What You Won't Learn About Gastroparesis From the Medical Definition

August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month. Gastroparesis is a digestive condition that causes the stomach to be unable to empty and digest food properly.  This condition affects approximately one in 25 Americans. Although the disease may seem fairly common, it is hardly known. Those who have the illness face many challenges as the disease is quite complex and can be fairly complicated to treat.

I could tell you the medical definition of gastroparesis (GP)… but that wouldn’t show you just how terrible it is. This is gastroparesis through the eyes of the many patients struggling with this condition:

GP is sitting in the bathroom puking your guts out. GP is going out to dinner and just ordering a drink. GP is spending holidays in the hospital. GP is falling asleep on the bathroom floor puking. GP is my worst enemy.

GP is not being able to eat your own birthday cake. GP is the reason I look six months pregnant after eating. GP is the reason I sit at the dinner table hooked up to an IV pole watching my family eat dinner. GP is starving to eat but you can’t. GP is why I have a hospital in my house. GP is starving to death. GP is trips to the emergency room at 3 a.m. GP is why I lost my best friend.

GP is constant nausea, tears and pain. GP is like having the flu every day of your life. GP is not being able to sleep because the pain is so bad. GP is the devil that stole my body. GP is having the simplest action taken away from you. GP is the reason the words “Have you lost weight? You look so good!” aren’t appealing to me anymore. GP is the reason I’m getting a treatment that is helping me survive, but the complications may kill me. GP is putting your life on pause because you are simply trying to consume food. GP is slowly killing me.

Gastroparesis is more than just a paralyzed stomach. Gastroparesis has broken me, hurt me, tore me down, and made me feel so many emotions I don’t ever want to feel.

Think this is too harsh? Think again.

This is the reality of thousands all over the world who are fighting for a normal life.

woman holding sign about gastroparesis

GP is a battle that’s effected my life in many negative ways, but also positive ways. GP is making me stronger. GP is the reason I’m closer to my family than I’ve ever been. GP is the reason I’ve learned the real meaning behind “in sickness and in health” GP is why I want to be a nurse. GP is a challenge that’s given me strength and courage. GP is tough, but I am tougher. GP is why my fiancé and I have dates next to the toilet. GP is being able to see life through a new perspective. GP is why I’ve met so many brave warriors. GP is what makes me weak, but therefore I am strong.

These are the quotes of the many living with gastroparesis who deserve a cure more than anything.

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