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How the Painful Process of Misdiagnosis Made Me a Stronger Person

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It has been almost two years trying to manage the dreaded symptoms of gastroparesis. These symptoms are due to the stomach’s inability to empty food. I was candidate for a gastric stimulator this past fall which would help reduce these symptoms affecting my quality of life. Many gastroparesis patients find great relief with the gastric stimulator to help decrease their symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

October 11th, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. – the nurse calls and says the insurance company denied my gastric stimulator surgery.

I remember my mom calling me with the news and the second she told me I was crying a river. After weeks and months of waiting I would now have to test my patience again. While waiting on the appeal process with insurance, my mom and I wanted to seek an second opinion from Mayo Clinic. The likely chances of seeing a doctor at Mayo Clinic anytime soon were slim to none. Most patients have to wait three or four months just for a consultation. Trying not to get my hopes up, my mom called Mayo Clinic where the nice lady said there had recently been a cancellation in the gastroenterology department. Was I lucky? Maybe, but this just wasn’t luck. I believe this was an act of God! Everything has a reason as to why good and bad things happen.

I met with the wonderful doctors at Mayo Clinic 10 days later. Going into my appointment, I prayed that hopefully the gastric stimulator surgery could be sooner rather than later. What I wasn’t prepared for was the four-word curveball these doctors threw at me. “You don’t have gastroparesis.” When I heard those four words I didn’t know how to handle it. I was so relieved, but also incredibly confused and frustrated. For almost two years I had been taking the wrong medication, undergone multiple tests and procedures and had gone through a lot of emotional distress.

mayo clinic

After going through a couple more tests and procedures I was diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction along with some chronic gastritis. Tackling this diagnosis is much easier for me. It entails physical therapy, biofeedback and a healthy non-inflammatory diet. Will I be able to tackle this new challenge? Hell yes! Why? Because my misdiagnosis made me a stronger person both mentally and spiritually. I was able to grow with my faith, become closer with my family and learn more about how my body works. I was also able to appreciate life’s little things along with how important it is to embrace each day with the right attitude and willpower.

Finally, to the strong people battling chronic illnesses: remember, always trust your gut feeling and never second guess it. Create a close network of friends and family because these people are your support and will help guide you through the tough times. Finally, embrace life. The difficulties you are enduring now are not there to tear you down, but to help you realize your amazing potential! Like I said before, I believe all good things and bad things happen for a reason. It’s up to you whether to approach your life willing to take on anything!

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Originally published: December 15, 2017
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