Here goes nothing!

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time and just never had the courage to get on and do it! So finally I’ve picked up the thoughts to start putting my rambling thoughts down in print!

You are going to find a mixture of foodie items, IT findings and god only knows what else.

Please bear with me.

Martin

p.s my grammer and spellings are shite but who cares!

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Living With Diverticular Disease

I’ve decided to put down some of my thoughts on living with diverticular disease.

Diverticular disease is one of those diseases which is unseen from the outside. People who suffer from it can seem perfectly fit and healthy from the outside. But they are often crippled with cramps, bloating and pain on the inside.

I was diagnosed in 2008. After being rushed into hospital literally doubled over in pain. Wexford General very quickly diagnosed the problem. I basically had an abscess about the size of a tennis ball on my colon. My father had something similar back in 2001. Dad was operated on to have it removed and spent months having treatment due to complications. Thanks to the magic of modern science I was able to just have a tube inserted to drain it!

Some of the following is taken from: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diverticular/

What is diverticular disease?

Diverticular* disease affects the colon. The colon is part of the large intestine that removes waste from your body. Diverticular disease is made up of two conditions: diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Diverticulosis occurs when pouches, called diverticula, form in the colon. These pouches bulge out like weak spots in a tire. Diverticulitis occurs if the pouches become inflamed.

What causes diverticular disease?

Doctors are not sure what causes diverticular disease. Many think a diet low in fiber is the main cause. Fiber is a part of food that your body cannot digest. It is found in many fruits and vegetables. Fiber stays in the colon and absorbs water, which makes bowel movements easier to pass. Diets low in fiber may cause constipation, which occurs when stools are hard and difficult to pass. Constipation causes your muscles to strain when you pass stool. Straining may cause diverticula to form in the colon. If stool or bacteria get caught in the pouches, diverticulitis can occur.

Is diverticular disease serious?

Most people with the disease do not have serious problems, but some people have severe symptoms. Diverticulitis can attack suddenly and cause

  • bleeding
  • serious infections
  • rips in the pouches
  • fistula, which is a connection or passage between tissues or organs in the body that normally do not connect
  • blockage in your digestive system
  • an infection in which the colon ruptures causing stool to empty from the colon into the abdomen

What are the symptoms of diverticular disease?

The symptoms for diverticulosis and diverticulitis are different.
Diverticulosis. Many people don’t have symptoms, but some people have cramping, bloating, and constipation. Some people also have bleeding, inflammation, and fistulas. If you are bleeding, bright red blood will pass through your rectum. The rectum is the end of the colon that connects to the anus. The rectum and anus are part of the gastrointestinal tract, which is the passage that food goes through. Rectal bleeding is usually painless, but it can be dangerous. You should see a doctor right away.
Diverticulitis. People with diverticulitis can have many symptoms. Often pain is felt in the lower part of the abdomen. If you have diverticulitis, you may have fevers, feel sick to your stomach, vomit, or have a change in your bowel habits.

Who gets diverticular disease?

Many people get diverticular disease. Starting at age 40, the chance of getting it increases about every 10 years. About half of people between the ages of 60 and 80 have diverticular disease. Almost everyone over 80 has it.

The biggest issue I always have is managing a diet to keep it at bay. The recommendation is a high fibre diet. But with this you also have to take on lots of water otherwise constipation can kick in and create an attack. I’m not great on the water bit!

As some people who know me well will tell you, there are some foods I just won’t touch. Number one on the list is nuts! You just don’t digest them! Ground nuts and nut oils are OK. I also avoid seeds. Other food items I have discovered give me problems are black and white pudding, tomatoes, fatty meats and spicy foods. I’m not great at avoiding the last two, sometimes you just gotta live! Excess alcohol is also bad, no comment……………….. Stress and tiredness can also be factors in bringing on attacks.

So going back to the start of my story, the disease is not visible on the outside. Sufferers will attempt to live their lives as normal as possible. It simply becomes part of living. But every now and again it does mean shutting down, kicking back and basically relaxing for a few hours or sometimes days to let the body sort itself out.

More information available here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diverticulosis

http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/flu/A-Z/D/Diverticular-disease-and-diverticulitis/

Jamies Italian – Dundrum

Since mum died in 2007 Dad and I take a day out each year before Christmas to have a chat with Santa and let him know what the kids are looking for this year. This normally involves a visit to Dundrum and inevitably we end up in TGI Fridays or Eddie Rockets.

So this year I decided it was time we went up market and thought a visit to the new Jamie’s Italian was in order.

After a morning of shopping (which started with a Starbucks Eggnog Latte and mince pie) we headed down to Jamie’s Italian.  It’s located in the Pembroke District underneath Hamley’s.

We went in about 13:00  without a booking and to be fair to the staff there was no drama about not having a booking. We were quickly shown to a table just in front of the open kitchen area. A waitress was quickly at the table to take any drink orders.

There is a great buzz about the whole place. It is really bright and airy with windows all around and high ceilings. The seating has a mixture of boxes/booths and open tables in the middle of the floor. Seating is on two levels. The chef controlling the pass is actually out front but there is no shouting (a la Gordon Ramsay) of orders or at the chefs. It was fascinating to watch the way the orders came in and were controlled. Then the food coming out. There had to be at least 8 chefs beavering away and quite a lot of serving staff.

OK, onto the food. Dad started with Fried squid with garlicky mayo, lemon & chilli (€7.25). The squid was slightly chewy but to be honest my experience – although very limited – is that once you batter and fry squid it toughens a bit. Day quickly polished them off anyway. I went for the Mushroom Fritti (€4.95). Again demolished in seconds!

For main courses Dad went for the Tagliatelle bolognese (12.75)and I had the Mussels Linguine(€13.75). After trying a bit of dads I’m afraid Dolmios profits will be going down, home-made sauces from now on. It was scrummy! The sauce was really rich with a great tomato flavour and no chewy mince. The mussels in mine although small were full of flavour. I did have to resort to using a spoon at the end to ensure that no juice was left at the bottom of the dish!

We were both really full but I had to give in and have a bowl of ice cream. It was really creamy and the flavour really came through.

The food, 2 coffees and a bottle of water (free tap water is also available) came to €54.10. I think this was really good value. we could have spent €30/40 in the previously named establishments and still looked for dinner afterwards!

Service was great and the staff friendly and attentive. The waitress checked just once during each course that everything was OK. The perfect amount! Any more it starts to get really annoying!

By the time we were leaving the place was swinging and people were waiting on tables. The other thing I liked is that it is very family friendly. People were coming in with young kids and buggies and there was no problem. They also appeared to have a children’s menu available and provide some colouring materials to keep them amused.

Oh yeah just remembered that you can watch a chef out front making the fresh pasta.

Overall I’d recommend a visit.

Well that’s the first post over! It could take months before there is another!

Thanks for reading.