Happy Valentine’s Day to all of the Caregivers out there! All of us with Gastroparesis thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. We might not always tell you just how much you mean to us, but I can tell you that we wouldn’t make it without you.
I’ve talked a lot about what life is like for someone with Gastroparesis, but the caregivers often get lost in the shuffle. It is difficult for them to watch us suffer so frequently and not be able to make everything all better for us. The caregivers drive us to and from the doctors. They bring us medicine and ginger ale while we lay in bed. They pick us up from the bathroom floor when we are too weak to stand. They hold us when we need held. They allow us to cry without giving advice. They make us laugh when we need a pick me up. And most importantly, they work all day and all night to help us keep it all together.
The caregivers do all of this while trying to maintain their identity and their lives. They are extremely selfless and give up so much so that when a GPer has a good day it isn’t spent doing chores. They know when to give advice and when to let you have a meltdown. They stand by you as you literally try anything to feel better. Even if the idea is crazy, they stand by you and tell you to try it. They help you keep your confidence. They help you try to find balance in your life. They help you figure out creative ways to maintain friendships. They walk the dog. They make your smoothies. They let you sleep. The list goes on and on.
I am extremely fortunate to have one of the best caregivers in the world. I thank my lucky stars every day for him and honestly don’t think I could do so much in life without him. He takes care of everything at home so that any “good” hours I get can be spent learning something new or catching up with a friend. He entered my life about 2 months before I got extremely ill and has never once faltered during any of it. He immediately came to the conclusion that we needed frequent flyer miles at the hospital!
There aren’t too many men out there who would take you for a colonoscopy within 3 months of dating, then for an endoscopy 5 months after dating, and to a lovely breakfast of radioactive eggs (gastric emptying study) about 1 month after that. I was lucky enough to find a man that would do all of this AND pick up after those pesky GP Elves leaving everything laying around the house!