It is the middle of the day and I FINALLY just made my way out of bed. I am still not feeling well after my journey and am still extremely depleted. My head is spinning, my stomach hurts, and my hand and feet are extremely swollen. Needless to say, another fun day in Gastroparesis paradise. Had it not been for my dog wanting some lunch, I would probably still be in bed.
These days are hard. The days when your mind is mostly with you but your body is stuck in park. You often feel as though you have a devil and angel on your shoulder telling you two different things. It is a constant battle going on in your head and a difficult one to manage.
The devil tells you that you are too sick to do anything. You need to lay in bed. You can’t continue to make it in the “normal” world. Your going to have to stay home and watch the bills stack up while you don’t get paid. This leads to a viscous cycle which leaves you in bed all day in a combination of a lot of pain and hiding from the world. It’s when this side wins that Gastroparesis gets REALLY ugly.
However, there is another voice in your head which is telling you that you can do it. That you just need to rest for 30 minutes more and then you feel at least well enough to accomplish just one item today. If you accomplish one item, then you are a success and will continue to succeed. This side of your brain is screaming to be heard because it knows the truth of what you can accomplish. (I personally play the loop from Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live: You are good enough, smart enough, and dog gone it, people like you. Cheesy but effective.)
Teaching yourself to hear the positive side of your brain is one of the hardest pieces of Gastroparesis to manage. This is something that is taught and takes a tremendous amount of willpower to accomplish. If you are able bodied and reading this, you might think it’s no big deal. However, think of the time when you had the flu and were too sick to get out of bed. Now couple that with a time that someone was just down right nasty to you and made you doubt yourself. Combine all of this with the fact that you know these times will always follow you. They will never go away. The best you can hope for is that they are limited and happen fewer. This is what someone with Gastroparesis fights with to get out of bed and get back on a normal daily routine.
It is a hard battle and one that I am determined to win today.
A special thanks to my amazing dog for helping get me out of bed today and doting on me non-stop this morning. (More on pet therapy in future blogs.)