We have similar experiences. (Also we’re the same size.) I was diagnosed at Mayo this year through the CCK test. I call it the torture chamber test. I guess you can relate. But it was necessary. I’ve had an EUS, but it didn’t show nearly the abnormalities they would expect for having the CCK and the stool fat test be so bad.
I think my CCK results showed more functionality than you have, but not a lot. It sure does explain a lot about what we’re going through, doesn’t it, when we see how much the pancreas has shut down. They’re going to repeat the EUS, and maybe do a biopsy, when I go back this summer.
As a vegetarian, are you opposed to egg products? I’ve found that egg white powder is my best way of getting protein. I also use soy powder, but the egg white powder doesn’t have that heavy, bitter taste that soy can have. I buy a brand called Vitol (it’s unsweetened) from amazon.com and have it shipped to me. It’s maybe $25 for a big canister that lasts me quite a while. I add it to cereal, soup, baked products, just about anything. It has lots of high-quality protein and isn’t offensive.
Because I don’t tolerate most sweeteners very well (sugar, splenda, etc.), I sometimes mix in some white stevia powder (a tiny bit goes a long way) and a little cinnamon with my egg white powder. Adding that to cold or hot cereal, rice, cut up fruit, anything that’s going to have liquid in it or added to it, gives a pleasant slight sweetness without tasting too sweet or bothering me.
One of my fall-back eating strategies when I really need to rest my pancreas, am not tolerating much, but I’m not so bad yet that I need to stop eating altogether, is to make fruit and protein smoothies. Any fruit plus egg white or soy powder will work. I use a lot of berries, maybe a banana, the protein powder, a touch of stevia and some cinnamon. You can add fruit juice instead of the stevia if you tolerate juices.
If I’m using dark berries, I’ll add a handful or two of spinach (fresh or frozen) to the blender. Sound weird, but the berries mask the green color and you absolutely can’t tast the spinach, and it adds a lot of nutrition.
This is my personal answer to Ensure, what I’ve developed for myself since I can’t tolerate the Ensure-type products and was desperate.
I blend several batches and store in the freezer. Then I take one out and nibble at it with spoon, slowly as it gradually unfreezes. This is really more of an Ice than a Smoothie, but you could make it more in a smoothie style.
This has almost no fat (unless I add soy milk or almond milk when I’m tolearting some fat). Lots of antioxidants, which apparently our pancreases need a lot of, nice and anti-inflammatory, and all that good, easy protein.
I hope and pray never become intolerant of fruits and vegatables.
Like you, I had also heard that too much protein was hard on the pancreas. Maybe that’s the case for some people, and I totally agree that we’re all different and have to figure out what we tolerate ourselves. But when I broght this up with my doctor, she said no, I should not worry about getting too much protein. Instead, I should get more, that’s how I would build myself back up. She keeps asking me, are you getting enough protein?