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.