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When the Surgery Didn't 'Fix' Me, But Everyone Else Thought It Would

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I had a gallbladder removal recently due to cholecystitis. In the days before my surgery, I told people that the surgery could help with my eating but there’s no guarantee. I have severe gastroparesis. Somehow people interpreted what I was saying into “This surgery will fix your gastroparesis and you won’t have issues anymore! ” They were so convincing even I caught myself believing it for a second. For a few days I didn’t vomit after my surgery which was great, but I knew I wasn’t cured. Everyone around me said, “Yay, you’re fixed, you can eat again.”

Yesterday I had a severe vomiting attack and today am extremely nauseated. Now I have people coming up to me saying, “I thought this would fix you?” I never said it would fix me, I said it could help, no guarantees. So I had to deal with everyone’s sad sighs like my disease was an inconvenience for them, and the denial when people say, “Oh well maybe it’s just this, not gastroparesis.”

I know my body and I knew I would have gastroparesis whether or not I had this surgery. People need to realize gastroparesis is a chronic illness, whether I have a gallbladder or not, it doesn’t go away. So I’m not “better.” But I never was going to be in the first place. And it’s not because I don’t have optimism or am eating the wrong foods, it’s because I’m truly sick and it’s not my fault. I will always be sick. I wish people could accept the truth and not hear truths only they want to hear.

I don’t mind being sick; yes, it isn’t great but it’s part of me whether I like it or not. So people around me should accept that and not look at me as a problem with a quick fix. I’m not a quick fix. I’m a puzzle with many pieces of issues. Surgery isn’t a magical cure for anyone. There are still complications and there are still downfalls and chances it won’t work. So please don’t give me disappointed looks that my surgery didn’t work. I’m sorry it didn’t, but it isn’t my fault, world, so I’m asking you to stop making me feel like it is.

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Originally published: December 15, 2016
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