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Health Help. Opinions Wanted. Please

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok guys. I need your honest 100% opinions. As like many people in this world, i was dignosed (sp) with not only Crohn's Disease but Ulcerative Colitis, which is a lower bowel desease that is passed down from generation, which i was told a while back that is rare to have both but somehow i do....anyway I'm 19 years old. I have never worked in anything but a food atmosphere. I don't know how to work with or in anything else other then food and kitchens. I just finished my first year at the CIA and am supposed to be on externship but was told by my doctor to stop immediately and take a break which not only pushes my date to go back to school and continue but graduation date gets pushed as well. I have worked about a week **externship is 18 weeks long or 600 hours, 18 consecutive weeks** i have already taken a week off so i officially called my school and told them I'm "X-ing" out of externship and taking a medical leave from school and will be put back on externship when my doctor seems is fit. But my problem is this desease is MAJORLY effected by stress and we all know what happens when your working 12 hour days in a kitchen 5 or 6 days a week.........stresssssss. This isnt just a small thing i have already been in the hospital for a blood transfusion. I was told i was about a week away from dieing because i literally had NO blood in my body. My doctor i see about every 3 weeks and every time im told "hm you sure you want to do this with your life? Its a stressful job and life... blah blah blah im a doctor and blah." I tell him Doctor, i will die before i put my knives down, which im proud to say to my doctor and mother....and GIRLFRIEND....with a straight face. I will never put my knives down. But im at a crossroads in my life right now, im told i shouldn't be doing this and shouldn't be so stubborn but its for something i love very very dearly and take very very seriously. I have wanted my own restaurant for so long since I was old enough to walk, literaly, no lie, my parents got me a wodden kitchen rather then a plastic tool table thing. Its hard to be told to give your dream and such hard work up just like that. I dont know guys i just need someone to talk sence into me that knows how serious and how i feel.

Any questions please ask i need help......haha

Thank you.
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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post #2 of 11
Find a second opinion! I highly recommend giving Chinese medicine a try. You are blessed with the cultural variety that is New York. What do you have to lose? On one of your days off, take the train into Manhattan and ask around in Chinatown. Go against the grain a little. Do this! This is very personal, this is all about your personal health! Your opinion will always matter more than anybody else. Find a respectable herbalist/acupuncturist/doctor and let one of them diagnose you, it is not expensive. Pay cash, and don't fret about medical insurance. Simply pay the $25 or $50 or whatever. They will check your three pulses, the color of your tongue, the color of your skin; things your original doctor was never taught to pay attention to. They might ask about your diet and lifestyle, and will likely prescribe a few changes. You might find a very different solution to the predicament your current lifestyle has provided. Do you really want to swallow prescription drug pills for the rest of your life! That doctor who has sold you to a lifetime of medical slavery sells it well. He may be sincere in what he knows, but at 19, almost anything is reversible!
post #3 of 11
Once more, with punctuation?!?!?
post #4 of 11
I use chinese medicine alot....acupuncture, herbal potions, etc....works for me, but I also have a western med doctor. Whatever works.....but I wouldn't limit your options.

There are places other than restaurants to cook, throw that question out and see what comes back. There may be scenerios you've not thought of that would still leave a knife in your hand and stress level minimal.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 11
theres other options than restaurant kitchens. You could always do your externship at a wegmans or a university in there food production. While not as glamerous atleast you can get you externship done, and finish school. Some people from my school went to Penn state to do and externship, My guess is they had a decent experence with large food volumes.
post #6 of 11
We recently had a VP of an institutional foodservice provider specializing in hospitals & retirement homes speak to my class.

He mentioned that the hours are very nice (you're going home no later than 8) and added that the pace is alot less stressful than restaurants or hotels. There is also alot of great things being done to break the stereotype of hospital and retirement food as being "mush" scooped on a plate.

I would look into this too, do not look down at institutional foodservice, afterall they are people (with money) that need to eat too.
post #7 of 11
I am long retired from health care so take this with a grain of salt. Also I have family experience with the same diseases you have.

There are treatment modalities available that will help you, whether they be eastern or western medicine. However, none of them work without patient compliance. In part, you must lower you level of stress and improve you ability to deal with stress in order to reduce its physiologic effects. It would not be good for you to work in a ****'s Kitchen type of environment. Institutional foodservice or something similar might be better for you as the other have suggested. Look into it.

Non compliance results. One of my cousins had the same thing you have, and while there were not as many treatment options available to him as you might have today, he was pretty much non compliant. He died at the age of 28. Leaving behind a wife and two children. It doesn't have to be that way for you.
post #8 of 11
I used to cook in a nat'l foods restaurant and a woman came in weekly on her way through to some sort of "treatment". I always thought it was chemo or some other intense form of treatment since she had almost no hair, was as skinny as a rail, could barely walk, and seemed to be about 60 years old, and yet, I knew she was somewhere around 30. I didn't see her for quite some time and thought she had died until one day a woman came in and asked me if I recognized her. I did not. Turns out it was her! She looked so healthy! She had been seeing an Eastern health provider after her MD failed her. I honestly don't remember what had been wrong with her, but I think it was food allergies and possibly Crohn's.

As others have said, it's worth a shot. I know I'd try it if it meant getting my life back.

And Jubal, don't be a d*nk.
post #9 of 11
It sounds like a no brainer really... Your ability to hold on to that knife vs leaving the people who love you. Nothing I repeat NOTHING is that important. Your health should come first. Get better, manage your stress, your disease, then think about the rest. This profession is rough on the sane healthy guy. Ask yourself why you want to own a restaurant so badly? You're 19. I no longer want any of the things I wanted when I was 19 - well, almost. But career-wise, nothing. I would figure out my priorities first; this problem isn't going to magically go away. If you have the passion, you will find a way to make this work for you. I wish you all the best and hope to see you on CT for a very long time. Be well.
post #10 of 11
food writing
teaching.....professionally or not
personal cheffing....normally it's you by yourself working at your own speed
Recipe development
Canteen Catering
there are a lot more paths that may make more sense for you right now.

how to deal with stress, something we all work through/towards. I bet someone knows the 7 P's......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well thank you guys. I appreciate your words. I agree with you JBD, i take my meds every day i do what i have to do because not only do i want to live hahaha but i wouldnt want to put my friends and family through something that doesnt need to happen.

And thank you anneke your post went streight to my heart.

I have always wanted to be a "chef" for as long as i can remember its not something you can just say meh and walk away from as most of you know. Its a very hard desicion, i have been talking to my doctor and school and we all have come to an agreement that it would be in my best interest to take a med. leave from externship and take it easy, which means ill most likely get a typical summer job for a college kid do what i gotta do to make money because you cant live without it, i have 500 bucks in my savings account which will get me to the end of the week now with gas prices, but back on topic ill take a leave from school which can last up to 90 days but i most likely wont take all the days, but once i feel up to it mentaly and physicaly and the doctor gives me his OK ill jump back into externship, but at the same time i sit here and think psh how foolish of me to waste this time, this is the hardest class to get through before graduation. Its been like what a week since ive posted this topic and still and riding the fence so to speak on what to do tough it out or relax it out.

So please if anyone has any more ideas or comments shoot em my way.

And anneke to anwser your question on why i want to own my own restaurant, well its the only place ill be able to rock out in something i am truely convinced im on this earth to do and at the same time make art and just please people, i can always have my own resturant sick or not its just a matter of size it doesnt have to be a 100 table place turned over 4 times a night, ill limit it down to 40 tables turned 3 times.

I dont know. haha

But thank you to all who posted. :chef:

P.S Ive always had a passion for food stylist just dont know how to go about that so if anyone has any info on that feel free to let me know!!!!!!!
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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