In the past 9 months I’ve been called anorexic, a drug addict (due to track marks left by 15+ blown ivs), and a seeker. I've been told it was all in my head, asked how bad a stomach ache could really be, diagnosed with IBS, told it was a chronic condition, and even that it was psychosomatic. It wasn't all bad, as I was also called brave, inspirational, tough and a hero. I've felt worthless, a burden, and not worthy of being a mother or wife. I've had a triple barium ct scan, xrays galore, a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, stool sampling, a gall bladder sonogram, countless blood test, a HIDA scan, and a small bowel follow through, 2 GETs, EEG of the stomach, and coming up I have to have nerve conduction testing done and autonomic lab testing, as well as ANA Blood testing.
I've lost 61 pounds, my skins broken down, I have a BMI of 15.2. I have thrown up and or been nauseated every second of every day. I suffer from insomnia. I am on 7 different medications every 6 hours. I fall asleep sitting up and can’t walk alone. I went from going to the gym 5 days a week to not being able to pull myself up out of bed. My hair began falling out due to malnutrition. I have spent countless days in the hospital and began passing out last November. Because of this I now have an added Neurology to my dream team of doctors. My bed has become my prison. I spent my 32nd birthday, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day and my Anniversary in a hospital.
I've had to learn how and what to eat and who my true friends were. I've missed friends, events and even special occasions.
My mom has had surgery, my older sister had skin cancer and my baby sister is having a hysterectomy that I can’t be there for.
So who am I really? I am none of the things people have called or said about me. I’m a survivor who finally got a diagnosis. I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I have Gastroparesis! I have GP, it doesn't have me!
I have suffered so long because most doctors and nurses don't remember that world beyond school.
Who will I become? An advocate who will shortly begin to raise awareness so that no one else has to suffer the Hell I have.
Most importantly I am a Christian who wouldn't be a survivor had it not been for the hundreds of people praying for me and never letting me give up, even when I was begging them to let me. So watch out world...I’m getting my strength back and when I do I’ve got some teaching to do!
The views expressed on this page are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the Digestive Health Alliance (DHA) or International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD).