Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ready for a new year

So I was going to write a Christmas letter this year, but nothing good really happened this year. Most the time people talk about there accomplishments, trips, or what a great life they are having. I don't feel this year was anything to be proud of. Besides our family vacation this past Summer, I have nothing really great to brag about. I know that sounds ungrateful, but its honestly how I feel. Yes I am thankful for my family, and the obvious necessities. I just don't feel like writing up a chummy letter about my life and remembering that this year was probably one of the worst years to date. Started out with me getting diagnosed with this condition I have, then my dog died. My grandpa had major heart surgery, and was in the ICU for months. My mom had kidney surgery. Our house was on the market and never sold. We lost numerous homes we offered on. I know thru it all God has been with us, and that is the part I am most thankful about. I don't meant to have a humbug attitude. I LOVE Christmas, and am looking forward to it. I am just ready to start 2012. To start a fresh chapter in my life. I am ready for all the hurt, pain, panic,frustrations to just go away. I feel like I have been knocked on my butt to many times, and am ready to start walking into some good things. I am going to believe that for 2012 too. I have to believe that thru all these struggles there is some kind of rainbow on the other side.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The 8 things I am thankful for

T eeth to help me eat
H ands to hold the ones I love.
Air that helps me breathe
N ecessities that get me thru
Knees so I can pray to God
Freedom to speak my mind, and worship my Lord and Savior.
Utilities like running water, and a toilet.
Legs to help me get to where I need to go.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Year Ago

November 10th 2010 is a day I will never forget. The day that changed my life. Little did I know that I had a condition called Gastroparesis. I remember trying to go to sleep, and feeling sick. I tried to get comfortable, but couldn't. All of the sudden it was like someone put a spear right thru my stomach. I remember waking Jeremy up in shear panic as the pain increased. Within seconds I was in so much pain I couldn't even talk. I collapsed on our bed in gut wrenching pain. It seemed like hours went by even though I am sure it was less then 15 mins. Jeremy kept asking me what was the matter. He has just been woken up, and had no idea what was going on. I was scared out of my mind wondering when all this was going to end. The pain was one of the worst pains I have ever felt, and I have a high pain tolerance. After the pain let up I remember laying on the bed trying to catch my breath. I didn't want to move in fear the pain would return. The next day I went to the walk in clinic. All I could think of was maybe I needed my appendix out. The dr was nice and sent me to there labs for blood work, and a CT scan. After I got the results they said all looked ok, and sent me for further testing at Digestive Health Specialists. During this time I was not able to eat much, as the pain increased. I was living on jello, saltines, and Boost. I was also dropping weight like crazy. My second test was a Colonoscopy. They needed to rule out Colitis. That test went well, and came out normal. I was getting very frustrated by this time, because I couldn't eat, felt sick all the time, and still didn't know what was wrong with me. January 2011 rolled around, and I had my third test which was an Endoscopy. By this time I was becoming a regular at there office. Endoscopy turned out okay, so the Dr. scheduled one more test at Good Samaritan Hospital. My next test was A Gastric Empty Study. By this time it has been almost 4 months since my attack, and I had dropped 28 lbs.
The Gastric Empty study was done, and revealed Gastroparesis. I got my results in February. I remember going to the Dr. and him telling me I had this condition. I was clueless as to what that meant. I thought it just meant I would get medicine, and it would go away. I never knew a year later I will still be in pain, and losing weight. Emotionally it has been a rough year for me. Not only have I lost the foods I once loved, but my body has changed. I am now down 41 lbs, and trying to maintain.I have since gotten a new Dr. The other one wasn't helping me live with this. My new specialist is great! He got me going on some medication. It has been about 5 weeks on the meds, and I am able to eat a bit more then before. Some days are smooth sailing, and I feel great. Some days I wake up feeling awful, and the meds do nothing for me. I was on a liquid diet for a long time. I have been slowly introducing new foods to my diet so I can work up to eating again. The trial and error of it all sometimes is scary, and I admit that I have become fearful of food. I also get fearful when I feel well, because I know it will be followed by days of feeling sick. I thank God for the good moments, and the times I can feel like me again. They are few and far between. I have learned to slow down, and take breaks. I am not consuming as many calories as I did before this condition. My energy level is much lower, and I can't do as much as I used too. I have had to accept that, and it has been very hard on me. It is hard to not be able to commit to things with friends. Sometimes I feel shut out of the world. Social gatherings have become hard for me, because food is always the center of it. I have a counselor I have been seeing for the last 1yr, who has helped me thru this mourning process. There are so many emotions that run thru my head. Anger, sadness,fear, hurt, loneliness. I have found support on Facebook with other people with my condition. It has been such a great outlet for me. I have met some wonderful people who have helped me. So here I am a year later. This Thanksgiving and Christmas will be hard, but I am trying to make the best of it. I am thankful I have a diagnosis at least, and a great Dr. who is helping me. I am also thankful for family and friends who have been there to lean on. Lots of tears have been shed. I feel my job now is to spread awareness about Gastroparesis. It is more popular then people realize.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting thru this pain

Today I just feel mad. As we approach Thanksgiving my anxiety builds even more. I am trying not to think about it, but honestly I can't get it off my mind. I am not looking forward to sitting at a table full of yummy food I once used to eat, and being forced to pass it to everyone else. I should be eating that food. I should be able to join in with everyone else. I feel angry that GP took that from me. I remember last Thanksgiving I hadn't been diagnosed with GP yet, but was going thru the testing. I was only eating jello, saltines and boost at the time. I remember sitting at the table fighting back the tears as I passed yummy mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Bringing my own food is just not the same. I don't have that much to choose from anyways. I eat that food EVERYDAY so why would that be something to look forward too. I feel like crying as I write this. Nobody really understand how emotional having GP is. Its like being a permanent diet the rest of your life. You can't even cheat on it either without major repercussions.Now don't get me wrong I am thankful. I have a beautiful family, friends, God who loves me, roof over my head. He has provided a lot for me in the midst of my storm. I just feel weary from it all. God is the only one who will get me thru this. The other day I was listening to a song by Aaron Shust "My Hope is in you" and closed my eyes. I held out my hands in front of me. My hands are empty, and I need God to take my hand. I felt the most incredible feeling rush over me. I felt the presence of God touch me. It was the most awesome feeling ever. I have been finding my strength thru music. So many songs that just lift me up. Praying I can push thru the Holidays and start next year with something good. It has been almost a year since I had my first attack Nov 10th. I will be probably writing a poem that day.

Monday, October 24, 2011


To some you are the invisible disease, but to me you are not. You strike with a vengeance so cruel.Nobody knows how much you have taken. Nobody really knows. I look healthy yet my body has been stolen. I see the evidence everyday. To some you are forgotten. To me you have taken over my entire world. I can't run and hide. Every moment of everyday I deal with you. You and I have something in common. We hate each other. I am tired. I am physically worn out. Even when I am feeling better, you somehow manage to screw it up for me. Emotionally I am so sad inside. When will I ever accept that this is my life? When will I not feel like the outsider. Taking chances has backfired. I can only take so much.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thank You

Thank you Lord for amazing grace
That covers me fully
Thank you Lord for your blood shed
For taking my very place

Thank you Lord for wiping my tears
For your promise of life to me
Your comfort and strength
The chance to be free

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I shed a silent tear tonight
Gently it streamed down my cheek
I closed my eyes to stop them
I could barely speak

I lay under my covers
I bury my weary head
I have no more to give
Nothing more to be said

Then the sadness turns to anger
I jump out of bed to the floor
" I hate you GP", I yell
"I can't take anymore"

My tears turn unrestrained
My body is distraught
I feel so defeated
GP has stolen a lot

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Dear Food I am writing you to tell you to please stop causing me pain. Please stop hurting me, and leaving me in misery. I want to like you again. I want to enjoy you, and share you with others. I want to cook you, and smell you, and taste you. Right now I hate you. Your so mean to me. I sometimes wish you didn't exist. I know you are a necessity to live, and that is the only reason I keep you around. I want to enjoy you at the Holidays. I used to love to over indulge on you at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Now I dread seeing you there. You are just a tease on the table staring at me. I see you in the fridge. I see you at the store. I see you everywhere I go. I used to savor you in my mouth. I made memories when I ate you. Now the memories I make, are not ones I choose to remember. Our relationship is very strained. I want to get back to the way it used to be. I know it is not all your fault. My body is at fault too. Maybe I should be writing this letter to my body instead. After all my body is the one that has failed me, not you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reflecting back

Life has been SO busy lately. I can't believe the Summer is almost over! I love Fall though, and welcome the changing colors, and crisp air! I love it! Well this month so many things have been happening! First off Cameron lost his second tooth! My big boy is growing up! Haley also went potty in the toilet by herself, and went from a crib to a big girl bed! We are still working on getting her to stay in the bed, but she is getting a little better. We have now had our new dog Cy for a little over 2 months! He is the best dog ever! Our other dog Tux has finally found his best friend! I am so happy we kept Cy! Another fun thing we did this month was take Cameron to his first Mariners game! He was in awe of the field, and the Mariner Moose! I am hoping to start a new tradition each year! He was definitely in his element! Next time we go I will let him run the bases! Lastly, but not least Haley is turning 3 on Aug 28th! Where has time gone???? THREE?? She amuses me everyday. She likes to clown around just like her brother! Our Summer really was a blast! We did so many fun things! Had our first family vacation to Oregon, went swimmming, the park, visited family from out of town, went on a train, baseball game, and went to the beach! I am looking forward to the fun adventures homeschool will bring, and the fun stuff we are going to learn!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


So I was sitting here thinking about food. When is there a day I don't think about food. It seems to overcome my thoughts every second of the day. How much have I eaten? Did I log it in my food diary? Did I eat the wrong thing? Am I eating to much? When can I eat again? Food is just a number. 110,90,60,210. The higher the calorie the better. I eat to live. Food doesn't bring me enjoyment. I don't wake up in the morning saying I am gonna have a big stack of blueberry pancakes with butter and syrup. I already know what I am going to have. The same thing I eat everyday. The same 5 choices. When I am having a bad day I wish I could run to my chocolate stash and start drowning my sorrows in chocolate. When it's raining outside I wish I could cozy up with the kids, and share a bag of popcorn while we watch a movie. How about the occasional hot fudge sunday? Oh I wish I could savor that again. I feel like so much has been taken from me. I feel robbed of the simple joys in life. I am so mad. Mad that I have this. Mad I once again in my life feel left out. I feel abnormal and weird. I hate every aspect of this disease. I hate what it has done to my mind, my heart, my family, my body and my life. I hate it. I hate you GP.

Living in the Shadow of Me

Living in the shadow of me
When eating was a choice
Remembering how it used to be

I didn't feel the pain
I had nothing to gain
Now I must refrain

Food was not the foe
Fear and Frustration
Now that's all I know

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Reveal your plan to me
My hands are open wide
I surrender all to you
I need you by my side

Guide and protect me
My future you know
I am lost without you
Show me where to go

Sunday, July 24, 2011

These Feelings Inside

These feelings I have inside
This sadness I try to hide
The sense of loss I feel
I still can't believe this is real

Will today be a good day?
Will this bite cause me pain?
Do I try this new food?
Or should I just refrain?

I long to taste the food I smell
To gather with friends to eat
Burgers,chips, and yummy fries
Veggies, fruit, and meat

These feelings I have inside
This anger I try to hide
The sense of loss I feel
I still can't believe this is real

Friday, July 15, 2011

Names and Numbers

So I have a weird thing about numbers. For example Cameron has 7 letters in his first name, and that just happens to be my favorite number.I totally didn't plan that either! He has 20 letters in his whole name(Cameron James McGinnis), and he was born Oct 20th! Another cool thing are the numbers that associate with Haley. When I was pregnant with her I was 28, found out I was pregnant on Dec 28, and she was born on 8-28-08! She also has 18 letters in her full name! I must sound like a crazy person, but I just LOVE numbers! Now here is how our family numbers go...

Cameron-7 letters
Jeremy-6 letters
Haley-5 letters
Erin-4 letters

if you add the dogs!
Tux-3 letters
Cy-2 letters

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My GP Poem

So yesterday I got an invitation to an event on Facebook to share a special original poem or write a story about my disease Gastroparesis(GP). The message board I am a part of is going to publish a book from those that submit something. I used to write poetry all the time, and remember how freeing it was to write them! I started writing a poem yesterday about my struggle with GP. I haven't written in sometime so I felt rusty at first. As soon as I started writing it all the words just came flowing out. I am thinking about starting a page of poems or possibly writing a poem a week here on my blog! Here is my poem I wrote for the book! I hope you enjoy it!

A Life Changed

I am sitting here reflecting on days past
When I took food for granted
Oh how things changed fast

I am sitting here remembering my life before
When I could eat anything
When I enjoyed going to the store

Now food haunts me I try not to let it show
Trying to act normal
Hoping they won't know

Why do I hide it? Why would they care?
I feel so embaressed
It feels so unfair

As I embark on this journey unknown
I remember the good times
Those memories I own

Written by Erin McGinnis

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our new addition

Since our dog Koko was put to sleep June 3rd, we have felt so empty. It was so weird to have just one dog, and he was so lonely. We decided it was time to add another friend to our life. We started our search online looking at local shelters. We visited Kent, and Bellevue numerous times. We wanted a dog that was young enough, and could keep up with our already active pup Tux. Jeremy wanted a puppy, but with us trying to sell our house, I really didn't want to deal with potty training a puppy. The last weekend of June we decided to head over to Wenatchee, and go to the Humane Society over there. We saw a few dogs online we wanted to check out. So we got up and made the 3 hr drive over. It was nice to get out of the house, and to spend time with the family. We also made sure we took our dog Tux so he could meet this new family member and approve. We don't want a dog he wasn't going to play with. After spending a few hours at the shelter, and taking a few dogs out for a walk we decided on a dog named Fozzy Bear. The only thing wrong was that someone else wanted him too, and had first dibs on him. We filled out the paperwork, and put him on second hold in case the other people did not want him. He was a german shepherd mix. He was so adorable, and loved Tux. The next day we decided to just keep looking just in case. We headed to a Pet Expo in Bellevue at the Petsmart. There were supposed to be over 100 dogs for adoption from all around Wa. When we got there it was so crowded. We had to stand in a big line to get in too. We saw a lot of dogs too! Before all this started I had made the comment I wanted another lab, and preferably a yellow lab this time since we already had a black lab. We saw one yellow lab named Shelby. She was so cute, and about 3 yrs old. We took her for a walk around the parking lot, but she didn't really want anything to do with Tux, and we didn't feel a real connection with her. We then took a few more dogs for a walk, but none of them were the ONE. We felt discouraged, but kept looking. We saw that Wenatchee Humane Society had brought some dogs down to the Expo. Some of those dogs we had seen just the day before! We asked the lady if she could check on the status of Fozzy Bear since we had not heard if he had been adopted. She called, and said he had been. My heart sank. I really did like that dog, and had an instant connection with him. I really didn't even want to keep looking. I just wanted Fozzy Bear. Jeremy convinced met o keep looking so we did. We came across another yellow lab named Cy. He looked cute so we decided to take him out and get to know him. The lady rescued these dogs, and kept them at her house. She was so sweet. She really cared about these pups. I told her about our family, and what we needed, and she said Cy sounded like a good choice. So it has been 1 1/2 weeks now, and Cy is fitting in just nicely! Tux is finally playing with him, and he has become a great addition to our house! We are still working on the play biting(which he does mostly to me). He is about 1 yr old so basically a big puppy! He is potty trained though, and has had no accidents so far! He is just a sweet dog, and i am so glad we decided to keep looking.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oregon Trip 2011

So we finally took a family vacation! It was SO nice to relax, and just get away from it all! We went to Hood River, Oregon the first night. We went to Multnoma Falls first, and hiked up to the bridge. There were so many people!

There wasn't a whole lot to do in Hood River, but the views are beautiful! We took a family walk to the local park. It was very windy! I am glad I remembered to pack a coat for everyone! We also met a really nice older lady on our walk. She had a little toy Pomeranian dog. He was the cutest dog I have seen in a long time! We got to talking to her for probably 20 minutes about dogs! She was just so friendly! We headed back to our hotel, and had dinner at the hotel.

Second day we headed to McMinnville, Oregon. We decided to head thru Portland, and I met up with a friend in Newberg, Or. I hadn't seen her since highschool so it was fun! We went to a local park, and the kids played while I talked with my friend. We had originally planned to go to the Evergreen Aviation, and Space Museum that day, but we were tired from our trip. Cameron was itching to go swimming since our hotel in Hood River was doing work on there pool so it was closed for a week. We decided to just go swimming, and have a relaxing evening.Cameron loved the pool as did Haley! They are both little fishes! After our long swim we ended up walking to the local Albertsons which was like a few blocks away. The stroller we packed did come in handy after all! Thursday morning after breakfast we headed over to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum! It was such a blast! There was a ton of hands on things for kids to do, as well as a tour of the Spruce Goose airplane! It was HUGE! We also got to touch a piece of the moon,and a few meteorites. We also got to see a ton of airplanes, helicopters, and rockets.We were there for over 4 hrs! Then we let the kids play on there huge playground they have. They also have an indoor waterpark that just opened, but that was a separate fee, and we were already tired! We then grabbed some lunch, and headed to Tillamook, Oregon. We toured the Tillamook Cheese Factory! It was so fun! I had been there before, but it had been a long time! We got to see the factory workers making the cheese, and packaging it. We also learned how cheese, and ice cream is made! Then we headed downstairs to sample some cheese, and buy a few things in the gift shop. We ended up buying some squeaky cheese. It really does squeak when you eat it! They only sell it at the factory too. We couldn't leave before we had a chance to get a sweet treat! Haley got Udderly Chocolate ice cream, Cameron got Orange,and Jeremy got Marionberry Pie! I ended up getting peach, and vanilla frozen yogurt! It was yummy! After our tour of the factory, we headed up to Cannon Beach, Oregon. We walked on the beach, and saw some sealife! It was so fun to see the kids exploring for sea creatures! We forgot our kite, but I am not sure it was windy enough to fly it. After our beach fun we ended up in Seaside, Oregon where we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express! It was SO nice! We ate a nice place called Doogers! I do suggest it! I was able to eat some Ahi Tuna! It was yummy! The kids were exausted as were we so it didn't take long for them to konk out. In the morning we headed home. It was a wonderful trip! we had lots of fun, and made some memories! When we got home Cameron asked when we were gonna go on another vacation!:)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reflecting on the last 6 yrs!

First Day of Kindergarten!

Class Pic!

Camerons Kindergarten graduation is Monday, June 13th 2011! I can't believe we are here! My once small boy is growing up. He has come so far this last year it is amazing. He has learned to write, read, some adding/subtracting, money value, about geography, letter combinations and sounds, the 3 R's(respect, responsibility, and relationship). He even got the responsibility award! He has learned so much about Jesus, and has memorized many verses each month! We have had field trips, parties, and several concerts where he performed! My heart melts at the boy he has become! He amazes me everyday at what he knows! My miracle boy I prayed, and waited for. Now a new chapter of our lives opens, and we enter full day school. It is scarey for mommy to let go. To realize I won't be seeing him as much as before. It will be weird not to have him here during the day. I am sure the first few weeks I will be counting down the time til he gets home. I am praying for a special friend to come into his life. He met a few very good friends this last year that I plan on staying in touch with. One being Tage. I have never seen Cameron loves someone so much! They were always together at school. When they weren't at school they were asking about each other. We will miss seeing him everyday. Another good friend is Kirsten. They have so much fun together, and they are so much alike despite being opposite sexes. She isn't afraid to get out in the mud, and get dirty! We had her over the other day, and they both went bug hunting. They came in just covered in dirt! I love that he has a variety of friends! He has always been the shy boy. I remember the beginning of the year his teacher asked me if he talked cause he never said a word for a few weeks of school. Now he is such a social butterfly talking all the time! I love how much he has come out of his shell!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Don't Blink

Where did the time go? I feel like we just rang in the new year, and here it is June! I feel like time is speeding up, and if I blink I am going to miss something. This year has been a very challenging year for me personally. Satan has really been attacking our family. It all started in November when I got the horrible pain in my stomach, and had to go thru months of testing, and dr appointments to figure out my diagnoses.Meanwhile my only living Grandpa had open heart surgery, and was in the ICU for months. I then got my diagnosis in early February that I had Gastroparesis. A disease where your food doesn't digest correctly. While learning to live with this disease, my mom started having major health issues with her kidneys. She ended up having surgery to remove a huge stone that couldn't pass on its own. She was in and out of the hospital for awhile. I feel like this year has just been one thing after another. Our most recent heartache came last week with the death of our beloved dog of 9 yrs. At church on Sunday the speaker spoke on walking by faith not by site. Living for God even in the hard times. I have to keep going even when my world feels like its crashing in on me. I have to put one foot in front of the other, and just trust that Jesus will make a way. I don't understand it, and I don't think I am meant to understand. I am only called to listen, and obey.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Letting Go

So yesterday we said goodbye to our beloved dog Koko. We rescued her 9 yrs ago at the Tacoma Animal Shelter. She had been given up by a military family who was relocating. They had small children, so we knew she would be a great dog when we had kids someday. We were right. She was the best dog you could have ever asked for. She was loyal, loving, and yet she had a free spirit I will deeply miss. She was always happy, and even in her last days when she struggled to walk she still was happy. I will never forget the look in her eyes right before she got the shot to go to sleep. She saw us crying our eyes out, and yet she still nuzzled us, and did her famous handshake with me. It was like she was telling us it was going to be ok, and not to be upset. I am so glad Jeremy was there to hold my hand, and comfort me. I could not have done this without him. When I woke up this morning I felt like a piece of my heart was missing, but I know in time it will heal. We will never ever forget her, but we have to let go, and move on with our lives.


Thursday, June 2, 2011


SO I have decided to start blogging. I actually forgot I had this blogspot. I guess I created it back in 09! Anyways, glad I have this tool. I look forward to updating you all on our life, and adventures!