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Gastroparesis-just diagnosed

Posted May 01 2008 12:00am

I’m feeling the puckery, sourness, of “lemonhood” today, a new system just went down…this time my stomach.

About six months ago. I started feeling this weird pain after I ate. Didn’t think much of it until about two months later when I couldn’t eat anything solid without hurting a lot. This went on for a couple more months as I hoped and wished and hoped and wished, that it would go away. I didn’t want to go to the doctor. (Years of chronic illness can cause quite a case of doctor phobia.)

I felt hunger like I’ve never felt it.  I realized that hunger that can’t be filled is pain. I thought about the people in third world countries who go hungry everyday, experiencing the pain of hunger.  I  went to my GP. He referred me to a Gastroenterologist and testing began. First she found an ulcer. I felt so relieved that it was an ulcer, because ulcers are treatable.  Two weeks of lots of antibiotics and “poof” the ulcer’s gone! I took the antibiotics, but no “poof”–I still couldn’t eat and it still hurt when I tried.

Okay, next test–a weird one! I had to eat a radioactive egg sandwich and then lay beneath an x-ray machine for about an hour and a half. While I laid there the machine took pics. of my stomach. This is called a ”stomach motility test”.  This is done to learn how much time it takes for food to move through the stomach and into the small intestine.

Three weeks later (day before yesterday) I went back to the Gastroenterologist for my “follow-up” appointment. I was sure that I didn’t have stomach motility problems because no one called from the office with tests results. This usually means in my experience, that there’s nothing to worry about. The appt. was with the Gastroenterologist’s Nurse Practitioner. She told me I should be seeing the doctor because the test was positive.  I have “Gastroparesis” which means–stomach paralysis. (Damage to the nerves supplying the stomach muscles causes the stomach to be unable to move food along efficiently, which causes a lot of probs.)

“Another system bites the dust”- that’s what I was thinking when I was sitting in the doctor’s office.  I have taken my stomach for granted, had no idea that it could break too.  Gastroparesis is not cureable, is another chronic condition that one lives with for life.

Since coming home from my appointment I’m looking for distractions, any distraction that will envelope my brain. I don’t want to think about “Gastroparesis” and all that goes with it, like not being able to eat pizza with my kids again, or popcorn at the movies, or turkey on thanksgiving and harder stuff that I don’t want to think about now.

Okay, time to find a distraction. Going to check my email, visit my favorite forums, maybe write another poem (I wrote one yesterday and the process worked great; it sucked my mind in like a Black Hole.)

I look around from this chair where I sit with my laptop; my house is a mess as I am obsessively distracting myself.  Dust is piling up on the end tables, shoes and papers are scattered across the floor.  I haven’t loaded the dishwasher.  I feel bad, but I’m not ready to let my mind roam. ( It always roams when I do chores.)  I’m trusting that my mind is doing what it needs to and that when it’s ready to make peace with the new “state of my stomach”, I’ll be ready to let it roam again.

I wonder what coping mechanisms others have used right after a difficult diagnosis?  If you feel like sharing, click “comments” or “read comments” below.





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