There are many downsides to Gastroparesis, but one of the coolest things about GP is that you meet so many amazing people from all over the world. Most of the “meeting” is on-line. In fact almost all of the meeting is on-line. You chat on IM, you send Facebook messages, Twitter messages, share items on Pintrest, or maybe chat on the phone. It is amazing to see and hear all of the great things that people are accomplishing in spite of Gastroparesis.
It is so helpful to make Gastroparesis friends to share in the ups and downs, to laugh and cry, and to understand what the heck you are trying to say during brain fog. For me, I have been privileged enough to make a GP BFF. Something about our personalities just clicked immediately when we were chatting on-line. We swear that we were separated at birth!
We are both working professionally and have chatted numerous times about the challenges of navigating Gastroparesis in the work place. It is a very difficult situation to navigate and it helps to know that someone else is treading the water with you. It helps to have someone know exactly what you are talking about when your brain leaves you. It helps you to know that you are not going crazy and that so many things that now happen to your body is a result of this horrible disease.
Marie (My GP BFF) lives on the opposite coast of the country as me. As such, we never thought that we would meet in person. We have only ever communicated via IM and have never spoken on the phone. Although, I can tell you that there have been more than a handful of occasions where she has completely turned my day around.
Today was quite special. I was flying into Washington DC to advocate for Gastroparesis and so was Marie. In fact, we had decided to share a hotel room. So today, we met for the first time in the Washington DC airport. It has been a fun day of talking in person to one of the best friends a girl can have!
So as much as Gastroparesis turns your life upside down, it provides you with an opportunity to meet so many amazing people that you would have never met otherwise. I am so thankful for the on-line support groups and for all of my GP brothers and sisters. I hate having this disorder but am so glad that it provided me the opportunity to meet all of you.
PS…Hey Marie! I see you over there, you’re not just in my computer anymore! 😛