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Gastroparesis: A Poem About the 'Stomach Flu' That Never Goes Away

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Remember that time
That time you had the flu?
Couldn’t feel worse —
Ya, I’m sure that’s true.

You’re nauseous and you’re weak —
Haven’t eaten for days.
You want it to be over.
You pray it’s just a phase.

You’re sweaty and you’re hot.
You can’t get out of bed.
If you didn’t have a pulse,
You’d swear that you were dead.

Your stomach’s doing flips.
You can’t keep down your food.
When you can’t take anymore
Your friend says something rude.

“Come on, you don’t look sick.
You’ll feel better when you’re out.
Just take this vitamin and
You’ll be healed without a doubt.

“I’ve felt nauseous before.
It’s really no big deal.
Some exercise will do you good
And a nice big meal.

“You’re looking pretty thin.
You need to eat some meat.
Let me fill your plate.
You really need to eat.”

“I couldn’t eat a thing,”
You hiss through your teeth.

“That’s just in your head —
Just a silly belief.”

Then what’s even worse,
Your doctor also said,
“No, you’re really fine.
It’s all just in your head.”

How would you feel
If no one believed you —
When you felt so sick
But no one thought it true?

Could you go to work?
Could you do it every day?
When you could barely stand
For eight hours, would you stay?

What if it never ended?
For some it never did.
The stomach flu continues
Yet our illnesses are hid.

What this really means
Is people cannot see
How sick we really are.
We look like you or me.

But underneath it all
We’re fighting for our life.
And what we don’t need
Is all your added strife.

Maybe we don’t look sick —
Maybe not to you.
But remember back to
That time you had the flu.

Well imagine if
It never went away.
That is gastroparesis —
Stomach flu every day.

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Thinkstock photo via Mila_1989.

Originally published: July 10, 2017
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