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Unless it’s prepared like this. I feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes and also grateful for having most of my life (including meals) up somewhere on the ol’ internets, because I think I have solved a mystery that’s been plaguing me for at least five years and probably more. So okay, getting to the point (and be forewarned, this is probably going to be really boring so don’t feel obliged, but I want the info here for future reference)…

After that last emergency op in August 2011 things didn’t heal as well as after the previous three cancer ops, which I think was in part my fault. I was extra impatient about being in hospital AGAIN and I remember begging the surgeon to let me go home on the Friday (the op had been on Monday, and we’re talking major abdominal surgery). I just wanted to be back home with the cats and sleep in my own bed and couldn’t bear the thought of spending the whole weekend in hospital (they only discharge people on weekdays). Well, turns out I should have stayed in because after promising the doctor that I’d “be good”, I really wasn’t. I didn’t wear my “faja” all the time at home (it was August and too hot), and I was out and about more than I should have been. The result was that I ended up with an umbilical hernia as well as the usual post-op adhesions. What’s this got to do with cauliflower you ask?

Well, since then I have had a recurring digestive problem whereby I suddenly double over in acute pain and spend the next few excruciating hours between my bed and the bathroom, violently vomiting myself inside out. I’m not kidding, it’s really bad. Except for one time, when I ended up in Emergency and was kept in for observation, the pain usually begins to subside after 4-5 hours, or as long as it takes to “empty me out”, and I can finally drift off into an exhausted sleep. And then when I wake up I feel fine. As far as I can recall this has happened maybe a couple of times a year since that last operation, but I have never known why. Until now!

As I’m still having issues with the “mystery inflammation” which led to them switching me from PET to CT scans three years ago, along with having a whack of other tests – and they still don’t know what’s going on – I decided to start keeping track of this problem, since no doubt it’s somehow related. One thing I noticed even without checking the “data” in my google calendar was that it’s happened more frequently this past year. And when I checked after the latest incident last Thursday I saw it happened in May, Sept, Dec & Jan. A friend told me this sounded like an obstruction somewhere, so I wondered if there might be any foods triggering it, especially as the last three episodes were fairly close together. And thanks to Instagram I was actually able to see what I had for dinner on those days. In each meal the main culprit appears to be either raw or cooked (but still crunchy) cauliflower, followed by raw carrots and grated raw cabbage. So basically bulky stuff that can’t pass through whatever restricted areas exist in my digestive tract due to the adhesions. The cauliflower coup de grace actually happened today while I was looking for the post about the time I ended up in Emergency in 2016 and in it I even mention having had roasted cauliflower the day before (!!!).

So I can only surmise that the frequency of these painful episodes this past year has been due to me mostly eating at home and – ironically – trying to eat a healthier diet with more veggies. At least, that’s what I think has been causing this. Putting it to the test yesterday I was going to make some cauliflower soup (I still had half a cauliflower left! and I love cauliflower!) but ended up with a too salty broth and so had to add potatoes, which turned into that lovely silky looking (thanks butter!) purée you see up there. Ate it, enjoyed it,  and no problems at all. In conclusion, it looks like my days of crunchy raw veg are over, but I can still find other ways to enjoy them. How was your weekend?