How @DelTaco and Chinese Take Out Helped Me Recover from Spinal Cord injury - Pt 1

When people talk about healthy eating, they usually don't mean fast food.  However, the fast food chain, Del Taco, and a local Chinese take out place called Wa Wa Restaurant both played a role in my recovery from spinal cord injury.

When the spinal cord is damaged, it is not just the legs and arms that are affected. Several body functions also break down, such as temperature regulation, memory, and bowel and bladder functions (and many more areas).

First Del Taco - the 1/2 pound bean and cheese burrito from Del Taco helped me with my bowel recovery.

After being discharged from the hospital, I returned once a week to the hospital for physical and occupational therapy.  On the way home, we would order a Fiesta Pack at a local Del taco. A Fiesta Pack consists of 6 regular beef tacos and 6 1/2 pound bean and cheese burritos

To backtrack a bit, in the first five months of my recovery from spinal cord injury, I had to do a bowel program called digital stimulation - this entailed someone other than me (until I regained enough mobility to do this myself), to pull out stool manually.  Sometimes, if all the stool hadn't been removed, I'd have an accident some hours later, but I wouldn't know until the stool was already coming out.

The first time I ate the bean burrito (and a taco), within the hour, I had a feeling of having to go to the bathroom.  What came out was  a normal shaped stool, and came out naturally, on its own, without straining or without manual assistance.

The following week and the week after, the same thing, although not always within the hour, sometimes later that evening, or the next day.  Usually, there was enough leftovers for me to have a second serving, so many times, I'd end up having two or three natural evacuations (in the morning, I'd still have to be checked to see if any stool was left to come out). But, having a natural evacuation in the morning was extra special because I wouldn't have to go through digital stimulation.

I'm sure it was the fiber content from the beans that was the catalyst.  It made me realize the importance of adding fiber to my diet. Under the bowel program, the stool was being removed manually, but the burritos help me achieve a natural evacuation, and I think it made my muscles stronger since they had to push out the stool, and also re-trained my nerve-muscle communication to let me know when stool was ready to come out.

This may seem like TMI, but spinal cord injury affects several areas of the body, and all need to be addressed.    I'm convinced that having these natural evacuations before I fully regained this function helped me recover faster.  The bean burrito from Del Taco was the start of this realization between fiber and bowel recovery, and for that, Del taco has a soft spot in my heart (and I also really like the taste of their bean burritos (ask for green chili)).

Pt 2 will cover how Wa Wa Restaurant helped me recover in areas other than digestion.

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