Geri LaRose's Personal Story

November 26, 2013
Gastroparesis

I am a 36 year old female who was diagnosed with Gastroparesis two years ago while completing my final year of graduate school while working full time at a Fortune 500 company reporting to a Chief Executive.  During this time period, I experienced my body (and mind) completely collapsing.  I was unable to eat and when I did it I became incredibly ill.  There were also periods of days and weeks were I could barely get out of bed.  The stomach cramping and brain fog were terrible.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  After several tests and months, I received the diagnosis of Gastroparesis.  FINALLY, there was a name for what I was going through.

Once I received my diagnosis, I immediately began doing research.  What was Gastroparesis?  Was there a cure?  Would I ever feel normal again? All sorts of questions began racing through my mind.  There is a tremendous amount of negativity floating around the internet in regards to Gastroparesis.  In spite of this, I was determined to keep fighting and searching for a better quality of life.  I am not one to take a challenge laying down and Gastroparesis was my new challenge to overcome.

After several months of living on smoothies a friend urged me to locate a massage therapist that specialized in chronic illness and digestive massage.  Thankfully I found one and her treatments were invaluable in the early days/months of my diagnosis.  An acupuncturist practiced at the same center, so I began to see him.  These two truly revolutionized my life.  I also began seeing a nutritionist and completely rehauled my diet. 

After several months of my self-made treatment plan, I began to experience a turn around.  I was performing at a high level at work again.  I was able to exercise. I was able to eat solid food.  The change has truly been amazing. 

Throughout all of this, I tried to maintain a positive attitude (easier said than done) and began to blog about my daily life with Gastroparesis at www.adventureswithgastroparesis.com.  I wanted others who were early in their diagnosis to find positivity and someone who could find the humor in what we deal with.  I also wanted a reference point for caretakers and friends, so that they could have insight into daily life with Gastroparesis. 

I have now reached the point where I could complete my goal of running a half marathon (Check out Geri's DHA Fundraiser for her Half Marathon - she exceeded her fundraising goal!!).  I may have Gastroparesis, but I have no complaints.  I have made some amazing friends that I would have never met otherwise!

 

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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).