discussed my poor diet (thanks gastroparesis!), and the fact that she wanted me to lose weight.
Well, it turns out that I have been losing weight on my own (again, thanks gastroparesis), and am considered to be malnourished at this stage due to things.
I still wanted to see the dietitian though, because whilst I’ve read up and researched a gastroparesis diet, I wanted to see if they had any other suggestions for me.
So, I went, nervous that they wouldn’t understand my condition, would try and push me into stuff that I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable with, etc. However, those worries were completely unfounded.
The dietitian was lovely. She immediately told me she has other patients with gastroparesis, and when we discussed the possibility of me getting a feeding tube in the future (something my consultant and I have discussed), she said she was the one that does the home feedings with local patients. In fact, she’s kept me in the service in case I’ll still need them, depending on what happens in the next few months.
We went over my diet, and decided that the best thing for me is to try to increase the amount of Complan, or meal replacement drink, in my diet. I don’t tolerate a lot of meal replacement drinks, but if I make it with hot water, it’s better than with milk (and tastes like a bad hot chocolate). She suggested I try to focus on having those more than normal foods, but have some foods as I can.
She is also going to investigate if there are other drinks that are available, especially ones that are clear. I know there is one, but it’s not available here in the UK, so she was going to look into it more for me.
The big goal… Wait for it… Is to maintain my weight. Despite needing to lose weight overall, losing weight now means I’m malnourished (my deficiencies prove that), and she said the goal should be to maintain until we can get my diet sorted and I’m not struggling with deficiencies. Then, we can look at lowering my calories to lose weight in a healthy way.
I felt like she actually understood, and had my best interests at heart. She even empathised when I said I forgot words due to brain fog, and said I had to write things down to remember them later. She literally even said the words “brain fog” to me, and explained it was no wonder I had it if I was barely eating. It was refreshing to hear a medical professional use those words, and explain it like that. It felt very validating.
I’m glad the appointment went well, and that the dietitian was so nice. Hopefully, I will be able to stick to my goals, although I think I will need to get some different flavours of Complan! 😊