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The Moment I Realized My Gastroparesis Was Here to Stay

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A couple months ago I added gastroparesis to my list of diagnoses which already included Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and POTS.

By the time I sat across from my doctor as he told me I had gastroparesis I had spent a long two months wondering what was wrong with me. This illness came on suddenly. It seemed like almost overnight I couldn’t keep hardly anything down. I quickly became underweight as we did test after test trying to find the cause of my problems.

When my doctor ordered the gastric emptying studies I knew what he was looking for and remember thinking, “Please let it be anything but that.”

When the GES came back showing I had gastroparesis I was devastated, but at the same time relieved that at least now we had treatment options.

I changed the way I ate and started following the GP diet as I figured out what foods I could or could not tolerate. I knew in the back of my head that there was no cure for this illness, but it didn’t completely register until I was having dinner with my brother one night.

It was the first time I’d eaten with him since being diagnosed, so I was explaining what gastroparesis was and some of the things I could no longer eat (raw fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, popcorn, pork, beef…).

He looked at me and asked the question, “When will you be able to eat those things again?” As I spoke the word “never” it hit me that my GP was here to stay. There might be times when I’m doing better than others, but there is no cure for this illness.

Since that night I’ve grown more used to life with gastroparesis. There was a steeper learning curve for this illness than what I remember with my others and I still don’t have everything quite down pat, especially when it comes to how my illnesses play into each other, but if there’s one thing I have, it’s time to figure it all out.

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Getty Image by kaipong

Originally published: February 10, 2018
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