One of the strangest things that happens for those of us with Gastroparesis, is how quickly our waistline expands & contracts. It is utterly amazing & is something that should truly place us in a side show at a carnival. For me, this morning has been a prime example of this.
My day started off with running errands to prepare for the week ahead. I put on my jeans and they fit fine, however by then end of 2 hours of running errands they felt like a vice and I fully expected the button to shoot off across the room. It felt like I was in a magician’s box and was being sawed in half. In just 2 short hours, I would estimate that my waist expanded by a solid 12″ (rest assured, this is NOT an exaggeration).
My waistline started like the photo on the right and in 2 hours time it looked like the photo on the left. (The above photo is not me, but a stock photo from on-line. Although it is not an exaggeration of the difference 2 hours can make in a GPers waist line.)
This phenomena happens at minimum 3 days per week. At first I thought that it was just me, but I have had several conversations with other GPers who experience the same issue. The most embarrassing part is when your stomach expands so far as to look 3 months pregnant & are mistaken as such. Hey….we have the morning sickness of a pregnant woman so why not look the part! Hmmm…maybe I could park in the expectant mother parking at IKEA and save myself a some energy with the shorter walk to/from the door.
Sometimes in the same day, it will also contract back down to “normal” size. This requires some planning for the work-day or for going out for the day to run errands. As a GPer, you have to be extremely particular about the clothes you purchase to look professional at work. Your day could start looking nice in a pair of slacks and a fitted shirt. Then out of nowhere…..heeeerrrreeee it comes….the waistline is growing….and growing….and growing. (Jack & his beanstalk have nothing on us!) Now you are at work, looking like you purchased your clothes 2 sizes to small and are pulling and tugging trying to adjust.
For me, the worst example of this would be the following. I knew I was running a risk when I purchased a skirt that was already on the short side of appropriate for an office. I wore it anyway, after all what is the worst that could happen? Well, I should have known better than to ask that question. My stomach started to expand and by the end of the day it was taking a significant amount of material to get over my GP pregnant looking belly. This in turn caused the skirt to get shorter and by the end of the day the skirt was barely covering my bum. Fortunately, I was able to hide in my desk the remainder of the day!
I have now decided to stick to mid-length dresses at work. Slacks don’t have enough expand/contract room. Short skirts are out for obvious reasons, so the answer is mid-length dresses that you hope don’t look too much like a maternity dress!