30 June 2011

The Liquid Diet - Modulen Day 1

One of the main treatments I was prescribed during my first admission to hospital was a liquid diet. This diet was prescribed to give my gut rest and let it heal while the Humira and prednisolone did their job.

In terms of the diet, it was mainly to consist of some drinks called Fortisip Compact. These little drinks are only 125mL, and packed with 300 calories. In order to get the calories I needed for the day, I was told to drink five of these in hopes that it would provide me with enough calories to gain some weight.

These drinks went down pretty well at first. The hospital had mostly one flavour, strawberry, but sometimes I would get lucky and get a vanilla one as well. In addition to the Fortisips, I was drinking lots of water and having some clear broths and other liquids, which helped me keep my sanity to a degree.

After my return visit to the hospital, and after feeling quite ill this past Sunday night, the dietitian suggested switching the main calorie component of my liquid diet. So yesterday I started on what is called the Modulen diet. This drink is a bit different in that it comes in a powder which you have to measure out and mix with water. Not unlike the Fortisip, it comes in a few different flavours. So far I've only tried three: 1) neutral; 2) chocolate and; 3) strawberry.

While the drinks themselves aren't necessarily any more palatable, they are much easier to drink, and I think after almost two weeks of strawberry Fortisip, I'm happy to have a change of flavours. Not only that, but I think the drinks generally settle better in my stomach. After having one, I don't feel like I'm going to explode, and they generally don't seem to cause much, if any, distress on my digestive system.

The other thing that is kind of neat about the Modulen is that there is more flexibility in how you take it than there was for the preprepared Fortisip. I can mix it and drink it normally, or I can freeze it to make ice lollies, or if I fancy a hot beverage, I can warm it up (which I think might be nice with the chocolate and coffee flavours).

The only downside to the Modulen diet is that to get the most out of it, one is really only supposed to drink the Modulen drinks and water, nothing else. I'm not completely convinced I have the will to do this one, especially for several weeks, but if it adequately relieves my symptoms, I may stick with it.

So day one on Modulen is down, only several more weeks to go. Let's see how I manage...

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